Monday Mentions: Volume 1

How was everyone’s weekend?  Mine was lovely- just the right balance of friends (including Aimee over at Little Luxury List), family (after 3 crazy days, Lukus was able to leave work a little earlier on Sunday and we actually had dinner as a family) and me time (I knocked back the novel The Best Thing That Never Happened To Me by Laura Tait & Jimmy Rice, a feat rarely accomplished these days).

I also made some time for web perusals, and with that I thought I would start a new series, Monday Mentions, which will include finds from the previous week, you may have missed or want to comment on now.  So here it goes!

rsz_ob-monday_mentions_1Monday Mentions:

1. By now you have all probably heard about Blake Lively’s new site Preserve.  After taking a couple days to reflect, this is my impression:  More than enchiladas, Preserve is craving a bit of direction.  It kind of feels like an attempt at a cooler/ hipper take on GOOP, but instead the result is a little confusing.  That being said, some of the wares offered are quite lovely.  But, don’t take my word at it, HERE’s a glimpse of what the rest of the internet is saying.

2. I am REALLY excited to announce the return of The Refined Pursuit blog, written by Veronica Amarante.  Veronica was one of my first blogging buddies, and while we haven’t had the pleasure to meet in person, I always enjoyed her incredibly fashion knowledge and distinct perspective.  Now after a 2-year absence, she is returning to the blogging sphere.  Make sure to stop by her blog and show some love!

3. I love seeing old friends and classmates do well in their grown up lives.  Mat Sanders (with whom I attended college) now works for Domaine and had the pleasure of working with Jessica Alba to redo her master bedroom.  Check out the before and after HERE and then remember to check out Jessica Alba’s The Honest Co. –as I mentioned last week, The Honest Co. Honest Sunscreen Stick is my pick for budget friendly mineral based sunscreens!


Images via: Preserve, The Refine Pursuit & Domaine. (links in post)

When A Weight Loss Ad Crosses The Line…

I know I joke around a lot on North On Harper, but please take a moment and get a little serious with me.

The below ad is more than controversial, it is downright offensive and arguable unhealthy.  If you have an eating disorder that is easily triggered, than I suggest you not watch it.

Let me back up for a moment… as I have mentioned I currently practice Hot Yoga.  Additionally, Lukus and I are both fond of the HIIT training format and watch different videos on YouTube for exercise routines.

YouTube ads that appear at the top of videos are targeted ads.  Ads are chosen based both on the content of what you are watching and also where you are located.  So it is not surprising that many of the ads we see are weight loss related and specific to the Singapore market.

Recently the below ad has been popping up at the top of our workouts.  We both find it outrageous.  Take a look for yourself:

My fear with an ad like this is simple: How many of the women shown here do not need to lose a single pound?  Moreover, why are they being told that they do?  Why is this being glamorized?  How does this impact a woman’s psyche?  And since when is there such a thing as perfection?

I am all for being healthy and generally I believe that means to be fit.  And I also generally believe ads should be inspirational.  But for me this ad crosses the line.  It promotes unhealthy ideals and its use of the term “perfect” objectifies in a way that is truly outrageous.  Beyond that it degrades instead of inspiring, with the intent to make viewers feel insecure.

In my experience this is not the general attitude in Singapore (if you are Singaporean and reading this I would LOVE to hear if you think this is common), or at least not more so than in the US.  Moreover, it is common to see all kinds of body types here.  So to say I found this ad shocking is an understatement.

Honestly, I am still at a bit of a loss for words.  So please, jump in below with your thoughts….

The Best Mineral Sunscreen Options

Have you been enjoying the summer?  Sometimes I forget to get outside and take it in.  That’s where I’ve gotten spoiled living in a year-round summery climate.  But this past weekend, Lukus the little one and I spent the day at the pool splashing around.  The sun in Singapore is intense, and so I am extra cautious to make sure to protect our skin.

