7 Cute Date Spots in San Francisco You Must Know About!

Planning a date in San Francisco can be stressful, especially if it’s for Valentine’s Day. I rounded up 7 cute date spots that you must know about! Whether you’re into casual coffee dates or into fine dining, I have you covered.

1. Balloon heart installation at Crown and Crumpet
img_4452Snap cute photos in the lobby area of Crown and crumpets! Plus the tea and sweet treats is perfect for a dressy Galentine’s Day Date.


2. Casual Lunch Date at Wise Sons Bagel & Bakeryfullsizerender-41My boyfriend and I actually met on a dating app called Coffee Meets Bagel. So naturally, I loved the idea of grabbing coffee and bagels for breakfast. The sandwiches at Wise Sons are massive and definitely packed with flavor! I loved the Pastrami Smoked Salmon and 24th Street Turkey Club. It’s also conveniently located next door to Boba Guys.


3. Grab a drink at Boba Guysfullsizerender-40Break the ice with milk tea! Boba guys just opened in the Fillmore and offers premium milk tea and boba drinks. If you follow the neon lights in the back of the shop, you will find a Korean fried chicken joint. Sunday Bird is a tasty addition by Chef Deuki Hong, a Forbes 30 under 30 praised by Anthony Bourdain.
Boba Guys is open on weekdays at 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., weekends from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. or 12 a.m.


4. Trendy Brunch at Flores
A new brunch spot opened up on Union Street in Cow Hollow. Flores is an upscale contemporary Mexican restaurant with a themed dining area. You should definitely order the fresh guacamole, ceviche pescado with fresh Ono, Huarache and the Ensalada de Zapallo. fullsizerender-39
One of my favorite rooms in the large restaurant. I love the artwork on the walls and attention to detail.
dscf0522You can opt to sit outside to enjoy the sunny weather with a mimosa or margarita.fullsizerender-37For you coffee lovers, try the cold brew with coconut milk. We ordered two!
dscf0579The Huarache was one of the most unique dishes on the menu. The base features a spinach and cheese tortilla, topped with tender carnitas, 2 sunny side eggs, lettuce, spicy onion, queso fresco. You really can’t go wrong!dscf0607A morning at Flores is not complete without the house made Churros with mexican chocolate. The crispy fritters was my favorite dishes from the sweet brunch menu.


5. Sunsets at Crissy Fields over looking the Golden Gate Bridgeimg_4504Wow your date with a romantic walk along the beach at Crissy Fields to watch the sunset. Trust me, it’s amazing on a clear day.

Dress :: Elliatt (Similar here)
Cardigan :: Forever 21
Photography by Scott Neil


6. Artisanal Dessert at a michelin starred restaurant Luceimg_4409Tucked inside the InterContinental Hotel in Downtown San Francisco, you’ll find this little gem. On Valentine’s Day, Chef Corey is offering a 9-course tasting menu for $95 featuring approachable new American dishes.


7. Macarons at Ketsourine macaronimg_4322Surprise your date with the cutest macarons and ice cream sandwiches. I love the unicorn and Totoro macarons. My friends rave about this hidden gem and it compares to Pierre Herme and shops in Paris.

I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day! Thanks for reading.

AllyChen_Signature

My Bachelor Inspired Date :: San Francisco Date

Photography by Jamie Wong
My boyfriend and I are secretly obsessed with the show, The Bachelor. It’s our Monday night traditional to snuggle up on the couch and indulge in the produced drama and over-the-top romantic dates. To celebrate the month of romance, I thought it would be fun to plan a date for my boyfriend inspired by The Bachelor. It was definitely a date to remember: a private plane, a fancy dinner at Alexander’s Steakhouse and lots of fine wines.


