January 30, 2013

EAT: valentine's day strawberry baked donuts

Every time Valentine's Day rolls around I'm scratching my head over what I should get the hubs.  V-day is such a girl's "holiday(?)" - isn't it?  I mean, it's not like you can pick up a pretty bouquet of flowers or other cheesy token of affection to prove your love. =)

This year, I decided to go with a sure bet - DONUTS.  Men heart donuts!  Well, so do women (or at least we do).  You can't lose.  And to take its Valentine's Day street cred up, I found a yummy recipe for strawberry donuts (after all, pink/red = vday, duh!).  Recipe from Mary Quite Contrary and is an easy bake version - I used a heart donut tray ($10 at Michael's)


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 10 medium to large strawberries, pureed with 2 tsp seedless strawberry jam
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cups cold milk


For the donuts, preheat oven to 425 degrees and grease your 6-donut pan with baking spray.  Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together.  Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add in milk, egg, butter, and maple syrup. Stir until well combined.  Stir in strawberry mixture, starting with 1/2 of it and adding more only if needed (batter should be wet, but not runny).  Put dough into a pastry bag or plastic bag and snip approx 1-inch off end.  Pipe batter into each well, reserving extra batter.  Bake for 7-9 minutes until donuts spring back when touched.  Let cool five minutes and turn onto a cooling rack to cool completely.  Repeat until you've used up your batter

To make the glaze, stir all ingredients together until smooth
After the donuts have cooled, dip them into the icing and lay them on top of the cooling rack

Lastly, don't forget to package these bad boys in some fancy love wrapping.  Here's a couple of ideas to box them up.

Sweets for your Sweet!

January 27, 2013

WEAR: DIY spiked, studded wedge booties

Wedges, my go-to "heels" as of late. So comfortable, yet still gives you that height lift.  However, sometimes they can feel and look a bit clunky - there's just so much ...SHOE.  So I had an idea to try to break up some of that big ol' hunk ol' wedge. I gave mine some tough  ☠  love and breathed new life into it

So what do you do when your bootie calls? You spike it out and take it for a spin. Louboutin has the studded rollerball loafers (my FAVE) and blinged out stilettos perfected.  But, Jeffery Campbell has the spiked, studded platform shoe game on lock! 

Materials: SpikesE6000 glue, Toothpick, Wedges (duh)

Instructions:  I planned out the design by marking the position with a pen. Then, I squeezed the E6000 glue onto a plastic surface that I can throw away.  I used a toothpick to dab the glue onto the back of the spikes and then glued them onto the marked spots.  Wait about 15 minutes for the glue to completely dry and then you are good to go!  Cue in Kanye West - "...feet don't fail me now."

Answer that bootie call. Enjoy! 

Silk Shirt Dress: All Saints.  Belvedere Leather Jacket: All Saints.  Shoes: Top Shop (DIY spikes). Shopping Tote: YSL (similar).  Shearling Scarf: Asos (similar)  Double Cross Puzzle Ring: That's Foxy

January 24, 2013

DRINK: orange peel and clove tea

The aroma of oranges and clove reminds me of Christmas but the combination of the two and it's benefits of detoxing is year round.   Can't speak for everyone else but my body is STILL recovering from the sweets and overeating during the holidays. 

  • 2 cups of filtered water
  • orange peels from half an orange (wash peels under warm water before boiling)
  • 3-4 clove buds
  • 1 black tea bag 
  • honey 
  • cinnamon stick (optional)

Directions:  Bring water to boil in a small pot.  Turn fire to low. With your fingers, crush the round fragile tips of the clove buds into a powder and add in the water.  Add clove stems and orange peels to water as well.  Cover and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Turn off fire. Add tea bag into pot and let steep for about 5 minutes. When tea is a dark orange color, pour through a fine tea strainer and makes 2 servings.  Add honey to your liking for sweetness.  Cinnamon sticks are for garnish or used as stirrer.  You can even squeeze the orange juice from the orange you just peeled into the tea for the finished touch. 

A very thin oily layer will appear on surface of tea, it's normal, it's the clove oil and orange oil which will provide you with all the health benefits.



Cloves are filled with the essential oil, Eugenol which can help detoxify the body.  Cloves are also known to sooth abdominal pain, increase circulation, alleviate throat and chest ailments and most importantly - aid in digestion (for overeaters like myself). 

Orange peels as you know are packed with vitamin C but also the peel is packed with orange oil which can help lower cholesterol or blood pressure.  Orange you glad for this tea? har har. I had to end with an orange joke. :P

January 21, 2013

SOUL: live your dream & free print download

Happy MLK day from your friends at NB!  No matter what your dream may be, we hope you're living it each and every day. 

