Sunday, October 30, 2011

My Top Four Fragrances Of All Time (so far...)

I've been thinking about fragrances a lot lately...this happens to me when I'm running low on perfume - which rarely actually happens because I generally have 10+ bottles in my armoire. Some people have their signature fragrances, or their one bottle - and I'm just not one of those may be be rooted in an inability to make up my mind, or simply the fact that I'm noncommittal. So without further ado, here are my favorite perfumes of all time!

1.  The original Juicy Couture perfume. Released in 2006 (or 2007, not quite sure), I snatched this perfume up the second it hit stores. While I love all of the Juicy fragrances, you just can't beat the original one, a mandarin-based scent. I get compliments every time I wear it, a tell-tale sign you made a good choice. (Photo cred:

2. Balenciaga. It was a long time coming for this design house to release a fragrance, and they didn't disappoint. Though, like the original Vera Wang scent, it can be deemed "mature", there's just something about the scent of violets that I can't walk away from. Everything from the bottle to the box was meticulously designed and executed. Though I only wear it for special occasions, Balenciaga is the one fragrance I display in my bathroom or on an end table. So beautiful! (Photo cred:

3. Hermes eau de Marveilles. This perfume never fails me. My dear friend Andi purchased it at an Hermes sample sale in NYC a few years back and I couldn't stop thinking about it after I smelled it on her. When we visited Europe in 2009, I made sure one of my first stops in Paris was at Hermes. Since then, I've purchased a bottle for my mom for Christmas, and had strangers on the street and random co-workers stop me to ask what I was wearing. A very light, citrusy fragrance that reminds me of clean laundry (expensive clean laundry). (Photo cred:

4. I've always loved gardenia, and Marc Jacobs original scent is no exception. A staple for me since 2005, I can't say enough good things about this perfume. Feminine, light, great lasting power, elegant...I just love this perfume. Makes for a great every day scent. (Photo cred:

What are your favorite perfumes?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sushi and the City

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If you're ever looking for great sushi in Portland, go to Masu! Now, this is not for the "hole-in-the-wall-I-strictly-eat-sashimi" type, so if that's you don't bother reading further. Located on the second floor with large bay windows, Masu has a distinct chic city-loft feel. 

A great thing about Portland is that the city really capitalizes on the whole Happy Hour thing, which makes it easy for people to have a nice meal at a decent price. My fiance and I visited there on a Sunday night for their Happy Hour special. The decor was minimalistic and modern, centered around a sushi bar and a larger main bar in the middle of the restaurant. We were seated at a quiet table near one of the windows, which had a really lovely view. 

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We ordered several basic rolls from the Happy Hour menu, including salmon and vegetable rolls, as well as a starter course of pickled vegetables (with drool-worthy house-made kimchi!) and a Dungeness crab sunomono salad. I'm a sucker for the specialty rolls, though, so I knew I needed to try the "Death By Sushi" roll that's described on their menu as "salmon, unagi, crab, avocado and cream cheese rolled and fried then topped with masago, green onion, fantasy and eel sauce". The very light crisp from the fryer offered an incredible crunch, and who doesn't love cream cheese? It was one of the best rolls I've had!

We then ordered a seasonal specialty and general restaurant favorite, the fried tofu and grilled fig in a delicious ponzu-esque broth. The tofu was fried to perfection - combined in a bite with the fig was a truly delicious experience, and by far the star dish of the evening.

If you ever get a chance, make sure to try this place! Delicious food, great ambiance and reasonable prices (especially during Happy Hour).

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Product Rave: Clarisonic Mia

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After wanting one for years, I finally took the plunge and bought a Clarisonic Mia. For those of you who aren't aware, oscillating face cleansing brushes are quite the fad lately and many brands (Olay, Neutrogena, etc) have come out with their own. To my knowledge, Clarisonic remains one of the leading brands in this field, even at the stiff price.

Clarisonic offers several types and sizes of brushes, but the travel-capable, cordless Mia seemed the most efficient for me. Clarisonic promises that their product "cleanses 6x better than with your hands alone" and that it "prepares skin for better absorption of creams, serums and moisturizers".

After a little over a week of using it twice per day, I do notice my skin is much smoother and softer.  My makeup comes off a lot better, too. I'll be excited to see how it works in the long run! When you purchase it, it comes with a sample size of the Clarisonic brand of face wash, but I just use my regular cleanser with it.

Bottom line: Buy it if you have the extra cash ($149) and are curious, otherwise there are plenty of other options that are easier on the wallet.

Monday, October 17, 2011


I can't believe I've neglected my blog baby for this long! I swore I'd do better this time. I've been really busy at work, plus I started a weekend class and on top of all of that, I went home for about five days at the beginning of October. It was amazing to see my family and my adorable fur child, plus I got to go to my BFF's engagement party!

Considering my BFF happens to be extremely stylish as well, I'll post this picture showing what we wore that night.

On Ashley (left): Urban Outfitters Lace-Top Dress, on me (right): Nordstrom dress, from Brass Plum section, can't seem to find it anywhere on the website) 

Ashley wore minimal jewelry due to the high neckline and the detail of the dress -- besides, girl's gotta show off her amazing diamond ring! I wore a simple Sonya Renee labradorite pendant from my favorite jewelry website, The Current Custom, and some awesome earrings I got at a jewelry party ages ago. Ashley has amazing decorating and party planning skills and seriously needs to open up her own business.

I've been on a bit of a dress kick lately, as that seems to be the area of my closet I have neglected lately. So while I was home I went over to Anthropologie with my mom and snagged a few things, one of them being this amazing dress:

(Photo cred:, Unconditional Osier dress, $168)

I love the design and detail of the dress, and let's be honest, it was made for redheads. I can't wait to wear this with opaque black tights and some pretty heels I've stowed away in my closet. So fall appropriate and SO cute.