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I hate autumn. From the soggy leaves and endless rain, to the monotonous grey skies, autumn is definitely a miserable season! And on the Pacific west coast, one can only look forward to more of the same, only with colder temperatures, as we head into winter. Such weather makes me want to do nothing more than curl up into a ball with a hot chocolate, but unfortunately people can't make like bears and hibernate until April; thus, the only solution is to dress warm and defy the elements!

A key part of good winter armour is a thick winter coat. There are endless options out there for a chic winter coat, but often they can also cost quite a few pretty pennies. Luckily you have people like me with time on their hands to find you deals! Recently I was alerted to the presence of a great little website called eFashionLane. eFashionLane sells the latest fashions from Japan and Korea to deprived North Americans eager for the best of Asia's fashion-forward style. Curious to check it out, I decided to peruse their coat section and found quite a few sweet picks:

Hot coats for cold winters

This classic white coat is the epitome of elegance and class. The bow-tie waist and over sized matching buttons give it a sweetness that keeps this coat from being austere.

Lady Jacket

Lady Jacket

As soon as I spotted this, I wanted it immediately. Available in 4 colours, this coat features a belted waist, hood, and luxurious fur trim. I've wanted a coat like this ever since I saw Kate Hudson in Almost Famous and this coat is almost as good.

Indulge your inner Blair Waldorf by going for a preppy houndstooth coat. This coat features great tailoring with its flared bottom, bubbled sleeves, and round collars. Perfect with last year's skinny jeans.

Chic Jacket

Chic Jacket

Be unique yet classic with this long coat featuring rounded collars, discreet over sized buttons, and bubble sleeves. Available in 3 colours.

Love these picks or hate 'em? Leave your thoughts in the comments! As for the men, fear not for your Hot Coats for Cold Winters picks will be forthcoming!

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There are certain rules of etiquette to any situation. Contrary to what some may believe, etiquette is not some old-fashioned set of conventions that one can just ignore like unfolded laundry, it serves a purpose! Etiquette and social rules are what separates us from the monkeys; it keeps us from going crazy mad and throwing poo at each other!

If one is a young, inexperienced attendee of the nightclub scene, then one needs to learn, as in any new arena, the areas of traditional conduct involved. Not acknowledging these rules will only lead to hurt and contempt from one's older, wiser, seniors. For example, yesterday I went out to a club with some friends, almost all of which were girls, and we stood patiently in line like everyone else. There were noticeably a lot more males in line than females, and particularly in front of us was a group of five, newly legalized, males. These "men" literally were forming a wall between us and the door and judging by their lack of female accompaniment and their overtly "I just turned 19 and I can club now, wee!" mannerisms, it was apparent that on this very busy night the bouncer was sure as heck not to let them in. Realizing this fact, these males then proceeded to heckle the bouncer to let them in, another momentous newb mistake. Never heckle the bouncer. The bouncer can be your friend or your worst enemy. They heckled the bouncer so much, that even after seeing myself and my girl friends, he wouldn't even let US in despite the freezing June weather. I was thisclose to just poking these boys in the back and going "Hey, give it up dorks and get out of the way!"

Now, if these boys were more experienced and smart, they would have realized the futility of the situation and either

  1. paid their way in (which in my town would only have cost $20) or
  2. gone somewhere else

but instead they bitched about it for another 10 minutes, after which the bouncer finally relented and let my group in.

So moral of the story: don't be a drunk idiot, don't let your immaturity and eagerness to appear cool show, and most importantly, be a gentleman and let the ladies through when you're obviously not cool enough to get in. Remember, it's the same as when you were in kindergarten not so long ago: if you can't play nice, you don't get to play at all.

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Snow covered squirrell

Is it a squirrel? A chipmunk? An unlucky mouse who climbed a tree and got his dumb self stuck? I don't know and frankly does it even matter? All I know is that it is CUTE. I love how Mr. Artist likes to fuel my obsession for cute animals by sending me daily injections of adorableness. When I'm feeling down, I just shoot myself back up again by looking at a cute teeny animal with excessive fuzziness and huge eyes. Oddly enough, this also could describe me when I first wake up in the morning with bedhead.

