Travel Diary – Croatia (Part I: Hvar)

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Summer has got me feeling the travel bugs.  One of the most memorable summer destinations I’ve been to is Croatia from two years ago.  My knowledge of Croatia was limited to 1) Game of Thrones since part of the show is filmed in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and 2) Yacht Week, where people sail, island hop and party for a week straight.  What I didn’t realize until I got there is the plethora of natural beauty this Adriatic country had to offer.

croatia map 2

I went for 6 days and 5 nights (3 days 3 nights in Hvar and 3 days 2 nights in Split).  My itinerary was as such: Hvar -> various islands -> Hvar -> Split -> Plitvice Lakes -> Split.

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Breathtaking view upon arriving Hvar

To get to Hvar, you fly into Split Airport, then take a bus from the airport to the pier, from there you’ll take a ferry for approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes to get to Hvar.  People at the airport and pier can speak English because they deal with tourists often, so it’s pretty manageable to find your way around.  Upon arriving Hvar, I was welcomed with clear sky, shimmering deep blue water, charming Croatian buildings, and a comforting sea breeze.

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Pastels and Stripes by the Bay

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Banana Republic Elbow-Sleeve Featherweight Merino Wool Crew (size XS), striped belted skirt (similar from Ann Taylor, size comparable to 00P), Tory Burch Wallet on Crossbody Strap in ‘Sweet Melon’, Nine West ‘Gramercy’ Patent Leather Pumps in taupe (size 5), similar sunnies here and here

Over Memorial Day weekend, I visited San Francisco, which was my old stomping ground before I moved out to the East Coast.  Unlike the constant overcast and wind chill that the city is known for, the weather over the weekend was surprisingly warm with clear blue sky.  I couldn’t help but stop by the water to admire this lovely city on such a gorgeous day!

The soft pastel shades of pink and blue are colors of the year (or referred to by their official names ‘Rose Quartz’ and ‘Serenity’, respectively).  I’ve always loved this soft and feminine combo and I also find these colors to be good foundation shades for any spring/summer wardrobe.

I’ve been looking for new work clothes for transitioning into warmer weather.  This Banana Republic elbow-sleeve light sweater is perfect for both work and casual wear. It’s a light knit with elbow-length sleeves which offer enough coverage to withstand AC blasting in the office, yet the breathable material still helps you cool off when going outside.  I also just found this rose quartz color irresistible 🙂

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How to Pack Skincare Products for Travel

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Memorial Day is coming up and it’s a popular time to travel since it’s a long weekend.  I will be traveling to Cali (SF and LA), and since I’m only going for a few days, I plan on packing light.  I’m not a fan of waiting in line to check-in and pick up my bag, so I try to pack everything into a carry-on whenever possible, which brings me to the topic of how to pack skincare items for travel, specifically for carry-ons.

I still make every effort to take care of my skin when I travel.  Packing skincare items can be tricky – if you pack too much, you end up having to check in your bag, but you also don’t want to skimp out on skincare while you’re traveling.   This post will provide the solution to adhere to your regular skincare regime and TSA carry-on rules at the same time.

The TSA rule for packing liquids/creams/gels is referred to as 3-1-1 Liquids Rule, which essentially means that you’re allowed to bring

  • Up to 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters of liquid/gel per container
  • 1 quart-size clear, zip top bag holding all the 3.4 ounce (100ml) containers
  • 1 bag allowed per traveler

The key to being TSA compliant is travel-sized products, which you can curate in these four ways:

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Travel Diary – Seoul (Part II)

Sorry for the delay!  As promised, here is Part II of my Seoul travel diary.  In this post, I’ll be highlighting another main activity during my trip which was food 🙂 Will also share accommodation and other helpful travel information.

Food

Before I went to Seoul, I’ve heard that restaurants in Korea tend to specialize in one dish.   For instance, one restaurant would solely focus on ginseng chicken soup (sam-gye-tang), whereas another sells a spectrum of different flavors of tofu stews (soon-du-bu).  I found this phenomenon to be quite common when I visited, but some restaurants in touristy areas offer multiple types of dishes as the Korean restaurants in the US do.

