October 04, 2014

Age Like Fine Wine (Part 3)

F21 Sweater, Banana Republic Shirt, Two by Vince Camuto Pants, Converse Sneakers (not pictured), Vintage Crossbody
(Awestruck by the beauty of Epesses and Lake Geneva)

The most beautiful sights of my trip were in Bordeaux, France, and Epesses, Switzerland. I couldn't wrap my head around the fact that people live in these places and see the jaw-dropping landscapes and architecture everyday. I could walk around aimlessly and never get bored. 

In terms of my wine education, my visit to Epesses introduced me to the best white wines I've ever had. I almost always prefer red wines to white wines, but once I had a taste of Chasselas made by my friend Rea's family-owned wine company, I was hooked. Sadly, I'm not sure when I'll get to taste such delicious (and affordable) white wine again, but I'm glad I finally found a white wine that I'll happily drink :)

September 24, 2014

Age Like Fine Wine (Part 2)

Lucca Couture Dress, J. Crew Skirt, Converse Sneakers, Vintage Crossbody
(Hanging out with a machine ant at the Machines of the Isle of Nantes exhibit)

My second vlog contains all of my adventures in Nantes, France. Nantes marked my first time actually traveling alone and my first (ever) wine tour. Unfortunately, I didn't take the time to make sure my old beat-up Converse were fit for walking all day, so I ended up with horribly blistered heels and ankles for most of my trip. Thankfully, all of the sales in France were happening while I was there, so I picked up a cheap pair of sandals at the local Zara. My feet were so relieved! Note to self when traveling: pack appropriate footwear. Contrary to what I was told, people in France do wear sandals and shorts during the summer, so don't make my mistake of not packing either of those items...

September 16, 2014

Age Like Fine Wine

(the beach in St Malo, France)

Hello, from an almost 3-month long hiatus! Summer break ended about a month ago, and school is in full swing once again. It's my very last semester of college; the thought makes me quiver with uncertainty and anticipation. This coming December I'll have a degree and start living as a "real person," as my friends and I like to jokingly call the post-undergrad life (job included). If all goes to plan, I'll only be a "real person" for the spring semester, work my two part-time jobs, and head off to pharmacy school next August. Goodness, I hope it all goes to plan.

Remember this post? Well, lucky for me, I was able to conquer my PCAT and then spend the most amazing three weeks in France learning about wine. Best summer in college? I think so. Honestly, 2014 has been such a fruitful year for me that I'm a little worried about 2015... my inner pessimist is peeking out -- shhh!

To document my wine trip around France, I decided to skip out on a text blog and challenge myself to vlog (video + blog) instead. I felt like even if I took thousands of photos, I wouldn't be able to capture the magic of France in still images. I'm not a natural on camera, but I tried. I think I get better as the vlogs go. The beginning of the trip felt especially unreal because I couldn't believe I was in the country I'd only dreamed of visiting. The people, the language, the culture -- I just couldn't get enough. Of course, the wine was always delicious. I didn't bother feeling guilty for having wine during meals because it was the norm, and I had to for research anyways ;) Now that I'm back in the U.S., I'm over my $7 go-to bottle at HEB. I need an upgrade that won't break the bank. If you have any recommendations, please help a girl out!

Here's the first vlog out of five!

Disclaimer: the video quality is quite awful for the first few vlogs due to my old laptop's inability to properly edit my video files.

July 11, 2014


(Pike Place Market in authentic Seattle weather)

This summer has provided me many opportunities to travel, starting with my family's vacation to Seattle and Canada. Apparently, I'd visited these two places when I was three, but, of course, nothing stuck. (I now realize I've lied about "never been to Canada" in too many never-have-I-ever games -- oops) I definitely won't forget this second time around though! This vacation sprouted from the fact that my cousin was getting married, which was extremely exciting in itself, so I'm glad my family decided to take advantage of the opportunity. Family trips are really rare now, and who knows when the next get-away will be.

(Boeing's Future of Flight Aviation Center & Tour; actually really intriguing and inspiring)
(little did I know we would visit one of my favorite restaurants!)
Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent Dress, LC Lauren Conrad Platform Heels
(my brother and I before the wedding)

June 30, 2014


(mimosa with mint leaves and mixed berry ice cubes)

At my current stage in life, I know I'm far off from properly  hosting guests for an evening, but that doesn't mean I can't improvise from a college student standpoint or take in inspiration from events I've attended. Since I seem to be moving residences every year, I have neither a consistent amount of kitchenware to count on nor standardized dishes and silverware. Honestly, I'm getting ahead of myself since I can barely cook, but a girl can dream! One day I'll be able to grill chicken without it sticking all over the pan...