1. Find a Private Plane
Just ask any fan of The Bachelor, an extravagant date always begins with a helicopter ride. The date card would say something along the lines of: Let’s take our relationships to new heights!
I bite the bullet and booked a private lesson to learn how to fly a plane over San Francisco, Bay Area. You can read all about it in my previous blog post here.
how-to-fly-a-plane-blog-postPhotography by Ally Chen


2. Dress up
Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to bring your A game! Try on feminine silhouettes and flirty dresses you might normally not wear. I’m wearing a blush pink wrap dress from Forever 21 that’s under $25. Remember, you don’t have to spend a lot to look your best!
jme-8821-1Photography by Jamie Wong


3. The Art of Food and Wine

I had the pleasure of taking my boyfriend to Alexander’s Steakhouse in Cupertino for a 5-course chef’s tasting menu. The restaurant is about an hour South of San Francisco and just minutes from the San Jose Airport. It is not your traditional steak house, it has overtones of Japanese influences. I particularly enjoyed the complex flavors and presentation of each dish.

The restaurant has been the recipient of the Wine Spectator Magazine “Best of Award of Excellence” with a list showcasing 600 selections and a total inventory of nearly 5,000 bottles with vintages from California, Oregon and Washington State as well as international wines from France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Chile, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. So trust me when I say, get the wine pairing! Our sommelier was very knowledgable and entertaining.

 Executive Chef Jared Montarbo is creating an exclusive Tasting Menu for Valentine’s Day, see it here.
dscf9845dscf9828Amuse Bouche: Blue Tuna and Salmon sashimi
Wine pairing :: Champagne, Gratiot-Pillière, Tradition, Extra-Brut, Charly-sur-Marne, NV)dscf9837Course 1: Land and Sea Tartare – Filet Mignon/ Kanpachi/ Yuzu/ Dashi Gelee/ Puffed Tendon/ Sansyo
Wine pairing :: Weissburgunder, Franz Gojer, Karneid, Südtiroler, 2014dscf9858Course 2: Hokkaido Scallop – Tempura King Crab/ Hijiki Seaweed/ Coconut Lemongrass Espuma
Wine pairing :: Grüner Veltliner Reserve, Weszeli, Purus, Kamptal, 2012
dscf9862Course 3: Seared Hudson Foie Gras – Port Pear Mostarda/ Pear Gel/ Brioche
Wine Pairing :: Sauternes, Carmes De Rieussec, 2005 (This is the best pairing with Foie Gras according to our sommelier)dscf9879Course 4: Miyazaki Japanese A5 Wagyu – Celebration of Seasonal Vegetables
Wine pairing :: Aglianico del Vulture, Grifalco, Basilicata, 2013dscf9915In the front of the restaurant, there is a glass-enclosed walk-in dry-aging room, meat display and butcher counter.dscf9898Course 5: Vanilla Mouse/ Caramel Cremeux/ Caramel Corn/ Brown Butter Crumble
Wine pairing :: Tokaji-Aszu, Royal Tokaji 5 Puttonyos, 2008dscf9890The dinner concluded with a whimsical touch: a banana flavored cotton candy treat.

I had so much fun planning this Bachelor inspired date. I would highly recommend trying Alexander’s if you have the chance. Happy Valentine’s Day! Will you accept this rose?
AllyChen_Signature

Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift Idea for Him with Cloud 9 Living

how-to-fly-a-plane-blog-postimg_3406With Valentine’s Day being less than a month away, I want to share an amazing gift that you can give to your significant other. I surprised my boyfriend with a Learn to Fly Bay Tour from Cloud 9 Living, a private plane lesson from San Jose to San Francisco with a FAA licensed private instructor. I’m actually afraid of heights but I couldn’t pass up the beautiful scenic tour of San Francisco. It’s definitely one of the best experiences we’ve had together, Scott absolutely loved it!

We drove down from San Francisco to San Jose and arrived at Aerodynamics Aviation by noon. Our flight instructor had over 28 years of experience flying and was extremely friendly. The entire lesson and tour lasted about an hour and a half. There is no experience needed prior to this lesson. He explained the safety procedures and made us feel very safe. He allowed Scott to take off the plane. Even though there was a bit of turbulence while we were flying over Half Moon Bay, Scott handled it like a professional. He stayed calm and the instructor took control of the plane right away.

