Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

Hello my lovelies! I am still currently traveling around the US, and my internet usage has been quite limited, but I am trying to keep up with my regular MWF posting schedule as best I can. Regardless, I have a plethora of amazing photos to share with you from all the places I've been, so I promise that each post will be worth the wait. As I pack up to leave for my next location, I'm trying to get in all the blogging time I can. Now, without further ado, here are the long awaited photo highlights from my short stay in Portland, Oregon! (As a warning, like most of my posts, this is heavy on the food porn, so empty stomachs beware!)

I began my Portland journey with a trip to Bunk Sandwiches, for lunch. Even though I got lost for an hour while trying to find the place, Bunk was worth the extra mile.

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Seattle: A Photo Diary

Public Market Center
Just a few snaps from my trip to Seattle!
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

How I Left My Mark in Seattle

Before leaving Seattle, I was determined to leave my mark on the city in some creative way. I originally thought that I would hand out my new Moo cards to  fashionable Seattleites, as I stopped them to snag a picture of their ensembles, but unfortunately, I didn't get to snap very much street wear. So, hours before I had to leave the city behind me, I knew just how to make the name pancakeSTACKER stick to Seattle--the famous Post Alley Gum wall. I  grabbed a few sticks of gum, chewed my little heart out, and found an eye-catching spot to stick my business cards. Now, Seattle will always be apart of me and I to it.

Blazer: Purchased from the FIRST ever Nordstrom (in Seattle); Jeans: Guess; Tee & Scarf: Forever 21; Boots: Nine West; Photos by: Alex L.


If you spot pancakeSTACKER in Seattle, snap a picture and send it to me! I have just landed in my next location and am currently blogging as I wait for my hotel room, but the rest of this week's post will be about the duration of my Seattle and Portland adventure. Stop by soon to see what's next on the travel agenda :)

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Sleepless in Seattle

Hello everyone! As you know, yesterday I left San Francisco to begin the first portion of my trip. It's already been a a jam-packed day and a half, and it's been great being able to see a different area of the US. The weather gods have taken mercy on my poor California body,  and surprisingly, Seattle has been light on the rain. (We'll see how the rest of my stay goes, but I'll probably eat my words come tomorrow!). Tomorrow, we're waking up at 5 am to catch a train to Portland, and I can finally get my hands on those Voodoo Doughnuts (yumm!).  So, since I have to wake up rather early, I'm going to leave you with a quick outfit post, before I head to bed, to tide you over until Wednesday.
Bubble tunic, leggings & necklace: Forever 21; Boots: Nine West; Photos by: Alex L.

Sorry for the hasty post, but don't worry though, you'll get way more pictures and details on my Seattle journey in my next post! Thanks so much for all your kind comments (I promise to get back to each and every one of you as soon as I have more time!).

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Maligayang Bati

Or "Happy Birthday" in Tagalog (I'm half Filipino for those curious souls out there...).

A few days ago was my grandma's birthday (80 years young!) and I thought it was the perfect time to whip out a new recipe I had been yearning to try. I was first introduced to the coconut-mango mix by my friend, Lindsey, who suggested that I try out the combo in my next pancake batch. Being the pancake lover that I am, I contemplated making them every morning this week, but I was so intrigued by the idea, that I wanted to take it a step further. That's when I remembered that my grandma's favorite two fruits were fittingly enough, coconuts and mangoes.  I was originally going to use fresh coconut both inside my cupcake and as a finishing sprinkle, but I ran into a slight roadblock when I opened the fridge and my coconut had been used to make something else. (Fresh coconut is hard to come by in my family, so you snooze, you lose..and I lost!). Luckily for me, the coconut debacle wouldn't necessarily make or break my cupcakes, and I still had fresh mangoes perfect for a topping. I was pleasantly surprised when the cupcakes came out better than I imagined, and I'm happy to say that everyone enjoyed them. Below is part of the recipe I used to make the cupcakes via Bon Appetit. I didn't use the coconut frosting recipe because I  wanted to make a simple, but refreshing cool whip/mango topping to give a different texture and flavor.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Give a Little, Get a Little

Hello everyone! Apologies for my lack of posts in the last few days; I've been trying to squeeze in all the family & friends time I can before I leave in three days. I'll be getting back to my regular MWF schedule postings next week, but in the meantime, here are some photos I've snapped to give you a glimpse of the ending to my summer and what I've been up to since returning to NorCal.

