JennifHsieh is a space for my rambling thoughts and snaps of my everyday style. I'm based in Astoria, Queens and I share a home with my two derpy cats and my equally derpy fiancé.

December 31, 2013

Bidding Farewell to 2013

Looking back at this past year, I can proudly and safely say that it's been one of the greatest so far. Top of the list. I took a quick glance at the list of resolutions and goals that I wrote up as 2012 came to a close and, surprisingly, I actually stuck to most of them without even looking at them.

I took another road trip down to Tennessee for the Bonnaroo music festival, which was absolutely insane. I didn't exactly master Adobe Illustrator, but I took the extra effort and took a Skillshare class to introduce myself to the basics. I didn't book a wedding photography job quite yet, but I certainly booked a surprise engagement shoot and I would count that since it's within the same realm of romance. ;) I'm slowly, but surely, learning how to accept compliments without dismissing them entirely, and finally...I'm currently on the west coast (and I'm pretty sure it's still 2013). The only goal left untouched was my wish to start practicing my violin again but who knows, maybe when I don't have roommates to bother in the future.

But, beyond my resolutions, I managed to blow this year away and I couldn't be happier about it. Take that, 2013. This past September marked my first full year living on my own in New York City with some awesome roommates (without managing to go broke). I managed to land a front row seat at New York Fashion Week and a mention in the Wall Street Journal all in the same week.  I finally had my photography featured at an art show in Brooklyn and I also moderated a panel for young professionals. Career wise, I learned so much from the amazing people I work with on a daily basis and even landed my first promotion! Oh, and let's talk about all the adventures I was able to save up for? Hello, Turkey and Miami! And I can't forget Jeremy coming back from his year teaching abroad in Turkey and finding myself falling in love with him all over again.

As each day passes, I always tend to focus on the little frustrations or the myriad of thoughts that drag me back and forth between the past and the future. But now that the year has come to an end, it's nice to remind myself of the things I'm thankful for because ultimately those are the things you work for, the things that matter, the things that keep you going.

And one of those things is you. But wait, don't roll your eyes. I'm being serious right now. If I didn't meet so many awesome people in this crazy little blogosphere that we're all strangely a part of, I would have given up on JennifHsieh much longer ago. You guys know just as well as I do that blogging can get pretty tedious and it's an entire struggle in itself not to compare yourself to other bloggers, when truthfully it shouldn't even matter. But luckily, I've only come across people that support me, people I look up to, and people that I've made amazing connections with. Thank you, thank you, and thank you for everything and for coming along on these ridiculous adventures I call my life.

Thank you.

Let's cheers to another year? ;) 


December 30, 2013

Guest Post: Stephen of Feeding My Folks

The amazing Jennifer Hsieh asked me to be a guest blogger this holiday season and I couldn't be more honored. Not only is she a fantastic writer, stylist, and fashion guru, but she's also one of the best people I know. That's right, her coolness transcends this crazy thing we call the internet. If you ever have a chance to meet her in person, take it. Home girl is awesome. So now that I've gushed about Jen (who may or may not be paying me for every compliment), let me introduce myself:

Hi, I'm Stephen from FeedingMyFolks!

For those of you who've read her blog before, Jen has been a fan of my pumpkin squares since she brought them to a work function last year. Since that dessert is great for holiday entertaining, I thought I'd throw her yet another recipe perfect for serving at an ugly sweater shindig, cozy cocktail party, or even just as something to sip during a Christmas movie marathon. Sounds good, right? Welcome to the world of mulled wine.

For those of you who aren't sure what mulled wine is, it's a warm beverage consisting of red wine, spices, and fruit. It's errs on the sweet side, but the sweetness can be increased/decreased based on your particular tastes. Hints of orange, cinnamon, clove, and star anise (which is a bit licorice-y) strike the tongue with every sip. This recipe is great to have on hand when you have surprise guests during the holidays because it takes only minutes to prepare (20, to be exact). If you have the time, let this bad boy sit overnight. The flavors deepen and tastes really good.

If you're still not sold, think of mulled wine as sangria for a cold winter night. People traditionally use port wine, but any red would work splendidly. Have a happy holiday season. :)

**Makes 4 servings** 
3 cups red wine 
1 ½ cup apple cider (or apple juice) 
1/4 cup apple liquor 
1/2 orange (zested and juice) 
5 whole cloves 
3 star anise 
2 cinnamon sticks 
1 nutmeg (crushed) 
5-8 tablespoons honey 

Place all ingredients into a medium pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool slightly and strain into glasses. Garnish with an orange/apple slice and cinnamon stick. Serve and enjoy!

December 29, 2013

Guest Post: Travel Tips by Cuddly Cacti

Hello, friends of Jen! I’m Dus and I blog over at Cuddly Cacti and with the swap group Flock Together. I’m a born and bred Southwestern, and I have a love of travel, green living, social entrepreneurship, and personal style, all of which I mention on my blog.

