Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Favourite (Ta ta for now!)

I am so thrilled to say that I am currently flying over the Atlantic for a quick getaway to Europe! My first stop is San Sebastian in Spain for a dear friend's wedding. Then I head off to Biarritz, a glitzy beach town in the South of France before I end the holiday with a week in Paris!  

As a lot of walking is on the cards this trip, today's favourite is the comfiest pair of flats I own, beating out even classy Repetto -- Ferragamo My Joy Ballet Flats. Since I can't fathom the thought of having to break in a shoe that is fundamentally meant to be comfortable, I am happy to say these need zero breaking in and they mold to your feet instantly. The soles are soft so you feel like you are walking on a plush carpet. I have had mine for over a year, wearing them nearly every day and they still look like new - well worth every penny! Several thumbs up on this one.

Anyhoo, I have drafted a couple of posts that will go up whilst I am away but I do welcome you to follow me on Instagram (@UshaJoy) where I hope to update with lots of pretty pictures of my travels. 

À bientôt!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Elevated Acre

The Financial District is more than just Wall Street and that famous bull. My favourite place south of the island is a wonderful privately-owned public garden, the Elevated Acre. A couple of weeks back, I arranged a midday coffee date with Thea there for some outfit photos - resulting in a rare glimpse of my work wear style.
Even though I work in financial services, usually beaten in the conservative stakes only by lawyers, summer style in my office is just a little bit more easygoing. The menfolk do not need to wear ties and the women, well, they get to wear printed pants!
The entrance to the Elevated Acre is located at the top of a couple of flights of elevators/stairs at 55 Water Street. The somewhat secret space is a welcome escape from hustle and bustle of the financial district. There is a expansive lawn nestled within colourful flower bushes - which is my favourite spot for lunch (and a siesta) on a warm day. Then beyond that is a "boardwalk" which offers panoramic views of the east river and its bridges. 
H&M shirt and pants (Latter currently in stores. Size down as it stretches. A lot) (simsim and sim), Ann Taylor belt (sim), Dinosaur Designs necklace (sim), Valentino bow pumps (sim and sim)
Do you have a similar refuge from the work day?

(Edit: Use this coupon for 20% of one H&M item through Labor Day!)

Giverny in New York

As a huge fan of Claude Monet, it was a given that #1 on my summer bucket list was to to see the re-creation of Monet's Giverny Gardens at the New York Botanical Gardens

Therefore, a couple of Thursdays ago, Thea, her lovely friend, Molly and I took the Metro-North out of Grand Central Terminal to the Bronx gardens for an evening concert. 

The Botanical Gardens are so lush, expansive and well-manicured (ticket prices going to very good use!). 

The ponds of waterlilies right by the glasshouse conservatory are very pretty, it is no surprise Monet was obsessed with them. 

Outfit choice was purely coincidental: 
BR skirt (sim), Anthropologie Ruffian Mise En Scene blouse (sim), Ann Taylor belt, Kenneth Cole wedges (sim), Kate Spade bag (sim)
We had such a lovely time, sitting on gingham picnic blankets provided by the park, listening to the band play lively tunes, surrounded by pretty fauna. I know it won't be too long before my return visit. 

Photos by Thea Domber

Sunday, August 26, 2012


8.5 years in and S and I are still going strong with our Friday date nights. Last week's started on a really romantic note - a joint work out at the gym. The thing is, we used to make googly eyes at each other back when we first started dating at uni so exercising together again was kind of sweet. I mean, a couple that works out together, stays together right? Ha! 

Anyway, I did have a feeling the rest of the night was going to be epic and as such, dolled up for the occasion. 
We commenced the evening with pre-dinner drink at one of my favourite cocktail bars in the East Village, Gin Palace - which is part of the Death & Co. cocktail empire chain, just sans the 2-hour wait (no joke).

I would give up meat before giving up gin (it's like having your daily serving of fruit) and I am thrilled that the city has many places that put this fine alcohol centre stage (for example, Bathtub Gin and Madam Geneva). 

A couple of gin and tonics on tap later, we skipped on to Kyo Ya for a late dinner. Sitting at the chef's counter was a no-brainer, an option that was available even though we chose to go down the a la carte route. The recent NY Times review was spot-on - if the dishes weren't already delicious, Chef Sono's bubbly personality had us convinced that we need to return soon for the kaiseki menu.
H&M sequin skirt (currently in stores) - very aptly called the mermaid skirt by the staff at Kyo Ya, (sim) J Crew tank, Dinosaur Designs and Cartier bangle, flea market ring, Aerosoles sandals (sim)

The night still relatively young, S and I went on to Lovers of Today. What a gem of a place! Tiny and unpretentious, the cocktails were remarkable. My favourite being one with gin (!!), rose syrup and bubbly served up. Twas the perfect nightcap to an "epic" evening.
Hope y'all had a lovely weekend!

Christopher Boffoli

My friend, HW, who lives in Taipei, recently sent me a link to Christopher Boffoli's exhibit in New York - a display of photographs of tiny people posing with real food. 

Imploring me to visit on her behalf, I needed no convincing as soon as I clicked over to the very spiffy website - and took a cab over to the Chelsea gallery during lunch one day last week.  

