Life lately via Instagram

I’ve been getting questions via Instagram on recipes, outfit details, and travel / food recommendations so figured I’d share extra commentary on here where it’s easier to write. Here are a few of my favorite snaps from the past month, including an easy + yummy brunch dish to make at home!
photo 6

Camilyn Beth dress c/o (from this post), Clare Vivier leopard bag (old), DIY sash

A tradition that I look forward to all year is getting afternoon tea at the Taj hotel with my girlfriends. We dress up and chat for hours while reaching new sugar + caffeine highs. It’s always a challenge finding an outfit dressy enough for the occasion, but warm and comfy enough for a long walk in chilly December.
holiday tea

Layered with J.Crew coat, Bobeau fleece (hidden), and gloves (similar for short fingers)

Each year I’ve ended up wearing my Stuart Weitzman boots for warmth, with a dress that hits slightly higher than the boot shaft. It started out for functionality, but I’ve come to love the look of over-the-knee boots with a dressier piece! A stark white dress might seem suitable only for warm weather, but can be winter-chic as well in a classic black + white pairing (also try layering a striped tee or solid turtleneck underneath).
photo 5

H&M; scarf, Sheinside coat c/o (read review), Gap jeans, Prada tote, Nine West flats c/o

Above, Nick and I are in Copley Square en route to do some gift shopping. Yes I’m in sock-less flats – got a few questions/chastising comments on this, but when walking quickly it really doesn’t bother me any more than having an exposed face. I picked up an iPhone 6+ for my elderly grandfather, who a few years ago adamantly refused all technology/ mobile / internet-related products however is now glued to his Apple gadgets and active with selfies on social media.

underbelly ramen

Left: Nick + grandpa Instagram’ing before each meal. Right: Underbelly ramen in San Diego

We spent Christmas in San Diego where I indulged in good eats galore. With Asian food I usually avoid “fusion” places like the plague since I like those flavors authentic, but ended up loving Underbelly ramen (2 locations). This is the “belly of the beast” bowl which has oxtail dumplings, hoisin-braised short rib, and smoked brisket in a tonkotsu broth. My gripe was there were no spoons for drinking the broth; waitress said this is so customers have to pick up the bowl and drink…umm, alright, next time I’ll just go with a spoon in my pocket!
This place seems to be hit or miss based on reviews but the noodles I got had good texture and the broth was rich and flavorful, especially when you add in a spoonful or two of the “ghost chilli pepper” paste at the tables. I finished every drop, spoon-less and all. Pork bun in the back left was good (tho does not measure up to Ippudo’s) but I’d definitely pass on the octopus appetizer next time.
photo 4
I can’t get enough of the citrus trees in Nick’s parents’ yard which bear an abundance of fruit year-round. Here, I’m wearing these comfy LOFT destructed jeans, old Gap sweater and my Ferragamo flats. I ordered another pair of the LOFT modern skinny jeans in “dark rinse” wash during a past sale and mistakenly received curvy instead of modern fit. The fit is pretty starkly different, cut more generously in the hips and thighs so could be good for those with a curvier figure.
photo 3
Oh, Matcha Love…how I waited for this day. I’m a green tea ice cream fanatic and heard months ago that a soft serve version could be found in the food court of select Mitsuwa grocery stores (store locator). This didn’t disappoint – was very creamy and the matcha flavor was not overpowering nor too sweet.
photo 2
For Christmas, Nick received his late grandmother’s cast iron skillets which was both sweet and perfect since the boy loves to cook. He put it to use whipping up this dish, which is great for getting rid of ingredients in the fridge. I’ve never bothered to make homemade hash in the past, but the process was easy and the results were crispy on the outside and tender on the inside – so yummy that I’m counting down the days before having it again.

Steps – too easy to be called a recipe!
1) Thoroughly wash and cube russet potatoes. We used unpeeled since the skin crisps up nicely, and did 1 large potato per person.
2) Place frying pan or skillet over medium heat and add oil to coat the bottom after the pan is heated. Put potato cubes in, mostly skin-side down. The key is to not stir them for about 5 minutes or until the bottom of the cubes are browned and seared. You can pick one up to check out the bottom.
3) Flip potatoes and turn heat down to medium-low. Stir only occasionally to allow more sides to brown. Cook for a total of 15-20 minutes until
potatoes are soft in the center – taste to test.
4) Before potatoes are done cooking, season with salt and pepper to taste. If eggs are desired, cook them in a separate pan while the potatoes finish up then serve topped over your hash.

Optional add-ins: We added sausage, onion, kale, cheddar cheese, and herbs to empty out our fridge which ended up being delicious. Be creative with what you have on hand and with your favorite seasonings (sriracha a must for me). If you have greens in your fridge like spinach or kale, throw these in during the last few minutes of the potato cooking since they don’t need long to cook down.


51 thoughts on “Life lately via Instagram

  • Happiness at Mid Life January 6, 2015 at 12:33 am

    That ramen looks so good! I will have to bring my spoon and head out there the next time I am in San Diego.


