Tokyo, long time no see

by Nicole Desuasido

Bar III jumpsuit, Zara shoes, Banana Republic earringsMichael Kors watch, Ferragamo bag

My first visit to Japan was in 2003 — right before I became obsessed with Lost in Translation. We visited again last month, and got to stay at the Park Hyatt where much of the film took place. It was just as enchanting as I’ve always imagined. 

The pictures above were taken at the New York Bar. The food there was excellent, the atmosphere was amazing, and the views were absolutely breathtaking -- it’s definitely a must if you’re visiting Tokyo. It's easy to find yourself lost, pretending what it was like when when Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson were there, retracing scenes from a movie that left such a lasting impression even 10 years later.

Miami Heat

by Nicole Desuasido

Wearing: Aryn K. dress, Marmalade pendant necklace, Jennifer Zeuner horizontal bar necklace, Michael Kors watch, Cartier bracelet

I had such a pleasant experience staying at the Delano in South Beach. The atmosphere here is so stylish and the all-white decor makes everything feel very dreamy; and the pool is so pretty -- it's really such a gorgeous hotel. You can't beat the location - it's right along the beach, near all the action and not too far from OLA, the restaurant that serves the best corn empanadas.

During my stay in Miami, I attended a beautiful wedding and love this dress I wore for that occasion. I do have a love/hate relationship with these open-back dresses, though. I'm attracted to how delicate it looks, they're very sexy and feminine. But the problem is the straps are so thin and the material is so sheer, it makes it tricky for undergarments. Fortunately, I discovered these and they're simply the best solution for this kind of outfit. 

Man Repelling

by Nicole Desuasido

H&M kimono, Jennifer Zeuner necklace, bandeau bikini top, leopard bikini bottom, sunglasses

This past weekend, on my trip to Miami, I was able to finish a book by one of my favorite bloggers, Leandra Medine from Man Repeller. Certainly one of my highlights since her writing is so clever and witty. It was really such an easy and enjoyable read on the beach.

Since January, I've become a bit of a beach-snob after being spoiled with the crystal clear waters in Palawan. It's a little unfair to expect Miami to contend with that, but at the same time the saturation of people on the beaches was so overwhelming, it's hard not to draw that parallel of how drastically different the two places are.

Nonetheless, Miami from my memory has always been in the Awesome category of Place I've Been To And Look Forward To Returning, so I was very excited to be back. Plus, I had a few beachy pieces that didn't make an appearance in the Philippines and Miami was the perfect place to channel the diva-inspired attire!

However in this case, the embroidered kimono + bandeau top + leopard print bottom + half-tinted-sunglasses combo were apparently so "man-repelling" to my own boyfriend, he despised every second the morning I sported that get up.

Although his reaction was neither shocking and in fact, based on the book I just finished reading, his response was pretty spot on. If you need further instructions on how to do this, Man Repeller's book, Seeking Love. Finding Overalls is full of good examples.

LA Part II

by Nicole Desuasido

Wearing: Zara skirt, Cole Haan shoes, Marc Jacobs bag, Jennifer Zeuner necklace, Michael Kors watch, Cartier bracelet

Here are a few photos taken from the Griffith Observatory on my latest trip to LA, about a month ago -- shortly after we returned back from the Philippines. This place has the best views of the city, and I was very surprised it was my first time visiting. As a Los Angeles regular, it's always fun exploring new parts and some exciting discoveries I made on this trip included: the Beverly Hills Soul Cycle studio, a new favorite LA instructor name Lauren, tasty tofu tacos from James Beach in Venice, and a super cool neighborhood - Silver Lake. Don't get me wrong -- I do like my routines so there was a mandatory bread pudding stop at Urth Cafe, a coffee break from Alfred's, and dinner + drinks at Chateau Marmont!

Silver Lining

by Nicole Desuasido

Wearing: XXI brocade dress, Zara shoes, Chanel watch, Cartier love bracelet

A trip to the Philippines is not complete without being stuck in traffic; and on New Year's Day we experienced nothing less than a memorable standstill. Despite the traffic headache, our boat ride and journey up to a volcano was quite the adventure. Alex and I can share countless stories from our journey that day, but I'll let the pictures above reserve those unforgettable moments.

Views from Taal Vista Lodge in Tagaytay, Club Balai Isabel in Batangas, and the Crater Lake inside Taal Volcano. Not pictured: my tired pony, nerdy boyfriend attached to a GoPro head-strap, and the traffic mess we had to go through from Manila and back! -- Yuck!

When we arrived in Palawan after this dreadful day, it was paradise from thereon. We treasured every second of bliss and after spending the next four days care-free, one thing was certain: El Nido is a magical place and we had such a beautiful time there, together.

Here's a video montage from our trip:

Philippines Photo Diary

by Nicole Desuasido

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My 30th birthday was spent in the air, en route to the Philippines. Because of the different time zone, I technically "skipped" December 30 and arrived in Manila on New Years Eve. I fell asleep practically the entire flight; and so the whole day on my actual birthday I was on a plane. At first it seemed a little sad but as you can tell from the pictures above, getting to spend the rest of the week in paradise definitely made it worth it.

I consumed large amounts of mangos every single day, had breakfasts at Shangri-La's Circles buffet (they do breakfast the best), hiked to the top of Taal Volcano, and best of all -- I discovered the most beautiful place I have ever visited -- Palawan. Just thinking of our stay in El Nido gives me withdrawals and there are no words to describe how amazing it is. If you have the opportunity to go, I highly recommend staying at Lagen Island Resort. I've always wanted to stay in a water cottage and we were lucky to get the best one (request 109). I can go on and on but a few highlights were: Secret Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Entalula Beach, and Big Lagoon -- all in that order. I can't wait to post the videos from the trip. Tons of footage to edit and I apologize for the month delay to even post these.

Time is flying by and I can't believe it's almost February. This year has kicked off to a good start and I look forward to more adventures this 2014! Cheers!

Goodbye Twenties

by Nicole Desuasido


Topshop skirt, Cole Haan flats, Coach bag, Jcrew necklace, Chanel watch

I spent the last of my 20's with the same ladies I've celebrated with -- almost all of the birthday's I've had -- this past decade. We took a road trip down to LA and stayed at The London Hotel in Hollywood. I Instagrammed most of our adventures but the festivities included: Soul CyclingBluePrint Juice + Patron cocktails, Dinners at Chateau Marmont and The Bazaar at SLS, shopping at The Grove and the best bread pudding I've ever had from the Urth Caffe.


It was a short but very memorable trip, and a nice way to end being 29. Photos below were taken by my good friend, Steve Bitanga at LACMA.


Club Monaco top, Forever 21 skirt, Zara shoes, White House Black Market bag, Chanel watch

As a major Homeland fan, I was excited to read this interview with Claire Danes in Glamour, where she talks about being older and I couldn't have said it better:

"I'm happier in my thirties. I feel clearer about who I am and less apologetic about it and more accepting of my limitations and also more aware of the ways in which I'm capable. I was always looking forward to this time because people talk about it in very romantic terms. And I think it's true. Gravity hasn't had too profound of an effect, and you're a little less emotionally gangly. The twenties are a deceptively challenging-slash-painful time. I'm just glad to be out of that phase."

I started writing this blog when I was just about to turn 25 and it's amazing to see how much I've grown and am so happy I continued to do this. Even though I may not update it as frequently as I'd like, my Instagram is always buzzing and I try to use it often just so I can stay on the radar. Anyway, thank you so much for reading my blog and Happy New Year!! Up next are pictures from my trip to the Philippines!