jenamaen.com is a lifestyle blog of a girl with many passions. She transitions from being a reluctant traveler, a fashion and beauty enthusiasts, a health and wellness buff, a fabric hoarder and striving sewist, a notebook and planner addict and a book collector.
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Here's the given Itinerary for this trip:Day 1: Incheon/SeoulArrival at Incheon International Airport, meet and greet our tour guide. Transfer to Seoul for hotel check-in. Overnight in Seoul.
Day 2: Nami Island/Petite France / Nansan Seoul TowerAfter breakfast in hotel, transfer to Nami Island and enjoy the "Winter Sonata" filming place. Visit the much-awaited Petite France - "My Lover from the Start" filming place. Then transfer to Seoul and visit the N Seoul Tower with lift (Observatory) + Love Lock (Lock Excluded.) After dinner, transfer to Hotel. Overnight in Seoul.
Day 3: Kimchi Making/ Hanbok Costume/ Everland (Breakfast and Dinner)After Breakfast in hotel, proceed to Yongin and Experience making Kimchi + Wearing Hanbook National Korean Costume. Then enjoy Everland Theme Park with an unlimited ticket. After dinner, transfer to Hotel. Overnight in Seoul.
Day 4: Gimpo/Hyundai Cruise - Outlet / Goblin / Myeongdong (Breakfast/Lunch)After Breakfast in hotel, visit Ginseng Outlet and Cosmetic and Duty-Free Shop. Then transfer to Gimpo and enjoy Hyundai Cruise. Then visit the Hyundai Premium Outlet and enjoy shopping and discounts for branded items. Transfer back to Seoul, visit Deoksugung Stonehall Walkway - "Goblin" filming place. Free time for shopping at Myeongdong Shopping Street. Transfer to Hotel. Overnight in Seoul.
Day 5: Seoul/Gyeoungbok Palace/ Incheon (Breakfast / Lunch)After breakfast in hotel, visit Gyeongbok Palace with National Folk Museu, and pass by Blue House. Then visit Red Pine Shop and Amethyst Factory. Last stop to Korean Food and souvenir supermarket. Transfer to Incheon International Airport for departure to Manila.
Note; This itinerary is subject to change according to local condition without prior notice.
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For our anniversary week this year, hubby and I decided to get away for a little bit. We opted to go to for a road trip to Maine to get a chance to visit as many lighthouses as possible.
Of course, we were able to do that. But for now, let's talk about this hiking trip that we did.
Mt. Sargent rises at 1373 feet in Acadia National Park and is about 6.5-mile hike up the rocky pathway. I wouldn't say it was a difficult climb, but the fact that I was mentally unprepared made me want to complain, just a tiny bit.
There's a lot of entrance to this mountain.
The North Ridge trail is fairly steep towards the summit, the South Ridge trail is recommended for less experienced hikers, the Grandgent trail is the most difficult and a number of trails intersect these three such as Hadlock Brook trial, Maple Spring trail, and Giant Slide trail or the Penobscot Mountain Trail. - http://bit.ly/MtSargent
Since it is within the Acadia National Park, along the way, we encountered the picturesque Jordan Pond and some of the bridges constructed under John D. Rockefeller, Jr aptly called the Carriage Roads.
One of the Carriage Roads we passed by.
The trail that we took wasn't that difficult, but it was indeed rocky, and some of them were little too steep for a short lady like me. The summit though was a totally different topic. It was breath-taking, literally. It was relieving to see the beautiful scenery from the top.
Summit of Mt. Sargent
And to further give you a feel of what it was like, here's a little video I prepped for y'all. Just a note, I might have added that we took the 'Mt. Desert' hike, but it was supposedly 'Mt. Sargent'. My mistake, sorry!
Hiking Mt. Sargent in Maine - YouTube
Yup, I updated my Youtube Channel to add more visual to this blog. Please leave a comment below of what you think of the video. And don't forget to like and subscribe on the channel as well via www.youtube.com/c/jenamaenacar!
Book Insight: Stieg Larsson's The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo "Millennium" Series
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo SynopsisPublished: 2005 Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden's wealthiest families, disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap in a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.
The Girl who Played with Fire SynopsisPublished: 2006 Crusading publisher Mikael Blomkvist has decided to run an explosive expose of a wide-ranging sex trafficking operation. Just before the piece is published, two people are murdered. The fingerprints on the murder weapon belong to his friend, the troubled hacker genius Lisbeth Salander. Blomkvist, convinced of Salander's innocence, plunges into an investigation. Meanwhile, Lisbeth herself is drawn into a murderous game of cat and mouse and is forced to face her dark past.
The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest SynopsisPublished: 2007 Once upon a time, she was a victim. Now Lisbeth Salander is fighting back.
As she lies in critical condition in a Swedish hospital, Lisbeth is fighting for her life in more ways than one. If and when she recovers, she'll stand trial for three murders. With the help of Mikael Blomkvist, she'll need to identify those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence. And, on her own, she'll seek revenge - against the man who tried to kill her and against the corrupt government institution that nearly destroyed her life.
The AuthorStieg Larsson, who lived in Sweden, was the editor in chief of the magazine Expo and a leading expert on antidemocratic, right-wing extremist, and Nazi organizations. He died in 2004, shortly after delivering the manuscripts for The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, The Girl who Played with Fire, and The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.
