outfits · travel · Uncategorized

Summer in Europe: Amsterdam

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Shirt: Banana Republic | Jeans: American Eagle | Jacket: Forever 21

I went to several cities in Europe during August, and Amsterdam was one of the destinations and first on this three-week trip.  When most countries in Europe are hot during summertime, Amsterdam is always cool.  I have learned that it maintains the same temperature throughout the year.  So in addition to all my summer outfits, I also brought a lightweight military jacket and a gray cardigan.  These two can mix and match with any dresses and tops.

I stayed in an Airbnb house near the street “Beethovenstraat”.  My host told me that this neighborhood is the most upscale part of Amsterdam, and it is very safe.  It has lots of coffee shops, bistros, and high-ended boutique shops.  The public transportation is also great.  Few lines of trams are running along the Beethovenstraat street, and they can get you to the city center and all the tourist places.  For all the trams, metro, and buses, it is 2.90 euro per ride or you can get an unlimited ride ticket (1 to 7 day ticket, 7.50 euro to 34 euro).  I won’t suggest getting the unlimited ride ticket because the city is not too big and most of the tourist places are clustered.  Most of the time, you will be walking from one place to another, or you might want to bike, which is the most popular transportation in Amsterdam.

Day 1

I arrived in the late afternoon.  Right after I dropped off my luggage at my Airbnb, I headed out to check around my neighborhood and get food.  Afterward, I went to Anne Frank House, which I did not purchase an advanced ticket.  From what I read on the internet, if you didn’t reserve the ticket in advance, queuing in line could take few hours to get in.  I didn’t make any plan and just wanted to try.  The last entry to get into the museum is 9pm. I got there at 8pm, and surprisingly the line wasn’t that long.  Guess what?  I got in at 8:30pm, only waited for 30 minutes.  So, for those who couldn’t get the advanced ticket, you might want to go there during a later time of the day.  The visit to Anne Frank House was so great.  It is the showcase of all the things happened in this house during that time.  I highly recommend.  The last stop of the night, I went to check out the Red Light District, which is well-known in Amsterdam.

Day 2

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Whenever I think of Netherland, I will see windmills situated in a beautiful natural landscape.  While I was doing my research before the trip, I found this historic town Zaanse Schans, which is quite near Amsterdam.  There are two ways of public transportation to Zaanse Schans, by Bus or train from Amsterdam Central station.  Bus—takes 40 minutes and will take you right there.  Train—takes 17 minutes, but requires additional 15 minutes walk.

I spent almost the whole day in this picturesque Dutch village.  It is so beautiful, and I couldn’t stop taking pictures of the surrounding throughout the day.  There is a huge river, surrounded by 6 wooden windmills on one side, and a row of traditional houses on the other side.  You can also hop on a boat and take a windmill tour.  Besides the iconic view of the windmills, there are also museums, restaurants, shops along the river.  If you have extra time, you can also bike around in this village.  I had a long lunch break in the restaurant right next to the river.  I sat on the outdoor patio, with an awesome view of the river and windmills…very relaxing!

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The EYE Film Museum, has a unique and futuristic architecture, is located on the north bank of the river, along with the waterside.  Since the museum is conveniently located right across from the Central Station, after I came back from Zaanse Schans, I immediately took the ferry (free) to the north bank.  I wasn’t really into the film collection and the exhibition, but I couldn’t resist taking a closer look of the architecture.

Day 3

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The last day here I decided to rent a bike and tour around the city, instead of by foot and tram.  The whole city is very bike friendly.  There are bike racks wherever you go, and wide designated bike lanes.  The whole city is not that big, and because I was biking, I was able to hit all the tourist spots.  I started my day in the Museum District.  I visited the Van Gogh Museum, took some pictures in front of the “IAMSTERDAM” sign, made a quick bike tour around the Rijks Museum (I didn’t go in).  Then I went to the luxury shopping street, “Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat”.  I went there not for shopping, but I wanted to see the Chanel Crystal House designed by MVRDV.

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Flower Market

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Nine Street Area
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Top: J.Crew | Jeans: American Eagle

I continued to bike, to the Flower Market, and of course, I crossed many canals connected with small bridges.  I really enjoy biking around in the area where all the canals are.  The area is chilled and peaceful.  The Amsterdam style houses and the rows of trees along the street made the overall scenery even more unique and memorable.  After I made a short stop in the Flower Market, I biked to the Nine Street area.  This area has lots of unique boutique shops, cafe, and cute restaurants.  I can see myself come here often if I live in this city. I had a quick coffee break in one of the cafes, and then cruised around a bit.  Finally, I headed to the Heineken Brewery before they close for the night.

