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My Packing Tips!

tumblr_n7fg0vwDIf1st5lhmo1_1280As a frequent traveler, packing is something that I have to deal with quite often. There are tons of videos out there detailing awesome packing tips, but packing has never been one of my strongest traveling skills. I prefer to say I’m great at navigating, shopping, and avoiding street hawkers. I usually wait until the last minute, then have a royal freak out 5 hours before the plane takes off. I always make it to the airport though!

But sometimes, while packing, I realize I do have a method to my madness. One of my favorite packing items are packing cubes. I bought them when I went backpacking through Europe and I have been obsessed with them ever since. I have 4 – I put shirts in one, pants/dresses in another, underwear in another, and beauty items in the last one. It keeps everything super organized and you don’t have to worry about making a huge mess digging through your suitcase every day.

Even though I’m somewhat of an organized packer, I am 100% definitely an over packer. I like to be prepared. You never know if it’ll rain or if you’ll be stranded at the airport or if there’s a typhoon…(yes, I may also be a bit of a worrier). I gotta have options! If I’m going away for a weekend, I’ll bring 2 pairs of shoes (one dressy, one casual), and possibly a third for the gym. Always research where you’re going and what kinds of activities you’re going to do. For example, when I went to Bangkok, I knew that I wanted to go to the Grand Palace and some temples, so I had to make sure I brought clothes that were appropriate. For a typical weekend trip, I’ll pack anywhere between 4 to 5 outfits. Thankfully, my wardrobe is pretty neutral, so most of my pieces can easily be mixed and matched. I’m a big fan of maxi dresses, as you can style them with jean jackets for cooler weather, you can throw a scarf over them if you’re going to a religious site, and they can easily be dressed up for nights with some jewelry and fierce makeup.

Now beauty packing for me is a whole different story. As you all know, I am very serious about my skincare. I have different products I use for my AM and PM routine, and that can get a bit crazy when trying to pack for a short trip. I always try to save my samples for this very reason. Again, I research what the weather for what country I’m traveling to and tailor my skincare around that. When I went to Mui Ne, I  knew I’d be at the beach 95% of the time so I didn’t bring much makeup and focused on suncare and overnight masks at night to soothe my skin from being in the sun all day. When I went to Bangkok, I knew it would be a million degrees so I definitely had to pack a face mist, my Clarisonic, and a lightweight daytime moisturizer. If I don’t have a sample size of a product, I’ll decant it into a mini plastic bottle.

And now for a topic that no one wants to talk about but inevitably happens – your period. During my last two trips, my period decided to unexpectedly grace me with its presence. I’m quite sure the worst possible thing to happen during a 7 hour bus ride in the middle of Vietnam is for your period to start. Now, I always make sure to pack Carefree panty liners, since you just never know how long you’ll be without a bathroom … and no one wants any accidents! Trust me, I’ve learned from experience.

What are your packing tips? Let me know in the comments! Carefree Author Logo So soft, so thin, so absorbent. Carefree® Acti-Fresh® daily liners leave you feeling nothing but fresh. Get $0.50 off any Carefree product at http://www.carefreeliners.com/carefree-coupons-offers.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Energizer Personal Care via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Energizer Personal Care.

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Saigon Flea Market

fleamarket6 Hey everyone!

Yes, I know it’s been like a century since I’ve last posted. Truth is, I’m burnt out. I went through a phase a few weeks ago where I was getting my life together (sort of), and now. Blah. I only have 2 more weeks of summer school left though, then it’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Last weekend, I was at work when I received a notification from one of my Instagram followers that the Saigon Flea Market was happening right around the corner. I ran over to the Crescent Mall in Phu Mu Hung in between classes, and sure enough, right outside of Boomerang Bistro, was a super cool flea market.

It was full of vendors selling all sorts of wares, from vintage clothing, original designs by local designers, sunglasses, jewelry, homeware, the works. There was even a woman there selling a ton of imported cosmetics from the US, but she was charging like $10 for a stick of Dove Deodorant. Girl. The sad part is, I almost bought it. The buying deodorant in Asia struggle is real!

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I ended up buying a pair of new sunglasses (because one can never have enough sunglasses), some gorgeous handmade rings that you can see on my Instagram page, a clutch from local designer Ric’s Culture Handmade, and a gorgeous dress from local designer Bii Youngi.

