An Exercise In Trivial Pursuits

Fatshion, Food & Frivolities – Life in Las Vegas & Singapore


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Not Your Average Woman: Katie Ichtertz

IMG_9120IMG_9144This is a special one – I went to visit Katie on 7th September when I was in New York City, to do this feature! Katie is my pal Ryddy’s ex-classmate from King’s College London (where they did their MA). Since they last met, Katie has lost a considerable amount of weight for health reasons but she did admit that she’ll “never be a toothpick” and at her current size, is probably the happiest she’s been. We go by the fashion industry’s misguided standards of anyone above a size 12 being PLUS SIZED and I’ve been happy flipping the metaphorical bird with my features of sassy, confident and stylish women who lead interesting, non-average lives. And I am proud to have Miss Katie Ichtertz (or kay-tee-aye as she’s more commonly known) in this month’s NYAW.

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Katie, a California native, is all of 25 years old. While she currently shares a cool apartment with 3 other flatmates in Downtown Brooklyn, she’s also lived in Spain and England. Her adventures started in 2008 when she graduated from the University of California to a lacklustre job market. She took the plunge and decided that the 1-year programme offered by KCL was going to be her next move.

IMG_9115For the last 3 years since finishing grad school, Katie has been living out of a suitcase. For work she has been jet-setting and living in different parts of the US – half a year at the Lincoln Center in New York, then the other half at the Sundance Film Festival (in Park City, Utah). How exciting is that? If anything, this girl is really dipping her fingers in every pie! Right now though, she’s decided that her base would be New York City and she’s also embarked on something else that has come her way – touring the country with the production “Man in a Case”, a play with stories adapted from Anton Chekov featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov! In case you’re wondering, he’s a famous Russian ballet dancer who’s also been in Sex & the City (wooing Carrie Bradshaw, no less).

And with Carrie Bradshaw, I’d now like segue to Katie’s style philosophy:

  • What is your dress/shoe size? I am a US dress size 14 with a size 10 shoe.
  • Describe Your Style Regal rocker. I love denim, studs and skulls, gems and jewels, wraps and classy frocks. I’m a huge fan of taking staple pieces like a color-blocked dress or a seemingly simple pencil skirt with blouse and glamming them up with fun statement accessories.
  • What do you normally wear to work or a work event/meeting? In the office, I usually wear black jeans with a blazer or a fun colorful blouse. I work long hours so I need to be comfortable but I also want to show off my personality and creativity. For events (of which there are many) I love to get dressed up to the nines. I plan a lot of parties and attend a lot of performances/screenings, so my favorite part is choosing what to wear (I’ve even calendered my outfits for festivals in my Outlook schedule!).
  • Where and how do you shop?  I have to be pretty strategic about my shopping since I live out of suitcases for much of the year. Each piece I buy has to count: it has to be timeless, comfortable and capable of being dressed up or dressed down. The benefit to being so calculating is that I only buy pieces that I absolutely love. You know when you’re in a dressing room of a shop and you think “I have to have this”… that’s my cue to buy. If it doesn’t scream to be taken home, I have to leave it behind. In the States, I most often shop at larger anchor stores like Macy’s, JC Penney’s, Target, etc. In London, I love Monsoon, Accessorize, and Dorothy P. In Spain, C&A is a trusty go-to… the sizing is too small and short (I’m 5′ 9”) everywhere else!
  • What are your favourite things to buy? JEWELRY! I go bonkers for fun earrings and necklaces. I spend more money on jewelry from Etsy, Modcloth and eBay than I do on clothing or shoes combined.
  • What are your favourite brands or shops? My favorite NYC shops for clothing are probably Fox’s and Century 21, both in the Upper West Side. I love finding unique and quirky jewelry on Etsy or at any of the awesome flea markets and craft fairs that pop up in Brooklyn (I love to support DIYers whenever I can!). For sneakers and sunglasses, I’m loyal to Converse and Ray-ban.
  • How do you dress on your blah-days? When I’m having one of those days, I put on a tried and true outfit, something that I know I look and feel great in and then I really doll myself up with makeup and baubles. Blah-days are when you most deserve to take some time to primp and pamper yourself.
  • When you were 12, what did you imagine your life would be like at your current age? When I was 12, I was absolutely convinced I would be married with children by 25. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would travel to and live in the places that I have. How lucky I am to have been so wrong. I hope for a family in the future, but right now I am very much in love with my gypsy life and my blossoming career.

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From being a UC Davis graduate in Spanish and International Relations to earning her MA in Cultural and Creative Industries from King’s College London to leading such an exciting, jet-setting life – this girl has energy, imagination and lots of guts! Go and be inspired by Kickass Katie!IMG_9121


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Goodbye New York!

T and I got home to Las Vegas just before 9pm last night. Our DELTA flight from JFK to McCarran took us about 5 hours and the taxi ride home was about 20 minutes.