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For restaurants, I randomly talked to a girl while I was exploring the city.  She suggested me to go to Lindengracht Street and the surrounded area.  There are a lot of good and less touristy restaurants there.  So I went there and just randomly went into one of the restaurants, Bleu Bistro…and it was really good.

fashion · outfits · Uncategorized

Polka Dot Blouse


Recently, polka dots have been back to the trend.  I also own several pieces of black and white polka dots that I typically wear as casual wears.  Several weeks ago, I spotted this polka dot blouse in dark nude and navy, from Ann Taylor’s sale section.  I immediately purchased it.  I got it in XS and the style is a bit loose.  Because of the darker color tone and it is a blouse, I feel that this piece could be styled for work.


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Super Hot Weekend in San Francisco


It is grilling in the Bay Area this weekend.  Over 100 degree Fahrenheit in San Francisco is so not typical.  Since the majority of San Francisco homes don’t have air-conditioner, I tried to get out of my apartment, and stayed at some places with AC or near the water.  I went to Crissy Field in the afternoon to chill and had a mini picnic there.  It was also very nice to stroll along the pier, to feel the breeze.  I was wearing this green tweed pattern shorts that I bought a few months ago from Banana Republic.   While looking for accessories in my drawer to match my outfit, I found this pair of green leave earrings that I received from Fling a while back, that the color tone goes well with my shorts.

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Bell Sleeve is Making a Statement






Bell sleeves have been the trend for a while, and also making a statement to the whole outfit.  I also want to incorporate that into my work wears, since it will add more interests to a simple top.  This leaf navy top that I am wearing is from Ann Taylor.  It has a bit of loose fit.  I paired with a matching green tone pencil skirt.  Since I am a petite figure, I always prefer to tuck my top into my skirt or pants, not only I can show my waistline, and visually I look taller.

  • Top:  Ann Taylor
  • Pencil Skirt:  Banana Republic
  • Shoes:  Tahari





fashion · outfits · Uncategorized

What to Wear to a Chateau Wedding







Summer goes pretty quick,  and it is already the last weekend of July.  I have been enjoying the summer in San Francisco very much so far.  This weekend, I am going to start to prepare and pack for my upcoming trip to Europe….in few days!!  I will be there for two and a half weeks, and I will also attend a wedding in a Chateau near Paris.  I am looking forward to it.

While I am still deciding what to wear to my friend’s wedding, I found that this yellow leaf lace dress in my wardrobe could be quite suitable for a summer wedding, or an outdoor cocktail event.  Also, the leaf cutout brings up the wedding theme in a subtle way.  I am always a fan of bright color dresses, so this yellow tone dress could be a repeat for my summer events.  I am wearing a petite 00 from Banana Republic, and the length is perfect for me, I don’t need to make any alteration.  This is similar to a shift dress.  The style of the waistline is a little bit loose, but it still shows the curvature line of the dress.

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Classic Striped Dress








I bought this navy striped dress last year from J.Crew Factory Store, and I have been wearing it quite often.  One of the reasons is that this classic dress is such a versatile piece that I can wear it in different occasions throughout the year.  Here I am showing how I style it in two different ways.

Dressy look —  Although striped clothing sometimes could be a misconception that it is casual, with some accessories and proper shoes, it could change the look.  I added a belt to make it a bit dressier and formal, and I am wearing it with heels.  This also could be a work outfit.

Casual look — I am pairing it with white sneakers and camel scarf to create a neutral, comfortable and relaxed look.  Since this outfit will be worn mostly during the weekend for me, I added a red bag to lighten up the vibe.

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Orange Ruffle Dress






This weekend’s temperature was rising up, which was not that typical for San Francisco weather.  Actually I kinda like it because we don’t usually have real summer in here.  Typically, no matter how warm the afternoon is, when the sun is out, a jacket is needed.  Strolling at night without wind and a jacket is rarely happened.  But this past weekend I was still fine only wearing a summer dress at night.

