Valentino Garavani Rockstud Leather Shoulder Bag review

I bought myself a Valentino rockstud bag for my birthday. At first, after reading reviews I was scared the size would be too small but in actuality, the bag can fit 4-5 essentials comfortably like a small lip balm, hand lotion, ID case, and cell phone (I have an iphone 12 mini).

The size is perfect for the evening because though it is small it is not impractically or comically tiny.

I can fit a small wallet inside but it is not needed since the bag has card slots. The rockstud design adds an edge to classic or simple outfits. The gold hardware is shiny and eye-catching like jewelry for the bag. The leather is soft grainy calfskin.

The bag came in a drawstring bag and was haphazardly thrown into a large Nordstrom bag with other items I purchased, unlike other brands, the packaging is very minimal. This is a good thing environmentally speaking but a bit of a letdown compared to brands like Dior (my personal favorite) that offer beautiful packaging no matter the price point. Even Dior eye cream is wrapped with bows and has the signature box. I ordered it with Nordstrom curbside pickup perhaps ordering directly from Valentino is a different experience with better packaging.

Overall, I love my bag because I can wear it with anything to add a little sparkle to night or day looks.

Bay Area Eats Series – Final Wrap-Up!

This post marks the end of the Bay Area Eats Series! More food reviews on the way, just not limited to this series. At the bottom find the top five recommendations.

SiFuWong Kitchen – Best Chinese in South Bay – New York City style Cantonese Chinese food!!

I was so happy to discover SiFuWong Kitchen restaurant because they specialize in Cantonese style Chinese food that mirrors the flavors popular in Chinatown New York City. They have roasted meats and handmade dumplings, and most importantly (because its my favorite) ginger chicken! Nothing beats roasted chicken with fresh ginger sauce for me. I asked for the ginger sauce on the side. This restaurant has ample covered outdoor seating near a Ramada hotel pool. I’ve eaten outside and we got there at the perfect time right after re-opening at 5pm to avoid crowds, we had the entire outdoor patio to ourselves.

LUNA Mexican Kitchen – The Pruneyard – We ordered pozole and Chocoflan, chocolate cake and flan dessert from LUNA. I’m featuring this Mexican restaurant, that caters to Mexican-American style flavors, because they make excellent cocktails, offer outdoor seating and the chocoflan dessert with pomegranate seeds tasted just the right amount of devilish sweet.

El Ranchero Del Sur

This taco truck makes flavorful tacos and other simple Mexican dishes on par to something purchased in San Diego or Mexico. The flavors are there, the meats are seasoned properly with fruits and spices like pineapple and carved off the skewer.


*Listed in no particular order

1.) Los Gallos Taqueria – Flavorful & authentic

I highly recommend Los Gallos restaurant in Menlo Park because they dish out consistently wonderful dishes that are addictingly flavorful. I’ve ordered food from here on several occasions and each time they met my expectations. This eatery is well worth the visit for a quick lunch.

2.) Miramar Beach Restaurant at Half Moon Beach – Location, location, location

I recommend this restaurant because I love that it has parking, though the lot is often full, and importantly its located next to the beach! Outdoor dinners enjoy an ocean view with their meal. It does get breezy because of this so light layers are useful.

3.) Ramen Hajime – Savory & balanced pork ramen

I love getting take out from Ramen Hajime because their Japanese style cakes are light, fluffy, and not overly sweet. As mentioned previously, the pork ramen is always made to perfection.

4.) 10 Butchers – Upscale Korean BQQ & excellent customer service

I recommend 10 Butchers because I believe it was the best upscale Korean I had in the South Bay. The meats tasted high quality and fresh and the waiters were all warm, helpful and kind. The flavors are mellow compared to the standard Korean restaurant so its a great place to go for those who do not like too much spice or boldness in their food.

5.) The Calmére Estate Winery in Napa – Memorable, one-of-kind, hospitality

I’ll never forget the Valentines Day picnic I attended at Calmére winery. From the lush sweeping green hills to the overflowing wine refills, jolly wait staff and delicious food. Its a great winery to seek out during a shorter trip to Napa, specifically to attend any of their events.

