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7.19.2018

Tips and Tricks to Prepare for a Perfect Holiday.

As the vacations are around the corner, it is exciting to imagine yourself by the sea with your favorite drink in your hand or getting a massage from a specialist. However, preparing for a trip in advance is very important otherwise in the stress of preparations you might forget some of the most important things that will ruin your entire experience. Here are some tips and tricks that will help you plan for a perfect journey.
Photo credit: Pixabay.
Know your budget and start saving
First, you have to select the destination that you would like to visit this summer. Make sure that you plan your entire trip considering the places you would like to visit and points you would like to explore. Get the estimation of the budget that you need to have a stress-free journey. After that, you should compare the amount you need for the trip with the money you have already saved. Make sure that you start saving some extra money to assure that you will not have to deal with any issues during the journey.

Plan your tour
One of the most important things you have to consider is planning your tour. A common mistake most individuals make is they do not plan their tour properly due to which most of their time is wasted on finding a spot they would like to explore or going from one place to another. When you will have all the information related to the spots that you want to explore as well as the transportation facilities you need to get their fast, it will become easier for you to get the most out of the single day you have. Make sure that you keep your plan flexible in case something else comes up during the trip.

Get yourself an insurance
Do not make the mistake of going on a journey without a travel insurance. You have to assure that you get yourself and your family covered for the journey with travel insurance. The reason is that anything can happen during the trip. You might not have enough money to pay for the hospital expenses and medication. With the help of travel insurance, you can have all such costs covered. Bupa Global has the best insurance services that can give you a comprehensive cover. You can select the coverage that meets your requirements perfectly and provides you the coverage that you need.
Photo credit: Pixabay.
Have your tech kit ready
Make sure that you prepare your tech kit properly.

  • Have a universal adapter that will allow you to charge all the gadgets that you are planning to take on the journey.
  • Make sure that you charge your laptop, phone, and other gadgets. You will have to keep them in your carry on and they will be checked at the airport.
  • Keep a portable charger with you that will allow you to charge all your devices so that you can stay connected with everyone
  • It is better that you arrange all your gadgets in a properly protected bag to assure that no one of the items will get broken or damaged during the journey.
Photo credit: Pixabay.
Bottom line
Do not forget to collect the information related to the weather in the place that you are planning to visit. You can have the pack your clothes accordingly to assure that you will not have to buy clothes in case temperature changes. Make sure that you double check all the items before you can go to the airport. That is the only way you will not forget anything at home and will allow you to enjoy your journey.


7.18.2018

How to Get Vacations Rental Loan for a Dream Home in Nassau and Paradise Island.

Everyone has a dream of owning a perfect vacation home on the island of Bahamas where they can spend a luxurious vacation. However, buying a house is not that simple when you do not have enough savings. If you are planning to invest in the Nassau vacation rentals, it is better that you apply for a loan. However, getting a 2nd home loan is hard to get. Here we have some tips that will help you with your 2nd home.
Photo credit: Luxury Retreat.
Find the perfect home
First, you have to find a perfect home. Assure that you decide your budget and accordingly look for a vacation home.
  • The homes near the beach are expensive as compared to others.
  • You have to consider the number of rooms and style of house you would like to have.
  • You can buy the newly constructed home or the one that someone is trying to sell.
  • Make sure that you do not exceed your budget during the selection of the vacation home because the repayments will be expensive for you.
It’s good to get bridging loans to cover some expenses while you are moving to your dream home.

Compare different loan packages available
Once you have found the perfect house, it is important that you consider the loan packages available. There are several private and public lenders who are providing the loans. You have to pay attention to the interest rate and payment schedule options available. It will help you in the selection of the best package that will meet your requirements as well as it will be easier for you to repay the loan in installment. It is better that you select the loan with a lower interest rate. You have to select the loan and budget according to your monthly income.
Photo credit: Luxury Retreat.
Consider your credit score
One of the most important things you have to consider is your credit score and performance. If you have a bad credit score you should not even consider filing for the loan because you will not get it even at the highest interest rate. Make sure that your previous performance is excellent and you have no pending loan. Assure that all your previous loans were repaid at the right time because these are some of the points, lenders will consider before approving the loan. If there are some issues in the credit report make sure that you improve your performance and credit score.

Develop a repayment plan
Before you can apply for the loan, it is important that you develop your repayment plan. Most of the lenders might not ask you for how you are going to repay the loan. However, considering your income and credit report there are some lenders who will surely ask you about the repayment plan according to the type of loan you are planning to get. You can take the help of an expert for the development of a repayment plan. Assure that you share all the information with the experts and they will help you in the selection of the loan and payment plan that will be perfect according to your lifestyle.

