2013 | Year in Review

2013 was one of those years that I dreaded going in. From Chinese astrology I knew the year of the Water Snake would be one of the most difficult years in transition for the Monkey. And boy, were the signs right on point.

A Very DIY Christmas

I’ve been extremely fortunate to have my high school besties by my side since…well, high school :D Back then we were quite the over-achievers having bonded since ASB, Girl’s League, honor society, AP classes, sports leagues, and after-school shenanigans filled our precious pre-adulthood time with plenty of laughs and stories to last our lifetime. (Which, mind you, we constantly re-tell again and again to our mildy amused other halves, anyone else guilty of that? hahah). 

Scenes from a Racy Lacy Xmas Soirée

Happy Holladays from my darling Skittles to you and yours! Every year we take it upon ourselves to glam up our get-togethers with a dazzling dress code fit for an oh-so-sexy Xmas. Black leather and delicate lace, some demure, others daring, a high-fashion mix that depicts my girls to a T! 

Menswear, My Way

It’s tough to go ballz out girly glam when the temperatures have been hitting below 70’s in SoCal (YIKES! Yes, we are quite spoiled ‘round here); so I’ve been playing around with some of my favorite menswear inspired items straight from the closet.

Food Porn Friday | Little Sparrow | DTSA

Happy Friday dahlings!!! 
Hope everyone’s stuffing their face full of Thanksgiving fixin’s all weekend long! 
I had planned on dedicating a holiday post from yesterday’s feast; however upon seeing my entire FB wall filled to the brim with turkey, stuffing, sides, and mo’ I’m foregoing the obvious and bringing to you instead one of the hottest new restaurants trending in OC today: Little Sparrow in downtown Santa Ana. 

#JKID Project | Renovation Report

Happy November my loves!!! 
Thank you all for tuning in while I’ve been on hiatus for most of October. As you all know I’ve spent the last 4 months renovating all 1900+sf of my Mom’s old dilapidated 60’s style ranch house into the contemporary stunna you’ll be seeing on the blog for the rest of the month.

Food Porn Friday | Castagna | Portland

Le bf was so jealous of my Chicago food frenzy with the girls that I just had to oblige to his incessant whining with a Chef’s tasting experience of our very own. We even postponed our anniversary dinner to celebrate in Portland hoping to hunt down New American cuisine indicative of what the Pacific Northwest is trending towards nowadays. Enter Castagna, a modern and minimalist local gem featuring an edited array of fresh organic ingredients appealing both to our sophisticated palate while showcasing an indisputable sense of place.

Scenes from a Summer Vineyard Wedding

I met my darling Trammy-Poo in Portland the summer of 2001.
 Fast forward some 12 years later and what started out as a slow, gradual friendship quickly cultivated into a sisterly bond that’s surprised us both throughout the years. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve argued, we’ve agreed, we’ve partied ‘til the wee hours of the morn, and we’ve grown to accept that we really can’t party like that now in our *gasp* old age. We’ve seen one another through highs and lows, through failed relationships and growing pains. Writing this now I’m elated to announce that we’ve come full circle to celebrate my besty’s wedding as she’s finally found the ONE! 

Portland Photo Diary

I haven’t been back to Portland in a minute since living there over a decade ago. I truly love that the city has vibrant grass roots dating back to the discovery of the Oregon Trail. Miles and miles of endless forest greens stretch beyond the rivers, over the mountains, and through the woods.

Food Porn Friday | Graham Elliot | Chicago

It’s not often I track down 2-Michelin star restaurants when dining on vacay so this super short trip to Chicago last week was made that much sweeter by the visit to Elliot’s namesake establishment in the heart of Chi-town. I’m sure many of you recognize his moniker from MasterChef, Top Chef Masters, Iron Chef, and multiple James Beard Foundation nominations, but what you probably don’t know is that Elliot garnered so much attention this year with an extra Michelin star (added to his previous 1 star in 2011 and 2012) that the restaurant even hosted an intimate birthday dinner for President Obama himself. Oh yeaaaaaah, sounds like the swanky kind of joint I’m totally into!

