Prada Saffiano Lux Top Handle Review

Lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub.

People think that heartbeats are the sound of the heart "pumping" blood. Actually, it's the sound of the valves of the heart slamming shut every time blood travels through. As someone who grew up taught never to slam doors, this seems like an awful amount of unnecessary wear and tear on something that is, um, key to my existence and in short supply. Anyone else troubled by this?

I guess this is a stupid thing to fret about since (1) that's just the way hearts are designed, and (2) there's absolutely nothing I can do about it... But I'm neurotic and it plagues me all the same.

Now that I've given you something unsettling that you are powerless over, here's some comfort. Vastly less important but a bit easier on the eyes (and the neurotic mind) is the Prada Saffiano Lux Top Handle. (Was that an unexpected transition or what! #emotionalrollercoaster)

I've had this for almost a year now, and like my Cartier Love bracelet post, I really enjoy reviewing my items after a period of time... seeing if it really fit into my lifestyle the way I had hoped, how I used it and how it looks now. Today I'll discuss the most popular issues with the Prada Saffiano Lux line, compare the Double Zip Tote with my Top Handle, and end with my final thoughts. Here we go!

Le Pain Quotidien, Newport Beach

I'm not really good at working.

In that cliche way, I'm one of those moderately intelligent people who can get by with a crappy work ethic. In a way, it makes you feel cool 'cause everyone else is putting in so much honest effort while you watch vlogs on YouTube, but "getting by" is no way to live. Deep down, I know that real success (the kind that's measured by dollar signs, as opposed to worthless grades) requires hard work and dedication... so I'll be changing my tune soon enough.

Until I procure a better work ethic, one of my favorite things to do ever is to have a lazy brunch. It has to be both lazy and a brunch -- a breakfast won't do, because that's way too early. And I don't do power brunches. I do leisurely ones, ones where you can't decide whether to have coffee or iced tea so you have both; you can't decide between savory (egg omelette) or sweet (waffles with whipped cream)... so I usually take the combination platter.

Things I Hate to Have Said To Me

No, no, noOOooo! Things I hate to have said to me:

"Sorry, we ran out of boba"

If you don't know what boba is, don't worry we can fix this. Book a plane to California. Head down to Orange County, and search the Yelp app for "boba." Select the boba shop that has (1) the most amount of reviews (good ones have hundreds; hyped ones have thousands) and (2) at least 4 stars. Order a "milk-tea-with-boba-half-sweet."

Yes, I know "boba" can be explained as "tapioca" that you add to drinks like smoothies or milk tea. But in my experience, any shop that called its boba "tapioca" sucked. 

Beware, your future diet attempts will now forever be screwed. I drink this once a week... twice if I'm particularly stressed lol. Three times, if I had my way and my metabolism would cooperate.

"Could I have your notes?"

No. Sorry, I'm jaded from way too many people trying to use me for my notes, lol. I take the best notes ever. Hold the notes and you're probably physically closer to getting an A... read them and the class material will suddenly appear as one of the most natural, obvious truths in life. I may be wrong but I think the angels pull out their harps and the gates of heaven open, too.

So you need to earn this privilege, young grasshopper. Or treat me to a boba! :)

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray

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Oribe dry texturizing spray has gotten a lot of press over the last year or so. It took a while for me to buy into the hype and try it. At first spray I was like #NotBadObama... but now I'm dependent on the stuff!

What's just as cool as the product is the team behind Oribe. Did you know the co-CEOs Daniel Kaner and Tev Fingers were also behind Bumble and bumble?

The Getty Villa & Museum

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I live pretty close to Los Angeles, but I'm going to tell you the honest truth: I don't know half of the famous/beautiful/important places in LA.

In fact, for a couple years I actually lived in LA... a hop, skip, and jump from Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive, too.

