My Instagram Style :: FashionbyAlly

Let’s take a look at my favorite Instagram looks from August. It’s been pretty foggy here in San Francisco so I rounded up my favorite Summer to Fall transitional outfits.
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Instagram-Style-Outfit-Blog-FashionbyAlly41Photo Credit: Daniel Fabia
Top :: Forever 21 (Similar)
Jeans :: Madewell
Sandals :: Public Desire (Similar)
Hat :: Forever 21
Instagram-Style-Outfit-Blog-FashionbyAlly42Photo Credit: Sofala Knapton
Top :: Forever 21 (Similar here and here)
Wine Jeans :: Zara (Similar)
Sandals :: Just Fab (Similar)
Purse :: Chloe
Hat :: Forever 21 (Similar)Instagram-Style-Outfit-Blog-FashionbyAlly39Photo Credit: Daniel Fabia
Top :: Boohoo (Similar)
Skirt :: Finders Keepers (Similar)
Heels :: Just Fab (Similar)
Instagram-Style-Outfit-Blog-FashionbyAlly40Photo Credit: Kelly Egan
Top :: Madewell
Jeans :: DSTLD
Sandals :: Nine West
2016-0812-Ally-Sophia-Liu-Photo-11Photo Credit: Sophia Liu
Top :: Black Swan
Shirt :: Madewell
Jeans: Gap
Boots :: Zooshoo (Similar)
Hat :: Boohoo
Purse :: Just Fab (Similar)
Purse :: Just Fab
Instagram-Style-Outfit-Blog-FashionbyAlly43Photo Credit :: Cristina Viseu
Top :: Forever 21
Bomber :: Zara
Jeans :: DSTLD (Similar)
Heels :: Madewell
Hat & Purse :: Boohoo

Check out my exciting video collaboration with Microsoft Surface!
Thanks you reading!
FTC: This is not a paid sponsored post.

DIY Healthy Breakfast and Lunch Recipes!

Ugh, we’re all sleep deprived these days! Why wake up early and make breakfast when you can sleep in for an extra 5 more minutes?! Well, I find that if I skip breakfast, I feel extremely slow and sluggish throughout the day. Worst of all, I end up over eating at lunch! Here’s 5 easy and healthy breakfast and lunch for school or work inspired by BuzzFeed and Pinterest! Enjoy!

DIY 1. Acai Bowl
An Instagram Story worthy breakfast!
IMG_9807– Combine in blender: 2 frozen Acai Superfood packets, 1/2 banana, 3-4 frozen strawberries, and 1/4 cup soy milk.
– Blend and top with figs, strawberries, blue berries, golden kiwi, chia seeds, and coconut flakes.

DIY 2. Easy Fruit Pastry
My easy way to upgrade any store bought pastry.
– Transform your store bought pastries with fresh fruit
– Add sliced strawberry and kiwi

DIY 3. Bell Pepper Salad
A flavorful side packed with Vitamin A and lots of fiber!
– Cut red and green bell peppers
– Marinade in 1/2 tbsp of sesame oil
– Shake and serve

DIY 4. Avocado Pesto “Pasta”
Vegetables noodles are an easy, fun, and delicious way to sneak extra fiber into your diet!
– Combine in blender: 1 cup fresh basil, 1/4 cup pine nuts, 1 ripe Hass Avocado, 1 tsp water, optional 1 tsp olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Makes about 2 cups of Avocado Pesto sauce.
Spiralize 2-3 cucumbers and cook to desired tenderness. (the Spiralizer I used: here)
– Cook vegetable noodles over high heat for 3-4 minutes and combine with sauce. Serve and enjoy right away to avoid oxidation of sauce because of avocado.

DIY 5. Tilapia n’ Mango Salsa
Make lunch colorful and festive with this light and flavorful tilapia dish!
– Marinade 3 ounces of Tilapia with salt and pepper for 10 minutes.
– Cook until golden brown about 5-8 minutes on medium heat.
– Mango Pico De Gallo: Combine 1/2 cup mango diced, 1 cup tomato, cilantro, onion, squeeze lemon juice, and salt + pepper to taste.
– Top fish with a side of avocado.

