Monday, 16 March 2015

Love is

 What is love.

So I have a new-found obsession, one that takes the form of inifite numbers of pinterest boards (some hidden, to hide my crazy pinning habits) and non-stop browsing of wedding photos online. Yes, that's it, I have been hit with wedding fever. I recently saw a Coast Capital Savings ad where the grumpy monster was a bride. I literally laughed out loud because I could totally relate.

It was so easy to get lost in the details, the glitz and glamour, the should's and should not's of wedding planning. Like any other major life event, there is a lot of stress and expectations to manage. For the first few months, it felt like a rollercoaster - from finding an awesome deal on a dress to finding out that after a thread of communications, that a vendor has just been booked. Then, there is the division of responsibilities and ultimately, the decision making exercise. It may feel like it all comes down to this one celebration, but in reality this is just training for all the other life happenings and milestones that may be coming your way in the next few years. Wedding planning has taught me some important life lessons. It has taught me that communication is important, not just with your partner, but your friends and family. It's also taught me when and how to let things go. No matter how high priority the current moment is, it is just an ingrain of the many things that will come your way. I also learned that it's okay when things don't according to plan, because they are not supposed to. It's okay if you need more time to make decisions. At first, you may want to focus on the outcomes and you may become fixated on making adequate progress. However, you soon realize that if you are really unsure about something, the right thing just hasn't come along just yet. 

Then, there's perspective. Whenever I feel overwhelmed I focus on the two things that I look most forward to - the dress and the engagement shoot. The dress reminds me of the precious mother-daughter time we spent together and the photo shoot itself is a visual representation of our emotions to be shared publicly. Set your sight on the things that are important and truly valuable to you. Recently, we've been asked what is the one thing that we are both looking forward to the most, and without a doubt, it's the celebration of all things awesome in our lives with all the people that we love.

All in all, love is more than just love. It is the process.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Meow, it's Friday!

My wardrobe as of late tends to gravitate towards greys and blacks. When your mind is filled with a million things, simplicity is a breath of fresh air. Mark Zuckerberg was once asked about his limited wardrobe selections to which he responded with: “I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve the community." This was very interesting because it says a lot about how our state of mind is influenced not only by the surrounding environment but also what we subconsciously choose to wear. Sometimes it symbolizes who we are and reminds us of who we want to become.

Sometimes the bright pop of colour and pattern offers a dose of creativity and inspiration that is needed to refresh our daily routine...and to wake up my brain on 8am ;) 

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Last Minute NYE Outfit Ideas

It's New Year's Eve. You have been focusing all of your attention on party planning, running errands or stuck working the half day. You get home and realize that you've only got a couple hours to pull together a dazzling outfit for tonight. There are lots of sales going on but your purse strings are a little tight from the holiday spending and frankly there's no way you are getting back in the battlefield of a mall. You approach your closet, dreading moment of realization that you have nothing to wear.

That's exactly how I felt this morning. With some party music on and a drink in hand, I was ready. There was no party dress in sight, but I was determined to put together a few outfits made up of separate pieces that you can easily find in any closet.

Classic black and white cardigan paired with a metallic skirt as a statement piece
{cardigan from H&M; metallic silver skirt from Banana Republic}

Friday, 26 December 2014

Winter Blues

 After days of the festive red and green colour scheme, I thought it would be nice to change things up with some calming blue hues. This has definitely a relaxing few days, with plenty of time to wind down and to spend quality time with family and friends. Having all this extra times means that I can indulge shamelessly in some rom-coms!

 A quote from "Leap Year" hit home for me today. Decklan asks Anna (played by Amy Adams) at one point during the movie, "if your house was on fire and you had 60 seconds, what would you take with you?" At the end of the movie, Anna finally responds, "when my sixty seconds came, I realized that I had everything that I wanted but nothing that I needed." A lot of us are in constant pursuit of "things", both the tangible and intangible, but are they completely essential and do they truly enrich our existence? Our possessions are often tied to the dreams and goals we aspire to achieve, like a beautiful house to a home and friends to a sense of belonging. However, this tireless pursuit can become addictive. We can begin to lose ourselves in the physical and mental clutter and lose sight of what is important. When these objects of desire no longer resonate with our current values and state of mind, perhaps it's time to move on. As many of us go through some decluttering at the end of the year, ask yourself that very same questions "if you had sixty seconds, what would you take?"