  • Julia January 6, 2015 at 12:40 am

    This is so funny that your Grandpa is addicted to his iPhone now! I bought my grandma a smartphone 2 years ago and she now has the habit of checking her phone the first thing when she wakes up and the last thing before she closes her eyes in bed… and of course, taking pictures or sending us text messages whenever she can! She even found chinese tv shows to watch on her phone whenever she's bored. Basically living with it now. However, one thing older people should be watch out for is their eyes – although iPhone 6 plus is a relatively bigger phone, their eyes still easily get fatigue by looking at it for too long. Make sure you tell your grandpa about that.

    Julia || Closet de Jules
    Recent Post: How to Wear Marsala – Color of the Year 2015

  • Diana January 6, 2015 at 12:55 am

    Cool pix!


  • prudence yeo January 6, 2015 at 2:45 am

    All the food images in this post make me feel so hungry, yummy! And love the scallop hem of the dress, so pretty!


  • Anonymous January 6, 2015 at 3:48 am

    Oh, that lovely white dress with cookie line. Sure you had a great time wit the girls 🙂 Wonderful to hear about grandpa and iPhone : so people can change their mind. Maybe this IPhone 6 is easier to use because it is bigger than older models. Love and hugs to you, everyone
    — Anu from Finland.

  • Dolce Petite January 6, 2015 at 5:33 am

    I really love your dress! And now I'm craving Matcha Ice Cream 🙂
    Dolce Kisses ♥
    Bloglovin | Instagram

  • Taramixandmatch January 6, 2015 at 6:14 am

    That breakfast meal looks amazing… 🙂

  • Sasa Zoe January 6, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Love your beautiful dress:)

    Shall We Sasa

  • Joy Shiness January 6, 2015 at 9:48 am
  • Anonymous January 6, 2015 at 9:50 am

    I can confirm that Loft's curvy fit is indeed wonderful! Zero gapping at the waistband. They're the only jeans I wear. (10" difference between hips and waist.) I'm also in love with Halogen's seamed pencil skirt, which fits at both waist and hips with no pulling (

  • Di January 6, 2015 at 10:17 am

    That is so cute that your grandpa Instagrams. Love the dress and Happy New Year!

  • Anonymous January 6, 2015 at 10:21 am

    How fitting…am actually going to San Diego for the first time next weekend so it was nice to see your recommendations. Definitely putting Mitsuwa on the list!

  • Ella Pretty Blog January 6, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Loved all the commentary behind your IG pics – definitely keep these up pls as they're so much fun to read! That ramen looks so yummy – I wish I could make it at home – at least I can make the hash 🙂 thanks for the recipe!

    MY BLOG: ♥♥♥ Ella Pretty ♥♥♥   

  • Abbie January 6, 2015 at 11:17 am

    I agree! The LOFT curvy styles work extremely well for my shape (smaller waist, but hippy). I used to have to buy a size bigger and have the waist taken in, which was a pain and costly.

  • lisacng @ January 6, 2015 at 11:22 am

    The photo of your grandma taking a foodie pic is ADORABLE! Happy New Year Jean!

  • Nic January 6, 2015 at 11:48 am

    Loft's curvy petite jeans have been a godsend for me! No more gapping at the waist in the back, and still in a length that works for a shorty like me. I am super happy that they started making them, and in many washes and styles to boot.

  • Trang' s corner January 6, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    You look amazing in this outfit! I need to get the top in my wardrobe too.

    Happy new year!

  • Eden Mint January 6, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Love the first white dress, super chic. I wish I had a citrus tree in my backyard. Very lucky!

  • Franziska January 6, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    Isn't it so interesting when people comment on flats in the winter? As long as it's not hard core snowing, I'm almost always in flats in the winter. I like to refer to my "hussy ankles" but really, I just don't see a need for heavy boots when there isn't any snow out there 😉

  • Millie Scimia January 6, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    I'm sorry…I'm one of those "flats in the winter"?! people! hahah I would LOVE to be able to do that but my feet get so cold! Maybe it's something you have to get accustomed to? Anyway, Jean, would you mind sharing your workout routine or tips to stay in shape? I realize that a lot of being thin is genetics, but you seem to actually eat REAL food and you're so petite! I'd love to hear your secrets! Thanks

  • Abby January 6, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    I live in the Great Northeast and wear flats in the winter as well. Big frigging deal, people. Keep stinking up your feet and legs sweating in your imitation leather boots.

    I love your grandpa Instagramming.

  • Anonymous January 6, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    I second this…I'm sure a lot of it is genetics, but you have a great body. So if you have any tips about keeping in shape I would love to hear them.

  • Suzie Q January 6, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Such a great idea with commentaries behind your recent lovely iG pics! I love that your grandpa is now hooked on iphone, so cute! I love your outfit for your afternoon tea!

    xo, Suzie Q

  • Anonymous January 6, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    Jean, happy new year! I love the look of the OTK boots on you. Are they easy to put on and take off? Thanks, marissa

  • P January 6, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Hi Jean! I went to Chicago a few months ago and tried Uncle Mike's per your recommendation and loved it (my first time having Filipino food too). Thanks for the suggestion!