What are your thoughts on the whole Spiralized noodle trend? Thanks for reading!

Napa Valley Wine Country :: Travel Guide

One of the perks of living in San Francisco is the short drive to wine country. I took a road trip with Kelly (@Asideofsweet) in our cute Fiat for a girl’s get-away weekend in Napa Valley. Here’s a 48 hour travel guide to my favorite wineries and restaurants to grab a bite between each tasting, and where to stay in Napa. Please enjoy the photography by Kelly!

White House Inn

_KEH4684Chic, modern and sophisticated! The White House Inn has well-thought-out design elements throughout each room. Every inch of the space is photogenic and nothing short of a spectacle. I would highly recommend this boutique inn as a posh place to stay in Napa.
_KEH4599fabulous breakfast in bed with beautifully crafted small plates and baked goods. And they had a variety of healthy options too! Yes please!_KEH9994

Favorite Restaurants
1. Sunflower Caffe

_MG_0079_MG_0072Sunflower Caffe is a true Californian cafe that serves vibrant and colorful foods! A must-try if you’re in the area looking for a delicious lunch spot.

2. Crisp Bake Shop
_KEH2472_KEH2482Crisp Bake Shop has the most heavenly fresh-baked chocolate chip sea salt cookies you will ever taste. Period.

3. El Molino Central
IMG_3724I had a craving for tacos before I stumbled upon this cute Mexican restaurant. I enjoyed the outdoor seating and whimsical green wooden picnic tables. Try their tostadas, tacos, and basically anything with avocado.🙂
Photo credit: Ryan Chua

Favorite Wineries
Some of my favorite wineries include:

1. Domaine CarnerosIMG_3685Domaine Carneros is best known for their award-winning sparkling wines and Pinot Noir. See the menu here. I personally enjoyed the 2012 Brut Rosé among the three styles of sparkling wines. I would recommend this for anyone who enjoys bubbles! Daily tastings start at $30.

Patz & Hall
_KEH2377Patz & Hall is truly a winery that feels although you are at a home away from home. What elevates this winery is the sommelier, who will teach you about the wines (which is perfect for someone who is new to wine). In celebration of National Pinot Noir Day which is on August 18, we focused on Pinot Noir. I enjoyed the Chenoweth Ranch, a 2013 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir that is oaky, medium-body, and full of lush fruit flavors.

3. Viansa Sonoma
Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 6.52.23 PMViansa Sonoma is a gorgeous winery where you can enjoy a private tasting of reserve wines while overlooking the vineyards. Accompanying the wines, is a charcuterie board with delicious cheeses. The private tastings cost $75 per person and can seat from 2-6 guests.

What are your favorite types of wines? Good luck and don’t hesitate to ask any questions! Follow on Instagram & Snapchat @FashionbyAlly for live updates.

Photography by AsideofSweet and Ryan Chua

Hotel La Lanterne :: Where to Stay in Paris

Oh the city of love, how I’ve always dreamed of visiting.. now I’m finally here! I took a late afternoon flight from London to Paris which I regret now. I realized that it would have been much cheaper and economical to take the Eurostar! Trains can go as cheap as $29 one way and I paid $140 for a one-way flight. Just be sure to book in advance!