But if you come to visit one day and your iPhone GPS fails you -- don't call me for directions, dude. I have no idea where you are. I might recognize the names of the streets you mention to me, but only in a "Oh! I've heard of that street before!" kind of way.

You see, I just can't deal with driving in LA. Actually, the driving itself isn't so bad -- one can get quite used to it, and start driving aggressively and angrily soon enough. The problem is the parking. Trying to parallel park (1) in the midst of hasty LA drivers, (2) on a narrow street and (3) into a tight spot to boot... is just wayyy too many stress factors for me.

So I didn't drive around much when I lived in LA... so I never visited the Getty Museum! I guess it's a funny irony, that we often book airplanes, hotels, and tours to see landmarks thousands of miles away... but the ones in our own city we neglect.

This Valentine's day my boyfriend did the driving! To be honest, 99% of the time if Jon and I are in a car together, he is the one driving. It might even be 100% -- I don't remember the last time I was the driver so perhaps it's never even happened yet lol. I mean, driving stresses me out and he's a car enthusiast for godssake, so I say let's not fight what feels natural! Lol.

The Getty Museum is well known... But my favorite part is actually the Getty Villa, which is separate and about a 5 minute drive away. The Villa is a more intimate look at the Getty collection, and very serene and pretty with its gorgeous gardens.

How To Eat at a Fancy Restaurant

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This is not a how-to post. 

I’ve spoken before about my difficult with eating elegantly: i.e., getting caviar stuck in my teeth.

Another gastronomic problem I’m often faced with is: exactly how do I eat a dish? Literally: sometimes it’s not obvious and you have to deal with lots of internal struggles like: Utensils or no? (Pizza divides the masses on this one… personally I eat my pizza with hands but my chicken wings with chopsticks lol.) If it’s not completely obvious what to do, I have to hesitantly wing it. 

Sometimes I get the guts to ask the waiter nonchalantly. Sometimes I prefer drink more wine, opting for liquid cour -- creativity.

La Folie is a gorgeous French restaurant in San Francisco. They’re very proud of their 1 Michelin star and go HAM with the fancy dishes.

De Beers & Diamond Marketing

1997 De Beers ad

Hi ladies!

How are you this Wednesday? Happily humming along at work, anticipating your plans for this Valentine's day weekend? Me too :)

The significance of Valentine's day is open to interpretation, of course. It can be the most romantic day of the year, or one of the most successful marketing campaigns ever by greeting-card companies and chocolatiers. I take the holiday "hype" with a grain of salt but do enjoy the opportunity to celebrate love :)

In any case, in honor of Valentine's day I thought I'd share a fun marketing tidbit on romance.

So, here's the question... what's the rule of thumb for how much a guy should spend on a diamond engagement ring? Three months' salary, right?

Says who!? As many are aware by now, those "rules of thumb" were old marketing campaigns by De Beers to "guide" the amount of money spent on diamonds. Initially De Beers set the price point at one-to-two months' salary. Since it was so successful, they later pushed for two months' salary, and then three months'. They are antiquated sayings now, but you can still find the old ads on Google.

Undies: User Error

OMG... Argh.

You know what happens to me a lot?

It's towards the end of the day... I just got home, and I'm changing out of my day clothes and into my pajamas...

And I realize -- OMG, my underwear is inside out!! I've been wearing it inside out all day!!!

-____-

Or it'll be: Jon and I are fooling around a little (hehe) and then -- suddenly he stops -- and says, "Did you know your underwear is inside out?"

-____-

The Cartier Love Bracelet

The Love bracelet, yellow gold with 4 diamonds

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Hehe. You know what's funny? When you can't make eye contact with the person you're speaking with.

You know what I'm talking about, right?

I mean, as a species, we humans are a good one, aren't we? We're advanced, reasonably intelligent, marginally civilized. And yet we can't seem to control our eyeballs during moments when it's reeeaally important that we do, for the sake of politeness!

