July 30, 2014

Travel / Five Times Hong Kong

Picture by Artoz via Freeimages.com
The Victoria Harbour
This harbour has an amazing skyline, especially at night. Go to the promenade of Tsim Sha Tsui on the Kowloon side for a stunning view.

The Temple Street Night Market
This place must look amazing at night, and from the pictures I've seen it does. So much character and picture taking moments. A night stroll on this market is a great way to end your day in Hong Kong.

Central–Mid-Levels escalator and walkway system
This is the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world. The first time I saw this, was on a Dutch TV show. I think this is a great way to explore part of the city.

Victoria Peak
The Peak gives you a beautiful view of the skyline, the harbour and the surrounding islands. The Peak Tram will take you to the top, so you don't have to walk all the way there.

Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple
This temple is really popular, probably because it claims to grant your every wish. The building is really beautiful and exactly how I imagined a temple to be.

July 28, 2014

Travel / How To Stay On Your Budget While Traveling

Manchester, 2010
Travelling can get quite expensive so here are a few tips and tricks to keep it cheap (or at least within your budget).

Where are you going?
Some cities or countries are more expensive than other ones. So if you don't have an specific place in mind, do some research and find the less expensive ones. You might be surprised about the city you discover this way.

When are you going?
Usually the summer months are more expensive than the winter months. Unless when you're going skiing or something like that, than the winter months might be more expensive. Oh and keep in mind that the seasons are different here in Europe than in Australia.

How are you going to get there?
When you have to cross the ocean you have no other option than going on a air plane (unless you want to go on a boat off course =D). But when you're from Amsterdam and you're going to Paris, you have the option to take the train. When you book your tickets early, you can probably find them for a good price as well.

Where are you staying?
You can choose to stay in a hotel, but there are cheaper options like staying in a hostel, renting an apartment or even bringing your own tent and going camping. Off course it depends on where you're going, but I'm sure that when you do your research you can find something within your own budget.

Where are you going to eat?
Yes you can eat at McDonald's every single day and that will definitely be good for your budget, but that's not healthy (and who wants to eat at McDonald's everyday). When you choose to go to the most exclusive restaurants in town, that might get a bit expensive. When you're renting an apartment or staying in a tent, it can be an option do just do some grocery shopping and cook you own meals.

How are you going to get around town?
When you want to keep a really tight budget, your only option is walking everywhere. This can be a really good option in a city that isn't too big or when you're used to walk a lot. Off course this allows you to see a lot of the city as well. You can combine this option with buying single tickets (for the subway or bus) once in a while when you don't feel like walking all the way back. When you know you won't do that much walking, it's probably cheaper to buy a 1-3-7 day card for the subway or bus. 

What are you going to do?
Check out which touristy things are free (The Louvre in Paris is free when you're European and under 26, some museums in New York City have suggested admission prices and a lot of parks are free of charge). This way you can save a lot of money and still do the touristy things. 

July 27, 2014

Travel / Asian Beauty Products

Beauty Shopping in Paris, 2013
Since I've really changed the focus of my blog to everything travel related, my travel heart has only grown. As well as the places I want to visit, all the different foods I want to eat and all the beauty products I want to try. Currently Asian beauty products are high on my wish list. That super cute, pretty and beautiful pack-aching is enough for me to want to try  (and buy) everything. I went on-line and did some research on which products  are a must buy / take a look at and these are the products / stores I found.
Have you ever been to Asia and if so did you do a lot of beauty shopping? 

July 25, 2014

Miscellaneous / Destination wishlist: World edition

Somewhere between Las Vegas and Los Angeles, 2013
Hong Kong
Is Hong Kong the New York City of Asia? The huge buildings, busy streets and all the colourful signs. I want to go to the harbour, to the longest escalator and I want to take a huge amount of pictures.

When I think about Japan I think about beautiful traditional buildings, colourful nature, pink cherry blossoms, peaceful surroundings, really polite and friendly people. I would love to see all this for myself.