This past year in college, my roommates and I managed to host two get-togethers at our then-aparment. We kicked things off college style with a Halloween party, which we not-so-cleverly named "Monster Bash," and provided candy and punch. Costumes were mandatory (obviously), and we even gave out a Torchy's Tacos gift card for best costume of the night. It was pretty successful save the police scare, but I learned not to worry about every small detail and just made sure to float around to talk to everyone who attended since I wanted everyone to feel welcome and included. We also hosted a dinner party for Galentine's Day, and while it was nothing fancy, it was nice to just celebrate quality friendships.

I had the opportunity to attend a farewell party for a dear friend a couple of weeks ago, and there was a gourmet hot-dog station that was both eye-catching and delicious. It made me think about how the most basic foods can be made into something exciting with just a few extra touches. I hope I remember to start simple next time there's a chance to host a gathering.

(decorative display of hot dog toppings)

 (hot dog buns with rosemary sprigs and assorted relishes)

June 25, 2014

Sound Of the City

(view of the Houston skyline)

This post is about a month overdue, but better late than never!

I decided to volunteer for my ticket to Free Press Summer Fest this year since I wasn't as impressed with the lineup (in terms of artists who I wanted to see). Last year's lineup just set the bar too high. Regardless, I still had a fantastic time learning how to work ticketing (more like wristbanding) while still getting to enjoy some of the festival. The crowds were just as big this year, and the energy really made the infamous Houston heat bearable. On the down side, I got pick-pocketed at the festival, but thankfully, I didn't lose too much and cancelled my debit card right away. Note to self to be aware of my surroundings and periodically check my belongings. Nevertheless, I can't wait for next year's tickets to go on sale, so I can snatch them up early!

(at the Neptune Stage trying to catch a glimpse of CHVRCHES' Lauren Mayberry) 
 Floral Romper (last seen here), Banana Republic Chambray Shirt (similar), Leather Backpack
(my roommate and I celebrating after volunteering)
(Childish Gambino ruling his set) 
(the roommates and I taking full advantage of this sign) 
(ending the first night with Zedd)

May 26, 2014

Dress Smart

It's a constant battle between my contacts and me. Maybe it's because I have monthly prescriptions or generally dry eyes, but contacts are rarely completely comfortable for me. That's why I'm so grateful for the rise of trendy prescription glasses. Glasses are no longer just for vision correction but also for self expression. Companies such as Warby Parker have really set the standard on "hipster" glasses or fashionable eyewear, and the glasses are pretty affordable! A friend of mine referred me to Coastal, an online retailer for prescription eyewear, since they have a first pair free deal. All I had to do was pick a pair of glasses, pay shipping and handling (less than $10), and I've been happy with my purchase from day one.

I like to correlate glasses with intelligence and sophistication since, back in the day, people mainly wore glasses to help them read. I can only hope people think that of me when I wear mine. Honestly, I wear glasses whenever I'm in a rush or want my eyes to breathe, but it's nice to know glasses can double as a stylish accessory! I love the combination of glasses, a classic ensemble, and a bright lip. I know, I know; how much more J. Crew can I get?

(photos courtesy of my roommate)

May 20, 2014


I'm back again -- 3 months later. Spring semester has ended, and I'm relieved and happy to be on a real summer break (no summer classes this time!). Instead, I'll be spending my days studying for the PCAT and working, but I'm not complaining. In terms of events, I have very high hopes for this summer; highlights include Free Press Summer Fest, my cousin's wedding + family vacation, and my dream trip to France to learn about its culture of wine and wine production. I still can't believe the last part is happening -- already booked my tickets!

It's crazy to think I only have one more semester left of undergrad. After attending the graduation ceremony for the Class of 2014 (shout-out to two of my dearest friends for graduating), I know I'm going to be in tears when it's my turn. My friends and I are already planning on making senior year as exciting and meaningful as possible; got to go out with a bang.

Just to recap on my hopes from the beginning of 2014, I'm proud to say I'm officially Yelp Elite!, and my Alternative Spring Break trip to the Everglades National Park in Florida was nothing short of exhilarating and rewarding. I'm pleased that I actually accomplished goals this year instead of just setting them. A great score on my PCAT would be icing on the cake... crossing my fingers.

Here are some snapshots from the past couple of months

(waking up to breathtaking sunrise in the Everglades)

(the best Cinco de Mayo celebration)

(Yelp Elite! event at Texas de Brazil; I also opted for a shorter haircut for summer)

(relaxing in Destin to celebrate the end of junior year)

 (fantastic firework show at the 101st Commencement)

February 19, 2014

Warm Me Up

Zara Romper, Ann Taylor Blazer (thrifted), Lauren Conrad Sandals

Houston has finally started to warm up again. I think we had a high of 80 this week! Nothing deters me more from crawling out of bed every morning than the cold, so I fully embraced this weather change. I even started riding my bike to school again.

My friends and I decided to take advantage of a lighter workload week as well as great weather to explore a new restaurant in town. I took this opportunity to finally rip the tag off this romper I scored at the Zara winter sale (I'm not sure why there were rompers on sale then...). I'm in love with the pattern and color scheme as well as the fit. It can definitely be dressed up or down and work well as a swimsuit cover-up. Gotta love the versatility of a good romper!