Stopping by a road-side stand to purchase some fresh produce

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sure Could Go For You

With seven days left until I take the US by storm, I've been trying to get the nuts and bolts of effective packing down. Truth be told, I'm afraid that my California closet just isn't going to do the trick when faced against multiple climates. Packing for Seattle's rain, Boston's cold winds, New York's sticky humidity, and a chance encounter of hot, hot heat in DC (thank you, weather channel) all in just two carry-on's makes the task that much harder. Cutting down my wardrobe choices, while saving room for all the goodies I'm planning to pick up en route, forces me to only bring the bones of amazing outfits, leaving me to find the meat along the way. Let it be known that I've never been a girl afraid of an outfit challenge, so I'm going  to use what I've got and only purchase the bare necessities. Below are a few items that would be a great addition to what I already have.  Aesthetic pleasure + practical use =  a winning combination.

During a long day of touring and sight-seeing, a light bag, with enough room to carry the essentials (camera, wallet, water, snacks, etc), is of the utmost importance. The only thing I hate more than having to carry a heavy bag, is carrying a heavy bag that's unorganized. A soft leather-like backpack will evenly distribute weight when in use and is easy to squash into my luggage when empty. Forever 21's Leatherette Backpack looks easy to care for and seems like it will stand against a little drizzle.


While I'd like to look like I've stepped out of an episode of Sex and the City as I'm walking around in New York in my sky-high heels, after spending hours on foot, in long walking tours, I will probably just look out of my mind.  (Not to mention how much my feet will hate me if I don't treat them right.) Thus, a comfortable flat is a must. A classic flat can be both relaxing on the feet and easy on the eyes. I turn to Steve Madden when it comes to stylish flats. The Sofiee's royal blue color will give any of my basic outfits a surprise pop of color, while the slightly pointed toe and one inch wedged-heel will flatter my narrow feet.


While it's important to have a good day bag, I'll end up looking like a grandma pack-rat if I lug around a backpack when I go out for happy hour and drinks. A feminine clutch or small shoulder bag is my go-to for nights out on the town. The scallop-edged trim on this pretty, pink bag is not only a great detail, but a hint of what's in for the fall. (Mark my words, you'll be seeing a lot of scallop-trim everything, so you, too, should think of  stocking up now!)


When packing for weather that can change from hot to cold and dry to wet in the span of a day, it's a smart move to be ready for the unforeseeable. Jackets and coats take up a lot of space, so having just one that can go from night to day saves a lot of luggage space. I plan on packing at most two outerwear pieces, so I have to make them both count. I already have three classic pea coats hanging in my closet that I need to choose from, but I could definitely go for a light jacket. This Diesel jacket in black with a detachable hood is a versatile choice and like its description says, "it's an ideal item for keeping warm and looking great." 

Now, I might be using this trip as an excuse to feed my shoe craving, but I do find great value in owning a killer pair of boots. When I'm not gallivanting in flats or strutting in heels, a sturdy boot is my next option. For the rain in Oregon and the cold in Boston, having a tall, leather boot is perfect over a pair of skinnies or leggings. If the weather is nice out, these Frye leather boots would even look great with a nice pair of shorts, or a boho dress. These knee-highs are sure to be a city-stopper, and judging by the tall boot trend on the runways, I'll get lots of use out of them in the fall, which means they'll be worth the investment.


And finally, nothing completes an vacation outfit like a quality book. A book? Yes, a book. As some of you may know, I'm an English Literature nerd at heart. I love books and go through them like some go through water. Now that my UCLA days are over (I still shed a tear from time to time thinking that, ha! Okay, not really...), books that I wouldn't normally pick out for myself are no longer just assigned to me. Who knew that I'd be pining for a decent syllabus long after my undergraduate days were over? Since I can't bring too many, I'm looking for just one to get me through my down time. I've been browsing the Borders site, and by the end of next week, I will have my top pick. Any one read any of the above?


