outfit: dear creatures and mint

hanhgry.com | mint meow

hanhgry.com | mint meow
hanhgry.com | glitter oxford shoes hanhgry.com | mint meow

I’m a big animal person; I think part of it is because my parents never let me have any pets when I was growing up, not even a goldfish. In hindsight, that was probably a wise decision. I doubt I would have given a pet the care and consideration it deserved when I was eight years old.

Once I moved out on my own, I adopted two guinea pigs from a local guinea pig rescue called Orange County Cavy Haven. Yes, most people know that there are dog and cat rescues, but there are also small animal rescues! People are amazed to hear that there are whole organizations devoted to rescuing small pets like rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters. etc. Sadly, because these animals are marketed as “pocket pets” and a way to “teach” young kids responsibility, a lot of times the pets end up neglected, sick and dead. I’m strongly against using an animal to teach a child responsibility unless the entire family (parents AND kids) take care of the pet. A little kid can’t entirely take care of another living creature on his/her own, and it’s not fair to the pet to be subject to the whims of a child.

Anyway, stepping off my soapbox! My husband and I also have two cats. The two guinea pigs have passed away at this point, but I will always have animals in my life; they bring me a lot of joy. Maybe one day when I have a bigger place i’ll adopt a dog! (My current landlord doesn’t allow dogs, unfortunately.)

I like animals, so I’m always happy to find novelty animal prints. I tend to stay away from the more realistic, detailed prints and go for more illustrative prints. I thought the cat print on this dress was cute and minimal. It’s also super comfortable and warm! I don’t have a lot of thick sweater dresses like this because it’s never too cold here, but the day I took these photos was a little cool and overcast so I thought this fit the weather. I paired it with my glitter oxfords that I got from an American Apparel warehouse sale for only $15! I like the extra sparkle they give to any outfit.

 

Dress: Dear Creatures, old
Tights: Target
Shoes: American Apparel

outfit: butter and sky

hanhgry.com | outfit: butter and sky hanhgry.com | outfit: butter and sky

hanhgry.com | outfit: butter and sky - heart collar clips from Femme de Bloom hanhgry.com | outfit: butter and sky - bunny shoes from TUK

I’ve been sporadic with my posts and it’s mostly because I’m still trying to figure out my posting schedule with this blog. I would like to post more frequently but it’s all about making the time for it. I wear pretty cute outfits most days (at least I think I do!) but in the mornings after I get dressed, I’m usually rushing to catch the train to work, so there’s no time to take photos. I do most of my outfit photos on the weekend when I have more time (and daylight hours) as well as my husband to help me take photos.

I had a very fun Christmas visiting family and friends back on the East Coast but I kept thinking about how I hadn’t posted in a while. I want to work on this and develop the blog into something I’m really proud of, and obviously it’s not quite there yet.

Even though Peter Pan collars may seem childish to some, I really adore them. The roundness makes for a cuter collar shape! It adds a little whimsy instead of a pointy, starched collar. I’m always on the lookout for cute shirts and I’ve found that the kids’ section oftentimes has cuter stuff than stuff for adults! This shirt is from GapKids, and I matched the collar with my light blue bunny shaped TUK flats from ModCloth.

Outfit details:

Shirt: GapKids
Skirt: American Apparel, old
Tights: Forever21, old
Shoes: TUK from ModCloth (old, but similar ones here)
Collar clips: Femme de Bloom

 

outfit: it’s beginning to look a lot like a retrolicious Christmas

hanhgry.com | it's beginning to look a lot like christmas hanhgry.com | it's beginning to look a lot like christmashanhgry.com | it's beginning to look a lot like christmas
hanhgry.com | it's beginning to look a lot like christmashanhgry.com | it's beginning to look a lot like christmas

I really enjoy Christmas, despite not being religious at all. I actually grew up in a Buddhist family, but we celebrated Christmas because it was the “American” thing to do. My parents would put up a fake Christmas tree and hang lights and garlands on the front of our house. One of my favorite childhood memories comes from the year my mom and I had a craft day and made a bunch of felt ornaments and used paint pens to decorate blank glass bulb ornaments for the tree. My mom still puts those DIY ornaments on the tree (they must be about 20 years old at this point).

