Made-to-Order Python Tote

I practically drooled on Savvy Sister's new made-to-order large python tote when I got my little hands on her bag. Too bad it is illegal in California, else I order me one too. Anyhoo, I will be take a few days off for Lunar New Year to spend time with friends and family. Wishing everyone a happy new year again!!!!

A Bag Down the Drain....

It was truly annoying and disappointing when a friend showed me her silver grey LV vernis leather bag. If I had not purchased the bag with her at the store, my first thought would be the bag was a fake. Now the silver grey color changed into this yellow green color. If you look carefully, there is still some touch of silver mixed with this yellow green color. It is just so annoying. I thought my pink vernis was bad. This really took the price. Anyhoo LV won't do anything for us. If a bag is going to cost so much, it should last a while uh.... What do you think?

Ikebana: Japanese Style Flower Arrangement

Recently Savvy Sis began to learn the art of Japanese style flower arrangement. When we were little Savvy Mom was also quite a fan of this particular style of floral arrangement. Savvy Sis told me back in the old days, it was Japanese aristocratic men who practiced this art form. If I have a chance, I will want to learn as well in the future. There is something so simple and tranquil, giving a gal inner peace. Are you a fan of flower arrangement?

*Don't forget to enter Orient Watch Giveaway, tomorrow is the last day!

Andres Restaurant Irvine

Sometimes it is a wonder why I don't weight a ton as I adore new food and new places. My trick is moderation. I can eat anything but in small amount and slowly. I am usually the last one to finish my food. Recently for gal pal's birthday, we took her to a new place in Irvine named Andres. The interior was quite modern and nice and service, fabulous. Price point was not too bad. My beef short rib was around $20. For me, the best thing is the ability to share with friends.
 Burger sliders in beef, lamb and crab cake.
 Grilled fish with veggie
 Grilled beef steak wrap
Beef short rib

Wishing everyone a happy weekend. Don't forget to enter Orient Watch giveaway on the side bar. Today is the last day.

Other Bags of Hermes

When it comes to Hermes, most people think of Kelly and Birkin. However, there are so many other styles that are savvy worthy. The Lindy is my personal favorite because a gal can sling it on her shoulder or carry it on the arm. It is the most versatile, in my humble opinion. 
The So Kelly is the even more casual little sister of the Birkin. I am still trying to figure out why is it named So Kelly.  Does anyone know? Orange may be the iconic Hermes color but it can be tricky to use sometimes.
This is another Hermes I love to have in my closet, the Evelyne. This will be used as a messenger bag to wear cross-body.
Although I adore the quality and the simply classic silhouette, I don't know if I will buy this bag because it is so heavy and big. It is just slightly boring for me now but never say never. Recently Loro Piana is becoming stylish and attractive so I may just grow into this bag. What about you, are Kelly and Birkin the only Hermes bags for you?

I Heart DIY Knit Scarf.....

For many gals, knitting and sewing almost come as second nature. Me, I can honestly say these skills are not my forte. However, I am fortunate Savvy Mom can knit and sew. Recently she made me this truly unique scarf that double as a shrug. The design is quite unique that the scarf is knitted with a twisty fashion, so it has this criss-cross look in the front. Gal pal knitted me this beautiful ruffle scarf. I can't wait to wear it as well. In this day of mass production, handmade goods are just priceless.
From this, I just want to say it is important to cultivate hobbies so a gal has something that is all her own. And, it is a great outlet outside of personal and professional spheres.What about you, what's a fulfilling hobby for you?

Making Great Chicken Consomme

chicken consomme with chicken dumpling
Recently Savvy Sis enrolled herself in a French cooking class and I was amazed some of the little tips which sounded easy but would not have done it myself. For the longest time, I would dine at Mariposa in Newport Beach for the yummy chicken consomme. Now, I am going to DIY at home. Well, I am going to try. Stay posted for my DIY gourmet chicken soup.

We all know to make chicken soup, chicken and chopped veggies are needed. This is not rocket science. However to go beyond simple home cooking, the chef caramelized half onions before adding to chicken stock. This way, flavor will be intensified with added sweetness. In addition, make sure to trim all fat from chicken. We don't need to spend hours slaving over the stove to make a delicious bowl of chicken soup. However I thinking caramelized onion will certainly gourmet-up our everyday chicken noodle soup on a cold winter day. How do you gourmet-up your chicken soup?

