School days are over

(Thrifted blouse / H&M skirt / Costa Blanca belt / Jeffrey Campbell wedges / Alex Folzi briefcase)

School is officially over... for now. But work is definitely NOT. I have exactly 12 days to finish all my tasks at work before leaving on a jet plane (Ha! So lame :p) I was never the person who brings work home, but I might have to start doing so if I want to fully enjoy my vacation. I haven't even started packing. Should I be worried? I don't know which clothes I should bring, but I definitely know which SHOES are coming with me ;)

For now, I'm just going to enjoy my Monday night with a box of Ritz sandwich crackers and Hellcats marathon. I've always wanted to be a cheerleader :p

xx toodles.
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Thereafterish. at last

(ZARA coat / H&M shorts / HUE tights / UO purse (as always!) / ALDO flats)

Well, every girl needs a break from studying, right? And that's exactly what I did last Saturday. The gorgeous Mae of Thereafterish. emailed me a few weeks before she came to Toronto. Of course I didn't want to miss the opportunity of meeting one of my favorite BFs (ahem... Blogger Friends). As you can see in the first two photos, Mae was very well dressed for our little meet-up and I... was very underdressed. Too much studying clogged the "fashion side" of my brain and my eyes were especially puffy from lack of sleep :p But at least we were wearing matching coats ;) At the end of the day, we asked the boys to take some "blog-worthy" photos or in Mae's exact words: "Get the shoes!". She was smiling at her boy and I was smiling at mine. Totally uncoordinated but I adore the result. See you next time, Mae! :)

xx toodles.
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Attention Ladies!

I stumbled upon this post by a fellow Torontonian blogger, Gabrielle of With Love..., about financial basics that women need to know and learn how to do. The post was written by Manisha Thakor, the founder of Women's Financial Literacy Initiative. I found this post to be very insightful so I wanted to share it with all of you. It's (much) longer than my usual posts, but I hope you'll find this useful! :)


What women need to know to make their bank accounts grow...

1. Start Saving Now. These are the three most powerful words in personal finance. Why? It's the financial equivalent starting to use sunscreen regularly in your 20s. At first, you won't see immediate benefits. However, by the time you hit your 50s you'll be high fiving yourself for your foresight and great skin. The same goes for saving. Here are the numbers: Jane starts saving $5,000 a year every year starting at age 22. She invests wisely and her money earns an average return of 7% a year. By age 65 Jane has $1.2 million. By contrast, Joe waits until a more typical age of 42 to start thinking about his retirement. He saves the same $5,000 a year and gets the same 7% returns, but by 65 he has just over $250,000. That extra 20-year head start gave Jane nearly 5x more money. Amazing!

2. The Magic Formula Is 50/30/20. When you go out on your own, there are so many expenses to deal with. Alas, most of us enter the "real world" without any concrete guidance on how much to spend on what. In their fabulous book All Your Worth, Elizabeth & Amelia Warren lay out the best formula I've seen: 50 need /30 wants /20 savings. In other words, strive to keep your NEEDS (housing, transportation, food, insurance, mandatory debt pay down) to 50% of your take home (i.e. after-tax) pay. Strive to keep your WANTS (clothes, entertainment, vacations, etc.) to 30% of your take-home pay. That leaves you with the all-important 20% to save and be like Jane!

3. Avoid Credit Card Debt Like The Plague. Credit cards can be your friend or your foe depending upon how you use them. If you use them for convenience - to avoid carrying around wads of cash in your purse and to only buy items you can pay for in full when the bill comes, you're golden. But if you start accruing credit card debt and make just the minimum monthly payment... go watch a few episodes The Sopranos. Because what you're doing is not so far off from borrowing from a loan shark. Here are the numbers. If you have $5,000 in credit card debt with a 13% interest rate and you make just the minimum monthly payment, by the time that debt is paid off you'll have forked over the $5,000 you borrowed PLUS over $2,700 in interest. Or said differently, if you charged a $100 item - it ended up costing you $154 with the interest. And the numbers get worse the higher the interest rate.

4. Pay All Your Bills On Time. This may sound obvious and simplistic but it's vitally important. Why? Because in today's world we all have 24/7/365 reality TV cameras aimed at our purses. They are operated by the three big credit bureaus and they record all our financial activities. The data they record is used to calculate what's called your "credit score." A credit score is a 3-digit number that summarizes how responsible you are at managing your money. Unlike your weight, higher is better! It is used by people ranging from lenders to cell phone providers to landlords to decide whether you'll get their service/product and at what price. And a whopping 35% of your credit score is based on one simple factor - how solid a track record you have of paying your bills on time. A great way to keep from paying bills late is to utilize the online bill paying resources offered by your primary bank.

