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Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas! Hope you all have an amazing weekend!


Neutrals and Neons

Club Monaco sweater   |   Joe's ponte pants   |   J.Crew shoes   |   Cambridge Satchel bag

I got to take my new satchel out for a spin the other day. I love how the blinding neon contrasts with my understated blush sweater. This bag can elevate a look from plain and boring to fun and interesting, simply using color, albeit a very, very bright color.  

This is my first post-baby outfit post and I have to admit I was a little insecure about taking pics before losing all my baby weight. It's impossible to diet when you're nursing and starving all the time! I have a little over a month to lose the rest of my baby weight. Hubbie's company ball is coming up and I rented a dress in my pre-pregnancy size. Any tips on how to lose weight without dieting or working out? ;)


A new addition: Cambridge Satchel

From Balenciaga to Proenza Schouler to Celine, it seems like everyone is adding candy colored brights to their handbag lines as of late. And while many are completely drool worthy, it just doesn't make sense for me to spend thousands on such a trendy hued handbag. Cue the Cambridge Satchel Fluoro Collection.

Available at Shopbop

It was pretty much love at first sight when I came across these neon satchels. I love the juxtaposition of the traditional British school bag design with the obnoxiously bright colors. The Cambridge Satchel Company was started just a few years ago by a mom in the UK. Obsessed with the Harry Potter books, she designed satchels similar to the ones they would have used at Hogwarts.

These bags were spotted all over New York Fashion Week on everyone from stylists to fashion bloggers and at $155, it's quickly becoming known as the most affordable It bag ever.

I got mine in yellow and I love it in all it's blinding glory! The quality is excellent considering the price. Made in the UK, real leather, and beautiful stitching. If you need an instant update for your look, add a fun punch of neon with these satchels!


The best gift I ever gave

Our elf, Chippy giving Mr. T some love.

It was the first Christmas hubbie and I celebrated together. He had mentioned before how he remembered distinctly only getting a Christmas present once growing up. He woke up one year when he was 5 or 6 to a present sitting next to him in bed. It was a Mr. T doll and it was perfect. In the years that followed, he would wake up excited on Christmas morning thinking maybe there would be a present next to him again only to be disappointed. Many of us second generation kids grew up similarly because our parents just didn't understand the traditions or were too busy trying to make a living in a new country to find time.

Anyway, I searched for weeks and tracked down a vintage Mr. T doll circa 1983 on ebay. I still remember the look on his face when he saw Mr. T. There's something so special about giving and receiving a truly thoughtful gift. 

What's the most memorable gift you've ever given or received?


It's beginning to look at lot like Christmas...

A finally gets the whole Santa concept this year. She dictated this letter to Santa.

We got the Elf on the Shelf and we are loving this new tradition! For those who don't know what it is, you basically buy this book and elf combo. The elf sits somewhere in your house and watches how you behave. Each night, he flies to the North Pole to tell Santa if you've been naughty or nice. He disappears every year on Christmas Eve and reappears each year the day after Thanksgiving. After seeing the movie that goes with it, A decided to name ours Chippy as well.

Where's Chippy? A's behavior has gotten much better since Chippy's been around. If she refuses to do something, all it takes is a gentle reminder that Chippy is watching. I love it!

Holiday cards stamped and ready to be mailed.

Christmas presents wrapped in cheerful prints!

And of course, our tree.

Christmas totally crept up on  me this year, being so busy with baby D and all. Have you done all your Christmas shopping? Are your trees up? Do you have any holiday traditions in your family? I'd love to hear from you!


Dressing Up at 38 weeks

We had a wedding to go to when I was 38 weeks pregnant. Carrying an extra 45 lbs at this point, I was definitely dreading getting dressed up. I refused to buy a dress I would never wear again so I opted for my go-to dress for this pregnancy. This black, Herve Leger-esque bandage dress from Forever21 was THE best find. I wore it so much during this pregnancy (shown here and here). I love how it's just a great base and you can layer anything over it to completely transform the look. 

