February 2015Creme de la Chic: February 2015

Blossom beautifully

2.28.2015

fashion blogger tulips
fashion blogger tulips
fashion blogger
tulips
Man-repelling palazzo pants, borrowed Ikea fleece throws, salt & vinegar twirl crisps and a muffled buzz of Netflix streaming in the background. What more do you need in life? 
Oh, and the rainy gloomy nights when droplets splatter rhythmically like shooting stars across windows.

After a free-spirited night consisting of pub crawl hopping and impromptu but heavily-planned escapades by Oxfordians to clubs with new amigos and an old high school friend, I've been feeling like a lazy day is much overdue. My key word: Balance. Sometimes a night of carelessly jumping up and down to Cascada's Everytime We Touch at a gay club night called "Kandy" unthinkably and justifiably calls for droning out to my reliable lovers: Netflix and blogging. 

My night was undeniably cleansing in terms of just dancing and letting out all that pent-up stress over my 4 essays and 2 presentations due prior to my adventures to Paris soon (oui! oui!) So let me just break down some of my mental notes and thoughts on my night & my first encounter/judgement of the oh-so classy and posh Oxford: (BuzzFeed-esque style)

+ (On the coach bus over here): I should've brought my necessary & emergency go-to granola bars. I guess nibbling on these medically "tasty" Tums will have to do the trick. Oh god, nevermind.

+ (@ Oxford): NO! I've been craving some Chicken Tikka (I'm so London, I know--jk) and all of these Indian restaurants close at 4 & 5 pm! Why, Curry heavens!? I guess Domino's Buy 1, Get 1 Free will be good enough. Classic.

(@ Chequers Pub): Hm.. Should I go fancy or safe? Eh, I'll stick to a pint of my current favorite: cider + black. Ooo, yay for outdoor heaters!

+ (@Mitre Pub): Yes, I can proudly show you my ID (being legal >) Double shot of Malibu and a splash of passion fruit, please! Aloha. Oops, forgot I'm in an Oxford pub. Back to reality.

+ (in the line queue for Warehouse club): Time to ninja-like squeeze through this queue while getting my face physically smashed in between these tall-ass dudes.

+ (@ Warehouse): I love when the lights start flickering like that! Strobing? Strobeing? Whatever, time to dance my butt off like noone's watching. Ow, definitely got jabbed in the eyeball by Kat's elbow.

+ (in the queue for Plush club): Okay group of overly drunk uni kids, I know you're in Love with the Coco. Hmm...I wonder what my first gay club experience will be like? Definitely one of those things I need to try at least once. When in Rome--Oxford!

+ (@ Plush): Up to the booth we go! Definitely feeling this Taoi Cruz remix and the 1 pound Jaegerbombs. Let me just awkwardly laugh off this way too close-for-comfort guy peacocking his dance skills. I'd like to think my choice of words is clever. 
OMG! CASCADA!? Where have you been! Time for some last-minute dancing before I crash on my face in a deep hibernation.

I've never really been much of a club/pub person specifically because I'm not into that scene and I'd rather have a fun girls night in binge-watching Friends and stuffing Nutella-covered anything into my mouth. But I'm legal and dancing with friends to music that makes me channel my inner Britney Spears? Always. I'd like to hope my dancing is getting less cringey to watch but honestly, if I'm feeling the vibes I will break out my stanky leg with no regrets.





keep moving forward

2.24.2015

breakup love relationships

Time heals all. We all know that expression. Even when I'm listening to Leona Lewis' "Better in Time",  I'm soulfully singing it like Beyonce in the shower (well, not exactly like "Queen B") but I'm only half-heartedly singing it. Okay, you probably don't want to know about my random jumbles of thought while I sing in the shower. But my point is, it's hard to genuinely understand the gravity of this common go-to phrase when you're focused on the present. Ugh, I'm going to be incredibly cliché and bring up another one of these proverbs that we all know and love: Keep Moving Forward.

P.S. Bear in mind my stream of consciousness writing. You know that shirt "I literally do not care at all". I'm trying to spiritually wear that shirt whenever I'm blogging so I can feel more comfortable with being more open. I'm a Scorpio, what can I say? (Oh, the irony).

Back to reality. I remember in high school during the first week of our junior year, kids were complaining and whining while slumping towards AP English class about their first essay topic. We all have that insanely serious professor that looks like a thumb and will literally assign a 300-page theoretical book to thoroughly annotate by the next class. This was Mr.V. I never had him but his first essay question to scare his students sh+itless was "What is more important. The future or the present?". The past was completely out of the question.

