4 DAYS IN NYC | Where we shopped, ate & stayed

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Dylan and I just returned to Toronto less than 24 hours ago, and we are already missing it. It was our second time travelling to NYC together and this time around, we decided to skip a lot of the touristy stuff and really just focus on the hustle-and-bustle of lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. It was certainly a different trip than last time, but more our speed.

Just our luck, our trip landed right in the middle of bombogenisis, aka the CRAZY snow storm that just hit the east coast. Our flights went smoothly, even though I was stuck on the tarmac for two and a half hours. Anywhoo - the point of mentioning this was to say that I must've caught something on the tiny airplane because I'm feeling super under-the-weather.

Caught in the Middle | I'm Going to Asia!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

My month-long Asia trip is only a few days away! I'm extremely unprepared and still have tons to do. I thought that it may be fun to share a few of my thoughts and feelings about this trip before I jetset off with my Grammy (aka my PoPo/maternal grandmother).

My Grammy (PoPo & I) in ~ 1994
Being Canadian is as much a part of me as my Chinese heritage. My parents were both raised in Canada to immigrant parents - then had my siblings and I - three, non-Mandarin or Cantonese speaking, 2nd generation Canadian-born Chinese children. We're kind of as CBC as it gets - like what other Chinese 24 year-old has "Spencer" as their middle name? 

"When's the next time you'll go back home?" My 1st-gen Chinese friends would ask me, referring to the motherland. "Erm... I've actually never been there."  

"Oh really?" They would always respond, completely perplexed. "You're so white-washed!" Others would say in disbelief. 

Me, Syd & Mattie with our Mah Mah
Confession: November 2017 will be the first time I've ever been to Asia, except once when I was a small toddler. It's going to be definitely a culture shock. Besides my Father's side of the family, who still keeps up with many Chinese/Cantonese traditions thanks to my Mah Mah (paternal grandmother) - I really know nothing about what to expect on this trip. The lens I will see these countries in will differ greatly from my 1st-gen friends - and even the people who raised me. As much as I was encouraged by older relatives to speak Chinese, I always reverted back to speaking English. Turkey was always served at Thanksgiving instead of a mish-mash of Chinese food like my other friends' families, and if anyone were to call me by my given Chinese name (that's nowhere legally registered, by the way) - there's no doubt that I wouldn't respond, not that this situation has ever even happened. 

"But where are you really from?" Douchey guys at the bar would always ask me in the first ten-seconds of meeting me. "I have a friend of a friend who loves Chinese food..." They would continue, leaving my large eye-roll completely un-noticed.  This has always been really. fucking. annoying. Especially when I would be later accused as some sort of "snowflake" or social justice warrior" after correcting them. Wow, thank you for mansplaining my culture to me. I tooooootally understand how interested you are in my chinese-ness now. 

In Canada, I know that my appearance will always trump my nationality. People will always wonder what my ethnicity is, and always associate my identity with it. This, I have accepted. But inside, I can't help but feel caught in the middle. 

What I really mean is: I'm too Chinese-looking to ever be "Canadian" to the some people, and too Western-acting to be considered "Chinese" to others. It's a weird thing. 

Let's face it. All the people in Hong Kong Taiwan or China will know I'm not "one of them". I completely know I look like a full-blown North American tourist. If it's not my broken, pathetic Chinese that's a total tell, it'll be the way I dress, the way I do my makeup, or even just the way I act. 

It's one hell of a feeling to feel like you don't belong. 

I'm proud to be CBC, even though it sometimes leaves me confused. But ever since I started YouTube , it has really given me the space to be my authentic self, and show people what it's like for me to be in "The Middle". And with this Asia trip fastly approaching, I think it'll be an even more fascinating experience for not only myself, but to share it with all of you. Let's do this!! 

Love Always, 

Rachel, 黃詠芝

Long Weekend Outfits & Fun!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Sunglasses: Ray Ban, Top: Fairy Season, Shorts: Fashion Nova, Purse: Gucci, Star Choker & Horn Necklace: Romwe

Happy long weekend! I haven't written on this blog in a while, and I figured to get back into it by sharing what I've been up to for the last couple of days. It's been super busy as some of my friends are jetting off to new adventures, so we wanted to get the last bit of summer in before they leave (funny thing is that all three of them are in this suuuuper easy and totally casual thing called med school). 

