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I’ve been taking R&R in Taipei and didn’t bring a laptop with me. After a week of detoxing from a computer, I itched to write real emails and keyboard shortcut my way through my inbox.

  • I’ve been indulging in super affordable tui na and acupuncture and will be sad to give them up once I return home.
  • I’ve come to the conclusion that most food in Taipei is good – no matter where you go. I’m not as diligent in exploring Taipei food options because there are family obligations and because I’m content.
  • Yelp just launched in Taiwan. It’s too new to be of substantial value though. Foursquare was in use.
  • I’ve been thinking of purging (and I’ve been talking about it for years but time has always been a deterrent) and browsed through Marie Kondo’s much talked about book. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten wiser about purchases so there is a lot less to buy in Hong Kong and Taipei. So far.
  • If you have any recommendations for items to buy from Taipei (or Narita airport), let me know! I always end up in Muji and Watson’s for hours. Even though I can read traditional Chinese, it is more tiring. Thus, it’s harder to find reviews on products.

I. Shopping

  • Get $10 off your first $50+ order at Peach and Lily!
  • I always stop at the original Sogo department store in Taipei and did a walkthrough of the first floor, which I usually do not do. They have a HUGE selection of Repetto ballet flats — I think it rivaled the flagship in Paris and definitely beat any US retail outlet. Retail pricing is hefty but there were a bunch of styles that were 40% off.
    • I tried on the new pointed ‘Brigitte’ style (currently 25% off through link). It runs TTS and I never realized before the bow could be tightened. If feels different than the Cendrillon ballet flat due to the lack of curve. It’s currently online at:
    • I also saw a black rubber version of the popular Cendrillon style — perfect for drizzly weather — but I can’t seem to find it online.
    • A Repetto store is rumored to be opening in Soho, NYC this year…
  • Petit Bateau private sale up to 70% off. 3 days left. Sizes are limited.
  • Two thumbs up to the Better Business Bureau! I’d purchased something from a popular home decor e-tailer. I got tired after waiting an year for a backorder and they didn’t respond to my emails. It was too far back for me to contest with my credit card. I filed a case on BBB, who then forwarded it to the local BBB. The e-tailer took immediate action. The e-tailer has similar bad reviews on BBB, so buyer beware.

II. Other

I am not categorizing for the sake of time. I will say that I really wish more RSS feeds didn’t force me to click to their site to read because now I have an exorbitant amount of saved items. I spent a good deal of time bookmarking instead of reading on my flight here. Or is there a way to easily bookmark into folders, on the iPhone, while offline?

III. Watching

  • I detest inefficient browsing. Enter Netflix God Mode. I usually add to my queue on the desktop. (PSFK)
  • How long it takes to binge watch a show. (via Apartment Therapy)
  • I’ve also been on a TV detox, but can’t wait to dig into:
    • Mad Men, last season (AMC)
    • Orphan Black, starting April 18 (BBC US)
    • Grimm, returns (NBC)
    • Call the Midwife, Mr. Selfridge, Wolf Hall (PBS)

I. Shopping

  • Chloe ballet flats. I encountered an amaaazing (70% off) sale that I couldn’t resist. Final sale? There’s always eBay or Amex return protection. While they didn’t have their classic scalloped ballet flat in a reasonable color or in my size, I did figure out my Chloe size. It’s true to size, folks, i.e. 38.0 = US 8. I’m keeping a pair of pointed ballet flats, but am not sure if I like pointy (sometimes I walk into things and the extra length does not help) or the excessive toe cleavage. As seen here, here, and similar here.
  • This little piggy went to the market => I’ve been keeping an eye on the custom Baggus for Crate and Barrel and love the current pig one.
  • My Clarisonic Plus of 5+ years died. The sad thing is that it was in storage for the last 2 years and is out of warranty (both manufacturer’s and extended credit card). Clarisonic offered a 25% off discount as a consolation, which I asked Nordstrom to pricematch. (Note: They said it was a one-time courtesy since it’s not in their pricematch policy to honor non-public discounts.) Although I would’ve preferred this QVC bundle, I value Nordstrom’s customer service much higher than a small discount. It’s still a pricey gadget especially one with a finite life, but if you compare it to a few spa services, it’s a smart investment. I still went for the higher end model, Clarisonic Smart Profile, since there are brushes for the body, and the less advertised, feet — all of the pedi brushes work with the Smart Profile!
  • TheRealReal is an online consignment store and has an alarming amount of new, recent season Clare Vivier bags at a really good price. There’s the spotted Sandrine and Madeleine Petit in British Tan or Royal Blue Croco. The starting price is 50% off – $25 first timer credit* – 20% off with code PICKMEUP.
  • Clare Vivier Margot Tote fans, Piperlime has the spotted tote on sale and Malia Mills has the solid totes on sale. It has a waxier finish than her other bags. I have a simple tote from her earlier collections and wish she had more simple designs.

II. Design

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Image source: Next Issue app

I got an iPad mini a few months ago as a gift and LOVE it. I’m a big magazine reader and over the years, I haven’t managed to zero out my backlog of magazines (subscriptions are pretty cheap). I heard of Next Issue a while back — it’s the Netflix of magazines — and since I now have a decent tablet to use it on, activated a trial subscription right before a trip. I’ve been loving it so far. In some cases, it’s better than print magazines!

