How I Plan and Budget for Trips

I pretty much research the heck out of the destinations I want to visit.  Pinterest is a very helpful tool for this, and just recently I discovered vlogs on Youtube.  It’s also another great resource for planning but with vlogs they don’t really show the full extent of the travel experience.  There’s still things to think about like how to get to the airport, when to leave, and best practices for going through airport security.

But before thinking about anything else I first establish a budget.  I’m a planner so I don’t really do last minute trips.  In actuality my obligations and my husband’s obligations won’t let us do anything on a whim.  Instead we have to plan and then we also save for things like our plane tickets, car rental, and hotel stay.  Other things to think about would be a daily food budget.  It’s quite easy to get carried away while on vacation so setting limits help curb overspending.  It doesn’t help that we love trying new foods and new food trends.  For this I use Yelp to research which restaurants have the most reviews and then decide to add it to our list of ‘must try’ or not.

How we pack: We only do carry-ons if we fly.  It’s easier and feels more secure knowing that our bags are with us at all times.  If we do a road trip, then it’s a whole different story.  We pretty much pack whatever we want.

How we get to the airport: We drive and then pay for overnight parking because it pretty much costs the same as taking a taxi to the airport and back.

What I wear to the airport:  I’ve read that for ladies, avoid lots of bobby pins in your hair, wearing lots of jewelry, and a maxi skirt.  With that said, I pretty much show up to the airport showered, with no makeup on, in comfy sneakers, leggings, a long shirt, and a jacket for the cold plane.  Also, I make sure to buy water before boarding the plane because cabin pressure is no joke.  I’ve gotten a migraine from it and realized it was because of dehydration.

Vacation activities:  I’ll do some research and try to see if there’s anything on Goldstar or similar sites offering discounted activities.  For Chicago, we bought the Chicago City Pass and it pretty much saved us some time not having to stand in long lines.  We also did this when we went to Paris and got the Paris Museum Pass.  We bypassed lines, got into attractions quite easily, and also saved some money.

Sites used to research vacation destination: Pinterest, Youtube, Yelp, and Google search.



Extra 30% Off at Kate Spade

For anyone looking to purchase a new handbag, Kate Spade is offering an extra 30% off items already on sale with the code Sparkle.  I purchased four Kate Spade bags last year when they were offering similar deals.  Luckily they do this every few months so if now is not a good time to buy, there’s still opportunity later on in the year.

I really like Kate Spade bags because they use quality leather at affordable price points, and is a well loved brand.  I’m seriously trying to resist the urge to pick up a bag because their discount is so good, which sort of brings me to their jewelry line.  Thank goodness for their sales because I’ll only buy their jewelry if there’s a discount.  Right now it’s sort of too cold to wear bracelets or necklaces so I’ll probably try some of their jewelry during the late spring or early summer months when they offer another 30% off deal.

How I Got Into Youtube and Skincare

You know sadly, I only got into Youtube just last October.  It all started with watching wardrobe de-clutters, luxury bag reviews, organizing small closets, and then just people cleaning their homes.  Somehow I discovered vlogs and thought to watch ones for Tokyo and Seoul because they’re on my list of countries to visit in the near future, and that’s how I discovered JoanDay.  Lucky for me she gave herself a project to vlog everyday of 2017 until her birthday, and suddenly I was introduced to Korean beauty.  Initially it was sheet masks and then somehow I started watching Eunice from WishTrend TV and Liah Yoo explain the 10 Step Korean Skincare Routine, which got me to try Korean skincare products.  Lucky for me these two explained the routine on a level the general masses can understand, and because of these Youtubers, I have such great skin these days!

Saw Black Panther Today

My husband is a big movie goer and so of course he purchased tickets the other day for the matinee showing of Black Panther today.  I was surprisingly awake for this and fairly entertained.  So for anyone looking to watch a good movie this weekend, check out the new marvel movie!

I did like how international it felt, and probably why I stayed awake for it all.  They featured Oakland Cali, had a heist scene in London, and a car chase scene in Busan, South Korea.

Why Is There No Edit or Cancel Button?