If you think I'm missing something, or can suggest an enthralling book you finished and are dying to recommend, please leave a comment below and let me know! Still time to enter my contest, so do so before the 15th!

Have a happy weekend :) And, I promise to get back to my regular outfit posts as soon as my trip planning is settled!

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Little Ethiopia

Before I left Los Angeles, I knew I needed to cross off as many places as possible on my list of places to eat. Ethiopian was definitely at the top of my list, as it seemed so silly not to, especially when Little Ethiopia was only a 10 minute drive from me. Now, I have to admit that I originally imagined (and hoped) that Ethiopian cuisine would be very similar to that of spicy Indian curries. However, I was surprised to find that the food, while obviously influenced by Indian flavors, had a savory taste of its own.


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Monday, September 6, 2010

pancakePRIZES

Away We Go, Elle

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a relaxing Labor Day weekend! I personally spent mine with family,  friends, and wallet-worthy, Labor Day deals. I found it to be the perfect opportunity to purchase myself a lovely set of DVF luggage. Why luggage, you might ask? Well, let me tell you! This summer, I didn't really get much of a break after graduating college. With my 40 hour (sometimes 60 hour!) work weeks, I barely had time to even think some days. After finally realizing I needed some much needed me-time, before beginning "real" life,  I planned a spontaneous cross-country trip with my friend, Alex L! That means, pancakeSTACKER could be coming to a city near you!!

Away We Go, Elle

I leave at the end of next week, and I will be traversing the good ole USA for about a month! I will be visiting Seattle, Portland, DC, NYC, and Boston, just to name a few. Since it will be my first time in most, if not all, of these places (appalling, I know), I'm going to need some help. That's where you all come in because I'm hosting my first blog contest for all of you!


WHAT YOU'LL WIN: 

To make this contest a little more personal, I'm giving away a goody bag full of some of my favorite, never-leave-home-without-them, travel items, so you can feel like you're coming along on the trip (or be ready for a future one of your own).

I will include some of my favorite plane-friendly personal items, such as:
  • Herbal Essence's Hello Hydration shampoo + conditioner (the coconut milk and tropical orchid smell is so divine, you'll spend hours washing your hair)
  • Burt's Bee's lip balm (the pomegranate oil will give your lips just the right tint of red)
  • Exfoliating body butter (for silky smooth skin)
  • My magazine of choice, Elle, which has the perfect amount of pages to get you through a plane, train, or car ride
  • An eye mask and ear plugs to help you catch some z's
  • A mixed cd full of eargasm-worthy tunes that you can import into your iPod, to help you feel like you're getting away, even if you aren't just yet
  • AND MORE!!


HOW YOU CAN WIN:
1. Leave your comment with your thoughtful suggestions in this post ONLY.
  •  No matter where you're from, please feel free to leave a comment below and let me know what I should see, do, or taste (of course) in your area!  
  •  Whether it be your secret happy hour spot, the boutique down the street where you spend hours shopping, or the best pancake house you've ever been to, any and all advice is welcome! 
  • I'd especially like to hear suggestions that stray away from the typical, touristy sites (I've already got my travel guidebook highlighted with all the big spots).  
2. Please leave your email address where you can be contacted.
3. Contest ends Wednesday, September 15th at 12:00 pm PST
4. Open to both USA & International blog buddies :)


P.S. I've created a twitter account, so you can all follow tweets of my future travels, blog updates, and surprises! Don't forget to follow my blog as well! Who knows, there might be an extra special surprise for the winner if  you are follower of both my blog and twitter....

Good luck to you all and can't wait to hear all your great recommendations!!

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Friday, September 3, 2010

The Secret's Out

It's the moment I've been promising all of you this whole week! Drumroll, please (insert beating of drums here)...I now introduce to you my secret guest blogger!


Boys to Men: Five Essential Items Every Guy Needs
Alex Nguyen

Post-graduate life can be taxing on us all. In the midst of our quarter-life crises, little attention is paid to one critical aspect: dressing like an adult. While most girls cultivate this skill throughout their college years, the appearance of the average college male devolves into that of a man-child only capable of fluorescent board shorts and plastic flip-flops.

