The Liebster Award

Liebster AwardThank you to Anna from musings in milan who recently nominated me for the Liebster Award. Check out her blog if you want to see life in Italy! Also, I like her new series of posts that she started, “Things I Love Sundays.” Normally, I don’t really talk about my personal life on my blog, but I thought it would be fun to change it up and participate in the Liebster Award.

The rules are simple:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you with a link back to his/her blog
  • Answer the questions asked by the nominator
  • Nominate 5 – 10 bloggers with under 3,000 followers
  • Create 10 questions for the nominees to answer

Here are the questions that I had to answer:

1) What do you enjoy most about blogging?
My blog started because my San Francisco friends always encouraged me to start chronicling my food adventures. As clichéd as it might sound, I feel like my blog has become a small part of my identity and it’s also become an excellent way to meet other expat bloggers.

2) What is your favourite book?
I’ve always loved The Great Gatsy by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I recently finished All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and highly recommend it!

3) If you were throwing a dinner party and could invite five famous people (dead or alive) who would you invite?
If I could go back in time, I wish I could go back to the Italian Renaissance. So I’d pick Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Donatello and Titian.

4) What is the most precious thing you own?
My childhood stuffed animal

5) What can you not live without?
Good food. It just brings people together and also brings so much joy in my life. Plus food was the whole inspiration for this blog!

6) Would you rather swim in a lake or the sea?
Probably the sea cause I like being able to watch the waves crash on the rocks/beach.

7) What is your favourite song?
It’s too hard to choose just one song. However, my favorite guilty pleasure karaoke song is Backstreet Boys’ “I Want it that Way.”

8) Puppies or kittens?
Definitely puppies

9) If you could play any musical instrument, what would you choose?
I haven’t played the piano since high school. Since I’m so out of practice, I can’t read sheet music easily anymore. If I had the time and means, I’d love to pick it up again.

10) If you could speak any language (other than English) which would you choose?
This is a tough one, but I’d probably pick Spanish because it ranks as the world’s No. 2 language (in terms of how many people speak it as their native language). However, if I’m going to have my dinner with my Renaissance guests, then I guess Italian would be vital. 😉

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Top 10 Instagram Moments from 2013

2013 was an amazing year. I don’t know if any other year will every compare, considering it was a year of great change. I lived in three different cities, visited 11 cities in nine countries, graduated from my MBA program, found a job that I love and relocated to Shanghai. I fully recognize that I probably will never travel that much in my life ever again. I definitely cherish every single moment of 2013. However, I’m excited for what 2014 will bring and for new Shanghai adventures.

It’s too difficult to rank my favorite moments of 2013, but I did want to capture 10 of my favorites (brought to you by the lens of my iPhone 4 and Instagram).

1. Invalides (Paris, France)

InvalidesI had just moved out of the suburbs of France and into Paris. After having a lovely brunch on a cold, snowy day, the Métro broke down and I had to walk home. What started out as a inconvenience, turned into an absolutely stunning walk and I got to capture this gorgeous shot of Invalides (which never would have happened if the Métro worked!).

2. Burj Khalifa (Dubai, UAE)

Burj KhalifaIt was my first trip to the Middle East and Dubai was such an eye-opening experience. I learned so much about the local culture and was also just stunned with the entire city. Everything was so opulent and it was more than I could have ever imagined. The Burj Khalifa is currently the tallest building in the world and I loved the way it was lit up at night with its own sparkling lights like the Eiffel Tower.

3. Château de Chenonceau (Loire Valley, France)

Loire ValleyI felt like I was on the set of Downton Abbey while wondering the vast halls and gardens during my Loire Valley Châteaux tour. It made me feel like a Pretty, Pretty Princess. The Loire Valley is definitely worth visiting and I personally enjoy it a lot more than visiting the palace in Versailles.

4. Victoria Harbor (Hong Kong)

Rubber DuckWho doesn’t love a giant, 6-story inflatable rubber duck? It was awesome to be in Hong Kong the same time as this wandering art installation from Dutch artist, Florentijn Hofman.

5. Arc de Triomphe (Paris, France)

Arc de TriompheThis was the night I found out that I was accepted for an amazing opportunity in Hong Kong and that I would be leaving the wonderful City of Light. It was such mixed emotions for me as I was excited to go to Hong Kong, but I was so sad to leave Paris earlier than anticipated. I took this photo right before hopping on the Métro. It wasn’t until afterward that I realized that I had captured a picture perfect “stolen moment” of a couple in love. I feel like this picture captured the true essence of l’amour and my own love affair with Paris.