I've spoken enough about this one I think.

Australia / New Zealand
A while back I was thinking about going backpacking in Australia and New Zealand. I did a bit of research on these two countries and oh dear what a beautiful countries. I can only imagine how many beautiful pictures you can take there.

South Africa
When I go to South Africa I want to see the big five. Very cliché but it's true. I think beautiful nature, safari, amazing sunsets. What more can you ask for?

Books really inspire me to travel. Ever since reading the Millennium trilogy I've wanted to go to Sweden and Scandinavia in general. I follow a few Scandinavian bloggers as well and the places they take pictures of seem so beautiful and peaceful. In the summer as well as in the winter.

Bloggers where blogging about Italy, vloggers where vlogging in Italy, tv shows and movies I watched took place in Italy. Italy was everywhere. I've never been to Italy but from what I've seen it looks beautiful. I would love to go on a road trip trough Italy just like a few YouTubers did. Rome, Naples, Milan, Verona, Venice etc.

A while back there was a TV show about two Dutch music artists that were going to Cuba. They wanted to experience the music scene in Cuba. They went to a few different places and the country looked beautiful. So much character, the houses and the people.

I've never been to Greece, but I can imagine going there and doing absolutely nothing. Or at least nothing that takes too much energy. Laying by the pool / on the beach. Reading. Eating. Drinking. Taking lots of pictures. I imagine I'd like that.

July 23, 2014

Sleeping / The Best Budget Hotels in London

London, 2008
Don't get me wrong, I love London (New York City is my first love, London my second). But finding a good hotel in London that isn't ridiculously priced, is ridiculously hard. I've been to London a few times and I've stayed in three different hotels. The first two were OK at best, but when I look at the reviews of those two hotels I would definitely not go there (the reviews were really bad!). The third one was really good, but we were lucky and got a good deal on that one (so normally that one would be more expensive). Off course you can always wait for good discounts on fancy hotels. If you don't want to wait around for that, I've found some pretty awesome hotels for some pretty awesome prices.

Tune Paddington - Tunehotels.com

They offer "5 star beds for 1 star prices". I almost fell out of my chair when I read about this hotel. It sounded to good to be true. The rooms are small but have a good bed and a powerful shower. All the other extras you can buy (this includes £1,50 for towels). The rooms are clean, they use glass and mirrors to make the room look bigger. You have your own bathroom, so you don't have to share. The hotel is close to Edgware Road Underground Station and Paddington Station.

Qbic Hotel London City - London.qbichotels.com

This one is a little bit for expensive than the previous one. Qbic focusses on the five essentials: 1. Clean rooms 2. Comfortable bed 3. Great shower 4. Soundless bedrooms 5. Free WiFi. I think for every traveller this are the most important things about a room. This hotel is located in East London, close to Brick Lane. The hotels offers free WiFi (which I think is a must these days) and free breakfast (fruit juice, protein bar and a piece of fruit). The rooms are small, but not as small as you might think.

Travelodge London Southwark - www.travelodge.co.uk

This hotel is next to a railway. So some people complained about the noise, where other people said didn't hear anything. Probably has something to do with the location of the room (maybe ask the staff to give you a room far away from the tracks). The hotel is also close to a underground station, which is a good thing because this makes it easy to explore London. The rooms are simple, but nicely decorated. Everything you need is there. Oh and the staff is supposed to be really friendly.

Premier Inn London City - Old Street - www.premierinn.com

The underground station is close by, so it's easy to hop on the tube and explore London. The rooms are simple but nicely decorated. They look modern, clean and the beds are comfortable. Some of the rooms give a pretty view over London and a lot of people reviewed that the staff is very friendly. Book your room early and get a really good price here.