What I Worefullsizerender-37I was really lucky to experience warmer weather in San Jose, CA. A cool 60’s called for a satin halter top and wide legged pants. I brought my suede coat onto the plane because it was a bit chilly. Be sure to wear layers and comfy shoes.
img_3478Hiring a photographer?
There really is no need to hire a photographer, just bring your phone or camera. Enjoy the experience of being in a small plane. Again, our instructor was extremely friendly and pointed out several monuments. We saw the beautiful coast of Half Moon Bay, Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge, Alcatraz, Angel Island, The Ferry Building, and the entire 7×7 of San Francisco. Our instructor gave us ample time to take selfies by the Golden Gate Bridge! I shot these photos on my Canon T6i and iPhone 6s.
_mg_8617_mg_8590_mg_8598_mg_8609_mg_8586Rescheduling because of the Weather
With the weather in San Francisco being very moody and unpredictable during January, we had to reschedule due to the rainy conditions. The customer service at Cloud 9 was very helpful with rescheduling. I also recommend booking at least 2 weeks prior to your desired date and try choosing an afternoon time, its honestly the best time to catch the sunset. Afternoon time slots seemed to sell out quicker.

Cloud 9 Living
has a lot of amazing experiences that are perfect for thrill seekers. Scott even landed the plane without any bumps. I’m pretty sure Scott has found his new hobby for 2017! Special thank you to Cloud 9 Living for collaborating with me on this fun project!

Watch the video I made:
https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FFashionbyAlly%2Fvideos%2F1507132272632338%2F&show_text=0&width=400
AllyChen_SignatureThis post was made in partnership with Cloud 9 Living.

6 DIY Healthy Recipes You Must Try in 2017!

A new year, a great opportunity to try out a few healthy recipes. Here are my top 6 lunch and snack ideas you MUST try out in 2017!

1. Matcha Green Tea Chia Seed Pudding with Kiwi
_mg_8300Swap out your sugary lattes/smoothies with a matcha chia seed pudding! Matcha powder is packed with antioxidants and helps boost metabolism. Chia seeds have a ton of fiber and will keep you full. I used an organic Ceremonial Matcha green tea powder from Numi Tea. Refrigerate your pudding overnight. I added sliced kiwi, and poured my pudding into this cup. Top it off with shredded coconut and a sweetener.


2. Beet Root Hummus with Pita Breadscreen-shot-2017-01-05-at-11-28-47-amOkay nothing beats pita and hummus! This purple vegetable is a great source of vitamin C, fiber, and a great way to sneak in vegetables into your favorite dip. I boiled my beet roots and put it into a food processor with 3 tbsp of plain hummus. The beets are a bit on the sweeter side so I added a pinch of sea salt.


3. Perfect Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl
sushi-pizza-recipe

screen-shot-2017-01-05-at-11-30-28-amOne of my favorite foods is poke. It’s colorful and uses fresh ingredients. Make your poke bowl healthier by swapping half the rice with greens. I bought sashimi grade tuna, chopped and marinated the fish in sesame oil and ferikake. In my poke I added avocado, a healthy portion of our poke, and topped it with seaweed strips. Finish with a side of ginger, low sodium soy sauce, and wasabi. For another fun variation of this recipe, check out Kelly’s Sushi Pizza Tutorial.


4. Frozen Greek Yogurt Covered Blueberries
frozen-yogurt-blueberriesCraving ice cream or a frozen treat? Make these super easy frozen greek yogurt covered blueberries! Take your fresh blueberries and coat with thick greek yogurt. I’m using a greek yogurt that is low in fat and high in protein. Once you’re done pop this into the freezer. Enjoy the next day as a refreshing snack.


5. Savory Oatmeal with a Fried Egg
screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-8-09-56-pmO
atmeal does not have to be sweet or sugary. Make this colorful and savory oatmeal bowl that is packed with fiber and is super satisfying. Cook your rolled oats according to box instructions. I like mine a bit thicker so I added less water. Sautéed bell peppers and onions. Top off this dish with a sunny side egg, cilantro, mashed avocados and fresh cracked pepper. This is probably my new favorite brunch dish to make.

Don’t forget to check out the full video collaboration with Asideofsweet here:

Thanks for reading! Happy cooking friends.
AllyChen_Signature

Top Life Hacks & DIYs :: Best of 2016

From 33 costume changes to sharing my favorite life hacks for girls, here are my top 5 most watched videos of 2016. I upload weekly videos on Tuesday and Sundays about fashion, DIYs, life hacks, and more!