For this wedding look, I added a thin studded belt turned around so the studs were in front and the buckle in the back. I topped it off with a black blazer and patent royal blue flats (not shown) for a pop of color. There was no way I could squeeze my swollen feet into heels. Speaking of hands and feet, they don't look swollen anymore but I still can't put my rings on or wear many of my shoes 4 weeks post partum. Is this normal??


Introducing Our New Addition!

A's expression says it all. 
It's been an adjustment period for us all...especially little A, who doesn't seem so little anymore.

Sorry for the long hiatus. I was so tired towards the end of my pregnancy. Plus, I thought I was in labor every other day for weeks on end. I was that girl that went to the hospital (twice!) thinking I was in labor only to get sent home both times! I doubt anyone cares to read the labor story but if you're interested, let me know and I'll do a post on it. D is exactly 4 weeks today and it's been a roller coaster ride. 

Some of the Ups:

- Getting to know our baby girl, D. So far, she has been such an easy baby and I'm so thankful for that. She's also pretty constipated so she passes A LOT of gas which keeps us pretty entertained...except when I'm alone with her at Costco and she farts loudly in her stroller and people turn around thinking it's me. Not cool, D. Not cool.

- My amazing mom who came to stay for 5 weeks to cook and clean and help with the kids. SO beyond grateful! I dropped her off at the airport today and after she hugged me, I left her standing in the rain and ran into my car because tears were streaming down my face and I was too embarrassed for her to see that. I was so thankful but it felt awkward to say that to her so I didn't say anything at all. In the Korean culture, we don't really show a lot of emotion amongst family members so there I was in my car, her out in the rain, both of us shooing each other to leave first. 

Some of the Downs:

- Learning to balance caring for a newborn and a (very demanding) toddler. When A came to the hospital, she was fine initially. But after seeing everyone fawn other baby D nonstop, A crawled into a corner of the room and said "I'm sad. Mommy, you're not my best friend anymore. I don't like you." over and over again. It was so heartbreaking. After being used to being with me 24/7, it is a huge adjustment for her. I would appreciate any tips you guys have!

- My first experience with Mastitis! It was awful!!

Overall, it's been amazing and exhausting all at once. I hope to find time to blog more frequently and once I fit into non-maternity clothes, I hope to get back to doing more fashion posts as well. I've missed you all my bloggie friends and I'm thankful for whoever is still out there that's reading this. 

Happy thanksgiving!!!


Missoni for Target

Yes, I was that mom that dragged her toddler out of the house at 7:30 am for Missoni. We got to my neighborhood Target at 7:45 to see this...

Quickly changed plans and headed to the next closest Target a couple miles away. Called my girlfriends, telling them to reroute as well. Girlfriend T gets to 2nd Target to find only 5 people in line. Yes!! Meanwhile, I'm caught in traffic and it's 7:58 am (Target opens at 8). No!!

Finally arrive at 8:03 am. After grabbing at the womens section, I tell A to run (she thinks this is a fun game. Score!) with me to the shoe department. Then, we run to accessories.

While waiting for the elevator to get to the home department upstairs, I give her a lollipop for her ability to keep up and not throw a tantrum during this high stress situation. You heard me right. A lollipop for my 2 year old at 8 am. Not my proudest hour as a mom but sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do. and yes, that is my cart full of shoes!

Here's what I ended up with! The poncho, matching skirts for me and A, ballet flats for me and A, onesie for baby #2, 2 plates and a make up bag. I was dying for a throw and have not given up completely yet.

Did you check out the Missoni for Target collection yesterday? or did you attempt to purchase online? That site was impossible all day! Share your stories...I'd love to hear them!!


Beds, Beds, Beds!

Hubbie and I decided to upgrade to a king size bed and we are beyond excited! I love the hubs and all but we've both expanded quite a bit since we got married 5 years ago and have outgrown our queen size bed. The mattress is ordered and ready to go (yay for labor day sales!) but I've been going back and forth over the bed frame decision. 