    I just came back from San Diego and will have to try Underbelly next time. Since you brought up cold desserts, have you been to Viva Pops in San Diego? They're famous for their "gourmet" popsicles. I know, it sounds kinda weird but they're pretty good and they have really unique flavors. Maybe you can try them the next time you're in SD. 🙂 ~Phoebe

  • Amadea Kristani January 6, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    I really love reading this kind of posts from you. Your grandpa is so cute with his iPhone! =)
    The potatoes looks delicious and sounds easy enough. I'm definitely going to try the "steps"!

    Amadea |

  • January 7, 2015 at 12:46 am

    Happy belated New Year, Jean!
    Your outfits are as cute as always. But revisiting all these lovely food pics make me so hungry!!!


  • Anonymous January 7, 2015 at 1:53 am

    Definitely try Yamadaya Ramen in Claremont Mesa. It will put Underbelly to shame. Jonathan Gold, famed LA food critic, ranked it in his Top 10 ramen picks.

  • Lisa Tran January 7, 2015 at 3:02 am

    Love the scalloped dress!! Beautiful pics! I'm getting hungry looking at those food pictures. Yummy!

  • Paola January 7, 2015 at 4:49 am

    I love the way you styled your white dress!

  • Sylwia Badora January 7, 2015 at 5:33 am


  • Elissa Garza January 7, 2015 at 8:29 am

    I am still trying to season my cast iron skillet! It's been quite a challenge.


  • Amanda | The Cool York January 7, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Love all of the outfits!!
    Amanda |

  • A Golden Tulip January 7, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    love those OTK boots…and loved the casual vibe of the pics on this post..


  • Audrey January 7, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Hi Jean. Do you ever have issues with booties being too big around the ankle? Is so, what do you do?

  • Joyce TeawithMD January 8, 2015 at 1:54 am

    Aww I love that you bought your grandpa an iphone! That is so sweet and heartwarming <3

    An MD's take on health & beauty!

  • Sam January 8, 2015 at 5:03 am

    You look amazing:) Your grandpa is really cool 🙂

  • greentOkki January 8, 2015 at 8:42 am

    That ramen looks amazing! And I'm glad your grandpa is enjoying his iPhone. 🙂

  • Kristie Glenn January 8, 2015 at 11:01 am

    This looks like an amazing time with your family!

  • Emily January 8, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    LOL at the sockless flats. I had a lady on the plane scold me for that! Do people wear socks with their flats? What kind of socks are you supposed to wear with flats? I am definitely not going to wear boots on a 12 hours flight!

    Jemily Life

  • Elizabeth Lee January 9, 2015 at 12:59 am

    love all the outfits. that bow belt is perfect. 🙂
    love, liz

  • Anonymous January 9, 2015 at 10:39 am

    Hi Jean! Random question but how do you get your hair to look so nice and wavy? Do you just use a curling iron everyday or did you get it permed before? Thanks!

  • Tanya Golubeva January 9, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Lovely post!!!! Great photos.
    What makes you beautiful

  • Paige Ma January 9, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    All of your outfits look fabulous! I am so jealous of your California trip. 😉 I am based in freezing Minnesota…….two days ago it was -40 with wind chill, and yesterday we had an actual blizzard. I would love to hear your styling suggestions for such frigid weather, since most days I look like a walking sleeping bag in my huge down coat!

  • Rodelma Lopez January 10, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Wow nice holidays…. I just wished we had good weather during the holiday, twas crazy freezing here in Milton and first thing is to bundle up now keep warm ending up with huge winter coat all over…anyways love this post again grandpa is so cute

  • A January 12, 2015 at 1:31 am

    that ramen looks amazing!! could definitely use a bowl right now. is nick standing on two chairs for pictures?! LOL!!! my friends and i do annual holiday tea too but the options in my city are very limited and unimpressive for the prices that they charge!. lastly, I'm looking into trench options and really love the color of your burberry trench. can you please share the color of your trench if you still remember it. thank you!

  • Ever So Jenny January 12, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    The hash dish looks so yummy! Ippudo in NYC is my favorite place to get ramen… You just can't go wrong! It also looks like you had a great time herding those fruits from California! It's a shame Boston weather doesn't allow for such bountiful fruit. 🙁 Love your blog, Jean!!

  • Gigi Katz January 12, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    I definitely need to go follow you on instagram! such beautiful pictures. love the food and fashion both! xx. gigi.

  • Anonymous January 23, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    You Asian fashion bloggers are all the same. You all are very insecure with your Asian background as you all feel the need to always date white guys to make yourselves feel less Asian. What is even worst is that you seem so proud to be with your white boyfriend like its such a big deal. How pathetic! Be proud of your roots and embrace Asian men more.

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