Rio De Janerio, Brazil

February 11, 2014

Rio De Janerio / blog.jchongstudio.com
Oh Rio, we didn't start off on a great foot but you are beautiful. In many ways it reminds me of Los Angeles – you have your beaches and your mountains all within close proximity. The sky glowed pink and purple our first night there – unfortunately the days after we caught the rain and clouds. We stayed in Cococabana but I'd recommend staying in Ipanema Beach – we often found ourselves wandering Ipanema more than anywhere else.

Rio De Janerio / blog.jchongstudio.com
Rio De Janerio / blog.jchongstudio.com

Rio De Janerio / blog.jchongstudio.com
Rio De Janerio / blog.jchongstudio.com
Rio De Janerio / blog.jchongstudio.com
Rio De Janerio / blog.jchongstudio.com
Rio De Janerio / blog.jchongstudio.com
Rio De Janerio / blog.jchongstudio.com

PHOTOS BY JENNIFER CHONG

Brocamuebles | Buenos Aires, Argentina

January 28, 2014


One of our favorite shops in Buenos Aires was Brocamuebles it mainly runs as a textile and furniture store but they had a pop up shop with a special display of ceramics by Semana Ceramics Gres. It was beautiful work. We spent a few hours in the store trying to decide what was going home with us. The owner makes the furniture and her mother made the rugs. Here's a few snapshots from the store and a list of others Palermo favorites below!

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Sabated Hnos – Awesome soap store, a little reminiscent of LUSH in the states.
La Joyeria – Jewelry store.
Kabinett – Small Design Boutique - fun polka dot walls outside
Calma Chica – Home and Textile store - carried small tote bags with fun patterns.
Gorrion – Cute backpacks and totes from Argentina. Loved the patterns and designs.

PHOTOS BY JENNIFER CHONG

Buenos Aires, Argentina [Part Two]

January 23, 2014


Another neighborhood we wandered off to was La Boca. The neighborhood seemed to be built for tourist – but we loved the colorful walls on all the buildings. We enjoyed our very first Choripan in La Boca as well, it's a grilled chorizo (sausage) on pan (bread) it was simple but very tasty.

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It was really hot while we were there so in an effort to escape the heat we decided to check out the modern art museum, The Proa. We didn't know what to expect but we fell in love with the work of Ron Mueck. Mueck creates these hyperrealistic sculptures watching the making of and then seeing the art in person was pretty spectacular.

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We also made a quick hop day trip over to El Tigre – we took a boat ride around the river and explored some of the neighborhoods there. It was quite warm and humid while we were there so we didn't spend too much time there. There is a weekend market in La Tigre that is very popular but sadly we missed it. I'd recommend going back on the weekends.

PHOTOS BY JENNIFER CHONG

Buenos Aires, Argentina [Part One]

January 21, 2014


My sister and I loved Argentina. It was the Europe of South America, our favorite neighborhood to wander in was Palermo. I've got more one of our favorite shops and list of tops coming to you later. In Buenos Aires, we spent a lot of time walking through all the neighborhoods. We stayed in a great airbnb that I'd highly recommend if you are planning a trip to BA. Our host, Veronica was fantastic.

Of course we had a lot of food. My favorite was a meal from Minga it was by far one of the best steaks I had ever had. I can't really describe it in words but the meat was so flavorful, tender and juicy. Tegui was highly recommended by many friends but unfortunately we didn't get to try it, but hope to someday return.

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Malba - Buenos Aires, modern art museum was beautifully designed and a great way to beat the heat. The temperatures were in the 90's and humid while we were there. We sought relief in many museums.


We explored lots of markets, the most popular one was the San Thelmo Flea Market Sunday market. It was massive lots of crafts and textiles. We loved all the pottery there, it was too bad pottery isn't easy to transport or we would have bought ourselves a ton!

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Every restaurant we ate no matter what type of cuisine seemed to always serve a bread basket. The bread was rarely warm and there was always a mixture of breads – talk about carb load. And one of the best things was every restaurant had little purse hangers! So handy.


Of course, lots and lots of empanadas. I won't lie - we were pretty tired of them by the end of our trip.