Praises for Stieg Larsson's Trilogy"Exceptional ..... Meticulously plotted, beautifully paced." - The Boston Globe
"Compelling ... Combine the chilly Swedish backdrop and moody psychodrama of a Bergman movie with the grisly pyrotechnics of a serial killer thriller, then add angry punk heroine and down-on-his-luck investigative journalist, and you have the ingredients of Stieg Larsson's first novel." - Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"Lisbeth Salander [is] one of the most startling, engaging heroines in recent memory." - USA Today
"Lisbeth Salander could be the female Jason Bourne...It's an intelligent, fascinating story that draws readers in, and keeps them turning the page." - Associated Press
"Fully lives up to the excellence of the previous two and...bring the saga to a satisfactory conclusion...A modern masterpiece." - The Washington Post Book World
"Satisfying .. [Lisbeth Salander] bursts off the page, a vibrant, forcefully 'real' character." - The Plain Dealer jenamaen's InsightThis Trilogy had been the first crime fiction that I have read for a long time. Since I've been wanting to read this book for a while, having seen it done in a movie and such, I decided to give it a go. And boy, how these books literally took my breath and time away!
I was initially intrigued by the author's story. I don't know what it must be like for him and his family. But losing your life before seeing your book actually published and make it to a bestseller list, is just so sad and disheartening.
But what gripped me the most was the synopsis. JUST READ!
The reason why I posted these three books at the same time and post is that of the fact that I actually sat and spent most of my hours trying to finish them in one seating. Well, it actually took days, but you know what I mean. I couldn't put them down! I had to finish them to get to the end of the story. This is one of those trilogies that has no boring parts whatsoever.
Let's just say, Lisbeth Salander used to be my dream girl. A hacker with exceptional intelligence that, even though socially and psychologically different, thrives and function logically under pressure. Everything might be going wrong around her, but she's secure in her own world and perfectly satisfied and confident with who she is. Yes - the nerdy type. Connected uncannily with a writer, what else can this girl ask for?
Originally, published in Swedish, these series was translated by Reg Keeland in English and since then have reached the number one in the New York Times Bestseller List. The synopsis itself will get you hooked, and once you start reading it, you will never want to put it down until the end.
Aside from the fact that the plot and story of these books are gripping and exciting as they are, the Swedish government and Nazi organizations piqued my interest too. This trilogy sparked my interest in the modern crime fiction genre.
I may be a little too late at the craze, but I think these are definitely worth the time and effort. I totally agree with the praises authors and publishers gave about this trilogy.
jenamaen's Rating: 10/10
Stieg Larsson's The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo "Millennium" Series
Do you know of any other crime fiction that would come on par with this book? Share it on the comment section below so I could read them too!
After I moved to New Jersey with my husband, I have a few friends asking me for tips or help on processing the K1 Visa. So I thought it would be nice to share with you all my K1 Visa Timeline and a few tips and tricks I have learned along the way while processing it.
The K1 visa is the type of visa issued by the United States to the fiance or fiancee of a US citizen to enter the country and get married there within 90 days of entry. K1 Visa is an option for those who want to bring their fiance and get married there the soonest. It is different from the 'spousal visa' or CR1 where the couple chooses to marry outside the US and then eventually decides to bring the spouse to the US in a later time. This process takes a little longer to be done, meaning the foreign spouse would have to wait at least one year before he/she could have the visa (CR1) to enter the US.
For some couples, especially to the Filipino Fiancee, filing K-1 Visa could be an overwhelming task, considering the hundreds of website that offer tips and tricks that makes the processing look more complicated and mind-boggling. On top of that, some agencies offer help but charge the couple-client a very unreasonable amount.
We honestly didn't know where to start either, but we just followed what the USCIS website requires us to compile. Indeed, it was a complicated matter that tested our relationship and patience further.
Tip 1- Check out the General Overview of Fiance Visa Processing at the USCIS website (https://www.uscis.gov/family/family-us-citizens/visas-fiancees-us-citizens)
Here is my timeline: Dec. 10, 2017. Form I-129F Petition Packet Sent. This packet is to be filled by the petitioner (US Citizen). In my case, my fiance (the US Citizen) included the following papers:
Evidence of US Citizenship
A Copy of his Birth Certificate
A Copy of his Naturalization or Citizenship Certificate
A Copy of his unexpired U.S. Passport
One color passport style photograph of him and I taken within 30 days of filing the petition
Evidence of intent to marry within 90 days of admission to the U.S. as K-1 immigrant or Letter of Intent
Evidence that we have met in person within two years of filling. This included our pictures together and with the family as well as letters, travel tickets we had together and chat or text messages we had.
Paid the USCIS fee amounting to $535.
Tip 3: If your fiance doesn't know what to do and you, the beneficiary, doesn't have any idea either, review the requirements at the USCIS website (https://www.uscis.gov/i-129f). For any specific details that you need help with, join a helpful Facebook Group like this - K1 Visa - Visa Journey (https://www.facebook.com/groups/61405522650/). It is an active group with people who will respond to your inquiry quickly. It is different from visajourney.com, which is an agency website, and I DON'T recommend it.
Dec 14, 2017. Form I-797C Notice of Action (NOA) 1 Email Received. This was a simple letter stating that the Department of Homeland Security, U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) received the Petition Packet. However, it didn't mean that they had processed the Petition Packet yet.