Yes, the past shapes our identity and transforms us in ways unimaginable and even in an unconscious way. But it's human nature to constantly focus on reinventing ourselves--whether it's through a new hairstyle with beet-colored highlights or through an RA-run meditation in your dorm's screening room. But why? 

We go through persistent transitions to constantly reinvent ourselves in order to obtain a future self that fits the mold of what we aspire to be. You can't necessarily achieve that without focusing on the present. (I'm getting incredibly "spiritual" and intense, I know.) I just think that in light of recent events, it's hard to focus on improving yourself and looking ahead when all you have is now. But maybe that's a good thing. 

Hitting that end goal and proudly filling up your lungs with an enormous breath is cathartic. To experience those small moments of almost-relapses of randomly bursting into uncontrollable tears of laughter or sadness at times makes it all the more empowering. So many quotes of cheesy lines are just flooding my brain right now. I blame my spontaneous splurge in downloading every "Daily Quote" App on my phone. I mean, whatever works for you, right?

It may be painful, exciting, exhausting, but I think enjoying those moments or just acknowledging that you're changing with every moment is important because you'll really grow as a person and live a more realistic, un-sheltered raw form of life. Ignorance isn't always bliss. It just prevents you from becoming a stronger person and there's no way to live life without truly enjoying everything it throws at you--even if it happens to feel more like a truck slammed into your body. 

NAMASTE

2.21.2015

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir                                                                                                                                               3 Savile Row
I have a confession to get off my chest.

I used to take my blog very seriously. I'm not saying I had ambitions of becoming the next "Aw-Mee" Song or Chiara Ferragni, but I've always been incredibly nitpicky over every little square inch of my blog as if I was going to apply it to some Blogger Award competition. With that being said, I've been progressively inching towards using my blog as what it's naturally supposed to be meant for: to legit just be a source of my random rants and meaningless stream of consciousness for future bookkeeping and evidence for how weird I am. Call it my cyber scrapbook of weirdness enclosed in a handy dandy & legit-sounding .com website. 

Also, screw the whole"fashion" blog genre I am narrowing myself to. I honestly doubt anyone really reads my blog to its full extent so I guess today marks my journey towards becoming more of a "lifestyle" blog---which it pretty much was before. I guess I just like being dramatic and delineating clear demarcations of what I consider to be black or white. I blame my acute OCD. 

Moving on. To update my future self about the current and oh-so interesting happenings of the daily life of Kelly Han, I've decided to start off with something really important for me (and immensely personal). Just like the beginning of this (paragraph?), I'm moving on. Moving on with what, exactly? My first relationship/love/whatever you want to call it. Yes, I'm talking about that monumental moment that everyone goes through as a rite-of-passage of some sorts. You really get to know who loves and cares for you at a time of loneliness and confusion. I truly believe that every girl going through a breakup feels regret, guilt, anxiety, feelings that they were never good enough or sexy enough or beautiful, even. Maybe it's my upbringing and my family status of being 98% women, but I don't regret anything or feel like I'm not good enough. I never really relied on another human being, nonetheless a man, to make me feel worthy enough or beautiful enough. I'm slowly getting to call myself a beautiful person but that's going to be on my terms & my terms only.

When I mean my family is 98% women, I mean that my mom's side is mainly all women and they're all divorced, incredibly happy on their own, and so, so strong. Bring on the tiniest violin and the cheesy lines but I'm grateful to be in an environment of independence and resiliency that doesn't require happiness from a man. I may have needed some tear-inducing 8tracks playlists featuring Kelly Clarkson, Aly & AJ (Potential Breakup Song, anyone?), and Leona Lewis with excessive tags titled: girl power and getting over it. But I'm actually really excited in becoming a stronger, more experienced woman and relying on my own and focusing on my goals no matter how silly or trivial they are---because I can! I got to go to the biggest freaking Hindu temple outside India for goodness sakes!

Something that really stuck to me during this spontaneous trip today was the word: mandir. Man = mind, dir= still. Anxiously stepping up the stairs into a grand prayer space of hand-carved marble of the most intricate designs was entrancing, to say the least. It truly was as if time just stopped and I felt this inner peace and sanctuary within my jumbled mind these past few days. Looking straight up and seeing 16 tiers of embellished and excessively ornate flowers, motifs, and dancing Shivas made my heart jump but with a flood of tranquility.

The Ganesha and the praising tortoise was what really resonated with me of all the other statues encased in gold, dimly lit rooms sporadically spread throughout the marble ritual room. Genuine goals of demolishing traces of jealousy, materialism, and egos in such a continuously superficial world is so crucial for happiness and peace. Just like the tortoise, I felt like I was hiding in a miniscule, personal space away from the evils and sadness of my life and the world and entering introspection and a feeling of one-ness and control.

