A Horse is a Horse, of Course, of Course

Quality time with family, endless eating, exchange of sweets and delectable treats, and envelopes of money? All this can only mean one thing: Lunar New Year.

For those of you unfamiliar with this holiday, it is one of the most important Chinese celebrations, lasting 15 days. Each year is based on a 12-year cycle of the Chinese animal zodiac and 2014 is the year of the horse. Those born under this sign are energetic, independent, great communicators, and love to be in a crowd. Can I get a neigh?

There are a myriad of superstitious traditions that one must perform in preparation for and during the New Year. Homes are decorated with flowers and Chinese calligraphy posters. You must clean your house, get rid of stuff, cut your hair, and shower one last time before New Year’s Day. This is to ensure you get rid of bad luck that you’ve accumulated during the year by literally sweeping it out of the house. In contrast, on actual New Year’s Day, you don’t do any of those things, for fear of getting rid of good luck. The next 15 days generally involve a lot of family time; such paying visits to your relative’s homes, bearing gifts of fruits and treats. Married couples will give their unwed and usually younger family members red envelopes of money. It literally pays to be single – all the single ladies now put your hands up!

There is no horsing around when it comes to ringing in the New Year in style. It is customary to wear new clothes, as they symbolize a new beginning. Avoid wearing black, and instead choose red. Red is highly regarded as a lucky color, and is believed to ward off bad fortune. Add a dash of gold and you’re golden for the New Year.

Here’s to wishing you a wonderful and prosperous Year of the Horse – the animal that puts the “hay” in Gung Haaaaay Fat Choy!

Year of the Horse

Net Werk It

I recently attended a happy hour network event to mingle with other industry professionals over drinks. Half informal, half business professional, this occasion called for a fine line between looking fashionably casual and professionally boring.

The easiest way to pull this off is to isolate a single business professional piece. This can be a suit blazer, a pair of trousers, a suit skirt, or even a business dress. Then finesse that piece with more casual items and don’t forget to accessorize. The result is a perfect harmony of casual professionalism, with a dash of style.

I started with a navy pencil skirt as my building block, and paired it with a vintage eyelet blouse. With a little help from my rhinestone gecko, I incorporated some green into my outfit, and all it took me was 15 minutes. Now if only if I could save some money on my car insurance.

Looking sharp with my business card in one hand, I was ready to werk it. May I have a drink and a job with that?


Jones New York cardigan (similar) / vintage eyelet blouse (similar) / Banana Republic skirt (similar) / Old Navy gecko bracelet (similar) / Me Too shoes (similar) / vintage Coach (similar)

What’chu talkin’ ‘bout, Willis?

Itemize deductions? Report investments? Self-employed? Tax season can be quite taxing. Luckily I have my own CPA to take care of the nitty gritty for me. This year I actually got a refund from the IRS. Which means its time for some IRS -Impulsive Refund Shopping.

I’ve been on the hunt for a vintage Coach handbag for some time now, in particular, the Willis style handbag. My weapon of choice: Ebay, the world’s largest thrift store. To be an Ebay bidder, one must have incredible patience, be willing to ask questions, cross-examine photos, and be able stay calm in the event you are outbid. But how much am I willing fork over? With my refund directly deposited in my bank account, I sought out many sellers, lost some bids, but finally my patience paid off. When my baby Willis arrived in the mail I actually jumped for joy and immediately transferred all the contents from my old purse into my new old purse. It’s the perfect size, and the handle + long cross-body strap is so functional.

Still afraid of shopping on Ebay? Don’t worry; Coach has got your back. Called the Legacy Collection, Coach has brought back these old styles – but you will have to pay a pretty penny of course. My favorite style is the Willis because of that little handle at top and its “just right” size, but I love all their other designs as well.

olive green jacket (similar here) / oversized cardigan (similar here and here) / graphic tee (similar here and here)

I recently went on a shopping trip with some gal pals in San Francisco’s Mission district. In usual San Francisco fashion, the weather was slightly overcast and windy with a chance of rain. The key to dressing for this is to think like an onion: dress in layers. Start with a casual tee, then a chunky middle layer (I chose an oversized cardigan), and finish with an outer shell. Since it wasn’t too cold, but I needed to be concerned about the possibility of rain, this olive windbreaker was just the right fit. Still riding on the high of my urban turban, I pulled a leopard version of it to disguise my unruly hair. Finish with the perfect Willis handbag.

That’s a good one coach! Now go do your taxes, you procrastinator you.

Rainy Day