CHEERS WITH NESPRESSO

THE PERFECT SHOT

I had my first coffee when I was ten. It was my mom’s naive influence and humor to let me try my first cup of latte. From then on I was hooked. you can say I’m kind of a coffee snob. Actually, I’m the most annoying kind of coffee snob. I’m an owner of a high-end (and obnoxious) espresso machine, drip coffee is my savior, and freshly roasted coffee beans make my day- and yet, I may be Nespresso’s biggest fan.

Nespresso’s high end technology enables the beans to stay completely fresh within the capsule. The machine also makes crema. That’s right, crema. Making crema is the entire point (and the most difficult) of an espresso, and yet, Nespresso has dummy it down for us with a simple push of a button. Did I mention the plethora of flavors they offer, and how absolutely delicious they all are?!

Nespresso also recycles all their capsules. They even make it easy for you to do it within their boutique by supplying bags with free shipping. I try to be eco conscious (proud owner of a Prius) so that’s a huge plus in my book!

Getting the perfect shot may be a thing of tooth fairies and Easter bunnies, but Nespresso makes it pretty easy. I have partnered up with Nespresso to share a couple of my tips on how to take “the perfect shot” of coffee. Here are a couple of my cardinal rules:

1. LIGHTING

The number one rule to taking any great photo is having amazing lighting. You can take a photo of the most mundane rock, but if it’s taken during golden hour, it’ll be the most beautiful rock you’ve ever seen.

Where the sun sets and rises in your house pretty much dictates when you’ll be taking photos. For me, the best time is always in the morning. I have lots of shadows and bright lights to play with in the kitchen.

2. BALANCE

A well balanced photo helps your audience immediately recognize the focal point of your photo. That, and it adds a lot of texture to a photo.

3. COLOR

I think this is one of the most overlooked rules in taking “the perfect shot.” Color is the first things we see when we look at a photo. It catches your readers eyes the most. Even for myself, I find myself more attracted to a photo purely based upon the merits of the colors that were incorporated into the photo.

For myself, I lean more on the brighter and whiter type of photos, but I try to break it up with neutral and contrasting colors. Pro tip: the brown palette of coffee is always a great contrast to white backgrounds.

4. A GREAT CUP OF COFFEE

When I say a great cup of coffee what I really mean is a great prop. If you have a great prop, the likelihood of you keeping the photo simple is higher. You don’t need to crowd the photos with too many objects. In fact, if a photo is too crowded, it may draw away from the focal point. Keep the necessary props that complements the focal point well, and get rid of the rest- a photo is like your life; keep the necessities and throw away things that don’t make you happy.

My cardinal rules are to be taken with a grain of salt. Everyone works differently. For me, brighter less crowded photos gets me giddy, but perhaps your method is, “the more, the merrier.” What I’m getting at is the “perfect shot” is really whatever photo makes you happy.

Funny that I brought up happy, coffee, and “the perfect shot,” because my photo will be hanging at the Beverly Hills Nespresso boutique store and I would be happy if you could check out my “perfect shot” of coffee over yonder (see what I did there?).

ONE TEE, 3 DAYS

posted in: FASHION | 0

DAY ONE.

LAYER A TEE WITH A DRESS AND TRENCH

Trench and Dress
DSC04344

DAY TWO.

CLASSIC BLAZER & BLUE DENIM

denim and tee2
Untitled-4

DAY THREE.

LET YOUR TEE DO THE TALKING

Untitled-5
IMG_8970

COS TEE | MADEWELL DENIM | ACNE SLIPS

Like everyone else, I have been obsessed with the “perfect” tee. Tees have such selling power that brands can sell them at $300+ and people will still buy them! I, myself, am guilty (or gullible) of buying high end tees. I think the most I’ve ever spent on a tee was $200 by the twins who made tee’s a thing (if they made it, it must be the perfect tee!). Nowadays fast fashion companies have figured out what consumers want. Now we can find affordable low cost tees that are, dare I say it, PERFECT.

In my opinion, we wear tee’s so often and it’s easily coordinated with other outfits that it’s truly worth the splurge. Here, I’m wearing this COS tee three days straight. It’s such an easy piece to wear, especially when I’m not feeling particularly creative. There’s no shame, ladies.