I am more a dress and skirt girl, so my wardrobe is always full of dresses.  This orange dress that I am wearing here, I got it from Banana Republic few months ago.  The sleeveless and silky material are perfect for the summer heat.  There is a layer of ruffle at the front that adds an extra detail to the dress.  I am wearing a size 0, but the length is too long for my 5’2″ figure.  So I needed to cut out 3 inches.   The dress is not only elegant that i can wear it to dinner and nightout, and the vibrant orange color is also perfect for any summer cocktail parties and outdoor parties.

fashion · Lifestyle · outfits · travel · Uncategorized

Tokyo Trip (Part II)

Continuing from the previous post…here are some more highlights of my Tokyo trip:






We wanted to have a view of the Tokyo city from high up, so we decided to go up to the Mori Tower.  We went to the 52nd floor, the City View, it is surrounded by full height glass wall.  Felt a bit shaky when I stood right against the window.  We were pretty lucky that it was a clear sky despite it was raining two days before.  We also went up to the roof deck for a better view, as expected, super windy.  Since a complimentary ticket to the Mori Museum on the 53rd floor is also included, we took a quick tour.









Omotesando area is one of my favorites.  It is another shopping hub with upscale fashion shops, haute couture boutique shops, young designer brands, trendy cafes, and pop-up shops.  Architecturally, a lot of the shop interiors and facades are very interesting with detailed design.  There are few shops and malls are designed by star architects.  For example, Omotesando Hills, Prada, Hugo Boss, Tod…etc.  The overall vibe, I would say it is not as luxury as Ginza, but not as young as the adjacent district Harajuku.




The famous busy pedestrian intersection (some referred it as the busiest in the world)–Shibuya Crossing.  It was quite interesting just to stand at one of the street corners and watch people cross when the light turns green.  Within a minute, the intersection was jammed and people were crossing the intersection from all different directions.  The space of the intersection is huge, larger than a typical intersection.

  • Jean jacket: Rag & Bone
  • Dress:  American Eagle
  • Shoes:  Adidas 
  • Belt: Coach


fashion · Lifestyle · outfits · travel · Uncategorized

Tokyo Trip (Part I)

I came back from my Hong Kong and Tokyo trip few weeks already and I have been delaying my post.  In Hong Kong, mainly I met up with friends, ate, and hung out.  Since I lived and worked in HK for almost five years, I didn’t do any tourist activities, nor exploring new neighborhoods.

I also traveled to Tokyo and spent there for a week.  Japan is always one of my favorite countries to visit, and I had been there several times, almost each time to different cities.  I am a huge fans of sushi, so eating was almost the main activity for me.  This was my third time visiting Tokyo.  Not to mention the metropolitan vibe and the food that I really like and enjoy, I also love that how every neighborhood in Tokyo has something going on. Each area feels like a city hub to me–with shopping malls and restaurants everywhere.

Here are some of the highlights and photos that I took when I was there (National Art Center, Ginza Six, and Asakusa):






Besides eating a lot, I finally visited the National Art Center for the first time.  The full height undulating glass wall is amazing.  It is brightening the space with lots of natural light.  Inside the space, there are three floor levels.  No matter where you stand, you still can get a very good view of the exterior space.  The photo above was Yayoi Kasuma’s exhibition.





The Ginza Six department store, in Ginza, was just opened a week before we arrived (I found out when I was there).  It was extremely packed.  The interior space and finishes looks pretty luxury and well designed.  At that moment when I was there, the central atrium had Yayoi Kasuma’s art installation.











Asakusa Area — I would say this is one of the most popular sightseeing places in Tokyo.  There is a long and crowded shopping street that leads to Sensoji Temple.  The entrance gate to this street is Kaminarimon.  In this street, shops are selling souvenirs and Japanese food, like a food stall.  This street is not wide and is always packed with tourists.  In term of the actual length, is not that long.  But because there are many distractions, people and shops, it took us almost two hours to get to the temple.  Right across from Kaminarimon, it is the Tourist Information Center, by architect Kengo Kuma, one of my favorite architects.

fashion · Lifestyle · outfits · Uncategorized

Packing for Trips







The past weekend I started to pack for my upcoming trip to Hong Kong and Tokyo.  I am leaving this Thursday for two weeks.  Since I have a busy work schedule during weekdays, so I packed over the weekend.  When it comes to packing for trip, it is always a long and thoughtful process for me.  I am not that type of person who is able to pack light.  Although always attempted to try, but……!!  Also, it depends on the destinations and the activities.  For Hong Kong, I know I will be meeting up with friends and dining out a lot; for Tokyo, I will be shopping, sightseeing, dining, and strolling around.  So, I like to prepare, mix and match my outfits for each day.  That includes shoes, bags, and accessories.  Somehow, I always pack more outfits than I actually need.  I usually would prepare extra outfits for activities that I might do (but might not).  Such as……maybe I will go for a hike? to the beach? or heels to parties and drinks?  Does this scenario sound familiar to you?  Do you have any tips on packing?