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If you’re living in Saigon, make sure to add the Saigon Flea Market to your Facebook groups so you can see when the next one is. There’s actually one this Sunday, and I totally think I’m going to go! I was in a rush last time and didn’t get a chance to really, REALLY see everything. If anyone is interested, maybe we can meet up! Let me know in the comments if you’re interested. I’d love to meet some new friends! 🙂

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The Coffee Lady

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I shared this story on my tumblr page, but it’s so awesome that I wanted to share it with all of you.

I love my apartment building. It’s conveniently located,  it’s safe, there’s a taxi stand for easy access around the city, and there’s always a multitude of street vendors selling everything from snacks to coffees right outside.

For the past three weeks, I’ve had the same routine every morning. I wake up at 7, shower, makeup, eat breakfast, check e-mails, yadda yadda. Everyday around 8:15 I head out for work. And every morning, without fail, for the past 3 weeks, there’s been a woman outside with her drink cart on her bicycle, selling drinks to all of the commuters. She always wears leopard print, and a huge floppy hat. Every morning, I order a ca phe sua da from her (a traditional Vietnamese iced coffee). She’s always smiling, and always super friendly. After I grab my coffee, the taxi lady calls me a cab, and bam. I’m off to work.

A few mornings ago, I strolled out of my apartment, eagerly anticipating my morning coffee (totally addicted to Vietnamese coffees, and I’m not ashamed). But much to my surprise, the coffee lady wasn’t there! The taxi lady saw the panic come over my face and rushed over to me.

“Ca phe?! Ca phe?!” She asked, while making the phone call gesture.

Before I could even answer, she was on her phone. And in less than a minute, the coffee lady sped up to my apartment, hopped off her bike, made me a coffee, and pushed me in the cab. As I tried to pay her, she shooed me away, laughing and smiling, and saying something in Vietnamese.

It was just the kindest gesture! From the taxi lady actually calling the coffee lady, to the coffee lady giving me the coffee for free….I’ve just been smiling about the situation all week. The people in Vietnam are so genuinely kind. It makes me happy to live here.

 

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Sanrio World Ginza

Hey everyone!

I know posting was slow this week, as I was hit with a really, really bad cold. I actually spent Wednesday home from work, catching up on season 5 of Real Housewives of Atlanta, skyping with my family, and sleeping in a NyQuil induced coma. I’m about 75% better now, and hopefully staying in this weekend will speed up the process.

As you may remember, I went to Tokyo in September. It’s the best city ever. I fell in love. Singapore, Paris, and Tokyo are all neck and neck for my #1 favorite city. Besides all of the amazing food, drinks, and shopping, Tokyo (or Japan rather) is home to my first true love.

Hello Kitty.

I’ve loved Hello Kitty since I can remember. One of favorite things to do when I was a child was to go to the Sanrio store in my local mall after school and buy stationary and cute wallets. Those plastic Sanrio wallets were my LIFE. Anyway, I thought that when I went to Tokyo, I would go to Puroland, one of the Sanrio themed amusement parks there. In the end, it just ended up being out of the budget (coughIwantedtoshopmorecough), and I ended up going to two huge Sanrio themed stores instead. The first one I visited was Sanrio World in Ginza.

Sanrio World in Ginza is the Sanrio flagship store, and apparently has the largest collection of products in the world. Swoon. It’s located in the Nishi Department Store in Ginza, on the 2nd floor. You can find an address and map here. As soon as I got to the 2nd floor, I sort of lost my mind. HELLO KITTY MADNESSSSSS!

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cinnamoroll hellokittybottledwater hellokittydishes hellokittykeychain hellokittykeychainplush hellokittyplush hellokittysocks hellokittysoftserve hellokittystationary hellokittystore keroppi littletwinstars littletwinstarspopupcards mymelodysoapdispenser

It was amazing. They had all of my favorite Sanrio characters! My Melody! Little Twin Stars! Batz Maru! Keroppi! If they had any leftover Pochacco stuff (I’m still devastated Pochacco was discontinued), I think I would’ve just fallen out. I just couldn’t deal with all the cuteness. I ended up being reserved and bought some stationary and a really cute pair of boy shorts, although I wanted everything.