PHOTOS BY JENNIFER CHONG

See and Savor with Marlene Franco

December 30, 2013

See and Savor w/Marlene Franco
Mumbaii / See and Savor w/Marlene Franco
Dahi Vadas / See and Savor w/Marlene Franco
marlene is my long time college friend from savannah! though it's been a while since then, marlene and i reconnected since we were both out in los angeles. so happy that we did as she is my new freelance buddy – be sure to check out her shiny new blog when you get a chance.

where do you want to go?
There are so many places in my wish list that I would love to visit. One that has been on my mind for a while now is, India! There are so many things about it that fascinate me. Its culture, folklore, major colorfulness, cuisine, street markets and the list goes on.

what do you want to eat/drink while you are there?
I would love to taste dahi vadas—deep fried balls made of ground lentils and served with yogurt and sprinkled with spices. A savory snack...Yum!

your favorite place to see and savor?
Peru is definitely one of my favorites! I visited Lima and Cusco several years ago, and it was such a wonderful experience. Seeing Machu Picchu and other inca ruins was mind blowing, but there is also so much more to explore while in Peru! Their cuisine is so tasty! Some of my favorite dishes are ceviche, lomo saltado (strips of sirloin steak stir-fried with tomatoes, onions, peppers with steak fries and served over rice) and papas a la huancaína (boiled potato with a creamy yellow aji chili sauce). Oh! And for dessert, suspiro limeño, a silky caramel-like base topped with a light and creamy liqueur meringue. Delightful!

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PHOTOS VIA CHERRY BLOSSOM GIRL AND INDIAN SIMMER | LAYOUT BY JCHONG STUDIO

Argentina or Brazil?

October 10, 2013


i've got travel at the top of my mind right now, planning a trip for my 30 this year. trying to decide if my sister and i can tackle both argentina and brazil or if we should stick to one. right now we are leaning towards argentina - starting in buenos aires and making our way to visit this beauty the iguazu falls that lies on the border. have you been to either place? any recommendations? if you only had time for one country where would you go?

PHOTOS BY SF BRIT

Nate Berkus for Target + $100 giveaway to Target!

September 12, 2013

Nate Berkus for Target / $100 giveaway to target - click photo for details
earlier this year i had the privilege of getting a sneak peak at nate berkus's fall collection at target which arrives in stores next week! so many beautiful additions that i can't wait to add to my home. i'm excited to share a few of my favorite pieces with you all today and a special part of my phone interview i had with nate berkus himself! i know this is probably one of the longest post i've done but it's worth the read and you'll get a chance at $100 target gift card giveaway at the end!

most of you probably know nate from his time on the oprah show where he was a regular guest design expert, but did you know he actually has a degree in french and sociology and not design? having a mom as a designer, he would often come home to a house where the rooms were completely redesign. he also spent a lot of his childhood visiting flea markets and antique shops but it wasn't until he studied in paris that he realized that designing was sort of the most natural for him and he wanted to return and create a company designing great spaces for other people. he is still really interested in sociology and french and believes it's applicable to his current work. everyday he has to make design decisions on clients that are essentially strangers before he has their first meeting.

i always love to hear how people make transitions from one career to another. nate credits his job at an auction house as being very valuable although it wasn't a design job per say he learned about the history of things, what period furniture came from and got the chance to assemble rooms in preparation for monthly auctions. at the auction house people would often ask if he designed the room and asked him to help arrange their space. his first big residential client was a lady in chiago who was also looking at three other agencies with years of experience. nate didn't have a portfolio or a staff but he made a great connection with her and suggested that they design one room and if she liked it he would complete the house. she liked what he did and from that job he continued to receive more opportunities. now nate has a staff of over 50 people. anytime they have open design positions nate says he typically never sees anyone who doesn't have a design degree unless they were recommended from someone he knows!

Nate Berkus for Target / $100 giveaway to target - click photo for details
Nate Berkus for Target / $100 giveaway to target - click photo for details
JC: you’ve accomplished so many great achievements in your career such as being apart of the oprah show, having your own syndicated show, author, executive producer and designer of your own product line. what would you say has been one of the highlights/pivotal moments of your career?