Retail and retail websites have it right.  They have a return policy that makes it easy to correct a mistake if needed.  Two weeks ago I over ordered on skincare products through Amazon and was able to cancel some since they weren’t processed.  It was very easy to cancel and all I had to do was hit the ‘Cancel’ button.  This is also another reason why Amazon is probably dominating the market right now and why Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world.  People shop on Amazon because it’s secure, there’s Prime, and because there’s room to make some mistakes.  Costco is another example of a company with a great return policy.  Despite limited store hours, they remain popular and often times busy on the weekends and after work hours on the weekdays.  If more companies put a little more effort into their return or cancellation policies, then there would be more happy customers in life.  I mean I swear we all make mistakes right?

Then you have the airline industry or third party vendors like Expedia who have horrible cancellation policies.  It’s funny because in retail there’s opportunity for returns on a product that probably won’t break the bank.  However, cancelling an airplane ticket means forfeiting your money or having to pay a ridiculous cancellation fee just to change flights.  This to me is just highway robbery.  Customers are left with nothing.

Recently I decided to pull some money out of our brokerage account to put back in the bank.  Well I sort of had a change of heart, but it was too late to make a change.  There was no delete button or no cancel button.  I even tried to edit the amount just so I wouldn’t pull so much out, but that didn’t even work.  This raises the issue that more and more companies need to build in an edit or cancel button because many of us need one.  There are articles being written about millennials and perfectionism from USA Today to the New York Post. Well, it’s probably because there’s no back button, no edit or cancel button to many websites we interact with.  Okay probably not the main reason, but you get the gist.  Even if we try to correct our mistake, we’ll probably be met with “sorry that’s user error”.  Okay, then what’s the point of having jobs called UI Desinger?


February Savings

I get paid bi-monthly, which usually happens on the 1st and 15th of the month.  I was able to save $500 on the 1st and $150 on the 15th.

Unfortunately, it’s tax season, and we finally filed our taxes.  Thankfully we got $300 back from federal, but owed California $700.  Most of my discretionary spending went to paying the rest of our taxes, and luckily we’ve kept our spending to a minimum so we’re still able to save.  With all the market fluctuations, from dropping 1,000 points last week to rebounding this week, I’ve decided to save in a regular savings account before moving it into the stock market.  My plan is to buy at a lower price when the market self corrects again.  We’ll see how it goes.

Self Care With a Skincare Routine

We all have different obligations in life.  Our jobs, friends, family, religion, or even an organization we’re a part of require things from us.  Life can get hectic at times and we often overlook our own well-being.

Lucky for all of us we have Google.  Type in ‘self-care’ and I’m pretty sure Google will tell you the many ways to do this.  Eat healthy, go to the gym, socialize, etc.  For me I’ve realized that my discovery of the 10 step Korean skincare routine is a process in itself to self-care.  If you haven’t looked it up I suggest watching Youtube for it.  At first I was overwhelmed by the process and wasn’t at all interested in any of it other than sheet masks.  I picked some up at Target and instantly fell in love with the soothing and calming feeling it had on my face.  I was addicted and after several Youtube channels later, I bought some highly recommended products.

I’m not a heavy makeup wearer.  On the daily I just wear powder and blush so I don’t really feel the need to double cleanse.  For convenience I actually use makeup wipes by Simple.  They work great and it cleans my makeup right off.  I’ve also tried micellar water, which also does a good job in getting rid of makeup.

Then at least once a week at night I’ll use an exfoliator if I feel whiteheads building up on my nose.  If I don’t exfoliate with the Neogen pad, I go straight to my toner pad by Cosrx called one step moisture up pad.

After toner, I use a green tea serum by Innisfree and love the smell of it.

Then I follow up with a moisturizer.  I plan to use the Cosrx moisturizer at night and the Etude house collagen cream during the day.

And voila to perfectly clear skin that’s a good base for makeup application.  I’ve found that by doing this whole process, I haven’t broken out.  You’d think that this would be such a hassle, but it’s really not.  In fact, it actually makes me feel good and pampered thus giving me a boost of confidence. Even my husband notices the difference and is amazed by my results.

Good resources to check out:

  1. SoKo Glam – Shows the 10 step Korean skincare routine with suggestions to a variety of products for each step.
  2. Liah Yoo’s Youtube channel
  3. Wishtrend TV’s Youtube channel