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.



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.

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

Choosing a Face Palette


I’m not much into makeup, but when I came across this Estee Lauder makeup palette at Macy’s I just thought, “How convenient and travel friendly!”  Yes the price is a little hefty.  It did cost $64.  BUT it pretty much includes 2 types of blushes, 4 eye shadows, 1 bronzer, and 1 highlighter.

The pink blush is a little too pink for me, but the orange color is fantastic.  The bronzer and highlighter are also beautiful and blends in very well.  The eye shadows still need to be tested, which I plan to use for special occasions.  I don’t wear eye shadow on a daily basis because I often rub my eyes.  However, I love having it at the ready in case I’m feeling fantastic enough to put some on.  It’s just great having everything in one palette.  It’s very convenient for daily use, travel friendly, and pretty much hassle-free.


Four Nights for $1200?!

Sometimes I get a little ahead of myself because I’m debt free.  I have an upcoming trip that’s been planned since last year and somehow things have not gone to plan.  I was thinking of switching accommodations to be closer to the event I’m attending, but after finding out the cost, I stopped in my tracks.  Even with a 20% discount it’ll cost $1,200 for four nights stay.  That’s just insane to me.  No thanks I’ll just stick to my original accommodations even though I have to drive quite a bit.  To me the $1,200 could go into other things like an international trip or set aside for real emergencies.  Frankly, I just don’t see the need to be closer to the event all for the sake of convenience.  To each their own I’d say.

Things I Can Now Afford

In my early teens and twenties, I didn’t have too many issues with acne.  Often times others complemented me on such great complexion and because of this I didn’t feel the need to take care of my skin.  I pretty much didn’t do anything to my face except put on moisturizer with SPF.  I also had a bad habit of sleeping with makeup on, which I think has all caught up to me.  At times I would break out around my chin and cheeks area and couldn’t figure out why.  LOL.

Eventually I got into the habit of washing my face before bedtime.  And then last year I discovered makeup wipes.  Well, I started using them.  First a non generic brand and then I switched to the target brand.  Those wipes broke me out so much I will never purchase them again.

Recently I got into skincare and my first introduction to it was the sheet mask.  I was curious to try it because it’s such a popular thing to do in South Korea.  Suddenly, I got into watching a lot of Youtube on Korean skincare and realized I was doing nothing to preserve my skin’s elasticity.  I started looking at Sephora, Macy’s, and Nordstrom to see what skincare they offer, and let me just tell you, it is surely overwhelming if you don’t even know where to start.  More importantly, price points are outrageous!  I could not believe my eyes when I saw the $100 price tag for eye moisturizer.  I mean I care about my skin, but I also care about my budget.  With all said and done, I recently chose to purchase a lot of Korean skincare products and some western products based on affordability and quality reviews.  Let’s face it, budgets are just more important.

Burt’s Bee’s BB cream, Estee Lauder face palette, Estee Lauder free samples, Micellar cleansing water, Tsubaki hair mist, Rosewater face mist, and Derma-E sunscreen moisturizer (bottom right to left)


South Korean skincare proucts: Innisfree sheet mask (free sample), Neogen bio-peel exfoliator, Cosrx moisturizer lotion, Cosrx low PH morning cleanser, Cosrx moisture pads, Innisfree green tea serum