Staying focused and motivated can sometimes be a struggle, so as a reminder we created our very own prints using Adobe Illustrator!  Our inspiration came from the incredibly talented Kelsey Cronkhite.  

Our gain is your gain - you can download our free print for yourself! There are a couple of color options, so whether you're in a dreamy state of mind or serious work mode - we got your back. =)

I have our Blush print on my nightstand in my bedroom, and the Charcoal Gray one set up on my office desk.

At the end of this post, simply save the image from the download links provided.  Then, print a matte copy on photo paper and pop it in a frame. 

click to download!

January 10, 2013

DIY: infinity scarf

Aren't infinity scarves great?  They serve their main function (keepin that neck warm) without all the fuss and hustle and bustle of a regular scarf.  Plus, it makes for a much more polished look, without ends and fray and stuff just hanging out all over the place!

I have a pretty good supply of regular scarves and decided I needed to transform a couple of them into infinity scarves.  Super easy - I recommend you try.

All you'll need is your old scarf and basic sewing supplies.

1. Cut off the edges of your scarf
2. Fold the edge in, iron flat and then sew down the edge (do this for both sides)
3. Place the two ends together with one end overlapping the other by 1/2 inch.  Place pins along the edge to hold it in place and then sew down the edge.
4. Viola! Piece of cakey

To infinity and beyond!

January 7, 2013

DIY: collar chain

New Year, new wardrobe!? Doesn't that conflict with New Year, new ways to save $$$?  With statement necklaces and arm swag being all the rage, why not take it to the next level and use accessories you ALREADY HAVE (no need to buy) to adorn your collared shirts or jackets for NECK SWAG. Putting accessories you have on hand to good use and updating that old collared shirt you never wear.  Talk about ballin on a budget! 

Inspiration 1: collar chains from Singapore based online boutique The Cult Label


Collar chain #1! Inspiration manifested. One of kind made with your labour of love. 

For the above collar chain look, I happen to have accessories on hand  that coordinate.  I had a rhinestone bracelet that I got on sale for only $1 and clip ons (that are meant to clip on your shoes?) for about $3, both from H&M sale. Earrings are just silver earrings that I had from years ago.  All these were just lying in my jewelry tray begging to be used.  

Inspiration 2: from my own outfit of the day. 

Collar chain #2!  With the same idea as the first bling bling one, I just took THIS collar chain in the direction of Wiz Khalifa.  "Black and yellow, black and yellow, you know what it is ...." Yea you know how it goes.  Btw, I think I've seen lapel chains worn by guys too,  across their ties,  bowties and jackets.  So with a spike or just a simple chain (any men jewelry that will work) sans the heart, you guys can adorn your collar too! 

Here, instead of earrings, I used buttons that I had at home, a chain from my old camera bag and 2 safety pins.  At first I used a chain from a broken necklace. It worked but was too thin.  You could and should use whatever works for you. It will just make it that much more unique. 

This post lends itself to so many rap allusions. I love it.  And of course, last but not least. 2 Chainnnnzzzzz. 

White Collar Shirt: H&M.  Knit sweater: Madewell. Bracelets: Vietnamese gold,  Hermes, That's Foxy.  Watch: Gucci.

January 4, 2013

DRINK: carrot, apple, spinach & beet juice

Get your healthy new-year-self underway!  A drink where every ingredient is GREAT for you - this is the stuff 2013 dreams are made of.

Ingredients (one serving):
Spinach - 2 big handfuls (ball this up and juice with the carrots as leaves are harder to juice)
Carrots - about 10 small (or 1-2 full carrots, peeled)
Beets - 1 small beet (peeled)
Apple - 1 large apple (with peel)
Ginger - 1/2-1 inch root (peeled)

Take a gander at just a few of the health benefits from this powerful drink:

- Detoxes the liver
- Boosts your immune system
- Keeps your eyes in great shape (take care of those peepers!)
- Reduces bloating

- Aids in digestion and helps relieve constipation
- Rich in anti-oxidants and anti-cancer agents
- Anti-inflammatory properties

- Detoxes the liver
- Works as a blood purifier
- Contains cancer-fighting agents

- Helps alleviate nausea and minor motion sickness
- Stimulates good digestion
- Aids in relieving congestion

Bottoms up!!

January 2, 2013

WEAR: pleats and leather

Happy New Year from Neato! Bonito

Cheers to 2013 - we have a feeling it'll be our best yet! 

"A year from now, you will wish you had started."  
So whatever it is you want to do ... say it and then live it! Be inspired. 

Dress: BCBG  Jacket: Joie  Shoes: Miu Miu  Watch: Michael Kors  Jewelry: Hermes, Aldo

Photography:   Jenny Fu
Stylist:   Rose Tran