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What I’ve Been Up To Lately

One of my friends sent me a screen shot of the last time I posted a blog. The date was in January.

I feel absolutely awful. Life has just been life-ing away over here in Vietnam. The beginning of the year started with a huge bang, and hasn’t really let up since. Here’s a little run-down of what I’ve been up to:

  1. I’ve started writing about skincare over at xoNecole.com. You can find my posts over in the Skin and Nails section!
  2. One of my best friends from college came to visit me for a month and I had such a great time. It’s so nice seeing the city you live in through fresh eyes. We went to Phuket together, the Mekong Delta, a Saigon Heat game, and ate lots of amazing food.
  3. I’ve also done some traveling in the new year -to Phuket with my best friend and Johnny, (and where I also met my HS bestie), Hoi An, Vietnam for Johnny and I’s 10 year anniversary, and I’m going to Bangkok on Sunday.
  4. I’m also working like crazy. Workworkworkworkworkwork (Like Rihanna).

And for the big news. I’m sad to be saying this, but I’ll be leaving Ho Chi Minh City in May. As much as I wanted to start the IFA program in Paris, the dates just didn’t add up for me. So, instead, Johnny and I are moving to Phuket, Thailand for the next 3 to 6 months.

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Life in Vietnam 2

Life’s been going swell lately. I’m full force into my new job, and I’m really liking it a lot. I’m busy, but in a good way. I’ve finally established a routine and am managing my time better. I also just found out I’ll most likely be teaching summer school again and I’m going to start again at a gym next month…so YAY. That’s about as exciting as my life has been in the past few weeks, haha!

I also recently made another amazing order from w2beauty, so of course you’ll be the first to know when I get it. Also, a reader asked when I’ll be posting my nighttime routine, and I’m in the process of testing out a bunch of new stuff so I wanted to get some time in there first to see how it all works out before I post. Unless you just want to know what I’m currently testing, then let me know!

Without further ado, here are some photos I’ve snapped with my iPhone of my life here in Vietnam. Hope you enjoy!

wine koreanbbq fruitstand starbucks froyo palms chicken cutting ciaobella phumyhung2 apartment crossiantandcoffee phumyhung secretgarden flowerswomensday happyhour crescentmall

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Cakes and Ale Cafe – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

A few weeks ago, I wanted to step out of my comfort zone in Phu My Hung and try a new cafe to work out of. A quick Google search for ‘cool cafes in D1, Ho Chi Minh City’ yielded a bunch of results, but none of them intrigued me like Cakes and Ale did.

Cakes and Ale is located at Room 9, Level 1, 23 Ly Tu Trong, District 1. It’s quite hidden in the apartment building, and I actually had to stop into a super cute boutique (more on that soon) to ask where it was. Once inside, I was mesmerized at how the owners transformed a small apartment into such a cute space. I almost felt like a VIP because I was the only person in the cafe…for nearly 4 hours.

cakes2 cakes5cakes3The stars of the cafe are the cakes and fresh roasted coffee. The owner sat and talked with me for about 20 minutes about their cakes and how much work they put into making their cakes the best. I’d have to agree. I ordered the flan gateau cake and first, the slice was HUGE. Benefits of a small cafe = bigger portions for customers. WIN! Second, it was amazingly delicious. I didn’t think that flan and chocolate cake could work together, but they do.

cakes cakes4All cakes are baked fresh daily, and the menu changes each day as well. The owner told me if you get there very early in the morning, you can eat the cake right out of the oven. They actually make their cakes right in the middle of the cafe, so you can smell smell delicious baked goods while you work or chat with friends. I don’t know about you, but smelling cakes baking all day is the ultimate productivity booster.

And coffee lovers, never fear. The owner also told me his dad wakes up early each morning to roast fresh coffee beans. The coffee was delicious, with just enough condensed milk to make it sweet, and not overwhelm the coffee flavor.

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Is it a good cafe to work in? Well, I got lucky since I was the only person there, but there is only one table to sit at. The rest of the seating is couches and small tables, made more for conversations between friends and not bloggers. Either way, I’d go back because the atmosphere was so calming and inviting. It really felt like I was at a friend’s cozy apartment.

Part of my New Year’s Resolutions was to step out of my comfort zone and try new things, so I’m glad to say that my little experiment paid off! Sometimes, it is worth it to leave the house!

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Having It All – 2015 Goals

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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Nissan via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Nissan.

