Lookbook: Zesty Neon and Finding Balance

Thank you all for the candid feedback on my Jason Wu for Target items. I ended up mailing all the clothes to friends who will hopefully look better in them. On a separate note, I wanted to explain my recent (& upcoming) absence and delay in responding to your questions and emails. Interacting with readers is so important to me, and I feel terrible that my responsiveness has fallen to the wayside.

As some of you may know, I’m currently studying for the CFA Level 3 exam in June. I’m scared just thinking about it and considered closing Extra Petite til then. However, remembering Level 2 with the 10-12 hour workdays then cramming past midnight, never seeing friends or even Nick, and almost sprouting a beard due to lack of grooming…I realized I need this stress-relieving outlet. Please bear with me as posts may be sporadic, and please accept my apology for not being responsive during this time. I have plenty I want to share – like a beautiful walking boot for small calves (twitpic), a costly alterations saga, and photos from my Asia trip – I just need to find some balance.

H&M; blazer sz 2, style #037443, $34.95 (altered here), H&M; shell and clutch, Talbots necklace 
Crewcuts Cotton & Silk Double-Dipped Skirt sz 10 (taken in), Gap neon sweater, BR heels

The warm-weather outfit in today’s post was from right before my Asia trip. Nick and I had a lengthy layover at LAX and were preparing to set up camp, but Wendy and her boyfriend came to our rescue. We had a delish Korean lunch involving more banchan than I could ever ask for, satisfied Nick’s boba cravings, and chatted away 5 hours before I knew it…

Last week, I saw that Wendy’s Lookbook was nominated for Bloglovin’s newcomer of the year award (cast your votes). A quick scroll through Bloglovin’s top fashion blogs shows tall, leggy, model-esque bloggers. I’m proud to see a fellow 5-feet tall (not to mention, minority) woman being recognized amongst the top influencers of fashion blogging.
This zesty Crewcuts skirt was purchased on final sale for about $11. With J.Crew final sale, I strongly suggest asking their online customer service for item measurements and comparing them against stuff you own. I was certain I’d be a kids 12 and was bummed that it was sold out. I decided to settle for the kids 10, praying that it wouldn’t be scandalously small. The kids 10 turned out to be so roomy that it hung limply off my hips. Darn you, J.Crew, and your inconsistent and often inflated sizes. If you are my size, then a kids 8 in this skirt might fit best.
This outfit made me think of an interesting article Kelly wrote about “faking the fit” on garments – something I’m occasionally guilty of. Both jacket and skirt here didn’t fit right off the rack, which is not unusual. As alterations can be time-consuming to DIY or costly to get done, I was tempted to mask the roomy sleeves by scrunching them, and to hoist the skirt up with a snug belt.

Unfortunately, an outfit that truly fits gives off a noticeably different vibe than one with “faked fit,” not to mention brings the wearer a higher level of confidence. When faking, I was too distracted constantly adjusting the sleeves, and the skirt bunched up unnaturally around the cinched waist. I ended up taking the time to slim and shorten the jacket sleeves, and sewed both sides of the skirt in about 1-2 inches. Several hours of labor later, I couldn’t be happier with the results!

Readers – For those of you who juggle work, study, and/or other responsibilities, I’d love to hear advice on how to find balance and stay sane through it all.

113 thoughts on “Lookbook: Zesty Neon and Finding Balance

  • Jen February 9, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    You are a crazy girl, and so amazing for being able to balance so many aspects of your life. Unfortunately I don't have any advice for you, but I do totally agree with the need to have a de-stressing outlet. Exercise is also very important and helps clear the mind to focus!

    Hope you are doing well in spite of the busy-ness, Jean!

    P.S. Beautiful photos, I've always wanted to visit California and take photos at those gorgeous pillars!

  • Britt February 9, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    One thing to keep in mind to get balance is to leave margin in your schedule, room for the unexpected. Another thing is to set realistic goals. I'm sure we, your readers, understand when you need to focus on other things going on in your life. Take care of yourself, or there will be no way you can do anything else. You don't want to succumb to burnout! Hope you can find time to get all you need to done and have some free time for yourself and fun stuff. 🙂

  • Janki February 9, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    Jean, I had to laugh out loud with your "almost sprouted a beard" comment! I'm Indian and threading is a must-have for me. I think you'll find that a timer can be your best friend to keep you on track with studying AND balance. If you are like me, you can either get easily side-tracked with silliness (I swear I must have adult ADD) or you get totally overwhelmed and too myopic in your studying and not come up for air. Perhaps the timer can keep you on track for time wasters and make sure you are taking necessary breaks to keep your sanity?
    I have to say how much I love your blog and how much it's helped me look more polished.

  • Anonymous February 9, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    I'm also a fellow Level 3 candidate who pays close attention to fashion and your blog! You're my inspiration and I'm happy that I am not alone!

  • May February 9, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    I admire all you bloggers who work full-time and do this in your spare time. I think Anh of @9to5chic posted about this recently. I am a young professional, married, without kids, and when I get home, I just want to veg out. I've toyed with the idea of starting my own blog, but in the end, I don't want to invest the time commitment to do a good job. I'd rather read the style and personal finance blogs I enjoy and then get involved in my other hobbies. Even though your professional responsibilities are important, it's healthy for your sense of wellbeing to balance your life with things you enjoy outside of work. So make time for your blog, maybe a post a week? Just so you can spend time with your family and friends as well.