July 21, 2014

Food & Drinks / Best Pasta in Rome

Picture by Donzeladef via Freeimages.com
Everyone who knows me knows I love Italian food. If I have to eat pasta every single day for the rest of my life, I'm OK with that. The shameful thing is that I've never been to Italy. I know that has to change, so to at least prepare myself I've searched for the best pasta in Rome. These are my top 5 picks, based upon other peoples reviews.
Roma Sparita - www.romasparita.com
This place is really popular with the locals, which can give you an idea of how good it is. Unfortunately that also means you have to make reservations  or be lucky to get a table. The menu isn't too big, but apparently most people come for the cacio e pepe pasta and the cozze alla marinara. Go find out what that is! =)

La Tavernaccia - www.latavernaccia.com
Lots of locals, chaos, warm and friendly service and good food. If you want to order a family style lasagne this is the place, but there are other options to choose from as well. Good food for a good price.

Pinsere Roma - www.pinsereroma.com
This is not really a restaurant, but more of a take out. Apparently you can get the best pizza here. The pizza's are small and are topped with fresh ingredients. The reviews on Tripadvisor are really really good.

Da Danillo - www.trattoriadadanilo.it
I'd read enough after "one of the best carbonara in Rome". Carbonara is my favorite and I'll go anywhere where they say they have the best carbonara. I've made it my life goal to try as many carbonara pasta as possible.

Da Gino
This place is packed with locals, probably because it's hidden away in an alleyway. Apparently you'll be banging elbows with the people sitting next to you, but I mean how can it get more Italian.

July 20, 2014

Travel / A Day at the Mall

Picture by Ayla87 via Freeimages.com
I've been to America a few times and I've seen a few malls. But in the end I'm just a girl that watched to many American movies and gets excited when someone says I spend the day at the mall or lets go to the mall. I want to say that I spend a day at the mall. I want to say lets go to the mall! Why don't we have malls in the Netherlands? Here is how I would spend my day at the mall =)

A warm tea (or coffee) and a chocolate croissant at Starbucks to start the day.

Some window shopping at Burberry.

Browsing around Kitson and maybe do a cheeky purchase.

Buy too much underwear at Victoria's Secret.

Exit Forever 21 with too many shopping bags.

Lunch at The Cheesecake Factory.

Some more window shopping at Jimmy Choo.

Try some shoes on at Steve Madden.

Smell every fragrance in Bath and Body Works.

Spend way too much time in Sephora. 

Have dinner at California Pizza Kitchen to end this beautiful day.

And then I say I spend the day at the mall! How would you spend your day at the mall?  

July 18, 2014

Travel / The Big City by Bike

Amsterdam, 2013
I've never done it myself, but after seeing YouTuber FunForLouis and his friends riding bikes in London, I've decided that I want to do the same. It's a great way to see the city as well. The subway gets you from point A to point B really fast, but you don't see anything because you're underground. Using your good old feet to get from point A to point B lets you see the city, but your feet can only take so much (they need to rest once in a while). So exploring the city by bike is genius. It gets you there faster than walking and you see more of the city than when you take the subway. Off course you can book a guided tour or just rent a bike and go wherever you want. Here are some links for you. Going to another city? Check out their bike renting options.

Tour: www.londonbicycle.com
Rent a bike: www.tfl.gov.uk
Cycle routes: www.tfl.gov.uk

New York City
Tour: bikenewyorkcity.com
Rent: www.bikeandroll.com
Cycle routes: bikenewyorkcity.com

Tour: www.parisbybike.eu
Rent: en.velib.paris.fr

July 16, 2014

Miscellaneous / Easy Backpack

From left to right: Dakine, The North Face & Eastpak
I've always been a big fan of shoulder bags (and still am), but when you carry around your whole life it gets a bit heavy for your shoulder (I can't use my left shoulder, am I the only one who has this problem?). I always found that a shoulder bag was easier to organize. You can put some stuff in the front, in the middle and in the back and you have easy access to everything. Where in a backpack everything has to be stacked upon each other and you always need the things that are at the bottom. Two years ago I got a backpack for my birthday. I had to get used to it, because I was so used to my shoulder bag. Now that I've used it a few times, I'm beginning to like it (and I'm not the only one, my right shoulder likes it as well). When putting your stuff in your backpack, you just have to think about the order you're going to put everything in (so the stuff you need is at the top, or somewhere within reach at least). What's your favourite kind of bag?