5. Investing In Your Financial Knowledge Gives A Guaranteed Return. If you feel at all overwhelmed or confused about your personal finances, you are not alone. The vast majority of people I meet (really smart folks) have questions about how to invest, how to pay off debt, how to figure out how much house or car they can afford, etc. Why? We are not formally taught this information. It's up to us to figure it out on our own, and it's often hard to figure out where to go for that info. In my own life I look back and can see that it's roughly 10 hours of personal finance lessons that made all the difference. I highlight that number so you can see that you don't have to get a PhD in personal finance to learn how to dominate your dollars. If you are looking for a place to start, I encourage you to check out the new online personal finance class I created to affordably ($99) offer exactly this type of information in a fun and interactive way.

The bottom line is that good personal finance hygiene does not have to be difficult or boring!  Learning and following a few simple rules of thumb such as those outlined in this article will put you on the path to financial nirvana.


There you have it, ladies. I wish I could focus my spending more on my NEEDS (i.e. gas bill, haha!) than on my WANTS (i.e. shoes). As hypocritical as this may sound, you want to keep your money in the bank, not in your closet. Get that, Carrie? Not all of us have our own Mr. Big! :p

xx toodles.
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Winna winna, chicken dinna!

First of all, thank you everyone for leaving sweet comments on my blog's anniversary post :) I still can't believe this little blog is 1 year old! Thank you so very much for all your support :) Anyway, lets cut to the chase. The winner for the giveaway is...
Yay, congrats Anna! :) As usual, I used the random.org to determine the winner. As for the questions about me and/or the blog, I will get to them very soon! I was thinking of doing another vlog, but filming a video has been difficult as it's already dark by the time I get home from work :( So I'm just going to stick to the good ol' questionnaire form. Stay tuned! :D

xx toodles.
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Do I hear the bell?

(Forever 21 top & necklace / GAP Premium pants / AA Ottoman jacket / ALDO shoes (not shown))

My title couldn't get any cheesier. I was referring to my pants, in case you didn't get my lame joke :p I had not shopped at the GAP in so long (i.e. since first year university). But with their new and improved lines of pants and jeans, I decided to rekindle my relationship with the brand. I ended up with a pair of their Premium Pants in "Modern" and my mom bought 3 pairs (She's one shopaholic. I obviously inherited her genes :p). As usual, the length was too long for me, but I kept it as it is so I could wear them with heels (as pictured). I just love the silhouette they give me. (Visually) longer legs? YES PLEASE! :D

Final exam is tonight. Wish me luck :) :) :)

xx toodles.
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Caramel Brown Sugar

(New York & Co. sweater vest / Costa Blanca cardigan & belt / H&M blouse / The Sak purse / Calvin Klein boots / Bershka leggings)

Light layer of knits and leather accessories managed to keep me warm while it was raining outside. I hate rain, but I despise November rain (Ha! Guns n' Roses much?) the most because it feels like icicles. But I know I'm going to miss the cold Toronto when I visit Indonesia next month. So what the heck? Bring it on, winter! :) I'm going to end this post here. I really really REEEAAALLLYYYY need to finish my final assignment and start studying for my final exam. Both are due on Monday :( Let the cramming session begins...

Don't forget to enter my blog's anniversary giveaway. It ends tonight!!! :)

xx toodles.
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Dumpling Date

(Forever 21 parka / AA blouse / Costa Blanca shorts / H&M scarf / ALDO boots / UO purse)

I was taking advantage of the "mild" November temperature we had last weekend by wearing shorts and a sheer blouse. It was so mild that my neck was sweating (a bit) from wearing the circle scarf. I also had a bad bangs day. It was bad enough to make me chop them off as soon as I got home. Will debut the "not-so-new" blunt bangs soon :) CL had been craving for dumplings for the longest time, so we went to Mother's Dumplings that got great reviews on Yelp. The dumplings turned out to be just... mediocre. I had to dip soak them in my chilli sauce mix to be able to "fully enjoy them". The dough was too thick and chewy, which is one of the reasons why I prefer wonton over dumpling. At least CL was able to satisfy his craving. And the green onion pancake? Where's the green onion???? :(

xx toodles.
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It don't matter if you're black or white

(H&M blazer & tank dress / Ardene tights / Forever 21 necklace / Nine West boots)

I wore this to work last week. Yes, I realized (later on) that the tights were a bit too much for an office environment. They might look ok if I paired them with a longer skirt and classic pumps, but of course I didn't think that far and wore them with a tank dress and knee-high boots  instead. Oh well, lesson learned :) The next couple of weeks is going to be a busy one. I can't believe how much I've procrastinated and I only have 2 weeks to get a lot of things done. I'm looking forward to December, though. I'm going back "home" to visit my family and friends in Indonesia. It will be my first Christmas with the family after 8 years of spending it away from them :)

xx toodles.
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ps. Check out my Aldo Dance video HERE. Don't forget to share, tweet, and like it! :) :)
pps. Enter my blog's anniversary giveaway HERE :) :)


Happy Anniversary

Hey guys, today is a special day for me because it's Monochroma.chic's 1st anniversary! I made a vlog for this special occasion, but if you don't feel like watching a 6-minute long video, just skip it :)

(I like to make weird facial expressions and high-pitch noises :p)

I really appreciate all the support that you have given me this past year. Without all of you, Monochroma.chic would never get to this stage (500+ readers? I must be dreaming!) I'm such a proud mama and I owe it to all of you :) To celebrate this anniversary, I'm going to do a small American Apparel giveaway. 