*Don't forget to enter Orient Watch Giveaway on the right side bar.

Just Like Kate's Ring.....

The best thing about having lunch with girl friends is show and tell time, just like in school. Gal pal recently got a new jewel candy in way of natural blue sapphire, non-heated, surrounded by little sprinkles of diamond. With Kate Middleton getting a sapphire for an engagement ring, this beautiful stone is the current rage. I have received smaller pieces from Savvy Mom, but after wearing this ring over lunch, I am looking at sapphire with a new perspective. Diamond may sparkle more but sapphire has this quiet elegance.
Doesn't it just look perfect on my hand? Now this savvy gal just need to find a prince..... ~Smile. Would you want a tradition diamond as an engagement ring or something different?

*Don't forget to enter Orient Watch Giveaway on the side bar.

Tod's 24H Shopper

To be honest, I am on the fence with this 24H shopper. On the one hand, it is a classic Tod's bag, but there is really nothing to write home about. It is great if a gal just wants a plain simple leather tote to hull her things around town. It is tote that will pass the test of time because the silhouette is so simple. However, it is just like many other classic totes by "many" other designers. This time around, I think I will just pass on this bag because I have enough totes to last me a long long time. What do you think?

Good Answer About Marriage

The other day while at lunch with a gal pal, she gave me a really good answer regarding "does marriage make your life better?" In essence, she said marriage does not make life better in a sense that your partner can't solve your problems. We as an individual have to make our own lives better. Marriage is about partnership, companionship and love, with lots of compromises.

"So what makes a marriage worthwhile?" I asked in my confused little voice.

In her opinion, a marriage and the home both people created is a shelter from which we can go and take refugee from the world. This is a place where we can be most natural and at ease. Partners are supposed to share responsibilities together to make this union work, while comfort and care for each other.This is not to say this sanctuary is without glitch. We all have problems and issues, it is just better when couples are pulling in the same direction. Love is important but everyday life is equally essential. If a gal has to deal with crazy issues and her sanctuary becomes the root of her problem, then she is better alone. What do you think?

Savvy Food Find: Fusion Vietnamese Food

Over the weekend, I joined gal pal in a lunch feast. I was so glad I accepted this invitation because I wouldn't have found this little gem of restaurant on my own. From the outside, the restaurant is located behind a 99 cent store. The parking lots was big but looked slightly unkempt.  It was a different type of Vietnamese food, varying slightly from the usual noodle and spring roll.  I would say it is fusion Vietnamese and a slight French twist.

Since gal pal raved about yummy spring rolls, I had to try some for myself. Of course as a roast duck fan, I ordered a roast duck salad. I will pretty much order duck anywhere, if available on the menu. I sure will give Brodard in Westminster another visit soon. From the outside, the restaurant is nothing to write home about, but food is not pricey and quite delicious. What about you, are you adventurous when it comes to visiting a new place, especially when it is not the most posh?

Mixing Summer into Winter

Although I divide my wardrobe into summer and winter categories, there are occasions which I relish in mixing and matching to get cost per wear down. I got this Burberry trench dress a little while ago and hardly wore the piece because it was a little heavy for hot summer days. Anyhoo, I decided the fabric is heavy enough to wear during winter days, as long as I bundle up in layers.
Of course, as I am in my purple phase, I added a lilac cashmere sweater with a purple leather bag to complete my outfit. As I become older, I work on buying versatile pieces because in the long run it is cheaper than buy many trend pieces which always end up in donation pile. I must say I do adore this Burberry dress because it transitions beautifully from summer into winter. What about you, do you wear summer pieces during cold winter days?

Keeping Time Giveaway by Orient Automatic Watch

One of my biggest pet peeve is tardiness. In order to make sure I am almost always on time, I actually set my clock and watch about 5-10 minutes ahead.  We don't like for others to waste our time then it is equally important we respect others precious time. In order to help with keeping time in 2011, one lucky Savvy Mode readers will have chance to win one of the 5 watches shown above. Instead of picking one watch to giveaway, I am giving the winner the choice to pick his/her new watch.

On the side note, with Valentine's Day just around the corner, I think CEX0P001B and CTD09001B will be perfectly savvy gifts for all the beaus out there. Personally I like the one with leather strap more for the classic sporty look.

