Best of 2019 – Top Fashion, Beauty, Travel, & Life Lessons

As we approach the very end of this decade, I cannot help but find myself in reflection modes, so just like last year, I am going to share my Best Of List that includes all of my fashion, beauty, travel, and lifestyle favorites. This time, I am going to combine all categories because most of you seem to enjoy longer blog posts. So grab yourself a cup of tea and enjoy!

5 BEST DESIGNER PURCHASES

  1. YSL Eastside Baby Cabas bag: Watch What’s in y Bag HERE to see it in action or I’m sure you’ve seen it in every other IG post. Follow me on IG, HERE.
  2. Jimmy Choo Rav mule: I picked these Jimmy Choo mules at a Nordstrom sale rack one day, pretty sure it was towards the end of their spring or summer yearly sale. Such a good deal and for something this classic! I have been wearing them non-stop ever since!
  3. Isabel Marant Lecce belt: This was a sale purchase that I got from the SSENSE spring sale earlier this year. It’s so simple yet versatile, highly recommend picking one up because you can belt your blazers, dresses, skirts, or trousers with it.
  4. Acne Studios Musubi Midi bag: My newest and latest designer purchase. I have a blog post about it, read HERE.
  5. Old Celine sunglasses: I got these Old Celine sunglasses at the Opitz Outlet in Minneapolis, MN, this past summer for $150, 70% off its original price tag. It’s pretty good find considering Old Celine items are pretty hard to find on a good sale these days. I’d totally recommend checking out TheRealReal or Vestiaire Collective for second hand Old Celine items if you’re interested. I’m unsure about the style name because I got them without a case nor any information attached. Regardless, they fit my face shape perfectly, and I have been wearing them non-stop whenever it’s sunny out. They’re perfect when pairing with classy pieces or when I want to look a bit lady-like and put-together.
Acne Studios Musubi bag
YSL bag & Jimmy Choo mule
Celine sunglasses
Isabel Marant belt

10 MOST-WORN FASHION ITEMS

For this particular category, it is impossible to narrow it down to 5. I’ll list 10 items on the top of my head and try to be pretty quick about them as I’m sure you’ve seen and heard enough from me!

  1. Agolde Riley jeans in Zephyr: Best $200 jeans! With the number of wears, I’ve gotten from them since they are so worth it! I got them at the Aritzia store after trying on a bunch of jeans. Check out my 1 piece 3 ways, styling post HERE.
  2. Massimo Dutti pants: These used to be a part of the spring limited edition collection, but I’m pretty sure Massimo Dutti has brought these back. They are available in slightly different fabric compositions but pretty much the same look and fit, HERE.
  3. Everlane cheeky straight jeans: These in the shade washed black aka gray are by far the best Everlane jeans I’ve tried on and owned. I have a white pair but don’t wear them as much! Anyways, they hug me at the right places, not too tight nor too loose, with a slight stretch, I really have no complaint!
  4. Uniqlo U men’s linen shirt: Best $30 spent! It’s a men’s shirt size XS that I’ve worn tucked into jeans or as an overshirt throughout all summer travels! If you see Uniqlo drops any of the Uniqlo U labels especially men’s, wait a little bit because the smaller sizes will still be in stock by the time their stuff goes on sale. Just a tip!
  5. Zara strappy sandals: These don’t really hold up in terms of the leather quality, but I’m not really careful with shoes, to be honest. I love them, and they definitely have been through so much with me this past year! One of the very few Zara purchases that I’ve kept and would still see myself wearing next year!
  6. COS sculptural boots: These blocky black leather heeled boots have such unique sculptural heels that get me compliments every time. COS is owned by H&M, so I’d say to not have so high of an expectation when it comes to quality. These boots were made in Portugal, but the toe parts have been so worn and scuffed. I still wear them out so often, regardless of the height, they are still so comfortable on. I just love the style so much and would pick them up in a heartbeat if I ever see them go back in stock.
  7. Everlane day boots: These are made from the softest leather and perfect for the daily work commute. Perfect height and so comfortable on! However, some things I’d watch out for is the light color which is easily stained and the fact that the soft leather is not as durable compared to those that are made from grained ones. I’ve kicked and made a hole in the leather after the second wear already.
  8. Anthropologie bias-cut skirt: I literally got in on sale for less than $20 and have styled it in many different ways. Midi satin skirts are huge this year, and I’m glad I don’t have to settle for crookedly sewn one!
  9. Muji canvas sneakers and socks: I picked these Muji sneakers and the matching high-ankled socks at a Muji store in California. The sneakers were on sale for less than $25, and I have been wearing them so much, especially with the socks! They have some arch support and have a low profile which makes them so easy to pair with jeans or dresses, dressing up or down. I’m a 7.5 in the US and have gone for size 23 cm, FYI. The socks are also super soft and comfortable, and I have 4 pairs now!
  10. Outdoor Voices MegaFlece Half-Zip Hoodie: I cannot even tell you how often I’ve worn this fleece hoodie. Mine is an older version that I got last year, and it was out of stock for a long time. Luckily, OV has brought it back, and the new version is pretty similar except it has the shoulder pocket on one of the sleeves. It’s so cute and cozy on, but make sure to layer a long sleeve on colder days! It’s perfect to wear on hikes or casual workdays! I love it!
Massimo Dutti pants and Zara heels
Zara heels
Uniqlo U shirt and Agolde jeans
Everlane cheeky straight jeans and day boots
Everlane Day boots
COS sculptural leather boots
Outdoor Voices MegaFleece Hoodie
Muji sneakers and socks
Anthropologie bias-cut skirt

