Lei Ann...Off Duty

acupuncturist kung fu sifu speed typist hawaiian-born bostonian zombie hunter...so what's a girl supposed to wear on her day off? leiannoffduty@gmail.com ~ FB: Lei Ann Off Duty

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*blogger day at wrentham village premium outlets - spring edition*

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it was blogger day at wrentham village premium outlets once more!  we loved our first trip in the fall & when are kristen, sami & i *not* always up for hanging out together?!?!  of course we went!  this time, najeema of a stylized hysteria & kara aka the bostonista also tagged along for a super fun girls’ day out :)

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this fine sunday morning, we started our shopping excursion at the oak room long bar & kitchen located in the fairmont copley hotel for a lovely brunch!  the menu was amazing & i had a hard time deciding, but went with the yummy smoked salmon flatbread. everyone else had frittatas & brioche french toast & BACON which all looked delicious!

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after brunch, our van picked us up & whisked us away for our afternoon of shopping!  susan, the marketing director at wrentham village premium outlets, was just as accommodating & enthusiastic as last time.  she even took us around to the newest shops there…joe’s jeans (so excited i *finally* got the perfect pair of white jeans) & max studio.  

after that, we were left to our own devices to shop around on our own.  najeema found a gorgeous blush pink/grey print dress & kristen, the cutest rebecca minkoff crossbody bag!  i, funny enough with baby clothes so much on my mind, bought my nieces cute little things from carter’s.  don’t worry though, i shopped for myself as well!  can’t wait to show ya’ll what i got ^_^  thanks again to the management both at the fairmont copley & wrentham village premium oulets for such a wonderful time!

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disclaimer: i received brunch via the oak room long bar & kitchen as well as gift cards from joe’s jeans & wrentham premium outlets, but opinions are 100% my own ^_^

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*goodwill south boston store grand reopening*

if you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you’ve come to find that i’m a big goodwill fan.  not just of shopping their stores to find that *one* (or 2 or 10) unique item(s), but also of their mission statement of helping individuals achieve independence & dignity through work.  

i attended the grand reopening of their renovated south boston store yesterday (thanks again, melissa, for the invitation!) & was impressed with the bright look, spacious layout & the new goodwill branding, even though i’ve never been to the store before.  you could tell by the response of the staff there, they were very proud of their like-new space.  even the president & CEO of goodwill, joanne hilferty, was there & gave a very passionate & enthusiastic speech about the work that goodwill does.  see that book she’s holding?  it’s the south boston’s business ledger from 1922…yes 1922!…that described the store’s operating costs was $50 a day. incredible!  what history goodwill has in the boston area!

after the ribbon cutting & chatting with the directors & staff members, it was time to shop!  even though i’ve been feeling all shopped out lately, i can never resist treasure hunting at goodwill!  i was thoroughly impressed with the shelf displays, especially with the housewares.  tell me that you wouldn’t think any of these items were from home goods or pier one?  had i any room in my house, i would have *definitely* taken home those blue & white ginger jars!  

all in in all, it was a great time as usual with goodwill & blogger friends.  of course, i discovered a few special clothing & jewelry items that i can’t wait to wear.  i even found friend & founder of bow & drape, aubrie’s, BCBG coat which had fallen between the racks that i *almost* bought!  whew…close call!   

disclaimer:  i was given a very generous 50% shopping discount by goodwill but the heartfelt opinions are 100% my own ^_^

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*a night with boston fashion bloggers at cynthia rowley*

i have to immediately already record this blog post under the category of ‘major fail.’  you see, i was invited by my dear blogger friends, kristen, the boston fashionista, as well as holly & greg of covetous creatures, to their co-hosted event at the cynthia rowley store on newbury street last week.  while i seem to have taken *plenty* of photos of kristen and one of greg, i have none of holly :( how rude right?  i was generously treated to champagne, chocolates & shopping & i couldn’t even snap a pic of our lovely hostess?

i was able to take plenty of pics around the store of the lovely decor & festive atmosphere.  plus, i was very proud of myself that i remembered to also take a lot of photos of fellow bloggers & friends this time which i usually forget to.

for example, there were bloggers i had *just* seen & spent a whole day with like smita of hogger & co.  there were other bloggers that i only recently met & have a great humorous connection with already like miz boston stylista, sarah.  there was michele of michele’s musings whom i have NOT seen in like literally for-rev-ver!  then, people i just met that night who were very sweet to chat with like becky with wicked peacock.  

oh wait…maybe me not taking a photo of one the hosts of this super fun event was not a total loss.  you see, technically i *did* manage to find a photo of holly.  see those amazing gold brocade heels above?  those are her feet ^_^

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*wacoal wine & fitting event for boston bloggers*

i’ll be perfectly honest.  i pay a *lot* of attention to what i wear on the outside, but never give much thought to what i wear underneath.  my lady garments are usually a mix of old victoria’s secret, target or quite honestly, packs of low-quality bras & panties i buy by the suitcase full that i bring back home from trips to manila.  

so, when i was invited by luxury lingerie brand, wacoal, to a wine & fitting event in an 11th floor suite at the ritz carlton along with other boston fashion bloggers, i was more than intrigued!  first of all, i never had a proper fitting before.  then again, when you’re little like me (& i’m not just talking about me being short), i figured i never had to really know what my proper size was.  as it turns out, i found out i was buying a bra size up from what i thought i was & no wonder my straps always fell off my shoulders.  the woman who measured me fitted me with a bra that hugged me snugly & no straps falling!  after my custom fitting, i enjoyed wine, apps, desserts & fun conversation with a few of my fellow bloggers ^_^ we also fawned over the beautiful pieces of lingerie that included not only bras, but also panties & shapewear!

