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(1) Baggu mint dot bags. So cute!

Image: Baggu

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Image source: Nordstrom

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…

View of the sunset, November 12

Sale Alerts

Promotions

Other

  • Lucky Magazine EIC, Eva Chen, shares her evening skincare routine [Lucky Magazine]
  • H&M puts cash registers in dressing rooms. Brilliant idea… have you seen their lines? [PSFK]
  • Gap piloting “Reserve” program that lets you hold items online to try on in-store [PSFK]
  • Fasting from the smartphone [Cup of Jo]
  • How to avoid office weight gain [Harvard Business Review]
  • Peter Som x the Cronut [Mouthing Off]
  • I dig cast iron pancakes [Mouthing Off]
  • Pamper your skin while you sleep [Refinery29]

Macarons from Pierre Herme Hong Kong

Sale Alerts

  • Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale – Save up to 40% off through 11/17 – No code needed. Tempted to get another pair of Nike Frees [link, link, link] but the stock is horrible. I’m in the market for good boots.
  • Caudalie – 20% off through 11/11 – Code FF2013. Everything by this French skincare brand is amazing. I especially love the Beauty Elixir, which has a pretty limited edition bottle, for long flights.
  • Sephora – 20% off through 11/11 for VIBs only – Code VIBTOPIA. This is the first year I’m not a VIB!
  • Beauty.com – 20% off through 11/8 – No code needed. Read the fine print.
  • Oh how J.Crew’s 25% off $100+ sale lingers.
  • Gap – 40% off through 11/11 for Gap/Old Navy/Banana Republic cardholders – Code CARD40. 30% off for non-cardholders with code GAPFRIENDS.

Promotions

Other

In no particular order:

A compilation of things worth mentioning.

About to read:

Eyeing:

Added to my RSS:

  • Oh Joy! // I have no idea how this “fell” out of my reader!
  • closetvisit // Step into the closets of the fashionable in L.A.
  • iwanttobeher // Former Lucky editor dissects the outfit of that chic lady you pass on the street.
  • matchbook // New, pretty, free monthly lifestyle e-magazine. (And if you don’t already subscribe to Gwyneth Paltrow’s weekly GOOP newsletter, I highly recommend it. I love the recent feature on the French pharmacy.)