china doll in modern shanghai

what to do in shanghai? sightsee, eat, shop, snack, and shop some more. oh and even get a haircut at a local salon. yup, that’s exactly what i did!

after telling the receptionist at our hotel that i liked her hair and desperately needed a haircut, she recommended her stylist and secured an appointment with him for that same evening…

now i’m sporting a fobby, sassy haircut with straight across bangs (think china doll!) it was definitely an experience that i won’t forget and thanks to my hubby for capturing it with these snapshots.  i feel like i’ve been touched by a true artist. thank you jones!

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What I wore today:

  • an overdue haircut (i finally caved as i was trying to grow out my hair)
  • long, dry, lifeless hair
  • even longer bangs that desperately needed a trim

Why I love it:

  • my hair stylist goes by one name only and it’s “Jones”
  • my hair stylist wore dark rimmed glasses with no lenses
  • my haircut only cost 108 RMB (~$15) which included shampoo, cut, deep conditioning scalp massage, shoulder and neck massage and blow dry!

xi’an or western peace

xi’an is known as the birthplace of chinese civilization. it is one of the great ancient capitals of china — being the home to more than a decade of dynasties. the city lies among 8 rivers and mountains, in the center of the fertile guanzhong plain in shaanxi province, giving xi’an the best and unique feng shui.

i hope my pictures provide a snapshot of the amazing history here and the unique blend of the xi’an culture. the muslim influence here is very apparent from the people’s dress, architecture and local cuisine. the local people really love their hand made noodles and dumplings. in fact, the dumplings in xi’an are as artistic as they are delicious!

besides the yummy food, one of the other highlights was meeting one of the original farmers who discovered the terracota warriors and riding a bike along the city wall just before sunset.

xi’an was truly amazing and i can see why it’s called “western peace”!

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What I wore today:

Why I love it:

  • Stella McCartney for Gap Kids sweater that fits me
  • my new Hermes cuff
  • enjoying a bicycle ride along the city wall

double happiness

xian was our next stop after beijing. we only had one day here but we made the most of it. we visited the terracota warriors, enjoyed lunch on the very bustling muslim st. near the great mosque, stopped by the wild goose pagoda (where the below photo was taken) and rode a bicycle on the lovely city wall just before sunset.

this is my favorite photo from xian because it really captures the warm heartedness of the local people and the many years of culture in this special place. more pictures from our xian visit to come!

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What I wore today:

Why I love it:

  • designer Gap Kids sweater that actually fits me!
  • my new collier de chien leather cuff — yes, it’s like my Firkin 😉
  • generations brought together with a warm smile

what helen ate in beijing

today’s post is dedicated to what i ate so far in China. actually what i ate in Beijing!

dough is a very big ingredient in northern chinese cuisine so it’s not suprising that breakfast usually consists of steamed buns or bao tzi. we tasted both the traditional kind of ground pork and onions as well as the veggie variety with baby bok choy and mushrooms. it’s also ridiculously inexpensive — we ordered so much for breakfast and it was still only $2 total! in fact, each bao tzi is roughly 10 cents. yes, 10 cents!

the noodles are always either hand pulled or knife sliced and i love both! along with noodles, we tasted the dumplings — both boiled and pan fried.

another famous dish in beijing is the peking roast duck. we “splurged” for dinner and went to Da Dong restaurant to get our duck on. it was by far the best peking duck that i’ve ever tasted in my life. hands down. the roast duck is carved tableside and the meat is very lean with the skin being crispy perfection.

i hope you enjoy these food pictures 🙂 BEWARE, there are a lot!!! And check out my goodbye march with the soldiers in Tiananmen Square. I hope to visit Beijing again!

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What I ate in beijing:

  • zha ziang noodles
  • pork and celery dumplings
  • pan fried dumplings
  • veggie bings
  • peking duck
  • assortment of chilled appetizers
  • picked side veggies
  • steamed bao tzi (my favorite!)
  • and more oodles of noodles!

Why I love it:

  • hand pulled and knife cut noodles
  • complimentary pickled and salty veggie side dishes
  • the assortment of condiments served with peking duck

goodness, gracious, great wall of china

it’s not everyday you get to climb the great wall. and today the hubby and i not only hiked a dangerously steep section of a more remote part of the wall but we also got to enjoy a picnic lunch with a glass of red at the top with a breathtaking view.

the hubby was so kind enough to lug my beautiful new hermes firkin (yes that’s a fake birkin that i scored after some serious bargaining at the local silk market) in his backpack. afterall, i needed this friggin firkin in my photo shoot. as if the great wall wasn’t spectacular enough 😉

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What I wore today:

Why I love it:

  • very blue pants
  • my new Firkin 🙂
  • a fashion photo shoot on the Great Wall!!!

hello from beijing again! our first day – part 2

hello again! many of you have commented on how it looks like we were the only ones at the forbidden city. well, that’s because of the hubby’s patience and photo skillz 😉 it also helped that our tour guide suggested we enter from the north gate (rear entrance) vs. the south gate (front entrance from tiananmen square) in the morning…

still, we were far from alone at this tourist destination. here’s a peek into how many other visitors were there with us 🙂

now here’s part 2 – jingshan park, tiananmen square and temple of heaven.

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What I wore today:

Why I love it:

  • i’m channeling margot tenenbaum with my faux fur 🙂
  • tiny studs on my cross over bag
  • trying out the “red star” look

hello from beijing! our first day – part 1

the hubby and i are vacationing in china for a couple of weeks. for our first day in beijing, we visited the jingshan park (located behind the north gate of the forbidden city), palace museum, tiananmen square and the temple of heaven.

it was very difficult for me to document my outfit in just a few photos given the magnificent backdrop and the interesting locals so i’ve decided this will be a 2-part blog. and of course i wore red, the color of happiness in chinese tradition 🙂

here’s part 1 – the forbidden city.

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What I wore today:

Why I love it:

  • red is the color of happiness!
  • super soft faux fur and super comfy moccassins
  • “hands free” bag