  • The Little Dust Princess February 9, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Keeping your blog up is a great way to de-stress. Don't worry – we'll all be here once you're finished with your exam. (Good luck btw!) Like Jen said, remember to exercise, eat right, and get a good amount of sleep every night. : ) I try to spread my blog posts out and schedule a bunch of posts at a time so I don't have to worry about posting actively. You know me with my university work… on top of family, social life, and both my paid work and internship as well. SO. MUCH. WORK.

    Love the colours you're wearing btw!

  • Chris @ Granola2Glam February 9, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    I love the side by side photo of you and Wendy- representing style opposites that I both adore. Wendy is my favorite edgy-chic girl and you're my favorite timeless-polished girl. Thanks for sharing!

  • Lisa Ng February 9, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Oh, please don't shut down your site! I love your posts and advice and photos. Blogging really is a de-stresser, as long as you don't force yourself to blog or stress over not blogging. We all have different seasons in life, and you should focus on that test and relationships. We'll be here when you come back!

  • Cher February 9, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    For me, it's really about trying to keep my schedule consistent, which isn't always possible, but I do my best. I'm a planner, and when I'm studying or working long hours, I plan everything to the hour. It might stress some people out, but for me, the fact that I have time set aside for everything I need to do, is one less thing to worry about. Of course, if for whatever reason you veer off schedule, you have to recognize it's not the end of the world. It's also really important to you have some "you"-time–some sort of outlet that gives you time to relax. When I was studying for the bar, that was the gym, and I went every day. For other people, it was things like cake-decorating class. I didn't have my blog back then and I don't know how I would have fit that in, but if your blog is going to be your "you"-time then that's perfectly OK. It's also nice if you spend time with the SO to hang out (even if it's just dinner every night) so they don't feel so neglected :P, but the time together is good for both of you. Good luck on your exams! I'm writing a new set of bar exams in June too, so we'll both be trying to balance things and stay sane at the same time!

  • Susan February 9, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    I know the CFA Level 3 is really challenging, but for some reason, I'm sure you'll do great! You're so intelligent, focused, and hard-working, I just have confidence that you can do it!

    I'm in my third year in my Ph.D program, and finding the work/family/social life balance is a common topic of discussion. It's really hard to do it all without feeling guilty and feeling like you're doing mediocre at every aspect of your life! In my case, I have to constantly prioritize and not condemn myself for the things I can't get done.

    Your blog and a few others are the ones I read when I just want to relax and enjoy my down time. 🙂 But I totally understand if you take a break from blogging for awhile. You'll do great! 🙂

  • Angie February 9, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    you look gorgeous in LA, jean! meeting up with wendy seems so fun and like a good break for you. good luck on your level 3 exam! i know that i tried to close down my blog for studying for the mcat and most of my college life has been filled with studying late, barely seeing friends, and a lot of stress, but in the end blogging really does help me keep sane and get miles away from my campus, at least mentally. you have a gazillion more readers to please, but keep your life goals in place and use this wonderful community you've created to relax. we all wish you the very best!

  • Lisa - respect the shoes February 9, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    Good luck with you exam, girl! I think the main thing for the blog is to make sure it stays fun for you!

  • AubreyOhDang! February 9, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    The weekend after Valentine's day, I'm taking Brett to LA and one of our stops is the LACMA to see the light installation. Hope you had fun there!

    Good luck with your upcoming study lock-down. You are so disciplined!

  • Catherine February 9, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    congrats on just having one more exam left! You seen so smart & talented I'm sure you'll have no problem with level 3 🙂

    as an accounting student, i was curious on what area of finance you are in & what you do now? i'm curious about your life outside of fashion,haha!

  • Patti February 9, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    Jean, best of luck with your exam. I know you'll do great.

  • Audrey February 9, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    Hi Jean! I'm a follower, but I've never commented before. I just wanted to say you are such a sweetheart to your readers, the way you respond to questions and things like that. I follow a LOT of blogs, and am always surprised when I see blogs that have a crazy amount of followers, but they NEVER respond to their readers (or at least not where you can see it in the comments) and they never write things like "thank you for your support" after they write about a tough time and get a huge outpouring of support in comments from followers. But you are different! You are so sweet 🙂 Good luck on your exam!

  • Some*Ting Something Design February 9, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    Those are some great looks. I am loving the neutrals and neons this season!

    Best of luck on your exam. Balance is key and create schedules and stick with them. Use blogging as a way to unwind, not something you NEED to do.

  • Satin And Salt February 9, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Rocks Paper Metal February 9, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    Those oversized pearls are gorgeous! I see you're in our neck of the woods too!

    Let us know if you ever need any free jewelry for your shoots!

    Love your blog!


  • xoxoCat February 9, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    I'm glad you ended up returning the Jason Wu garments. The quality is questionable, and although you have the ability to make many strange things work wonderfully, I just think there are better separates available elsewhere. Love the colour combo in this outfit. 🙂

  • SewPetiteGal February 9, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    Best of luck with your upcoming exam! I'm glad you'll still be using your blog as an outlet bc we readers sure do appreciate your content.

    As far as balance goes, I tend to focus on whatever has the most urgency (feeding the kids, work deadlines [not relevant at the moment], etc.) but always leave at least 1 hour per day for a fun priority like playing with the kids. If something is a short-term time-suck, I'm more likely to devote more time to it than something ongoing.

    BTW, you and Wendy really do look like sisters!

  • Anonymous February 10, 2012 at 12:01 am

    I'm amazed and impressed with the energy you devote to your blog, it is clear it is a lot of hard work, which is why you are struggling to make time for studying. As someone with a full-time job who lives in another country, I wish I had the time and/or energy to do both a blog and work and study.

