Tag Archives: Shopping


4 Jun

Ugh, jetlag has really hit me hard this time round. I’ve spent all week getting up at totally random times and feeling totally useless. I haven’t sorted through my photos and videos yet (but I will!)

So in the meantime here is some stuff I bought recently that I love.

Lululemon All Tied Up Tank
c1b6db0eaea3f708c9bab4a0690d6c7dIt sold out on the same day so I’m really glad I impulse bought this while I was in Australia, even though I had to wait almost a month to get back and pick it up! I kind of regret not getting it in the grey as well.

I also bought that sports bra because it looks so cute with the top. =D

Gorman Basic Leather Tote

James hardly ever has opinions on things but he hates this bag – “it’s gaudy”. Unfortunately for him that’s the reason I love it.
Gap Panama Hat
cn11024080I wore this hat almost every day Indonesia and it was perfect – kept the sun off my neck/face/shoulders and went with pretty much everything. Plus I crushed it in my bag a couple of times and it sprung back into shape.

Manolo Blahnik Peach Heels
s-l1600I’m slowly easing myself into them in anticipation of the next time I need to wear heels (probably the next Christmas party!) Even my guy friends admit these are super cute and they never notice shoes.

Dell Chromebook
Chromebook 13 NotebookThis was a birthday present to replace my old laptop. The keyboard is a dream, it has an incredibly long battery life, and I’m surprised at how much I can do just using web apps (though I would really like something that could properly edit GoPro videos).

I have also gotten mildly obsessed with frangipani since the hotel we stayed at in Bali on our last day had them all over the place and they smelled heavenly. The best candidate seems to be Ormonde Jayne’s Frangipani but I hesitate to buy a full bottle based solely on reviews.

I’m now sleeping 2-11am so I reckon by Monday I’ll be functional again. I’ll aim to get my blog post up by next week because next Saturday Nixi is coming to visit! Yaaay! =)

Feathering the Nest

12 Jul

I’ve wanted to get a big reading chair for awhile and have my eye on this one from Restoration Hardware:


image from Restoration Hardware

I ordered some fabric samples online and put them on Kyoto’s current favourite sitting spot to test their fur resistance:
IMG_20150706_161146But I think he caught on.IMG_20150706_161333Luckily Mouse hasn’t figured it out yet.

A Rick Owens Splurge …

10 Feb

I’ve wanted this jacket for aaaages (proof – and check out that foreshadowing: “I thought maybe I could save it up for an important birthday. Or maybe if we ever move to a cold climate“).

I’d describe Seattle as a cooler climate, not cold. Though we had snow a couple of days ago! This was outside my building at 6:30am (I don’t normally wake up that early – Mike was picking me up to go snowboarding)

But anyway I was prepared buy the jacket when we went to NY – it would have been an awesome souvenir – but I didn’t like the blistered lamb, which felt like very flimsy suede. On the bright side, at least I figured out my jacket size. The majority online opinion is that it runs small but it ran true to size for me.

About a week ago I found exactly what I’d been looking for on eBay. It was still expensive, but significantly cheaper than retail and, more importantly, silky lamb instead of blistered lamb and in my size. Jackpot!

Me: Would you mind if I bought this jacket that I’ve wanted for a really long time?
James: *frowns* Why do you have to phrase it like that?

Sorry James – that was accidentally manipulative of me! But he said he remembered me dragging him to the Rick Owens and Bergdorf Goodman flagship stores in NY and grudgingly agreed that my story checked out.

It arrived today and is soooo buttery soft and wonderful. It’s the perfect compromise between the drapey-ness of the blistered lamb and the leathery-ness of the calfskin. It’s pretty satisfying to finally own something I’ve been wanting for years. Now I can retire the search for my perfect leather jacket. =)

Post Christmas Wrap-Up

28 Dec

Merry Christmas everyone!

We had a bunch of Christmas orphans over to our place for a pot-luck meal (hot-pot, roast, ham, mashed potatoes, stollen, Tim Tams, cookies, stuffing and other stuff that I’m probably forgetting). No snowboarding, unfortunately – no fresh snow for a few days so we didn’t think it was worth going up.