Today I’ll be sharing a bit about travel, and I’ll cut straight to the point I always bring up: you don’t have to be rich to travel. Actually, depending on where you live, you could spend less in several days of travel than you might on a day out around town. Of course there’s usually that pesky thing called a flight. But, there are two easy ways to get to that purchase I figure. You can:

1) Do that whole pseudo “Travel Hacker” thing (which we occasionally do) and open up cards with huge flyer mile or cash back bonuses for “travel cash.”

 Or 2) Put a few dollars away each day that you’d have spent on a coffee/lunch out, etc. and let it add up. That one will add up slower, but you can save it even for a day trip to explore a beautiful site in your state you’ve always wanted to see.

And then of course you can check (I recommend looking for private rooms in hostels if you’re a light sleeper like me), or for cheap stays, you’d be surprised the great deals you can find online.

What are some of your favorite budget travel tips? I’d love to hear! Thanks for having me today Jen; I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season!


December 28, 2013

Guest Post: Vanessa of My Pen My Voice

What more does a girl who loves Christmas need than an evening with her friends, a warm cup of sake, and the most stunning Christmas Market in the city? In spite of the trouble we had finding parking and the issues we faced trying to find a restaurant with less than a four hour wait, we had an amazing evening. With snowflakes swirling and a bitter wind blowing, my friends and I shuffled from booth-to-booth of the Toronto Christmas Market. 

We walked along the cobblestone alleys, admiring the bright lights and rustic charm of the Distillery District. We were blown away by the various vendors and their interesting creations, from decadent chocolate-dipped bacon, to handcrafted products, and everything in between. Standing beside the forty-five foot tree or in the middle of the market trying to capture a photo with the love of my life, I watched a swarm of people scatter by. They were singing Christmas carols, sharing laughs with their loved ones, smiling brightly with frost-bitten cheeks, and I thought this is what Christmas is all about, spending time with the people you love. Not focusing on what goes wrong but enjoying every moment that goes right. 

Enjoy all of your moments. 

Merry Christmas, from my city to yours.


December 27, 2013

Guest Post: Kathy of Le Vintage Dress

“This is absolutely out of the realm of what I would normally be wearing” Jen told me when she put on the white vintage button down peplum dress I gave her. The Le Vintage Dress winter shoot was on top of the Andaz building downtown Wall Street. It was freezing outside and the snow had just started. It wasn’t your typical photo shoot, but any excuse to play dress up and take photos was a good enough reason to stand outside in the freezing cold weather. Right girls?

Well, what I told Jen was different than what I thought, but I responded with honesty, and that was she looked absolutely stunning. She also wore a vintage Jessica McClintock for Guinne Sax dress with a pair of combat lace up boots for the perfect statement:

In fashion, there exists in the world things that people feel like they should be but they aren’t and in order for Jen’s vintage epiphany to really change, she had to see it for herself. Every photo taken, Jen nailed the pose and expressed what every vintage dress should: true beauty and to sparkle amongst company.

Each dress is available on Photos by Sharon Nord


December 26, 2013

Guest Post: Kirsten's Holiday Tradition

Hello there, I’m Kirsten! Hope you’ve all had a happy holiday full of food, friends, family and cheer. I know I sure did! I love hearing about other people’s holiday traditions, whether it be a large gathering with enough food to feed a small country or a simple, intimate morning decked out in matching pajamas.

My family has always been very connected to our Finnish heritage, and Christmas is no time to forget that. For me, food has always been my favorite part of any holiday, so it’s no surprise that the Scandinavian smorgasbord my family serves on Christmas Eve is my favorite. As someone with a sweet tooth, I’d have to say dessert is my favorite part. Swedish pepparkakor cookies (think really thin gingerbread), buttery spritz cookies, spice cake, and classic rice pudding deck our table.

Every year we add a whole almond in the rice pudding and whoever finds it in their serving is supposed to have good luck in the upcoming year. This time I was the one to find the almond, and I’m hoping that means 2014 will be my best year yet!

Luckily, the holiday sweets don’t end there for my family. Every Christmas morning my mom makes Finnish oven pancakes for us all to enjoy after a busy morning of unwrapping presents. Top them off with some lingonberry sauce and… mmmmm. I’m in heaven. :)

What kind of traditions does your family follow for the holidays? Thanks for taking time to read about mine, and have a happy and safe New Year!


Pacific Northwest Bound: Ringing in the New Year

Today is the day! I've been counting down to my trip to the Pacific Northwest with Jeremy for months now and we're catching a flight later this evening. While I won't be blogging again until my return, a few of my readers will be guest blogging about their own travels, holiday traditions, and recipes. Super excited for you to get to know them a bit better, as they're the ones who keep me blogging.

