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?

Southeast Asian Glass Noodle Salad

Living in Singapore and traveling around Southeast Asia has of course influenced my cooking.  Honestly, before I moved here I rarely cooked with Asian ingredients- these days Ginger, Fish Sauce and Red Chili Peppers are integral elements of my pantry.  And one of my favorite clean eating easy recipes has got to be for Southeast Asian Glass Noodle Salad.  I want to be clear- this is not the traditional recipe for the dish, but an adapted version focusing on Clean Eating with awareness of popular food allergies.

What I love about Glass Noodle Salad is that I can make it earlier in the day and then stick it in the fridge to eat that evening, because it works both at room temperature as well as cold.  For this reason it is also great to pack for lunch at work.  Also, you may have noticed how I love recipes where you don’t have to be exact—this is one of those!  The key to this dish is having a balance of flavors; so make sure to taste throughout the prep, especially if you play with amounts.

Enough about the wonders of this salad!  Here is the recipe:

Asian Glass Noodle SaladSoutheast Asian Glass Noodle Salad

Ingredients:

- 150grams Glass Noodles (aka cellophane noodles)
- 1 Shallot, finely diced
- 1 Tomato, diced
- 4 tbsp. Cilantro, chopped
- 4 tbsp. Mint, chopped
- 4 tbsp. Cashews, pounded (you can do peanuts if you prefer)
- 1-2 Red Chili Peppers, deseeded and diced
- 4 tbsp. Fish Sauce (I recommend Red Boat Fish sauce as it is Gluten & Sugar Free)
- 4 tbsp. Fresh Lime Juice (approximately 3 limes, depending on how juicy they are)
- 1 Garlic Clove, minced

Directions:
1.  Prepare Glass Noodles according to package instructions (typically involves soaking in warm water for 10 minutes).  Once soft, place noodles in mixing bowl.
2.  Add Shallot, Tomato, Cilantro, Mint, Cashews and Chili Peppers to the noodles.
3. Combine the Fish Sauce, Lime Juice and Garlic and mix thoroughly.  Make sure to taste and adjust ingredients until a balanced flavor is achieved.
4.  Mix dressing with salad and enjoy!

Additonal tips:
-You can add protein by adding shrimp, calamari or even scallops.  If you are keeping things simple you can just add chicken as I did in the photo.  Simply sauté in Coconut oil until cooked through.
-There are so many different types of limes available and depending on what you use (and the individual lime) this can impact the balance of flavor in the dressing.  Some recipes recommend adding sugar or another sweetener to mellow the dressing if the flavor of the fish sauce and lime proves too aggressive.  I of course would recommend going with xylitol or stevia if necessary.

Chanel Couture Fall 2014 Collection

Doesn’t it feel like yesterday that I was sharing the Chanel Resort 2015 Collection?!  Well it is once again time to ogle Karl Lagerfeld’s designs for the iconic house, this time with the Chanel Couture Fall 2014 Collection.  And what better place to draw inspiration than from Modern architect Le Corbusier?  Lagerfeld allowed Le Corbusier’s designs to influence him at every level – from the architectural shape of his pieces to the inclusion of concrete as a design material (yes- you read that correctly!).  Even the setting was created to replicate the architect’s personal home!

Chanel Couture Fall 2014 Another interesting element of the Chanel Couture Fall 2014 Collection was the use of shorts.  In many looks narrow Bermuda length shorts peak out beneath dresses and coats appearing in a variety of fabrics including Chanel’s signature tweed!  I found this to be an unexpected element that added a bit of whimsy to the collection as a whole.

Chanel Couture Fall 2014 The structural, architectural elements were evident in large silhouettes that were equally reminiscent of Modern furnishings.  From dramatic shoulders to exaggerated hips, Lagerfeld’s love of proportion play was on display.  Also worth noting is Lagerfeld fearless tradition from the wildly ornate to the more simplistic pieces, all of which seemed to represent the Chanel of today as well as that of yesterday…

Chanel Couture Fall 2014 I think also of note are the sandals seen throughout the Chanel Couture Fall 2014 Collection.  Like the Chanel Couture Spring 2014 sneakers, there is something very accessible about flat sandals.  However they include just enough ornamentation to elevate them to Chanel Couture status.  I know I would mind owning a pair!