    That being said my best advice for studying is to set specific times for study, test yourself, and be disciplined. But remember you also need "you" time.

    Hope we get to see pictures of you in Asia…must be fantastic shopping there for us petites! I remember being in Vietnam many years ago and loving that the pajama bottoms I bought required NO hemming! –April

  • Lily Yuen February 10, 2012 at 12:11 am

    Good Luck to you on studying for your CFA Level 3! I just want to say how much I love your blog and how I just look forward to all your blog entries. It is really a joy.

    For balance, my advice is to pray. I am not sure if you are religious, but I am Christian. Praying really helps me refocus on what is important and recenter my emotions and mind. For more random tips, I have been using Origins Peace of Mind, it is a balance from ODing too much on caffeine. Also sleep is key to energize those brain cells!

    Hope that helps.

  • jules February 10, 2012 at 12:19 am

    what a beautiful outfit jean! and i totally agree about the fit issue – i always feel uncomfortable tugging and pulling at my clothes when they don't fit right and i think it shows in my confidence!

    good luck with studying and your exam, your blog is always a great read and i will frequent it no matter how often you post


  • Petite-ish February 10, 2012 at 12:23 am

    Boy do I understand about finding balance! I was hoping you would be the one to give us insight about juggling it all, because you seem to do it so gracefully! Your readers have left lots of good advice. Personally, as I get older, I think one thing I've learned is that you have to prioritize and know when to do something not as well as you COULD do it but only as well as you NEED to do it. For example, my classes and research fell by the wayside a bit when I was studying for the boards because spending time with my bf and passing the boards were more important to me. I also try to physically separate my work and home space. When I was at school, the library, the hospital, I would try to do that with full focus. When I came home, I tried to be equally present. I think it's something we working girls will struggle with for the rest of our working lives, so we'll have plenty of practice to get it right 🙂 If you ever need a study buddy, let me know…

  • blueberry February 10, 2012 at 12:24 am

    Just a tip regarding Jcrew final sale items – they do not have to be final! If you ask for a gift receipt at time of purchase, you can return the item for store credit if you end up not liking it. Jcrew WILL take returns on final sale items as long as you have a GIFT receipt that accompanies it. A Jcrew employee told me about this when I was wavering on buying something for my fiance (because I didn't know if it would fit him). I did end up returning it with the gift receipt and they honored the return even though it was technically a final sale, no questions asked. I have yet to try this with a final sale purchased online, but I do know there is a gift receipt option when buying online so I'm assuming it's the same deal.

  • Jeanne February 10, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Good luck, Jean! =) I can certainly relate to those periods of intensive studying when all you see is the walls of your room. Not healthy at all! I'm glad you've established a sense of balance for yourself.

    I saw a girl wear those boots literally hours ago at the bus stop! She had really small calves and they looked pretty darn good on her. Can't wait for your review 😉

  • R.L. February 10, 2012 at 12:41 am

    I bought that skirt in sz 8 and the waist fits okay, but I might be able to fit one size smaller which is crazy because I'm normally a sz 14 in kid bottoms. So who knows what sz you could have gone down too! With the sz 8 there's still a generous amount of material for the pleats so I might try a DIY slimming but I'd hate to have to sacrifice the pockets.

    Best of luck on studying for your exam, Jean! I'm sure you'll do great! I'm terrible at time management but I find that single-tasking works for me. Setting a timer for 30 min or so and doing just that one task makes me more efficient. I also read blogs when I shouldn't so I even considered downgrading from a smartphone, lol.

  • dollyeyed February 10, 2012 at 12:43 am

    Your outfit is so beautiful! I love the skirt. It looks so cute.
    Can't wait to see your photos from Asia! 🙂

  • R.L. February 10, 2012 at 12:44 am

    Wow, thank you for the great tip!

  • CocoMeChanel February 10, 2012 at 12:45 am

    Good luck! I understand about finding balance and we will miss you in your absence but know that your blog brings so many people joy =D

    This is a lovely outfit – you look amazing.

  • Genie February 10, 2012 at 12:49 am

    Hey Jean! I love your outfit, super cute. I actually schedule certain amounts of time for each subject that I'm studying in between work, classes, and transit time. I adjust the time I need to study according to how difficult the class is for me. I hope that helps!



  • With Each Passing Day February 10, 2012 at 12:58 am

    Wishing you the best with your upcoming exam. I'm glad that you will still be blogging when you have free time. I really appreciated the time and dedication you put into your blog.

    You're reader have left a lot of good advice. My advice to you to remember to take break from your studying for a little me time

  • Jyoti February 10, 2012 at 1:12 am

    That's a fantastic skirt! I can't believe you got it for so cheap!

  • Pamada February 10, 2012 at 1:52 am

    oh i saw these pics on wendy's blog and i loved the skirt from there! almost makes me wanna shop jcrew again (i have issues with their sizing being too big, but never thought of trying the kids section).

    i think its had, i have a hard time with it myself between work, my gym schedule, blogging and spending quality time with the bf… sometimes i got a lil crazy but if you have a good support system that helps a lot! i hope nick is that for u! and i think sometimes its really good to just stop .. even if its for an hour to BREATHE. does a mind good. breathe!

  • elle.b February 10, 2012 at 1:57 am

    I wish there is a like button to this comment! Totally agree with you!