Details depicting the Lilliputian society were so precise and tickled my inner foodie. Though I am quite certain the witty captions accompanying each photo were the stars of the show. Here are a few of my favourites taken from the website:

"Butter Business Bureau"
"Eric always had a healthy amount of anxiety before a deep tea dive"
"Gary always used too much mustard. But no one could say so. It was a union thing"
"Jerome finally got over his Peter Pan syndrome and popped the question"

If the exhibit comes to a gallery near you, please do not hesitate to make a visit!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Favourite

Today's Friday Favourite is an all-time darling - the Outnet. A fan since day one in 2009, The Outnet has allowed me to gradually amass a collection of amazing designer pieces I once only dreamed of owning. 

Each Friday at around noon, the Outnet launches a "flash sale" of sorts that runs through the weekend, usually an extra percentage off items that are already a fraction of its original price.

For the next few days, take a further 40% off dresses. For someone who has more frocks than any other item of clothing, this is music to my ears. With over 300 items on sale, here are some that I particularly like:

Vivienne Westwood Anglomania ($66)
I have always wanted to own a piece of Vivienne Westwood.  Whilst some of her items are too punk for my aesthetic, I love this dress and would wear it to work with a long cardi or blazer; and take it off for a night about town.
Vivienne Westwood Anglomania ($78)

Another of Dame Westwood's. In my books, stripes are as versatile as neutrals so you can't have too many. I like the idea of wearing a loose sweater or white shirt over this to break up the stripes. A great item to take travelling. 
Vince ($150)
I can't believe I am saying this in August but this will be perfect for the holidays. I like the styling with black leggings in the product page and I am confident the more petite among us can get away with wearing this as a flirty dress.
Thakoon ($210)
This dress reminds me of this Carven number, which is still prohibitively expensive even after the markdown. I like the softness of the Thakoon, and I would pair this with a long necklace. I might even wear the white blazer again for a work-friendly alternative.  

Missoni ($136)
A lovely interpretation of Missoni's trademark stripes, this would make a perfect weekend outfit. I love that the loose design is conducive to the big meals I usually partake on Saturday and Sunday. The length, demure neckline and sleeve design also make this dress perfect for the office.

The sale lasts till Monday. Happy weekend shopping!


P.s. On a slightly serious note, the shooting that took place this morning struck a little too close to home. Literally. Gun control laws in this country leave me in constant disbelief. Maybe I should count my blessings that the state of New York has tougher rules than others. Or maybe not.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Lilly Pulitzer Endless Summer Sale!

Lilly Pulitzer's sale is here once again! 

{Edit - due to technical glitches, LP has announced that the sale will recommence at 4pm EST today}

A trademark of preppiness (all that PINK and GREEN!), I have found Lilly to be a trove of chic dresses for work and play. The above-par quality and generous sale prices make this sale really difficult to sit out.

Checkout immediately if you see something you like as there is free shipping on all orders. Having said that, non final-sale items can only be returned for exchanges and online merchandise credit so shop wisely! 

My picks (limited as there is very heavy traffic on the website):
Adriana  Dress
Taytay Dress

Happy shopping and do tell me if you buy!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Vande Mataram

India celebrated it's 65th year of independence from British rule on August 15th. As is the tradition every year, there was a parade down Madison Avenue yesterday to commemorate the occasion. 
With appearances by Bollywood actors, cricket stars, "Mother India" and even "Gandhi-ji", the parade was such an explosion of colour and festivity. There were deejays on almost every float - like everyone present, I was bopping away and enthusiastically waving my plastic flag throughout. 
H&M dress (current - very Mary Katrantzou-esque no?), Aerosoles sandals (sim), Cartier and Dinosaur Designs bangles, Alexis Bittar earrings,(sim), Marni sunglasses (sim on sale)

For more photos, check out my instagram feed, @UshaJoy.

Hope your weekend was as colourful as mine!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Battery Park

Saturdays tend to start off slow in our household. Sleep deprivation throughout the work week is usually made up with a nice sleep-in on Saturday mornings. Since we had no plans till the evening, S and I decided to spend the afternoon in Battery Park. 
I haven't been down to the park since my first ever visit to New York many moons ago and I had forgotten how beautiful it actually is. On one side of the esplanade, Lady Liberty is well within sight with sailboats, water taxis and ferries cruising on the waters. Then you turn around to see skyscrapers in the Financial District looming high above the lush greenery of the park. 

Past the throngs of tourists waiting to get on the Liberty Island/Ellis Island ferries, there is the sad Merchant Mariner's Memorial:
NYC - Battery Park: American Merchant Mariners Memorial
... the East Coast Memorial - where the above outfit photo was taken in front of before our camera battery went kaput:
NYC - Battery Park: East Coast Memorial
If you are lucky, you may even bump into Zelda like we did!  
Anthropologie Adorned Whimsy Tank and Eighteen Karat Belt (sim and sim), Cue Australia skirt (sim), Swedish Hasbeens (here, here and here), Cartier love bangle, Giles and Brother Railroad Spike Cuff

P.s. See Thea's post on Battery Park here!