Saturday, March 30, 2013

Blue on Blue at Bouley

S and I forewent date night last night. The poor boy was at home sick on the one day he has off that I don't each year. Such bad luck. Since he is much better today, we kept our lunch reservations at a place that has been on my NYC restaurant bucket list for ages: Bouley.

Like other Michelin-starred restaurants in town, Bouley serves a great lunch option for a fraction of what it would cost for dinner. Though Bouley stands out from the rest by extending the special lunch offering beyond the weekday to Saturdays - something I wasn't aware of till recently either!

It was a five-course tasting, which meant that between us two, we had over 15 different dishes including the various amuse bouches, palette-cleansers and petit fours. As expected, we were extremely full by the end of it. Great deal for $55+ without a doubt - especially since a lot of what we ate also appears on the more expensive dinner menu! Next time though, I'd ask to be seated in the much prettier upstairs dining room as opposed to the dimly lit downstairs section (perhaps they assumed we wanted a more romantic experience?) 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday Favourite

It has been an anxious couple of months in my neck of the woods. This year brings different challenges to my life - some welcome, others not so. The juggling act can get quite tiring frankly and I admit that I sometimes struggle in the quest to quell my fears. 

An instant stress-reliever has been, quite predictably, retail therapy. While I am well aware this can not be a permanent solution, and to be honest, doesn't reconcile with my aggressive savings goals for the year, SHOPPING MAKES ME HAPPYYYYY!!

In spite of my style veering away from extreme-frilly-girliness, I find great joy in frocks - pretty, pretty frocks. So in taking advantage of the great promos in my favourite stores this past week, here is what I ordered:

The Scalloped Dress is a wonderful addition to my shift collection. I love the sweet scalloped edges and the red version was my choice over the citrus or navy since it works for both work (everything becomes a little more corporate with a crisp blazer, no?) and play. 

Polka dots are classic - says the gal with plenty of them in her wardrobe. Though none with glimmering silver circles, which is what I told myself when I purchased this dress. The weight of the Sparkle Dot Dress may veer on being too substantial for the high heat of summer but would make a great transition piece for the coming months. 

These following dresses are just why I will never stop shopping at Anthro. I mean, I need another striped dress like a hole in the head but those three bows kill me. I love the puff sleeves too and the price is a winner even without the promo. 

Conservative in the front, party at the back. I love the lovely twist to something as simple as a shirtdress. Also, the peach colour reminds me of watermelon (peach?) cocktails on the beach.  

The Lalina Dress is a bit of a splurge but easier to stomach due to the promo. Part of the Made in Kind - India collection, this silk dress was designed by Pankaj and Nidhi Ahuja. I love how the simple fit and flare style lets the vivid South Asian pattern take precedence. I see this with nude pumps for a business casual day at work and then tan (or even sunshine yellow) sandals for brunch.  

Now that I have all these new things for Spring, I best be looking into less-expensive forms of therapy. I am thinking I should start reading again. Especially since I'm still stuck on book 2 of A Song of Ice and Fire (aka Game of Thrones).
Have a wonderful rest of the week and hope you took advantage of these promos. And to those celebrating, have a blessed Good Friday and Happy Passover! 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


It's the last week of March and I can not wait for it to be over. Regardless of the endless amount of joy this month has brought me: eating out plenty with kindred spirits, overseas friends visiting and sending out our save-the-cards amongst others;  a new project at work is well and truly kicking my arse and tipping my work-life balance in the wrong direction. 

I intend to show you guys the save-the-dates but a fair few are still in transit. Until then, here's a recap of my weekend. 

My lovely friend, C flew in from Sydney late last week. Intending to provide her with a quintessential New York experience, I scored last minute reservations to Babbo. Nothing makes me happier than carbs, wine and great company at the end of a tough work week and Babbo really hit the spot. If you ever visit, try the black spaghetti - I could eat that dish every week. 
When antipodean guests are in town, my M.O. is to take them to places serving dishes not that easy to come by in the motherland. So, Saturday dinner saw us at Hecho en Dumbo since Aussies need to know there is more to Mexican than oversized burritos. (There is some irony in whether NYC Mexican is really any good but until I make a trip out West, HeD is my go-to). We then crossed Bowery to a new bar, Wise Men, a place so tiny everyone was standing on top of each other blergh. Wanting to salvage the night, we popped into Madam Geneva for solid gin cocktails and even solid old school R&B. With so much Mary J and 112, I am thrilled to have finally found my go-to dance spot. 