Anyways, here is my photo dump of the weekend. I'll try my best to include all my outfit details. Let's do this! 

Glasses: Ollie Quinn, Dress: Shein, Bag: Vintage Roots, Sneakers: Jack Purcell Converse
Dylan & I ran into this little guy while I was trying to take an outfit photo in Edwards Gardens. We suspected a lot of people are feeding him because he was super friendly. Please don't feed wild animals!! 

I decided to wear this dress because it's really flattering and a nice day look. You really can't go wrong with shirting stripes & white sneakers. It's one of my fave go-to looks when I can't decide what to wear. 

Island Vibes Swimsuits: Shein, Shorts: Fashion Nova, Sunglasses: Shein

We headed over to Cabana on Saturday with my friend Nicole! This long weekend is also hectic in the city, especially downtown. N & I actually ordered these bathing suits for our trip to Punta Cana, but they didn't come in till after our trip (bummer). 

Headband: Shein, Jeans: Shein, Top: Zara 
Sundays spent with Doug. Was at my cousin's house for the greater part of the afternoon so I kept it pretty casual. Luckily for me, headbands are making a comeback and I think will be a great staple for Fall. 

Hoodie: NA-KD Clothing, Denim: Fashion Nova 

And yesterday, we hung out with our former Roommate & bff Jonny. It was a very instagram-worthy day thanks to Gusto 101 and Graffiti Alley only a short walk after that. As you can tell, I'm absolutely obsessed with these sunglasses that I just got. They really complete a look and are cheekier than the norm.

Let me know how your weekend was! 

Love Always, Rachel

I Tried Meditating for 60 Days & Here's What Happened...

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Disclaimer: This blog post will be talking about my experience with panic and anxiety. This topic may be sensitive for some. Please take my advice/experience with a grain of salt and always consult your doctor first.

In all honesty: My anxiety and panic journey is far from over, but I'm proud of how far I've come so far. I've been feeling really vulnerable sharing this with you all, but I'm also grateful that I have. If you have caught my other mental resilience posts, then you might know that a small, daily meditation is how I've been starting my day. I passed the 60-day milestone last week, and I figured it would be a good time to share my current experience with meditation.

The April Edit | Spring Fashion Faves

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Confession: I'm not sure if I can ever attain a small, lovely capsule wardrobe because of how much I like fashion. However, the more that I curate my closet, the more I realize how much I can do without. After divulging into the world of minimalism YouTube videos and reading "The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up" over a year ago, I was inspired to take a look at my clothes and really only keep items I love.

It's been a process that I've tried to document on my channel and the blog, but I don't think I ever really talked about it much. I want to keep writing about it, and I definitely want to expand on this soon! Creating a well-curated closet is definitely not an overnight project; it's taken me over a year to truly get to where I'm at now. I'm happy to say as of April 2017, I finally have a wardrobe that truly brings me joy. Out with the clutter, and in with pieces that I love.

Over the past few months, I finally bit the bullet and bought some investment pieces that I can wear all season. They will definitely be a part of my "Most Worn" list, and I wanted to share them with you!

Anxiety & Panic Update: 3 Months Later

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Disclaimer: This blog post will be talking about my experience with panic and anxiety. This topic may be sensitive for some. Please take my advice/experience with a grain of salt and always consult your doctor first.

Hey everyone! It's been almost three months since I had my first panic attack in January, and about a month since I first wrote about my panic/anxiety on this blog. It's been quite the journey and I'm really grateful for all of your positive words & sharing your stories with me. I wanted to share this update on how I've been, and also follow up with what's working for me. 

It's really important for me to have an open dialogue when it comes to mental health. When I first started researching panic disorders, I often became discouraged at the resources out there on the internet. I hope my journey can help you with yours, and that my blog can be something that can help you relax too. 


Friday, March 31, 2017

Slides became super trendy last summer thanks to Rihanna's furry Fenty slides! I keep seeing them everywhere from so many designers, and thought that this would be a great, saavy DIY. The look is super attainable and you can completely make them your own.