Hip to be Shopping – All green for St Patrick’s Day

With St Patrick’s Day just around the corner, it’s time to think green. This week, I present my hand-picked selection of green that’s guaranteed to make your St Patrick’s Day a little bit of spring and that much more special.

Pure Edith Hat in Green
Pure Edith Hat in Green

This vintage-inspired cloche is effortlessly elegant! Its unique, asymmetrical design of woven straw hearkens to the days of letter-writing in today’s modern world of texts and emoticons. A sage-green velveteen bow encircles the brim, while a burlap floral pattern cascades down the side of this hat in a stylish fashion. Whether you’re wearing a retro outfit from the roaring 20s or a modern sundress with eyelets along the hem, you can add a hint of sophistication to your ensemble with this beautiful hat.

Needlework it Out Dress in Green
Needlework it Out Dress in Green

Working your craft stand in snazzy style, you sell your handmade creations in this green dress! Intricately embroidered white flowers and swirls adorn the bodice and skirt of this vibrant button-up frock. Charmingly embellished with puff sleeves and flouncy pleats, this delightful dress is cinched to a fabulous fit with a back sash, keeping you so cozily chic!

Morning Amour Flat in Green
Morning Amour Flat in Green

The world around you is just beginning to wake – and you’re already up and at em in your bright green flats. Its refreshing to rise with the sun and enjoy the best part of your day in these apex-toed flats, complete with a button-studded decorative strap and a sweet simplicity that matches your morning!

And here’s how to enjoy FREE US shipping on all orders $50+. No coupon required.

Clairity/

Hip to be Shopping – Going retro this swimwear season

Like I said before, although it’s technically still winter right now, there are some places (like California) where we seem to have skipped winter altogether and gone straight on to spring. No matter if it’s cold or warm where you’re at, summer will be along sooner enough. My hand-picked selection of retro swimwear will take you to a new level of hip. So check these out sooner rather than later!

Free to Sea One-Piece Swimsuit
Free to Sea One-Piece Swimsuit

Ready, set, vacay! Make a break for the ocean sporting this nautical bathing suit by the iconic Esther Williams. The anchor-etched buttons of this retro suit will make waves among shoreline stylistas (I guarantee it!), while that bright red trim that serves as a halter tie tops off this flatteringly slim swim dress with a bold touch!

Set the Serene Swimsuit Top in Emerald
Set the Serene Swimsuit Top in Emerald

A lagoon is the perfect cool-off spot, and today you’re lounging on the shore in this patterned swimsuit. This ModCloth-exclusive halter swimwear features an emerald hue and wrapped layers of fabric on its bust. Spend the day in this bikini top and its matching bottom and feel at peace with nature.

High Tide and True One-Piece Swimsuit in Black
High Tide and True One-Piece Swimsuit in Black

Reach for this black swimsuit by Bettie Page before a day at the beach, and you’re sure to make a stylish splash. Flaunting a retro silhouette that’s enhanced by a cute collar, piping detail, and low-cut legs, this scarlet-trimmed halter offers a stunning seaside look you can count on.

Yes, you definitely need to check more retro swimwear like these at Modcloth’s Swim Collection. I promise you will be tempted by more than just one design. Happy shopping and have a great weekend :grin: !

Clairity/

Colorful Asparagus Stirfry

Colorful Asparagus Stirfry

I don’t remember liking asparagus when I was younger, but I sure love them now. Not only are they full of nutrients, they are also very tasty. My favorite weeknight dinner is a colorful asparagus stirfry that is so easy it takes no time at all to cook.

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Here’s what you need for my quick and easy asparagus stirfry:

  • A handful of asparagus, cut into 2-3 inch lengths
  • 1 green + 1 green pepper, diced (if you have yellow pepper, throw that in for color!)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoon cooking oil (I use avocado oil)
  • 1-2 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

I heat up the avocado oil in a skillet on high heat. Give the oil a few minutes to heat up before tossing in the garlic. Some people like to add the garlic later almost as an afterthought but for me, in as far as Asian cooking goes, the garlic always goes in first to give it a chance to flavor the oil. So once the garlic becomes fragrant, I saute the diced peppers for a few minutes to let them soften.