July 14, 2014

Sleeping / Going Camping

Picture by Porah via Freeimages.com
A while back I was thinking (just thinking) about going on a road trip through Italy. I mentioned it to my friends and one of them said it would be way cheaper to bring a tent. That way you don't have to spend money on expensive hotels. A few others immediately responded that they didn't like going camping. That going camping is not a vacation.

Waking up because of the sunlight. Getting breakfast at the local bakery. Having dinner in front of the tent. Chatting until it's dark and you need to light some candles. Sounds amazing right? Or is this just a fantasy. Sleeping in the cold. Walking to the toilet in the dark. Having to sit inside the tent all day because of the rain. And is this the real deal?

I think that going camping has it's ups and downs. When you're rained on you'd rather go back to your hotel room and when you're cold you want to be able to turn on the heat. But sitting in front of your tent with candle lights on with the whole group, eating, drinking, laughing and chatting. I mean how amazing does that sound?!

How do you guys feel about going camping?

July 13, 2014

Food & Drinks / Beautycrush' London Faves

London, 2008
Sammi from Beautycrush is one of my favourite YouTubers and she's from London. As I love London I wanted to share some restaurants she mentioned on Instagram. So when you're planning a trip to London, definitely check one of these places out.

East Street Restaurant - www.eaststreetrestaurant.com
Location: 3-5 Rathbone Place, London
Subway: Tottenham Court Road

"So settle in and let us take you on a ride through the exciting and varied cuisines of East Asia." At East Street Restaurant they offer authentic tastes of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Japan and Korea. The restaurant has a real cool looking vibe.

Mishkins - mishkins.co.uk
Location: 25 Catherine St, London
Subway: Temple or Leicester Square

"A kind-of jewish deli with cocktails." If this doesn't sound interesting, than I don't know what does. They have a variety of sandwiches, macaroni cheese, hot dogs, salads, pudding and deli plates. I would say this place looks like a modern hipster deli.

The Breakfast Club - www.thebreakfastclubcafes.com
Location: 33 D'Arblay Street, London
Subway: Tottenham Court Road or Oxford Circus

"All-day brunch cafe". I would love to have brunch all day long, so this sounds like my kind of cafe. As the name kind of suggests they serve everything from the traditional English breakfast to pancakes and eggs Benedict. They also offer muesli's, porridge and fruit salads. 

The Real Greek - www.therealgreek.com
Location: 60-62 Long Acre, London
Subway: Leicester Square or Holborn

At The Real Greek they offer food from the Eastern Mediterranean. Feel the need to go to Greece but don't have the money, this place might be a great plan b. Check their website for their other locations in London.

Timberyard - www.timberyardlondon.com
Location: 61-67 Old St, London
Subway: Barbican

Come here for your coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Breakfast is served all day as well as lunch and supper. Sit down to eat or grab your coffee and croissant and be on your way. Check out the pictures on their website, that way you can see how cool this place looks.

July 11, 2014

Trabel / French Skincare in Paris

Paris, 2013
There are skincare products and there are French skincare products. So if some of you beauty addicts out there are going to Paris, definitely take a look at these products: 

City Pharma
Location: 26 Rue Four, Paris
This is the French pharmacy you want to go to. It's really tiny and it can get pretty crowded in there, so bring along your patience. Keep your eyes open for some of these products:

Bioderma Créaline H2O
I love this for removing my make-up. It's really gentle and I use it to get my face make-up as well as my eye make-up off. I didn't realise how much I loved it until I started using other products again. 

