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Céline’s fall collection: Luggage bag. + a girl crush!

Everyone needs to have one really fabulous friend who works in fashion, right? And I found mine when I moved to Hong Kong, where the luxury market could not be hotter.

I love to discuss all of the fabulous things going on in fashion that I read about (like the New Yorker’s recent and wonderfully entertaining profile of Thomas Meier, the creative director of Bottega Veneta), as opposed to partake in. She goes on buying trips to all the big fashion houses in Europe often, and she snapped these pictures of Celine’s fall collection of the Luggage Bag. And I am swooooohhhhning.

Do you see the “Minis” (bottom left, tan and bottom right maroon) mixed in with the regulars? Can you see the green one in the center and the two-tone peach one on bottom–they’re python! I think the leopard is fantastic, but if I were to have one of my own… it would have to be the beige and black two-tone, upper right. Anyways, mark my words: Céline is already a super hot brand, but under Phoebe Philo‘s direction they will just keep going straight up.

Also, I have a girl crush on Phoebe.

How amazing are her cheek bones? Here she is (below) accepting British Fashion Awards 2010 Designer of the Year.
How does she make all-black look so great? Mental note: where more all black. By the way, I find it so surprising that the creative director of such an iconic French brand lives in London.
Please dear Lord can I look this adorably amazing when I’m pregnant? I love that she stuck to her signature black, but added sequins and a bow!
I think she looks incredibly fresh-faced for 37, don’t you agree she doesn’t look much older than 17? Okay, enough crushing for one day! Off to my Friday night: Eric Clapton, HK edition. But, yes, I am donning all black. Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Gourmand gifts: Red Pepper Jelly.

Last year I wanted to make something edible and homemade, so I tried my own Red Pepper Jelly. It was a huge hit and super easy so I made it again this year.
Last year I used red pepper flakes like the recipe says, but this year I happened to have some Thai chillies leftover from a Vietnamese salad attempt so I threw them in instead.
I recommend a food processor for chopping up the peppers–super easy and fast.
Don’t be intimidated by canning! It’s so easy… just make sure to read the instructional packet included with the pectin.
But basically you cook the peppers with vinegar. And while you’re doing that you can clean your jars.
Then drop your jars into boiling water to make sure they’re squeaky clean and safe.
Don’t you love our fifties stovetop?! After the peppers, vinegar and sugar are all cooked up… pour it into your jars and seal ’em up! I made little labels, too and added a coordinating Christmasy knife to make it acomplete gift!

Entertaining book.

So often someone is coming over for dinner and I turn to the Mr. and say what should I make? I can’t seem to remember ever hosting any event before, much less anything I’ve ever made! Or worse, you wonder ‘didn’t I make Julie lasagna the last time she came over? Or was it roast chicken?’ So part of the “paper” component of my first anniversary gift–although I will admit that it was more a gift to myself than to the Mr.–was this Entertaining Book from Graphic Image. Although I do think he’ll appreciate a record of all the fine bread breaking moments in our household someday!

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Apartment found.

So after looking at over 70 apartments–we finally found the one!

As of August 15, we’ll be setting up shop at 37 Barker Road, Flat No. 4A, The Peak, Hong Kong.

The place is up on the Peak, but it’s on the lowest road, which they say is usually just below the cloud / fog line. It’s above the crazyness of the city, but it’s still only a nine minute cab ride down to the action.

And here we are on the fourth floor… you can see from the buildings below why a 6 story building was, oh so comforting, to this single story, ranch loving, California gal.

So we had to weigh a lot of things… it was all about tradeoffs: high-rise versus mid-rise, fresh air versus convenient location, beach (yes, there are white sand beaches on the South side of Hong Kong–about 30 minutes from Central where all the offices are), or deck (which was the Mr’s no. 1 priority), or new kitchen versus big kitchen, or view of harbor versus view of beach versus view of your neighbor combing her hair in her 40th floor apartment, but a mere five feet from you… so many iterations of options. But in the end we opted for :

(Also, the place is still being touched up / painted so excuse the mess.)

1. A sick view and an awesome little deck. We figure we’re only young once and we’ll never ever again get to have a view like this one.

The Mr. LOVES the deck which opens right out from the living room. I do, too… I’m thinking cook-outs, cocktails, cigar smoking…

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