I guess that's it for my long-ass biography--for today. Namaste.


P.S. For the random Savile Row image, after traversing through London for a Fashion walking tour, we came across this dapper building that happens to be an Abercrombie & Fitch now. Not very interesting, but when you think about how it was once the last place the Beatles played their concert on the rooftop, you feel the utter need to chuck a random beer bottle laying on the streets in front of you. Well, maybe that's aggressive but there was a Riot about it. (Case in point: a poster saying "Fitch off, Abercrombie (please)).

instagram diaries

2.16.2015



1. Okay. The hype over Valentines Day is as disappointing and angering as the hype surrounding Fifty Shades of Grey. I'm almost as infuriated as the feminists popping a forehead vein in front of the opening nights for the pornographic film they call a steamy love drama. My roommate ended up being my valentines as we combined our beds together (so much more room for activities!) and chomped on dark chocolate coated Digestives and chugged our Rosé while watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Thank you Primark for our rose string lights which made our night look that much more Pinterest-y. We also got some pub food (chicken pot pie with mash) with our Spring break group which made my stomach happy.

2. Call me a "flaneur"--something I picked up in my uni reading--aka, I'm actually learning! After mindlessly wandering around in typical London rainy weather, we passed by some incredibly picturesque buildings and red-bricked flats! Oh, & we got to ride the London Eye! Check that off my bucketlist. Who knew it was 20 something pounds to ride it! Student discounts need to be a thing...everywhere. I think I'll make a campaign and start protesting outside SOAS while I get my free curry from the Hare Krishnas.

3. CEREAL KILLER CAFE. It's bloody delicious and it's so good, it kills. Alright, that's it for me and my punny lines. Got that all out of my system. What did I get? The Unicorn poop, obviously. Fluff, pastel pink cookie crumbles, and rice krispies? God knows that if my mom fed me this years ago, I'd become a fluff. I'd also recommend the Chocopotamus with it's own floating hippopotamus floating wafer (how cute!). I was so tempted not to channel my klepto and nab the Disney Princesses Limited Edition cereal box or the "Breakfast with Barbie" cereal box. I felt like a little kid ditching my field trip to Spitalfields quietly munching on cereal while watching 90's tv shows (Clarissa Explains It All) in a retro 80's inspired wallpaper kitchen.


4.  Getting my tourist mode on as I creepily gaze into isolated islands of bakery shops in Covent Garden. Even though this isn't exactly a London local patisserie or anything like that (it's Laduree, don't laugh at me), I couldn't resist drooling over the pastels and that delicious staircase. I just imagined myself living inside as I made a grand entrance down the stairs for my Cinderella moment and inelegantly stuffed as many macarons and bite-size pastries as I could into my mouth. Keepin it classy at all times. #KappaKlassy

5. I promised myself I wouldn't buy myself flowers but there's not really any point of dreaming a London boy would spontaneously pull out a bouquet of peonies from nowhere just for me. Obviously it wouldn't happen because it's not peony season--that's the only reason, after all (me being sarcastic, guys).

6. High Tea/ Afternoon Tea. Tea at the Ritz. For all of you who read my All Tea, No Shade post, you'll pretty much have an idea of how belly-busting but scrumdiddlyumptious my first encounter was. I'm still dreaming of those luscious scones...My next afternoon tea = at Harrods, Mad Hatter, or BB Bakery. I'm going to just stop there before London thinks there's an earthquake which is actually just my stomach rumbling like no other.

be my valentine?

2.13.2015


Valentines Day: A single day permeating with ubiquitous and blatantly overt "love" (for some) or the hurricane of cliché "Forever alone" memes.

Valentines Day, Galentines Day, S.A.D (Single Awareness Day)---whatever you call it, I for one believe that February 14th should be dedicated to showing even more love not just for your SO or eye candy, but for pretty much anyone you love! Be it your pudgy lump you call your pet corgi or your childish twenty-something year old sister who only comes over when you text her that there's a High School Musical marathon (not even joking, that's my sister---who's 10 years older than me).

Call me the Gandhi of Valentines Day.