I am a big believer in mineral based sunscreens, as they don’t have the nasty side effects of the chemical versions.  Plus I am always looking for options that are gentle on my sensitive skin (no I don’t really burn, but I do break out from many products). Here are my picks for high end and budget friendly sunscreens that do the job and then some!

best mineral sunscreens

High End: The Organic Pharmacy’s Cellular Protection Sun Cream
(Available in SPF 18, 25, 30 & 50) $69 100ml

I’ve mentioned products from The Organic Pharmacy before, and while they can be pricey, these fantastic organic products prove well worth it time and again.  I love that this sunscreen comes in a variety of SPFs, so whether you are looking to get a little sun-kissed or maintain your porcelain skin there is a version of you.  Best part, in addition to protecting your skin from harmful rays, The Organic Pharmacy’s Cellular Protection Sun Cream also works to moisturize and condition.

best mineral sunscreensBudget Friendly: The Honest Co. Honest Sunscreen Stick
(Available in SPF 30) $9.95 0.5oz

If you aren’t familiar with The Honest Co. I suggest you familiarize yourself stat.  Not only were they my go to diaper brand before moving out of the U.S. (sigh!), they also offer loads of other natural products for your home, your baby and yourself.  I like that this product comes in a stick form (who hasn’t had a horrible sunscreen spill before?!) and despite being a mineral sunscreen, still feels lightweight. The Honest Sunscreen Stick also get bonus points for being water resistant.


Have you tried either of these sunscreens?  What do you think is the best mineral sunscreen on the market?



Wish List: The Perfect Summer Dress

the perfect summer dress

Maybe it is my post from the other day or the temps that know no bounds, but I am really obsessed with the perfect summer dress.  And I’ve found another contender.  This little number has a lot going on: embroidery, beading, zippers and cutouts. Despite all of this there is something so entirely carefree about the look that makes it for a fantastic summer dress (and may even transition into fall!).

the perfect summer dress

Not surprisingly, the dress is by Free People (check it out HERE) who seem to have the market cornered on highly-embellished-but-not-fussy wares.  In this case I think it is the ivory and black color combination that keeps the dress from feeling overworked and the flowy feminine silhouette that communicates ease.    I also want to point out that it is a great way of doing the cutout trend without feeling overly exposed.

Of course my size is sold out (don’t worry, I signed up to be notified if/when it is restocked)… so for now this one’s going to have to reside on my Wish List for a bit longer…


What do you think—is this a contender for the perfect summer dress?  Or is there too much going on for your taste?

Dress For Summer

dress for summerHave you read Jody’s blog, About Last Weekend?  She shares bits and pieces from her life with such a witty fresh perspective I often find myself laughing out loud.  Well, last week she called me out.  After sweetly asking for a photo of me in a summer dress she then put me on blast, pointing out that I never share photos of myself.  Well, not being one to back down from a challenge (and having a few more photos of myself is said summer dress), I thought this the perfect opportunity for an outfit post.

dress for summer 2Since moving to Singapore my entire wardrobe consists of summer clothing.  Dresses, skirts and shorts are mainstays.  On this particular evening the humidity was ridiculous.  Even though we only had a 5-minute walk to dinner, I knew I wanted to wear something super light.  This sleeveless silk dress was the perfect solution.

dress for summer 3The bright orange color of the dress is a departure from my normal palette, but feels so completely summery that I fell in love with it the moment I saw it.  I also like the simplicity of the cut, which allows me to dress this look up for a date night, but works fine for a quick bite with the family as well.  On this outing I accented it with two necklaces and some gold open-toed flats (which of course you can’t see here!).  Did I mention it was gross outside?  It was so gross that I wasn’t even going to battle my hair.  Instead I threw it up in a messy bun and hoped my Karen Walker sunglasses would help to detract from it.

img_7254Dress: H&M (similar), Karen Walker sunglasses (similar), vintage necklaces, NineWest gold flats


What do you wear when the heat and humidity take over?  What is your idea dress for summer?  Could you live in a climate where it was summer year round?