We spent the last 5 days and 4 nights in upstate New York – amidst lush quiet greenery just across the Hudson River. I had a great time visiting T’s family and a wonderful stay at his Uncle and Aunt’s ranch house. (Not far from a cute ice cream parlour called Weir’s – YUM!!)

20130909-212550.jpgT’s uncle is a manly man who is handy with all things mechanical – fixing and building; his Aunt is the hostess with the mostest – great cook and decorator. I understand now why T was so looking forward to staying at their home.

I was introduced to as many people as possible yet it remained a leisurely trip. The last 2 weeks, I rather missed being in a big city and I’ve always loved taking the trains in foreign countries (mostly to get lost, wander aimlessly exploring and people watch). Our day trip to NYC satiated that for now.

With that said, I’m glad I’m back in our home in Enterprise, Las Vegas. There, I said it. I’m beginning to feel more and more like this is home, our home.

On this trip, I’ve gotten to know more of this man – he is a big, quirky man-child who interprets the world in ways that I sometimes don’t see but am curious to be led into. We’ve travelled quite a bit together in the last 6 months and from the get-go, we’ve always worked great as a team. T is very giving and it makes me very happy to go with what he wants to do too. It’s very much a “let’s take turns to flip our Choose Your Own Adventure book“. I love it!

20130909-212607.jpgT’s mother who now cares for his Grammy and lives with her in Nanuet has a beautiful garden that she happily showed me around. It’s a garden I wish I had! As much as T has done a great job with the house in Vegas, it’s still a desert climate. The flowers and shrubbery lovingly cultivated by my future mother-in-law is one I envy! Also Grammy’s house is a cute red cottage with the quaintest decor – not unlike the ones I used to fantasise about and build/furnish in The Sims!

20130909-212614.jpgOther than visiting homes, I loved the time we spent bonding with T’s mother. She told me stories about the family, showed me lots of old photos including adorable ones of T growing up, and also took us to an artisan village kinda place called Sugar Loaf – one of those places T used to go to when he was little. There were many shops with handmade crafts – soaps, pottery, wooden signages, crochet goods, containers and country-style decor made of gourds etc. A few shops were shut and it was relatively quiet when we went though. We assumed that it would be livelier on the weekends when most shops would be open for business.

I love that I got to see the places where T grew up. The streets he used to live on, his old haunts and where he went to school. Speaking of which, his old High School is just across from the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets! I went there yesterday with his Aunt a few hours before we had to leave for the airport. I was quite restraint because I need to make my money stretch and I only bought a pair of TIMBERLAND hiking boots (USD62 with tax). T’s Aunt bought me a stretchy belt from NINE WEST for the low low price of USD2.59 with tax – Hello, can we say SCORE!!!!!

That’s the thing with being on a long holiday – you have all the time in the world to shop but no money. But really, I don’t need those extras though. Being on a budget made me think twice, thrice and again.

20130909-212559.jpgTalking about tight budgets, I’m glad to announce that we spent a total of USD146 on our day trip to NYC. $33 for bus tickets from Monroe to the Port Authority Bus Terminal (thanks to Aunt K), $30 for both our Metro cards, $7 for ice cream at Baskin Robbins, $20 for large smoothies & lunch at Jamba Juice, $6 for 3 bottles of cider at a farmer’s market in downtown Brooklyn (1 bottle was for Katie whose awesome apartment we visited in Brooklyn), and $50 (including a cash tip) for the both of us when we had dinner with his cousins at Sofia’s in Little Italy (good call by T’s cousin D).

20130909-212623.jpgI got to see different parts of NYC – downtown Brooklyn, Times Square, almost the entire stretch of 5th Avenue, Central Park (special thanks to T’s cousin E & his girlfriend A for the special tour of the best bits), and Little Italy. We passed by several landmarks that I’ve always seen on TV or in movies – Rockefeller Center, the Flatiron Building, Empire State Building, Tiffany & Co, Trump Towers…

I think we did well for my first trip and most definitely would have many more to come…

Thank you and adieu New York, the Empire State. Till we meet again…


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Fat-shionista #504

Hello from Nanuet, New York! I’m at T’s Grammy’s house and standing in the garden that his mom just planted this summer!

It’s a nice day out and about 20degC! I’m wearing something really light and that’s an unlined coat – just nice for the beginnings of Autumn (it’s going to take a while before I say Fall).

Anyway….

What I’m wearing today:

Dress: Purple/Pink/Black floral print dress from DOROTHY PERKINS

Outerwear: Beige baby-doll long coat from DELIAS

Accessories: Purple stretchy belt with gold buckle (came with the dress) from DOROTHY PERKINS; Coral floral hairpin from ACCESSORIZE

Bag: Black kiss-clasp purse from PAIL FRANK

Footwear: Purple ballet flats with bow from OLD NAVY

Pictures by T – I think he’s getting better!

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