  • Pish Posh Avenue February 10, 2012 at 2:40 am

    Good luck with your CFA Level 3, Jean! Oh and hello from SF — sorry, I'm not a frequent commenter here, but I discovered this blog a few months ago and I just have to say how fabulous, stylish, and influential you've been to me and my fashion choices 🙂

    Anyway, back to ~destressing~ When I was studying for my CPA exam, I basically had no life for about a year. Kinda like what you said: work until late, study even later. Somewhere along the way I realized that I couldn't do solid work-study-work – I really burned out. I came to realize that 1) work is always there, and 2) don't let life pass you by! Take a breather to go outside (sunshine does wonders), see friends and family, talk to others and vent frequently 😉 Otherwise, it's all too physically and mentally draining!

    Hang in there, we all know you'll do amazing – and really, if you need to take a break from blogging for a bit, go ahead!, we all understand.

  • Katie February 10, 2012 at 3:08 am

    ohh i love those shoes!! can't believe you got that skirt for such a good price too, after the adjustments it fits like a dream 🙂

    my tip on scheduling? i'm an accountant & a bi-weekly-ish blogger: lists lists lists! (partly because it's so satisfying crossing something out when it's done!)

    Katie x

  • Ozi girl February 10, 2012 at 3:16 am

    Hi Jean,
    You're my inspiration! You seem to juggle your work, studies, your blog and your personal life so effortlessly and with such grace. I am in financial services too and i know how difficult CFA is – great work on passing 2 levels! You give me the confidence to push myself to do more both professionally and personally.

    Please please don't shut the blog. We are here to support you 🙂

    Go girl! you can do it xoxo

  • Ozi Girl February 10, 2012 at 3:25 am

    Oh and good on Nick for being so supportive 🙂

  • ღ Caroline♔ February 10, 2012 at 3:26 am

    Yes, I miss being able to read and comment on your posts, hence the spam of comments from me within the past hour. I adore this warm weather outfit on you–you really know how to make neon look classy and not tacky! How do you have such amazing taste?! 😛 You and Wendy truly are fashion/style icons: I look to you for professional, work appropriate outfits and Wendy for everyday casual chic wear! I get so much inspiration from you both and am absolutely grateful for all the wonderful, useful and helpful tips from your informative posts and videos (whenever I am able to set aside some free time to literally stalk both your blogs for a few hours)!

    I really can't give you any advice. Quite frankly, I would like to seek your advice on how to be able to maintain such great balance in your life amongst crazy long work hours, studying for your exam for career growth, CONSISTENTLY blogging, interacting with readers by managing social media and answering e-mails, shopping, spending time with Nick, your family, and friends–how do you manage to do it all, Super Jean? Please do a post whenever you have the time, perhaps after all the craziness of test prep and you finish taking the exam in the summer! 🙂 I really could use some tips on balance.

    I really can't manage my personal time…which is why my old blog died off, but I would really love to get back into blogging–not just on beauty–but about anything and everything that tickles my fancy, as writing is a passion and hobby of mine, and I also want to have an outlet for my thoughts. You should also have a post about how to grow a blog and have a following 🙂 If you already do have such a post, I'm sorry I didn't do a search yet. X_X

    Wow, okay. This has somehow turned into a letter without me realizing. I'm sorry for rambling away! But I guess it makes up for not being able to comment in so long!


  • gigiofca February 10, 2012 at 3:40 am

    You look gorgeous! You're probably doing it all well even if it doesn't feel like it at times 😉

  • Chocolate, Cookies &amp; Candies February 10, 2012 at 4:22 am

    It's wonderful to see the kind of wonderful relationships fellow bloggers cultivate. Wow, I don't know how you juggle all this. There were times I wondered about the same thing, whether I should just shut down the blog. Between running my online consignment business, looking after a little girl, managing a household etc…there's just not enough hours in a day. Something has to give or else we'll just drive ourselves crazy trying to be a superwoman.

  • Sensy~Style February 10, 2012 at 4:22 am

    I was struck at – CFA 3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 I am merely considering getting into the CFA's next year and already forecasting the death of me as anything but a desk geek. seriously, it is not us to give you advice but you to hold a workshop on juggling it all.

    All the best Jean. Your readers love you. Believe in you.

  • Natasha Fatah February 10, 2012 at 6:50 am

    Good luck with all your exams Jean. We all love hearing from you, seeing your posts, learning what you've been up to. And of course everybody will understand that real life has to come first, so you'll be posting when you can. Not to worry, and we'll see you on the other side!


  • easy petite looks February 10, 2012 at 7:00 am

    good luck on the exam!! I've been burnt out for a long while now, just try to do your best! getting up at 3, going to workout then work, home to study, then to bed. love it :/ just think it won't be forever.

  • dietingfashions February 10, 2012 at 8:58 am

    It's hard to balance life and find some time for yourself. I balance full time work, not to mention doing the duties of a business owner (accountant, hr, project management etc), raising 2 kids, and being a wife. There are many days I just want to break down and cry.. but really there's not even time for a good cry.

    I think having a good support system is the key. Designate some time off for yourself, either with friends or your significant other. Scheduling and organization will help keep you sane.

    Good Luck Jean!

  • SS February 10, 2012 at 9:03 am

    Hope the best for your exam.

    Glad you still keep your blog!

  • Laura Frost February 10, 2012 at 9:15 am

    I hope the exam goes great! I didn't know you were in finance. My husband took the Series 7 and 66 not too long ago, so I know how much studying is required for that sort of thing. I don't know how you keep up with the blog. You must never sleep. Well done, girl!