C came with only one restaurant on her to-eat list: Red Rooster Harlem. We had grand plans to wait it out for the gospel brunch early on Sunday, but we lucked out with another last-minute table for dinner. Reservation trumped gospel this time since a lie-in was much needed from the night before (#gettingold).

I love this place - the food is top-notch and there is always something taking place in the dining room every night of the week. Regardless, we had quite the chuckle walking in since this is the Aussie version of Red Rooster:
Anyway, here is Friday's date night outfit: 
Made out of the same fabric as her iconic wraps, this dress is a fun weekend alternative. But as much as I would like to say it's forgiving, it didn't quite the flatter the food baby I fostered after all that pasta on Friday.
DVF Reina dress in Gingko Small (similar here - buy it next week during F&F; here and here), Forever 21 necklace, Prada booties, tired eyes courtesy of work

Before I go, the winner of the giveaway last week is Sarah! The top is on the way! 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pink Peplum and House of Cards

Goodness it's Monday already. I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. Besides brunch and window shopping on Saturday, I did not leave my apartment. The reason for the self-imposed house arrest:

I am a huge fan of political dramas and an even bigger fan of Kevin Spacey so I pat myself on the back for only taking 1.5 months to get to watching the series. Without giving too much away, it is about Frank Underwood (played by Spacey), the House Majority Whip, who gets passed over as Secretary of State by the newly elected President and then decides to exact revenge on those who betrayed him. While you can expect Frank to be rather evil, no one else on the show is anywhere close to endearing either. Each character has secret agendas of their own which makes the show absolutely riveting. Season 1 is only 13 episodes long, so I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend a cold and snowy weekend. 

Anyway I lied - I did in fact leave the house for a quick grocery run yesterday and decided to put on a new purchase: 
I picked up this vibrant pink blouse on Friday evening from H&M and couldn't wear it quickly enough.  There are so many things going for this top - the subtle peplum is very flattering, the colour screams Spring (no kidding!) and most importantly, the quality of the lace is far superior than what you would expect of H&M.  

My only gripe - the back zip doesn't go down far enough on the top, which results in a bit of a wrestling-wriggling action to get it off! I just call it exercise.. 
H&M top, DL1961 Nina denim, Target Kaelyn boots (they are real suede not faux!), Morning Birds Sweatercoat
Regardless I look forward to the day I don't need to hide this top under a thick coat (albeit a really snuggly one..)

Have a great week! 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Black and Yellow

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! It's snowing in NYC and while I love love love snow, the lingering cold is driving this Summer baby nuts!

I had a shocking week at work - which is another reason why I was excited for Friday-Date-Night. This week we went to the West Village - first stop, a tried and true favourite for cocktails: Employees Only. It's one of those well-known speakeasies - an oxymoron I know - which naturally also meant it is terribly popular. The only way to guarantee entry is to get there earlier in the evening. 

My go-to drink is the Fraise Sauvage - Plymouth Gin shaken with Wild Strawberries & Tahitian Vanilla, topped off with Zardetto Prosecco di Conegliano Brut. How yummy does that sound? It's a great drink to start of the evening, especially pre-dinner.

We then walked around the corner to L'Artusi. This place is up there among my favourite restaurants in the city - so nice I was there twice in the past few weeks! The pastas and small plates are the stars of the menu - I admit I haven't ventured towards the far right of the menu. I mean who has space for any of the main courses after a pasta dish anyway? We didn't, especially when we were saving space for the desserts below:
Pineapple Sundae - scoops of flavor-intense housemade coconut gelato and pineapple sorbet sink into a base of almond cake drenched with pineapple caramel sauce. Whipped cream and sweet toasted coconut crown the sundae
Bittersweet Chocolate Budino - this silky, not-too-rich pudding is made with Grand Valrhona 70% bittersweet chocolate. It's top with vanilla whipped cream and a crisp chocolate-honey tuile. Both photos and (who can top that) descriptions via

You bet we we were so full that we had to be rolled out of the restaurant...