Chicago Photo Diary

Super short trip to Chi-town with my loves exploring the city's best sites, eats, and nightlife. 72 hours is not nearly enough time to take it all in but enough for me to know that I’ll DEFINITELY be back for more….ahhhhh this windy city has certainly swept me off my feet <3

Food Porn Friday | Masa Sushi | Costa Mesa

Summer in SoCal signals the time when errbody and their mamas are on the beach body/pool party/ social shindigs special diet. Upping workouts from thrice weekly to at least 5 times per is the typical average we push ourselves to seasonally. This also translates to sashimi at least once a week with le bf who’s on such a sushi kick you’d swear he’s a fisherman by trade with all the fresh catch that we consume. A bit burdening on the wallet, but completely slimming on the waistline…eh, I’m not complaining one bit! Thanks bf, you’re the BEST! 

Food Porn Friday | Gaam Restaurant and Lounge | Los Angeles

Couldn't have asked for a better Ktown spot to celebrate my birthday with my besties and inhale sake shots like it was my last dying breaths. All the better when happy hour starts after 4pm and EVERYTHING (liquor, appetizers, plates, bottles) I mean everything is 50% off the menu price. 20 mouths, 40 dishes, and $30 a pop later, birthday girl was down for the count. I'd say that was a pretty successful meal, don't cha think? ;D

#JKID Project | Bachelor Pad

I remember getting laid off from corporate in ’08 and immediately after starting my own company I was commissioned to design bachelor pad after bachelor pad. Not quite the fancy-schmancy super glam-glam direction I imagined my career would turn into; however you take what you can get. Years later, with a handful of experience under my belt I’m back at it again since this time the potential client found me from designing another bachelor loft in the same apartment complex! 

Dip- Dyed

While June gloom’s been rearing it’s dreary head in these SoCal parts, I’m taking full advantage of all my transitional stylings until the weather gods summon up summer in here dude.

Pajama Party

The Gramercy Park Hotel in Manhattan is easily one of my FAVE all-time hotels. 
High up on my design Richter scale for equal parts decadence and panache. The rich royal blue walls coupled with sumptuous crimson velvet upholstery seriously screams FABULOUS in a nouveau baroque manner.

Scenes from a Little Rascal-themed Baby Shower

Hope everyone had an amazing weekend!!! 
Not to sing my sad sob story but I spent mine packing, unpacking, carting, and basically living in complete chaos. So last week (literally hours before throwing my gf’s baby shower) my house flooded. Yup, you read that right: 3 hours-worth of nasty sewer water all up in my family home before anyone woke to catch wind of it. Can you imagine waking up to 4 inches of soaking wet tile, furniture, shoes, carpet, clothes, cabinets and list goes on and on???

Food Porn Friday | Sugarfish | DTLA

One of the pure joys of living in a new city is discovering notable eateries to try out in town. What makes the discovery even more delightful is being able to share good eats with great friends that you don’t typically spend time with because of distance, scheduling, etc, etc. This particular couple’s dinner took us to the heart of downtown LA (a mere detour from both our place and their work, love it when that happens!) where we hobnobbed with locals looking for the freshest catch of the day: Sugarfish Sushi. What transpired after the initial first impression (low level lighting makes for über-romantique setting) was nothing short of AMAZING…and those who know me knows I RARELY say that about sushi.

Home Tour | Jacqui Getty

While perusing my archives for a jolt of divine inspiration I came across Jacqui Getty’s LA abode for which I aptly filed under “The Perfect Apartment.” It’s days like these while I’m suffocating under a blanket of designer’s block that I’m most grateful for this cold/cough combo that relegates me to the comforts of my computer. How else would I be able to sort through thousands of home tours, décor, and decoration to unearth the one space that excites me still??

