rsz_img_6358Ugh- I apologize for the past month.  This was both an unexpected and unintentional hiatus.  Shortly after arriving home (and recovering from severe jet lag), I had the misfortune of spilling water on my computer.  FORTUNATELY my computer was saved, but I spent a couple weeks being forced to share one with my mom (who was very kind in making it available despite her busy schedule) and the limited time I had on it was devoted to my job (after all—that is what would have paid for my new computer had one been necessary).  So here I am, a month later, and back in Singapore!

It was a great trip home full of friends, family, food and fresh air (just what I was looking for).  Even the little one got in on the action with lots of playdates (I swear—all of my friends have babies about her age!  Such a shame that they can’t play together more frequently…)

Anyways, it is time to get back to regular life.  So expect a slew of new posts. Have a fantastic week!



Finding My Mental Equilibrium

rsz_img_1224I am really enjoying my time back “home” with family.  While I haven’t truly lived in Atlanta consistently since graduating high school, it remains the place were I can unwind after adventures.  It is also the place where I feel like I can reclaim my mental equilibrium with three simple things…

Friends & Family – They are of course, one in the same.  While I love making new friends in Singapore, it’s always great to go back “where everyone knows your name.”  Shared histories, inside jokes and the lack of airs makes being with friends and family a great time to let your hair down.

Fresh Air – This may sound strange—especially when you consider that it is always summer in Singapore and we walk everywhere, but I don’t really have many opportunities to relax in nature there.  I think when I get back I am going to make a conscious effort to find a park where I can just sit in the grass and relax.  (Note: This is of course once the haze has fully passed!)

Food – Like the fresh air, this one may seem counterintuitive.  After all, Singapore is known for their fantastic food.  And, while I agree that there are so many interesting and unique foods to try, I do have my concerns about the quality of the products.  I am a bit of a food idealist (given my way, I like to eat whole, local and food allergen conscious), so it is tough to live in a country where EVERYTHING is imported.  I have loved taking advantage of my mom’s farm box, as well as Whole Foods’ fantastic protein grading system.  (Okay—and I may have indulged in a couple of naughty options as well!!!)

What things help you to find your mental equilibrium?  Do you like to go back to your parents’/childhood home?  Or are you a believer in “you can never go home again?”

Grapefruit Avocado And Fennel Salad

Alright— I survived!  After 24 hours of traveling with a 16-month-old and 3 days of severe jetlag (as a result of said 16 month-old NOT sleeping during the 24 hours of traveling, not to mention the 12 hour time difference), I have once again joined the land of the living.  And not a moment too soon, because we’ve jumped feet first into lots of activity and lots of little one’s running around.  Thankfully my mother is the consummate host and has been quick with the food and refreshments with our various visitors. One salad has definitely stood out as the perfect vibrant spring dish.  It is the Grapefruit Avocado And Fennel Salad. Grapefruit Avocado And Fennel Salad

Grapefruit Avocado And Fennel Salad Ingredients:

1 Grapefruit
1 Avocado
½ large Fennel Bulb
5oz Baby Arugula

- Section and remove the membrane of the grapefruit.  Cut pieces in half.
- Dice avocado in approximately ½ inch pieces.
- Thinly slice fennel and chop into pieces no more than 1 inch long.
- Once prepped, combine all the ingredients in a salad bowl.

Tip: Want to make it an Entrée?  Add some grilled chicken breast.

¼C Lemon Juice
2Tbsp Orange Juice
2tsp grainy Mustard
½tsp coarse Salt
1tsp Black Pepper
½C Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Whisk together ingredients and add to the salad.

Tip: If the dressing is too tart, add an additional splash of orange juice.

I hope you enjoy this Grapefruit Avocado And Fennel Salad as much as we did!  To give you an idea of how popular it was here, my cousin loved it so much she took home the other half of the fennel so she could make it again.  Enjoy!

Going Home

going home

I had planned a special post today, but things are going to be delayed, as I am heading back to Atlanta (to visit family) for 4 weeks!

This is really an all of a sudden thing—Lukus found out that he has to spend several weeks in China, and I decided that instead of spending the time alone in Singapore, the little one and I are embarking on a 20+ hour flight.  Prayers and well wishes welcome.

Don’t worry—I am not abandoning you!  Just have to keep things short today as I am running around getting things together…


P.S. Like the photo above?  Follow me on Instagram ::  @NorthOnHarper

Louis Vuitton Fall 2014 Collection

This will be my final post covering the Fall2014 Ready-To-Wear Collections, and I definitely think sharing Nicolas Ghesquière’s debut collection for Louis Vuitton is a high note.  Without a doubt, the Louis Vuitton Fall 2014 Collection was one of the most anticipated shows of the Fashion season.  The merging of such a admired designer and such a storied fashion house has been the talk of the fashion world since his appointment last fall.  Even I couldn’t help but write about the fashion house earlier this week!

For those of you unfamiliar with Nicolas Ghesquière, he spent 15 years at the helm of Balenciaga, where he developed a following among the fashion set and Hollywood celebs.  He is known for his understanding of shape and proportion.  After leaving Balenciaga in Fall 2012, Ghesquière did not immediately join another house.  It wasn’t until Fall 2o13 with the departure of Marc Jacobs that Ghesquière was appointed to Louis Vuitton.  3 seasons since his last show, it is no wonder that there was a lot of buzz around this collection.

Louis Vuitton Fall 2014 RTWAs for the Louis Vuitton Fall 2014 Collection it is already being called a grand success.  And no wonder!  Ghesquière, intelligently, did not look to compete or even follow Marc Jacobs’ works.  Instead, he drew upon the Louis Vuitton heritage and his own aesthetic to create a collection filled with beautifully manipulated leather and clean silhouettes.

The result was a collection that felt like a real woman’s wardrobe.  Filled with both separates and dresses all of which seemed to ‘go’ together with ease.  Ghesquière had a year and a half to think about who he was as designer and I love that as a result this collection felt both highly edited, but endlessly creative as well.  The short hemlines and the a-line shapes of the skirts and dresses were fun, yet chic.  And the usage of different materials in a single garment was intriguing without feeling overworked.

Louis Vuitton Fall 2014 RTW 2Takeaways from the Louis Vuitton Fall 2014 Collection:
-Don’t be afraid to go short with your hemline.
-Give your mod a-line shapes a natural spin with earthy palettes
-Wear leather (real or faux) in unexpected forms.
-Try belting your pants/dresses/skirts/coats at your natural waist.


What do you think of the Louis Vuitton Fall 2014 Collection?  Has Nicolas Ghesquière lived up to the hype?


Image via / Monica Feudi /