01gaigehouse_ryokan_sonoma_travel

I miss Japan so much ever since traveling there back in November (those posts are coming up next) that I was so excited to find a piece of Japan in Sonoma over the holidays. Gaige House + Ryokan is the most perfect getaway hidden in Glen Ellen deep in the Sonoma Valley. Upon arriving, we walked pass a mini bamboo forest that reminded me of Arashiyama to our ryokan suite. Our suite was so incredible! I loved every corner of it, from the vaulted ceiling to the stone bathtub to the zen garden to the river being in our backyard... There were even sake (nigori is my favorite) and cookies waiting for us! We enjoyed wine tasting in the lobby during happy hour each evening as well as the endless amount of homemade cookies available (they were sooo delicious). If you love Japan or Japanese lifestyle, than you'd love Gaige House + Ryokan. This might be the closest thing to Japan you can find in California! Thank you Gaige House + Ryokan for hosting us!

Gaige House + Ryokan, Sonoma

January 17, 2020

01gaigehouse_ryokan_sonoma_travel

I miss Japan so much ever since traveling there back in November (those posts are coming up next) that I was so excited to find a piece of Japan in Sonoma over the holidays. Gaige House + Ryokan is the most perfect getaway hidden in Glen Ellen deep in the Sonoma Valley. Upon arriving, we walked pass a mini bamboo forest that reminded me of Arashiyama to our ryokan suite. Our suite was so incredible! I loved every corner of it, from the vaulted ceiling to the stone bathtub to the zen garden to the river being in our backyard... There were even sake (nigori is my favorite) and cookies waiting for us! We enjoyed wine tasting in the lobby during happy hour each evening as well as the endless amount of homemade cookies available (they were sooo delicious). If you love Japan or Japanese lifestyle, than you'd love Gaige House + Ryokan. This might be the closest thing to Japan you can find in California! Thank you Gaige House + Ryokan for hosting us!
01hongkong-victoriapeak-cityscape-travel

Visiting Hong Kong for the first time in nearly 11 years was emotional and I never imagined I would  return to a place I once called home in such a state (the aftermath of all the pro-democracy protests). I had booked this trip months ago but things got more heated as it got closer to my departure date, at one point it was so bad that I thought about cancelling the trip. In the end, I went over there as planned and I am so glad I did. I saw a different HK than the one I knew but I got to experience this piece of history first hand.

HK is unlike anywhere else and I highly recommend visiting. It's bilingual (English remains one of the primary languages even after Britain handed HK back to China in 1997) meaning getting around is a piece of cake, the public transportation system will get you anywhere, shopping is great (no sales tax) and the food is even better! I recommend doing HK in a week but 5 days could work too if you pack everything in. I've shared with you the most time-efficient itinerary below grouping by location...

09hongkong-central-cityscape-travel10hongkong-central-dingding-tram-travel

Day 1
Lantau Island
Causeway Bay
Wan Chai

If your flight arrives in HK earlier in the day, I suggest heading to the Tin Tan Buddha straight from the airport. The airport, Tin Tan Buddha, Po Lin Monastery and Tai O Fishing Village are all on Lantau Island and it is outside of the city so why not get those things out of the way! And don't you worry about your luggages, there will be lockers for you store them once you get to Ngong Ping. Ngong Ping is where the 360 cable cars are and going over the mountains to the Buddha is quite beautiful. Climb up to see the Buddha up close, enjoy a vegetarian meal at Po Lin Monastery and then catch a bus over to Tai O. Known as the Venice of Hong Kong, Tai O is a fishing village with the infamous stilt houses built on water. While you are there, make sure you try out all the yummy seafood snacks like curry fishballs, pet plenty of cats, and enjoy the nature before surrounding yourself with high rises in the city. Grab dinner and shop around Causeway Bay and then end the night with some drinks at Wooloomooloo Rooftop Lounge in Wan Chai. This secret gem is low key and has a beautiful view!

02hongkong-lantau-tintanbuddha-travel03hongkong-lantau-tintanbuddha-travel04hongkong-lantau-tintanbuddha-travel
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Travel Guide: 5 Days in Hong Kong

January 7, 2020

01hongkong-victoriapeak-cityscape-travel

Visiting Hong Kong for the first time in nearly 11 years was emotional and I never imagined I would  return to a place I once called home in such a state (the aftermath of all the pro-democracy protests). I had booked this trip months ago but things got more heated as it got closer to my departure date, at one point it was so bad that I thought about cancelling the trip. In the end, I went over there as planned and I am so glad I did. I saw a different HK than the one I knew but I got to experience this piece of history first hand.

