Monday, October 29, 2012

In Which I Look For Good Things To Eat... (Food GPS)

A couple months ago, I was in Los Angeles for work. After days of hotel food at a conference, I was really looking forward to a friend's birthday dinner, particularly because the place we were going came based on a recommendation of someone I knew by reputation - and would be meeting later that night - food writer and founder of Food GPS, Josh Lurie.

I've got to tell you that between Josh of Food GPS and another friend, Stacey Sun of DineLA, the way I eat in southern California (and particularly Los Angeles) has completely changed. That night, for instance, Josh recommended and joined us at a little Korean seafood BBQ place in L.A.'s Korea Town called Jae Bu Do. It was a revelation to me - and I'm Korean. Friends, it was SO good (yep, and that's why I'm not a food writer...). I'm really looking forward to the next time I'm able to go, though I'm not sure when it'll be, as it's not really child-friendly (cooking on table top grills with real fire = yummy food but dangerous conditions with small children).

The thing is, when I'm hungry and in transit (which happens more often than you'd believe), I don't want to spend time perusing a website. In all honesty, I can read Josh's reviews of restaurants for pure pleasure - he's a very talented writer, but when I'm hungry, I just want to know where I can find something decent to eat. So, more often than not, I'd rack my brain for random tidbits I'd picked up from friends, try hit-or-miss places I came across, or in my best moments, text or tweet Stacey (DineLA) and ask for her recs, which just as often came from Josh (they're good friends).

So when Josh told me that he was launching a Food GPS iPhone app (Android version coming soon), I was super excited. It costs $1.99, and for that you get recommendations for 125 restaurants in SoCal, including descriptions, suggested menu items, great photos, GPS enabled turn-by-turn directions, one-touch calling, and all the restaurants' "vitals" (e.g. hours, website, etc.). I gotta say - I love it. So, for any of you out there, who live in SoCal, are planning to visit SoCal (admittedly, this app works much better for LA, Orange County, and the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys than for San Diego or Riverside), or and want some really good food (and we're not talking all fine dining either - there are lots of little hidden gems and neighborhood holes-in-the-wall type restaurants featured too), I highly recommend the app.

Also, check out the Food GPS website/blog for a broader perspective on eating - Josh and some colleagues write about food and eating all over the United States, in cities in Canada, Mexico, and various Asian countries. It makes you realize that even as a lifelong denizen of a specific area, there are so many amazing eating experiences you've been missing. Food blogs are a dime a dozen these days, but this one is really not to be missed.

Full disclosure: Josh actually sent me a promo code to download and try the app for free, but I let it expire like a ninny. Therefore, I bought and paid for the app (which to be completely honest, I was more comfortable doing anyway) and the review of it above is my honest take on it. I do hope that they'll add more restaurants to it as time goes on, especially in San Diego, but that's my only real complaint and I can live with it, since I know San Diego better anyway.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Something About Idle Hands and Mischief... (J. Crew)

I wish you could have seen my face when I got the email from J. Crew about the sale-on-sale promo  (an extra 30% off - use code "OURTREAT") this morning. I've been trying really, really hard to be very, very good in anticipation of 1) medical bills (I haven't seen what I'm going to owe after my insurance pays out my benefits...I'm bracing myself) and 2) budgeting for upcoming holiday expenses.

You all know that I've already spent many happy hours filling up my Boden shopping cart with lots of pretty things and then just as carefully removing items that "I really don't need," to see if I could convince myself that any sort of a purchase would be permissible. I think I got a shopping cart with $800+ of merchandise whittled way, way down. And you know, there's always Ebates (2.5% back at Boden, and 3% back at J. Crew). But I still don't feel like I can justify any outside purchases until I know certain things, even if I've got Christmas presents included in this current order.

So, anyway, going back to my face when I saw that J. Crew email...well, you can imagine it (it's funny looking, for sure) and then check out my progress in filling up yet another "just for fun but maybe not" shopping cart below.

Really, that lilac-y purple is just a dream. And I love that it's tweedy! I was eyeing a couple of the tweed jackets (like this one) on Boden's site, but now that I've seen this one, I'm torn. What do you think? And while you're pondering that (admittedly one of the greater puzzles of life), let me know what you think about these:

1. Schoolboy Blazer in Herringbone (Is this not one of the prettiest blushing-est pinks you've ever laid eyes on? Can I have it, please?)
2. Ink-Dip Popover (for layering under cozy cardigans, obviously)
3. Toothpick Ankle Jean in Garment Dyed Twill (I bought a pair of these in the "shallow sea" color less than a month ago for double this price. As they're still sitting in the bag, tags on, guess who's going to be making some happy returns!)
4. No. 2 Pencil Skirt in Double-Serge Wool (much cozier than spring/summer's cotton version)
5. Sterling Skirt in Double-Serge Wool (I think I may actually prefer this one to the No. 2 Pencil version - I'm loving those welt pockets! )
6. Painter Boatneck Tee in Stripe (I already own this one in the black/ivory combo and I love it. Am happy to add another to my wardrobe...)
7. Collection Colorblock Shift Dress (I have no idea how this would fit me, but I love the idea of a shift, I actually like the colors used in this dress, and I am totally won over by the way it's styled on the website. It's still pretty pricey, so I don't know if I'd actually jump on this one, but it's definitely fun and catches my imagination.)
8. Sparkle Row Cami (I still really love this top. Un/luckily for me, it's sold out in my size, though I'm tempted to call and see if I have any success placing a call-send for it...)
9. Edie Grand (I've long admired the careful, structured construction of the Edie bags and this is the size I'd find most practical for me...and at this sale price, it's so tempting.)
10. Bow Locket Necklace (I can't tell at all how big or long or anything this necklace is, but I like it enough to risk weird sizing issues. So pretty!)