Pros:

  • Usability and features. More magazines are going digital-friendly and have special features (e.g. Lucky). Also easy to click from a magazine to the internet.
  • Save it for later. You can easily bookmark/save articles (save as image).
  • Quick read. It’s easy to flip through a magazine to find an article for magazines you don’t regularly read. Here’s a list of all magazines on Next Issue.
  • Back issues. For almost all of the magazines I’ve read so far, there are back issues available for you to catch up.
  • Weightless. No paper to recycle or have to lug around! I usually bring a stack of mags with me on a flight and dump them along the way.
  • Publisher spam. No individual subscriptions to manage (which leads to less snail mail spam…).
  • Fresh off the press. When a magazine hits the newsstand, it hits Next Issue too — so I got to check out the John Legend/Chrissy Teigen feature in AD asap! (Too bad I didn’t know who she was last Feb when we were standing next to each other at JFK.)
  • Versatility. You can share your account across 5 devices.

Cons:

  • Content. I quit weekly gossip rags like US and People a long time and it’s too easy to indulge with Next Issue. (Need some self-control!)
  • Cost. At $9.99/14.99, it’s not the cheapest. Weekly magazines are a part of the premium package. But, if you’re an airport newsstand buyer, or travel and don’t want to be saddled down by paper magazines, I think this is pretty worth it.

If you’re interested in checking Next Issue out, get a free 60 day premium trial through my referral link. For a limited time, you can also opt for a shorter trial and 2000 AA miles.


Continuing on…

(Image source: Rifle Paper Co.)

I. Food

  • Dominique Ansel revealed his Cronut recipe in advance of his cookbook launch at the end of the month. Not that I have any desire to attempt it. It’s very labor intensive and I wasn’t enthralled with the Cronut I tried. P.S. His instagram has lots of food porn.

II. Fashion

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(Image source: The Animal Print Shop)

I. Food

  • I’ve been following David Lebovitz‘s pastry blog for ages. His new iPhone app just relaunched and is only 99 cents. I got it even though I don’t have my next trip planned. There is tons of food p0rn!
  • This recipe for the famous wings from Portland, Oregon’s Pok Pok look surprisingly easy.
  • If you frequent Starbucks, I hope you have a loyalty card (which can be created from any gift card). I don’t go as frequently as I used to, but if you do, I highly recommend buying a discounted gift card. I’ve been a happy customer of Raise.com. They are legit and Starbucks gift cards sell on average for 20% off. Though $80 or even $100 sounds like a lot, Starbucks fans know that that doesn’t last very long. Raise.com has a ton of other retailers as well so it’s a nice, indirect way to get a discount on something that never goes on sale. Why pay full price when you don’t have to? (Note: I’ve never sold any gift cards through them and can’t comment on that.) New customers get $5 off orders over $50.

II. Fashion

  • Gilt City has a free 30% coupon for J.Crew Factory through September 14. It works on top of existing promotions but does have some fine print. In general, I’m not a fan of outlet quality but have really liked some of the J.Crew incarnations at Factory. You can find reviews if you Google, but often the Factory version is more wearable (whether it’s longer, in easier to maintain material) and the price isn’t bad. These Baggus (already on sale) are excluded from the promotion but are still a great find! These jewelry trays are cute.
  • Love the new Clare Vivier spot design. Especially this Margot tote and this pouch. If she ever did a collab with Baggu…

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(Image source: Gothamist / Katie Sokoler)

Food

Fashion

Travel

Beauty

Reading

Other

(Image source: Vogue April 2012 issue)

Food

Fashion

Travel

Beauty

Other

I haven’t had time to churn out posts lately, so here is a brain dump.

Food

  • I came across this great deal on one of my travel blogs. If you have the British Airways Visa (which I got during the 110,000 mile promotion), get $50 credit at any Michelin starred restaurant in NYC. Up to $100 credit. $50 purchase minimum. Many one-starred restaurants are very reasonably priced (and delicious).
  • There are too many options in my neighborhood.
  • Butter Lane‘s strawberry cheesecake cupcake is delicious. I brought some to a friend’s friend’s potluck and wish I kept it for myself. Haha.
  • Really looking forward to the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop opening. It’ll be a bit longer
  • There is a new, boozy bakery, Jane’s Sweet Buns, on my block. Something about the exterior seems icky (and maybe I never got over the fact that De La Vega doesn’t live there anymore). I’ll get around to checking out the inside one of these days. Its owner has Death & Co. roots.

Fashion

  • I wish Alexander McQueen made more scarves without skulls on it.
  • I dislike princess sleeves or ruffled suit pieces. I can’t remember the last time I saw a tasteful interpretation of it, but I definitely don’t like it on grown women in a business setting.
  • How much exposed zipper can one take?
  • Gap needs to stop their (additional) 40% off sales. J.Crew’s additional 40% off didn’t help either.
  • Reminder to self: I am done with (buying) suits for a while.
  • Yoox.com/thecorner.com/theoutnet.com. So tempting, can’t help but look!