It feels a little weird to me to celebrate Christmas in an area that is so warm all year round. Even after living in Los Angeles for over six years, I still expect cold and snow around Christmas time. Oh well, I’ll make myself a frozen hot chocolate instead and just think minty, snowy thoughts.

Ross took these photos of me at Pasadena City Hall, where they have a giant Christmas tree display in the rotunda. Pasadena City Hall is a gorgeous building with a beautiful courtyard with rose bushes. It’s a very popular place for wedding/engagement photoshoots. I work nearby and sometimes take a nice stroll on the grounds during my lunch break, and I’m pretty sure I’ve accidentally ended up in some wedding party photos. It was also used as the city hall for Pawnee in the tv show Parks and Rec.

The dress is from the brand Retrolicious, which is known for novelty prints and retro-inspired designs. I went to the Retrolicious sample sale this past weekend (you can see my haul on my Instagram) and was determined to get some Christmas/holiday-themed dresses. The dresses were around $40 (and they normally are $80-$100) so I couldn’t resist. I have a few other Christmas dresses from the Retrolicious sale that will be featured soon on the blog.

This particular dress is light pink with a whimsical Christmas candy print- candy canes, ribbon candy, peppermint swirls, gumdrops, lollipops, and more. I thought it was adorable, especially with the heart cut-out on the back. I paired it with a mint sweater and my favorite pink oxfords. Yes, even in a season known for rich, deep jewel tones, I still wear pastels!

Dress: Retrolicious (I was told that this was a production sample, so unfortunately it’s not available for purchase anywhere as it never went into production)
Cardigan: old, Nordstrom
Shoes: old, Jeffrey Campbell
Headband: old, Forever21

outfit: pretty in pink

hanhgry.com | pretty in pink

hanhgry.com | pretty in pink

hanhgry.com | pretty in pink

hanhgry.com | pretty in pink

You can probably tell but I adore colors, especially pastel shades. I looked through my closet recently and counted 3 pink skirts and 5 pairs of pink shoes. I wasn’t a big fan of pink growing up (I preferred blue) but somehow as an adult I ended up with a bunch of pink clothing and accessories.

I don’t usually wear black unless it’s an accessory like tights or leggings. But sometimes I do like the neutrality of black in my outfits because I can’t be a pastel rainbow all the time. This particular outfit consists of a black sweater and one of my favorite skirts from ModCloth. I love the pale pink color and it instantly makes an outfit feel more like something you would wear for a special occasion, even if I’m wearing just a plain t-shirt with it. The sweater is from the label Dear Creatures, and I got it at a sample sale this past summer, which you can read about here.

Do you guys have a favorite color you tend to wear a lot?
Sweater: old, Dear Creatures
Skirt: ModCloth
Tights: old, Forever21
Shoes: Bait Footwear

wanderlust creamery: ice cream inspired by travel

hanhgry.com | Wanderlust Creamery storefront

hanhgry.com | Wanderlust Creamery ice cream case

Ross and I are always up for trying new ice cream. We recently went to a new gourmet ice cream place way up in the Valley (in Tarzana, to be precise) called Wanderlust Creamery. I found them through their Instagram account and their unique ice cream flavors based on different regions of the world sounded really delicious. Also, they’re one of the few places I’ve seen that offers different flavored waffle cones besides the traditional waffle cones most places have. Green tea waffle cone?! Sounds great.

The parking lot was crowded but there is plenty of street parking as well. The line was long but it had only been open a few weeks when we went. I think this part of LA doesn’t have many upscale, gourmet ice cream/dessert shops compared to say, central or West LA so a place like this is in very much in demand in the Valley.

You can see the menu on their website and they rotate flavors. They also have a ton of different toppings that they make in house. It’s not just sprinkles and whipped cream. They have honey boba, homemade strawberry shortcake crumble, pandan flavored rice crispies, and so much more.

