Best Romantic Destinations in the U.S!

About 2 weeks ago, Alexandra sent me an email saying she would like to guest write at my blog. I was very happy and thrilled to receive her email and to cut the long story short, we both agreed to guest write for each other’s blog! I will compile a summary of my Korea trip for her soon. Do check out Alexandra’s blog at http://alexsjourneys.wordpress.com/.

Now that school’s out and holidays are in, it’s perfect time for me to present Alexandra’s first (of hopefully many) travel guest posts, enjoy! I’d definitely want to visit all of the places she’s mentioned! (;

By Alexandra Jacobs

Nothing says “I love you” like a romantic getaway. Fortunately the U.S. has plenty of places perfect for stealing a kiss. When only the best will do, take your sweetheart by the hand and lead them straight to one of the most romantic destinations in the US.

The Hamptons

 

This playground of the rich and famous has plenty to do for regular folk. Climb the 197 steps of the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse and take in the beautiful view or check out the Jamesport Vineyard where you can attend a wine tasting in a 150 year old barn.

Not everyone is lucky enough to own one of the beautiful Hamptons houses but you can stay in one for an incredibly reasonable price. The Sunrise Guest House is only steps from the beach. For a seafood dinner at amazing prices, try Duryea’s Lobster Deck. Della Femina serves some of the best Italian food in the Hamptons.

Hawaii

Photo by flickr user ejbst25

Too romantic to be cliché, Hawaii is the premiere destination for lovers. Snorkel with your sweetheart in the crystal clear water or hike the Haleakala Crater to watch a sunrise that will take your breath away.

To truly get away from it all, head for the Lodge at Koele. This ultra-exclusive hotel may be a bit pricey for some travelers but the panoramic views are priceless. If Italian is your thing, try Capische for dinner. For a taste of local Hawaiian flavor, try Hoku’s.

Ashland, Oregon

Shakespeare Festival, Ashland, Oregon - Travel Oregon

No one did love better than Shakespeare and Ashland is a small town devoted to his memory. Take in an authentic play at the world famous Shakespearian Festival or stroll the grounds of Lithia Park, designed by the same man who created Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

Lithia Springs Hotel in downtown Ashland is an exercise in turn-of-the-century opulence with beautifully appointed rooms. For a romantic dinner in a fun atmosphere; head to the Black Sheep on the Plaza. For luxury, try Callahan’s at the base of Mt. Ashland.

Las Vegas

Photo by flickr user o palsson

Sin City has a soft spot for lovers. From the top of the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas to the gondola rides through St. Mark’s Square at the Venetian, there are plenty of opportunities to cuddle up with your special someone in this neon oasis.

The Bellagio Hotel and Casino is the most romantic hotel on the strip. At Todd English’s Olives, Italian-style pizzas and amazing pasta dishes are always on the menu. For a natural high, head to the Top of the World restaurant at the Stratosphere where you can dine nearly 1000 feet above Las Vegas for amazing views of the city.

San Francisco

Image of The Golden Gate Bridge from http://www.ams-net.org/sanfrancisco/

Tony Bennett left his heart here for good reason. The City by the Bay was made for sweethearts. Stroll through the grounds of the Presidio for your daily dose of history or hang out on China Beach before riding the double-decker carousal at Pier 39.

The White Swan Inn on Nob Hill offers breakfast in the morning and wine by the fire at night. For fresh seafood, try Catch on Market St. For a true 1930s supper club experience, head for Bix.

Romance is often described as a lost art but the above destinations have managed to keep it alive and well. From the beauty and nature of the Hamptons to the bright lights and culture of San Francisco, this country has plenty of places to cuddle up, steal a kiss and get back to what really matters.

Now or Never // Super Seoul Day 1

** Updated with more pictures**

About 2 months ago, B and I headed to Seoul, Korea for 4D3N. With thanks to my Aunt’s travel package, we managed to get a great deal on the plane and hotel fare there! (:

Titled Now or Never, the trip was planned about a month in advance and I procrastinated a lot before uploading because of all the photos I have from this trip! But since my last and final school submission is next Tuesday I can finally find time to upload them on this fine Saturday. (: Will share more about school after this post!

We didn’t have a good midnight flight to Seoul because the seat weren’t comfy to rest in. We landed at Incheon airport and we took a mini-van ride prepared for us as part of the package to our Seoul hotel, Vabien Suite II.

After checking in, we headed out to a trendy area called Samchang Dong with indie boutiques, a multi-level F21 building and the best Korean restaurant!

Picture taking along the road/pavement outside the boutiques! It was end of winter season and we’d be shivering as the wind blew~

We were finding a place for lunch and we were judging the stores by their exterior and the number of people in it. We saw that this store was quite popular so we headed in! 😀

Best Korean traditional meal for lunch, 7000won (~USD$7/SGD$10) per set meal.