WEDDING: BUDGETING

posted in: FASHION, Wedding | 0
PRISCILLAJEFFGREYSTONEMANSIONWEDDINGPHOTOGRAPHY_SALLYPINERAPHOTOGRAPHY-54
PRISCILLAJEFFGREYSTONEMANSIONWEDDINGPHOTOGRAPHY_SALLYPINERAPHOTOGRAPHY-313
PRISCILLAJEFFGREYSTONEMANSIONWEDDINGPHOTOGRAPHY_SALLYPINERAPHOTOGRAPHY-160
PRISCILLAJEFFGREYSTONEMANSIONWEDDINGPHOTOGRAPHY_SALLYPINERAPHOTOGRAPHY-43

VOICE OF REASONING

Alright friends, there’s something important I need you to know when planning a wedding: You gotta fucking budget! You have to follow the budget like it’s the law!

Ok, yes, it’s very obvious that you should budget when you’re planning a wedding. I mean, the national average cost of a wedding is $31,213. California is $37,317. Those numbers are crazy right?! You think this now, but mid way planning a wedding you’re going to think:

 

“oh, what’s another $2,000.”

“$4,000 for flowers? Cheap!”

“My veil was 800- what  a steal!”

PRISCILLAJEFFGREYSTONEMANSIONWEDDINGPHOTOGRAPHY_SALLYPINERAPHOTOGRAPHY-270
PRISCILLAJEFFGREYSTONEMANSIONWEDDINGPHOTOGRAPHY_SALLYPINERAPHOTOGRAPHY-273

SLIPPERY SLOPE

Before you know it, you’re going way over your budget, and it’s too late to turn back. I recommend checking out A Practical Wedding for budgeting. I used that site a lot to keep myself tamed.  A wedding is great. It’s a once in a lifetime sort of a deal (or maybe not.) But it’s important to remember that the money you spend on your wedding can easily be put into a new home. If you have the means then great! If not, be careful and don’t get yourself into a slippery slope. As a wedding guests, I only remember the food and the entertainment. No one is going to remember what flowers or place settings you had. Spend wisely, friends!

WHAT I DID

With that said, I followed A Practical Wedding’s guide to budgeting. I set aside my overall budget and split that into percentages based on vendors. You don’t have to follow the percentage exactly. Be realistic. If you don’t care much about your wedding dress then obviously the budget for that will be smaller. If pictures are really important to you then that may take a bigger chunk of the budget. Whatever it is, divide it correctly and realistically. You don’t want to be surprised or regret anything in the end.

PRISCILLAJEFFGREYSTONEMANSIONWEDDINGPHOTOGRAPHY_SALLYPINERAPHOTOGRAPHY-271

VIETNAM & CAFE SUA DA

posted in: TRAVEL | 0

DSC02002

 

 

 

Here is the missing Vietnam trip before the ever short layover in Korea. My husband and I traveled to Vietnam for business, strictly business. We spent most of our days either at the office or at coffee shop. Our coffee office were more Western, meaning water down Vietnamese coffee and sufficient wifi. When we did have time for real Vietnamese coffee we would go to the nearest mom and pop shop- go to any of them and you’re guaranteed a great cup of iced Cafe Sua Da.[/one_half]

 

Vietnamese Coffee is like crack.

 

 

DSC02009DSC01999

DSC02034DSC02036DSC02037

DSC02007DSC01591

DSC01890

DSC01886DSC01605

DSC01703DSC01728DSC01746DSC01683DSC01665

DSC01895

Processed with VSCO with s2 preset
DSC01554DSC01566DSC01900

 

Comfort food all day, everyday

 

Lunch was served at the office, but I lived for dinner during our trip. We were taken to the most amazing seafood joints, street food, and mom/pop shops. I only wish I took photos before devouring it or even jotted down the name of the restaurant. But even if I did take notes, I find it rather difficult to navigate, especially when you’re searching for a particular restaurant. There are a million of them, all mom and pop shops, not a single franchise (except for your occasional McDonalds or KFC). That’s what makes Vietnam so great. It always feels like you’re eating a homemade meal. The food is incredibly light, colorful, and healthy. We ate tons of raw vegetables and was really main jam. The fruit juices in Vietnam is on another level, nuoc mia, nuoc ma, and whatever nuocs there are in Vietnam is bomb.

