July Birthstone: Ruby
Move over diamond, the ruby is in town. July’s birthstone is ruby and with its deep, powerful red tones it was once seen as the only stone to give as a declaration of your love.
In fact, in Ancient Hindu the ruby was seen as the “king of gems”. Symbolizing peace and harmony, the ruby is supposed to bring strength of character to its wearer as well as guaranteeing wisdom, health and wealth.
It’s also one of the most durable gems for everyday wear, and one of the rarest too.
Gift Ideas for Ruby
If buying a precious gem isn’t your style, don’t fret. You can still give a meaningful gift with a “mock” ruby or something in a bright red. Put together these items in a gift basket for that special someone to pay homage to their birthstone.
Greetings from Hong Kong! A typhoon only recently passed over the islands bringing more wind and rain than usually! But apparently typhoon season has just begun, so we’re sure to expect more sun speckled stormy weather.
It’s been nearly a month since I first arrived but I’ve already lined up a few favorite sights, scenes, nooks, eateries and other places that I would like to visit again and share with friends! A childhood friend from the States came for a short visit, so we explored a few new places and reveled in my previous finds together. Here’s a glance at our frolic and my current collection of Hong Kong favorites!
Although this isn’t a particular place or area, I thought I’d share an aspect of the city that defines the look and feel of Hong Kong and divides the city. Hong Kong consists of a few islands, but Hong Kong Island is particularly known for its mountainous terrain. Oftentimes, because everything has been built and planned in harmony with all of the mountains, I find myself wandering the streets only to start tackling hills, climbing stairs, or taking it easy on a steep escalator as I make my way up higher and higher to the multiple levels of the city.
Favorite Mode of Transportation
There are 5 main modes of transportation in Hong Kong : Double Decker Bus, Subway or MTR, Tram, Ferry, and Taxi. I’ve used every means of transportation more than once. And, even though it doesn’t have any air conditioning (which is vital in this humid weather) and often gets ridiculously wet when people don’t put up the windows during the rain, my favorite means of transport is the tram! Some are older than others, and they don’t move particularly fast because the buses, taxis, occasional bikers, and crowds of human bodies tend to commandeer the tram tracks. Still, there’s something satisfyingly nostalgic about them!
Favorite Street Food
This one is without question the traditional Hong Kong egg tart. Once you’ve had one, you won’t need an explanation. You’ll just understand. I’ve seen egg tarts sold on almost every street I’ve walked along in Hong Kong. I’ve seen people eating them for breakfast, during dim sum, and as a tea time snack. I’ve eaten them for breakfast, during dim sum, and as a snack!
I haven’t been to too many markets yet, but most of them sell your usual wares of clothing, purses, random gadgets, knickknacks, watches, belts, shoes, and I think you get the idea. But in all my travels, I’d never been to a bird market. I didn’t know the market for birds was large enough to require an actual area of the city to be sectioned off to sell the colorful beauties.
I have no idea how they manage to care for all of the birds, and I can imagine that it isn’t the most ethical of businesses. But, rather than the birds, I found the alleys of bird cages the most intriguing part of the bird market.
Favorite Art Exhibition (so far)
I have yet to explore many of the art galleries and exhibitions in Hong Kong, but I hear there are a number scattering the eclectic city. From my small glimpse into Hong Kong’s art scene, I can’t help but share the popular 1600 Pandas at the PMQ Exhibition Hall! There are literally 1600 Pandas! I didn’t get a chance to read much about the exhibit since we had to line up, take photos, and leave in a limited amount of time. But it is an exhibition created by the artist Paulo Grangeon. It had been on tour and landed in Hong Kong for a little less than a month. Perhaps you’ve seen 1600 Pandas on a previous tour stop or will see it at its next stop!
I know I am in Hong Kong so I should probably talk about Dim Sum and whatnot! But to be honest, so far my favorite restaurant features Indian food! The Indian restaurant, called Wakas Mess, is located in a fire-hazard of a building called Chungking Mansions in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Chungking Mansions hosts guesthouses, hostels, restaurants, electronics stores, clothing shops, and a hodgepodge of people from South Asia to the Middle East to Africa to America.