Anyway,  while I decided to put away the white frocks of previous weeks and go for a summery shade, the very cold night still had me dressed in double-layered tights, gloves and boots:

Zara dress (LOVE the shoulder pads!), Anthropologie beaded handbag (on sale and free shipping >$100) and necklace, Plush fleece tights beneath an awesome pair of card suits tights from a random shop in Shibuya, Tokyo, Prada boots

We are staying in tonight (go see on Instagram the dinner S put together!) so have a pint of Guinness for me and more importantly, stay safe this St. Patrick's Day!

p.s. - there is still time to enter the giveaway!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Weekend in Pantaloons (and a giveaway)

Happy Monday everyone! 

We celebrated daylight savings weekend with no major plans apart from wedding planning and plenty of relaxing. On Saturday I spent a glorious afternoon at Aire Ancient Baths - which was so wonderful it deserves a post of its own and yesterday I had my first facial in a long time at Mario Badescu. So my body feels like jelly and my face is as soft as a baby's bottom. BLISS!

I was in la-la land from the experience at Aire so instead of cooking, we shlepped out to Ditmas Park in Brooklyn for Mimi's Hummus. I needed space for all the pita, chickpeas and shakshuka, so I wore this airy dress that was kindly offered by In Sattva - Pantaloon:  

While designed to be a tunic top, the length was long enough to be worn as a dress. Made out of a solid yet light-weight cotton with a slight shimmer to it, I am in LOVE. My favourite part of the dress is the gold saree-like hem - although I wish it went all the way around instead of just the front half of it.
In Sattva - Pantaloon dress (c/o), Lanvin heels (sim), pearl bracelet, Ann Taylor gold skinny belt (sim)
A 2013 resolution is to come up with different ways to wear existing items in my wardrobe. I decided to put another In Sattva - Pantaloon top to this test:

Weekend: In Sattva - Pantaloon kurta top (c/o), Sportsgirl Australia belt (sim), DL1961 Nina denim, Target Kaelyn boots (on promo and last worn here)
Weekday: Zara stretch belt (sim and sim) and skirt (sim - so pretty!), Spanx tight-end tights, Prada ankle boots

This is a kurta top in the traditional sense and I would normally wear this at casual Indian functions. In keeping with my new motto, I jazzed up the casualness of the top with a bright red belt and cuffed jeans to my facial yesterday; while a few days earlier I wore it to work tucked into a solid skirt, which showed off the beautiful oriental-like neckline vividly. Wearing this 100% cotton voile top last week made me feel like it was almost Spring... if not for the thick coat shrouding the outfit when outdoors. 

Weather-talk aside, In Sattva - Pantaloon have kindly offered this top to a lucky reader:

This 100% cotton top is in a size Medium and has a really pretty embroidered yoke and vibrant cobalt blue neckline. Like the first dress in this post, it also has a distinct hem - this time in an orange-gold colour.  

For a chance to win (International readers welcome), all you have to do is follow Tripping the Light Fantastic on Google Friend Connect or Bloglovin AND leave a comment telling which item on the Pantaloon website you'd like to welcome Spring in. 

Don't forget to leave a contactable email address. 

I will pick out a winner on the evening of Sunday, 17 March.

Good luck ladies and do check out and like them on

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Bulgari Serpenti Exhibit

I wrote about the Bulgari Serpenti exhibit in my February NYC Social post and really wanted to see it before it wrapped up. So after a yummy brunch at Freeman's, S and I headed up to Fifth Avenue to the Bulgari flagship. 

Here is what we saw:

A lot of what was on display were from the 1960s. 50 years on and still so sparkly... 

This emerald piece is my favourite - the head flips up to reveal a watch:



And if you like a serpent of your own, this necklace is available for purchase: 

I am buying a lottery ticket first thing tomorrow!