Lemon & Egg Whites Mask

Hey all, have you used the lemon and egg whites skin tightening, pore shrinking at-home mask? I love using this mask because it is so easy to make and it makes a noticeable difference. You just mix one egg white with equal parts lemon juice and mix until it appears frothy. Then apply the mask, I just use my fingers to apply, and let it dry and tighten, then rinse. With only one egg white and lemon juice mixture mask both my mother and I can apply two times each, four times total. We put the remaining mask in the fridge and use the next day. My mom always gets asked what’s her skincare secret and this is one of them. Try it out and let me know how it goes! ❤

Mixed egg whites and lemon juice – frothy appearance

Coloring hair at home, new hair products & no water needed leave-in

I cut off all of my hair last summer. I got my hair colored honey blonde at Stocks and Blonde salon in San Jose. I loved the color but disliked the brassiness caused by not using the correct products at first. Additionally, the colorist left patches of my hair un-colored with bright yellow bleach.

Since my (third) big chop, I’ve been exploring different hair products to grow my hair out. I purchased three Oribe hair products: leave-in, deep treatment, and curl control. The leave-in smells delightful and floral. Importantly, I can maintain moisture in my hair for at least 2 days without reapplying. The deep treatment does make my hair soft and the curl control works as well to moisturize. I will update if this product helps with faster hair growth.

However, the real star product for daily use is Palmers Coconut Oil leave-in, one word, effective. Finally, I no longer have water dripping down from my hair to my neck because this product moisturizes with little to no water. I just spritz some in and use my detangling brush and add one to two spritzes of water from my spray bottle and my hair is ready to go. It looks moisturized and feels soft. I have never had a daily hair leave-in work this well for me since I first went natural in 2013.

Overall, Oribe products are a fun splurge but Palmers Coconut Oil leave-in is most useful for day-to-day use.

Best Leave-in for moisture retention!!

I colored my hair at home with L’Oreal Honey Blonde and Volume 20 Developer. I only purchased 2 boxes of the honey blonde but I think I needed three boxes for better coverage. I additionally could have used volume 30 developer for brighter/lighter color but I wanted to minimize hair damage and practice with volume 20. I mixed equal parts color to developer and applied it to my hair roots to ends for 20 minutes. Then, rinsed and shampooed with color safe shampoo. I’m very happy with the results and lack of brassiness. I added a little flaxseed gel to the front for definition. ❤

An ice cube a day keeps the pores away ~ Hello Spring Haul

I purchased some goodies from Sokoglam, ByTerry, and Target. I have some recommendations and finds below:

Target Candle, The Collection, Tea Leaves – Amazing spring celebratory candle. It is not a floral scent, it smells like sweetened green tea, herbal, and fresh. It has good throw in the medium sized room I put it in. I love that this scent is just universally pleasant and neutral rather than super feminine or masculine. It smells calming yet noticeable and it does not upset my nose or eyes. I dislike purchasing scented candles with no punch or smell because I feel it just defeats the purpose. But this candle is so good I purchased another one and also the White Citron candle from the same line.

Target Candle, Opalhouse, Neon Guava – I use this candle in my bedroom and it fills up the entire room fairly quickly. The scent is mellow, sweet, and fruity. Like The Collection line, Opalhouse is another brand that carries nicely scented candles at an affordable price. Specifically, I’ve found Opalhouse depression glass jar candles perform the best from their range because the scents smells the strongest in their jar candle type.

Tree Hut Body Scrub in Exotic Bloom – I always recommend Tree Hut body scrubs because I prefer non-oily scrubs and an exfoliated-clean feel after use. The exotic bloom scent made with lavender and hemp is strong, floral, and just fantastically spring / summer. This scrub makes not only you but the whole shower smell great.

ByTerry Cellularose Nutri Pure Face Wash – This is my top splurge recommendation on this list. The signature rose scent of their products simply makes you feel special. This face wash is amazing because lathers well, is scented with rose, and non-drying.

ByTerry Dual Exfoliation Face Scrub – This face scrub has very small fine particles to exfoliate that are not sharp or abrasive feeling. It is completely an everyday appropriate scrub. The rose scent is present and lovely just like the face wash.

