Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Greetings from Singapura

Moving countries is no joke and the last month was sheer madness as we geared up to move to the other side of the world. We wrapped up work, made one last American jaunt in Napa, Big Sur and San Francisco, packed up our belongings, and cried SO MANY tears as we said goodbye to our people in New York. 

S and I have now been in Singapore just shy of 3 weeks. I want to say that we are settling into our new lives, however considering we are living out of our luggages in temporary digs awaiting the rest of our belongings being shipped over, it feels more like we are on some kind of extended holiday - albeit one where we have to work #boohoo.

We are taking baby steps to set down roots in this city and apartment-hunting is our biggest priority (although I have found a yoga studio I like!). To that aim, we've been spending weekends exploring neighbourhoods we think we might like. Last Sunday, we hit up Kampung Glam or Arab Street, historically named for middle eastern merchants that dominated the enclave. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Big Changes

After close to five years S and I are leaving the great city of Gotham!


Our long term goals always involved moving closer to family. Being over 24 hours from them can get just a little rough. When fantastic professional opportunities came our way, we decided there was no better time than now to move back to the region. 

So in about four weeks, we will say ta ta to my favourite city in the world and our NYC family, and head off to the island so small it's marked as a tiny red dot on a world map.  

There are a million and one things on my to-do list and being busy has its advantages - I have zero time to feel sad about leaving earlier than I feel emotionally prepared for. Though I do take courage in all the exciting things ahead of us. It truly blows my mind to think that we can be with our families for all the birthdays, celebrations, holidays - and even when there's no absolutely reason at all. 

And while I can't think about what I will miss in the city without getting teary-eyed, I am THRILLED we are escaping what is expected to be a brutal New York winter. 

I first moved out nearly 15 years ago. This baby is finally going home.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Evening In The Life Of

S and I had one of our epic date night Fridays this past week. For a change, I thought I'd provide a play-by-play of our evening.

It started at 6pm with reservations at Sushi Dojo - where we dined on a $45 sushi omakase. I have been on a huge sushi kick lately and had raw fish barely a week ago with a gf and then a few days before that too. Who am I kidding - I could eat sushi all day all night. 

Sushi Dojo was excellent and as good as other high-end fish we've had in New York. I more am more than happy with good quality tuna from New England and sweet uni from Maine if that means it won't cost me a few limbs. An under-$50 omakase is ridiculous value in the city so we booked in to come back in a couple of weeks #sushieverydaybaby. 
Manicure from Paintbox

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Shop My Wardrobe

Hello October! In efforts to make space in my wardrobe for the coming season, the following items of mine are for sale. Where possible, I have linked to the original post where more pictures are available.

All prices include shipping to the US. If you are located overseas please email me for details. Offers welcome too!

Happy shopping!

Anthropologie Night Moves dress - size XS - $35; Salvatore Ferragamo bag - $200 (from this post)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Love Me Tender

When we were wedding planning last year, we realised that for a variety of reasons we had to get registered (aka legally wed) before our traditional temple ceremony in Kuala Lumpur in December. 

Since the registration was a formality, we decided to have a bit of fun. So a year ago today, having told only our immediate family, we made my elopement fantasies come true and "ran away" to Vegas...

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Paintbox - Nails of New York

I might live in the city of cheap and easy manicures, however getting cool nailart with gel polish for an affordable price has always been challenging. Until I discovered Paintbox a few months ago. At each easily-bookable appointment, I pick out a gel manicure design from their lookbook and decide on the colour scheme, and then settle in with a complimentary glass (usually two) of prosecco. 

My first appointment was made just before a double beach trip - Montauk and Barbados. Bright yellow made for an obvious choice. I was obsessed at how great it looked and durability of the manicure. I was hooked henceforth. Here are just two out of the MANY pictures I took of that look:

Friday, September 19, 2014

Sunday at the Frick

We crossed off an NYC bucket list item last month when we visited the beautiful Frick Collection on the Upper East Side. We never got around to visiting for no other reason than being spoilt by free entry to almost all the big museums through my (now-former) employer's corporate responsibility initiatives.

So we did the next best thing, and visited during the museum's pay-as-you-wish hours one Sunday afternoon. Henry Clay Frick invested much of his wealth in acquiring European art, furniture and sculptures and the house is filled with impressive pieces. Most are displayed where Frick originally intended when this was still a residence for the family. 

It's considerably small relative to the neighbouring Met but we still found Time Out magazine's list of 10 must-see works helpful for some degree of direction. There are also descriptions and a quick history lesson of everything in the audio guide which is free with admission. 