White and Pollock

I am writing this post in a rather zombie-like state having just had my arse kicked at Soul Cycle a few hours ago. While it took me the entire class to work out the jargon (tap what?), I thoroughly enjoyed it - as much as one can enjoy working out I guess. 

It is more than likely I burned off all the calories from last night's date night - which took us to Cobble Hill in Brooklyn. We had to wait for our table at La Vara, so we popped into Clover Club for an aperitif. Except that I lost all sense of what an aperitif should be and went for the hard stuff right up - the Gin Blossom. As one can expect, having a spirit-forward drink on an empty stomach meant I was VERY HAPPY by the time our table was ready. 

Alcohol-related lack of objectivity aside, dinner at La Vara was great! (side note: I am a huge fan of it's sister restaurant, Txikito which serves Basque tapas which are a personal favourite since my travels to the region last Autumn). We practically inhaled the honeyed crispy eggplant with cheese and the  Spanish migas (both pictured below); as well as a heap of off-the-menu specials that due to said "aperitif" earlier,  what they were precisely I can not for the life of me remember!   
This week, I wore a Zara dress I've had for a couple of years and paired it with my only purchase from the Prabal Gurung x Target release recently:
Zara dress (sim), Brook&Lyn necklace, Spanx tight-end reversible tights
Prabal Gurung x Target Nolita pumps

I usually don't buy plastic shoes but these were SO FUN and remind me a lot of the now-unavailable Christian Louboutin Pollock pumps (seen on Irina here). I was pleasantly surprised that they don't butcher my feet that much so I highly recommend if they work for you. 

Otherwise, have a lovely rest of the weekend! I ticked off #2 off the March Social Calendar before Soul Cycle so I look forward to continuing to veg my Sunday away!  

Friday, March 1, 2013

NYC Social - March 2013

March is meant to herald the first signs of Spring. Alas Mother Nature hasn't quite got the daylight savings memo - so keep your coat on still and check out what is taking place in NYC this month.

1. Ballet Flamenco: March 6 - 9

Travelling from Sevilla, this renowned repertory company is in New York for a short 4-day performance schedule at the New York City Center. The dramatic performance is entitled "Metafora" - dance being the metophor of life, and will feature 19 dancers and musicians with castanets, fans and my favourite - sweeping skirts of traditonal flamenco dresses.

2. Matisse at the Met: Through March 17

The French artist's exhibition graces the Metropolitan Museum of Art for another couple of weeks. Titled "In Search of True Painting" the 49-painting exhibit portrays Matisse's penchant to creating art in series, building on one while creating another - just like the pair of paintings above which show the same Gulf of Saint Tropez, painted in different styles and colours (or like they say in Thailand: same-same but different!) I think it's very smart of the museum to take advantage of the groupings by displaying his paintings in multiple galleries. In any case, while you are at the Met, check out the exhibit on "Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity" too.

3. St Patrick's Day: March 16-17
I love the Irish and I love St Patrick's Day! The only thing I don't care for is the ugliness that seems to result from revelers unable to stay sober. I say skip the pub and instead celebrate by heading out to watch the annual Parade taking place on the 16th. This year, the Parade begins on 44th street marching up Fifth Avenue and ending at the Met. Apparently the NYC Parade is older than the United States - a group of Irish patriots from the British Army first marched in 1762. So wear your best green and stake your spot early - it is the largest St Patrick's Day Parade in the world after all! Then once the parade is over, enjoy your Guinness in the comfort of your own home.

4. Ann: starts March 7
Broadway is churning out some amazing shows this year and here comes another one. After earlier performances in Texas, Chicago and Washington, this play on the legendary former Texan governor Ann Richards comes to New York. Acclaimed Emmy-winning actress, Holland Taylor wrote the play on the late Democrat over the course of four years - pouring over piles of personal and public transcripts, and countless hours of video footage; as well as interviewing family, friends and colleagues. Ms Richards was one helluva firecracker and a great champion to minorities. This is one show I can't wait to watch. 

Here's to the month of hot cross buns - may we finally get some sunshine soon!