During my first two nights, I stayed at Hôtel La Lanterne, a modern boutique hotel in Paris, France. It’s located in the Latin Quarters, minutes from the Notre-Dame Cathedral and a 10-minute car ride to the Louvre.
1-34Photo Credit: CynEats

FullSizeRender 6 Location:
Hôtel La Lanterne
12 Rue de la Montagne Sainte-Geneviève
75005 Paris, France

The hotel has modern lanterns and fashionable magenta chairs.
When I checked in, I was given a room key (how novel, many hotels have switched to key cards but having the key reminded me of home, great touch). I also borrowed an android phone with wi-fi, so I was able to roam around the city without fear of getting lost!
IMG_3910 I stayed in room 1 on the first floor with direct access to the indoor garden. I love the turquoise accented pillows and tall windows. The walls are decorated with monochromatic photographs by local artists. Very chic indeed.
IMG_3800The bathroom follows a similar monochromatic theme with charcoal tiles, white towels, and silver accents. I found a pair of robes and slippers hanging on the wall. The bathroom has a rainfall shower stocked with soap, shampoo, conditioner, and other toiletries. (darn forgot to take a picture!)
IMG_9846In the morning, I ventured downstairs to enjoy my breakfast. There was a buffet of eggs, hams, a lot of fresh baked goods (quintessential in Paris), jams, fresh fruit juices, and coffees.There was a sweet French woman taking breakfast orders. I opted to have my breakfast brought to my room because I couldn’t resist the idea of having breakfast in bed (ultimate luxury in my book). _MG_9932_MG_9914Breakfast with a view of the indoor garden which was quite peaceful and relaxing.
Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 5.27.13 PMAfter breakfast, I ventured back downstairs to the indoor pool. The air was warm like a sauna. It was nice to have a few hours of relaxation after a long day of walking and getting lost in Paris. Boy did we walk a lot!
ally-2ally-11_MG_0073Overall, I really enjoyed my stay at Hôtel La Lanterne and would recommend this hotel! Note that the Charles de Gaulle Airport is about an hour away from the hotel (plan accordingly when you arrive or leave). I will have a follow up post for another hotel I was lucky enough to check out for the remainder of my stay.

What are you favorite places to visit in Paris? Leave me any questions or comments, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can! Thanks for reading!
AllyChen_SignatureFTC: This post is made in collaboration with Hotel La Lanterne.

Farallon :: San Francisco Restaurants

San Francisco is best known as The City by the Bay with fresh seafood. I had the opportunity to check out Farallon, a snazzy underwater themed seafood restaurant with my #foodie friend Cristina! Honestly.. any reason to dress up for dinner is always a plus🙂
The restaurant is conveniently located a few blocks from Union Square in Downtown, San Francisco. When I think of Union Square, I immediately think of tourists and shopping malls, not exactly an innovative food scene (boy was I wrong)!
450 Post St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 956-6969
Farallon-FashionbyAlly-Blog-Post51Outfit Details
Top :: Zara (similar here)
Skirt :: Zara (similar here)
Octavia Sandal Heels :: Madewell
Leather Jacket :: Nordstrom
Farallon-FashionbyAlly-Blog-Post41Farallon-FashionbyAlly-Blog-Post40I caught a glimpse of the chefs carefully assemble platters of superrr fresh lobster, crab, and shrimp! Farallon-FashionbyAlly-Blog-Post42Right when you walk in, you can see the Jellyfish Bar on the right and whimsical jellyfish lamps hanging from the ceiling. You feel instantly transported into an underwater escape, quiet, dim lighting, and intimate setting.

