Tag Archives: cheap

Trend Alert: Denim Vests

Now that the weather has been hitting the low to mid-60s, it’s time to toss aside our jackets and start thinking about more Spring-friendly outerwear. Reminiscent of the 80s, the fashion industry has been reviving the denim vest.

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Since a lot of my friends are metalheads, it’s not unusual for me to see them rocking theirs with all sorts of band patches and button pins. And that’s the beauty of this trend – you can be as creative as you want, and tailor it towards your own individual style. If you’re the arts and crafts type, or just plain adventurous, you can make it a DIY project. There are plenty of tutorials on the internet for refashioning denim: acid washing, cropping, lace paneling, and installing studs/spikes, just to name a few.

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DIY: Studded Lace Denim Vest [photo credit]

Since I prefer a little feminine touch to everything, I decided to purchase a embellished denim vest from Hong Kong on eBay. With its silver sequins, chains, rhinestones, and deconstruction, it was practically screaming my name. And for less than $15 with free shipping, I wasn’t going to pass it up. :P

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Personally, I have a rule when it comes to denim: Only one piece at a time. I’m not about that blue collar look, if you know what I mean. With that said, this trend makes a simple outfit look edgier. I can see it working well with black leggings and a casual t-shirt or tanktop, but wearing it over a colorful patterned dress or skirt this Spring is just as chic.

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Like my style? Hype it on Lookbook! ~ Fight Like a Girl

Since the weather was gorgeous this past weekend, le boyfriend and I took a walk by the local marina before going out on a sushi date. Predictably, I brought my camera in hopes of finding an opportunity to snap some photos. I wore my new vest over a black maxi dress that I’ve had since high school.

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Play Lounge

Happy New Year! :) My boyfriend and I were able to celebrate the countdown to 2013 at Play Lounge in Elmhurst with our favorite couple, Kristiana and Jonathan. <3 She found this amazing VIP package on Yelp. ;) I don’t know about you, but I can never pass up an open bar – especially at the price of only $25. We made online reservations the night before, just to make sure we were guaranteed the tickets. :P

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Located right on Queens Boulevard, this place is impossible to miss with its lime green exterior. Immediately after walking inside, I was already impressed by the vibe of the décor – blacklights, gold bead curtains, and leather couches. A very upscale feel without the upscale price. There’s a mandatory coat check, too. Which we didn’t mind at all, since it only costed $3. (I’ve been to venues that have charged as much as $10.) And the dress code is pretty standard as far as club casual goes: no sweatpants, sneakers, or hoodies.

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What really perplexed me was the fact that only two bartenders were working that night. I mean, if you’re going to throw a New Year’s Eve bash and expect a huge turnout, prepare to provide the necessary service to meet the demand. Fortunately, we arrived early and were able to score our first four rounds with no problem. But after 10pm, it was madhouse. There were at least sixty people crowding the bar by then.

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Another bonus to arriving early is that you can bowl without a long wait. Since there are only three bowling lanes, I can imagine how in-demand it must get later in the evening. The setup is quite nice, but I was a bit concerned after a waitress failed to check on us during our entire game. All we wanted to do was order dinner and a few more drinks. :/ Little did we know how terrible the service would continue to be throughout the night.

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We decided to relocate ourselves to the sitting area near the pool and ping pong tables and find someone to take our order. Long story short, it took about two hours for them to get our food to us. Ridiculous and unacceptable. D:< This place was severely understaffed and disorganized. The waitresses kept “losing our order”, and it was only after chasing around several employees that we were able to track down and speak to the manager. He made sure we were promptly served, and even gave us a huge discount. After everything was settled, we were still a bit upset, but everything was a lot more enjoyable.

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The music they played was mostly Top 40’s and although there wasn’t an official dance floor, we got down to it anyway in the open lounge area by the DJ. And when midnight came around, everyone was able to watch the ball drop in Times Square on the television screens that lined the walls. As per tradition, you’re supposed to give that special someone a little lovin’. ;D

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Despite our poor experience with the service at Play Lounge, I’m sure it was just management underestimating the volume of people that would show up that night. The fact that this place is so unique almost fully redeems our terrible waitresses. And to be honest, we still had a great time regardless. :P If you want to read more of my reviews, check out my Yelp account! ^.^
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Trend Alert: Gold Sequin Dresses

I’ve been so busy trying to get myself situated with my new job at the hospital, that I was neglectful to wish you all a Merry Belated Christmas! I spent the 24th, 25th, and 26th with family and food – what about you? :)

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Although I’m too old to still be receiving gifts from my parents every year, I’m so grateful that they still do. :) Knowing that I’ve always wanted to explore the realm of loose leaf teas, I opened a package on Christmas morning that included: a Sophie Conran teapot, a wire mesh tea strainer, a 4 oz. tin of Genmaicha (my favorite Japanese tea), 20 satchets of Peppermint Herbal, and flavor samples from Harney & Sons. :D