By Cecilia Huang

//Black wool blend turtleneck - Banana Republic
//Blue Savannah Skater Skirt - Nasty Gal
//Gold clutch - Coach

Monday, 15 December 2014

Fall Foliage

For someone who is cooped up indoors at work all day, it can get a little depressing getting to and leaving work when it's dark outside. It's nice to wake up to a crisp, sunny day on the weekend for a change. I spent this entire weekend at my dodgeball league playoffs (Here are the links if you are interested - Richmond Dodgeball League & Vancouver Dodgeball League). After playing for a few seasons, I've adopted somewhat of a pre-game routine consisting of: a solid breakfast, a few minutes on my brain training mobile apps, a light stretch and warmup, followed by a few dodgeball videos. This routine has allowed me to be both physically and mentally prepared for the game and at the same time brings a sense of focus and commitment required in a competitive environment. It allowed me to be present and aware at all times. I found that I was no longer focusing on the end result but instead I played each game like it was the only game that mattered. Sadly, we didn't win any championships (*tear), but I had a great time with my team!

I realized that this "routine" is something that should be incorporated to my daily happenings. As we take on multiple demands and challenges at work, school and at home, we need to get our "game face" on to get the job done and excel. It means having proper meals, taking adequate mental breaks, going for a walk/stretch and doing things that you enjoy. As the holidays creep closer, it's getting easier to sit back and relax, but hopefully we can all start off the New Year with a good and meaningful routine!

By Cecilia Huang

Outfit Details:
Black wool coat - Eight Seconds (Korea)
Polka Dot Sweater - Forever 21
Blue dress pants - GAP (similar)
Caramel Clutch - Pull & Bear (Available in white here)
Black woven sneakers - Korea street market (sorry!)

Monday, 8 December 2014

Office Chic: Grey + Red

Grey boyfriend jacket [ZARA]
Black monochromatic sweater [Urban Outfitters]
Gingham patent pumps [Nine West]
Black cordoroy pants with zippers [Forever 21]

Do you ever think about who or what you are really dressing for? Is it to look professional and smart in front of a client/audience? Is it for a job or a promotion? Is it to impress someone that you may pass by during your morning commute? Is it to simply look and feel confident? Or is it really just for yourself, to feel comfortable in your own skin?

Style is a funny thing. Sometimes it's a direct reflection of a personal statement and what inspires you. Other times, there are trends and dress codes to follow that seem to delineate from what the sense of eccentricity that we are taught to embrace. Work wear is an example of where these opposing natures exist. We choose our outfits often to project a desired image in order to give off the best first impression as possible. Maybe you throw on those glasses to make you look smart and mature in an interview to gain more credibility. Perhaps you select your colours appropriately (blue is a colour of trust is a tip that I learned from a friend) to give off a certain impression. Maybe you skip the low neckline and stiletto heels because you don't want to look too "sexy", resulting in other people not taking you seriously. On the other hand, we are told that to be successful often means finding ways to set ourselves apart from others - to be unique and find your signature. For some, style is a way of defining an individual trademark - to outwardly express it and at the same time serve as a reminder to self that you really could be who you are.

Having recently visited another country really made me reconsider the essence and necessity of style. What is often associated with aesthetics and vanity has a strong tie to the social, psychological and cultural contexts of being human. I am always very interested in observing the different fashion and style in each city. The diversity is really quite fascinating. For example, I see a group of college students in a certain district who dress in similarly dressy outfits - oversize sweater and a-line mini skirt with pumps. The outfit itself is flattering and has room for personalization, such as colour and detailing. On the other hand, Vancouver is known for its casual West Coast flair and New York has got its fashion-forward cool blacks. Style is a way to fit in and relate to other people around you - whether it's with the same style of outfit or the same type of outrageously different style. Think abut the time when you commented on a coworker's new necklace. Boom, that is how a personal connection is created. Could it be that the feeling of belonging and the search for one's identity can go hand-in-hand without compromising each other?

Next time you are deciding on what to wear to an office party and you just can't seem to find the right thing, remember that you are not there to impress. You are there to connect and to relate, person to person.

By Cecilia Huang

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Emerald City

As some of you may know, I recently went on a vacation to Seoul. I just came back last week and apparently had missed the torrential rain storm in Vancouver (ain't no rain's going to put a damper on my spirit!). With the colourful fall foliage fresh in my mind from Nami Island in Korea (photos to come I promise), I have really come to appreciate the crisp, sunny autumn days here in Vancouver. 

As I unpacked and went through my photos from the trip, I came across these shots from early September that I haven't had the chance to post. Since the weather during that time was so gorgeous, I daresay this outfit was 100% weather-appropriate at the time! Coincidentally, this A-line short skirt + chunky heels is a pretty common outfit combination on the streets of Seoul. It really elongates your legs and make you look taller, especially when it is a high-waist skirt. However, as winter is coming, we will need to add some tights and sweaters to keep ourselves warm while looking fabulous!

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