NB: one of most pivotal moment for me was probably the day i decided to start my business and had business cards printed. i really focused on the fact that this was what i really wanted to do and i was going to do anything i could do to be successful at it. work as and hard as i needed to work. i gave myself six months to get clients and make it a real company or i was going to back to working at the auction house. i didn't know but i was gave myself six months to see if i can turn my company into something. the second most pivotal moment was probably that moment years later where i got to stand at the doorway with people and tell them it was time to open their eyes and they saw their homes redone for the first time on the oprah show and then my later my own show. that never got tiring for me.

Nate Berkus for Target / $100 giveaway to target - click photo for details
Nate Berkus for Target / $100 giveaway to target - click photo for details


JC: i love your target collection its modern, elegant and unique – perfect for those who appreciate design at an affordable price – with your latest collection releasing soon at target, what were some of the biggest challenges and rewards designing for target?

NB: i think the biggest challenge was that my old brand has always been about a home or interior that has been assembled over time and when your working with a huge retailer like target, i didn't want to sacrifice having the pieces feel like you could have found them anywhere in the world. there wasn't any limitations as far as manufacturing were concern i worked with the teams at target and my team and we sourced things from literally 70 different countries. if we couldn't find something that i really loved or a material i thought was being crafted correctly we would just switch vendors and keep trying before it made it into the collection. the challenge was that when you are making 3,000 objects from a prototype it's hard to make it feel special. i learned early on with designing for the mass market that there were certain things that would always make it feel special, using natural materials, hand done techniques, carvings, baskets, textiles, combinations of things people haven't seen before. i am a huge fan of mass design and affordable design, i think its really important and to not to be a snob about where you find something. i wanted to make sure the heart of the line and the essence of the line stayed true and i think it has.

Nate Berkus for Target / $100 giveaway to target - click photo for details
Nate Berkus for Target / $100 giveaway to target - click photo for details
JC: i’ve read many of your pieces are inspired from your travels, as traveler lover myself, i have to ask what are some of your favorite travel destinations?
NB: i love all areas of mexico, i tend to go to the places where not a lot of tourist go. i love wahaca, tulum, and a city called merida that is fascinating and has beautiful crafts. i love south america in particular peru they have incredible crafts, the crafts change every 15-20 miles you drive. i also really love europe, i just got back from madrid and from a three day trip i literally spent a day and half in a little antiques and vintage areas where they have tons of areas of tiny shops everything from true junk to incredible italian lighting from the 1950's, 18th century ceramic tiles. no matter where i go i always look for where the locals shop, i am much more interested in what the people who live in that country buy and how they decorate their home. i am able to bring back better ideas that way.

thank you to the team at target for setting up the call and nate for taking time out to chat! it was such an honor speaking with nate, you can check out all of the new products for fall on target.com. target has offered one of you the chance to win a $100 gift card to target! once you log in with your facebook or email below, you will be prompted with a few different ways to enter! to gain additional entries and increase your chances of winning the prize, you can do one or all of them – and if you already follow just enter your info and you'll get automatic entries!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


+ I AM A MEMBER OF TARGET INNER CIRCLE MEMBER, ALL OPINIONS SHARED HERE ARE MY OWN +
PHOTOS VIA TARGET – ACCENT TABLE / DECORATIVE TRAYS

Dreaming Of...

September 28, 2011

i know i was just in peru not too long ago but if i could find some way to spend all my days traveling id be golden. here are a few places on my list to visit next.

LEFT TO RIGHT// TAIWAN . JAPAN . REDWOOD NATIONAL PARK . GREECE . PORTLAND . BIG SUR

22,144

August 10, 2011

22144last year i took an amazing journey to southeast asia to teach and travel. i came back with lots of great memories and gigs of photos. i finally got a chance to compile it into a photo book and to my surprise it is actually listed as a staff pick on blurb.com. check it out!

PHOTOS AND DESIGN BY JCHONG

Peru [Part Four]

July 26, 2011

day four - a 3:45am wake up call to hike to intipunku, or the sun gate to finally reach machu picchu. oh what a site, you can definitely take the train as an alternative instead of hike your way to machu – but the scenery you see along the way is breath taking, no photo will ever do it justice.

PHOTOS BY JCHONG

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