I got two scoops, one of Pretzel + Rúgbrauð and one scoop of Sticky Rice + Mango, in a brown butter vanilla waffle cone, with strawberry shortcake crumble.

hanhgry.com | Wanderlust Creamery - sticky rice+mango and pretzel+rugbrauo scoops

Pretzel + Rúgbrauð (bottom scoop): This was incredibly good, with a satisfying mix of textures. I am a big fan of ice cream with chunks or mix-ins (cookie dough, fruit chunks, you get the idea). It was reminded me of a salted caramel pretzel flavor I’ve had from other ice cream shops. The ice cream base itself was smooth and creamy, with liberal amounts of salty, crunchy pretzel bits. It also had caramelized crumbles of rúgbrauð, which is a type of Icelandic rye bread. The rúgbrauð crumble was really good and makes me want to try eating the actual bread. The ice cream base was not too sweet, but had a subtle saltiness that was accented by the pretzels and bread pieces.

Sticky Rice + Mango (vegan, top scoop): This was more straight forward. It’s based on a dessert you can get in almost any Thai restaurant. There was a mango swirl in the ice cream and it tasted like fresh mango puree, but I wish it had more mango in it instead of being mostly sweet cream with a few mango swirls. It was still really tasty though.

The waffle cone was freshly made (I watched them make the cones!) and it had a stronger depth of vanilla flavor than regular waffle cones. The strawberry shortcake crumble tasted just like the coating from the classic Good Humor strawberry shortcake ice cream bars (which I LOVE).

While Wanderlust Creamery is too far for me to indulge in regularly (it was about a 35 minute drive with no traffic), if I’m ever up in that part of the Valley, I would definitely come back again.

Prices: $4 single scoop, $6 double scoop. Toppings $1 each

Wanderlust Creamery
18511 Ventura Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 91356

Phone: (818) 774 – 9888

Hours:
Sun – Thurs: 12PM to 11PM
Fri – Sat: 12PM to 12AM

outfit: feathers and hair

hanhgry.com | donut purse

hanhgry.com | feathers and wind

hanhgry.com | feathers and wind

hanhgry.com | lotus flowers

I never really thought much about the phrase “bad hair day” until recently. My hair has been driving me crazy because for the past few months I’ve been growing out my pixie cut and it was getting unruly and hard to handle. I seriously have no idea how people have the patience to grow out their hair.I had two not very good haircuts at Rudy’s Barbershop in the past 3 months instead of at my usual salon and after the second haircut, I had enough. I took some  scissors and bluntly cut my bangs, which results in the mess you see in these photos.

These pictures were taken a few weeks ago, and I debated putting them up because I was really unhappy with my hair at the time. It’s weird how much something like that can affect your perception of yourself. I could put on a cute outfit but if my hair didn’t look right, I didn’t feel great or want to take any pictures.

Finally a few days ago I went back to my regular salon (Foxtail Salon in Silver Lake – love them!) and asked for my usual pixie cut, and it feels and looks so much better. I used to have super long hair throughout my childhood and in college I cut it short, and have kept it short ever since (well, with the exception of these past few months).

So even though I wasn’t too happy with my hair in these photos, I wanted to put them up because life isn’t all sunshine and perfection and I’d like the blog to document not just the perfect moments, including the bad hair days.

Shirt: old, Old Navy
Skirt: old, Darling, via ModCloth
Shoes: Ione heels from Bait Footwear via ModCloth
Bag: GoJane (you can find it here as well)

Honey & Butter: adorable and delicious macarons

I enjoy baking and consider myself to be pretty good at it. Not an expert by any means, but I can make a decent batch of cookies/cake/brownies, etc. from scratch. One baked good that has eluded me for quite some time is the finicky French macaron. I’ve attempted them several times and only once did I make a good batch with the perfect little feet, rounded dome and chewy interior.

I remember seeing them for the first time a couple years ago when I moved to LA and ate at Bottega Louie, a French/American restaurant with a gorgeous patisserie section. (A review on BL coming up eventually in the blog). Bottega Louie displays them in a giant rainbow of colors, and it’s tempting to get every single flavor. Their macarons are probably the most Instagram-ed food item in Los Angeles. Since then I’ve tried macarons from quite a few places, some of which were disappointing and others that are amazing.

There’s a macaron shop called Honey & Butter that is well known for their creatively decorated macarons. I’ve been following their Instagram account for a while now and am in awe of their decorating skills because regular macarons are hard enough to make, but to make them in different shapes and to look like characters from various TV shows and movies?! Their character macarons are insanely popular and usually sell out within an hour of opening. But they also sell regular macarons as well.