I know it’s so cliché, but seriously, this year has flown by. I can’t believe it’s almost 2015! Last year this time, I was freezing in S. Korea, and this time I’m taking advantage of my mom’s Keurig coffee maker, eating my dad’s homemade coconut cake for breakfast and playing with my nieces. Love!

Around this time of year, I always like to take a moment to reflect and set goals for the next year. I used to not be a big goal setter, as I would beat myself up if I didn’t accomplish my goals, but now I realize that goals are just markers, not necessarily the end product. It’s also around this time of year that I buy pretty new notebooks and planners, listen to developmental podcasts and get inspiration from awesome go-getting women like interior designer, Cathy Hobbs.

2014 was a big year for me. I moved to Vietnam, made some great connections with The Wanderlust Project, traveled to 3 new countries, made awesome new friends, and started my very own online magazine, Glamtrotting. Glamtrotting in particular was a huge step for me, as I’ve always envisioned myself as a super awesome magazine/media mogul. Laying down the foundation for the magazine was a major accomplishment for me, even though I’ve made a million mistakes along the way. But each day, I’m growing. I’m learning. I’m starting to redefine what it means to “have it all”, the phrase that was everywhere in 2014.

What does “having it all” mean to you? For some, it’s shoes, cars, houses, corner office. For others, it’s a beach view, bongos, and a mojito. For me, it’s simply about doing what I love and helping people along the way. All that’s necessary for me to have it all is to make money from doing what I am passionate about.  It’s the reason why I continue to blog here, and the reason I started Glamtrotting. Glamtrotting is the one thing that keeps me up late at night researching, planning, working. I’m so excited to see it and The Wanderlust Project grow in 2015.

With all of this said, I wanted to share some of my 2015 goals with you!

+ Redefine Glamtrotting and it’s purpose – further mold it into the magazine I’ve always pictured.
+ Call my parents more often.
+ Write at least 3 times a week on The Wanderlust Project.
+ Keep in touch with friends, whether via Facebook, e-mail, Skype, or phone calls.
+ Be more pro-active with networking and pitching.
+ Learn to stand in my power – what this means is to really OWN being a blogger and a magazine editor-in-chief. I tend to shy away from really telling people what I really do. It’s gonna stop in 2015!
+ Really embody the “Glamtrotter” spirit – major one for me. Since moving to Vietnam, I feel like I’ve let my glam factor go down to about a zero. I keep using the excuse that it’s just too hot to really care about appearances but I know that when I feel glam and gorgeous, it makes me more productive. Since being home, I’ve restocked all of my makeup and hair products so I can get my life together when I go back.

What are your goals for having it all in 2015? Let me know in the comments! Have a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year!!!

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Bangkok: Day One

Last week, Johnny and I went to Bangkok! It was a great time, and the city is definitely much more “metropolitan” than Ho Chi Minh City. To be honest, I actually prefer Ho Chi Minh City, and was actually really happy when we arrived back. Not to say that we didn’t have fun, but Bangkok is a very exhausting city. It’s huge and hot and …just a lot. Also, we dropped the ball a bit and didn’t plan as much as we normally do for trips, so we missed a lot of the things we really wanted to do (go see a Muay Thai fight, take a Muay Thai class, the floating markets, etc.). A lot of people told me Bangkok is a very polarizing city – lots of people love it, and lots of people aren’t that fond of it. I’m somewhere in the middle. I did LOVE the shopping though. Shopping in Bangkok is a million times better than here in Vietnam. Give me a city with tons of great shopping and I’m a happy girl.

The first afternoon we went to Siam Paragon for some shopping. I’m obsessed. Of course I hit up Sephora, Boots, and Watsons for all the beauty bits I’ve been missing here in Vietnam. The next day, we went down the river to Khao San Road, the backpacker street of all backpacker streets. We had some drinks, bought some novelty items, had drinks and people watched at some bars, and ate delicious roadside pad thai. It was pretty cool! I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many harem pants in all my life.

And as always, here are a few of my favorite snapshots from our first day. Our second day, we went to the Grand Palace and Wat Pho and that’s when I was completely blown away. The temples in Thailand are gorgeous! Stay tuned!

fart siammall shirts patpongnightbazaar trafficbangkok sheryllsubway flowersbangkok river1 watarun monk khaosanroad tuktuk anklets padthai khaosanroad1 fruits

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