Everything in Tokyo was awesome, and going to Sanrio World was definitely a highlight. Looking at all these pictures is making me wonder just why in the world I didn’t get the Hello Kitty teapot. HELLO!!!!! As soon as I typed that sentence, I went to the Sanrio online store and lost my mind all over again. AHHHHH!!!

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Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

Hey everyone!

I’m back from Tokyo and I had an amazing time. I can’t wait to share everything with you. I spent way too much money, but let me tell you, Hello Kitty and cute socks are totally worth it.

Sooo, I have a bunch of exciting news that I have to tell you. Good times ahead for the blog and for me!

sheryllhellokittyPreview of me trying not to lose my mind at Kiddyland in Tokyo

  • I’m currently featured in Flare Magazine’s October issue. If you’re in Canada, please pick up a copy! It’s the article about Korean skincare. I’m also in a feature for the K Herald, a Korean-American newspaper distributed in the Atlanta area. I’m so excited and so pumped to be featured in these two publications. Korean skincare is changing lives out here!
  • I’m working on a ton of new cosmetic reviews. Things have been really slow on that front because this summer completely and utterly wrecked havoc on my skin. It was a hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, mess. I had terrible acne, a random patch of clogged pores on my chin, heat bumps on my forehead. It was terrible. I bought a lot of new things to try but didn’t want to switch up my routine too much for fear of making my skin worse. Now that summer is basically over (and thanks to my best friend, the Clarisonic Mia 2), my skin is back to normal. I’ve finally started testing things out again, and I am working on a big review of the Clarisonic (preview: everyone NEEDS one).
  • I’ve had my blog for almost three years (eeeek!) and I’ve had the same blog design for the entire time. Redesigning my blog is something I’ve been wanting to do for ages. I feel like I’ve outgrown this design, and in some ways, it reminds me of the past (and not in a good way). I want something new, something that represents me and the growth that I have experienced in the past three years. I’ve been using Pinterest to create mood boards, and the recurring theme that seems to be coming up is lots of pink, white, black, and gold, minimal, clean lines, with a touch of glamour. I’m a bit obsessed with graphic design and typography, but I’ve never actually tried to do either of them myself. So, I’m teaching myself! I’m working on a blog re-design that will hopefully launch by the end of the year. I’m working from the ground up, and teaching myself in the process, so it may take longer than that, but I’d like to see it up by the 3rd year anniversary. It’s definitely been a challenge, and sometimes I want to throw my computer out of the window, but the satisfaction I’m getting from learning how to do something new is really rewarding. If anything, attempting to re-design my blog is making me much more productive and really excited to start posting regularly again.
  • I started a ketogenic diet (high fat, low carb), and I’ve lost about 6 pounds. I’ve been struggling with my weight for about 4 years now, and nothing has really worked, except the keto diet. I’m so excited to finally, once and for all, get the extra weight off. Shopping for clothes used to be an enjoyable experience, and I can’t wait for it to be that way again. For more info on the keto diet, check this out.
  • I’m setting up an editorial calendar that will have me posting 3 times a week. Right now I’m aiming for one cosmetics review/tutorial, one random (life, Korea, new cafes, etc) post, and a link love type thing on Friday. Hooray for a schedule!
  • And speaking of learning new things, I’m teaching myself how to use Photoshop. I usually edit my pictures with the Mac app CameraBag2, but I’m trying to challenge myself and learn how to use Photoshop. My post on Singapore was supposed to be up this week, but it’s taking me longer than normal to edit the photos. Here is an example of something I’m working on:

singapore collage 2

The weather is finally changing in Korea, and the leaves are just starting to turn colors. Fall is by far my favorite season in Korea. There are about 3 to *maybe* 4 more weeks of decent weather before winter starts. Sigh. I’m trying to take advantage of all the daylight and sunlight while I can. This weekend will be spent in a nice, outdoor cafe with iced coffees and Photoshop. I’m hoping to finally make it to see the Banpo bridge in Seoul at some point, and I definitely want to go shopping for some fall clothes.

Hope things are going well with all of you! Let me know if there is anything in particular you’d like to see coming up on the blog.

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