HK is unlike anywhere else and I highly recommend visiting. It's bilingual (English remains one of the primary languages even after Britain handed HK back to China in 1997) meaning getting around is a piece of cake, the public transportation system will get you anywhere, shopping is great (no sales tax) and the food is even better! I recommend doing HK in a week but 5 days could work too if you pack everything in. I've shared with you the most time-efficient itinerary below grouping by location...

09hongkong-central-cityscape-travel10hongkong-central-dingding-tram-travel

Day 1
Lantau Island
Causeway Bay
Wan Chai

If your flight arrives in HK earlier in the day, I suggest heading to the Tin Tan Buddha straight from the airport. The airport, Tin Tan Buddha, Po Lin Monastery and Tai O Fishing Village are all on Lantau Island and it is outside of the city so why not get those things out of the way! And don't you worry about your luggages, there will be lockers for you store them once you get to Ngong Ping. Ngong Ping is where the 360 cable cars are and going over the mountains to the Buddha is quite beautiful. Climb up to see the Buddha up close, enjoy a vegetarian meal at Po Lin Monastery and then catch a bus over to Tai O. Known as the Venice of Hong Kong, Tai O is a fishing village with the infamous stilt houses built on water. While you are there, make sure you try out all the yummy seafood snacks like curry fishballs, pet plenty of cats, and enjoy the nature before surrounding yourself with high rises in the city. Grab dinner and shop around Causeway Bay and then end the night with some drinks at Wooloomooloo Rooftop Lounge in Wan Chai. This secret gem is low key and has a beautiful view!

02hongkong-lantau-tintanbuddha-travel03hongkong-lantau-tintanbuddha-travel04hongkong-lantau-tintanbuddha-travel
05hongkong-lantau-polinmonastery-travel
06hongkong-taio-fishingvillage-travel
07hongkong-taio-fishingvillage-travel08hongkong-taio-fishingvillage-travel
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00lemonbars-baking-recipe-food-dessert

December is in full force, have you done any holiday baking yet? If not, I've got a delicious recipe for you to try! Forget the typical holiday baked goods like gingerbread cookies and peppermint barks, make lemon bars instead! I cook quiet often but I'm not much of a baker, however I can't stop baking lately. Perhaps the cooler weather makes me want to use the oven more. I really love the lemon bars from Viktor Benes Bakery (buttery shortbread crust and lemon zests) and the lemon bites from Trader Joe's (chewy and tart) so I decided to make my own! I researched and read through several recipes, combined and tweaked them, to give you the best lemon bars ever!

01lemonbars-baking-recipe-food-dessert

Shortbread crust ingredients:
- 1 cup unsalted butter (melted)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour

Lemon filling ingredients:
- 5 lemons (juiced)
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 6 eggs
- 2 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tbsp all-purpose flour

Additional ingredient:
- Powder sugar

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
2. Line a 9"x13" baking dish/pan with parchment paper and set aside.
3. First, let's make the crust!
4. Mix the melted butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt in a bowl.
5. Add the flour and stir to completely combine.
6. Press firmly into the dish/pan with parchment paper, making sure the layer of crust is even.
7. Bake for 20 minutes.
8. While the crust is in the oven, prepare the filling!
9. Juice and zest the lemons and set aside.
10. Sift (sifting is important to avoid clumps) the sugar and flour in a bowl.
11. Add the eggs, lemon juice, and lemon zest, and whisk until combined.
12. Once the crust is done, pour the filling over the warm crust.
13. Bake for 25 minutes (until the center is set and not jiggly).
14. Cool at room temperature for 2 hours.
15. Once cool, lift the parchment paper out of the dish/pan.
16. Sift and dust powder sugar on top.
17. Cut into squares and serve!

02lemonbars-baking-recipe-food-dessert
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Holiday Recipe: Shortbread Crusted Lemon Bars

December 24, 2019

00lemonbars-baking-recipe-food-dessert

December is in full force, have you done any holiday baking yet? If not, I've got a delicious recipe for you to try! Forget the typical holiday baked goods like gingerbread cookies and peppermint barks, make lemon bars instead! I cook quiet often but I'm not much of a baker, however I can't stop baking lately. Perhaps the cooler weather makes me want to use the oven more. I really love the lemon bars from Viktor Benes Bakery (buttery shortbread crust and lemon zests) and the lemon bites from Trader Joe's (chewy and tart) so I decided to make my own! I researched and read through several recipes, combined and tweaked them, to give you the best lemon bars ever!