This is where you and I step in. With a little bit of help, that guy in your life can be a respectable member of society, too. Whether he’s a friend, boyfriend, or brother, we all know someone who could use a little bit of help. At some point in his life, he’s going to realize that cargo shorts and a baseball cap are not going to cut it for “going out.” If you don't intervene now, it will continue into his thirties (and we've all seen those guys).

Here are five things that your guy needs to be taken seriously as an adult. He’s not going to turn into Don Draper overnight, but every journey begins with a first step.

1. Military jacket
H&M $78
Hoodies are comfortable and versatile. Unfortunately, they also say, “I’m in college and I really don’t care.” Military influences in fashion reappear year after year so find a jacket with some interesting details on it. It should be lightweight and versatile enough to wear from day to night.

Urban Outfitters $168



Kenneth Cole Reaction $62.50

2. Cologne
I have never met a single respectable person that enjoys the smell of Axe. Ditch the drugstore spray and invest in a more refined scent. Yes, good cologne is expensive, but any woman or gay man will be able to tell the difference. A man will never and should never purchase his own cologne, so start him off right with a fresh, young scent.

John Varvatos Artisan $58

3. Tailored shorts

The Gap $36.50
Up until the ‘90s, men wore shorts above the knees. Then a funny thing happened in America: men’s shorts got longer and longer and eventually resembled high-water pants. If he is going to insist on wearing shorts, go with a more tailored and fitted pair that falls at or above the knees. Anything below the knees looks sloppy and juvenile. Don’t even think about cargo pockets.


Toscano (Nordstrom) $33.90


Timex $50
 4. Leather-strap Watch
A simple watch is a great way to add maturity and sophistication to a man’s appearance. Take a look next time you’re out in public. Men wearing watches appear more stable and professional because they evoke an old-school feeling. A leather strap with a circular, clutter-free face is classic, elegant, and versatile. Timex has great, affordable options.
Timex $50

5. Colors and Patterns
Your guy probably has one of two approaches to colors and patterns: (1) Avoid anything new and stick with what is safe, or (2) have complete disregard for matching altogether. Growing up doesn’t mean you have to conform to business standards and lose personal style. A man’s personality can come through in his color and pattern choices, but he has to know what he’s doing.

Rules about color for men:
1. Red and orange are best in small doses.
2. There are very few men in the world who can pull off yellow.
3. Pink and purple can be intimidating, but exude class and confidence when done right.
4. Break out of the monochromatic mold. You don’t have to wear a blue tie with a blue shirt!

Now, rules about shirt and tie pattern matching:
1. Line weight: One set of lines should be thin and the other noticeably thicker.
2. Orientation: Similar patterns oriented at different angles can create visual interest.
 
3. Mixing: Even with different patterns, the thickness of the lines must still be different.
4. Take risks: As long as the above rules apply, go crazy. Be bold, introduce unexpected colors, and let your personality shine through.



So there you have it: the top five items every male should have in his grown up closet. A big thank you to Alex for his informative input! If you liked this post, want to see more, or have any questions, feel free to let us know in the comment section below. If you would like to become a guest blogger, be sure to shoot me an email.  Have a happy Friday and a relaxing Labor Day weekend, but be sure to come back soon for I have a very special treat for all of you!!

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

pancakeLEFTOVERS: August

I started pancakeSTACKER just one month ago, and I'm so thankful and amazed with how much positive feedback I've gotten. I can't wait to continue expanding and cultivating pancakeSTACKER, and I'm absolutely thrilled to share all of my upcoming plans for my blog with you all. Since it's the beginning of a brand new month, I've decided to do a monthly round up of the previous month's best  looks, tastiest treats, and/or the most enjoyable escapades around town. This is something I hope to implement every month, but instead of serving you with photos you've already seen in previous posts, I will dish out some leftovers. These are photos that were just shy of making the final cut, nonetheless, they are all still some of my favorites. A great deal has changed for me in the last month, so I can't wait to turn over a new leaf and start this month with great success.


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