I fell in love with upholstered headboards years ago and finally have a chance to call one my own. I will post another time about my dream beds that are over our price range but for now, I need immediate practical help. Please vote on your favorite bed!!
Bed 1: The Tate
I used to be all about clean, mid century lines but recently, I've been leaning more towards classically elegant styles (think the Elysian hotel) which you'll see in the next 2 picks.

Bed 2: The Colette
I've been in love with this bed for years but I think it looks a bit awkward in the king size. It looks perfect in the full or queen. Am I being crazy?
Bed 3: Crown King Bed
They don't have a sample at the stores and it has to be custom made so I have to buy it sight unseen and have no option to return. Risky!

Please help us choose a bed or if there are other beds in a similar price range, please forward my way. Thanks!!


Rainy Summer Day

J.Crew vest  |  Forever21 dress  |  Hunter boots  |  J.Crew belt  |  Goyard bag  |  Michael Kors watch

I went back to see the previous post where I wore the same vest. It turns out I was wearing almost an identical outfit minus the extra 500 pounds I've been carrying around. I'm definitely missing the slimmer side of me and can't wait to get back in shape after baby #2 is out!

I'm 31 weeks today and can't wait to meet this little one! By the way, is it just me or is there a crazy baby boom right now? I can name about 12-13 friends that are expecting! I'm excited that baby #2 will have lots of little friends around.


Utility Dress

Dress: Aritzia  |  Belt: J.Crew  |  Bag: Goyard  |  Shoes: Madewell 

I love the ruggedness of utility pieces. This dress has masculine details but the fit and length keep it fun and feminine. It's a bit short, especially with my bump but I figure I can wear it with leggings underneath too. Because it was a bit sheer and very short, I layered my Gap Body nude slip underneath. This slip has become a lifesaver and I've worn it under so many dresses that are too sheer, too low, too short, too fill in the blank.

Hubbie and I went to see "Crazy Stupid Love" the other night and it was the perfect date night movie. We laughed, we cried (okay fine, that was just me) and were completely entertained throughout. Have you seen it? What did you think??


New Addition!

Jacket: Mackage Kenya  |  Skirt: Forever21  |  Sweater: Club Monaco  |  Sandals: Madewell  |  Bag: Goyard  | Cupcakes: Sweet Mandy B's!

Now isn't that a lovely sight? A pregnant woman with a death grip on her box of cupcakes.


It's been consistently in the 90's here in Chicago and we are dying of heat over here! I can't seem to walk outdoors for more than a few minutes before sweating profusely and breathing heavily. Not my best moment. Anywhoo, this picture was taken months ago before it got so hot out and I haven't had a chance to post it until now. 


I've been on the hunt for a leather jacket for a long time. I kept going back and forth between getting a cheap, fun piece or investing in a quality jacket. At the Aritzia annual private sale, I finally took the plunge and got myself this Mackage Kenya jacket. It was on sale, which helped it's cause. I can't wait till Fall hits so I can wear it again, if I can get my sausage arms through the sleeves that is.


Maternity and the Maxidress

Dress: American Eagle Outfitters  |  Shirt: J.Crew  |  Bag: Goyard  |  Sunnies: Rayban

I squeezed into this non-maternity, non-stretch maxi dress for a kiddie backyard pool party a couple of weeks ago. I think if I tried to wear it now, there's a decent likelihood of seams ripping. Not my idea of a good time. Up to this point, I've been trying to incorporate as much of my non-maternity clothes into the mix but I think at 25 weeks, those days are gone.

In other news, I've been contemplating how to transform A's bedroom to accommodate another little girl. We absolutely love our neighborhood (Bucktown in Chicago) and love our condo (see pics here) so we decided to stay put for at least a little while longer. The only issue is having the girls share a room when they have different sleep schedules and whatnot. Do any of you have experiences sleeping 2 young children in the same room? Any tips would be greatly appreciated!!


It's About Time!

Forever21 dress, Gap cardigan, J.Crew belt, Madewell sandals, Goyard bag

I've been wanting an oversized gold watch for years but felt a little guilty. I remember when I received my Cartier Santos watch almost 10 years ago, thinking that this was the kind of watch you wear forever. But, I couldn't help making puppy eyes at every large gold timepiece I came across. I finally decided to go for it and I'm so glad I did.