Caudalie Beauty Elixir
I'm not the biggest fan of this toner / serum / mist, because I think the smell is too much. I've tried it a long time ago and didn't use it again until recently (because of the smell). Giving it a second chance I've used it a few times and I still don't like the smell, but the product really does it's job.

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré
I use this as my daily moisturiser, but you can also use it as your primer of make-up remover (I've never tried it as a make-up remover, so I don't know if it is good for that as well). I've been using it for over a year now and I still really like it.

Avène Eau Thermale - Thermal Water Spray
I love this kind of sprays. They are great for Summer as well as for setting your make-up, after cleansing your face or after outdoor activities.

July 9, 2014

Travel / Museums in New York City

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum New York City, 2009
You might love going to museums and want to visit al five of these or you might not like going to museums and visiting even one of these is too much. Either way, read about these museums, visit their website and when you're in New York definitely think about visiting them. All or just one.

The Museum of Modern Art - www.moma.org

My favorite museum in New York is the MoMA. It's all personal preference, but I really like modern art and if you do to this is the place for you. It's $25 for adults, $14 for students and free for sixteen and under.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art - www.metmuseum.org

The MET is probably known for the steps outside by Gossip Girl fans. Off course the MET is much more than that =) This museum was not my favorite (that's the MoMA like I said), but that's no reason not to go. You might like it. The MET has an extensive collection of Islamic, Oceanic, Asian, African and American art (just to name a few things). The admission is free.

American Museum of Natural History - www.amnh.org

This museum is one of the largest in the world, so take your time for this one. From all things space to dinosaurs and a Night at the Museum Tour. There is something for everyone here. The suggested admission is $22 for adults and $17 for students.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum - www.guggenheim.org

This building itself is already a piece of art, but definitely go inside as well! There are exhibitions of modern and contemporary art but also lectures by artists, film screenings and classes for teens and adult. The prices are $22 for adults and $18 for students.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden - www.bbg.org

Maybe not really a museum, but beautiful nonetheless. I've never been here, but it's high on my list. A great place for a relaxing afternoon, with lots of beautiful photography opportunities. It's $10 for adults and $5 for students.

July 7, 2014

Miscellaneous / West Coast VS East Coast

Between Minds: East Coasters vs. West Coasters
Infographic from Mindjet
I wanted to write something about the USA's west coast VS the east coast. So when I was looking for information on the interwebs, I came across this picture and I think this sums it up quite nicely =D Which side do you prefer? Or do you love both sides equally? 

July 6, 2014

Sleeping / Hotels in NYC, a bit more pricey

New York City, 2009
Last time I made a list of hotels / hostels in New York that were really affordable. Now I've made a list of hotels that are a bit more expensive. Not the most expensive ones out there, but definitely of a higher price range.

The Bryant Park Hotel
- www.bryantparkhotel.com

This hotel is located in a beautiful building overlooking the even more beautiful Bryant Park. The service is really good, the rooms are modern and big and the subway is close by. On the photograph above you can see the Bryant Park Hotel. It's the dark building with the gold details in front of Bryant Park.

Library Hotel - www.libraryhotel.com

I had to take a look at this hotel because of the name. It's nothing like other hotels I've ever seen. It's not modern, nor old fashioned. It's a bit quirky, with lots of books. It's located in Midtown, close to Bryant Park. The hotel has a rooftop terrace!

Waldorf Astoria New York - www.waldorfnewyork.com

The building of this hotel is really impressive. Very big and classic. It's old fashioned and luxurious. The room are pretty big for New York standards. The hotel is located at the beautiful Park Avenue. Some say it could have been better for the price, but it has got so many amazing reviews on Tripadvisor as well.

Park Central - www.parkcentralny.com

This hotel has good location in Midtown Manhattan. The rooms have a pretty decent size and are clean. They are simple, but modern and some of them have an amazing view. A lot of the reviews say that the staff is really nice.