Dec. 20. 2017. Form I-797C Notice of Action (NOA) 1 Hardcopy Received - This letter informed us that the Packet was already in the process and we should wait for further notice. This was the part where we should expect if we have RFE (Request for Evidence), in case we missed to send out some more important papers. Thankfully, no RFE sent to us, and the waiting just went on.
The waiting time between this letter and when we sent the Packet, was a little nerve racking for me because my fiance and I only met twice in person and I felt like the pieces of evidence ( photos and whatnot) we sent out were not enough. I found out later on that there were even worst-case scenarios from other couples, especially those who just met through an online dating platform. I was so relieved that no RFE came.
Between this date and the next letter received, we were planning our church wedding in the Philippines, and that somehow eased my anxiety. I poured my attention on the preparation and in some ways, that made the waiting time seemed shorter because I knew I'd be seeing him again. We did the wedding without filing or signing any papers in the Philippines so that it will not affect the K1 visa processing. We did this also because we wanted our families on the Philippine side to come together to witness our togetherness without spending a trip the other side of the world.
Tip 4 - It is cheaper to do a fancy wedding in the Philippines. So if you and you're fiance are up for that and are both Filipinos by birth, it would cut so many expenses on your budget if you do it there. That way, relatives can witness you too as you unite in marriage. Just don't file your marriage license in the Philippines or else that will void your K1 visa petition process. Do another small ceremony in the US once you arrive under the K1 visa. Remember: K1 Visa is for an unmarried couple, CR1 or IR1 is for the married couple; K1 visa notably shorter in process time than CR1 or IR1 visas.
June 27, 2018. Form I-1797 Notice of Action (NOA) 2 Hardcopy Received. After six (6) long months, we finally received the final Notice of Action stating that USCIS approved our Petition and that they were now sending it over to the Department of State National Visa Center (NVC). This also ended the USCIS's part of the process and that further inquiries should be directed towards the NVC.
I was super excited at this point because finally, we could proceed to the next step. Frankly, though, I was mentally-stomped because of the excitement that I couldn't figure out what the next step would be. This was the time that I turned to Facebook Groups for help. My husband though was as calm and cool as a cucumber which totally didn't help me at all! :)
During this time, I was temporarily in the US under a Tourist (B1/B2) Visa, which was issued to me ten years ago, and was there for a couple of months until we received the next letter.
Tip 5 - It is an advantage for you, the beneficiary if you have an existing US Tourist Visa before filing the petition. That way, you can still visit fiance in the US during the waiting time. However, if you don't have an existing Tourist Visa and is planning to get one to visit fiance somehow, you might encounter complications in the process because technically, you are already in the process of getting a FIANCE VISA. I strongly suggest NOT go to the risk of getting a TOURIST VISA AT THIS POINT and, merely wait for the whole process to be over.
July 24, 2018. National Visa Center (NVC) Letter with Case Number Received - This letter stated that the NVC has received the Petition Packet approved by the USCIS and that the NVC would now forward the Packet to the U.S. Embassy in Manila.
I was still in the US when I received this letter and was still definitely dumb-founded. I wasn't sure what the next step would be so was just frantically googling and facebooking information, absorbing everything I could get. I also had to fly back to the Philippines to start the next phase of the process soon.
Aug 26, 2018. Eligibility Letter / Packet Received. This packet contained the letter of my eligibility to schedule an interview at the US Embassy in Manila. It also includes the next step to be done. Attached to it was a copy of my approved petition form, signed and stamped by the USCIS officer.
So there you go, after days of googling and facebooking, they actually sent me the next step. I should have relaxed myself a little bit all this time. However, since I already had an idea of what do next, I already paid and filled the application for the Embassy interview before I received the letter. Thankfully this came in time before my actual interview date.
Tip 6 - Some applicants complained that they never received or received too late this letter/packet. I was adviced that it is ok to proceed to the following steps as long as I have the Case Number with me (attached in the NVC letter.) So I did the following steps:
Tip 7 - It might come confusing to you when you notice that under Travel.State.Gov, K1 Visa fall under "Immigrant Visa" and you're being asked to fill up a "Non-Immigrant Application Visa (DS 160)" on the CEAC website. Just remember that, technically, you would be entering the US under K1 Visa and it doesn't guarantee your permanent stay in the US. Keep that in mind so you won't get confused.
Aug 28-29, 2018. SLEC Medical Exam. After I got the date for my Embassy Interview, I went on and applied for the required medical exam at St. Luke's Medical Center Extension Clinic (http://slec.ph/), where all the K-1 Visa applicants were checked and examined for illnesses before entering the US.
I had no other complication was able to get my results the second day. During this step, I've met three awesome girls who were also K-1 applicants and was able to sympathize with them about all the worries we encountered so far in the process. We agreed to update each other about the next step we were going to take.
We now live in the US in different states, and we still contact each other for updates about our lives. Meeting new friends was, by far, one of the coolest things I've experienced in this journey.
Tip 8 - Make sure to bring all the applicable requirements at this appointment, better yet, bring your whole compilation of requirements you have so far, And be at the clinic early. I was there before 6 am, and there was a long line already. Come earlier to get an early spot.