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And to celebrate my new salary, I also bought myself a little gift. ;) Working girls deserve nice purses, so I didn’t hesitate at all when I found this Betsey Johnson satchel at Burlington Coat Factory. Even though the retail price was around $110, I was able to score it for only $50. The color reminds me of plum wine, and the juxtaposition of studs and ruffles was practically screaming my name. :P Since I found it hidden on a shelf under a pile of ugly bags, I can only assume another shopper was going to come back for it. Sorry! >.<;

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I’ve also decided to buy the new iPhone 5, along with this adorable tokidoki case from GelaSkins, in the upcoming week. Because I’m diagnosed with hyperhidrosis of the hands, the responsiveness of my current phone’s touch screen has been getting worse and worse. In comparison, my iPod touch is still in perfect shape. I can only assume the technology behind Apple’s touch screens are more suited to people with a condition like mine. :< I’m excited to finally join the ranks of iPhone users, though.

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Anyway, on to the real content of my post – gold sequin dresses. When done right, they exude glitz and glamour. And with New Year’s Eve being tomorrow night, it’s no wonder that this trend has been a huge hit lately. In this case, spending the extra money for quality counts. You wouldn’t believe how many sequined items of clothing I’ve tried on over the past few months, only to have some of the details fall off in the dressing room. :(  The two dresses pictured above are from PacSun, and the two pictured below are from ASOS.

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If you have a special event coming up, and are willing to splurge on looking like a diva for the night, you will definitely turn heads with a gold sequin dress. Personally, I can think of many more worthwhile things I can spend $100 on, so I’m waiting for one of these to go on sale so I can hopefully have one in my closet by the next time someone invites me to something fancy. ;)

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Speaking of gold, my boyfriend’s mother gave me the most beautiful shade of Clinique Long Last Soft Shine lipstick that contains finely milled gold shimmer. :) Appropriately named All Heart, it’s a warm rose shade. Although my camera shouldn’t capture the tiny gold flecks, it has a subtle sparkle in the sunlight. A perfect match for my New Year’s Eve outfit. ;) The best part? It moisturizes like a tinted lip balm without the sheerness of one! I’ll definitely consider buying another tube in a different shade when I run out. Until next time! ^.^

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Deciding on a winter coat is hard.

Especially when there are so many different options to choose from! Because my preferred temperature is 80°F, and I can already tell that this upcoming winter in New York is going to be brutal, I decided to invest in a new winter coat.

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Leather Jackets. I was delusional when I thought that I could even survive late Autumn in these, regardless of how much I love them. :'( As a matter of fact, not too long ago, I helped le boyfriend pick out a leather jacket from Express – the same store where I bought mine. And what I’ve noticed is that while his keeps him warm and toasty, mine barely does in chillier weather. I think it’s because a lot of stores focus more on fashion than function for women, compared to their products targeted for men, and design these styles accordingly. Which is a shame, since it makes it even more difficult to find something that meets both requirements without having to spend a small fortune. Side note, doesn’t he look handsome in said jacket? :D

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Fur Coats. For me, fur coats (faux or otherwise) are really hit or miss. I’ve seen fashion-forward women in the city wear an oversized white or leopard print fur coat and pull it off. Then I see multi-colored grey/green/blue knockoffs paired with Ugg boots on teenaged girls at the mall and cringe with how tacky and cheap it looks. But last month, I was seriously considering one of these faux fur beauties by UNIF: The Amelia Bomber and The Donna Coat. Unfortunately, I decided that an on-trend piece of outerwear shouldn’t be my primary go-to with winter approaching quickly. Though still something I want, a fur coat could wait until I find something more tame and practical. :< (A girl can only dream.)

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Wool Coats. My previous winter coat was an adorable dark magenta wool thinsulate toggle coat from Delia’s. Although the color and style were a little childish, it did keep me warm during my whole college career. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, I’ve shrunken a few sizes and it no longer fits comfortably. I was looking into buying another wool coat, a pea coat in particular. Nothing says mature and put-together more than a 100% wool pea coat, after all. :P But my body type usually isn’t cooperative with the classic pea coat shape – they tend to either be too tight on the bust and perfect at the waist, or perfect at the bust and too loose on the waist. It’s a lose-lose situation most of the time for me. ;_; I would love to have either of these Victoria’s Secret pea coats, though. But since they only sell them online, the shipping cost on a return in case I order the wrong size would barely be worth it.