  • Elle February 10, 2012 at 9:27 am

    (big hug)

    You are tough as nails and will undoubtedly overcome this challenging time with the tenacity you've demonstrated in the past. As much as I enjoy your posts, I fully understand and support your decision to take on a less frequent posting schedule. And I know you'll pass the exam with flying colors so I'll just wish you sanity during this hectic time.

    And I love these pictures and envy California weather….the backdrop for these picture is simply gorgeous. Thank you for sharing them with us. 🙂 Can't wait to read your upcoming posts, they all sound extremely interesting (and I don't know if you have an H&M; fitting room post prepared, but would be interested in that as well…since I bought a few things that I haven't decided if I should keep and would be interested in hearing your thoughts).

  • PetiteLittleGirl February 10, 2012 at 9:34 am

    My husband is still struggling to find a balance between work and family (travelling for work every other week doesn’t help, either). Family is obviously very important to us but our career is important as well. I can somewhat manage my work-life balance. You may not have noticed it before but I am offline from 6:00PM (when I am home from work) to 9:00PM (when Courtney goes to bed). That 3hr time frame is 100% dedicated to family activities such as having dinner together, home work time and play time. After she goes to bed, we have some alone time to do our own thing. She is now getting older and there are a lot more to do after school. It's not easy to find a balance between work and the rest of your life. Sometimes, you just have to prioritize and go with what's truly important to you. Good luck with your exam. I know you’ll do great! Your outfit is simply adorable =)

  • Annie February 10, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Good luck on your CFA exam! it's a hard one! As always I Love your outfits
    yellow and beige goes so nicely together!!

  • Panina(nana) February 10, 2012 at 10:13 am

    You are truly inspiring! Most people would stop doing everything they love and lock themselves in their room if they had a big exam coming up. My friend who has been trying to get her CPA for a year now, never has time to hang out. She just works and studies and tries to have fun. It's really unhealthy. I don't think you need advice on balancing your life, you just need to do what you feel is a good balance for yourself! You're so dedicated to this blog (that isn't your job) that you're apologizing to your readers for your absence! We all love you to understand that Extra Petite is not your entire life. Thank you for being you, and I wish you good luck on your exam!

  • Katherine February 10, 2012 at 11:20 am

    How cute are you and Wendy? That skirt looks great on you – I was thinking that my whole mistake was just getting too big of a size until I read that you had to slim it down – another victim of the J.Crew giant skirt syndrome (though yours looks great now!) Good luck on the CPA exam and I'm sure you'll do fantastic 🙂 Hugs!

  • Cee February 10, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Hang in there Jean, June will be here before you know it. The good thing is you've already been through this before with Level 2, so it should be more manageable another time around. Should being the key word here, haha. It's nowhere near as exhausting and pressure packed as what you're facing (I only work 40 hr weeks), but when I was going to grad school while working full time, I had to give up my Saturdays and most Friday nights for a year. Sure I missed out on a lot with friends, family, and bf, but I knew this was only temporary and there was an end in sight (with rewards to reap!) The people around me were very understanding about what I chose to do with my free time, even if it meant not spending it with them. I'm sure yours will too, as there are so many ways to keep in touch now. I learned to be more efficient with my time by setting smaller goals along the way. It didn't seem as overwhelming that way and feels good when you're able to check each one off, haha. Best of luck these upcoming months and on your test!

  • Candy February 10, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Loved the way you put the neon in your look! Beautiful!


  • shoppingtosaving February 10, 2012 at 11:54 am

    When I was studying for the LSAT I used my blog as an outlet to rant and complain about my stress. Other times, I was away from the world, friends, BF, eating, sleeping, exercising, and grooming. It was horrible but so worth it. I also work 40-50 hours a week so it gets gruesome. Definitely take the bulk of your free time to study and study during breaks, lunch, etc. But find a little bit of you time whether it's getting a massage, eyebrows waxed, etc.

  • TheTinyHeart February 10, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    I'm so glad you decided not to put the blog on hold, even if you're going to be really busy studying for your exam. It's important to take time to relax in between studying though and take some time for yourself. Best of luck on your exam!

    That Crewcuts skirt is beautiful but I'm always scared to order kids skirts online because I'm never sure of the fit. And their final sale scares me even more!


  • Ping February 10, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    aww jean, i wished you didn't have to take your exams! hahha, my selfish reasons! 😛
    i was wondering where that skirt was from. love that colorblocking! adorable outfit.
    looking forward to your vacay pics and delish food you got to eat!

  • Jackie February 10, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Don't close the blog!! I love reading your posts…even if you can't post often.

    I like this outfit with the yellow sweater =D

    I'm sure you'll be fine balancing work and life. It's hard, yes. Since I work from home it's often hard to separate the two, I try to make little changes in my living space to give my brain cues as to whether or not I'm working. For example, I live in a very small space and I work about 6 ft. away from where I sleep. My hubby and I want to get a sofa bed that we can fold up during the day and pull out at night to specify work time and sleep time; mnemonic reminders help.

  • Anonymous February 10, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Good luck on your exam in June 2012. I want to share this with you. http://www.hm.com/us/coupon-us-20-off-w6?cm_mmc=NewsletterNTR-_-20120209-_-US-_-Coupon_L It's a 20% off coupon on a single item for H&M;.

  • Anonymous February 10, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Don't put your blog on hold … how would I choose outfits in the morning! Just kidding – I hope life de-stresses for you. When I'm stressed I find taking 20 minutes to do something relaxing – a jog, a manicure, a glass of wine – always helps.