5 MOST-WORN EVERYDAY JEWELRY

It is very difficult for me to narrow this category in 5, but all thanks to Mejuri and my partnership with them (it’s been 2 years now! woo!) I do have access to some of the newest pieces that they release. So that explains why I am on heavy rotation with Mejuri pieces.

  1. Mejuri Mini Square signet ring: Ok, this pinky ring has been my signature everyday ring that I only take it off at night. It’s made from 14k solid gold. I’ve definitely made scratches on it, but I do not really mind that as much! I know that my pinky finger is in between size 3 and 4, so size up if you’re like me! I’m wearing size 4, in case you’re wondering. *GET 10% OFF YOUR FIRST PURCHASE AT MEJURI: http://edit.mejuri.com/antrieu
  2. Rosefield the Boxy watch: It’s gold and has a small unique square face, something different, and I have it on every day for work. I love that the strap is adjustable, so I can have it fit my tiny wrist! Perfect to check for lunch and break time during work for me! I love it!
  3. AuRATE Infinity ring: I love a simple ‘wedding band’ ring like this, and I feel like the ‘stripes’ complement my Mejuri mini square signet ring design perfectly.
  4. Mejuri Dome hoops and ring: The Dome collection is my most favorite collection Mejuri has released. Well, besides the peal and the croissant collection as well. It’s very hard to pick because Mejuri always gets it right, you know!
  5. Mejuri Mini hoops: For cartilage and any other piercings your heart desires. Watch my Mejuri collection to see them up-close, HERE.
Mejuri mini cartilage hoops
Mejuri mini square signet ring
Mejuri Dome earrings
Rosefield watch
AuRATE Infinity ring and Mejuri Dome ring

BEST BEAUTY PRODUCTS THAT ARE LIFE-CHANGING

I will leave this category out of this blog post because I am actually working on a few Best In Beauty and New & Review beauty blog posts. Those will come early January, so stay tuned!
Some of my favorite beauty products in 2019!

5 TOP HIKES I’VE DONE IN 2019

Please feel free to click through each link and take your time to enjoy the photos. Spend at least a day in nature hiking one of the trails in Washington or Oregon. You won’t regret it!

  1. Mt. Fremont Fire Lookout, WA
  2. Rachel Lake, WA
  3. Heather-Maple Pass & Lake Ann, WA
  4. Delicate Arch, UT
  5. Mini hikes in Death Valley, CA
WATCH MY AUGUST ROAD TRIP HIGHLIGHT VIDEO, HERE.
Rachel Lake
Heather-Maple Pass – look at the larches!!!
Lake Ann
Delicate Arch
Salt Flat, Death Valley

5 MOMENTS IN 2019 WORTH REMEMBER!

  1. I worked with Lexus on their Drive On Demand by Lexus. It was pretty cool driving a $92k car around Seattle for a few hours. Thanks, Lexus!
  2. 10-Day Round-trip in California – July road trip with my 5 cousins in July
  3. 8 Days Midwest to West Coast – August Road Trip to help move a family of a relative from Kansas, MO to Seattle.
  4. I quit my lab job in January to start my creative career, and November 11 was when I started my full-time job at an e-commerce company based here in Seattle.
  5. I started my Youtube channel, and my first-ever official video was on March 20, 2019. SUBSCRIBE HERE!