 

What do you think of the Chanel Couture Fall 2014 Collection?  Are there any style lessons that you’ll be applying to your own wardrobe?

 

Images via Style.com / Kim Weston Arnold & Yannis Vlamos / InDigitalImages.com

How To Start Your Day

It is Monday!  It is the perfect time to set intentions for a productive week.  We all have our morning rituals.  My perfect day starts with some hot Yoga followed by the things you see below.  After all, the activities of the very beginning of your day have a huge impact on the course of the rest of your day.  So it is important to make this time count.  The below actions help me to start the day off on the right foot and with the right mindset.  I definitely recommend them!

How To Start your Day

How To Start Your Day:

Hot Water and Lemon—who knew such a simple combination, would have so many benefits.  From detoxing your skin to detoxing your insides forget the coffee and try this instead!  The scent of citrus is a great wake me up that isn’t riddled with caffeine and sitting down to drink it helps to set me up for a day of good food and beverage choices.

A Clear Plan Of Attack—whether you create a To Do list the night before or keep a regularly updated planner, make sure you are clear on what goals you’ve set for the day.  I do this for both personal and professional tasks (extra important since I work from home- I have to be self-motivated!).  Set realistic expectations and save some extra things in case you are really productive that day!

 

In addition to the things that I Do first thing in the morning, there is also something I Don’t Do:

Don’t Open Your Emails—at least at first!  Instead of checking your emails as soon as you roll out of bed, wait until you are ready to focus and truly address them.  This way you avoid unnecessary stress or distractions when you still have to organize your thoughts etc. and of course eat breakfast!

 

Now it is your turn—tell me, do you have any rituals for how to start your day?

5 Top Ikea Products For Your Grown Up Home

I recently read an article entitled The 18 IKEA Products Found In Every First Apartment on Huffington Post that had me beaming with pride: I didn’t own ANY Ikea in my first apartment.  This is an especially impressive feat considering the fact that I lived in Los Angeles, home to way to many Ikea locations.  Ironically, now that I am in my 30s and live in the ever-chic Singapore, my entire apartment is Ikea.

As I explained before- I had to furnish an entire apartment in one afternoon, as all of our “real” stuff was left back in the U.S.  And you know what I discovered?  While there is definitely a bottom tier Ikea product line (perfect for that first apartment), some of their other products are actually quite chic when combined with more personal items.

To prove it to you, I picked out five of my top Ikea products for the grown up home:

top 5 Ikea products

1. Ribba Frame. Whether you are creating a gallery wall or just have a single piece that needs framing, the Ribba collection is a sleek and sophisticated option when you don’t want to spend the big bucks on custom frames.

2. Aröd Work Lamp.  I love this lamp not only for its industrial shape, but also for it functionality at a desk.

3. Besta Storage Cabinetry.  We actually own a similar combination of Besta cabinets (of course they are back in the US!), I love that you can create the cabinetry with as much are as little visible as you like, plus when placed accordingly you can create a built in look for a fraction of the cost.

4.  Stockholm Chair.  The curved lines on this chair create a welcoming feeling, but they still have lightness about them.  Definitely work at a kitchen table or perhaps in an entry way…

5. Duktig Play-Kitchen and Cookware Set.  This one is actually two products, but you can’t have one without the other.  Maybe play kitchen doesn’t scream grown up to you, but I figure the people investing in them aren’t the kids themselves!  My parents’ got this one for my daughter this past Christmas and it is an absolute favorite.  I like the simplicity of it and bonus points for the mini-pots and pans, which are actually stainless steel.

 

Do you have any favorite items from Ikea that translate beyond a first apartment?  Do share!