No photos are allowed anywhere in the museum but in the beautiful Garden Court, so we took advantage:

Oak Tornado dress (on clearance), Preen by Thornton Bregazzi sunglasses, and Giles and Brother railroad spike cuff

Mansur Gavriel cammelo/antico bucket bag, very very old Sportsgirl belt, and Brook & Lyn x Anthropologie necklace
mansur gavriel bucket bag cammello antico
Ivy Kirzhner Babel sandals (breaking my rule against buying multiples, it's the black pair to the gold version I wore to my wedding reception - which amongst other styles, is on super sale here)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Chelsea Galleries in Philo

Happy September! S and I spent Labor Day in New Orleans (which I have since realised is pronounced "AWHR-linz", not "awh-LEENZ". This month is a big one in the J-J household, not least because my parents and brother have just arrived from Kuala Lumpur. It's their first visit since we moved to the country and I am excited to show them my New York. 

Here's a post I set up just before they arrived, on our visit to art galleries in Chelsea not long ago. The best way to navigate the many galleries is via the Chelsea Gallery Map (also available as an app) - which provides detailed locations of each gallery in the area, a description of the exhibits being shown, as well as the functionality of being able to save your favourites. I tend to prioritise exhibitions that are wrapping up - which in our instance that weekend were Keith Haring and Tara Donovan below:

Nike Liquid Gold

If you have time though, just ditch the map. That's how we stumbled upon Eugenio Merino's Always Shameless exhibit (press release here). Merino created life-like bodies of the world's most evil leaders and placed them in Coke vending machines. If you looked closely, you could tell that an incredible amount of detail went into the sculptures.  They looked so real that I hesitated from staring too long due to a silly, irrational fear of the statues' suddenly opening their eyes! I had never heard of Merino before this, and read that he initially became famous for his "Punching Franco" piece, where he sculpted the head of Franco and stuck it on a punching stand, which was also there for viewing.

Other than that, I thought the tiny statues of Kim Jong Il and Mao Ze Dong below were particularly funny #Napoleancomplex
Here's my gallery-hopping outfit, taken in front of Eduardo Kobra's giant mural on 25th and 10th (also seen here):
Nike Liquid Gold
LPD New York t-shirt and Anthropologie Sloping Skirt
Nike Liquid Gold
Mansur Gavriel bucket bag cammelo antica (back in stock), Nike Liquid Gold Dunk Sky High and Ray Ban wayfarers
Nike Liquid Gold

Have a great weekend! 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Weekend in Charleston

Late last month on a whim, S and I took advantage of cheap flights and flew down to Charleston for the weekend. It was our first trip to the South and it was just as I imagined:  palmettos, churches, humidity, biscuits, alligators, torrential rain, magnolias, piazzas, and that wonderful Southern hospitality. 

Our M.O. in any new city is to check out the free walking tour offerings. Here, we went on the historic district tour and the architecture tour - both gave us a colourful introduction to the well-preserved heart of Charleston. We also spent an afternoon at the very pretty Magnolia Plantation, where we sighted many of the aforementioned alligators (and peacocks, so many peacocks!). 

Like most weekend trips, our visit didn't feel long enough. I could have spent many days wandering the charming town. Each house was envy-inducing - from the ironwork gates to the lush gardens and piazzas (Charleston talk for verandahs). Even the hot, sticky air was comforting. 

Charleston is also doing excellent things on the restaurant front, and can frankly give NYC a run for her money. A list of where we wined and dined is at the end of the post if you are interested. But first, a few photos: 
Double piazzas AND palmettos

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sushi Azabu and Pleats

S and I have been away every other weekend lately -  Barbados and Charleston to be exact (old news if you follow on Instagram). I am still weeding through the tons of photos so the blog recaps will come then.

However, we are back on track with Friday date night. Last night, we returned to an old favourite, Sushi Azabu, a "secret" basement sushi restaurant in TriBeCa - which has gone through significant change since we were were last there 85 weeks ago (so says Instagram). 

First, it used to be a little harder to find when the restaurant above it was the Greenwich Grill. Now that's been taken over by a Japanese izakaya, Daruma-ya. A Japanese restaurant beneath a Japanese restaurant? Surely that's obvious? Second and most importantly, no more $65 prix fixe *cries*. This was one of NYC's best sushi bargains and now it's double that, folks. Thank goodness the sushi is so fresh it makes up (slightly) for the sticker shock. Over copious amounts of sake, we devoured everything that was put in front of us (yes to uni; NO to eel) and laughed over S's broken Japanese and the chefs' rudimentary English. Fun times.
Our exact seats at the counter (via
Continuing my obsession for all things Clover Canyon, I went Greek with my date night getup. Jeans seemed mandatory too, considering the cool change in the air. Thought let me make it clear that I am #NotReadyForFall.