Food Porn Friday | Ink | Los Angeles

Don’t ya just hate it when your return visit to a previously LOVED eatery yields less than desired results? When the cuisine was initially sooooo bomb.com that you advertised it as such and rounded up the entire posse for a night on the town, only to be met with satisfactory service and a hastened supper? With a super packed Saturday night crowd and a kitchen bursting at the seams I felt rushed to finish my $100+ meal when all I really wanted to do was relax and enjoy the spread. Eh, at least the presentation was still right on point.

#JKID Event | Scenes from a Hollywood-themed Baby Shower

She’s a big-time Emmy-winning entertainment sports producer, he’s a huge action hero movie star, together they are bonafide Hollywood A-listers whom just happen to be my near and dear friends. So it was only fitting that we shower Annie and Robin's baby-on-the-way with a megawatt celebration fit for the new upcoming star in their lives- Baby Brandon!

Food Porn Friday | 555 East American Steakhouse | Long Beach

555 East reminds me of an upscale Ruth's Chris' with their piping hot buttery plates of steak and the ubiquitous wine chambers that line just about every vertical wall surface. The vibe: Jazz lounge club where much older cigar-smoking gentlemen hit on 30-something hotties (present company included) with a cocktail and a business card. Oman I can still smell the seniors even amongst all that garlic butter! Although I'm a TOTAL Mastro's gal myself, it's always nice to get out of the Bolsa bubble for a change of pace and scenery. 

Food Porn Friday | Cucina Enoteca | Irvine

I generally lead a very low-carb lifestyle. Not one to crave pasta or rice or even bread and potato fixin’s; (Now my sweet tooth is a whole ‘notha story entirely!) But when I do get a chance to sample some of the Cucinas that have been popping up all over SoCal, my natural inclination towards Italian food (having taste-tested my way through Florence-Venice-Milan back in the day) yields the usual blah/bland/bleh reaction knowing full well that you CANNOT beat Italian cuisine coming straight from the motherland. Ever. However upon hearing that every Orange Coaster I know has been stampeding to Cucina Enoteca in groves, I knew my dining fadventures were just about to begin my friends.

Parisian Pied-à-Terre

The dream was to always have a little quaint pied-à-terre not far from my country cottage in Provence and literally footsteps from the bustling Marais district in the heart of Paris. Pre-war architectural moldings reminiscent of Versailles but upstyled to reflect a super contemporary aesthetic…Mirrors and gilding to highlight the most gorgeous objets d’art…and of course in the midst of it all, the home away from home in the city of light and romance….

Happy Birthday Haute Khuuture!!!

Oh my little baby’s alllll grown up! Today marks the 3 year anniversary of when my blog was born…3 years since she first took her fashion-forward steps….3 years of many blogging mistakes, mishaps, trials, and tribulations….3 years of decorating/designing/styling my way through the world, 1 boring beige wall at a time…and 3 friggin’ years of food porn up the wazooooo!

Trend Spotting | Asian Invasion

Happy April my dahlings! 
Hope everyone had a fantastic Easter weekend for those of you who celebrated! I spent my long weekend on the snowy slopes of Mammoth (so relaxing!) but more on that later this week.

#JKID Project | I Spy DIY | Campaign Dresser

Another one of my late-night Craigslisting adventures…sometimes yields junk on top of trash on top of scraps piled amongst rubble. But every so often I manage to unearth a diamond in the rough like this gorgeous campaign-style dresser complete with all original hardware and even a pull-out tray table to boot.

#JKID Concept | My KTown Apartment

===>Insert sad face here :(

My stress level has been at the ultimate high juggling multiple clients, various projects, designing and furnishing a move for 2 different studios, not to mention trying to pretend I have some form of a social life where I show up half-awake with a tiny semblance of functionality. Phew!!! It’s been a total clusterf*ck in my camp so I’m more than ELATED to share that I’m nearly past the hump!!! 

Blush and Bordeaux

Happy new month of March my loves!!!
Spent last weekend attending my darling Rose’s wedding in Balboa Peninsula by the bay. Such an amazing outdoor setting with light beach breezes and palm trees galore all punctuated by the sunny SoCal weather we’ve been getting for the last few weeks. 

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