In the meantime, if you want to follow along my West Coat adventures, be sure to check my Instagram as I annoy Jeremy with my constant picture taking.

Also, if you're in the area, shoot me an email! I would love to meet up with you guys. :)

See you next year. ;)

December 25, 2013

New Bangs for a New Year

American Apparel Black Crop Top | Papaya Black Floral Dress (similar) | Fleece-Lined Tights c/o Silkies | Urban Outfitters Black Ankle Boots (similar) | Red Blazer Coat c/o LuLu*s (similar) 

If you guys read my blog back during the summer of 2011, you'll remember when I tried experimenting with straight bangs and it went horribly wrong. Need an example? I'm cringing, but here you go. Now that it's been two years of recovery, this past weekend I decided to give it another try with a more trusted hair salon (thanks to Jeremy's urging). And, well, this is it.

If you follow me on Instagram, you already got a sneak peak at what my bangs look like but I figured I should debut them officially on the interwebs. Boom.

They're still (literally) growing on me and I go in between loving them and hating them. I guess it just takes some adjusting to but we'll see how long I last before starting to push them to the side.

But anyway, just wanted to come on here and wish everyone a very, very Merry Christmas if they're celebrating! If not, enjoy the holidays and the vacation time. I can't wait for the start of a new year and to set off on my Pacific Northwest vacation with Jeremy tomorrow! Sending lots of love and cheer to all of you!


December 23, 2013

Santa Brought Me Some Mint

H&M Beige Elbow-Pad Cardigan (similar) | Lace Mint Dress from Ashley (similar) | Tan Combat Boots c/o LuLu*s (similar) | Shoemint Beige Crossbody

The weather this past weekend was absolutely gorgeous, like I-Don't-Have-To-Wear-A-Coat gorgeous. The sudden 30 degree shift in temperature, however, was not so kind to my body and now I'm sitting at work with a runny nose and growing fever. Luckily, I'll be heading to my parent's house tonight so Momma Hsieh will be able to help me heal before I head to the west coast. Ho, ho, ho! Instead of a white Christmas, I guess I'll be having a sickly one. Jackpot.

But on another note, the Flock Together ladies decided to have a Secret Santa swap and I was lucky enough to get the beautiful Ashley from Southern (California) Belle as my Santa! She's due to welcome her baby girl, Bianca, any day now so stop by her blog and wish her some luck! Also, I got so many sweet compliments while walking around the city with this bad boy on. It's about time I welcomed some mint into my closet. Maybe my New Year's resolution should be to wear brighter colors? ;)


December 19, 2013

You'll Never Talk Me Out of This

American Apparel Black Crop Top (similar) | Magenta Vintage Skirt c/o Brag Vintage (similar) | V-Foxy Heels c/o Via Spiga (similar)

I know what you're thinking...what kind of winter outfit is this? (And if you weren't thinking that, you should have been. Seriously, there's snow on the ground in the city. Something is wrong with me). But I had an itchin' to wear my new vintage skirt, thanks to the lovely people over at Brag Vintage, and I just had to style it up. It screams spring and summer but I made an exception to rock this bad boy at work yesterday. Can we talk about how beautiful the color is? And the way it just sits there with all that fabric swirling around my legs like there's nothing it would rather be doing. I think I've started a new love affair with full skirts. I'm all yours, full skirts. Take me as I am. 

I'm also rocking some new ankle strap heels, courtesy of Vogue Influencers and Via Spiga. I've grown to be pretty damn obsessed with ankle strap heels over the past year and my obsession only seems to be growing stronger day by day. As much as I love the thicker heel and thicker strap on this pair though, the buckle seems to keep hitting and rubbing against my ankle bone, making walking a bit painful. People say beauty is pain, but I definitely disagree. I'm going to try wearing tights or try adding some padding underneath the buckle. Any suggestions out there?


December 17, 2013

2013 Gift Guide: The WanderLust Filled


Can't Keep Up, Can't Back Down

Forever 21 Brown Coat (similar) | Zara Scallop Pocket Rust Skirt (similar) | Urban Outfitters Beige Sweater (similar), Cream Satchel | Fleece-Lined Tights c/o Silkies | Jackie Boots (old) c/o Blowfish Shoes (similar) 

I find myself wearing this color palette pretty often when the colder weather comes around and I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe it's just straight up easy since it matches my favorite coat so well? But either way, it feels so familiar and overdone, but I don't think I'll be straying from it anytime soon.

Or maybe I should.

EITHER WAY, it's snowing again today and I'm ecstatic, despite the fact that I almost slipped approximately ten times on my walk to the subway this morning. That doesn't really bode well for my already existing clumsiness.

...what did I even just talk about in this post? This is complete gibberish. It's one of those days, you guys. One of those days...

© JennifHsieh | A Personal Style + Life Blog • Theme by Maira G.