1. 33 Last-Minute Halloween Costume Ideas

33 Halloween costume ideas using clothing from your closet! This video was my best performing and most viewed video of 2016 with over 950K views in less than 3 months.


2. BuzzFeed Life Hacks Tested! Weird Girl Hacks 2016!

I definitely started the year strong by breaking out of my comfort zone and testing popular BuzzFeed Life Hacks in a collaboration with Chictopia, a popular fashion inspiration website.

➝ Weird Life Hacks
1. Panty Liner Sweat Hack
2. Boob contouring
3. Whipped cream as shaving cream
4. Free Starbucks Coffee


3. DIY Life Hacks for Back to School

An oldie but a goodie from 2015! Transform a macaron box and organize your post-it notes.

➝ 
DIY School Supplies and Organization Ideas

1. Post-it note organizer
2. Pencil case
3. Binder dividers
4. Binder decor


4. DIY Clothing Hacks You Must Know

Standing at 5’3″, a lot of clothing just doesn’t fit right. It’s too loose, maxi dresses awkwardly too long, and sometimes the clothes you buy online is just down right sheer (or should I say see-through).

Clothing Life Hacks
1. Loose top or dress

Add 2 ribbons to the side of the dress to cinch in the waist.

2. Sheer tops
Add a built in lining or cami to hide under garments and bras by using an old t-shirt or cotton fabric.

3. Hem line too long
Kimberley Lace Up Maxi Dress
Tie the fabric in a knot to shorten the dress and create a more fitted silhouette.

4. Underwear lines showing
Add a belt to the dress and fold over to shorten the length, this also works to hide visible underwear/ underwear lines.


5. 10 Travel Life Hacks You Must Know!

Browsing through Instagram for 5 minutes can give you a serious case of #wanderlust! No matter where you go this year (near or far), be prepared with these 10 simple tips to help save money on plane tickets and help you travel more efficiently.

➝ Travel Life Hacks
1. Waze traffic app
2. DIY sunglasses phone stand
3. DIY photo filter
4. Airdrop to swap photos faster
5. Best time to buy flights
6. StaTravel for cheapest tickets online
7. DIY scarf dress/ beach coverup
8. Private browsing for cheaper flights/hotels
9. Airplane mode to charge phone faster
10. DIY arm band for phone or money


Thanks for reading! Please share these videos with your friends.
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Holiday Outfit Ideas :: My Instagram Style

Merry Christmas Eve! I wanted to share my favorite Instagram holiday looks that I’ve featured on my Instagram. I love wearing dresses mainly because they’re so darn easy to wear (without trying too hard). Here are 4 different dress styles perfect for all occasions.


1. The Casual Sweater Dress
I love this look for a fun get together with friends. The floral embroidered satin bomber jacket dresses up the otherwise plain look. The blush sweater dress is loose enough so you don’t have to sweat while snacking away at your friend’s house. Snack on!
FullSizeRender 34.jpgBomber Jacket :: Le Tote (Similar)
Sweater Dress :: Le Tote (Similar)
Heels :: Public Desire (Similar)
Photo Credit :: Toshiko Shek


2. Asymmetrical Knotted Dress
A combination that I’ve been loving are thigh high suede boots with an asymmetrical dress! Make this look winter friendly by layering a cozy faux fur vest.
img_2570Dress :: Black Swan
Boots :: Public Desire (Similar)
Faux Fur Vest :: Black Swan
Purse :: 2020AVE
Photo Credit: Daniel Fabio


3. A-line Ball Gown
You guys have officially named this my ‘Modern Day Cinderella’ look on Instagram! Long gowns tend to overwhelm my petite body but this dress fits perfectly like cinderella’s glass slipper. This dress has a low back and comes in a variety of colors. ( For reference I’m 5’3″ and I’m wearing 5 inch platform heels)

img_2681Dress :: Morning Lavender (Similar)
Faux Fur Coat :: Primark (Similar)
Necklace :: Katie Dean
Photo Credit: Cristina Viseu