How to Win:
1. Be a Savvy Mode follower
2. Tell me how do you stay on time and which watch you like to win.
3. Share this giveaway on FB, Twitter or your blog for extra entries.
4. US readers only this time.
5. From Jan 7, 2011 to Jan 21, 2011.

New Tech Toy

When it comes to the latest tech gadgets, I must say I am way from savvy. This is not to say I am helpless and hopeless. I keep myself up-to-date to fit my needs. Anyhoo, over the holiday a pal gave me a new toy and along with my new HP color printer, click here for HP vouchers. I think I can retire all my paint brushes because I was able to manipulate photos into oil painting effect. I transformed this picture of sweet potato fries into an oil painting image in seconds. Hm... my next project will be turning a family portrait into an oil painting, without hours of hard labor.
So as I am playing with all my new toys, I began to notice my laptop is not as speedy as before. Perhaps because it is because I have been loading lots of new software. Regardless, perhaps it is time to buy myself a new laptop because mine is getting a little long in the tooth. This time around, I want a red laptop. Yes, I do consider style before functionality. Of course being a savvy gal, I can't pay full price unless absolutely necessary. I plan on taking an advantage of HP, Dell or Lenovo coupons. I usually discover applicable coupon deals after the fact but this time around, I will not make the same mistake. Do you have a new tech toy in mind for 2011?

*Visit my savvy sponsor couponsnapshot.com for other savvy deals. They offer coupon deals for many categories, not just tech gadgets.

Treating Marriage Like a Business or a Plant

As a singleton, I still have this dream of happily-ever-after with regard to marriage. Of course I don't live in La-la-Land thinking marriage will be like fairytale. After all a successful marriage needs cultivation and nurturing like a business or a plant. However I was slightly disturbed to hear from married pals that marriage doesn't really change life for the better. Uh???? Imagine all the question marks floating around this single me after hearing that.  Are people saying it because marraiage really isn't all that or some have not truly realize their fortune?

In my humble opinion, marriage like a person, plant or business, goes through stages. Early stage is like a start-up business, there are lots of hope, uncertainty and anticipation for the future.  Personally this is the most fun part of any venture. I guess we can call this the romantic courting stage of pre-marriage. Post marriage is like a business that has stabilized. This is the most comfortable and comforting stage but I wonder perhaps we do take it for granted. There are obligations and duties to fulfill which can become mundane day after day. However can you imagine a business that is always at the start-up stage. I shiver a little just thinking about the idea. So if we expect a business to evolve and mature then why shouldn't a marriage evolve and mature? If this is the case, are we all headed toward Happily-Boring-After?

Again as a singleton, I imagine to keep marriage or business new and fresh, new elements are necessary addition to an existing formula. If a business does not try to innovate and improve upon its current product line, then that company risks the chance of becoming out-of-date, thus losing its competitive edge. So if couples don't inject new elements into their marriage formula, then the relationship may fail to grow together in harmony. With all this being said, I do imagine if I put my mind to cultivate and nurture my future marriage, our lives should be for the better because I will have my own family and a life partner. Of course there are going to be issues along the way, but at the end of the day, my life will be fuller, right?! So do you think marriage will make your life fuller or life will remain the same?

New Favorite Polish

For the longest time, I will use nothing but Chanel nail polish. I am still a fan but I venture outside of the nail polish box. Over the holiday, Savvy gal pal gifted me with some NARS products which included nail polish.I must say I do like the finish. Over lunch yesterday, Other gal pals also commented NARS polish really last for them as well. I particularly like the little mini set of four available at most major department stores now. This way I can sample different colors depending on my mood. Do you like NARS polish?

Image: Nordstrom.com

Sparkle UGG Short Boots

I really believe in never-say-never because I am in adoration with this pair of sparkle UGG boots. For the longest time, I resisted UGG but upon seeing this pair of savvy sparkler, I find myself searching high and low without much success. So far, I can only find the gold color which is not really my cup of tea.
If I can have my pick, I want the gray then the black. Savvy Sis is in adoration with the gray as well. And at $170, the price isn't too bad at all. What do you think?

*Update: Nordie is going to have a reshipment in Feb in case anyone is interested. Neiman Marcus didn't even get them.

Image via UGG

Happy New Year

Wishing everyone a very happy New Year and may all your dreams and wishes come true in 2011. I have been eating like a little happy little pig.  Also the winner of Bling Bling Earring is Kim @ Kim and Mikey. Please forward me your shipping address. Have a great weekend!!!
~xoxo SG
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