The asparagus goes in next followed by oyster sauce. The measurements I’ve given are just an estimate. I actually just eyeball it. Mix everything together and give it a good stir. Put on the lid and let the asparagus cook through, which shouldn’t take very long, probably 5 minutes. At this point, you can season to taste. I usually finish off with a drizzle of sesame oil, and it’s ready to serve.

I’ve noticed that many recipes call for sesame seeds to be sprinkled over Asian dishes as a finishing touch. Do sesame seeds make a dish more Asian? I don’t know. What I do know is that in authentic Asian cooking, sesame seeds aren’t used that often. Of course you can add them if you like, it’s really up to you.

If you’re an asparagus lover, do give this recipe a try. I’m sure you’ll like it as much as I do. Here I’ve paired my asparagus stirfry with pan-fried salmon over rice to make a healthy and delicious weeknight dinner. Enjoy!

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Clairity/

Bah humbug!

Glad it’s over… the Lunar New Year, I mean. I used to enjoy it but with each passing year, it’s becoming more and more of a chore. Maybe times have changed. Maybe I’ve become disillusioned. Or maybe it’s a bit of both.

The superstitions: First off, I’m not into the tradition of decorating the house with red decor and lucky plants and symbols, and eating food with auspicious names. So I don’t even bother. I’m no expert but I just can’t see how eating auspiciously named food will make you rich, or having some lucky plant in your home will bring you good luck. If this were true, everyone on Planet Earth would be a freakin’ millionaire.

Relative amnesia: I have some relatives who keep asking the same old questions every year and I keep giving them the same old answers every year. I thought amnesia only happens in soap operas. Some of my relatives are archaeologists, constantly digging for new info. And some of them are bullet trains, boasting non-stop for 3 hours straight.

Boycotting Chinese restaurants: We avoid dining at Chinese restaurants for the length of the Lunar New Year. It’s something we’ve been doing for years. For someone who doesn’t enjoy getting ripped off, paying through the nose for food that’s nothing special except that they come with auspicious names just don’t cut it for me. No thanks!

The gifting contest: It used to be that the exchange of gifts was purely symbolic. Over the years, however, gift giving has become more and more of a contest. Gifts have become ever bigger and more expensive because people are either trying to show off how rich they are, or they’re trying to get into the good graces of their rich relatives. Frankly I’ve got better things to do than compete for who brings the biggest and most expensive gifts.

Wherefore manners: In the good old days, we would greet our elders by their titles like Second Aunt or Grand Uncle. These days, you would be hard-pressed to hear your nieces and nephews (or even your adult relatives) greet you by your title. All you get these days (if they even bother to greet you at all!) is “Hello, happy new year!”. Excuse me, hello who??? As a younger person (doesn’t matter if you’re 8 or 80), you always greet someone older by their title. Good manners have definitely gone down the drain.

The animal factor: I read that the year of the goat is not a good year to have kids, and some couples were opting for C-sections to have their babies born before the new year. A bit extreme, don’t you think? Well, it seems someone’s always coming up with these kinds of predictions like oh, this is a bad year for this animal year, yada yada yada and people would actually believe them. And don’t even get me started on the feng shui nonsense. All I have to say is – be kind, be compassionate, keep your fingers off what’s not yours, eat less seafood and you’ll be just fine.

I prefer to spend my Lunar New Years across the planet. I don’t drink or gamble and I find LNY songs annoying so I’m not missing much. I find it infinitely more fun hanging out at home with my kids over some good old home-cooked food ala Thanksgiving or Christmas. So yeah!

Clairity/

Hip to be Shopping – Warm tops pretty enough for any kind of day

The weather’s been so unpredictable everywhere that I’m getting all spiral-eyed trying to picking out a selection this week. There was a time when winter meant coats and jackets but these days, who knows? :grin: Take the weather here in California, for example, we seem to have skipped winter (except for a few days when it was cold but even then, not cold enough to be wearing a jacket) and now spring is here in the middle of February.

So here I am, with my weekly selection of stuff I have hand-picked, stuff that I would actually wear myself… a very pretty selection, I might add, of tops warm enough for a cool day that won’t leave you shivering when the wind blows.