01lemonbars-baking-recipe-food-dessert

Shortbread crust ingredients:
- 1 cup unsalted butter (melted)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour

Lemon filling ingredients:
- 5 lemons (juiced)
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 6 eggs
- 2 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tbsp all-purpose flour

Additional ingredient:
- Powder sugar

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
2. Line a 9"x13" baking dish/pan with parchment paper and set aside.
3. First, let's make the crust!
4. Mix the melted butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt in a bowl.
5. Add the flour and stir to completely combine.
6. Press firmly into the dish/pan with parchment paper, making sure the layer of crust is even.
7. Bake for 20 minutes.
8. While the crust is in the oven, prepare the filling!
9. Juice and zest the lemons and set aside.
10. Sift (sifting is important to avoid clumps) the sugar and flour in a bowl.
11. Add the eggs, lemon juice, and lemon zest, and whisk until combined.
12. Once the crust is done, pour the filling over the warm crust.
13. Bake for 25 minutes (until the center is set and not jiggly).
14. Cool at room temperature for 2 hours.
15. Once cool, lift the parchment paper out of the dish/pan.
16. Sift and dust powder sugar on top.
17. Cut into squares and serve!

02lemonbars-baking-recipe-food-dessert
03lemonbars-baking-recipe-food-dessert
04lemonbars-baking-recipe-food-dessert05lemonbars-baking-recipe-food-dessert
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01philips-satinshaveadvanced-beauty-tool

Back in August, I started using a new shaving tool by Philips called SatinShave Advanced. It is a few months later now and I am still loving it! Not only do I use it regularly, I have also taken it on several trips and would love to share with you how incredible and convenient the SatinShave Advanced is.

When I first tested out this product, the one thing that stood out to me was its rechargeable battery. As someone who travels often and takes a lot of outfits, I am limited to what I can pack. It's so nice that I don't have to pack the charger with me because once charged, the SatinShave Advanced can last up to an hour! On top of that, the tool itself is light and compact and doesn't take up any room. How convenient!

As for its functionality, I've definitely noticed the difference between shaving with the Philips SatinShave Advanced vs typical razor blades. When shaving my legs, bikini area and underarms, I've experienced less cuts and irritations and overall my skin is a lot smoother! The SatinShave Advanced has a round pearl-tip trimmer in front of as well as behind the shaving foil which helps to prevent irritation while the floating foil glides seamlessly close to the skin for an even shave. Oh, did I also mention this shaver can be used wet or dry?

Did I convince you yet? You can get a SatinShave Advanced right here!

02philips-satinshaveadvanced-beauty-tool
03philips-satinshaveadvanced-beauty-tool
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05philips-satinshaveadvanced-beauty-tool06philips-satinshaveadvanced-beauty-tool

Stay Smooth with Philips SatinShave Advanced

December 23, 2019

01philips-satinshaveadvanced-beauty-tool

Back in August, I started using a new shaving tool by Philips called SatinShave Advanced. It is a few months later now and I am still loving it! Not only do I use it regularly, I have also taken it on several trips and would love to share with you how incredible and convenient the SatinShave Advanced is.

When I first tested out this product, the one thing that stood out to me was its rechargeable battery. As someone who travels often and takes a lot of outfits, I am limited to what I can pack. It's so nice that I don't have to pack the charger with me because once charged, the SatinShave Advanced can last up to an hour! On top of that, the tool itself is light and compact and doesn't take up any room. How convenient!

As for its functionality, I've definitely noticed the difference between shaving with the Philips SatinShave Advanced vs typical razor blades. When shaving my legs, bikini area and underarms, I've experienced less cuts and irritations and overall my skin is a lot smoother! The SatinShave Advanced has a round pearl-tip trimmer in front of as well as behind the shaving foil which helps to prevent irritation while the floating foil glides seamlessly close to the skin for an even shave. Oh, did I also mention this shaver can be used wet or dry?

Did I convince you yet? You can get a SatinShave Advanced right here!