Of course, your heart's in the right place: you honestly do want to make eye contact, you really do... But it just never works out. Our eyes just seem to automatically go to someone's...

  • Big breasts
  • Big pimple
  • Something stuck in their teeth (me... fml)

Or, the subject of today's post,

  • Jewelry

I guess some of these are gender specific. :)

For example, here's my personal anecdote of being distracted by jewelry: Every day, my high school calculus teacher used an overhead projector in class. And every day, the light from the projector bulb would catch in the diamond of her wedding ring... and sparkle ALL over the place. Every tiny movement of her hand as she wrote out math problems on the slides would reflect and refract light EVERYWHERE. Distracting, right!? In the end, I never did get to see the actual ring... but maybe it's a good thing -- the best things live in the imagination, right? ;)

Well, one of the parts of me that consistently gets a lot of attention is my left wrist: specifically, my Cartier Love bracelet.

A bracelet with the most romantic concept ever, the Love bracelet can be opened and closed only with its little gold screwdriver. A symbol of everlasting love, it's meant to be worn 24/7.

Jon surprised me (an understatement... I remember freaking out lol) with this for our 3rd Valentine's day ♥. Since Valentine's day is approaching again, and since the Love bracelet is a classic, romantic investment piece, I thought it might be nice to review my thoughts on it and provide information for those who are interested / prospective buyers. Before making big purchases I like to get super obsessed with research, photos, and reviews -- so hopefully this post will be helpful to those with the same type-A nature :). I'll discuss the most popular issues regarding the Love bracelet, and my conclusion at the end. Here we go!

Love & Letters

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Hi guys!

Lately I haven't been feeling so well. I have GERD, which basically means I have heartburn/acid reflux every day. It's perfectly common and manageable if you take care of yourself and take your medicine every day... Except that I'm exactly like an ornery ol' elderly person in that I don't like taking my medicine and try to get out of it whenever possible.

I paid for that dearly this weekend.

December

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Salutations! (Remember Charlotte's Web? :) )

December was so much fun! But now it's January... time to take a deep breath and get 2014 off to a running start, right? But before we put the Christmas tree away and take the decorations down (I admit it's hard for me to let go of the holiday season), d'you wanna see some photos?

A Brand & an Iconic Product: Kiehl's and their Midnight Recovery Concentrate

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Since we're all more than our blogs, Jenn and I decided to use our collective interests to investigate the hype around Kiehl's and one of their iconic products. Being not too unfamiliar with the odd science journal, Jenn put her research skills to work in analyzing the ingredients from Kiehl's iconic Midnight Recovery Concentrate. 

Perhaps you've guessed by now? I love marketing psychology! So I chose to investigate how Kiehl's creates hype around their brand and products. Is the story behind their brand gimmicky? What about their marketing?

Kiehl's Brand Story

Every brand has a story, whether it be based on truth or completely fictional (re: Victoria's Secret was a London-based lingerie line created by an English-French model... not!) Kiehl's story is true, and it's a good one: opening in 1851, the apothecary later became a celebrated pharmacy in New York's East Village. Any viable connection to medicine/dermatology/surgery/science is a gold mine for skincare, so it's expected Kiehl's would sing this story from the rooftops... and remind us of it at every opportunity. Products are described as "scientifically formulated," and staff wear white lab coats in store to suggest scientific authority. (A practice which I dislike -- Clinique does this too.)

Kiehl's takes a slightly different approach towards skincare than other luxury brands. The official party line is that Kiehl's products are from "naturally derived ingredients." OK, this may be true. However, it doesn't mean much as I'm sure carbon monoxide can be derived naturally and it wouldn't help the fact that asphyxiation follows. Meh. As an aside, Kiehl's customer base is surprisingly 30 - 50% male! Props to them for attracting a consumer base that normally scorns fancy skincare. Kiehl's does emphasize that their products are unisex. (Which if you think about it, has to be true of all fancy skincare... but it's unusual for the company itself to state it.)