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Down Jackets. Not going to lie, I hate the way most of them look. The last thing I want to resemble is a giant marshmallow. Most styles drown your body’s natural figure, even when you buy the right size, and are rarely fashionable. But I do admit that they are one of the warmest and affordable options out there, and my best bet at keeping my temperamental body at a happy temperature. Thankfully, I finally found what I was looking for in the Kelly Jacket from Abercrombie & Fitch. The full retail price of $220 is a little steep for me, but I was lucky to have caught it at 40% off when I ordered it from their website a few weeks ago. ;)

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I ordered a navy one in size S, and it fits me perfectly! The quilted design keeps the down from shedding like past experiences I’ve had with similar jackets. I like the belt because it defines your waist, especially when you have an apple-shaped body like mine. The fur trim on the hood doesn’t look or feel cheap, and has the right amount of fullness. And one of my favorite things about this jacket is how the pockets are lined with the softest and warmest fleece. <3 Whenever I wear it, I feel like a cute eskimo and have yet to complain about the cold. The real test is whether I’ll survive the winter without a single shiver. :)

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Oh, and if you couldn’t tell from the photo above, I’ve dyed my hair again. >.<; This time, I used Garnier Nutrisse: #61 Light Ash Brown (Mocchaccino). Different from my usual warm shades, this color has cooler undertones. And so far, I’ve received a lot of compliments from people I don’t even know! :D It definitely looks a lot less harsh than my previous bleached color. I actually really like it, and may be my favorite shade of the year. =) Anyway, that’s all I have for now – don’t forget to comment and subscribe. :P Until next time! ^.^

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If You Start A Fire [Be Prepared To Burn]

First of all, let me get this out of the way – I’m not a regular theater-goer. My boyfriend and I simply decided to do something different last Saturday night and see an off-Broadway production of my choice. And to be honest, I didn’t even look up anything further than the one-paragraph blurb on the Mondays Dark Theatre Company website about If You Start A Fire before we went to see it at The 45th Street Theater. And you know what? The experience inspired us to make it a point to see plays more often, even if it’s only once every few months. Why? Because we paid $25 each for a ticket to a show that was worth so much more.

After having dinner and a few drinks at Cooper’s Tavern a few block away, we arrived at the venue fifteen minutes early. (Of course, I picked up some of the promotional flyers laid out on the table at the entrance for my scrapbook.) Anyway, we walked up a few flights of stairs and into the waiting room, where were checked in and were told that it was a full house that night. As everyone was being seated in the theater, I was immediately greeted by 8-bit video game music remixes and the set for the first scene – which, to my delight, was made out to be a small apartment that included things like a Macbook, a Legend of Zelda poster on the wall, a Guitar Hero controller, and several bottles of liquor in the background. It’s the small details like this that already had me intrigued before it even started.

The premise of the play revolves around a young couple trying to get rich in the recession we live in. Lucy is a part-time waitress who is going to school for her MBA, and Chris is a college dropout who just lost his job as a truck driver, along with their health insurance benefits. Tired of living paycheck-to-paycheck, they come up with a plan to “sell the illusion of sex” via the internet through live webcam – and soon they’re making good business. The first half of the show was a light-hearted comedy that explored their relationship, the reasoning behind why selling virtual sex was acceptable in this day and age, and the struggles both had to go through with their paying clients.

But the second half was much darker – delving into the loss of morality, humanity, and self. It really asks the audience, “How far are you willing to go for money?” When things spin out of control, I was shocked by how different of a person Lucy had become. And by the end, you can’t help but sympathize with Chris. Overall, this play was excellently written, and the actors really had me feeling what they were going through. My only criticism is that because the couple was so relatable at the beginning, there should have been a more complex closure to their relationship and the play as a whole.

Nude Pumps: Acquired

It’s with a heavy heart to let you guys know that my grandfather passed away last Monday. In many ways, I think it was for the best – he was sick and suffering for a very long time. I’m so grateful for all the friends who have shown me love and support through this time of loss for my family. <3 My brother found this photo of my Lolo and I from when I last visited the Philippines in 1997.

With that out of the way, we can now return to my previously scheduled blog post. :P I’ve wanted nude pumps for the longest time. I was browsing GoJane again last week when I came across these Almond Toe Patent Kitten Heel Pumps for less than $20! :o Needless to say, I had to have them. I was going to get them in black, too, but decided at the last minute not to. Little did I know how much I was going to regret that decision. >.<;

The package arrived today at my house – which was super convenient because now that all my final exams are over, I can just chill at home for the next several days before I have to be back on campus. :) Since I was most excited about these, it was the first pair I tried on. A size 5.5 fits perfectly on me, and heel height is low enough to do some casual walking. I still need to break them in, since the material is still a little stiff, but I can imagine myself wearing these in the office during a regular work day. They match with everything, too! :D