Before you apply for the loan, it is better that you save enough money that will allow you to cover most of the payment of your vacation home. When you will have enough cash in your account, lenders will know that you are eligible for the loan because you have enough money for the repayment. Assure that you apply with all the authentic documents and make the repayments on time to assure that you will not have to deal with any issues.




7.16.2018

Foodie Goodie | Hongdae Hits!

Aside from its reputation of being the trendiest and most vibrant neighborhood in Seoul, Hongdae is also a treasure trove of delightful eats. From meat buffets to chicken joints, to cozy cafes and dessert shops, Hongdae has it all.

It's no secret that this youth-culture hub is one of my favorite places in Seoul, and I never miss the chance to visit this area whenever I'm in the country. I had all the more reasons to hie off to Hongdae during my most recent trip, as my friends who were also vacationing in Korea at that time were staying at AirBnBs within the district. Thanks to our 'mini reunion', I was able to discover these restaurants in Hongdae and enjoy good food while catching-up with the girls.

Gochangbok's Good Restaurant 착한 식당
If grilled meat is your thing, Hongdae is the perfect place to be. There's a so-called 'Meat Street' in the neighborhood where you'll find more than a dozen barbecue restaurants lined up in one area. We somehow ended up here while looking for a place to eat, mostly because my friend Ela had been craving for authentic samgyeopsal since she arrived in Korea.

One of the more prominent meat restaurants in the area is Gochangbok's Good Restaurant, which is especially popular among office workers. Thankfully, we came after the lunch crowd has dissipated and we had no trouble finding seats at the first floor of the building.
Gochangbok's Good Restaurant.
Both floors of the restaurant are usually packed after office hours.
We ordered samgyeopsal, of course, which was priced at 7900 won per serving. Ela ordered three servings (one for each of us), plus three bowls of rice (because rice is life, lol), and an extra soondubu jigae (silken tofu soup) for Maan.
Samgyeopsal! :)
Our orders came with side dishes such as acorn jelly soup, coleslaw, and lettuce salad. I especially enjoyed the coleslaw, and even helped myself to a refill at the salad bar in one corner of the restaurant. They also gave us a bowl of gyeran jjim (steamed egg) - soft, silky, and seasoned just right.
Coleslaw, Korean style.
No wonder this restaurant is such a hit among yuppies. Awesome food, great ambiance, budget-friendly price...Gochangbok truly lives up to its name of being a 'good restaurant'.

Address: 331-18 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
To get there, take Hongik University Station (Line 2), exit 8.

Chicken and Curry Goon 치킨앤 카레군
Next to fish, chicken is my son's most favorite protein in the world. And while there may be a proliferation of chicken restaurants in Seoul (there's bound to be one or two in every corner, lol), Yue's primary complaint is that they're too spicy for his taste. We almost always resort to McDonald's or Lotteria's Chicken Nuggets whenever he's in the mood for chicken, but we took a stab at this cute restaurant which we came across while walking along the streets of Hongdae.
Chicken and Curry Goon.
I was initially worried that they would not allow us to enter since most beer-serving restaurants do not allow kids in their establishments. However, the staff of Curry Chicken Goon were more than welcoming, and we were able to order without a hitch. Maybe because it was lunch time and none of the customers were having beer anyways? 
Chicken + Curry.
The chicken sets seem to be the more popular items on their menu, so we ordered the Onion Cream Chicken Set which comes with a salad, cheese fries, and more than a dozen pieces of fried chicken topped with heaps of onion slices. The serving is huge, and good for sharing between three people.
Onion Cream Chicken Set, 22800 won.
The servings are huge!
Even the salad is good for sharing.
Yue fell in love with the chicken at first bite. I did, too! Its crispy on the outside and flavorful all throughout (not just the skin, mind you), and best of all, it's not spicy! The fries were just as tasty - cheesy, creamy, with just the right crunch. The price isn't so bad either, considering you can feed a family of three with just one set.

Address: 164-11, Dongho-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
To get there, take Hongik University Station (Line 2), exit 9.

Deux Copains 듀꼬뱅
Nestled among the alleys of Donggyo-dong is this cozy neighborhood bakery called 'Deux Copains'. The name means 'two friends' in French, and this place is perfect for coffee dates or small, intimate gatherings with friends.
Deux Copains.
This is one of the very few places in Seoul that sells croissants, and I was pleasantly surprised that theirs taste the way a real French croissant should be - crumbly on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, and 'ears' that are crispy, crunchy, and browned to perfection.
Croissants of all kinds.
One of the rare occasions that I ordered iced coffee - Caramel Latte, to be exact.
It was so damn hot that day!
Someone's having a blast. :)
Yue enjoyed their pastries, but he enjoyed the free wi-fi more, as this place was actually a Pokestop and had several gyms nearby. (If you're playing Pokemon Go, then you know what I'm talking about.) That being said, if you're the kind of person who likes to 'work' at coffee shops and need wi-fi to get your job done, drop by Deux Copains for croissants, coffee, and a nice and quiet working environment. 