  • Kira February 10, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    As long as I remember myself I always worked and studied. There was a time when I had vacation coming and a coworker asked about my plans. My reply was: " Eat and sleep". Although I do find shopping relaxing at times, I think most important things are sleep and exercise. I know that after long day at work going to the gym is the last thing on your mind. Try yoga. I recently joined yoga after my friend has been trying to convince me to do it for 3 years. I find that unlike aerobics class, or walking on a treadmill, yoga relaxes me and I have more energy and I am less stressed out after it, even if I do it late in the evening.

  • girly girl February 10, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Good luck on your exams jean! Do what you need to do and we'll be here when you get back. 🙂

  • Arts February 10, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Hey Jean

    you are beautiful and smart 🙂 good luck for your exams.
    As for being sane handling different things, well, all I can say is, take one day at a time.

    best wishes

  • Kim February 10, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Good luck on your CFA exam! I just wanted to reach out and say that you're such an inspiration to me Jean. I'm currently in my last year of college and super scared about stepping out into the real world and like you, working 10-12 hours a day while studying for an exam (CPA). Seeing how balanced your life seems to be makes me realize that everything is going to be okay. Please don't stop blogging, I enjoy reading your posts during my study breaks. 🙂 Also, thank you for representing asian women in such a positive light. You are my role model!

  • Anonymous February 10, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    I LOVE Wendy's bag! Any chance I can get the details on it?

  • LeeAnne, Style N Season February 10, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    I know how challenging the whole CFA program is, not to mention it's expensive to take the exams. Good luck with it, Jean!
    And we understand of course. I am a new blogger, so my blog is very amateurish compared to yours, and I think I'd prefer it to stay that way, because blogging is the way I de-stress, not to add more stress. ^_^
    Still, I found it hard to be consistent and interact with readers. Especially now that I'm in critical phase of my projects at work, and also in my personal life.
    So, just do the best you can do, and good luck with the exam. I'll cheer you on when you are able to put Jean, CFA on your business card. Or you still need to wait for additional years in finance work experience? I know the minimum is a 4-year experience, rite? If I remember correctly.

    Visit me:
    LeeAnne, Style N Season

  • DSK Steph February 10, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Beautiful, smart, and stylish! That is you! 🙂

  • Anonymous February 10, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Love that outfit so much. I LOVE yellow, but I can't really pull it off.

    Your DIYs are so inspiring. I'm going to have to get going on some of my own.

    Best of luck with your test. I will certainly miss the more frequent updates! But, life is calling, so you have to answer.

  • Anne February 10, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Absolutely love both yours and Wendy's outfits.
    Simply gorgeous! And, I wish I could fit into a size 10 or even 12 kids for that matter. That went down the drain when I became pregnant, but now I'm 1 lb less than my pre-pregnancy weight (116), and hoping to lose a couple more lbs. 🙂

    I feel your pain with juggling different things at the same time. I'm a full time stay at home mom now, running two small businesses (Etsy and Stella & Dot), and helping my husband launch his photography business (through Facebook, blogging, and networking through friends for gigs). You just have to take in stride, and keep a calendar handy (whether it's a regular paper calendar or on your phone). Only you know what's best for you and how to handle your stress, but in the end I say organization is key (checklists, calendars, reminders, etc.)

    PS Now that you mention boba and banchan, I want some honeydew bubble tea & Korean food (tang soo yuk is my fave!)

    xo Annie

  • Annabelle February 10, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    I hope the studying goes well! Obviously life has to take precedence, but it'll be nice to see your posts when you have to the time to make them.

    Your DIY alterations are starting to make me want to buy a sewing machine and learn to do it myself!

  • Helena Wang February 10, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Hi Jean

    You are such an inspiration. I discovered your blog through your youtube channel and loved how you were so well-spoken and to the point. And since you don't post videos often, I started checking out your blog, which I am so glad I did. I really like your style, the quality of your blog and I have learnt quite a bit about styling from you. I believe this is the first time I've commented on your blog since I started reading it a few months ago. It really connected with me that you are also writing the CFA exams. You truly represent both beauty and intelligence. I am graduating from university this year and signed up to write the CFA level 1 exam this June. Afterwards, I am joining the banking industry for full time and that's also where I interned for 3 terms. Sometimes, it really feels like there isn't enough hours in a day to do all I want to do. I wanted to get into blogging too as styling is a passion of mine as well. But between school, internships, looking for internships, time with friends and boyfriend and miscellaneous stuff in life, there hardly is any time left. I really want to have time for reading, yoga and develop a hobby, and maybe learn how to cook and play piano. But these things get put aside when there are more important or pressing things to be done, such as an assignment due tomorrow. Sometimes, I think I live life to passively as I always have to focus on what needs to be done instead of what I want to do. After reading this blog entry and writing this response. It made me realize that there is always time if I make time for it. Because there's nothing worse than wake up 20 years later and realize I haven't done all the things I wanted to do and be the person I hoped to be. Anyways, just wanted to say you are amazing, a true inspiration and love your blog. Lastly, best of luck on CFA.


  • cookie February 10, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Learning to let go of some of it. It's easy to feel the pressure to do it all and be amazing at it all. We are a generation of superwomen who are empowered to have the career, family, adventure, looks, health,everything. Sometimes, we forget we are just human. At certain points in my life, I've used this metric: Is the work put in worth the enjoyment I get out of it? At the time I was juggling a busy career, prepping for an art gallery showing, working out tons, starting a mary kay business, partying, running speed-dating events. Oh, and sleeping somewhere. I evaluated each thing I was doing and decided to drop a few that were just taking more work than they were worth. Definitely left me happier! The final note — let go of guilt. At the end of the day, this is your life to live, and if you do what is best for you (and those important to you), everything will work out, and those that matter will support you.