They’re located in Costa Mesa in a small shopping center called The Lab, which is about an hour away. I so rarely go down to Orange County, but I decided I absolutely had to go when they announced one of their themes was Sailor Moon, a Japanese cartoon show dubbed into English that I loved as a kid.

hanhgry.com | Honey & Butter macarons

Ross and I got there 30 minutes before opening and there were already about a dozen people in line ahead of us. Did I mention it was also 90 degrees outside? I really hoped the macarons tasted as good as they looked.

hanhgry.com | Honey & Butter macarons

They had so many flavors! There’s another whole shelf below the ones pictured above with more flavors and it was so hard to decide which ones to try, but I got a pack of 6 in a gift box and 5 Sailor Moon-themed macarons.

hanhgry.com | Honey & Butter macarons on a plate

hanhgry.com | Honey & Butter macarons on a plate

Look how smooth the shells are! They use really high quality, finely ground almond flour.

What I loved about these macarons was the consistency in the texture. All the flavors had the right chewy, soft texture for the shells. No hollows or holes. And they lasted several days! I bought the macarons on Sunday and stored them in the fridge. I ate the last of them on Thursday and it was still nice and chewy. I’ve tried other macarons that get really dry and hollow the day after I buy them.

Verdict: I highly recommend Honey & Butter macarons; these are some of the best I’ve had and I’ve even tried the gold standard (Laduree) but what I love is the creativity of their designs and the unique flavors!

 

Flavor reviews:

Strawberry Lemonade (pink and yellow shells): I could taste real strawberries in the filling. It tasted true to the flavor name; the buttercream had a nice balance of tart from the lemon and sweet from the strawberries.

Churro (white and pink shells): Top shell was sprinkled with cinnamon sugar mixture. Buttercream filling had cinnamon sugar flavor to it. Tasted like churros, but not like cinnamon buns– cinnamon bun/roll flavored stuff tends to taste really cinnamon-y and creamy, but this tasted like straight cinnamon sugar, so more true to churros.

Milk and honey (pure white): a light vanilla taste with a hint of honey. Not too sweet.

Matcha (white shells): The matcha green tea buttercream was perfect– it wasn’t bitter the way matcha can be sometimes and had a light floral note to it.

Sea salt caramel (robin’s egg blue shells): So some places that do a salted caramel macaron have a caramel buttercream, others do a caramel filling. H&B uses a salted caramel buttercream and it was sooo good.

French Toast Crunch (white and robin’s egg blue shells): This was so cute with the French Toast Crunch cereal pieces, I had to get it. It tasted kind of similar to the churro macaron, but not as strong a cinnamon flavor.

hanhgry.com | Sailor Moon themed macarons from Honey & Butter

Luna (chocolate cat): Rich chocolate ganache filling, almost fudge-like in consistency. I don’t love chocolate, I like it but usually prefer other flavors but this was really, really good. I wanted another one.

Artemis (white cat): This had a taro buttercream filling. Taro is a very common ingredient used in Asian desserts; it’s a root vegetable similar to a potato or yam. This tasted like straight up pureed taro in buttercream.

Sailor Pluto: I honestly don’t remember what flavor the filling was but I did wolf it down, so I must have liked it!

Sailor Uranus: Enchanted Berries (raspberry and strawberry). I really enjoyed the filling for this macaron because I don’t really like raspberry on its own, but combining it with strawberry

Sailor Saturn: Vanilla buttercream was smooth and sweet.

hanhgry.com | me at Honey & Butter macarons

Me sitting in front of the Airstream trailer where Honey & Butter is located!
Shirt: American Eagle Outfitters
Skirt: old, Modcloth
Shoes: old, Bait Footwear

 

Honey & Butter
2930 Bristol Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Hours:
Monday: Closed
Tuesday-Sunday: 12PM- until SOLD OUT

Prices:
Regular: $2
Character: $2.50-$3

hanhgry.com | soft serve cone with sprinkles from Dilly's Corner

small town & good eats: doylestown

My husband and I both grew up on the East Coast (suburbs of Philadelphia for him, suburbs of Washington, DC for me). We live in Los Angeles now but go back home several times a year. We’re at the age now where everyone we know is getting married, so the visits home have been more frequent the past few years for all the weddings.