Address: 204-58 Donggyo-dong Mapo-gu
To get there, take Hongik University (Line 2), exit 2.
Go straight to the Hyundai Gas Station on the right side, then go straight for 30 meters to the right from Porutua across the street. Go straight for about 100 meters after turning left at the Oriental medicine store.

Churro 101 츄로101
I've said it before, and I'll say it again - the churros from Churro 101 are the best in Korea, if not the world. This snack shop is the place I frequent the most whenever I'm in Hongdae (you can read all about it here and here), and I'm so glad my friends enjoyed their churros as much as I did.
Churro 101 is love! 
Churro 101 recently introduced new flavors to their menu, mostly green tea based because matcha is all the rage in Korea these days: Green Tea Chocolate, Green Tea Chocolate Almond Cherries, Green Tea Chocolate Strawberry Crunchy, and Green Tea Chocolate Coconut Citrus. However, my perennial favorite will always be the Deep Fried Oreo Churro.
Deep Fried Oreo Churro... yum! :)
Address: 346-1 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
To get there, take Hongik University Station (Line 2), exit 9.

7.15.2018

Fashion Pulse | Trendy Black Dial Watches for Men.

Black is the color that defines style, sophistication, and panache like no other. It is a colour that is versatile and goes well with both formal and casual outfits. Here is a collection of some of the trendiest watches for men with black dials to spice up your wardrobe and add sparkle to your collection of luxury watches. These exclusive timepieces are available in all Ethos stores across the country.
Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback.
Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback
The Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback is a showstopper. The classic black dial and black leather strap set off by the rose gold case are sure to attract envious glances. The chronograph with the flyback function makes it the owner's pride. The hour markers and the hands are also rose gold. The promise of Swiss engineering and the classic good looks take this watch to the top of our pick when it comes to trendiest black dial automatic watches for men.

Raymond Weil Maestro.
Raymond Weil Maestro
If you thought complexity does not go well with fashion, think again. Better yet, gift yourself a Raymond Weil Maestro. The Maestro collection was launched in 2010 and this black on black model has been a coveted timepiece ever since. The jet black dial is offset by the silver case and silver Roman hour markers. The two sub dials showcase the phases of the moon and the date. This makes your watch as unique as your personality. The black alligator leather strap spells luxury and style.

Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph 45 MM.
Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph 45 MM
Hublot is one of the top brands when it comes to luxury watches. Hublot watches are considered style statements and are often passed down as family heirlooms. The Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph 45 MM is one such treasured timepiece featuring a black dial and a titanium case. The steel bracelet and the steel hour markers add to its classic good looks. The two sub dials feature a chronograph and add elegance to this masterpiece.

Rado Diamaster XL Automatic.
Rado Diamaster XL Automatic
If you are a connoisseur of luxury watches you are sure to count Rado among your best, most loved possessions. Here is an all-black Rado that will let you step into the limelight. The Rado Diamaster XL Automatic is a clean and classic beauty with a black dial. The power reserve indicator and the date window complete the dial and the black ceramic case adds to the fashion quotient. The black leather strap is a comfortable but elegant one. Aesthetics and precision – that is what puts this watch on our list of black trendy watches you must own.

Breitling Chronomat 44.
Breitling Chronomat 44
Designed in the 1980s for the Italian Air Force aerobatics team the Chronomat collection of Breitling is known for its sturdy construction, precise timekeeping, classic aesthetics, and bold appeal. The Breitling Chronomat 44 features a sporty look with a carbon black dial and a steel case. The automatic chronograph movement is the highlight of the watch. The sub dials feature a chronograph and a date display window. The black leather strap completes the beauty of this timepiece.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris

The Jaeger-LeCoultre brand spells excellence and superior Swiss engineering. Add to it the stunning aesthetics of the Polaris collection and you have a winner on your hands - quite literally. This model is a stunning black dial timepiece featuring a chronograph and a tachymeter. The jet black dial is matched by a fine black leather strap. The case and the hour markers are stainless steel making it the perfect accessory for both formal and casual dressing.

7.09.2018

Seoul Searching | Highlights of my Spring/Summer 2018 Trip.

I've finally unpacked everything from my luggage, sorted out my K-beauty haul, and transferred more than a thousand photos from my phone to my hard drive. It's been two weeks since we returned to the Philippines and now I can finally say that we've settled back in!