Clover Canyon pleated Classical Order TopJ Brand 620 Super Skinny in Palisades (newer washand another) {Note to fellow shorties: I cuffed the hem as the sandal straps extended high above my ankle. It's otherwise the perfect length unaltered}

Alexander Wang Livia Sandals (super sale this weekend), Vintage Chanel flap

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Pineapples and Night Markets

For a city that has as many restaurants as inhabitants, there is a dearth of good Malaysian eateries which don't require something like an hours journey on two trains and a bus. So the moment we realised a new Malaysian restaurant had opened (in Williamsburg no less), S and I grabbed a few friends to check it out. 

Let's just say our prayers been answered bountifully with Pasar Malam:

The restaurant is named for the night markets where an array of snacks are sold, though paradoxically roti (and most other dishes on the menu) are not really found in night markets. But we're not here to nitpick name choices. The glory of going in a large group means being able to order more than one roti - each one of them cooked to flaky perfection. 

We also had the curry laksa, the assam laksa and the Michael Jackson: the most non-PC Malaysian name for a classic drink of soybean grass jelly combo (ya know, cos it's black AND white).

The belle of the ball was most definitely nasi lemak - a coconut rice dish commonly eaten at breakfast. The main accoutrement - the sambal (red anchovy sauce) tasted just like it did back home, I couldn't believe my taste buds. 


Here's what I wore (inspiration - Natalie Joos): 

Zara Pineapple top (sim here and here), Whistles leather slit skirt (identical on sale), Celine vintage bag, Catbird lovecat ring (14K version), Nike Liquid  Gold (another metallic option)

Here's to a great week ahead!

Friday, July 18, 2014


Summer is in full swing in our neck of the woods and NYC is warm and wonderful. In past years, we've stayed put all season long to enjoy lazy weekends in the city when the rest of Manhattan is Hampton-ing it up. 

Not this weekend.


I am off to Montauk for a girls' trip and as you read this, I should be curled up on the train with a good book well on my way for some fun in the sun. 

I just wish these cool sunglasses (first spotted by Grace) had arrived before today though. 

Hope your weekend is as wonderful as mine.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Momofuku Quack

We've had an uptick in socialising this past week - two sets of visitors from Sydney, two birthday parties, a Bastille Day game night, and our usual Friday evening date. That meant I was more than happy to cheer and celebrate Germany's win this afternoon from the comfort our my sofa. 

But first let's recap yesterday afternoon, when I got a bunch of friends together for the rotisserie duck lunch at Momofuku Ssäm, one of the best food-related things we've done in NYC this year.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Old Is New Is Perfect (Red), White and Blue

Happy Independence Day weekend! 

It has once again been a few weeks since I updated the blog. While I enjoy blogging and I have a backlog of photos to put here, I've been making a conscious effort to stay away from the computer when I'm not at work, instead spending more time with loved ones, and living the very moments that, ironically, make good blog fodder.  

This website's purpose is first and foremost a "diary" of my adventures. To that aim I am in no way calling it a day. I still look back at posts of days past and reminisce over pictures of places I've been to, dishes I've ate and pretty things I've worn. To be perfectly honest, my memory can only retain so many experiences. So in the name of balancing the living of life and the conscientious jotting down of memories, let's aim for a once-a-week posting schedule shall we? 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Blue Hill Birthday

To celebrate my birthday this past week, S and I made the journey a week ago to Pocantico Hills in Westchester County for dinner at Blue Hill at Stone Barns

Stone Barns is a working farm so we arrived a couple of hours before our reservation to wander the grounds. Armed with a map (and poor choice of footwear), we strolled through the greenhouse with lettuce twice as big as my head, peeked into barns with dozens of young turkeys (which won't be so young come November!), and waved to the pigs in the pen, that barely looked up from their feed to acknowledge us. These were only trumped by the sheep grazing in the meadow at a distance. Such a peaceful sight as the sun was setting on the horizon.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Pink in Williamsburg

On Sunday, S and I met old friends, who recently moved from Australia/Hong Kong to New York City after having won the Green Card Lottery. Back in the day, I used to religiously apply for this every year to no avail. These kids (and a few other people I know) got through on their first attempt - some people have just the luck! Well nothing brings us great joy than to see our NYC family growing. Friends and family ex-USA: if you didn't guess already, that was a PSA to apply this year and come on over!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Stressed but Well Dressed

Happy Memorial Day Sunday!

For the first time in weeks, S and I have no plans this weekend besides eating our way around town. 

For our usual Friday night date, we went to French Louie, the new sister restaurant to one of my favourite places in the city, Buttermilk Channel. I didn't mind what we ate but it was difficult to not compare it to its far superior sibling. 

Switching out Autumn/Winter wardrobes for Spring/Summer meant a few old favourites are feeling new again. Unfortunately, they were terribly poor choices in light of the skies opening up just as we arrived in Brooklyn. Our little umbrella didn't stand a chance against the torrential downpour. Well dressed but stressed, more like. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

London Travel Diary

I was in London last month on business. My last trip was over 3 years ago and I was thrilled to be back.   

