2017 Faves

PC: @kathyspixels

HI FRIENDS! Bet you all thought I forgot about this thing. Since the last time I posted, I went through a whirlwind of stress and anxiety and unhappiness and I definitely didn’t feel like posting when I was feeling so crappy. I’m muuuuch better now but I’ll admit that I’ve been dragging my feet when it comes to getting back into a regular writing schedule. I didn’t know what to write about and I even let myself make the excuse that I forgot the password to this blog. (Nevermind that I could have easily recovered it via “forgot my password”…)

Last year was a hard year for me. I felt directionless and unfulfilled and unhappy even though there wasn’t anything exactly wrong. Not gonna lie, I cried all the time. However, I made strides to change the things I could, and accept the things I couldn’t. And let’s be real, it couldn’t have been all bad. I figured I’d focus on some of the positives and share a hodgepodge of favorites from 2017.


  1. What Made Maddy Run by Kate Fagan – My favorite book I read last year. It’s based on the true story of an all-American teen who seemed to have it all: beauty, athleticism, popularity, intelligence. In her first year at UPenn, she ended her life in suicide. Fagan wrote a compelling story of Maddy’s life that delved into the struggle of young people facing mental illness today. I read this while I was dealing with my own confusing feelings of stress and needless pressure I was putting on myself. The story really spoke to me on a personal level and helped me see that it’s okay to not feel okay sometimes. I highly recommend giving it a read, but maybe not in public if you’re a crier like me.
  2. In December, I started a new job with a different company. I recognized that my funk was in large part due to my consulting career. I felt limited in what I was doing and didn’t even like it. The switch greatly improved both my mood and my outlook on the future. Definitely a highlight and great way to end 2017!!!!
  3. Iceland – I crossed off #1 on my bucket list last September, but I already want to go again!!!! Forever in love with Iceland. Full recap of the trip in a previous blog post here and my Iceland travel vlog is here.
  4. Zella Live In High Waist Leggings – I adore these leggings! They’re comfy, opaque, great quality, stretchy with control, and makes your legs and butt look A1. I bought these during the Nordstrom Anniversay Sale for $36 and they were SO WORTH IT. Honestly, I think they’d still be worthwhile at the original price ($54) if you want to invest in a pair of leggings that you’ll wear for years. I bought my first Lululemon leggings (Wunder Under High Rise 7/8 Tight) recently and as far as I can tell, they’re exactly like my Zella ones except twice as expensive. (Supposedly the creative director who helped Nordstrom create the Zella brand was a former Lululemon product manager.) The only annoying thing is that the Zella pair is a good bit too long for my legs. I end up folding the extra length under and it looks perfectly fine though. If you’re short af like me, consider the Zella Girl Everyday High Waist Leggings. This kids version is opaque (albeit a touch thinner than the adult version), fits well, and has the perfect length without hemming. For size reference, I’m 5’2/104lbs/24″ waist/34″ hips and fit XS in the Zella adult leggings, L (10-12) in the Zella kid leggings, and 4 in the Lululemon Wunder Unders.
  5. J.Crew Stadium Cloth Cocoon Coat – This is my go-to winter coat for every occasion. It’s very warm at 70% wool with a classic and stylish cut. I swear it’s so beautiful on– I’ve even had a number of random people stop me to ask where my coat is from. It’s definitely pricey at $350 but I spent a year or so searching for a dupe and couldn’t find one that I liked quite as much. I will say though that I have the J.Crew Factory version and it’s exactly the same at half the price. Definitely well worth it.
  6. Dagne Dover Classic Tote – This is pretty much everything I want in a work bag. It’s sturdy, professional, and keeps me well organized. There’s a compartment for everything, including my work laptop (which measures at 12.30″x8.75″x0.70″ and easily slides in with room to spare). Since I have a petite frame, the bag does look a little big on me but I don’t mind. (Side note: there are 4 versions of this bag so you can find a size that works for your purposes.) I use this everyday for work and I love it! There’s a 10% off your first purchase by signing up your email via the Dagne Dover website and you can also find the bag at Nordstrom.
  7. Colourpop Blotted Lip in Drip – I am so obsessed with this lipstick that I always swipe it on whenever I venture outside of my apartment. It gives my lips the perfect ‘my lips but better’ hint of color that is sheer but buildable if I want to layer it on for a bolder look. My absolute favorite thing about this product though is the (mostly) matte formula as it limits the tendency for lipstick to transfer while I’m (constantly) eating and drinking.
  8. Wild Bluebell Cologne by Jo Malone – Early 2017 I was in search for an everyday perfume. I didn’t wear perfume on the regular before mostly because I never took the time to find one that I liked enough. After obsessively researching and sniffing dozens of perfumes, I narrowed it down and realized that I’m 100% a Jo Malone kinda girl. The fragrances from this brand are simple, elegant, and unique but not too overwhelming. I have the larger bottle of Wild Bluebell that has over 75% left even after almost a year of daily spritzing and it still smells heavenly. I also adore the English Pear & Freesia scent.
  9. Goody Athletique Sweat Stretch Elastics – BEST HAIR TIE FIND OF ALL TIME. They’re really soft and stretchy but will still hold my thick Asian hair up in a ponytail or bun. Even better, they don’t pull or tug out my hair. Just try them. Trust me. I found all-black packs of these at Wal-Mart.
  10. English Breakfast Tea – Twinings. Bigelow. Doesn’t matter which brand. I start every morning with a hot cup of English breakfast tea with a splash of unsweetened plain soymilk. I’m drinking one right now and it’s lovely.

If you’ve made it to the end, thanks for sticking around to read such a random list of favorites. I’m very thankful for the support and positive feedback I’ve received from you special people. LOVE YOU ALL.

Looking forward to another year of faves, special memories, magical trips and of course blog posts!

With love,


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