Vitamin C face wash – I like this face wash because it is exfoliating however it is a bit difficult to make into a paste. This face wash is a powder that becomes a paste when mixed in damp hands. If my hands are too wet it becomes liquidly and less effective. All in all, I do like using it but its my least favorite purchase in this haul.

Vitamin C serum – LOVE this vitamin c serum! It completely faded the pigmentation I had on my face from a recent breakout in one week. I feel like my face looks even and balanced again. I highly recommend checking this out.

Vitamin C mask – This is a clay-like consistency mask that functions to brighten the complexion. I like that the mask is less drying and thick than the average clay mask, it has small exfoliating beads as well. This entire vitamin c line at Sokoglam has all together made my complexion brighter.

Bee Venom – I’ve reviewed and recommended this before and will continue to purchase it as a splurge every now and then. I love using this balm at night all over my face and neck. I’ve found that I wake up with smaller pores when I use this balm (and an ice cube twice daily, of course).

Licorice toner – I got this toner for free with my order. I’m happy they sent this because I would have not picked it out myself. The licorice feels so nice on my face and it makes my skin feel more awake and clean in the mornings. It has green tea extract and peony extract as well.

Licorice eye cream – I have not had any adverse reaction to this eye cream as someone with sensitive eyes. It has many useful ingredients like green tea and caffeine. I like that this eye cream is in a tube making it easy to use on-the-go or traveling. The consistency is perfect, it is less thick than the Youth to the People eye cream and other popular products. This makes it easier to apply, it sinks in a single application.

Saturday Skin Brightening eye cream – This eye cream also has a functional design with a pump making it on-the-go friendly. The eye cream mainly functions to brighten than to help with wrinkles or plump the skin like the Licorice eye cream above. Saturday Skin is a great brand and they make effective brightening and exfoliating products in my opinion. I think this eye cream suits someone with little eye care concerns in the market for something moisturizing and brightening.

Nivea Body Lotion in Cherry Blossom – I choose the Cherry Blossom lotion scent to embody cherry blossom season. This lotion is lighter than the coco-butter ones from this line and therefore more seasonally appropriate for hotter weather.

Jo Malone Vitamin E lip balm – Is this a lip balm or sorcery? As soon as I apply this lip treatment any and all dryness disappears. It feels nourishing and non-greasy. I love it so much that I use it throughout the day. ❤

Estrellita’s Spring Haul

Her new car seat-basket is from Amazon, its collapsible and has a seat belt that can connect to her harness in the seat. They provide 2 pieces of hard plastic to give structure to the sides. During set up, I found the plastic was placed in the large front pocket with a zipper. Set up was easy and fast, I just connected the belts to loop it over the seat head and added the plastic to the sides of the seat. This dog car seat can booster higher as well. For greater security I made her seat belt a little tighter so she could not get out of her car seat. At first she protested a bit but after 5 minutes she lounged, took a nap, and calmly looked out the window.

I upgraded her harness to a matching purple one with gingham print for spring with the matching purple leash. I love the vivid purple color that is an exact match to her car seat. The only downside to the harness is that the white Velcro remains visible. I purchased a small, my 10 month old puppy is only 6.5lbs, and has a very skinny upper body yet the Velcro still is visible at the top when it is on her body.

It seems this is the design of the vest because other puppies much smaller and younger than her also have visible Velcro in the Amazon review pictures. Overall, for under $14, I still like the vest for the color and style to celebrate the spring season!

I purchase some allergy chews for her from Target because I noticed that she was experiencing spring allergies. I give her a little less than half a chew a day. It has significantly reduced her scratching and irritation. She barely scratches herself now and appears much more comfortable throughout the day.



Etsy Shop – Sunday Clothes – Bandana Top

I love this handmade bandana top that comes in a range of colors and sizes (XS to XL). You can tie it tightly in the back for support. The satin or silk look is fashionable today but this top is also is a classic piece that can be layered or accessorized to stand the test of time.