Sept 10, 2018. US Embassy Interview!! I had all the reason to be nervous at this point. I've read a lot of horror stories from Facebook groups that said it all depends on who the Consul would be. My Friends and Family tried their best to calm me down saying that I've already been interviewed before and the fact that I've been in the US before and have talked to Americans should make it easier for me to pass it.
The interview went on well. I took the oath and just answered basic questions about me and my fiance. Thankfully, I knew all the answers to the questions and was able to understand the Consul clear enough without having to repeat what she said. I had with me a thick book of my compilation of all the requirements as well as the pictures that some said are required, just in case they asked. I showed the Consul the papers they asked for, and that was it! She didn't even look at the thick photo album that I brought with me!
As haggard as I might have looked at that time, I was so relieved to pass the interview! I immediately texted all my three new friends and updated my Facebook as well to thank everyone who prayed for me.
Tip 9 - It's not completely necessary to bring a thick photo album as I did. If you do want to bring photos for additional evidence of your relationship, make sure you compile it neatly in a "clear book" or binder that will easily slip into the slot of the interview window in the embassy. And I tell you, it's not that big! So don't make it too bulky, as I had.
Sept. 7, 2018. CFO Seminar. CFO or Commission on Filipinos Overseas (https://www.cfo.gov.ph/) holdsbasic seminars educating immigrants on what to do in the US in case problems in the process would occur. They offer tips, pieces of advice and contact information of organizations when help is needed. This seminar is a requirement for everyone who applies for an immigrant visa. They explain here what could be your life's worst scenario in case your US Citizen spouse does something terrible to you. This is especially helpful for those who don't have any idea what life in the US would look and feel like. Even I, though I've been in the US several times before us a tourist, got some useful tips here in case of emergency.
Tip 10 - CFO Seminar would require you to bring your passport and K1 Visa to get the CFO Certificate that you would need to show to the immigration officer at the port of exit. This seminar can be done before or after the Embassy interview. For me, I did it before the Embassy interview and came back to get the certificate. So, my advice, it is much convenient to do this after the Embassy interview to save on trip fares.
Sept. 19, 2018 - Visa on Hand. One of the happiest moment in your life is when you get something you have worked hard for. In my case, having the K1 visa right on my fingertips made me feel like I was the most accomplished person in the whole world. Of course, not to mention the fact that I'll be with the person I want to be for the rest of my life, this moment felt like the pinnacle of all my successes in life.
I know, I am over exaggerating. But it's true. That moment, that feeling that you will be out of the country soon and be with your loved one, in a strange big land could be the grandest feeling of all.
Tip 11 - Visa can be picked up on authorized courier's office or mailed straight to your house. I did the former to make sure the package won't get lost.
Sept. 20, 2018 - Claimed CFO Certificate and Stamp. Two days before my actual departure date, I went back to CFO office to claim the CFO certificate and have that CFO stamp that would be checked the immigrant officer once I depart. Sept. 22, 2018. Fly to New Jersey via JFK. And then it suddenly dawns on me that I'll be leaving my birth country for good. I'll be moving on from the life I used to live in an experience I've only dreamed off. A combination of excitement and anxiety hit me at this point in time as I boarded the plane, knowing that it might take a long while before I can go back to the country I called home for such a long time. I wanted to cry, but at the same time, I wanted to jump up and down for sheer exhilaration and anticipation of what's ahead.
Tip 12 - Pack light as much as possible. This would eliminate delays on your baggage check-in and, besides, I'm pretty sure you'll be buying your stuff in the US anyway.
I am in the States now and as I am writing this, I can't help be grateful for this kind of experiences. I made me test my patience and faith in God as well as strengthen my prayer life for the better.
As a side note, this is not complete detailed information about the K1 Visa application. I am merely sharing my experiences and what I've learned throughout the whole process. If you need help and have questions for me, please contact me through email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or leave me a message below.
Hopefully, reader, this might be a help and encouragement to you. If you're a new applicant for K1 Visa, stay calm, pray on, and follow the requirements down to its tiniest details. If you're one like me, who passed through this hellfire already, congratulations and I pray for your happy marriage with your spouse.
Your friend’s birthday’s coming up, so you go to your favorite online shop searching for the perfect gift, only to be greeted with a gazillion choices from merchants you’ve never even heard of. So instead of basking in the convenience of online shopping, you leave the site more stressed than before. Sounds familiar? It should because this scenario highlights one of the problems in the age of online shopping – trust and authenticity.
Online shopping has truly revolutionized the way we buy stuff. Right now, we can practically buy anything online - from clothes to food, to even cars! But the immense convenience that online shopping offers isn’t without its set of challenges. Obviously, we cannot physically examine products, so descriptions, pictures, and reviews have become our go-to resources when it comes to deciding whether something belongs to our cart or not.
It's a bit like looking for a relationship (bear with me on this). The first thing you notice when you meet someone is the looks (packaging, description) and when you start being together (after purchase) you begin to find out if he or she is as you perceive them to be (verification of features). The information you’ll gather then becomes the basis whether you stay in the relationship or get out and look for another one (next purchase). Simple, right?
To help out buyers, online platforms have implemented all sorts of website features and functions to give us as much information as possible. Not sure how a certain dress will fit? The product listing probably includes a picture of a woman wearing the dress, complete with the model’s measurements. Some shops even show videos of the products in use to make us visualize how we can use the product after purchase.