    Rock on, Superwoman! Good luck on your test. Looking fwd to more posts when you have had a breather.


  • Jess ♡ February 10, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    You look so gorgeous, and my gosh are you insane. It's inspiring for young women like myself who are struggling with balancing things to know that everyone suffers from it (not that I'm suggesting your pains are gains). I doubt you need to have lessons taught to you again, but I find reiterated messages resonate best with us:
    – Exercise when you can, make time for it!
    – Use an agenda and plan out your day
    – Eat healthy
    – Indulge in "treats" once in awhile.

    All the best and remember to relax! 🙂

  • Lili February 10, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Loving the outfit! You look great in neons and neutrals 🙂

  • 1MadScientist February 10, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Good luck! I am going to start studying for the bar soon so I know how you feel :/. But you do need stress relief however you can get it! And the outfit looks awesome!

  • Lauren February 10, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Best of luck on your test–and don't let the blogging stress you out! All of your loyal readers will be here after you ace it. 🙂


  • Anonymous February 10, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    The color palette you chose is so beautiful! I love it! I'm a bit curious… I ordered the same skirt from J.Crew a few weeks ago, but my version seems a bit more like a highlighter yellow as opposed to your sunny, lemony shade (which is what I was hoping for!). When you take photos, do you make color adjustments? Anywho, I love seeing your photo updates; they're very inspiring! 🙂

  • Rainy Days and Lattes February 10, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    I can already tell you put a lot of quality into your blog, and no doubt do you do the same in your real life. It helps a lot if you make comforting soups in large batches (catering style for me, lol) and storing them in the fridge. 🙂
    I think it helps a lot not to worry about cooking 😀

    Congrats on getting so far with the CFA exams. I know it's a very VERY hard exam and I know you can do it!!! YAY FOR FINANCE PEOPLE! 😀

  • prosephina February 11, 2012 at 12:10 am

    Jean, you're such an inspiration! I think it's very important to be honest with one self and equally important to find fulfillment in life, that way one can prioritize and a figure out a balance for everything. I am so very glad you find blogging to be a stress relieving outlet. Do take time off to study if you need- I personally, selfishly, would wish for you to pass so you can blog more. 🙂 Good luck!

  • Annapurna February 11, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Good luck girl!

  • Anonymous February 11, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Good luck on level 3!! I'm sitting for level 1 in June…ugh. It's difficult to find balance. I think having a supportive group around you helps–people who are understanding of your personal goals and help you achieve those goals by, say, leaving you alone when you need to study or reminding you to take a break so you won't burn yourself out. I'm sure you'll do great. You're almost at the finish line! Smart, pretty, and fashionable–get it, girl!


    P.S. Take a nice, long vacation after the exam! I plan on doing so. 😉

  • Halle February 11, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    oh my gosh I love Wendy! She's awesome! And so are you!! You look beautiful in that outfit, gal! If you check out my blog that would make my day! 🙂

    Best Wishes from,

  • Our Wired Lives February 11, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Good for you for being able to balance and keep the fun stuff like blogging in your life. Screw the shaving.. you're pretty enough to work it 😉 J/K. Best of luck with the studying.

  • Claud February 11, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    I totally understand what you're going through, I'm in a similar situation finishing my graduate studies. Best of luck Jean! I'm sure you are going to do amazing. Let's celebrate after we get done 🙂

  • Anonymous February 11, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    In one of your previous blog posts you mentioned your mom's cooking blog. What is the name of it? and may I have a link to it?

  • Carol February 11, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Good luck, not that you need it! I will totally miss your eloquent posts.

  • Anonymous February 11, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Hi jean!

    I enjoy reading your blog. I understand that you are needing to find balance with everything you do. I know you don't want to close down your blog, but I think you just need to put things in perspective. The most important thing is your exam. Consider going on a temporary hiatus. People will understand that you have to do what you have to do. The blog and your fans will always be here. Think about it this way, you are paying a lot of money for your exam, you don't want to have to do it again. We are not superhuman nor are we expected to be. Don't put so much pressure on yourself. At the end of the day its not worth it. Best of luck!

  • Clara Turbay February 11, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Fabulous, i´ll be back soon.


  • MJL February 11, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Just want to drop by to say hi! I just discovered your blog and am in love with the style!! I'm petite and revamping much of my closet and work clothes. Thanks for the inspirations!! ^_^

  • Anonymous February 11, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    I emailed her once asking, she said it was closed but referred http://www.userealbutter.com which I have come to love!

  • Alice February 11, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Hi Jean! Ahhhh, this outfit is so cute! When I saw your post and went to J.Crew's website to order the skirt only to find the biggest size available is size 8. I've a pretty consistent size 10 in children's clothing, so I was pretty bummed. But now I wish I got the size 8 because the biggest size now is size 3, haha. Darn the troubles of online shopping!