Present-wise I got a dress from James’ grandma, a silk scarf from James’ parents and a snowboard binding multitool from Cat (with the other half of her Christmas present to arrive in the new year). James got a wallet from his grandmother and some scotch glasses from his parents.

We also did some self-gifting (which, according to several articles I’ve read, is a Christmas trend). I bought a trench so I have a non-bummy coat option:

image from Banana Republic

Also a belt, merino wool scarf and noise-cancelling earbuds (that James steals whenever I run the Roomba or Vitamix).

James decided to go back to skiing because even though he prefers snowboarding it was hurting his knee too much. He got Atomic Savage TIs packaged with some bindings on sale and Lange ski boots:

image from Evo

Man, ski gear costs sooooo much more! But we figured it was worth it so he could still come out with the group and not completely wreck his knee. We got his snowboard stuff pretty cheap last year, so only paid a little bit more than a season’s rental, and it was worth it for the convenience and money saved. Now we have a spare in case a friend needs it and he still has the option to take his snowboard out for powder days.

Hmm what else has been happening? We’ve been going out a lot since everyone seems to be in a social mood. James is enjoying his week off – lots of Playstation, computer games, TV and bumming around. We’ve been eating a lot (mmm Christmas pudding with brandy butter …) and skipping gym so will have to tighten up on that next week. Though it doesn’t seem like the worst thing in the world to have a lazy end to the year. =)

How To Fool People Into Thinking You’re Neat

25 Oct

Step 1: Don’t own a lot of stuff
Step 2: DO own a Roomba

It’s hard to keep a lid on “stuff creep”, especially in the US, where everything is so cheap. My weaknesses are board games (stored invisibly in the couch) and clothes – not so much about having lots of clothes as it is trying to find the perfect shirt, the perfect jeans, etc. so I can look put-together without expending any effort.

Which brings me back to the Roomba; pretty much the embodiment of no-effort big-reward. It vacuums your house! It freaking vacuums your house!

image from iRobot

Sometimes the Roomba doesn’t get everything on the first pass so when it’s charged up I just send it out again. I run it even when I think the floors look clean but when I empty the canister it’s full of dust and cat fur. Where did that all come from? It also forces me to keep stuff off the ground – I feel super guilty if I come home and find that the Roomba has choked on a sock.

Almost all our friends here own one. It’s not as popular back in Australia but we’ve gotten James’ parents, my parents, Cat and Ivo to buy one, and they all love it (and have been getting their friends on board too). They all live in 3-4 bedroom houses so I think they just run it more often than we do. Apparently it works fine on carpet and can detect stairs so you don’t need to worry about it plummeting to its death.

James has a bit of a love/hate relationship with the Roomba. Sometimes when it’s fruitlessly trying to find its way back to the docking station he’ll give it a look of contempt, pick it up and put it back in its charger. The Roomba does his victory chirp and James is all “don’t you sing at me like you found your own way home.”

Also the cats don’t ride around on the Roomba like I had hoped. =(

My mum said that my dad runs theirs twice a day and keeps going “it’s so clean! So clean!” Ha! Apparently they’ve had various friends and family over to marvel over it.

So yeah, if you don’t have a Roomba you need to buy one. Dooo eeet. It’s the best thing I’ve ever bought and it just saves so much time (and it’s so satisfying to empty it – kind of like “this is all the crap I didn’t have to vacuum.”

And like I said earlier, the combination of clean floors and not owning much stuff tricks people into thinking I’m neat. I think it’s all the uncluttered surfaces – or maybe they just think we’ve put all our stuff away? Chuck says he’s intimidated by how clean our place is and calls it the “hermetically-sealed apartment.” But I’m secretly like “little do you know – I’m filthy. I didn’t even shower today.”

Hoo Boy – Big Shopping Splurge!