To get to Wakas Mess and other establishments on the upper floors of the “mansions,” you need to fight your way through the crowds of men aggressively advertising their restaurants out front. Then you need to line up to use the elevators! The building alone is quite an experience! And the food at Wakas Mess is delicious!
Favorite Street Concert
I stumbled upon the Blue House, also called the Hong Kong House of Stories, one day after work. The building had a little sign that said that every Thursday (my favorite day of the week) there would either be a free exhibit, movie screening, or concert. The next Thursday when I showed up, it happened to be concert Thursday!
The mini concert featured 3 groups. The first group was a couple from America; the second group featured a local and his buddy from Macau. The last group featured an older gentleman and his apprentice playing traditional Chinese instruments and songs. But what really made the concert special was the group of locals who hosted the event. They spoke in Cantonese, Mandarin, and English, explaining their hope for cultural preservation. And they made traditional Hong Kong desserts for everyone in the audience to share!
Favorite Night Scene
Full of locals, ex-patriots, and tourists alike, Ned Kelly’s Last Stand is my favorite place to head for a nightcap. Unlike the numerous bars and hangouts lacking character in the infamous LFK area (Lan Kwai Fong), Ned Kelly’s Last Stand houses Hong Kong’s best jazz band.
With live music played by a talented group of regulars and crazy good vocals, Ned Kelly’s is worth paying a visit to if you’re out late at night in Hong Kong!
Favorite View of Hong Kong
I don’t think I’ve seen enough to commit the view of the Hong Kong shoreline as my true favorite, but I do agree that it is iconic and stunning! Come join me in Hong Kong!
Have you noticed the palazzo pants trend that has attracted the eye of notable celebs and swept the streets? If you have yet to jump on the band wagon, you will soon because palazzo pants are super, super comfortable. The loose, wide-legged pants allow your legs to breathe while looking chic! Just take a look at how some of the celebs have made the new trend their own.
Blake Lively looks stunning in anything she wears. But she pulled off this palazzo pants outfit so well that she inspired fellow celebrities, Annalynne McCord and Olivia Palermo to create similar looks. These celebs have opted for palazzo pants in solid colors. But Vanessa Hudgens has demonstrated how cute and chic patterned palazzo pants also look, as long as you wear the right kind of top! Hudgens is showing off the midriff. But I think that a slightly longer white blouse on the left, and a tucked-in camisole on the right would work just as well for the more modest!
Palazzo pants have also made their way to Repeat Possessions! What do you think of these new styles?
But how to make the trend your own without becoming a fashion flop? Here are four tips for wearing palazzo pants!
1. Balance Palazzo Pants with Fitted Tops
Palazzo pants flare out from the waist, so it is best to wear a more fitted top! If you opt for looser tops, you might end up looking like a big, baggy mess. A form-fitting top will keep you from looking like you’re flowing all over the place and highlight your figure.
A crop top that sits just at the hem of your pants will show off your natural waist. Tucking in a tank top or fitted-tee will also bring attention to your natural waist and curves. If you need to cover up your arms, pair your outfit with a blazer or sporty jacket with 3/4 length sleeves.
You can also half tuck in your shirt for a bit more edge.
2. Solid vs Print
We all know that women come in all shapes and sizes. So it isn’t rocket science that certain palazzo pants are more difficult for women with more weight in their hips and thighs to pull off. So although printed palazzo pants look adorable, they don’t work for all of us. Women who worry about how their legs appear in the flowing fabric of palazzo pants can wear solid neutral or black pants with solid tops for a slimming look.
3. Choose Elevating Shoes
You’ll need an extra lift to counter your flowing palazzo pants. So avoid flats and sandals! Choose heels or wedge sandals instead. Perhaps, if you are tall, slim and leggy, you can get away with flat shoes, but most of us may need help!
4. Flowing Accessories
Because palazzo pants have such a relaxed look and feel, they look best paired with accessories that are similarly relaxed and loose! Avoid anything too stiff! Revel in the boho look by pairing your flowing pants with fringe or suede! Be creative and keep it fun!