That being said, it's back to the daily grind for me, and I'm just about ready to blog about all of the places that we've been to and all the food that we had in this year's Seoul Searching trip. But first, let me share with you some snippets of our Korean adventure:

Meeting Edward Avila... and sitting next to him on the plane!
K-beauty vlogger Edward Avila was in Manila last May for a Meet and Greet organized by Club Clio Philippines. The event was scheduled the day before our flight to Korea, making it impossible for me to attend much as I wanted to. As I watched live videos of the event on Clio's Instagram, I was thinking that maybe, just maybe, I could chance upon Edward at the airport if he happens to be flying back to Korea on the same day that we were.

I got more than I wished for because lo and behold, as I was fastening Yue's seatbelt, a guy with silver purple ombre hair peeking out of his black baseball cap took the seat beside mine on the plane. I knew right then and there who he was.
Flying all the way to Incheon with THE Edward Avila.
AirAsia Premium Flex seats are the best seats in the house!
"Edward?" I asked, stifling the urge to scream.
"Yes?" he replied.
And I was like, "Ohmigod ohmigod ohmigod, it's really you!"
And then I started gushing about how sad I was that I couldn't make it to his event and how lucky I am to actually be flying all the way to Incheon with one of my favorite vloggers! Edward was very friendly and congenial, and we chatted for the most part of the flight - well, at least during the times when we were both awake. We even took photos together, even if I look like I haven't slept for a week, haha!

Catching-up with friends.
My childhood friend Ela and her partner Maan were in Korea for a few days, and I made it a point to meet up with them - because reunions are more fun in Korea, lol.
Samgyeopsal with Ela and Maan.
I went to Hongdae where the girls were staying, and we had a hearty meal of samgyeopsal at one of the local restaurants in the area, capped off with the best churros in the world for dessert.
Customary photo with Brown, this time in Hongdae!
We also did a bit of shopping - well, more like pimple patch hunting since Ela wanted to try those popular pimple patches. As such, we went searching for the ALand branch in Hongdae, because I know for a fact that COSRx products are sold in ALand stores. Ela loved the COSRx Pimple Patch so much that she regrets not buying more even when I told her to, lol.

Bonding with family.
Despite their busy schedule, Kuya JR (my husband's cousin) and his wife Youngsook unni took the time to spend the day with us, one fine Sunday in June. We had barbecue and soju at our favorite buffet restaurant, Meat-ing, as a celebration of sorts - post-anniversary celebration for us, and advance birthday celebration for Youngsook unni.
The boys. :)
Chill Sunday with Kuya JR and Youngsook unni.
Then we enjoyed the Seoul sunshine by exploring Kondae Rodeo, shopping for sneakers, and having coffee at Holly's.

Celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary.
Would you believe that for the past nine years, the husband and I have never celebrated our anniversary together? This is the main reason why I wanted to be in Korea in June - so that we can finally celebrate our anniversary together, in one country, under one roof. It's our tenth year of marriage, after all, and our fifteenth year as a couple. 
Mocha Cream Cake from Paris Baguette.
Our anniversary fell on a weekday so we only had a simple celebration at home with some pasta (which I cooked), a bit of wine, and a lovely cream cake that the husband bought at the nearby Paris Baguette. But on the Sunday a few days ahead of our anniversary, we did celebrate the occasion by hearing mass at Hyehwa Catholic Church and having lunch at Yoogane - because no trip to Korea would be complete without enjoying my all-time favorite dak galbi.

Celebrating Father's Day.
Similarly, this was our first time to celebrate Father's Day together. I wanted this day to be extra special for the husband so I went the extra mile to get him the Curry 5 sneakers in the colorway that he wanted. 
Shopping for sneakers at the Under Armour flagship store in Itaewon.
My boys who love 'sole searching'. :)
Many thanks to the staff of Under Armour Garosugil and Under Armour Itaewon for the excellent customer service! You guys are daebak(You can read the full story on this Instagram post.)

Feeling the football fever.
It sure felt different to watch the World Cup in a country that's actually playing in the World Cup, and I was so glad to still be in Korea during their first two group stage matches. The entire country was in a very festive mood during that time, especially in the evenings when cheering parties were held in open spaces such as Gwanghwamun Square, City Hall, and the COEX Convention Center.
Street cheering/viewing party at Gwanghwamun Plaza. Photo credit: Korea Times.
K-Stadium at Lotte World Mall.
BTS x Coca Cola World Cup pop-up at COEX Mall.
Although it was sad that Korea's World Cup dreams ended in the group stage, they did bag the honor of being the only Asian country to beat Germany, champions of the 2014 World Cup.

As for me, Korea bags the honor of being the country that I have traveled to the most (five times in total), and I will never grow tired of visiting this country again and again. If only we could live here permanently, I would pack my bags and go even at a moment's notice!