I first purchased the Nixon Monopoly watch but the 1.75 width ended up being way too huge for my wrist. I kind of wanted to steer clear of the Michael Kors that everyone has but at the end, I ended up with one. I really wanted a white face and when I saw the Bloomingdales exclusive Michael Kors watch with a white mother of pearl dial, I was sold! It's on sale now so if anyone's in the market for a new watch, head on over.

Did anyone see the Bachelorette last night?? This is probably my least favorite season but I can't help and watch it. 


Colorful Arm Candy

Got a couple new bracelets to keep my clic clac company this summer! The neon green chain is from Madewell and the blue beaded number is from J.Crew. Love all the bright colors together!

Aritzia top, Madewell shorts and sandals, Chloe handbag
I love the peekaboo sleeves. My arms are pretty much at that point where I no longer feel super comfortable exposing them. These are perfect because they expose a sliver of my arm, keeping the top breezy and summery. So hard to find cute summer tops that aren't sleeveless!

These Whistlestop sandals by Madewell are turning out to be my #1 pick this season. I love the barely there wedges that are as comfortable as flats but definitely more polished. I highly recommend these to anyone who loves the look of wearing heels but can't stand the accompanying pain.

What is your #1 pick this season that you've been reaching for again and again?


Dressy Bump Style

I received the dress I rented from Rent The Runway the day before the wedding. It was risky so I bought a back up dress just in case it wouldn't fit. The package arrived with a garment bag containing both dresses in plastic dry clean bags. There were 2 dresses because Rent The Runway sends you a second size at no additional cost to help with sizing issues.

After reading reviews, I rented sizes 1 and 2 of this Yigal Azrouel dress. Size 1 ended up being a good fit as it runs quite large.

I kept the accessories simple with hoop earrings, 2 crystal bangles and the flap bag. My orange nails did not really go with the look but am loving this fun color for the season!

Have not been able to stop eating as of late and got scolded at my last doctor's appointment for putting on too much weight. Any tips for eating less and healthier during pregnancy when you're constantly starving?

Big holiday weekend coming up! Any big plans? I have several friends coming into town so it will be busy but I'm definitely looking forward to it.


Now Reading...

Kyung-Sook Shin is a popular novelist in Korea and this is her first book to be translated into English. I started reading it on the flight to Maui last month and hubbie woke up to me sobbing heavily into the kindle. I will say, in true Korean fashion (you'll know what I mean if you follow Korean dramas), it is very melodramatic and over the top. Nevertheless, I got into the story and the characters and laughed and cried along with them. 

I'm currently reading "Dreams of Joy" by Lisa See. It's the sequel to her novel "Shanghai Girls" that I blogged about here. I'm about a quarter through and so far, it's been intriguing reading about Joy's journey to Communist China in the 1950's.

Have you read any good books lately? I have nothing lined up for when I'm done with this book and I'm always looking for the next good read! Help!

Oh and we found out we're expecting another girl! I'm excited because I'm really close to my sister and always wanted A to have a sister as well. And I don't need to buy new clothes!


Wedding Season

I normally love getting dolled up for weddings but it's hard to get excited about dressing up when you're carrying an extra 20 lbs around. We have a wedding coming up this weekend and I'm still not sure what to wear! 

I bought a Groupon to Rent The Runway (an online dress rental company) last year and used it to rent something for this upcoming wedding. It was hard to find something that could work with a huge bump. I ended up renting this Yigal Azrouel dress. I really wanted the teal version but they didn't have my size.

The thing is...I don't get the dress until the day before the wedding and there's a good chance it won't fit right, especially with my huge bump!

I might have to run out and get a back up dress just in case the Yigal doesn't work out. Can anyone recommend any good dresses that are still cute and don't scream maternity?