20 Jul

We spent a shitload of money in June. We went to a few nice restaurants (James’ parents were visiting, yay!) but mainly it was that we bought a lot. I swear we normally don’t buy anything and then suddenly in June we bought all the things. Fortunately the first batch of James’ stock arrived to ease the pain! I had a list of our purchases but it was getting embarrassingly long so here are some of my favourites:

Gentle Souls Opal Sandals ($180 -20% + tax)

image from Nordstrom

The footbed is super plush and the sandal are comfortable yet slightly dressier than thongs (which they call flip flops here). I get a lot of compliments on them and have been practically living in them the past few weeks so when the dark blue version went on sale (for around $90 + tax) I bought another pair. Seattle gets like 3 months of non-drizzly weather so I probably don’t need so many sandals, but they’re so cute that I have no regrets.

You can see the blue sandals in the picture below, along with a few of my other favourite buys from June.

Balenciaga Town Bag ($1495 + tax)

I love the Town I don’t tend to carry much with me (phone, wallet, keys) so it’s a great “everyday” size. I added a notepad, pen, tissues and tiny sunscreen since there was more than enough room.

I tried the City but it was way too big and I think the Town worn crossbody looks better on a petite frame. The bag was a total splurge but I wear it all the time and it goes with (almost) everything.

Gap Leather Flip Flops ($24.95 – 30% + tax)

These were cheap and cute. Plus rose gold is my favourite shade of gold – now I feel fancy when taking stuff to the recycling and garbage chutes. =)

Sam Edelman Petty ($89.50 -20% + tax)

These shoes have insanely good reviews and the Smokey Praline colour was on sale (normally $130) so I snapped them up. OMG these are awesome. They’re so comfortable and go with dresses, jeans, shorts, everything! They have a slight heel but feel like flats when I’m walking. I’m trying to figure out whether I can get away with wearing them with my Balenciaga Town or if I should pick up a pair in black.

So yeah, that’s like … 10% of what I bought last month. I blame the great sales (on top of already cheap prices), free shipping and free returns. It means I can buy clothes online, try them on at home, then return them if I don’t like them. I don’t even need to find a mailbox – I can just drop the package off downstairs for the front desk staff to give to the USPS guy. 

Also FYI I’m not the only one who went on a big shopping spree. James bought almost as many clothes as I did, plus a few big-ticket items (admittedly not Balenciaga big) like a wetsuit, a bunch of clothes and snowboard bag. Also a limited edition Skyrim board from Never Summer. Here it is mounted in the study.

You can see in the bottom left Mouse has some teeny tiny artwork hanging in his little nook. That’s because he’s a classy cat. Here, have a blurry photo of Mouse where he looks like he’s seen shit go down.

Updated to add a photo of Mouse being intrigued by the longboard:

A Shopping Trip to Portland, Oregon

4 Nov

Last Saturday James and I went on a day trip to Portland for $28.

Return. For the two of us. How crazy is that?

It was super cheap because I booked early and scored one of the promotional $1 tickets each way. Instead of renting a Zipcar, driving for 3 hours to Portland, finding and then paying for parking, and driving back to Seattle, we got to nap and watch movies on the Bolt Bus.

Here is the Bolt Bus that we took from Seattle. I don’t know why the back half of the bus looks like it’s in some sort of alternate reality.

Bolt Bus, I love you!

Almost as much as I love Portland, tax-free shopping mecca. The trip happily coincided with the release of the iPad 4, so that was number one on our list of stores to hit. We more than saved the cost of our bus tickets on just the iPad. Check how busy the Portland Apple store was.

Which is actually an illusion. Because a lot of the people inside (all the ones in blue) were actually Apple staff.

James asked to buy an iPad but the sales person thought he was after the iPad Mini and told him they were sold out. James was so disappointed, but then he saw someone buy the one he wanted and realised they had lots in stock. So he figured he would be more specific this time.

James: I want to buy one of the large iPads please
Apple Lady: We don’t have large iPads

Poor James is not down with the hip Apple lingo.

After Apple we went to Nordstrom Rack where James got a pair of jeans, two pairs of shoes and a couple of long-sleeve tops. The big splurge here were the Magnanni shoes ($199.95). He tried them on and were like “these are really comfortable” but thought they were too expensive. Then all the other shoes he tried on were uncomfortable in comparison so I forced him to get them. Or maybe he played me, I’m not sure.

After Nordstrom we went and got some lunch. Portland has these little food truck villages, where a block will just be full of food trucks. They are awesome. I am so jealous, I wish Seattle had something similar.