4. The Wrap Dress
Shopping in LA, I discovered this burgundy wrap dress at an American Apparel Factory Outlet store! I wore this to a holiday party at Facebook and got several compliments throughout the night! The ties around the waist highlights the smallest part of my body, making this an ultra flattering silhouette! Not to mention, the length is perfection. I found a great alternative for $15!

img_2307Dress :: American Apparel (Similar here for $15)
Heels :: Target
Necklace :: Katie Dean


Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful holiday season!
AllyChen_Signature

Nayara Springs :: The Most Romantic Stay in Costa Rica

In the beginning of October, I booked a last-minute get away to Costa Rica with my sister to celebrate her birthday. My sister has an affinity for tropical destinations, wild life, and has a thirst for adventure. Costa Rica seemed like the perfect place for a tropical getaway, to disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature (something I constantly need to remind myself to do). The flight from San Francisco to San Jose, Costa Rica was roughly 10 hours with 1 layover in Panama City.

(Tip: Low season is during the rainy months of September-October. Most hotels offer great deals on rooms and tours.) 
img_8846I had the pleasure of staying in a Villa in Nayara Springs Hotel and Resort located in La Fortuna. This ultra-luxurious boutique hotel was rated #1 in Costa Rica according to Trip Advisor for the amenities and exceptional service. Follow along my adventures in Costa Rica on my Instagram and YouTube channel @FashionbyAlly.
_mg_65011. Welcome drinks, a trio of local Costa Rican beverages.
(My sister loved the chili guaro, she drank both!)_mg_6516_mg_73012. The Villa Lobby: decorated with magenta tables, shell love seats, and vibrant blue walls. We were greeted by our personal host who assisted with planning our itinerary in La Fortuna. Since my sister and I left on such short notice, we didn’t have enough time to properly plan our vacation. Honestly, we were still in a daze after being on the road for over 16 hours, the last thing we wanted to do was plan our vacation. Our host helped arrange transportation for our tours, set up reservations at restaurants, and mapped out the next 3-days for us. AMAZING! Then we were picked up by a golf cart and taken on a short ride to our room. screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-9-37-01-pm
_mg_71033. Our dreamy villa! The rooms have a high ceiling, cyprus-and-teak floors, and beautiful animal print accented furniture. The room has an outdoor jungle shower and a beautiful patio space to lounge. Since I’m always working when I’m traveling, I appreciated the work desk (not pictured) and fast WIFI. The room is serviced twice a day, morning and night.
Photo courtesy of Trip Advisor

_mg_7050
4. Our villa had a private pool fed with a natural hot spring. The water was soothing after a long day zip-lining across the jungle and walking through the forest. Our room actually had a view of the Arenal Volcano, standing 5,000 feet above the ground and is the most popular landmarks in the area.
img_8818My Outfit
Swimsuit :: YMI Jeans (Similar)
Hat :: Target
_mg_7058Pure tropical bliss! Hanging out in my rainbow hammock feeling very happy!fullsizerender-225. A complementary breakfast fit for a queen delivered to my room each morning, served on our private patio. The fruit was as sweet as candy. I ordered eggs 3 ways: omelet, scrambled, and boiled (why not)!_mg_69986. When you’re on the road for 2-3 weeks, it’s a complete luxury to have complementary overnight laundry service. We packed our dirty clothes into the laundry bag and housekeeping returned it the next day neatly folded on the bed in individual bags.
(Fairy godmothers do exist in Costa Rica!)
_mg_6908
_mg_69917. The drinks at Amour Loco CANNOT be missed! I enjoyed my artisanal cocktails in my cabana overlooking the lap pool with my sister. I filmed a short cocktail video demo with Monica, a sweet bartender at Nayara Springs. The video will be coming soon!
img_6663
8. We treated ourselves to a hot-stone massage on our first night at Nayara Springs. The award-winning spa is perched above the rainforest, where you can soak in all of the sights and sounds of the jungle. I felt completely rejuvenated and refreshed after my massage. We received a complementary glass of champagne and chocolate dipped fruit. Simply divine and worth experiencing!!
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9. One of the most memorable dinner’s in Costa Rica was at Amour Loco. We opted to sit outside on the patio to enjoy the sunset. At night, there is live romantic music to accompany your dinner. The seafood was fresh and light while the lamb was tender and moist. You should not skip dessert because the passion fruit img_8767
_mg_7151
10. A peaceful getaway. Enjoying a quiet moment in the middle of the rainforest. Complementary yoga classes are offered the morning. Definitely explore the resort and take a walking tour.
fullsizerender-16Oh how I’ve fallen in love with Nayara Springs! I will miss the view of the sun rising above the Arenal Volcano and the sound of the rain hitting the leaves. With such a romantic atmosphere, I would highly recommend Nayara for a luxurious honeymoon, memorable anniversary celebration or a beautiful tropical getaway! Thank you for reading! Pura vida!
AllyChen_SignatureFTC: I partnered with Nayara Springs to share this review. All opinions are my own.