 

DSC01910DSC01913

 

I can’t give you a whole lot of food recommendations, but I can point you to all the beautiful Western coffee shops, if that’s the kind of thing you’re looking for.

 

Coffee:

Saigon Oi

Floor 5, 42 Nguyen Hue, District 1 | Floor 5

 

Work Cafe Saigon 

Bitexco Financial Tower, 2nd Floor

 

L’usine

157 Đồng Khởi, Bến Nghé

 

Food:

Com Tam Ba Ghien

84 Dang Van NguHo Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Cuc Gach Quan
10 Dang Tat | Ward Tan Dinh, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

LAYOVER IN KOREA

posted in: FASHION, TRAVEL | 0

IMG_7746

Processed with VSCO with a9 preset

IMG_7892
*Madewell sweater vest, J.Crew shirt and trousers, and Vans slipons

I have never booked a trip with an excessively long layover before. It usually has to do with the fact that 1) I am much too lazy to trek outside the airport for only a couple of hours and 2) I have no urge to stay at an airport for 12 hours. However, this time around, since our business trip was just too much business, my husband and I decided to try a layover for the first time.

I think the best part about our short layover was the fact that it was in Seoul, Korea. They inject a huge amount of money into their tourism, so much so that their tours are free. If we were normal tourists we would’ve totally taken up on their offer, but we’re not, so we didn’t. This short layover was meant strictly for eating and shopping. We went to whatever city life there was, in whatever district we ended up in, and ate our little hearts out. We shopped, and then we had coffee, and more coffee*. We wandered wherever the streets took us, and had no goal. It was a great layover.

We definitely want to go back and visit Seoul again. We had a little taste, and we want more! Short layover trips are great to help you decide if that’s where you want to visit one day. It’s like a little sneak peek. From now on there will be no lazy Priscilla, in fact, I will try to book a long layover whenever I can. A short trip with no plans or goals means less stress, and more frivolity (which is always needed after a business trip).

*I cannot give you any recommendations of coffee or food joints. Half the time I didn’t even know where I was, but that’s the beauty of it!

ALWAYS GO FOR COMFORT

posted in: FASHION | 1

DSC05088

This outfit is in high rotation. It’s a mixture of casual and business casual, but too casual for real business. Maybe with heels it’ll be deemed acceptable, maybe. At the end of the day it’s just a comfortable outfit that adds a little oomph with a fine tailored blouse and cashmere tee, which are all from J.Crew.

DENIM RULES

posted in: FASHION, LIFESTYLE | 1

DSC05637

DSC05672

DSC05597 DSC05711

Cruiser Straight Crop Jeans and Oversize Boy Shirt in Waterfall Blue by Madewell

Here’s my denim rule to you: break all denim rules.

If people tell you that you can’t wear denim with denim then you break that conception cause you can. There’s something so exhilarating about going down a road less taken, being the devils advocate, and well, giving zero shits.

Now to be a complete hypocrite (it’s really all about semantics), I like to wear my jeans with comfort. Throw on a white tee or a crisp blue shirt, sneakers, and I’m ready for adventuring! Effortless dressing is how I like to dress, which coincidentally is also known as lazy dressing.

 

ALL THINGS NAVY AND LEATHER

posted in: FASHION | 0

DSC04889

DSC04870Brunello Cucinelli Coat, Acne Jensen Boots, Forever 21 Leather Pants, Madewell Chambray Shirt, Mansur Gavriel Bucket Bag

I hate to be a bore and talk about the weather, but that’s what we’re going to do. It rarely dips below 65 in California and when it does you can bet your ass I’m going to wear every warm piece of clothing I have, and talk about how great it is that I can finally wear a coat! I have been saving this coat for a long time. When I say long I mean the end of winter of last last year. And look at that, it’s still so damn relevant. And this is why I always invest in a good coat.