Maybe I'm biased. Flashbacks of my elementary professors teachers (uni habits) blasting lovey dovey lullabies as us toddlers messily paste 50 shades of pink and red construction paper with sequined heart confetti. We can all remember those long lists of all the students names in your class for our Rite Aid Spongebob or Hello Kitty themed love letters that come in bulk boxes. (And the extra lumpy, heart doodles for crush #12 that you had that year)

Don't even get me riled up on the garden of flowers that every grocery store within the 5-mile radius is brimming with. Case in point: my recent tulip & anemone purchase at the Columbia flower market near Spitallfields. I may have chubby, sausage fingers but they're anything but green--I'll somehow manage to cause any flower to instantly wither away at a snap of my fingers like it's my secret superpower.

Oh yeah. There's one thing I love more than flowers--chocolate. Cue the crazy fish man in Spongebob's earlier prime time during the 00's. This Valentines Day you'll catch me channeling my inner Bruce from Matilda while I demolish that triple fudge cake. I definitely don't need a vile Ms. Trenchbull to force me to scarf that beast down. But to keep my fingers and my face from being slathered in chocolate yumminess, I caved and got some oh so classy Pink Marc De Champagne Truffles. Now all I need is some Jo Malone, peony and blush suede cologne and a whole bottle of rosé in an edible gold, glitter rimmed flute. Oh, and obviously a generous dose of rom com's to cure my love sickness. I'm most likely going to be replaying 500 Days of Summer while I guitlessly and maniacally sob into a tub of chocolates. 

Anyone else internally heartbroken and throwing a Hulk fit over Joseph Gordon Levitt's recent marriage? I know I am. So in the words of Tom (a.k.a. Joseph) "Ain't love Grand?".

(or for the people who don't think so, just remember Tom's Valentines Day card "Roses are red, violets are blue..._______NSFW_______" ;)

All Tea, No Shade

2.07.2015




What is the quintessential meal to steal your heart in London? Easy. It's afternoon tea.

"The way to my heart is through my stomach".Whoever conjured this brilliantly accurate proverb was probably referring to food fanatics like me. Traveling = devouring everything within arms reach and subsequently and justifyingly walking it off. (Thanks Citymapper for including the calories I burn when walking to my destinations) No wonder why Europeans tend to stay skinny compared to us, "Umericans" who will literally drive down one block.

After excavating and endlessly thumbing through neverending Yelp reviews at 2am, I'd like to say I've become the master of afternoon teas in the London area--well, for a novice American tourist, that is. Decrypting sketchy Yelp reviews and abandoning my refined list of £ - ££ price list miraculously landed me to Bond & Brook.

Once Jeremy, Dionna and I maneuvered through the congested streets of Oxford Circus like Pac-man after a brisk escapade to probably THE biggest Topshop of mankind, we discovered the tucked away restaurant at Fendwick. Fendwick = a hybrid of Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue. Sidenote: Oxford street is pretty much the hub of tourists, so if you're already anxiety-prone and crowd-avoidant, this ain't the place to visit. Call it the Times Square of New York. (I'm making a lot of New York comparisons, I know). 

Random note: The Oxford Circus Topshop even has Lola's Cupcakes, a Boba Bubble Tea mini shop, and even a Tattoo & Piercing floor. Ya know, because why not get some high-waisted faded denim and a jumble of cartilage piercings to complete that low-key hipster look? *Sarcasm mode in full effect*

After attempting to maturely and importantly state my last name for my reserved table, we were all seated alongside champagne bottles and a bookcase of fashion coffee books. Listen, you know when a place is fancy if the floors are marble and the lamp looks like something straight out of a modern art museum. 

So what did I get for my first-ever, bucket-list afternoon tea? 
The Afternoon Tea á la Palace English Breakfast Tea, of course! (I only chose Palace because it sounds elegant. no shame.)
Freshly baked scones with "clotted" cream and homemade strawberry jam lovingly tucked inside a fabric blanket? Yes, please! *Cue the allusions to Tyra Banks ravenously inhaling slices of butter and steaming bread in Lifesize, the movie*

An array of delicate finger sandwiches and smoked salmon topped with caviar channeled my inner Marie Antoinette---minus the unsanitary, Marge Simpson-esque hair. I lost both my caviar and afternoon tea virginity so I'd like to think today was a pretty life-changing, eventful day when it comes to the daily life of Kelly Han and her cuisine endeavors. And the couture cakes? The name pretty much sums it up. 

Anyone that thinks afternoon tea is light, is probably a world professional competitive eater. Tip: don't even lick a crumb before tackling on afternoon tea. You will leave with a 3-hour food coma and a smug smile of sheer happiness because of how happy your soul & stomach will be. It's that filling. It was even worth the secretive snickers of the waitresses behind my back when my blogger mode was activated and I snapped "artsy" shots while my tea was continuously getting cold. Come on, we all do it. It's like the silence before the storm. The storm of destroying your food, that is.