Sunday, June 30, 2013

Work Outfit Series: Under My White Coat #1

 I have a love-hate relationship with my white coat.  I love that the ample pockets are great for storage -- women's clothing don't often have many functional pockets so the white coat stores my iPhone, pens, small wallet, and my trusty box of lenses.  It also protects me and my clothes from pen leaks, accidental spills, and grimy hospital germs.  When I am in a rush, I can hide an otherwise lackluster outfit behind the coat.  But this is also something I hate -- I hate that any attempt at looking feminine and lady-like is covered by this shapeless white tent.

Now every hospital or clinic is different, so this may not apply for everyone but I want to share some of my tips for styling under a white coat.  Today's tip...

...add a pop of color like these cobalt blue pants.  I have my army of black work pants but I'm always looking for ones in bright vibrant colors.  Work pants are notoriously hard to find because I tend to wear flats at work and dragging hems are always a problem (not to mention gross!).  Therefore, I tend to wear cropped pants and am fortunate that I live in a climate that allows me to do so year round.

My lenses - a necessary tool for any retina specialist.  They come in standard black but I couldn't resist getting some in pretty purple! 

Black cardigan: J. Crew 'Jackie'. Black and white top: Jovovich-Hawk for Target (super old). 
Blue cropped pants: Theory 'Sienna' in Bright Sapphire (similar here). 
Snow leopard print flats: River Island (old)  (Last seen here).

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Pies are one of those desserts that can be intimidating to tackle.  Most of the time, it's the homemade crust that is the most daunting.  There's always the debate of butter versus shortening for the crust.  I've tried time and time again to make a yummy butter crust but in my hands, the flour always gets overworked, lumpy, and difficult to roll.  I had never used shortening before, but once I did, it was a game changer.  For me, this recipe always yields a pliable dough that bakes up to a deliciously flaky crust.  And once you've mastered the crust, the rest is...well as they say...easy as pie!

Carolyn's Foolproof Crust Recipe
(yields 2 crusts)
3 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups of Crisco shortening (I like using the sticks for easy measuring)
3/4 cup cold water

Combine crust ingredients and mix until crumbly and pea sized.  Mix in water, lightly. Make sure you don't overwork the crust!  Press together and chill.  This yields two crusts and can be prepared a day in advance.  Just wrap in Saran Wrap and place in the fridge.    

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Pie crust recipe above
2 1/2 cups chopped red rhubarb (I use a vegetable peeler over the back to get rid of any tough fibers)
2 1/2 cups hulled, washed, and cut strawberries
2 tbsp corn starch or minute tapioca
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp butter, cubed small

Divide the dough in two and roll out to 1/8-1/4" thick disk.  Fold one disk over rolling pin and transfer to pie dish.  Place crust and pie dish in the fridge while preparing filling ingredients.  2nd disk can be used as is for a top crust or cut into strips for a lattice top.

Mix all of the ingredients except for the butter in a large bowl and pour into chilled crust. Dot the top of the filling with the butter.  Place top crust or lattice strips over filling. Crimp to seal edges.  Collar with foil and bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes. Decrease temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for an additional 45 to 50 minutes, or until the filling starts bubbling.  I like to serve this pie at room temperature as it's easier to make pretty slices.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

White Out Summer

I've shied away from white blazers in the past since they usually remind me of the blah oversized white coats I wear to work every day.  This one was different, with its nipped in waist, defined shoulders, and clean lapel.  I paired a cream tonal sequin tank with my streamlined blazer and jeans for some added texture.  I'm loving all this white I'm seeing everywhere for the summer.  It feels so clean and fresh! 

I wore this outfit to Carolyn's birthday dinner at Hinoki and the Bird, a beautiful new-ish restaurant hidden away amongst the high rises of Century City.  I loved their use of natural elements to decorate their outdoor patio.  The Japanese-influenced food was even more delicious, and we were super happy to have a win-win in both the ambience and flavor categories (not an easy feat!).  We highly recommend their lobster roll - a light interpretation of a normally heavy sandwich, and the hinoki wood scented black cod - perfectly buttery flaky goodness with a light touch of smoke.  There's nothing better than dining al fresco with good food and friends.


White blazer: Zara.  Cream sequin tank: J.Crew. White jeans: Joe's Jeans.  Nude heeled sandals: Celine.  Earrings: Forever 21.  Necklace/Rings: Old.  Silver clutch: Vintage from mom.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

One Year Older

As a summer baby, I rarely had parties or did much to celebrate since school was out and everyone was on vacation.  With all of the graduation festivities, I didn't feel like doing anything this year either, but at the last minute, I decided to organize a casual birthday/farewell dinner with some friends.  Mr. J came down for the weekend and we had a second, more intimate, birthday dinner with just me, Mr. J, Dr. S, and Sarah.  Both dinners were wonderful as I was surrounded by great friends and lots of love.  I can't wait to see what adventures this next year will bring!