Pueblo Stone Jewelry – Native American Art Shop

I’m pictured in both looks wearing Zuni earrings from Pueblo Stone and a Navajo necklace. I highly recommend this shop on Etsy to purchase authentic Native American (mostly Zuni) art and jewelry with all proceeds going directly to Native Americans. I love wearing such a vibrant piece that is representative of a rich true American history. As a history buff its cool to read text from Spanish colonizers describing the Zuni tribe use of turquoise and to actually wear it today. ❤

Free People Body Suit

I love that this body suit is made of stretchy fabric. There are clasps at the bottom of the body suit that makes it more convenient to wear. The puffed sleeves add a little flare to the simple look. I love the quality of the fabric and that its the perfect shade of black. It can be dressed up or down. It was easy to steam before wearing it because the fabric barely wrinkles.

Reformation Jeans light denim pictured above and black below

These jeans are described as comfortable and stretchy and they are just that. I love that I feel so free to move in them. I think the high waisted feature adds a retro touch. They feel super soft on and just like the body suit they’re easy to dress up or down. ❤

My Eye Skincare

Youth to the People Dream Eye Cream – This is a night eye cream that purposely swells / firms up the skin under the eyes to prevent the look of eye sagging and crows feet. I love that this product feels like an eye “reset” and my eyes bounce back to a more refreshed look by the time I wake up in the morning. If you only try one product from this list look into this one.

Dior Capture Totale Eye Cream – This eye cream is ultra hydrating and great to use morning and night. The package does not have that much product but it does last some time because a little goes a long way. I enjoy using it all over my forehead.

Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Eye Patches – These eye patches don’t slide down my face after application and they are easy to apply. I wish the eye serum was more evenly applied because some eye patches are a bit dried out while others are drenched with serum. I love to use these while working at my laptop with my glasses on over the top or at night more comfortably.

Peter Thomas Roth Firm Collagen Eye Cream – This eye cream has seven different forms of collagen. I love that the product is a gel so it is easy to apply and feels revitalizing on my eyes.

All in all, none of these eye care products act as a one-stop-shop purchase meaning they all help with one or two eye problems but they aren’t all-in-one miracle products when they stand alone. I’d say the Youth to the People eye cream has the most impactful difference on my eyes when used at night when enough product is used. Substantial eye care is so important with extended screen time so I’m open to learning about new products and tips. ❤

wearing Dior eye cream here

Bay Area Eats Series

Mexi-tamalli ~ Chocolate Mole, Tamales

Hands down I already know when I make my final best food Bay Area Eats round up this year this food truck will get featured. Mexi-tamalli is run by two women and they create tasty, creative, thoughtful, and ambitious tamales at affordable prices. I ordered three and the price came up to $15.50 and rounded up to $16.90 with tax. The chocolate mole tamale was perfectly seasoned and the chocolate-chili aroma delighted the senses as an ideal pre-Valentines treat. The pork tamale tasted crispy and non-oily and the chicken tamale tasted lightly sweetened by the sweet corn. I ordered my tamales already prepared with sauces. I recommend enjoying the dish with the traditional sauces. I highly recommend checking them out. They often park on Saturdays at the Santa Clara Town Center. ❤

See you in the next installment, let me know your South Bay food recommendations ~

Spring Forward Perfume 🌹

Perfume Apothecary Wild Rose ~ Freesia, Litchi, Wild Rose, Apricot, Lily-of-theValley, Amber, Cedar notes

This newly launched in 2020 perfume embodies the romance of a true rose with a fresh and clean scent. The longevity is not the best but it does last a good 4 hours and very faintly afterwards.

Since I’m home more often having super long longevity is less important because I can reapply as needed. What I love about this floral scent is how sophisticated it smells for the affordable price $48. Additionally, this fragrance mixes well with other scents. It smells wonderful when paired with scented body lotions.

It sincerely has the aroma of rose petals at first application with a touch of apricot. I think this perfume is the perfect late winter, early spring scent because it adds a bit of floral freshness to my day and paves the way forward to spring flowers. Also, this perfume smells similar to Chloe eau de Parfum Chloé. I could not put my finger on it before and figure out what exactly it smells so similarly to, but after looking at the Fragrantica site I finally see the connection.

This brand even has skincare products made with apothecary rose so if you’re into roses as much as I am definitely check it out. ❤

Have a rosy day 🌹