But aside from the products themselves, we also have the problem of figuring out if what we’re looking at actually even exist! We’ve all been there: we type a product on the search bar and we're presented with tons of choices of the same item with different ratings, different prices, and different brands from different shops! The biggest challenge? Finding out which ones are legit, have fair prices, and will actually get delivered to you. Whew!
What are our options?
This is why platforms such as Argomall.com are quite refreshing. Founded in 2015 by Filipino- owned conglomerate Transnational Diversified Group, Argomall operates with a simple premise: Let’s make consumers trust us by selling only authentic products with fair prices and simplifying the buying process. It also uses human customer service representatives instead of bots or automated responses to better serve its customers.
Building relationships with customers is a peculiar strategy in a digital world usually dictated by consumerism and advertisements. It makes sense though because as mentioned before, we decide whether to buy stuff in a manner similar to when we choose our personal relationships. After the initial purchase, we go back to a platform if it sells authentic items, is transparent with its pricing and promotions, and strives to build trust among its patrons.
While it’s well and good that a platform is truthful about its product descriptions or terms, we often have a limited budget to work with, so price really matters. Having dozens of versions of the same item with vastly different prices (not to mention hidden charges, fake discounts, or bogus markdowns) only serve to confuse buyers, so it’s really a boon that sites like Argomall only post a single price for each item, which already includes shipping fee.
In the end, we as consumers have the responsibility of choosing which sites can best serve our needs. We shouldn’t just go to an online shop just because it’s popular. What if they don’t have a clear policy when it comes to returns or refund of items? What if they don’t care much about your privacy and data?
These are among the new set of considerations we must think about in the digital world, and fortunately, we now have alternative websites and platforms like Argomall (which even provides Philippine warranty for all items) that address them.
Does putting emphasis on trust, transparency, and authenticity really the way to go in the digital age Time will tell. But knowing what really is important to customers is a huge step towards gaining their confidence and building meaningful and reliable relationships. And sometimes, that is all that is needed. - Cyrian Agujo.
I have only been in New York twice in my travel life, and even until now I still can't believe that I'll be living somewhere near her soon.
With that said, I just want to lay down the things I truly miss about New York and why I totally fell under her spells.
1. Free Ferry Rides
In a place where everything seems so expensive, it still surprises me that there's even such a thing as free ferry rides. Going from island to island feels a lot more exciting than before. And with that said, there's no denying the fact that Ferries in New York never ran out of passengers.
2. Numerous selection of Museums.
As far as I know, New York probably has the most number of museums in one city. Granted, I don't always fancy museums, but being a tourist on the times I've been in New York, I admire the way they treasure and preserve almost everything they have.
3. Peaceful Park in the City
Central Park is like a breath of fresh air in the midst of the busy buzzing city. I guess whether you're a tourist or a local, it's no doubt that Central Park is an ideal place to relax the mind while still remaining in walking distance from work and busy-ness. When I first stepped into the grounds of Central Park, it felt like an entirely different place. The air was different from the rest of the city, and the nature around me seemed to transport me somewhere else. It was that alluring.
Although this is not the only city in the world that has skyscrapers and towering buildings, there's something about New York's air and flair that gives its buildings a subtle hint of sophistication and glam when looking up at those buildings.
5. Iconic Structures.
Once again, New York is not the only place with iconic structures. But in its own way, New York has been made famous by some of this notable structures. Statue of Liberty for one has a title of its own.
I more thing I would like to add, -who does not feel that sense of freedom, being capable and competent to do whatever you desire, every time you look at the New York Skyline? I know I do.
I know I haven't mentioned even half of the things one could miss about New York. I would include here the first time I stepped foot into the store called MOOD Designer Fabrics, where the contestants from the show Project Runway makes its fabric purchases. I died and woke up in fabric heaven!! Local stores mentioned on popular tv shows are endless in New York!
I also would like to mention though one thing I noticed in New York. Even though the diversity in terms of ethnicity is huge, how Filipinos accept people of their own is really heart-warming. Their hospitality seems to grow deeper on different grounds.
Believe me there are more to New York than meets the eye, but what are your exciting discoveries here? Leave it in the comments below and I would love to hear about it!
I have been a fan of essential oils since I came to know them better. It is no secret what it could do to our system. Incorporating them, not only on what we apply on our skin but also on our house-cleaning products, could help us feel more of its beneficial effects. Here are some popular ways and common essential oils to use for cleaning around the house.
Cleaning with conventional products can make your home smell disinfected, and this comes from a number of chemicals. Using self-made recipes with natural products for cleaning, on the other hand, guarantees for a safer and healthier cleaning process. Most recipes contain baking soda, vinegar, salt, soap, oil and water as primary ingredients. Vinegar can make your cleaning products smell unpleasant. Using essential oils, you can achieve better results. They are made by pressing the raw plant or steaming it. Use these 5 essential oils for making your cleaning mixtures, sprays and detergents smell nicer and become more efficient.
1. Lemon Essential OilUsed for its antiviral, antibacterial and refreshing properties, lemon essential oil makes the stains lighter and helps remove them. It is perfect for sprays to incorporate the citrus aroma in your home. Lemon essential oil is suitable to be added to the laundry detergent to make white clothes brighter, to the water you use to mop white tiles and for deodorizing the fridge. In combination with olive oil, it can be used as leather and wood polish.