Korea is FULL of bakeries and cafes!

Our purchases from Petite Baguette, a Paris-inspired bakery nearby our hotel. B loves their milk yougurt and their butter buns are tasty!

After lunch, we headed out to shop at Doota, another trendy shopping haunt with a lot of up and coming local designer stalls, think a more up-class version of Far East plaza in Singapore.

Will now let the pictures do the talking~!

After checking out about 3-4 levels, we had dinner at an Italian restaurant, Il Mare at the mall.

Mighty tired from the day! 

Very tasty cheesy honey pizza!

Days 2-4 another time soon!

xx

Book Recommendation: when God writes your love story by Eric & Leslie Ludy

I just completed reading (skimmed some parts) when God writes your love story. Quite evidently it’s a christian book about love, surrendering your romantic love to God. It’s not unlike other christian books I’ve read before on the topic, like those by Joshua Harris (I Kissed Dating Goodbye, which is another book I’d recommend as well).

But what makes this book different from the rest is one of the concluding chapter, or rather a few chapters about how your family members are “home ground” (pun intended) also referred to as “training ground” for how you would treat your future lover and spouse. And by virtue of that, the authors encourage that if the reader wants to have a happily ever after love story, it begins by respecting the fatherly and brotherly figures at home and being sweet and tender to the motherly and sisterly figures.

So those were the parts that impacted me the most. I don’t have any brothers to practice being respectful of, but I reckon I can always start by being more sweet and tender to my sisters and my mother and respecting my dad. Hehe. Also I have not been helping out much with house chores because my mum doesn’t like me being in her way in the kitchen when I tried to learn to cook before and also I always thought I will hire a helper in future. HAHA. But in any case, I do want to learn to be a more virtuous lady. Hehe.

Umm so while reading the book I also wanted to share a few meaningful parts on my blog. So here goes:

A song titled “Faithfully” by Eric and Leslie Ludy.

Tonight I saw a shooting star
Made me wonder where you are
For years I have been dreaming of you
And I wonder if you’re thinking of me too
In this world of cheap romance
And love that only fades after the dance
They say that i’m a fool to wait for something more
How can I really love someone i’ve never seen before
But I have longed for true love every day that I have lived
And I know that real love is all about learning how to give
So I pray that god will bring you to me
And I pray you’ll find me waiting faithfully

Faithfully, I am yours
From now until forever
Faithfully, I will write
Write you a love song with my life
Cause this kind of loves worth waiting for
No matter how long it takes I am yours
Faithfully

Tonight I saw two lovers kiss
Reminded me of my own loneliness
They say that i’m a fool to keep on praying for you
How can I give up pleasure for a dream that won’t come true
But I will keep believing that god still has a plan
And though I can’t see you now,
I know that he can
And someday I will give you all of me
Until I find you, i’ll be waiting faithfully

Faithfully, I am yours
From now until forever
Faithfully, I will write
Write you a love song with my life
Cause this kind of loves worth waiting for
No matter how long it takes I am yours
Faithfully

You can also hear them sing:

On “The Secret to Winning a Heart”:
The next time you see your brother doing something he excels in, honor him with admiration of his prowess and let hi know that you are proud to be his sister. You will find that the more you verbally invest respect, the more a man will understand how to be respectful himself.

And lastly:

On “Set-Apart Feminity”. It’s an excerpt from Leslie Ludy’s book quoted in this book.
On the flip side, if a woman allows a man to rise to the challenge of pursuing her, wooing her and winning her heart over time, instead of thrusting it upon him too readily, his masculine strength will be tested and strengthened. Once he has pursued and won his prize according to God’s perfect pattern, he is far less likely to take her for granted. Rather, he will become the heroic protector he was created to be – laying down his life to preserve and nurture the heart of the princess whom he worked so hard to win.”

Hope you guys find this enlightening and meaningful as I did.

xx

New York Skin Solutions Review

I’ve been wanting to review New York Skin Solutions since end of 2011 and I am finally getting down to it! Haha.

If you know me in real life, you might have realized that my skin condition has improved remarkably over the course of the last half a year. And it’s no secret!

I started to diligently take measures to improve my acne-ridden skin from last year but   despite drinking water regularly, eating healthily, doing masks at home and exercising (albeit very little) my skin condition wasn’t improving. I was very vexed and frustrated and I decided I will do something about it.

So between seeing a dermatologist, taking medicine that will reduce oil production in the skin glands but at the risk of liver damage and going for facial, I decided I will go for facial.

New York Skin Solutions was having a promotion on the papers then and so I called for a complimentary consultation and treatment and I decided to sign for 20 treatment sessions with them after that first session.