What about you? Are you going to indulge or are you planning to sit this one out?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Twinkle Toes

There's something about winter and the holidays that bring out my love of sparkle and glitter. It probably has to do with all the rich colors and sumptuous fabrics that we allow ourselves to indulge in this time of year. So you know when I saw this, my heart skipped a little.

Tory Burch 'Eddie' Bow Flat

You know I love my heels (at a staggering 5'2" I can use all the help I can get), but when I need to run around, I prefer a more practical option. Sparkly and practical. That's right, you read it right here. ^_- 

Here are a few more pairs that caught my eye:

1. Jeffrey Campbell 'Daisy Age' Flat (sweet and whimsical daisy-shaped sequins!)
3. n by Nicole Miller Pete Flat (I love the color of these shoes!)
4. Vera Wang 'Lanelle' Peep-toe Flat (lovely - and even better, on sale!)
5. J. Crew 'Cece' Studded Leather Flat (if too much bling just isn't you're thing, this shoe is a great, understated option)
6. Rani Flats (comes in an array of unique colors and patterns - not sure which I like best!)
7. Dollhouse 'Cheeky' Flat (an economy version of the Eddies pictured above.)
8. TOMS 'Classic Glitter' Slip-on (the ultimate multi-tasking shoe - sparkles, comfortable, and does a good turn for kids in need. What's not to love?)

On a side-note, thanks to everyone for your well-wishes. I'm feeling better every day, and am even looking forward to going back to work part-time starting this week. (No, really. I am. It helps that I work from home, of course. Going into an office - heck, getting into non-pajama pants right now - seems challenging beyond belief.)

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

It's Been Quite the Week...

And when I say that, I mean as in, "I-had-an-emergency-appendectomy-early-Monday-morning-and-have-been-recovering since."*

Yeah. Let me tell you, there's no better way to finish a great outfit than with some unplanned abdominal surgery, said no one ever.

Suffice it to say, I'm not 100%, but I'm finally feeling well enough to be interested in pretty things again. (Believe it or not, having a vestigial organ removed will sort of put the kibosh on those tendencies in the short term.) So, you can imagine how well the latest Boden catalog has helped my *ahem* healing process.

(Between the two of us, it was almost better than the heavy doses of ibuprofen I've been taking. Almost.)

1. Lucy Shirt (so sweet - and easy to wear with way too many things. At its current promo price, how does one resist?)
2. Full Jacquard Skirt ( it weird that I just want to eat this skirt? Yes. Yes, it is. But really, I love it that much. The price is a little harder to swallow, unfortunately...)
3. Natalie Dress (so, I was eyeing this one a little wistfully, thinking how lovely it is but how definitely way too long it would be on shorty-me. And then I saw it - petite sizing!!! YES.)
4. Glamour Tweed Skirt (still on my radar. So cute. Love.)
5. Fitted Cable Jumper (to go with the skirt above. That whole outfit is just perfect.)
6. Vintage Heeled Boots (Will be great with skirts and casual dresses. But are currently in the running against these boots for my winter wardrobe. I'm leaning toward the latter...but keep waffling.)
7. Full Skirt Dress (I realize this one's sold out. But I had to show you, so we could share our grief together at having missed it, somehow. Do you think they'll restock?)
8. Skinny Graphic T-shirt (I spotted this on Shopping With M's blog, and couldn't resist the graphic of a girl reading. I mean, c'mon. How is this even a choice?)
9. Marylebone Bag (a great everyday bag for a really great price. My only question - red or green? How am I supposed to decide these things?)
10. Everyday Socks (seriously, how do you say, "no," to these? Adorable.)

Here's to imagining wearing pretty things again really soon...

*More on that in a later post.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Shades of Blue

I've been a bad blogger lately. I've been so busy between work, family, and "extracurriculars" that I've just had no bandwidth for blogging.

Which is why I'm belatedly posting this review of a jersey dress from Mokkafiveoclock, an Etsy seller and a long-time reader of In Pursuit of Pretty Things.

Jersey Dress c/o Mokkafiveoclock (similar here)

When Monika (the talent behind Mokkafiveoclock) contacted me to ask if I'd be willing to try and review one of her dresses, I was more than happy to oblige. I'd actually been stalking her Etsy store for quite a while, just waiting for the right time to pick up something - it's always chock full of pretty, pretty things (currently eyeing this dress - in my shopping cart as I write, this skirt in colors #1 and #17, and this dress despite the fact I am not a bridesmaid - it's just too lovely). Knowing my penchant for comfy, pretty, jersey dresses, Monika sent me this one - and needless to say, I just love it.

It's a summer weight dress, so unlined. At first, being used to the heavier, lined dresses of Bailey 44, I was worried that this one would be "too light." I actually didn't find it to be a problem - in fact, when I layered a slip under it, I realized there wasn't all that much of a difference, and so left it off. In warm weather, it's fantastic - I ran around San Diego in it perfectly comfortable the whole day - and in the evening, when the temperature falls, I layered a cardigan over it, and it was great that way too. Being mindful of my petite stature, Monika made it to my measurements specifically. I don't know if she does this all the time with the dresses in her shop, but I really love the proportions, the drape, and the flow of the dress. 

This particular color is great too - in the spring and summer, the pool blue is just perfect, and in the winter, I think it'll be great to brighten up my gray sweaters and black tights and boots. Taking a peek at the store, it doesn't look like this color is available anymore, but Monika may have others available too.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by.