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Hong Kong: Jackie’s 25 Things to Eat Before You Die

Black Pepper Crab at Katong

Black Pepper Crab at Katong

Mango Drink at Hui Lau Shan

Mango Drink at Hui Lau Shan

High Tea at Sevva

High Tea at Sevva

My time in Hong Kong has unfortunately come to an end and I’m off to a new city for a more permanent move. I’ve had the most amazing four months in Hong Kong and this is the longest amount of time I’ve ever spent here. I’ve fallen in love with the city, the people and most of all– the food!

I’m definitely not an expert on the food scene in Hong Kong, because it is absolutely epic here. Between the Michelin-rated restaurants and the down-and-dirty street food, there is such a wide variety of choices! I could honestly live in Hong Kong for years and probably not even make a dent on the restaurant scene.

From left to right: xiao long bao at Din Tai Fung; tomato crab vermicelli soup at Nha Trang; fish tacos at Brickhouse; steamed papaya soup at The Chinese Restaurant

From left to right: xiao long bao at Din Tai Fung; tomato crab vermicelli soup at Nha Trang; fish tacos at Brickhouse; steamed papaya soup at The Chinese Restaurant

I wanted to continue my tradition of creating a food guide when I leave a city. This follows the same vein as my 100 Things to Eat in San Francisco to Eat Before You Die and 50 Things to Eat in Paris Before You Die. You probably notice a pretty gaping hole and ask: “Jackie, where is the dim sum?” Don’t get me wrong. I had great dim sum, but I don’t feel like I’ve been able to truly explore the best of the best of Hong Kong’s dim sum. It was difficult since you can’t really order dim sum for one person. I leave that for my next challenge!

So finally, in no particular order, I present to you:

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RBJello’s 2nd Blogiversary!

Jumping for Joy

Jumping for Joy

Today marks the 2nd anniversary of my blog! It’s been a big milestone in my life. What started out as a hobby has turned into a real part of my life and a piece of my identity. I started my blog with no expectations, but I’ve gained so much from it. It has been a wonderful channel to journal my past year abroad in Paris and my experience in ESSEC’s MBA in International Luxury Brand Management.

I think my biggest surprise was the wonderful network of fellow bloggers I met in Paris. I had never met random strangers through my blog before, but I met a wonderful group of women whose blogs inspire mine. Much love and respect go out to Diane, Grace and Edna who supported me during my MBA this past year. It’s always great to find like-minded, adventurous people who have so many great stories to share (plus, it doesn’t hurt that we’re all super into food).

I thought I’d share a few of my favorite posts from the past couple of years:

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Celebrating my Birthday at the Louis Vuitton Family Home and Workshop

Birthday

Photo Courtesy of my Awesome Classmate, Neha

What an absolutely incredible birthday! I do not think I’ll ever be able to top visiting the private Louis Vuitton family home and historical workshop. Throw in champagne in crystal Baccarat glasses, a mini cheesecake, a wonderful meal with my classmates and you basically have the epitome of a perfect birthday in Paris.

LV Family Home

Outside of the Louis Vuitton Family Home

Interior

Gorgeous Interior

In 1859, Louis Vuitton established a trunk workshop in Asnières. It was a strategic location because it was close to Seine river (so it was easier to transport the wood needed to make his fabulous trunks) and it was also a railway stop close to Paris. Soon after building the workshop, he built his family home next door. Our visit was an honor because the family home and workshop is closed to the public. Unless you are a high-profile client or journalist (or MBA Luxe student at ESSEC), you can’t visit this truly historic site.

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ESSEC and Paris: First Impressions

Mousse au chocolat

Mousse au Chocolat at Chez Janou

It’s been officially one week since I landed in Paris and classes are already in full swing at ESSEC. This year, our MBA class has 35 students, hailing from all different parts of the world. I’m one of two Americans and it’s a really interesting experience to be with such a diverse group of people. While we come from various backgrounds, we’re all drawn to the world of luxury and I see the same passion and drive in everyone. Everyone is so friendly. I’m really appreciative of the French speakers in our class, who have been so patient in helping and translating things for the us, the foreigners (merci beacoup!).

Notre Dame

Notre Dame at Night

I am so grateful that one of my closest friends from USC, Christophe, just moved to Paris a few months ago. It’s a little taste of home when we hang out and it’s really comforting to know that he’s there for me. He already surprised/spoiled me with amazing chocolates from Joséphine Vannier— a chocolate “book” box filled with an assortment of chocolate pieces!

Josephine Vannier Chocolates

Josephine Vannier Chocolates (the “book” is made of solid chocolate)

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