After 2-3 months of about 5 treatments, my skin improved remarkably. The acne marks were slowly fading and what’s better is that the oil glands on my face were kept under control after the treatments have successfully restored the balance of facial glands and hence, lesser acne/pimples!

Although I must stress that while going for facial, I continued to maintain drinking water regularly, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, taking lesser fried and sugary food (especially soft drinks), avoid the sun, put sun block and also taking Evening Primrose Oil supplementary pills nightly. So it’s a multi pronged approach that really restored the balance and health of my skin. ^^,

If you are a guy, (or a teenage girl new to all these skin care regime) you must be pretty awed at the tenacity of what girls like me go through to maintain good skin. The old adage “There is no ugly women, only lazy ones” holds true in the case of good skin care maintenance. Though one can also argue, money is also needed to fund all these, then I’d say go find a job to fund your beauty need(s)! I would say that it’s not cheap, but it’s the best investment I’ve ever made because it solved my skin problems and I have more confidence because I feel less inferior due to my skin condition. Even if you don’t go to NY Skin at the end of my post, I’d still encourage you to start going about resolving your skin condition because it’s worth it. (:

I’d briefly go through what New York Skin Solutions treatment is like and for images, I’d recommend checking on Holly’s blog review on them here.

I visit the New York Skin Solutions branch in Eastpoint Mall. There are many outlets all over Singapore, so if you are keen, give them a ring and ask them where’s the outlet most convenient for you.

If you are like me (in the past) and want to find a solution to your skin problems and you stay in the east, I’d recommend that you give the Eastpoint Mall branch (#04-01) a call at 6789 5566, ask for my beautician Yuki, and say that I (Jia En) referred you to her and you’d received a complimentary consultation and facial treatment. After the session, you can then decide for yourself if you want to sign a package with them or not. I am not paid to do this review for them but for every successful referral/sign up, I would in turn receive one facial treatment for making a successful referral. Yay for you and I, good things should be shared. (;

The consultation will begin with a skin analysis. I am no expert in this area, but I remember my pores were clogged up and that was why my acne and pimple condition persisted. Yuki explained to me that after the treatments, my pores would be cleansed and my skin health restored and my condition would improve. She also mentioned about the collagen of my skin if not properly maintained, would sag, but if properly maintained, it would retain it’s triangular shape. She compared enlarged digital snaps of my then oily facial skin versus my fair and smooth hand skin and I could tell that the condition of face was pretty bad.

The treatment will begin with cleansing then a mask, followed by extraction (of pimples) which will hurt especially at the first few treatments. Then there will be double mask, where they will apply serum/cream depending on your skin condition, a gauze, followed by a cold mask. This cold mask helps to reduce the redness after extraction and it’s especially good for sensitive skin. It’s also my favourite part of the treatment, haha.

My classmate also goes to NY Skin and she testifies that it’s better compared to others she’s been to because the post-treatment redness is the least. It’s true, nowadays after  I go for treatment, the redness is barely obvious.

Usually the treatment ends with a neck and shoulder massage but I usually opt out because it’s too ticklish for me.
If you’re wondering how long the whole treatment takes. it’s approximately 1-1.30 hour depending on the speed of the beautician that day, haha. This is how a typical session goes:
Cleansing (15 Min)
Mask (15 Min)
Double Ice Mask (20-30 Min)
Cleansing, Massage, Apply Sun block (15 Min)
So, to end off this review I shall post a pretty pictures as testament to the condition of my skin. post-treatments. HAHA. Actually I’ve been already posting a lot of my post-treatment photos already la, but indulge me. (:
This picture with B was taken in October last year about 2 months after I started going to NY Skin Solutions. The improvement of my skin was really remarkable and really when I started to take a lot of pictures. Haha.
This one’s in Dec last year and it’s when I’ve also stopped applying foundation on my skin because the NY Skin beautician says it clogs pores. So I only apply eyeliner, blusher and occasional lipstick! Besides, with good skin, there’s no need for foundation to cover uneven patches/scars etc. (:
Another pic with B, so you can see an up close picture of my face, taken in Jan this year. Again, it’s only eye liner and blusher here. I have pretty bad eye bags… from all my ill-disciplined late nights. Sobs. I need to really discipline myself to sleep early.
Another pic in Feb. Skin here looks really good. HAHA. Okay, but also because it’s taken with B’s magical Casio TR 100 Camera. With the awesome function, we look super good in them. HAHA.
Which leads me to… I will compose another post titled “Cheat sheet” to pretty profile pictures. HEHE. Mostly involves IPhone and wonderful IPhone Apps! (:
Hope you enjoyed this post! Comment if you have any questions and I will get back to you.
xx