2. Peppermint Essential OilYou can use peppermint essential oil for making all kinds of cleaning products and sprays for your home. It has a strong cooling scent and has antibacterial properties. You can add it in deodorizing sprays and home cleaners. It is suitable to be used for cleaning kitchens and bathrooms, keeping insects and pest away. Dissolved in water (about 10-15 drops in 1 glass of water) peppermint essential oil can be used as an air deodorizer which banishes and kills ants and spiders.
3. Tea Tree Essential OilIt is widely used for its antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. This essential oil is very effective in removing mold and mildew from different surfaces in the house. Use 2 teaspoons of tea tree essential oil dissolved in 2 glasses of water. Pour this mixture into a spray bottle and apply on surfaces which have mildew like the bathroom. It is also effective as a musty smell remover. It does not need rinsing which makes it even more practical. Thanks to its medicinal and therapeutic aroma, essential oil from tea tree can be added to the soapy water you use to mop the floors and to the laundry detergent for washing your clothes.
4. Lavender Essential OilLavender oil has the best scent amongst antibacterial essential oils. It is very useful as it has a relaxing and soothing impact on the nervous system. It also helps for a deeper sleep that is why it can be included as an ingredient in cleaning products you use in the evening after a very stressful work day. Thanks to its antiviral, antiseptic, fungicidal and bactericidal effect, lavender essential oil is an excellent ingredient for all cleaning products. The oil can be mixed with vinegar to create cleaning detergent with antibacterial properties and give it a more pleasant smell. It is appropriate to be included in sprays for refreshing linens and self-made dish soaps.
5. Orange Essential OilAlso known as sweet orange essential oil, it has antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It is suitable for removing greasy marks from kitchen surfaces and appliances. Orange essential oil inhibits Salmonella and E. Coli in beef while cooling. This is why it is perfect for cleaning counter-tops and cutting boards. Sweet orange essential oil is widely used in aromatherapy which makes it the best ingredient for cleaning that has a beneficial effect. It is perfect for relieving anxiety, nervousness, depressions, and insomnia. For even stronger effect, combine it with lavender essential oil. Disclaimer: The information contained on this page is meant for educational and informational purposes, and to motivate you to make your own health care and dietary decisions based upon your own research and in partnership with your healthcare provider. The information contained on this page is NOT meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It only represents what I have chosen to do to take charge of my own personal health and that of my family. Statements on this page have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something. Please check out my disclosure policy for more details. Using these 5 essential oils, you can achieve the best effect in cleaning while making your sprays and detergents smell more pleasant. Include them in the homemade products you prepare to experience more of its beneficial effects. What's your favorite among them?
It's almost February again and this time around my month would be different. I'm still trying to wrap my fingers around the fact that I'm not single anymore and all actions I have to do has to be on par with what my partner-in-life wants. When I say I want to stay at home and just cozy up for the coming Valentines Day - because the winter here is killing me, of course, he has something else in mind.
But rather than going head to head with people on those dates, we decided to celebrate that day in advance, because why not? Besides, it would be a lot easier and cheaper for us knowing that rates of hotels and resorts would shoot up during the week of Valentines Day.
Initially, I was the one who's supposed to come up with the place since he's busy with work. But my husband being himself, came across this romantic-looking resort that seems to satisfy what we need and have in mind.
What the Hipe is All AboutWe chose Cove Haven Entertainment Resort. Cove Haven, part of a 3- Couples-Only Resorts in the Poconos, is located on the shores of Lake Wallenpaupack and has 225 suites, two restaurants, three bars, the Champagne Palace Nightclub, a Spa house, and a Sports/Game zone - all perfect for any entertainment of the couples' choice.
Round, Coliseum Architectural Style of Garden of Eden Suites made it perfect for all the facilities inside to fit. Windowless rooms were for added privacy.
Cove Haven is a four-season resort - meaning, they are open all year round and offers a variety of activities all season long. Since its winter right now, they offer outdoor ice skating, snow tubing, and snowshoeing. For the rest of the season, they have outdoor recreation like golf, tennis, speed boat rides, pedal boats, nature trail walks, and nearby horseback riding.
Cove Haven Resort was first popularized by Morris Wilkins back in 1968 with his first-ever heart-shaped bathtub. It was then that northeastern Pennsylvania mountains would be dubbed as the 'Land of love' in the US, a popular destination for honeymooners and lovers alike.
The Heart-Shaped Whirlpool Bathtub with Surrounding Mirrors.
Unfortunately, Mr. Wilkins failed to win the patent for the said bathtub, and since then the production of the tub has increased. Over the years, many hotels adapted the same concept, but as soon as the honeymoon era began to decline, the sale of this particular bathtub had dwindled as well.
It didn't deter him though. Mr. Wilkins created another unusual bathtub design in the shape of a seven-foot champagne glass. This time though he won the patent to it and has been an icon of the resort ever since.
Cove Haven Entertainment Resort now boasts of 437 heart-shaped whirlpool-equipped bathtubs and 135 seven-foot-tall champagne-glass tubs.
Cove Haven Entertainment Resort has three resorts to choose from. Cove Haven, located at Lakeville, PA and features the suites and amenities I just mentioned above. Pocono Place is located at East Stroudsburg, PA. It exudes "a relaxed atmosphere of a private club and is a romantic retreat on private Echo Lake in the heart of Pocono Mountains - only an hour drive from George Washington Bridge." Paradise Stream is at the heart of Mount Pocono itself and is a retreat on private Lake Eden.