I've been having a great time reading all your horrid hair stories on my latest giveaway - keep them coming! When the winner is announced next week, I'll be sharing my horrible hair moment! Hopefully tonight will not be making that list as it is my office's Christmas party. I've been pondering the last couple weeks on how to do my hair and scouring for the perfect LBD for the party's black & white theme. Alas, I saw no LBD or LWD that made go "ooh" so I'm opting to shop in my own closet. Also my wallet would scream at me because I just bought 2 pairs of leather boots, and a pair of Michael Kors clogs (all on sale though)! As for hair, I'm opting for a soft curls pulled into a bun. Wish me luck readers!

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A couple weeks ago I was invited out to the 20th anniversary for Yaletown boutique institution, Vasanji for their Holiday Glam Shopping Soiree. This exclusive shopping event hosted an eclectic blend of fashionistas, industry insiders, and bloggers. Attendees were offered sparkling wines, delicious appetizers, and shopping delights galore by hosts Vasanji and Fine Finds.

Vasanji Boutique

Both boutiques offer a variety of beautiful things that are guaranteed to make your fingers twitch for your wallet (or is that just me?). I swear, I was lucky to make it out alive with just a couple sheets of nail art stickers! Partial proceeds from the event went to The Province's Empty Stocking fund, which helps support various goodwill charities around Vancouver. Now, feast your eyes on some of the goodies that caught my eye:

deep emerald dress

One girl there wore her neck cowl with a deep emerald dress. Smoking hot.

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The grass is truly greener on the other side. Most of my life, I've been like most girls and pined for that which I didn't have: long legs, blue eyes, blond locks, and curly hair. The last one was the easiest to achieve with all the plethora of hair frying implements out there. There were even yes, a few brief periods where I let my yearning for curls drive me into getting a perm at various salons, to varying degrees of success. Let's just say that after a month, I longed for my sleek locks again.

Now I never have to commit to a style again now that I discovered small barrel flat irons a year ago. My previous thought was that flat irons were essentially a hand-held, higher-quality version of the one you use for clothes, but technology was way ahead of my archaic perceptions. Today's flat irons promise sleek shine, or loose waves in minutes and without damaging your hair excessively.

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It can be hard to be a lady. Everyone in magazines, movies, and hell even people's Facebook photos, are getting increasingly further away from reality. It seems that nowadays there is no excuse to look anything less than flawless. Life is more messy than that unfortunately and real women have real bodies. I for instance am secretly scared every time I don a bathing suit because I have stretch marks on my thighs. Causes of stretch marks include weight loss or gain, growth spurts, and body-building. They are natural, but oh man are they a pain to get rid of!

If like me, surgery isn't your thing, treatments for stretch marks include massage, creams, exercise and food. Yes, eating certain foods can apparently help reduce stretch marks. The key ingredients to target are Vitamins C, A, E, zinc, and fatty acids. If these ingredients sound familiar, it's because they are commonly cited as Nature's anti-aging defenders. Here are some common food sources for each:

  • Vitamin A: carrots, broccoli, spinach, eggs, mango, pumpkin, milk
  • Vitamin C: citrus fruits, blueberries, oysters, guava, parsley, red peppers
  • Vitamin E: almonds, spinach, tomatoes, asparagus, papayas
  • Zinc: bran & whole grains, almonds, pumpkin seeds
  • Fatty acids: soya oil, leafy vegetables, fish, shellfish

This simple soup I made the other day is a great idea to incorporate many of these great stretch mark fighters. Just mix in a tablespoon of miso paste into a bowl of boiling water, crack in an egg, throw in a few fistfuls of spinach, tofu and rice to taste.

Do you have any tips on getting rid of pesky body marks like stretch marks and scars?

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walk-in closet

Welcome to my walk-in closet. Obviously this outfit was worn in slightly warmer times (well, October) because currently I am half drowning in all the recent rain we've been getting. The other half of me is drowning in holiday stress. I kinda hate holidays now. Before Christmas was my favourite time of year because I was a kid and I got presents and there were bright lights on trees and tons of cookies!! Now I'm too old to get a mountain of stuff - now I buy the mountain of stuff for others, and am too lazy to decorate haha! But don't think I've gone totally Scrooge; I still have a soft spot for bright lights and dancing Santa animatronic decorations. How are you faring this holiday season? Any tips for detoxing off holiday stress? So far, my way of coping is buying too many clothes and shoes - very unhealthy!

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What better inspiration is there than the world around us. Recently I've been watching many nature documentaries and I am continually stunned and saddened by the bittersweet observing of nature on film. The color combinations in furs, flowers, and play of light are to say the least, inspiring. When I was first alerted by San Franciscan jewelry artist FriedaSophie, I immediately wondered if she too was also an appreciator of nature. Her delicate line of earrings, necklaces and rings certainly evoke the color and grace of wintry mornings and dewy springs. Everything in her store made me want to click Buy and like most Etsy artists, her handicrafts are available at a steal!