We ate at La Jarochita, which was quite clearly one of the more popular food trucks at the 5th and Stark location. I felt quite sorry for the Mr Taco truck next to it. Not enough to eat there, but you know how it is.

We ordered a fajita ($4.99) which was enormous and so filling! James said they were better than the Seattle ones.

(LOL!! James just walked by, saw that photo on my screen and went “OMG now I want a burrito”)

We also got the huarache ($5.50) which took longer because they freshly grilled the tortilla.

It was a little tricky to eat and we both strongly preferred the fajita. But it was still good, especially when I put a bit of sriracha on it!

After our fortifying break we made a quick touristy stop at Powell’s Books. You can see James patiently waiting for me while I ran to the other side of the street to take the photo.

It was massive! But also super crowded and overheated. We wandered through marvelling at the scale of it and James stopped off for a quick coffee.

It was so terrible he didn’t finish it. =(

Then we went to Lululemon (which I had been looking forward to all day!). I had a long list of stuff I wanted but didn’t end up getting the reversible raspberry glo light/black swan wunder unders because the pink showed through the black swan side, which gave it a pseudo-sheer look. Checking the Lululemon website reviews I found that I wasn’t the only one who thought that was a bit crap.

I did get the cool racerback in raspberry glo light (I love the colour!), a brisk run headband to keep my ears warm, some marked-down discover crops (my absolute favourite gym crops because the pockets hold my phone), and a black swiftly long sleeve. James tried on the guy version of the swiftly but was sad that they didn’t have thumbholes like the girl version.

After Lululemon we headed to REI to pick up some stuff that we’d ordered online and had sent to the Portland store in anticipation of our trip. It was a pretty long walk and we amused ourselves by finding the streets that he characters from The Simpsons were named after:

At REI I got a Smith snowboarding helmet and we each got a pair of non-cotton socks for snowboarding. James bought one of those face masks for snowboarding as well.

Then it was time for more food! Several of James’ coworkers had told him to go to Voodoo Doughnuts, plus we remembered seeing it on Man vs Food so it was a no-brainer. This was the line outside:

You can’t really tell from the photo but those bricks were all sparkly, which was a nice touch. The guy in the green top and the beanie told us that this was a comparatively short line for Voodoo Doughnuts. Eep! We finally got to go indoors. Hooray!


At least the line gave us plenty of time to look at the menu and decide on what we wanted. And in the end we emerged with one of these:

Inside we had a voodoo doll ($1.95) and a miami vice berry ($1.60)

and from the top going clockwise, a raspberry romeo ($1.60), mexican hot chocolate ($1.15), bacon maple bar ($3) and an old dirty bastard ($1.95)

The voodoo guy was fun but I think the bacon maple was my favourite and James liked the miami vice berry. There’s a doughnut called the cock-n-balls which is shaped like how you would imagine (plus it’s cream-filled) but it was $5.25 and we didn’t want to pay that much for a gimmick when neither of us even likes cream.

The girl behind the counter said that the top 3 sellers are the voodoo man, the old dirty bastard and the bacon maple. She said that the Portland cream is also a big seller, but blergh, cream.

And then it was time to walk to the Bolt Bus and say goodbye to Portland. We took a slight detour to walk along the waterfront which was really nice at night. Overall we both really loved Portland and thought that the food was fantastic. Portland seems a bit quirkier than Seattle (which is nicer than the way James put it, which was “Portland has more weirdos”). There were fewer skyscrapers and it also seemed like everything wasn’t as spread out.

I thought the timing of everything worked out well (mainly because of the unexpected long line at Voodoo). I was worried that James would hate a long bus ride, followed by 6-7 hours of shopping, and then another long bus ride, but he was really pleased with his purchases and even on the bus he was quite content poking around on his (old) iPad.

This morning I tried to take a photo of our loot.

You bastard cats!

So anyway, that was our brief foray into Oregon. Based on the success of the trip, James now wants to take the Bolt Bus to Vancouver. =) I think we’d probably make that one a weekend or long weekend trip but it’s definitely on our radar. And I wouldn’t mind heading back to Portland to do some more touristy stuff and eat some more of their food.