 

33 Last-Minute Halloween Costume Ideas!

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays because it’s the one night you can dress up as whatever you want to be. Whether you’re feeling extra sassy, whimsical, or brave, you can channel your new personality for the night. I came up with 33 last-minute Halloween costumes from clothing from my closet. With a few easy to find materials, I was able to transform my clothes into a fun costume! Here are a few of my favorites from the video:overalls_halloween_costumes_fashionbyallymagical-halloween-costume-ideas-fashionbyallyanimals-halloween-costume-ideas-fashionbyallycartoon-disney-halloween-costume-ideas-fashionbyally

halloween_costume_fashionbyally35
Thank you for reading!
AllyChen_Signature

Hot San Francisco Restaurants & Cafes :: September 2016

Here’s a recap of what’s hot in the San Francisco food scene in September. I ventured out to different neighborhoods to research local flavors and hidden gems. These are the spots worth checking out to impress your #foodie friends.


Tartine Manufactory
Mission District
img_6725fullsizerender-16Tartine Manufactory is currently the MOST talked about cafe in the San Francisco Blogger world. It opened its doors in mid-August with many people extremely eager to try this new Californian cafe and bar. I would recommend arriving during odd hours from 3-5pm to avoid a wait (popular pastries may be sold out by then). I would recommend the buttery Liege waffle!


Bernal Star
Bernal Heights
best-sanfrancisco-restaurants-blog-fashionbyally7Tucked away in the Bernal Heights neighborhood is Bernal Star. The brunch menu is not only fresh but full of vibrant flavors and comfort foods. Skip the long wait at over-hyped brunch spots and try out this gem (you won’t regret it). Try out the Huevos Rancheros, Waffle topped with fried plantains and berries, and Ahi Tuna. Definitely don’t miss out on the mimosas or fresh squeezes juices.


Tēo Restaurant & Bar
SOMA
best-sanfrancisco-restaurants-blog-fashionbyally9best-sanfrancisco-restaurants-blog-fashionbyally5To be completely honest, it’s a struggle to find authentic Chiu Chow food in San Francisco. Luckily, I don’t have to travel far to try this type of Chinese cuisine. I checked out the new SOMA restaurant with Toshiko from Itsnotheritsme.

The restaurant has a modern vibe, but don’t be fooled because the food is not Americanized Chinese food (my parents would approve of this spot). We loved the Pine & Chicken Soup, Oyster Omelet (reminds me of the street food in Taiwan), In-House Goose Meat (flavorful), and the Teo Stir Fried Rice Noodles (so silky). I can’t wait to go back!


Nabe
Inner Sunset
best-sanfrancisco-restaurants-blog-fashionbyally3My friend Cristina once told me, she ate here every night for 2 months. Now I understand why! Nabe is a tiny Japanese hot pot restaurant in the Inner Sunset. I ordered the Shabu Shabu set that came with thinly sliced beef and an assortment of veggies (YUM). At the end of the meal, the server will make a rice congee out of the remaining broth in the pot. This is the perfect meal for a chilly San Francisco night.