Take a look at what caught my eye at her store and fall in love yourself. Made of gold plated leaf and an aqua chalcedony stone, this necklace is soothing and peaceful to the eye. I love how simple and elegant it is; there is nothing overdone or ornate about this necklace as each element is made in such a way to say much, with little.

Resembling a cluster of frosted white grapes, these pretty yellow chalcedony earrings are a cloudy almost non-color that evokes morning fog.

Emerald green opal necklace

Emerald green opal necklace

This is probably one of the most expensive items in FriedaSophie's store, but what a stunner! Featuring a bright green emerald opal and 24K gold, this necklace would look amazing against a simple black dress. Argh, I want, I want!

Tree leaf branch necklace

Tree leaf branch necklace

Another girly girl number caught my fancy with this gold and misty aqua chalcedony stone setting. I think this necklace would look great on those who are a bit younger with its cute, rounded leafs. If you're not a fan of the aqua, custom orders are available too!

Finally, I had to feature this adorable necklace as its little bird pendant totally reminds me of the infamous Twitter bird! I know, so nerdy, but isn't this a much prettier way to celebrate one's nerdy side than the typical "I Check out the rest of FriedaSophie's beautiful designs at her Etsy store!

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Minna Claudia dress

Doesn't this dress just remind you of Alexa Chung's recent Elle Magazine cover? I was never much a fan of her style until very very recently. Like, as of that cover. That cat-eye eyeliner, the stuffy I'm-so-cool-I-can-dress-like-a-granny shirt, the hot ass leather shorts and those sparkly shoes - I was feeling that outfit like a pervy old man eyes a stripper. More and more I am finding subtle, unexpected things sexy. What could be hotter at this moment than a school-marm dress like the one above with a pair of chunky, thoroughly modern shoes, tousled bangs and smoky eyes? Tell me, because I seriously don't know.

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Music and fashion. Fashion and music. What is it about the two that fascinates the mind and soul? Many have tried to explain, and I'll leave the eloquent explanations to them. For me, music makes the body move and fashion clothes the body, of course it makes perfect sense that the two go hand in hand.

One such upcoming musician ready to take on the fashion/music worlds is the young soul singer Diane Birch. With one glance at her gorgeously rich brunette bangs, pillowy lips, and vintage style, Diane is reminiscent of Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, Liv Tyler etc. Her voice is just as beautiful, with a rich soulful sound that echoes that of our parent's generation. Take a cue from her mix of the old and new by mixing funky patterns, with battered classics, a touch of androgyny, and one perfect hat.

Garnier knows how to spot great style and they had a chance to talk to the lovely Diane Birch herself about her music and style:

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Y-3 Quilted Down Coat

I'm not normally a fan of puffers. Resembling too closely the physique of a certain tire spokesman, the puffer keeps one warm, but hardly stylish. Enter in this Y-3 quilted down coat. It wipes away all your misconceptions about puffers with one swipe of its comfy hotness. I can just imagine myself swishing gracefully down the mountain slopes, or hanging out as the hottest ski-bunny at the local ski chalet. Is this coat even waterproof? Does it even matter? Fantasies don't need to be practical ladies.

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The Product

Awhile back, Mr. Artist and I visited one of his clients, who just so happened to have a wife who runs her own successful local beauty product line, Open Sundae. Turns out this line was making waves among beauty-philes with its delicious line of delectably scented cleansers, lotions, and bath products. Mr. Artist's client generously offered me a couple freebies from his wifey's line and who am I to say no to free beauty products? I don't call myself a beauty whore for nothing!

Price & Packaging

This lotion is sold in local beauty boutiques, but as I received this product for free, I'm not sure the normal price. As well, it looks like the website is down for Open Sundae, so product info was hard to find :(


The Everyday lotion comes in 3 yummy flavours, but since lemon meringue is one of my favourite pies, I had to opt for this fresh-smelling version. Tangy, yet sweet, and not over-powering, this lotion smelled good enough to leave me salivating every morning. It also left my skin buttery soft and absorbed quickly.

Buy or Ditch?

Definitely buy! Sadly, this product looks to be a bit hard to find! Any savvy Vancouverites have any clue where to buy this?