And since I was already on the website, I helped myself further to the nude footwear trend by ordering these adorable Strappy Bow Sandals for only $16. Summer is quickly approaching, after all. ;D I can see myself rocking these with floral dresses, or denim shorts and a colorful top! A lot of people may find my love of bows to be a little tacky, but idgaf. :P

I bought these in a size 5.5 and compliment my naturally tan skin tone well. If I had ordered them in any other color, the contrast would have been way too harsh. The buckle can be a little tricky to undo and redo quickly, but I’ll get the hang of it with time. :)

Additionally, I had ordered these Red Karmen Pumps from Payless about two or three weeks ago. The box has been sitting at my house since then, but I never had the chance to come home and open it until tonight. I originally bought them as an accessory to a cosplay that I’m planning for next month (more on that in a separate post), but now I realize that I can totally make them work in an everyday outfit. If I throw these on with some dark skinny jeans and a dressy top, I’ll definitely look ready for a girls’ night out! ;)

Although I also got these in a size 5.5, they’re slightly larger than the other two pairs in this post. They’re not at all loose on me, but a size 5.75 would be a more accurate expression of how I feel about the fit. What I like the most about these, though, are how insanely comfortable they are! The insole is slightly padded, so I literally feel like I’m walking on cushions. Which is great, since I’ll be prancing around a convention center in these all day. :o And for the price of only $20, it was a deal that I couldn’t pass up on.

Thank you for bearing with my ridiculous shoe addiction again, guys. As always, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog – just click on the button on the right sidebar. Oh, and did I mention that I received a free sample of the new TRESemmé Split Remedy shampoo and conditioner in my GoJane package? It was awfully nice of them to include it. :P Anyway.. until next time! ^.^

The Bystander Effect: In front of my very eyes.

The bystander effect is a social psychological phenomenon that refers to cases where individuals do not offer any means of help in an emergency situation to the victim when other people are present.

The greater the number of bystanders, the less likely it is that any one of them will help. The mere presence of other bystanders greatly decreases intervention. This happens because as the number of bystanders increases, any given bystander is less likely to notice the incident, less likely to interpret the incident as a problem, and less likely to assume responsibility for taking action.

Last night, after hanging out with some friends at the local bar, I ended up arriving back in my dorm room around 3am. Since I knew one of my friends was still awake, I started heading over to the other wing of the building. On my way there, I passed by the main entrance, where I saw a figure hunched over the railing outside. Concerned, I opened the door and asked if he needed to be let in. No response. I just figured he didn’t hear me, and asked again. No response. I assumed he wanted to be left alone and walked away.

Half an hour later, I passed by the main entrance once again and see the student still bent over outside – this time rocking back and forth, clearly unable to walk or support himself up without leaning against something, vomiting over the railing, occasionally falling to one knee on the concrete ground, and still unresponsive to questions I asked him. At this point, I was almost certain that he was suffering from alcohol poisoning. Although I wasn’t the RA on duty, I felt like I had to do something. After calling up one of my coworkers, we contacted the police and ambulance.

As we were waiting for them to arrive, I stood inside and observed several groups of students coming back from parties, walking directly past the victim and completely ignoring him. It then occurred to me, “What if I didn’t take action? Would someone else have called an ambulance? What if he had died from alcohol poisoning right in front of my building because everyone who saw him decided to do nothing?” It deeply disturbed me that no one had even attempted to ask if he was alright. Who knows how long he had been there! :o

Thankfully, the emergency team arrived in a timely manner. But it still bothered me that no one had made an effort to help him out sooner. =/ As a Health Care Management major, we study and analyze what makes the delivery of healthcare services more efficient. Human intervention is definitely a huge factor, but if the average person isn’t willing to step up and take responsibility, there’s really no way to move forward from there. What do you guys think?

In other news, I bought myself a pair of new headphones and a computer headset. Mostly because my earphones recently broke, and I’ve needed a gaming headset for a while now. Definitely worth the investment, since I would be using both all the time. :) I went with a pair of black Skullcandy Lowrider headphones. They’re definitely stylish, but didn’t live up to my standards.

Perhaps it’s because I wear them over my hair, but they tend to slip around (but not off). The padding at the top of the headphones is super comfy, and the sound quality is above average, but I hate that I can’t turn my music up all the way without the rest of the world being able to hear it too. :< I do give it credit for some noise reduction, but I just wish it would fit me more snugly.

As for my new Logitech H110 headset, it does the job. I didn’t expect much more than the minimum, since I bought it for so cheap at $15 in my school’s bookstore. I’ll be using it for the convenience of talking on Skype for gaming purposes from now on. Hopefully, it will last. >.<; It does slide off sometimes, but I’m 90% sure it’s because I wear it over my hair. And although the microphone is about the same quality as my built-in laptop mic, it does block out significantly more external noise (aka my roommate’s tv). I’m not a hardcore techie, so I’m pretty satisfied with it. :D