1760
Nob Hill
dsc01627dsc01639dsc01660
Photo Credit: Cristina Viseu
A new-American restaurant using modern and fresh ingredients in a casual environment. I attended a media dinner to try out the new Family-style dinner menu ($65 per person/ $35 with beverage pairing) before it launches next week. The highlights include: the Ocean Trout Crudo (so fresh), Crispy Octopus (I have this thing for tomatoes), and Bavette Steak (the perfect cut of beef with creamy green farro). You must try the Pear-Shiso cocktail, its tastes as good as it looks!


Dorian
Marina/Cow Hollow
dsc01158dsc01119Photo Credit: Cristina Viseu
The Dorian is quite possibly the cutest happy hour spot in the Marina district. From the rustic book shelves to the leather seats, the Dorian is a cool hang out spot to catch up with friends. I enjoyed the deviled eggs, oysters, and truffle fries.


Boba Guys
Hayes Valley
maisofala_416-3
Photo Credit: Sofala Ntweng-Knapton
Boba Guys is a trendy high quality milk tea spot in the Hayes Valley. This new location has a beautiful Scandinavian design. My go-to drink is the lychee rose milk tea. Bring your laptop or books because this is a great spot to hang out or catch up on work.


Souvla
NoPa
img_6632img_6625
Photo Credit: Kevin Lessy
I celebrated Souvla’s new private label wines at the NoPa patio party. Souvla is a fine-casual Greek restaurant with the MOST delicious pork and lamb sandwiches. Treat yourself with their Frozen Greek Yogurt with honey syrup and baklava crumbles.

Thanks for reading! Which spot are you excited to try?
AllyChen_Signature

The Most Romantic Stay in Paris :: La Clef Louvre

Wandering the streets of Paris in a romantic ball gown, with a bunch of roses in hand, and wearing quite possibly the biggest grin on my face. Let me explain. I discovered the BEST time to shoot at the infamous Louvre without other spectators gawking or tourists walking into my oh so glamorous shot. This was all possible because the Louvre was just minutes from my residency. What a dream!


During my last 3 nights in Paris, I stayed at La Clef Louvre, a luxury boutique residency located in the cultural heart of the city.
Location:
8 rue Richelieu
1st Arr., 75001 Paris, France

_MG_1123What I’m Wearing:
Dress :: Boohoo
Heels :: Public Desire
Photo Credit: Cynthia Linh
_MG_9965At La Clef Louvre, I stayed in a Premier Suite on the 5th floor. I adored the contemporary color palette of the room with tones of grey, plums, and white. The fresh roses really pulled the room together. The king sized bed was extremely comfortable and cozy. At night, I was able to stay connected and work using the room WIFI.
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The bathroom came with the best complementary skincare products from L’Occitane: lotions, soaps, essential oils, vanity kit, and even a tooth brush. On the hanger, I found a pair of soft slippers and a luxurious robe. I felt extremely relaxed. 🙂
_MG_1328In the morning I enjoyed a complementary gourmet buffet breakfast in the beautiful lounge area. The residency is truly a beautiful work of art with fine tableware. Around the corner of the breakfast lounge is the gym! (You know it’s the place to be after eating your weight in pastries and bread in Paris). I appreciated the bottled water for my long adventures walking around Paris. _MG_1337_MG_1341_MG_1420On the second day, I decided to sleep in. I was able to call ahead of time and have breakfast delivered to my room, completed with fresh fruit from the local market and buttery pastries. Here on the balcony outside of my room, I enjoyed a delicious breakfast with a view. How divine!_MG_1356_MG_1424img_4223Palace Royale
This palace and garden is just 1 block away from the residency. It features Daniel Buren’s striped columns in courtyard. Here I’m wearing a custom pastel blue tulle skirt from Altana Danzhalova, with a stripe top, and straw hat.
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img_4293The Louvre
The Louvre, one of the largest’s historical museums in the world and a historic monument of France. I would suggest going at 7am to photograph the Louvre! Since this is an extremely popular monument, it is usually packed with tourists. You will get the best undisturbed view and lighting for your photos in the morning.

Thank you to the La Clef Louvre for having me! I throughly enjoyed my stay and would highly recommend this romantic boutique residency to anyone staying in the area. Thanks for reading!
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