Brunello Cucinelli Coat, Acne Jensen Boots, Forever 21 Leather Pants, Madewell Chambray Shirt, Mansur Gavriel Bucket Bag

 

TEA CEREMONY AND CAKE

posted in: LIFESTYLE, Wedding | 2

Cultural-Discrepencies-

DSC04912 DSC04913

One of my biggest issue during my wedding planning period was whether we needed to have a tea ceremony. In traditional times, a tea ceremony is where the dowry is usually given. Nowadays it’s just a ceremony that people do, it’s tradition. For me, I have no connection to this tradition. I grew up going to a couple of these ceremonies, but I also grew up watching the same types of wedding we all saw in movies. So how do you gap the discrepancy between these cultures?

For myself, it was important to remember that this wedding was not all about me. It’s to honor your heritage and give thanks to your parents for procreating what is to be your husband’s best-thing-to-ever-happen-to-him. But at the same time I just wanted a simple garden dinner where we all got drunk. So can you have it all? Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too!

I wanted to soak in the actual wedding day so we decided to have the tea ceremony a month before the actual wedding date. It was for our family’s sake, and really my own peace of mind. No longer did I have to hear the nagging and complaining of

You have to have the tea ceremony! Why are you being so disrespectful?! What will people say?!

After I agreed it was all rainbows and sunshine, well, at least momentarily. I let them plan it. I let them decide what they wanted because really, it was their day, and I happily let them do it. All I had to do was show up!

To be honest, when I told my mom I wasn’t going to have any type of tea ceremony I felt a bit guilty. Why? Other than the fact that my family kept nagging about it, it was also because I identify with being Asian. I eat Asian food, I speak Vietnamese, and well, I’m Asian. But most importantly, my mom really wanted the ceremony, and if there’s one thing I learned about weddings it’s that it’s really only 20% for you and 80% for the lady who popped you out.

In the end I was quite happy we went through with the tea ceremony. Everyone was happy, I got a bunch of red envelopes, and I’m a little bit closer to my Asian side now.

 

BLUE DENIM DUMB

posted in: FASHION | 0

Mid-Rise-DenimDSC00468DSC00513A.P.C. JeansAcne jensen BootsGucci Tote Bag, J.Crew Sweater, and COS Mock Collar Shirt

This is going to sound silly, but for the longest time I didn’t know how to style blue jeans with black boots. In my mind the only bottoms that work with leather black boots were white or black denim, and that was it. I would always look at all the tumblr & pinterest photos with envy. How the frick do they match those two together!? How can I do it?! Is it rocket science?! And friends, if you didn’t know this before, I’ll let you on a little secret, you just do it. You literally put on those stupid blue jeans and pair it with those dumb black boots and voila! Instagrammable! And hey, if it doesn’t work you’ve got a lifetime to nail it. That’s like a million outfits. Go get em’, tiger!

TYING THE KNOT

posted in: LIFESTYLE, Wedding | 0

 

Throw Practicality out of the window. This will be the beginning of many long posts about weddings. Think of this post as an introductory of sorts. Bear with me as I try to organize my thoughts into well thought out articles that’ll help you manage a wedding of your own.

My experience so far has been a struggle between being practical and throwing the most impractical party of your life. I think all weddings are difficult, juggling what your families want and what you want, but I think it gets a bit more complicated when you’ve got to mix your culture in this hot mess. More on this later.

I’ll be writing articles based upon vendors, negotiating, what key cultures to keep and what to throw away, etc.. Stay tuned!

P.S. The photo above is taken by none other than my photographer who I adore!

 

JUST IN TIME FOR THE HEATWAVE

posted in: FASHION | 0

I finally got my hands on the ever loved Acne Jensen Boots. I have been eyeing them for so long but couldn’t get myself to pull the trigger. The reason? Though I love the metal tips I wasn’t sure if it would look too trendy. I didn’t want to invest in a pair of boots that would go out of trend within a couple of years. I probably should’ve spent my time thinking about something more productive, but I finally rationalized that the metal tips will always look cool. I mean, look at them! Well, if these turn out to be a trendy piece I’m going to make sure I wear the shit out of them. Get my costs-per-wear worth, ya feel me?

….Aaannd So far I’m doing a crappy job of it. It’s been so hot that I haven’t had a chance to wear them. Granted, I did buy them during summer. I blame it on the weather for my non-sensical (but very sensical) purchase. The heat has been around for so long that I’ve been dreaming for fall and well, prepping my closet for it while dreaming. Plus, how the hell are you supposed to make summer attire look interesting?!

1 2