Chill out with a friend during Happy Hour, 4:30pm to 6:00pm daily! They have $5 bar snacks, $7 seafood apps, and $7 cocktails. See the menu here.
Farallon-FashionbyAlly-Blog-Post39After we wandered around the restaurant and soaked in the decor, we were seated for dinner. To celebrate a recent successful work week, Cristina and I toasted with champagne and a wine pairing matched by Wine Director Luke Kenning (it’s always wine-o-clock)! We were excited to try the new revamped menu by Executive Chef Jason Ryczek. I sat close to the kitchen, and I enjoyed watching the chefs cook!Farallon-FashionbyAlly-Blog-Post43We started off with a palate cleanser (how pretty)!
Then for appetizers, we had the Tuna Tartare with salty crisps. I’m really a sucker for fresh fish, which you will see soon after reading this post.
DSC00357Squid ink fettucine, silky pasta with an explosion of flavor! One of the most unusual dishes, I’ve ever tried.*side note, this dish could have easily been an entrée. A bit on the heavy side for us.
Farallon-FashionbyAlly-Blog-Post44Farallon-FashionbyAlly-Blog-Post46Sablefish from Farallones with sweet herb aioli and cherry tomatoes. Can we just talk about how the plating for a sec? It’s artfully done and the fish was buttery!
FarallonAlways save room for dessert, especially at Farallon.
Marbled blueberry cake baked by Eleana Rosenthal. Moist and fluffy!Farallon-FashionbyAlly-Blog-Post49The Strawberry Rosemary Panna Cotta with pine nuts and white chocolate (it was almost too pretty to eat, almost..)
IMG_4929IMG_2969IMG_4930Special thanks to Farallon for inviting us in, I can’t wait to come back for happy hour (but do I really need an excuse to have a yummy cocktail under the cool jellyfish lamps?) The service was superb and the restaurant was definitely fancy (but not stuffy at all). Can’t wait to come back for dinner when I’m in the neighborhood. Cheers!
Photography by: Cristina Viseu

Back to School Supplies Haul + Giveaway!

Back to school season is here, yayyyy (said no one ever)! With summer coming to an end and a new school year beginning… I’m kick starting my #BacktoSchoolwithAlly YouTube Series with a quintessential ‘School Supplies Haul‘ video. Hopefully, this video will make you a little bit MORE excited and less stressed. 1 lucky winner will receive the school supplies shown in the video. Another giveaway will be coming soon!!

I invited my friend Cristina to react to these weird (but still super cute) school supplies I purchased from Ichibankan and Daiso, two very popular Asian stationary stores.

1. Must be Subscribed to my YouTube Channel.
2. Follow me on Instagram @FashionbyAlly.
3. Leave a comment telling me “when you start school and what grade you’re in”.
Please comment your Instagram username.

Giveaway ends August 9, 2016!
1 Winner will receive the school supplies shown in this video.
The winner will have 48 hours to respond! Open Internationally! Enter once a day!

Top 11 Places to Visit in London :: Travel Guide

My travel guide to London: top places you must visit if you’ve never been to the city! I share my hotel, best restaurants, and attractions if you have a weekend or 48 hours in the city.
This is my second post in collaboration with Virgin Atlantic, check out my blog post on the flight from San Francisco to London Heathrow.

Where to stay:
1. Mondrian Hotel – South Bank, London
I stayed in the South Bank district of Central London, located next to the River Thames. This area is full of top attractions such as the London Eye, Jubilee Garden, Oxo Tower, Shakespeare Globe, all within walking distance. The London Eye is one of the world’s most famous Ferris wheels standing at 433-feet high! In the distance you can see Big Ben, an iconic clock tower and London’s most famous landmark. As a first timer in London, this was a beautiful area to explore.
_KEH1365The Mondrian is a sophisticated boutique hotel situated right on the banks of the Thames River. The building captures the essence of a 1920s cruise ship, with copper accents throughout the lobby, tranquility in the rooms, and fresh fare at the Sea Container Restaurant._KEH1018Check out the SouthBankLondon Twitter for more ideas!Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 12.23.19 PM

Where to shop:
2. Marylebone High Street
For a girl’s shopping day, we decided to check out the Marylebone High Street shopping scene. It is located in the heart of Central London, full of shops and eateries.
We passed by Regent Street, the world’s first shopping street! This area rivals Champs-Elysees and Fifth Avenue.