5 LESSONS I’VE LEARNED IN 2019

I will be honest with you, there is at least a lesson learned every day! I journal, take notes, snap photos, and record myself this way or another and share them on the internet to hopefully inspire a soul or two out there. I still have lots of goals and dreams that I have yet to achieve. Those include lots of international travel that I hope to do soon in 2020. Habit change includes Marie-kondo my apartment, updating my wardrobe (this seems like an on-going topic that never seems to be resolved!), taking on yoga or trying out meditative classes, eating more plant-based meals and learning more about non-animal product alternatives (aka more plants!). So here are my top 5 lessons I’ve learned this year:

  1. Freelancing life can mean freedom, but having a consistent income will help you out a lot! As I shared many times on my Instagram stories, I quit my boring 9-to-5 stressful job and fully transitioned into the freelancing life before transitioning industry. I’m now full time at a studio where I style products for an e-commerce company based here in Seattle. Having been through a few months without any income (yes, that really happened, and it was even more stressful than anything I could even imagine!), I understand why people do not just quit their jobs without a back-up plan. I thought my blog was my back-up plan because 2018 was such a good year. Summer 2019 was the slowest in brand campaigns regardless of how much time I spent applying and searching for more work. So if you’re planning to quit your job to pursue your passion project, stick with it for another week for that paycheck will help you out a lot! Have savings!!!
  2. My relationship with money totally reflects my life. I used to beat myself up a lot with my spending habits. In 2018, I acquired new clothing items almost every other week if I could and use my blog as an excuse to shop, shop, and shop. This year, I tried Low-Shopping Month in June and went on for months without shopping for new things. I was able to finish a lot of the beauty products and #rewearrepeat a lot of my old clothes which was great. I thrifted and also picked up lots of new cool reusable alternatives and lifestyle hacks that definitely help cutting down plastic usage and waste I produce every day. Read more HERE. The main reason was that I had literally and consistently having to transfer my money from my savings to checking account to either get something I wanted or to feed my plant and coffee addiction. Those months I’ve mentioned above totally depleted my savings, and that was not a fun time. It’s not cheap living in Seattle, y’all! I still shop a lot compared to an average person, but I am a lot smarter and more considerate now. I say no to a lot and return a lot of the things I buy. After all, I know I will get into some financial planning in 2020 because I cannot live on a monthly paycheck and barely contribute to my savings like I was in my early 20s.
  3. It is ok to say no to things that don’t serve you. One example I can think of right now is when it comes to things I bring in my apartment, such as furniture and appliances. It’s been over two years since living in my apartment, and I have not acquired a sofa. Guess sofas that I like are either too expensive and never go on a decent sale, and it is ok. I will not buy something just because it is cheap anymore (that happens to me having way too much clothes!).
  4. It is okay if people don’t like or understand you. I do realize that I am not good at ways with words as I do sound mean or complaining sometimes. If you ever meet me in person, I promise I am more genuine than I do sound like on texts. But anyways, another lesson I’ve learned is to not take criticism personally. People come from different backgrounds and view life through their own unique personal lens. So respect that in hope that they will respect yours as well. I definitely need to remind myself every day to be a better listener and more considerate when speaking out. Always remember to be kinder than you think you are!
  5. Dream bigger. The benefit of having a bucket list in my journal is that it motivates and helps me check off what I want to do. I would usually take inspiration and advice, write it down as it’s my way to turn others’ wise words into mine. And having a list helps me break bigger things down into smaller things, and you get the point. Smaller goals are easier to achieve, and over time, smaller goals will turn into big ones. It’s the small steps that count, so DON’T BE AFRAID TO DREAM BIGGER.

50 Practical & Easy Ways to Live a Low Waste Lifestyle

My Ultimate Goodwill Outlet Thrift Guide

My 2019 Houseplant Collection

How to Make Money as a Blogger for Beginners

Thanks for 2019 and your constant support! I appreciate every one of you who come back here and read my blog. I hope you’re having a great Christmas time spent with family and loved ones. If you don’t celebrate it, have a happy holiday!

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An Trieu

Currently based in Seattle, Style & Senses is my digital life and style journal of all things that inspire my senses and beyond. Hope you stay inspired, as always! - An Trieu.

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