    In terms of balancing your schedule, I can totally sympathize. Before I graduated last May, I was overloading 20 credit hours, doing research at the med school, working 20 hours a week, and throw in independent research and thesis writing for senior year too. One thing I noticed was that it's very counterproductive to force myself to study when I'm tired. It was more helpful when I see a sign of fatigue (reading the same line over and over and over….), I would rest and do something that requires no brain power, so to speak. So when I start working again, my brain's rested, and I focus better. I don't really know anything about CFA exams, but if the time crunch isn't terrible, try relaxing when you get home (maybe reinforce old material you've already studied, so it's not too tiring), then go to bed. In the morning, wake up earlier to study before work (even though you're still loosing sleep, I find this much more productive than studying while fighting sleep and fatigue at night!) Then on weekends use one day for hardcore studying and another day or light studying and chillaxing. Also try to multi-task as much as possible – eat and study, eat and hang out, study and hang out (study party? idkkkkk! haha). Ok, this rant is getting way too long, but, good luck and hopefully you won't be too stressed!

  • MI Beer Wench February 11, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Please don't stop posting, sporadic posts are much better than none! Good luck with your exam…I was in a similar boat a few years back – tough but worth it in the end. All the best to you, and thank you!

  • Scarlett February 11, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    OMG you are so awesome! I signed up for CFA Level 2 and now due to spending around 11 hours in the office every day I almost give up on it…..Too exhausted!

  • Anonymous February 12, 2012 at 12:20 am

    Please don't stop posting. I love your blog and think it's one of the best out there for petite fashion.

  • Lemiza February 12, 2012 at 5:41 am

    Woow amazing look!!


  • newpetite February 12, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Gorgeous!! Love the colors here! You are my inspiration behind dressing better and starting my own blog to keep me going. Please dont stop posting!

  • J February 12, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    love the skirt! initially, i was like size 10!? what? but yes crewcuts, aka kids, makes PERFECT sense! you look gorgeous!

  • Rinny February 12, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    I love the neon yellow skirt! I can't believe it's a J.Crew kids item, because it looks like something that would be appropriate for women as well. You look great!

    And best of luck with your CFA exam! Don't worry so much about your blog until then – real life responsibilities are more important. Whenever personal life gets in the way of blogging, I just put my blog on the backburner. You seem to have a very loyal group of readers, so I'm sure they will still be here when you can be more active 🙂

  • PetiteAsianGirl February 12, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    In person I think it's the same highlighter yellow you speak of. I actually like that it's neon (very of-the-moment) and not sunny yellow! I didn't make color adjustments for these photos but my camera doesn't always capture colors accurately.

  • PetiteAsianGirl February 12, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Thank you! I got mine on my phone and already put it to use : )

  • PetiteAsianGirl February 12, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Thanks for the awesome tip! I shared it on Twitter too & and will definitely keep it in mind when 2012/2012 J.Crew final sales roll around.

  • PetiteAsianGirl February 12, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Thanks, Catherine! I work in risk management and am about to transfer to business valuation.

  • PetiteAsianGirl February 12, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    Sending good luck wishes your way for Level 3 : )

  • PetiteAsianGirl February 12, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    I love it too – it's Mulberry and there are more details on her blog : )

  • PetiteAsianGirl February 12, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Hi there – My mom's blog is on private but I do LOVE userealbutter.com for recipes and photos.

  • PetiteAsianGirl February 12, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    Thank you all so much for your thoughtful advice and words of encouragement. I read and appreciate every comment!

  • Karen (littlepiecefnb) February 12, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    Good luck with your exams, Jean! I think blogging (even if periodically) is a great way to relieve stress and just take your mind off of work/studying. You and Wendy always look amazing…love your blogs!

  • Kathy February 14, 2012 at 2:56 am

    Hi Jean, this is my first time posting on your blog. I recently just started interning at an accounting firm and was in desperate need of recommendations/advice on professional work clothing while still looking stylish, well put together, clean, fresh, and polished. Just wanted to stop by and say THANK YOU for being an inspiration. I'm currently taking my CPA exams, and although I don't know you, I feel that I'm not alone on this tough journey ahead. Be strong and i'm sure all of your readers can't wait till you share with us the great news when you pass. Best of luck!

  • fabulously frugirl February 18, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Hello Jean,

    I am a longtime lurker but rare commenter. We've met IRL before, and you are really such a sweetheart and as beautiful inside and out.

    Thank you so much for being such a resource and role model, for not only petite women, but for women in general, looking for clothes and fashion that fits. You always look classy and put together, and your intelligences and passion for fashion and what you do, really shines through in all your writing.

    I hope (selfishly) that you will continue to keep ExtraPetite open, even as your crazy schedule continues. Your readers, fans and fellow lurkers – like myself, will always be here waiting for your next post, when you return. Like someone above said, even for sporadic post is better than none! 🙂

    Good luck in writing your CFA exam! It's the last one, so just hang in there! You can do it 🙂 and you will pass with flying colours – I just know it.

  • snow0016 February 26, 2012 at 6:43 am

    Hi, I've been a reader for a long time now. I just entered the working force and at the same time signed up for a vocational course. I still have other pending responsibilities and I am having difficulty giving time to all of them, leaving me focusing to only one of them. But this post renewed my inspiration to fulfill all of my responsibilities and doing my best to finish them well. Thank you for being so inspiring. Please continue blogging even just once in a while! Wish you well on your exam!

  • Gabrielle March 4, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Hi Jean,

    As a candidate myself, I totally understand the feeling of being so smooshed in by work, homelife, and the CFA candidacy progress. Take solace that the pass rate was 51% last year for level 3- you've made it past the stages where less than half of us continue on!

    If you need to pare down your life, do so. Nobody can tell you what's right for you! It'd be like someone suggesting I stop volunteering- when life gets hard, you need to hold on to what makes you happy. Be easy and kind to yourself. You're entering a group of people so small that there's only 100,000 in the world- what you're doing isn't easy!

    Best of luck

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