Much of my week there, when not at in the office, was spent wandering the city. I forgot how beautiful London is - my neck was sore from all that looking up! NYC skyscrapers may be impressive, but its architecture has got nothing on Europe. There was a teeny bit of shopping (Reiss and COS, natch), but mostly a lot of eating, and as you will soon see, a little Sherlock too! Here is a photologue, comprised of a mix of DSLR and Iphone images:

Gastronomica's piadina at Borough Market

Monday, March 24, 2014

Crop To It

I haven't been impressed with NYC restaurant offerings of late which means apart from date night, I haven't been dining out as frequently.  Narcissa is changing that.  

I had dinner there a few weeks ago with my dear friend Kara. The meal was fantastic that the first thing I did when I got home was make a reservation to take S for date night. 
The vegetable-forward menu was much welcome, but not surprising considering Narcissa's older sister is Dovetail, which serves one of the best vegetarian tasting menus in the city. 

I ordered the beets and duck both visits. The rotisserie beets, pictured above, has already been written about. I now hope that the duck (seen in the foreground here) receives similar accolades. I foresee many more meals at Narcissa. If I go back often enough, I might even be tempted to order other things off the menu. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Mansur Gavriel + Laser Cut

Greetings! Time is flying and it's now March. Yet here we are dressed in thick puffer coats and fleece tights even now as our clocks have been wound forward.  

The cold can't keep us indoors even if we tried: Friday date night saw us at All'Onda, a new Italian-Japanese place close to home; yesterday we had one double date at Le Village, a quaint, French-vegetarian bistro in the East Village; and this morning another double for dim sum brunch at Golden Unicorn in Chinatown.
Giles and Brother railroad spike

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Weekend Recap - Denim and Liquid Gold

Happy Sunday kids. S and I started off the weekend with date night in the West Village. Dinner was a massive flop (Red Farm - overpriced and bland) but cocktails after were a winner - at a tiny, newly-opened French bar/restaurant called Wallflower. Have a look at the menu below - if they take their food as seriously as their drinks, I very much look forward to returning for dinner. 

Los Angeles Travel Diary - Day Three

Our final day in Los Angeles was spent at Universal Studios. My inner movie geek loved all of it, but the thrill-seeker in me was a little disappointed at the lack of scream-inducing rides. We had a fun day in the sunshine, but it felt a little bittersweet knowing that we were hours away from boarding our flight back to sub-zero NYC weather. In any case, the best decision of the day - springing for "fast-passes", allowing us to skip lines everywhere like a boss.  

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Los Angeles Travel Diary: Day Two

Happy Valentine's weekend! S and I were meant to leave the frozen tundra of New York to another frozen tundra of Montreal but our flights were cancelled the morning of our flights. We are a little disappointed but are making the most of it - House of  Cards, couch-time, sleeping in are all on the books this long weekend.

The persistent cold is getting little tiresome and it seems fitting to post the second instalment to our LA travel recap (earlier posts here and here).

Friday, February 14, 2014

London Calling


Greetings from across the pond! 

I'm in town for work this week and arrived on Saturday morning to a sunshine-filled city (who would have thought?!)

It isn't my first trip to London so I've been skipping the usual touristy suspects in favour of wandering, eating my weight and indulging in retail therapy. 

Highlights from the weekend include: coffee I'm still thinking about at Monmouth, the chorizo sandwich from Brindisa, dinner in the beautiful dining room of Berners Tavern, everything (EVERYTHING) off the menu at Duck Soup,  ransacking the sale racks at COS, and indulging in melt-in-your-mouth rose macarons from accidentally stumbling upon my all-time favourite, Pierre Herme. And it's only been two days.

I'll be posting on Instagram frequently so come find me there this week. 


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Los Angeles Travel Diary: Day One

We started off our trip on the West Coast in downtown LA whilst our nephews were at class at the Colburn School of Performing Acts. It took an architectural spin as we wandered through the magnificent Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, and then over at the beautiful, ultra-modern Cathedral of the Our Lady of the Angels:

Thursday, January 23, 2014


We had Martin Luther King day off work so S and I flew out to Los Angeles for the long weekend. 

While I've been to LAX numerous times on SYD-JFK flights, it was my first visit to the palm-tree-and-sunshine-filled City of Angels. We saw plenty in three days and I have lots of photos to share. Throwing chronology out the window, I would like to begin with the most colourful portion of our trip - our visit to the Diane von Furstenberg "Journey of a Dress" exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 

Pink walls greet you as you enter the gallery, with vintage DVF print ads, movie stills and pictures of herself and other luminaries in various iterations of the dress:
Cybil Shepherd in Taxi Driver