Wyndham New Yorker Hotel - www.newyorkerhotel.com

The Wyndham New Yorker Hotel is located in the Garment district and is close to the subway. The size of the rooms is pretty decent. A lot of touristy things are around the corner and again some of these rooms have such a beautiful view of New York city.

July 4, 2014

Food & Drinks / Breakfast in New York

Tick Tock Diner, New York City
Breakfast is by far my most favourite meal of the day, so I love browsing the internet trying to find new places where you can eat a good breakfast.

1. PAX - www.paxfood.com

If you don't want to sit down for breakfast, PAX is a great place. You can grab a egg sandwich, bagel, cereal, bread, muffins, scones, cookies, cupcakes, a fruit salad, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, milk, orange juice or a smoothie (to name a few) and be on your way. If you do want to sit down, that's also possible.

2. Silver Star Diner - Located on 2nd Ave and 65th St

A diner located at the Upper East Side. Some say it's a bit overpriced because of the location, I noticed no such things while I was there. If it's close to your hotel, than this is a great place to have breakfast and start your day in New York. If your hotel is farther away I wouldn't recommend coming all this way, it's not that special.

3. Tick Tock Diner - www.ticktockdinerny.com

This place I would recommend even if your hotel is a little further away. This is a classic diner, located at the New Yorker hotel. "Breakfast is served all day", that's my kinda place. Tick Tock Diner is known for their comfort food. This place will make sure you can take on the day. Order lots of different omelets, pancakes, crepes, waffles, french toast, cereals, fruit salads, sandwiches, wraps and more.

4. The Grey Dog - www.thegreydog.com

This place has a good vibe. The breakfast menu isn't endless, but believe me all the must haves are on there. I can't wait to check this place out the next time I'm in New York. They are located at three different places, check their website for the addresses.

5. Kitchenette - www.kitchenetterestaurant.com

Cute, polka dots, pink, flowers. Do these words sound like your kind of thing, than you need to go to Kitchenette to have breakfast. "The best place to go for Mom's cooking." Good food, friendly staff and a lovely decor. Who doesn't want to go here for breakfast. Check their website for their addresses.

July 2, 2014

Travel / Candles

What is the number one thing you need to own when you're a blogger and maybe even more when you're a vlogger. Yes that's right, candles! The more the better. So which ones should you go for?

Yankee Candle - www.yankeecandle.com

One of the most famous one is probably Yankee Candle. They offer a wide range of candles. Large jar candles, medium jar candles, small jar candles, tumbler candles and swirl candles. Autumn Leaves, Beach Flowers, Campfire Treat, Coconut & Vanilla Bean and Margarita Time are just a few of the scents they have.

Bath and Body Works - www.bathandbodyworks.com

One of my favorite stores for candles, Bath and Body Works. 3-wick candles, mini candles and mason jar candles (want one!) are just a few of their items. Take your time picking a scent, because they all smell amazing. Sundress, Watermelon Lemonade, Caribbean Escape and Garden Party (love these names!). 

Diptyque - www.diptyqueparis.com

It's my humble opinion that Diptyque candles have the prettiest logos. Which isn't really important for the (smell of) candle. But hé if you want to use the glass jar after burning your candle, it is important. The prices start at $30 and can go up to $90 and even $290.

NEST - www.nestfragrances.com

I like the look of this candle as well. NEST candles are available in a lot of different scents like Wasabi Pear, Italian Leather and Moss & Mint (I can't even imagine how these candles smell). Prices go from $14 to $34 and $58.

Jo Malone - www.jomalone.com

If you want to go all out there and buy some very expensive candles, Jo Malone is the place to go. The have candles named Lime Basil Mandarin, Pomegranate Noir and English Pear & Freesia. Prices start at $35 for a travel candle (who even does this?) and the prices go up to $65, $195 and even $445 (this must be one good smelling candle).
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