Two toned cutout dress: BB Dakota 'Ripley' (on sale with different color options here).  Gold heeled sandals: Zara.  
Gold link necklace and bracelet: Stella and Dot.  Awesome birthday balloon: from my good friend Vicki.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pool Party

Our days together in LA are numbered, so we wanted to do another joint post before we are separated by the great state of California.  Carolyn's graduation celebration continued with a barbecue and pool party at her boss's Bel Air mansion.  This house was made for entertaining with its seamless blend of indoor and outdoor living spaces.  It definitely pays to know people in high places!

Things are changing for lifebyappointment.  The last two years have been a pretty unique experience with our work and personal lives lining up to reunite us after so many years apart.  When else in your adult life can you see one of your best girlfriends nearly every single day?  Despite the distance, we're determined to keep the blog alive, and Dr. S and Mr. J will have to step up to the plate!

On Carolyn: White crochet top: H&M (super luxe version here). Paisley shorts: Zara. Sandals: Zara (old). 
Bracelets: Stella and Dot. Bikini: Ella Moss.
On Sarah: White blouse: Equipment. Neon pink shorts: Current Elliott 'The Boyfriend Short'.  
Bracelets: Anthropologie and Vita Fede 'Mini Titan'. Sandals: Sam Edelman 'Trina' Sandal.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Leather Shorts for Day


When I bought these leather shorts a couple years ago, I didn't really think I would get too much wear out of them.  Shorts are often relegated to backyard barbecues and beach trips.  At that time, I was living in a condo in Philly, where I didn't have a backyard, and I was nowhere close to the beach.  Plus, shorts in leather form don't really scream "breathable" for those hot humid summers.  I've really been pleasantly surprised by the number of wears I've gotten out of these.  The neutral color and slightly boxier cut make them easy to pair with a good number of tops for casual settings.  I've even paired them with tights and a cozy oversized sweater for the winter.  Of course, it helps that I've moved to a milder climate, where I can wear them bare-legged for almost three seasons out of the year.  

I wore this outfit for a quick shopping trip to Santa Monica last weekend.  I love online shopping, but there's nothing like rifling through the racks at a brick-and-mortar store.  I scored a couple great deals that I'll be sharing soon!

Polka dot chambray shirt: J.Crew (on sale!).  Leather shorts: Anthropologie (similar here and here).  
Suede and leather oxford flats: Joie.  'Cordillera clutch': Anthropologie.  Necklaces: Tiffany&Co. and Anthropologie.  
Gold watch: Michael Kors.  Bracelet: Vita Fede 'Mini Titan'.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

My Last Graduation

This past weekend, I attended my fourth and final graduation since flipping my tassel in Killian Court 10 years ago.  Four years of college, four years of medical school, one year of internship, three years of residency, and two years of fellowship later (yup, that's 14 years), it's time to get a real job.  During this long process, there were times I didn't think that this day would come (and neither did Mr. J).  My training has taken me from East to West and Mr. J has followed and supported me every step of the way.  It only seems fair that I follow him to NorCal, where we're hoping to settle in for good.  Everyone says life gets much better after this...I am definitely looking forward to that!

Floral print dress: Nameless from GOGA. Belt: BCBG Runway. Black sandals: Steve Madden
Purse: Chanel Medium Flap Bag. Bracelet: DIY.

Today is also Father's Day here in the US.  We usually celebrate Chinese Father's Day aka "Ba Ba Jie" on August 8th, but I'm a daddy's girl through and through, so I think we should celebrate dads twice a year!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Broccoli and Bacon Salad

With Independence Day in less than a month, we're sure everyone's social calendars are filling up with outdoor festivities and get together with friends.  While these are fun events, it's sometimes stressful to think of a good dish to contribute.  This broccoli salad is creamy and tangy and oh so tasty.  It's super easy and can be prepared in advance.  We're sure this will not only gain you gratitude from the hosts but it will seal your lifelong invitation to all future gatherings!

Broccoli and Bacon Salad
(original recipe here)

2 heads fresh broccoli
1 red onion
1/2 pound bacon
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Arrange bacon slices on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet (this will make cleanup a lot easier!).  Place the baking sheet on the center rack in the oven at 400 degrees F and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.  Baking time may vary depending on thickness of the slices and your desired crispiness. Allow to cool then crumble.

For the dressing, mix the mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar together until smooth.

Cut the broccoli into bite-size pieces and dice the red onion.  Combine the bacon, broccoli, onion, raisins and almond slices in a large bowl.  Stir in the dressing.  Cover and chill for 4-6 hours or overnight.

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