Final Verdict:

A- (points loss for scarceness)

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Nicki Minaj

Ok stupid question. Of course you know who she is, or if you don’t recognize her by name, then you’ll recognize her distinctive flow, her crazy Barbie-meets-spaceman style, or maybe her amazing ass.

Onika Tanya Minaj and I share the same birth year, but apart from that our lives differ a lot. While I grew up as a typical Chinese convenience store kid, Nicki grew up in the sunny climes of Trinidad before moving to Queens, NY when she was 5. While my parents shouted at the top of their lungs when they fought, Nicki’s attempted to off one another by attempting to burn the house down! Luckily, Nicki had music to get her through the tough bits.

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I just found out that November is actually my favourite animated character's 36th birthday! Who knew that HK was a no longer a kitty, but a veritable cougar? As long as I can remember, I have loved anything Hello Kitty. Something about that cute, round face without a mouth, and her cute little outfits and friends just made my 4 year old self fall in love. This little laptop cover would be the perfect cover for my new laptop, keeping it secure and always adorable. What is your favourite childhood character?

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When it becomes freakishly cold. If someone offered me a good job in a tropical climate, I would leave Vancouver, as much as I love it, in a heartbeat. My body is not meant for chill, and I miss holidays already. Just beginning to emerge from my post-holiday catch-up mountain. I still have yet to upload photos. It's hard to be motivated when you'd rather be tanning and sipping something sweet.

Just like last year, I've decided to give something back to my readers in form of my Holiday Giveaway Bonanza 2013!! Here's how it works: every week leading up to the holidays I will host a giveaway. Each giveaway will last a week after which a winner will be announced and the next giveaway will begin! There are some pretty cool prizes to be had, so spread the word and keep your eyes posted for the first giveaway to begin soon!

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Hey readers!

Thanks for all your comments while I've been gone! I promise there will be new posts coming up soon, but for now I literally have a mountain of emails to slog through as well as couple other exciting developments that I have to work on before I can fully dedicate myself to you all again :)

As for my sunny holiday, it was glorious! Beach, unlimited food, dancing all night and lying on the beach looking at stars until dawn... I never wanted to leave, but then I wouldn't get to blog again or see my lovely friends! I will post pictures eventually!

In the meantime, for us Vancouver gals and guys, there is the upcoming Fidelity denim warehouse sale next week offering great deals on designer denim. After all, who doesn't want to buy some New Year resolution aspiration jeans to aspire to fit into post-Christmas feasting? ;)

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Manly Fashion Question: trends for dress shirts in 2013-1

Ooh I'm so excited because I got a reader question the other day! Reader questions are great because 1) it means people actually care enough about my blog to ask stuff, and 2) it saves me from coming up with an idea of something to write. The question posed to me was: what are some good options for guy's dress shirts that are casual yet may be worn out to the club or a date? Well honey, let me enlighten you!

Manly Fashion Question: trends for dress shirts in 2013-2

As with last season, the trend is to play with patterns and textures. Men may use a monochrome palette a la Club Monaco's love of black/white/gray combos, in their outfits, but try mix it up with varying textures and prints. This Marciano Sicily shirt (see top-left) is a rather plain example of this idea: a flat black color, but it has a shiny tuxedo pleating down the middle that give it an interesting detail. If black isn't your thing, I also like Armani Exchange's basket weave shirt in a crisp white (see right), and at $88 it's a steal. Also, try to play around with different patterns beyond good ol' stripes and solids - like the check pattern used in this fun Banana Republic shirt (see left).

Manly Fashion Question: trends for dress shirts in 2013-3

Unfortunately for men, their fashion options aren't as varied as for us women. While we girls are offered everything from solids, to tweeds, to checks, to zebra prints, for men there seem only an endless amount of variations on the plain striped shirt. However, though stripes may be typical, it's not necessarily boring. Like a classic LBD on a woman, a nice striped shirt can be eternally appealing, as seen below:

Stripes are also quite chic on a properly cut men's blazer. Blazers are a great dressy option since they may be paired with so many different shirts. If you're going for a more upscale look for a dinner date, or a nice club, pair it with a dress shirt; if you're going for something a little more casual, pair the blazer with a fun casual shirt, such as this Christian Audigier argyle tee (images are copyrighted so I can only provide the link, sorry!)

Other shirt trends for 2008 include the slowly ubiquitous pink shirt, but other colors are also coming into play, such as orange! It really comes down to how open one is to taking risks and expressing themselves. Too often guys are too lazy to put some thought into what they wear, but with a little effort, they will find it will go a long way.