Where to Eat:
3. Prêt-à-Portea for Afternoon Tea
Emily and I were invited to try The Berkeley Hotel’s legendary Afternoon Tea at Prêt-à-Portea. I was delighted by the high fashion inspired menu with Stella McCartney’s stripe dress and Balmain’s bright orange flame inspired treats to name a few. Every six months, the menu rotates to following the changing seasons in fashion.
The Prêt-à-Portea – £45
The Champagne Prêt-à-Portea – £52
Delicious rosé and a selection of savory chicken, smoked salmon, and vegetarian friendly sandwiches! I personally loved the cream cheese, cucumber, mint and strawberry sandwich. It was light and sweet!FashionbyAlly-VirginAtlantic-London12FashionbyAlly-VirginAtlantic-London14
4. Sea Container for dinner
Brings the best of American and British cuisine together! We were all drooling over the truffle mac n’ cheese (heavenly!), the shaved mushrooms appetizer (light and savory), and dry-aged bone in rib eye!
_KEH11625. Dandelyan for drinks
The drinks are created by award-winning bar impresario Ryan Chetiyawardana. He takes his inspiration from the botanical wilds of the British countryside. I personally would recommend the Peach in a Pinecone. See the full menu here.
Swings and sunshine on the Perrier Jouet Hamptons Summer Terrace!
_KEH10516. Oxo Tower Restaurant for dinner
A stunning restaurant on the banks of the Thames river that plays live jazz during the evenings and weekends.
FashionbyAlly-VirginAtlantic-London337. Cereal Killer Cafe for dessert
If you’re looking for the most Instagrammable drink, check out Cereal Killer Cafe! Cynthia and Kelly were basically in heaven!
FashionbyAlly-VirginAtlantic-London238. Berners Tavern for brunch
The walls are decorated with framed paintings and a beautiful chandelier. In addition to the decor, the menu is curated by Michelin Starred Chef Jason Atherton.

Where to go:
9. Kensington Palace
A charming tour of the British Royal Family’s palace in Kensington Gardens. Inside, you can see the Fashion Rules Exhibit featuring Queen Victoria and Princess Diana’s unique styles.

10. The View from the Shard for an incredible city view.
Sip on champagne in the tallest building in the UK!

FashionbyAlly-VirginAtlantic-London2511. Virgin Atlantic Heathrow Clubhouse
On my way home to San Francisco, I stopped by the Virgin Atlantic Heathrow Clubhouse to enjoy a little downtime before my long flight home. I’m happy that I got to have another Dandelyan cocktail (seriously, they’re soo yummy). Stay tuned for more photos on the clubhouse!
Thank you for reading! Leave me any questions and I’ll try my best to get back to you!
Photography by: Asideofsweet and CynEats
This post was made in collaboration with Virgin Atlantic.

Traveling to London from San Francisco :: Visual Diary

London has always been on my bucket list of cities to visit before 25! I’m happy to partner with Virgin Atlantic to share the San Francisco to London First Class/Upper Class experience in a visual diary here on my blog. See more photos across my social media #SFOtoLHR!

A chauffeur arrived at my home and whisked me away to the SFO airport. I arrived at least 3 hours before my boarding time to fully experience the San Francisco Clubhouse. The first thing I noticed was the relaxing atmosphere of the lounge, light music, and blue tinted windows.

Photo Credit: Asideofsweet
IMG_1899My casual airport outfit
Trench coat and Jeans :: Gap
Top :: Zara
IMG_1442Here I’m enjoying a delicious cocktail from the new Bourbon & Branch menu at the Virgin Atlantic SFO Clubhouse.
_MG_9327What excited me the most about the San Francisco clubhouse was the full menu with tons of delicious vegan and hearty options! I would highly recommend any of the salads, seared cod, salmon slider, and the asian inspired dishes. The clubhouse has table service with extremely friendly staff.
_KEH0897We even met Executive Chef Gianpaulo Ruiz! We tasted a new starter from a from a future collaboration with Chef Murphy of Whitechapel SF (the pork and potato croquette is seriously so delicious!)
_MG_9344The Boeing 787 Dreamliner perched on the tarmac. In the clubhouse, there was an announcement for my flight. I breezed through security and boarded my flight._MG_9349 Once on board, I was greeted with a smile and a glass of champagne (WOW)!_KEH0987Sitting 30,000 feet in the air! I signed onto the wifi, answered a few business emails, and started to edit a YouTube video in the comfort of my chair! At times I didn’t even feel like I was working on an airplane. The table top was roomy and my seat was fully equipped with a power outlet and storage space. There was an entertainment monitor and the best part is, a chair that converts into a bed! Amazing right?
_KEH0960Kelly comfy in her pajamas!
The best part about this flight was experiencing it with my friends! Check out Kelly’s blog and Instagram for more photos @AsideofSweet_KEH0975I also travelled with Food Blogger Cynthia from Cyneats! In Upper Class, we were served a 3 course dinner with silverware. We were able to choose from a full menu of beverages. There’s even a bar on board with snacks if you’re still feeling hungry. _KEH0998Check out Emily and Steve who were also a part of this exciting London trip!
IMG_3512The lights dimmed to a light purple hue and I stretched out in my bed and fell asleep. When I woke up, I ordered breakfast and enjoyed the sunrise from my window. _KEH0919
IMG_6063Landed safely in London! I finally arrived at the Mondrian, a Southbank boutique hotel located by the Thames River. I felt well rested and excited for my first night in London!