02philips-satinshaveadvanced-beauty-tool
03philips-satinshaveadvanced-beauty-tool
04philips-satinshaveadvanced-beauty-tool
05philips-satinshaveadvanced-beauty-tool06philips-satinshaveadvanced-beauty-tool
01copenhagen-denmark-nyhavn-architecture-travel

Not sure when or how it became this way but whenever I travel now, I plan with great details, perhaps even a bit excessive. Think itinerary on an excel sheet including (but not limited to) things to see in specific order and places to eat. Personally, I enjoy it and doing so allows me to make the most out of my time during my travels. This comes especially handy when I am on a quick trip like my recent visit to Copenhagen where I only stayed for 3 days. It's short but definitely doable! Below is everything you need including what I did each day in the exact order (to save time and travel more efficiently) and what I ate. I am also linking to each day's individual posts so that you can get more details if you want! Hope this will be helpful to anyone planning a trip to Copenhagen (which I think everyone should)!

Day 1

09copenhagen-denmark-rundetarn-roundtower-travel12copenhagen-denmark-rundetarn-roundtower-travel14copenhagen-denmark-grabrodretorv-travel17copenhagen-denmark-stroget-square-travel
Rundetårn (Round Tower)
Gråbrødretorv
Strøget

Coffee at The Coffee Collective at Torvehallerne
Dinner at Krogs Fiskerestaurant (oldest restaurant in Copenhagen)

Read the complete "Copenhagen Day 1" blog post HERE.

Day 2

18copenhagen-denmark-danish-pastries-meyers-travel12copenhagen-denmark-christiansborgpalace-library-books-travel20copenhagen-denmark-nyhavn-architecture-travelnoma-copenhagen-denmark-michelin-restaurant-food
GoBoat (self guided boat tour)
Marble Bridge
Christiansborg Palace
Breakfast at Mad & Kaffe
Pastries at Meyers Bageri
Dinner at Noma

Read the complete "Noma" blog post HERE.

Read the complete "Copenhagen Day 2" blog post HERE.

Day 3

05copenhagen-denmark-rosenborgcastle-architecture-travel15copenhagen-denmark-botanicalgarden-palmhouse-travel21copenhagen-denmark-smkmuseum-nationalgallery-art-travel27copenhagen-denmark-sunset-wesanderson-architecture-travel

Breakfast at Atelier September
Lunch at Sticks'n'Sushi
Dinner at Kiin Kiin Bao Bao

Read the complete "Copenhagen Day 3" blog post HERE.

Travel Guide: 3 Days in Copenhagen, Denmark

December 15, 2019

01copenhagen-denmark-nyhavn-architecture-travel

Not sure when or how it became this way but whenever I travel now, I plan with great details, perhaps even a bit excessive. Think itinerary on an excel sheet including (but not limited to) things to see in specific order and places to eat. Personally, I enjoy it and doing so allows me to make the most out of my time during my travels. This comes especially handy when I am on a quick trip like my recent visit to Copenhagen where I only stayed for 3 days. It's short but definitely doable! Below is everything you need including what I did each day in the exact order (to save time and travel more efficiently) and what I ate. I am also linking to each day's individual posts so that you can get more details if you want! Hope this will be helpful to anyone planning a trip to Copenhagen (which I think everyone should)!

Day 1

09copenhagen-denmark-rundetarn-roundtower-travel12copenhagen-denmark-rundetarn-roundtower-travel14copenhagen-denmark-grabrodretorv-travel17copenhagen-denmark-stroget-square-travel
Rundetårn (Round Tower)
Gråbrødretorv
Strøget

Coffee at The Coffee Collective at Torvehallerne
Dinner at Krogs Fiskerestaurant (oldest restaurant in Copenhagen)

Read the complete "Copenhagen Day 1" blog post HERE.

Day 2

18copenhagen-denmark-danish-pastries-meyers-travel12copenhagen-denmark-christiansborgpalace-library-books-travel20copenhagen-denmark-nyhavn-architecture-travelnoma-copenhagen-denmark-michelin-restaurant-food
GoBoat (self guided boat tour)
Marble Bridge
Christiansborg Palace
Breakfast at Mad & Kaffe
Pastries at Meyers Bageri
Dinner at Noma

Read the complete "Noma" blog post HERE.

Read the complete "Copenhagen Day 2" blog post HERE.

Day 3

05copenhagen-denmark-rosenborgcastle-architecture-travel15copenhagen-denmark-botanicalgarden-palmhouse-travel21copenhagen-denmark-smkmuseum-nationalgallery-art-travel27copenhagen-denmark-sunset-wesanderson-architecture-travel

Breakfast at Atelier September
Lunch at Sticks'n'Sushi
Dinner at Kiin Kiin Bao Bao

Read the complete "Copenhagen Day 3" blog post HERE.
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