Petite Red Embellished Shell Top

Petite Red Embellished Shell TopPetite Red Embellished Shell Top

This red embellished top may be sleeveless but it’s perfect for wearing on its own when you take your coat off in the office. The subtle embellishments take you effortlessly from day to night for that after-work gathering on the town.

Pale Pink Soft Knitted Jumper

Pale Pink Soft Knitted JumperPale Pink Soft Knitted Jumper

I love the texture and color of this jumper. It’s a pretty color that is easy to pair with either a skirt or pants. You can wear it day or night and still look so presentable.

Coral Fringe Rib Poncho

Coral Fringe Rib PonchoCoral Fringe Rib Poncho

Just look at the color of this poncho. Sure makes a statement, doesn’t it? And that loose cowl neck gives it a casual look that’s not too casual, know what I mean? Whether it’s a quick trip to the office, or the store, this will do just fine.

Let’s face it, why stick with drab winter colors when you can bust out in these cheerful spring colors, eh? Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed my picks for this week. Wallis is offering FREE delivery on orders over $50 simply by using the code – WALLIS50 – at checkout for a limited time only, so you should definitely check these out! Have a great weekend.

Clairity/

Cinful, if that’s even a word

Cinful, if that's even a word

When we returned from our vacation to the Bay Area, Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard was pretty much empty so we made a quick trip to the grocery store and … yes, bagels are back in our lives! And they were on sale too. I grabbed two bags of 6 bagels each for only $6. So glad I did because the minute I opened the package, I knew they were going to be good.

I don’t have a toaster so I stuck them in the oven and pretty soon, the kitchen was smelling of cinnamon. Reminds me of how much I’ve missed these babies. Slap on a ton of butter and it’s heaven!!

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And to round things off our ‘light’ lunch, we had Klondike bars. In college, I was fascinated by that polar bear in the Klondike ad on TV (anyone remember him?). Don’t ask me why. I just thought he was adorable.

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But never having been much of a dessert fan, I didn’t buy any to try back then. Now yee-ears later, I’m finally getting to taste a Klondike bar. All it is is a slab of chocolate-coated ice cream but looking at its size, it’s obvious this is way too big to be your regular ice-cream on a stick.

lunch9_2

It looks so perfect I couldn’t bring myself to bite into it. But when I did, that thin crisp chocolate coating snapped with a click into a big burst of vanilla… well, you can imagine!!

lunch9_3

And I’d say, it tastes pretty close to heaven, if you like your dessert sinfully sweet. I like it but it’s too sweet for me. I would still eat them but it’ll probably take us a while to get through that 6-pack. By the way, this was so big it took the 3 of us to finish just this one slab!!

Clairity/

The Golden Gate Bridge is what?

The Golden Gate Bridge is what?

From Lombard Street, we headed to the Golden Gate Bridge. The plan was to walk the bridge seeing as it was such good weather. Well, trust us to pick a day when the Golden Gate Bridge was completely closed to traffic for maintenance for the first time in 77 years!! Man oh man! Okay, no problem, we know a place where we can still get a great view of the bridge but first, we had to find a restroom… bad!

Well, if you’re looking for a restroom, the Palace of Fine Arts isn’t the place!! We took a detour there thinking surely a touristy place like that would have at least some one restroom? No. There are undoubtedly restrooms inside the convention hall behind it but that’s closed most of the time unless there’s an event.

If you’ve ever gone restroom-hunting on a desperately full bladder, you know it isn’t funny! The closest thing we found was an IHOP a couple of blocks down. Since their restroom is for customers only, we ended up eating brunch there with the intention of having lunch in Chinatown later. Up till now, we’ve never had reason to go to IHOP – I make my own pancakes. So naturally we didn’t order pancakes but these instead…

I hop away

They were nothing special but that’s the price you pay for using their restroom! Not once, but twice each to make it worth our money, hahah! The crazy things we do!

We picked a fine day to go to the recreation area near the Golden Gate Bridge. It was swarming with half the city out running, bicycling, walking their dogs, kids and surfboards on a Sunday! Driving was madness. There were people everywhere but we found a parking spot easily enough, right next to some guy who was getting geared up to go paddle boarding with his dog. In the freezing waters of the Pacific Ocean? Wow!!

Golden Gate Brdige

Clairity/
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