Check out my pictures for some of my favorite Korean food from the trip:

cold noodles

Cold buckwheat noodle (Naengmyeon).  A popular dish during hot weather.  These buckwheat noodles comes with a cold broth that’s light and refreshing for the palate.  It also comes with a hard-boiled egg, slices of meat, cucumber, and radish.  Spicy sauce optional.      

ginseng chicken

Ginseng chicken soup (Sam-gye-tang).  My favorite dish from this trip.  This chicken soup is rich in flavor and ginseng is known to have multiple health benefits.  The combination of chicken soup, ginseng, and other herbs in this soup such as ginger and dates help to keep one warm during cold weather.

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Travel Diary – Seoul (Part I)

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Shopping in Myeongdong

Realized I haven’t written a travel post in a while.  As mentioned in a previous post, I fell in love with traveling after catching the travel bugs during business school.  In this post, I’m writing about my trip to Seoul from less than a year ago.  As a makeup and skincare enthusiast, I’ve always wanted to visit Seoul because of its reputation as cosmetics mecca.

I went for 3 days and 3 nights and felt like I could’ve easily spent an extra day there.  There was no shortage of shopping, good food, and cute cafes in Seoul.  Since I took this trip and these pictures before I started my blog, the pictures focused more on activities and food rather than fashion 😛

Activities / Sightseeing

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Collection of various masks I purchased from my trip

Buy skincare products.  Hands down, South Korea is truly the leader of skincare innovation.  There is a plethora of products in S. Korea and they come in various ingredients, forms, and textures.

I’ve noticed that my skin conditions improved after using sheet masks twice a week, so I recommend stocking up on them when you visit Seoul.  You can usually get them in bulk and for a decent discount than if you got them in the US.

The Korean beauty industry is HUGE on sampling.  Whenever you buy a beauty product, they’ll give you samples of products they’re promoting.  Places often give out samples sheet masks so I got a good collection of them just from buying beauty products.

Some brands that are popular with millennials are Innisfree, Etude House, Tony Moly, Nature Republic, The Face Shop, Missha, Laneige, Banila, IOPE, Skinfood, Holika Holika, the list goes on.  What’s also interesting is that all of these brands have their own storefronts.

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Blue Eye Makeup Tutorial – Day & Night

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Sorry I’ve been MIA!  Been so busy with work that I’ve put my poor blog on back-burner…will try not to do that again!  Anyway, I’m back…

An eighties love child that’s blue eye makeup is making its comeback as a hot trend right now.  I personally wanted to try this but it’s really been a while since I’ve worn blue eye makeup.  The last time I wore blue eye shadow was for Halloween from many many year ago.

Left: Maybelline Palette, The Rock Nudes // Right:  Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Pencil in ‘Lustrous Sapphire’ 

Whenever I want to experiment with new makeup trends without hefty upfront investments, I turn to my trusted drugstore brand Maybelline.  Compared to its other drugstore competitors such as Cover Girl, Revlon, Rimmel, Avon, and L’Oreal Paris, I find Maybelline’s quality to be better than the rest.  I picked up two items for my blue eye makeup experiment: Maybelline Palette, The Rock Nudes and Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Pencil in ‘Lustrous Sapphire’.  In this post, I will show you how to create two simple looks with these two products.  Now, let’s get started!

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Ruffles All Around

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Banana Republic Floral Ruffle Dress (size 00P), Sole Society ‘Elise’ Gladiator Sandals in ‘Light Luggage’ (size 5)

Happy first day of Spring!  NYC weather has been unstable so I’m definitely looking forward to warmer days ahead.  Moreover, I can’t wait to switch from heavy-duty sweaters and coats to dresses and light jackets!

Among the petite-friendly brands that have great spring collections this season (Ann Taylor, LOFT, J. Crew, to name a few), I was particularly impressed by Banana Republic and got this lilac floral ruffle dress because I loved the details and saw the potential to wear it for various occasions.

I paired the dress with these Sole Society ‘Elise’ Gladiator Sandals in ‘Light Luggage’.  Gladiator sandals and block heels continue to be in style this season.  I find these Sole Society ones quite comfortable, affordable, and versatile.

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