Thank you Virgin Atlantic for inviting me on a trip of a lifetime to London and the opportunity to share it with my viewers! Sometimes I pitch myself and think, is this really happening? How did I get so lucky? I look forward to sharing the rest of my adventures in a future blog post and a video on my YouTube channel!

Add me on snapchat to follow my daily adventures: FashionbyAlly.
Thanks for reading!
This post was made in collaboration with Virgin Atlantic.

Bluestem Brasserie :: Best Restaurants in San Francisco

Conveniently located in the heart of Downtown San Francisco, Bluestem Brasserie is a must visit for a delicious dinner with friends this holiday weekend! Bluestem specializes in hyper-seasonal dishes and is launching a new Summer Vacation cocktail menu on July 4th. See their bar menu here!As a girl who frequents Hawaii, I highly approve of the Maui Margarita with a tropical coconut flavor with the classic salt rim of a margarita!

For my outfit, I’m channeling my inner Bohemian girl with a sheer floral maxi slit dress. The dress has a lot of movement and elongates my petite body.
floral-dress-fashionbyally-ryanbyryanchua-9712Dress :: Forever 21 (similar here)
Belt :: Thrifted
Heels :: Public Desire (similar here)
Watch :: Fifth Watchesfloral-dress-fashionbyally-ryanbyryanchua-9750floral-dress-fashionbyally-ryanbyryanchua-9839

Bluestem Brasserie
One Yerba Buena Ln
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 547-1111

Bluestem has a Happy Hour Monday to Friday from 4-6:30pm!
_MG_0387Maui Margarita with Casamigos Reposado, Cointreau, coconut milk and cream, lime juice, lime zest, and a salt rim. _MG_0391Chicken Liver Toast with pickled peaches, rosemary, and almonds.
(seriously delicious with the juicy stone fruit on top)
_MG_0392Octopus on the Plancha with with braised fingerlings, ligurian olives, orange, espelette (a pepper).
_MG_0393Seared Swordfish with snap peas and chermoula, a marinade used in Algerian, Libyan, Moroccan and Tunisian cooking.
_MG_0401Strawberry Tall Cake for a shortie like me🙂
floral-dress-fashionbyally-ryanbyryanchua-9891Have you tried Bluestem? Let me know your thoughts. Thanks for reading!
Photography by Ryan Chua

DIY Summer Pillow Fort!

As a kid, I always loved going camping with my friends. When my parents didn’t have time to take us, we would create make shift tents out of pillows and blankets. After we were done building our fort, we would make some refreshing lemonade.

I’m happy to collaborate with Wendy’s as a part of the Crafternoon Series to build a cute DIY bohemian summer fort inspired by Wendy’s Blackberry Lemonade. It is an easy and affordable summer activity you can recreate with your friends. Watch the video here.

Photo Credit: Daniel Fabia and Cristina Viseu

Thanks for reading! Please share this with your friends!
This video was made in collaboration with Wendy’s.