A few weekends ago we flew back to Ross’s hometown of Doylestown, a sleepy and picturesque suburb of Philadelphia, for his friend’s wedding. Doylestown is very idyllic and much more rural than from where I grew up. It’s a very old town with beautiful homes (some from the 18th and 19th centuries), with a cute downtown area with lots of restaurants.

(more…)

outfit: butterflies, birds, and churros

hanhgry.com | by the lake hanhgry.com | by the lake hanhgry.com | churro vendor at the lake hanhgry.com | fresh churros

hanhgry.com | fresh churros being friedhanhgry.com | churros with LA skyline

 

hanhgry.com | eating freshly fried churros!

One of the things I love most about my adopted city is street food. Street vending is technically illegal in Los Angeles, but you wouldn’t know it walking around Echo Park. There are many food vendors at the lake, especially on the weekends when lots of people are around. There are vendors selling elote (Mexican corn on the cob), pupusas, bacon wrapped hot dogs, and CHURROS.

There used to be a churro truck parked a block away from our apartment called Salinas Churros. The truck was there nearly every day, frying up fresh churros and funnel cakes, and other fast, cheap eats like nachos or the slightly healthier fresas con crema (strawberries with a heavy hand of whipped cream topping). You could get 8 churros for $3 and the scent of sugary fried dough was intoxicating when you walked past the truck.

Unfortunately, the truck disappeared one day about 2 years ago and I haven’t seen it since. I miss seeing it around and getting a bag of piping hot churros on my way home from work. I thought my ultra-local source for churros was gone. But…

There’s a new churro cart at the lake! Ross and I were taking a some outfit photos and were walking to find a spot with good lighting when we saw the Churros Calientitos cart. What I liked was that they had a giant vat of oil frying up fresh churros. There have been other vendors that sold churros that were fried off-site and brought to the park, which isn’t as good because who wants to eat cold churros? Not me.

The churros are 3 for $1. We watched the churro vendor rotate the dough press and drop long pieces of batter into the oil. His partner then took the churros from the oil and rolled them a pan of cinnamon-sugar mixture and placed them in a bag for us. It was sooo good and after we ate the three, I wanted to get another order!

Shirt: old, Anthropologie
Skirt: old, ModCloth
Belt: old, ModCloth
Shoes: old, Nordstrom

outfit: lemonade at the lake

Have you ever felt like you were going full-speed ahead but there never seems to be enough time to do much of anything?

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of travel and starting my new job, so I didn’t have much time to work on the blog. I would get home from work, eat dinner, work on a few entries that have been in draft mode for a while, then go to bed. It seemed like I wasn’t getting any posts finished to the point where I was satisfied with them.

 

hanhgry.com | Dear Creatures dress
DSC_2728_sm

DSC_2733

hanhgry.com | shoes from Seychelles

DSC_2739_sm

DSC_2743_sm

 

I finally had some time over Labor Day weekend to take some outfit photos and work on a couple future entries and it felt good to work on my own creative stuff. My new job is going well, but that kind of design is so different and more standardized, so this blog and my freelance projects are my creative outlet.

I’d like to thank my husband Ross for humoring me and helping out with the various aspects of this blog, mainly taking photos of me and also always being game to eat at whatever restaurant I want to review. On the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, we decided to stay entirely local in our neighborhood. No driving anywhere! The nice thing about where we live is that it’s very walkable. There are tons of amenities, restaurants, etc. nearby that you can walk to easily, which is not what most people think of when they think of LA. In most people’s minds, LA is a very sprawly city where you need a car to do anything. A lot of the LA area is like that, but I’m grateful that I live in a part of the city with a cozier neighborhood feel. The weather was gorgeous, warm but not too hot. We walked over to the lake and took a bunch of photos in this dress that I bought at the Dear Creatures sample sale a few months ago but had not worn yet.

I really love colors and prints, and lemonade, so this Dear Creatures dress stood out to me. It’s also super comfortable and has pockets! I love dresses and skirts with pockets.

Dress: Dear Creatures
Belt: Forever 21
Shoes: old, Seychelles
Hair bow: old, ModCloth (similar bow here)

1 2 3 4 5 6