On Mommy: Splendid top, Target denim maternity shorts that I made into cutoffs, Cynthia Vincent sandals (a warehouse sale find!), Goyard bag, J.Crew and Hermes bracelets
On A: Gingersnaps top, Gymboree shorts, Crocs

I live in cut off shorts all summer long. I was excited to find these denim maternity shorts at Target. To make cut off shorts, just cut to length and throw in the washing machine. Trim the excess fray and you're good to go. For a more distressed look, rub sandpaper on the denim. I've read you should stitch above the fray to make sure it doesn't keep fraying and get shorter and shorter but I haven't had issues with my other cut off shorts yet!

One of my go-to summer meals is a grilled chicken and veggie kabob served with couscous. I found this recipe here and it is about as easy as they come. All the ingredients for the marinade are things that I always have on hand so all I have to do is pick up some chicken, veggies and couscous mix (yes, I use a boxed mix!) and I'm set for dinner! I took this picture with 2 kabobs to make it look visually appealing but I'll admit, I had 7 of these bad boys. I've been eating equal or more than hubbie as of late. Take an already hearty appetite and add pregnancy to the mix and I'm unstoppable. 

What are your go to summertime looks and eats? Please share~


Field trip to Madewell

I squealed when I caught sight of the Madewell store at South Coast Plaza. I've ordered here and there from their website but always wanted to visit a store.

I seriously fell in love with so many pieces and stared longingly at all the cinched waist looks that I would have to wait till post-pregnancy to wear. Loved all the prints and the pops of color (yellow and jewel tones!). They had really cute shoes and jewelry as well! Between my mom, sister and I, I think we tried on everything in the store crammed into the big changing room.

A knew how much mommy wanted to browse and fell asleep in her stroller for over an hour right when we got to Madewell.

Big news Chicagoans!! I just heard today that Madewell is finally making it's ways to our windy city! They're taking over the Starbucks on Rush Street. Yay!!!

Question: If you had to choose one, J.Crew or Madewell? I love them both but if I had to choose, I would say Madewell!


Recent Look: Silk Shorts

On Mommy: Gap t-shirt & blazer, Madewell shorts & sandals, J.Crew and Hermes bracelets, Goyard bag
On A: Gingersnaps top, Target leggings, Salt-water sandals

I had the chance to check out a Madewell store when I was out in LA. Visiting the store (instead of just shopping online) made me love the brand even more! I ended up buying stuff for next summer too, in the hopes that I'll lose all the baby weight by then.

Do you ever buy clothes that are too small to force yourself to lose weight?


Happy Birthday Appa!

My dad turned 60 in April and none of us kids were there to celebrate with him. My brother and I live in Chicago, my sister lives in Singapore and my parents in the Philippines. We promised him a celebration when we all gathered in Maui in May. This is how we celebrated his birthday...

We had a limo pick them up from our resort and take them to the airport for a helicopter ride around Maui.

The limo then dropped them off at Sarrento's on the Beach, where we were waiting at a private table overlooking the beach. My dad really appreciates a good view and eating outdoors so it was perfect!

The entire group! My bro-in-law couldn't make the trip due to work obligations and he was definitely missed!

Just as we were finishing up our dinner, the sun began to set. So beautiful!

Singing happy birthday! Too bad A blew out his candles before he could get to them!

After months of wondering what to get our dad, he actually helped us out and said he could use a casual watch. We got him the Cartier Santos with carbon strap and he loved it! Yay!

 One last surprise at the end of the night: a slideshow. I think there were almost tears! Almost!

Watch the slideshow here!

A few months before my dad's birthday, a friend of mine mentioned that she and her sister got their mom a Mercedes Benz for her 60th birthday. I felt so defeated. Was that what his friends were getting from their kids? Would whatever we planned be a huge letdown? Could we come up with a night that was meaningful and memorable?

In the end, we just thought of the things my dad really loves...spending time with my mom, our family, reliving old memories (slideshow), adventure (helicopter ride), amazing views (dinner on the beach) and put together a night involving all of those elements. I think he really had a memorable night and we were so happy to see him take it all in. Happy Birthday Appa!

Have you had to plan a milestone birthday for anyone special? Any ideas? My mom's is coming up in a few years...