February 17, 2014

A Series of Glasses

 (an adorable bottle of moscato c/o of a dear friend)
 (Galentine's celebration toast)
 (perfectly petite collins glasses at Mongoose vs. Cobra)

This past weekend was absolutely delightful. I had a completely packed week of school before I could unwind at our second annual Galentine's Day celebration. Last year we went out to a restaurant to celebrate, so this year we decided to make it more low-key. We planned to have a pizza + wine tasting at our apartment and invited a great group of ladies to celebrate with us. The dress code was to wear something that makes you feel confident, and it ended up working out pretty well. It was the best ending to a long week.

I realize the more I go out and explore restaurants and bars, the more I pay attention to the glassware they use. It's gotten to the point where I'm making a mental checklist in my head of all the assorted glassware I want for my future home (I'm planning way into the future here). Hopefully solo cups will be a thing of the past by then!

February 13, 2014

On the Town

(Second floor of Hearsay Gastro Lounge )
(Dining area of Mockingbird Bistro )
(Delightful s'mores platter + wine at 13 Celsius)

When I said I hoped to become Yelp! Elite by the end of this semester, I wasn't joking. I've gone out and explored Houston exponentially within the last month compared to my whole time in college. Feel free to follow my adventures here if you're from the Houston area and love to eat!

My main criterion when exploring restaurants and eateries is whether it's a good deal or not. As much as I like fine dining, I definitely cannot afford to feast like a queen weekly, so the next best thing to fine dining is happy hour at reputable restaurants. I won't lie; I've definitely been on a happy hour binge the last couple of weeks. When school gets you down, blow off some steam at happy hour. It's somehow working out for me so far.

February 11, 2014

When It Gets Cold...

1 2 3 4 

... whip out your boots!

The weather in Houston has been extremely crummy. I know, I know -- how bad can weather get down south? Well, not only has it been abnormally cold for Houston, we've also been getting a large amount of rain. I'm just glad flooding hasn't become an issue.

I discovered a love for boots in high school, and I honestly don't know how my feet (and ankles) survived the cold for so long without them. For the chilly temperatures, I have four pairs of boots on constant rotation (as shown above). I'd consider these four options staples to a college student's wardrobe since they pair with just about any outfit and can be dressed up or down.

The Riding Boot // These boots add another level of sleekness to anything that you're wearing. They're extremely comfortable (I can wear mine for 7+ hour standing work shifts) and are classic. Invest in a good pair, and they'll last you for at least five years. Personally, I love them in cognac or black.

The Rain Boot // These are a college student must-have for those days when the rain is pouring, and campus is filled with mud and puddles. Whether you choose tall or short rain boots, just make sure they fit your feet well. They obviously won't stretch with wear since they're made out of rubber, so fit is crucial! I love rain boots in bright and rich hues since they add a pop of color to those dreary wet and cold days.

The Military Boot // These are the perfect casual boots. They add some edge to anything you wear and are great for those days where you feel lazy but still want to look like you tried. Wear them with a dress + stockings, jeans, or leggings, and they'll still look great! The only downside is that these do take some time to break in depending on how stiff the boots are.

The Ankle Boot // These are my favorite for this winter. They're so versatile, whether you want to look casual or polished, and they give you a boost in the height department. Tip: find a pair with a heel and sole that are comfortable to walk in; there's no point in buying painful shoes that you want to wear everyday but can't. I prefer a pair in black since most winter clothes are dark. This way my legs look more streamlined.

January 13, 2014

Belated Cheers

(I'm on the left; excuse my best friend)

I have slacked on blogging.

That's actually such an understatement since I literally dropped off Blogger after October. Last semester was the toughest one I've had in terms of workload (still can't believe I survived taking 20 credit hours, worked, and participated in extra-curriculars), and it's finally over. Thank goodness.

2013 was definitely a year of many firsts. I finally turned twenty-one for one, and not a day goes by where I'm not thankful! I also feel incredibly older. I think this feeling is partially influenced by the fact that I have lived a whole semester off campus and the fact that I can get into bars now... It's hitting me more than ever that life is moving fast, and I basically have one more year in school until undergrad is completely over. Pharmacy school applications are actually on my to-do list now when they were just a distant worry a year ago. It's crazy.

Keeping all of this in mind, my long-term resolution for 2014 is to take advantage of opportunities and just make the most of each situation. I need to stop telling myself "no" and just go for it. Other goals include becoming Yelp! Elite by summer and having a successful Alternative Spring Break trip in the Florida Everglades this March.

I also received a new camera from my wonderful friends, but, unfortunately, it currently has a slight defect and doesn't work. Hopefully, we'll get it solved soon, and I can return to documenting life through images.

Well, here's to 2014!