Cove Haven is apparently the biggest one and we went for it.
The 225 suites that Cove Haven is divided into six suite-style, the Champagne Tower which has a bathtub in a patented shape of a champagne glass, the Garden of Eden Apple, Cove Fantasy, Cove Harbour, Juliette, and Harbour Tower.
Indoor Pool Size Perfect for Couple at Garden of Eden Apple Suite.
We decided to go for the Garden of Eden Apple which has the following amenities:
World famous heart-shaped whirlpool bath-for-two
Private indoor heated pool surrounded with imported Italian tile
Cozy log-burning fireplace
Remote control TV in the bedroom
Living room with TV featuring Lodgenet in-room movies
Round king-size bed with mirrored headboard
Individually controlled air conditioning/heating unit
Plus, many other unique features
Bathroom, Shower Closet, and Vanity for Garden of Eden Apple Suite.
Upon entering the suite. I was actually taken aback by how romantic the concept of the room felt like. For someone, like me, who hasn't been in a honeymoon hotel before, this was a real treat for the eyes. The heart-shaped whirlpool bathtub draws you in, making you want to just jump and relax in it.
As we entered deep into the room, the inviting round bed makes you want to cuddle up and stay there all night, especially when it's freezing cold outside.
It was an advantage that this room has an indoor pool, a size just perfect for couples. We didn't have to drive down to the public in-house pool just to take a deep into it when it so cold and snowing outside. It was winter when we came, so warmth was what we were aiming for and the pool that they have in this particular type of suite was clean and warm enough that we didn't want to get out of it once we went in.
Apparently, Deer Feeds were available at the Gift Shop and you can feed them practically anywhere!
The dry sauna came in handy, too, when we really wanted to get warmed up.
We didn't pay the extra for additional romantic amenities like wines, chocolate-dipped strawberries or rose-petals for the tub because we thought that wouldn't be necessary for us anyway. But those are available in case you want it.
TVs are not necessarily for relaxation, but these suites are equipped with two, one in front of the heart-shaped tub, and one in front of the bed.
The use of fireplace was also a plus and added a little more warmth and coziness around the room, although there was a built-in heater/air conditioner in the suite.
For outdoor activities, we tried the outdoor ice skating that they have. The rink was a little too bumpy but it was better than nothing. We were going to try the snow tubing, but at the time we inquired, it was still being tested.
When it is not winter, outdoor activities vary. They have Tennis Courts, Handball/Basketball Courts, Heart-shaped Outdoor Heated Pool, Marina Activites (Speedboats, Pedal Boats, Paddleboards), Outdoor Archery, Hiking Trail, Fishing Pond, and Golf Driving Range and Pines Outdoor Heated Pool.
They also have an indoor game place called Sports Palace, which has pool tables, table tennis, archery, arcade games, tennis, and ice-skating rink and so much more to keep couples entertained.
Archery Space for Two Couples at a time.
Colosseum Restaurant and Cupid's Corner Bar was a few steps from the suites, or you can drive around it and park your car wherever available nearby. They have live piano music during dinner which adds to the romantic ambiance of the place.
Pool Tables and Arcades were available for couples' entertainment.
They have a specific place for weddings and other events. A Gazebo over-looking the lake is a perfect hangout place too (when it's not winter, of course).
The Lookout Lodge, Sundeck, Indoor Pool, Wedding Chapel and Mni Golf Area overlooking the Lake Wallenpaupack
They have other entertainment too like the so-called Champagne Palace Nightclub, Spooner's Sports Bar & Grill, Mover Theater & Roller Skating, Tanlines Bar & Grill, and The Spa. We didn't go to either of those, though.
The Marina - Landing port for Speedboats, Paddle Boats and Pedal Boats
What I like most during our visit was the fact that almost all the employees we came across were friendly and approachable and I give two thumbs up for them.
For those who came in with no cars, there were buses available to drop them off on specific areas in the resort within a particular period.
Parking Spaces were available in every area in the resort.
This resort has been in existence for sixty years, and that amazes me. But despite the fact that they describe the resort as 'Luxury' in their advertisements and though they say they were 'recently renovated,' there are spots in this resort that seemed outdated and needs a little up-keeping.
The Lookout Lodge/ Sun Deck overlooking Lake Wallenpaupack
For example, the carpet in our suite - as red and romantic as it may seem in the photos - looked old and worn out in person, especially the parts were water touches it (around the heart-shaped tub, the bathroom/shower room, and the doorway to the pool.) Worn out edges can also be seen on the carpet with stair-steps and on the couches.
The overall the design of the Colosseum Restaurant and Cupid's Corner Bar, which were under the same building, looked a little outdated too, at least according to my husband.
The Sports Palace has sufficient games in it to keep you entertained but arcade games were old-school, and the indoor skating rink was made of acrylic instead of real ice (since, according to one of the personnel we talked to, it had been too much of an effort for the resort to maintain an indoor ice rink). The place itself looked dingy.
Parking can be a pain at times when the place is packed. Otherwise, walking around when the weather is fine would be a perfect option.
Lake Wallenpaupack during winter seasons.
How to Book and Other Tips
Try booking on their website using mobile phones and get lower price deals!