Here's what you could win:
1. Cotton Spandex Jersey Basic Bodysuit in Martini Blue (Size Small - for reference, I'm 5'6" medium-built)
2. Sleeveless Lawn Button-Up in Rum Raisin (Size Small - but it fits super loose)
3. Opaque Pantyhose in Bordeaux (Size XS/S - but they run large)

Here's how to enter:
1. Be a follower of Monochroma.chic through Google Reader or Bloglovin'.
2. Leave your name and email address.
3. Ask one question about me and/or the blog :)

This giveaway is open for EVERYBODY and you have until Friday, Nov 19 midnight to enter.
Good luck! :)


xx toodles.
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In Black & White

 Original outfit & post HERE

 Original outfit & post HERE

Original outfit & post HERE

When the amazing, ever so talented Rach from VisualBasic told me that she drew some sketches of me, to say that I was flattered is an understatement. I always adore her blogger sketches and I had been secretly wishing that my sketches would appear on her blog one day. Wish no more because it just came true :) Look how slim she made my legs look in these sketches!!! Hahaha... I wish that was the reality :p Thanks again, Rach!!

xx toodles.
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ps. These sketches made me miss my blunt bangs. Time to get them back? ;)


Mrs. Hamburglar

(UO sweater / H&M skirt & tights / ALDO boots / Gifted necklace)

My attempt to do the "jump" pose. A big LOL. Thank God my hair was covering most of my neck and chin or else you would witness a quadruple chin in action :p I need to restock my black tights as I've been wearing them way too much and most of them are already showing some wear-and-tear :( I'm picky about my tights, though. I love love love the 60 DEN ones from H&M's Divided line that come in packs of 2. Unfortunately, I haven't seen them in store since last winter :( :( :( Speaking of H&M, I bumped into Veronica earlier at the location she's working at. Hi V!! I'll look for you the next time I go there so we can chat freely without having the cashier desk between us ;)

By the way, THANKS SO MUCH for viewing, sharing, liking, and tweeting my ALDO DANCE video :) Because of you, I'm already up at 1000+ points. Keep them coming :) :) :)

xx toodles.
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Let's Dance with ALDO

 (WARNING: Cheesy dance moves. Proceed at your own risk! :p)

Hey guys, I just posted a video entry for the ALDO DANCE contest. You know how much I love ALDO shoes ;) Click HERE to vote for my video. I'm counting on your support to gain as many points as possible before Dec 6th. You can share the video on Facebook (2pts), tweet it on Tweeter (3pts), like it on Youtube (3pts), or just view it from start to finish (1pt). All buttons are listed on the right-hand side of the video's page and all you have to do is click click click ;) I had so much fun making this video and I hope you like the result :) :) :) 

(AA pullover, blouse, socks / Forever 21 skirt / ALDO shoes (of course!))

This was one of the outfits featured in the video. I changed the skirt because this ended up being too short and I didn't want to flash anything inappropriate while dancing my butt off (^_^'') I changed into the other two outfits in the backseat of my friend's car. It was a struggle to put the pants on :p

Hope everyone had an awesome weekend!

xx toodles. 
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ps. I have no idea why my left hand looks like a "I come in peace" gesture.


These boots are made for splashing

(Forever 21 black top & ring / Gifted cardigan / H&M skirt / Topshop (old) belt / Cougar Shoes rain boots)

I have had so many boots ruined by rain, snow, and winter salt. Canadian winter is cruel, let me tell ya! I should have known that when I wore non-water resistant boots out in the snow, I would just be looking for troubles. I was super excited when I received these rain boots from Cougar Shoes and Matchstick since I've been contemplating to get a pair of Hunter boots for awhile. This was my second time wearing them out and they're definitely made for splashing. The biker style is a bonus chic point and the soft lining on the inside is a bonus comfortable point! I only have a couple of small issues about these boots. They run half a size bigger and they are quite heavy. They make my feet look somewhat like duck feet :p But hey, I would rather keep my feet dry and warm than worry about looking like a Donald Duck ;) 

xx toodles.
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Reunited and it feels so good

(UO dress / Forever 21 vest / H&M tights & socks / Jeffrey Campbell shoes)

Yes, my favorite shoes are back. I'm happy to announce that the straps have been fixed and they're stronger than ever. I thank Mr. Shoe Repair for suggesting to use a strip of leather instead of an elastic band. It's not stretchy, but it definitely WILL NOT come apart ;) Speaking of shoes, I was waiting to cross the street this afternoon when a girl tapped me on the back and complimented these Jeffrey Campbells. Don't you just love it when random people compliment your shoes (or other articles of clothing)? It kinda justify your purchase, don't you think? ;) But if you had a dude "complimenting" your legs, then that's just creepy!

xx toodles.
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