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Monthly Archives: June 2013


London travel diary. part 1.


I admit that London has not been at the top of my European destinations, it’s been unfairly overlooked while I had my eyes on Paris and Barcelona.  However, as entertainers, my husband and I sometimes get to visit places that pleasantly surprise us and question our assumptions about the world.  London was one of these.

The famously temperamental weather of London was rather generous to us and it only poured one out of the four days we were there.  I found myself actually embracing the clouds and moodiness of London’s climate.  There is a beautiful contrast between that understated grey and the opulence of London’s architecture.


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One of the dilemmas of desert living is you cannot be a lover of flowers and only support locally sourced farming at the same time.  My adoration for desert succulents ranges far and wide.  But every so often, the girly girl inside me wants very feminine, very delicate, very high-maintenance flowers, for example, tulips.  Holland’s pride and joy that only seems to thrive within that cold Spring and breezy early summer of northern Europe.


I have enjoyed tulips long before my discovery of Sylvia Plath’s famous poem; but my current hometown’s dry and hot climate has no ability to support the beautiful but extremely dainty petals.  So while we were at The Grove outside of London, I took the opportunity to pose by the endless gorgeous potted tulips in their garden.


| Zara skirt, top, and clutch | vintage necklace | Charlotte Olympia heels |


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baking {in the English countryside}


Google Zeitgeist was packed with so many fun and intellectually engaging activities.  One of those activities included a baking class in The Grove’s gorgeous garden atrium, where we learned how to bake proper English tarts and scones.  The setting was so beautiful, and the details so charming, I couldn’t help but take photos while we waited during oven time (and maybe a tad bit during…)


Regarding the finished sweets, I must confess that I’m dying to brag about this, since the tarts done by me and Apollo Robbins were among the top three in the competition.  My scones, I’m afraid, were not as stellar, but a girl can learn…


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english country side


I’ve had a whirlwind month of travel, and my little heart of wanderlust is almost satisfied.  It all began with a relaxing but intellectually stimulating stay at The Grove in England’s Hertfordshire for Apollo Robbins’s talk at the Google Zeitgeist conference.  What a gorgeous venue, and it happens to be in the English countryside, a place that has often piqued my curiosity, land of Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, of perpetual rain & clouds that inspire the writing mood.


The day we arrived, fighting an exceptionally persistent case of jetlag, I put on comfortable jeans and knit to embrace the beautiful English gardens of The Grove, getting seduced along the way by the abundant potted tulips that brightened up the infamous British weather.


| J Brand jeans | Maison Scotch sweater | Madewell blouse | F21 belt | Rebecca Minkoff tote | Nine West booties | Jewelmint necklace |


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sea stripes


My childhood in Vietnam often misleads people into thinking that I grew up near the ocean.  As much as I would have loved that, the truth is my old stomping ground of Go Vap is more urban than seaside.  High school in Orange County and then college in West Los Angeles brought me closer to the sea, but I’ve never had the charmed life of living by the sea.


That probably explains the reason why I’m quite addicted to ingesting that salty air whenever I can, which is precisely what I’m doing in these photos: running around on the picturesque sidewalks of Monterey and wishing I never quite have to leave…


| Madewell dress | Zara coat (borrowed from Chatnoir) | Aldo boots | vintage purse bought from Portugal | All Saints necklace | Tiger eye bracelets bought from Vietnam |


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