as part of the event, i received a bra that will be mailed to me.  i chose the one below in natural nude with its pretty lace, but smooth contour that should be invisible under even the thinnest of t-shirts.  i will definitely do a review when it arrives.  not gonna lie…i’m excited for pretty underpinnings, especially ones that actually fit!  hahaha!

disclosure:  i was compensated by wacoal for this post, by my opinions are 100% my own :)

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*blogger spa night at beaucage spa & salon*

how to be a bad blogger:

1.  bring your huge DSLR but forget the battery that was still sitting in the wall charger at home :/

2.  luckily, have your little point & shoot camera in your purse, but still not really take a lot of pictures

3.  keep refusing all the food & wine that is heaped upon you by your lovely hosts (because you have to drive in the pouring rain later….grrrrrr)

how to be a good blogger:

1.  actually enjoy yourself & get pampered for once instead of worrying about taking every little picture or tweeting/documenting every little moment

2.  make new blogger friends instead of being too shy or only talk to the people you know

3.  enjoy the “robot blue” pedicure that you got!

thanks again to renata of scorpion disco & the wonderfully hospitable staff of beaucage spa & salon for the *much needed* spa night! looking forward to the next one ^_^

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*blogger mixer at LF in harvard square ~ the recap*

picture-heavy post coming up!  i’ll let the photos speak for themselves & try to keep the commentary short & sweet ^_^

when i first arrived at LF, chloe & our other “hostesses with the mostesses” invited us to peruse the store, pull items that we would love to try on & basically just generate our wishlist!  the above items are what i totally craved…colorfully fun suede fringe bags, the steve madden x LF gorgeous blue suede wedge, ipad cases in fun bright colors & obviously, i loves me some spiky sam edelman shoes, so the new deadly roza pump!

then, it came down to trying on some clothes…my favorite part!  i totally picked this dress that is so *unlike* my style, yet i was immediately drawn to.  it was a neoprene-style body con dress with these chiffon side hip panels & amazing padded shoulders.  i loved the slimming effect of the black panels (although i could stand to lose a couple pounds if i really wanted to wear this in public O.O) & even though i would normally balk at the too-short miniskirt length, i felt more covered up with the sheer, yet fun & flirty fabric. if i hadn’t had my new year’s eve dress already picked out, this dress would definitely be in the “must have” category :)

chloe & her famous phrase “what??? i’m tweeting!”  hahaha!

while still playing amongst all the gorgeous clothes & shoes, we also found time to customize our own santa hats… in other words, totally cover them with glitter!!!  then we played the yankee swap game which if you’ve never played, it’s only mostly fun when there’s stealing!  *of course* i was the mean one & stole sarah’s awesome mustache temporary tattoos away from her!  but she got a super cool set of coffee mugs (which i brought)…so was all good ^_^  it was a great time hanging out with blogger friends (like cassie, amanda & chloe) & making new ones!  thanks again LF for having us!

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*blogger mixer at LF in harvard square ~ the outfit*

had kind of a crazy busy weekend, so i’ll start from backwards ^_^  a blogger friend, chloe of the i-can-totally-relate blog titled walking in heels, hosted a mixer last night at one of my most FAVORITE stores, LF in harvard square!  i just love holiday parties, *especially* when i’m surrounded by clothes & shoes that you can already totally find in my closet.  hence, i decided to go balls to the wall & wear all white…it *is* the holidays after all!  as nini says…”you don’t want to blend in, you want to stand out!”

to compete with all that white, i kept my accoutrements still very bold, but in darker silver/pewter tones with just a *hint* of neon yellow.  just for fun…why not?  in keeping with that kind of sparkly, glittery, holiday vibe.  i originally had white shoes on, but blecccchhhhkkk…was way too much.  i was glad to have the silver shoes to match the rest of my accessories.  thanks to chloe for taking my picture :)  i will detail the rest of the party…which involved snacks, cider, dressing up, wishlist items, crazy santa hats & a cutthroat yankee swap in my next post.  until next time ^_^

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*carousel riding & vintage shopping*

so, at the conclusion of the blogger picnic, a few of us gals decided to have some other kinda fun! there was a carousel in the common near to where the picnic was, so holly, najeema, nicolle & i decided to push some kids over go for a ride! 

i wondered what the carousel attendants and parents thought of 4 grown women wanting to ride the horses, rabbits & frogs with the children? hahaha! didn’t matter, it was so much fun! i tend to be so serious too…gotta let loose & act like a kid again sometimes ^_^

i didn’t get any great carousel pictures, but definitely check out nicolle’s post! she made awesome collages of all us girls!

after the carousel riding, we wended our way down charles street in beacon hill, popping into vintage jewelry stores, oohing & aahing over pretty purses & raven feathered stoles. we finally ended up at artifaktori’s new store! they even have their grand opening party tonight starting at 6! we spent the rest of the day trying on stunningly beautiful vintage. well, the other girls did. i only tried on a pair of glittery cat eye sunglasses which didn’t face my face right. grrrrr :/ in any case, najeema & nicolle looked amazing in their vintage finds!

finally, finally last stop at savenors for some gourmet cheeses (lavender & fennel? mmmm…yes please!), tasty bread & salty caramels! a great end to a great day!  

photo credits: all photos by me except the very last photo of the 3 of us, courtesy of holly’s flicker stream ^_^

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