Sample options When Booking using Laptop or Desktop
Sample options When Booking using Mobile Phones
Surprisingly, they have lower deals when booking on their website using a mobile phone even though they are showing they have good deals already when you book using a tablet or laptop or desktop computer.
When browsing through their website, it is more convenient to use a laptop or desktop because some information cannot be displayed or shown correctly when using a mobile phone/device.
Do research beforehand since there are plenty of activities you can also do outside the resort itself, depending on what season you want to go.
Bring your own firelogs, bathtub essentials (bubble bath, bath salts or bath bombs), and massage oils to save on money buying it on site. It's more customizable with you do-it-yourself. Besides, it's always double the price on the resort itself!
You can also sneak in luxury snacks like chocolate-dipped strawberries and wine. No one would know! That way, you wouldn't have to pay that few extra hundred dollars for something you can buy cheaper outside.
Massage spas can be a little pricey in these places so better yet learn how to give each other a full body massage for added intimacy. Save those extra dollars for a massage near your town if you're really looking for a professional massage.
Make sure to download the free app during your stay! Visit the app store on your mobile device and search for “Land of Love.” Once you have downloaded the free app, turn on your Bluetooth signal to receive push notifications about activities, dining, entertainment and so much more.
If you don't mind a little cheesy-ness, you might want to write a letter to your loved-one, drop it in one of their dropboxes (there's one in the Dining Area and one in the lobby) and they will post in it their Love Letter Website.
Check the Info Summary below, for link guides to their website.
For me, this resort is not bad all. If you don't take into consideration the fact that it is a little bit outdated, you can still have fun in this resort with your loved one. They have enough facilities to keep you entertained, and the suites are in a livable state.
Budget-wise, I would say it is on the pricier side, but it is not over the top. We spent a total of 866.38 dollars, inclusive of breakfast and dinner, for a three-day-two-night stay. I would also say that we got a good deal since we booked on the website using the mobile phone with the "Mobile Only Special - All Inclusive" - which means merely we saved up to 45% off the actual price.
Do not expect a grand reception, though. The front desk lobby area was not that lavish, but it did serve its purpose.
I do like the fact that you can just walk around the resort and try their different facilities at no additional cost, except of course if you're gonna buy food or play the arcades.
Suffice it say, Cove Haven had served the purpose for which we, as a couple, came for. :)
"For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.... Proverbs 23:7"
Just a few days ago, a company contacted me to do a little collaboration featuring their planners. For someone like me who is totally obsessed with notebooks and is a self-professed notebook collector, this kind of things will never go unnoticed!
So when Freedom Mastery contacted me to review their "Law of Attraction" Planner, I was more than ecstatic! To be honest, even before they tried to reach out to me, I already know about this planner - it was already in the list of planners I've been looking to use for this whole year.
If you're living under a rock and doesn't know what "Law of Attraction" means, it's basically the idea of attracting things, events and/or circumstances into your life based on how you think and perceive such things. For example, if you think of mostly negative things in your life - like thinking that you're a nobody or focusing on gossiping about other people's lives rather than thinking you can do a positive change in your and someone else's life, then most likely you will see yourself as a nobody and will end up being the gossip from other people's mouths.
On the flip side, if you think of only positive things in your mind - like telling yourself you are created for His Own Image and that you deserve the life given to you for His Glory and Honour, there is no way you would waste your life belittling other people and making them feel insecure. Because in the end, you wouldn't want other people to do the same to you, right?
Get it now?
If not, this Planner will definitely explain everything to you. This Planner is not like any other. It's literally a Life Coach and Planner all in One. The planners are uniquely designed to guide users to set and manage tasks and stay positive in order to become the most productive, best versions of themselves based on the Law of Attraction. They use methods learned from years of personal development study and the planners are gorgeous with inspiring designs and colors. They are the #1 selling planner on Amazon and their products are getting raving reviews from people around the world- they have over 1,000 5-star reviews! Also for every planner sold, they plant 5 trees with Trees for the Future and have hit over 200,000 trees planted this month!
The Law of Attraction Planner Aims to:
It Helps You Find, or Clarify, Your Life's Purpose
It Teaches You How to Set Big Goals
It Gives You the Clarity and Focus to Succeed – No Matter What
It Creates Harmony in Your Life
It Raises Your Vibrational Energy **This feature alone is LIFE CHANGING!
It Makes Gratitude and Daily Celebration into a Real Habit
Increase Your Productivity By 300%
It Turns Daily To-Do Lists into Feel Good Lists
It Develops Your Creativity and Your Future-Seeing Intuition
It Declutters Your Mind and Creates Inner Peace
It Effortlessly Creates Positive Habits
It Makes it a Breeze to Manage Your Time Effectively
It Ties Your Dream Board and Mind Map to Your Plans
It Keeps You Charged Up for Challenges and Rewarding Yourself
It Uses the Proven Power of Affirmations for Programming Your Mind for Success
It Guides You to Rest, Relax and Recharge
The Yearly Law of Attraction Planner Features:
Law of Attraction Roadmap: 8 Steps to Design Your Dream Life
Awareness and Self-Discovery Guide
Craft your Vision and Mission Statement
Annual Goal Setting Guide
Strategy and Planning Guide
Reprogram your mind and unlock your true potential
Create your Life Statement
Create a new supportive story
Feel Good Guide
Chunk bigger goals into smaller goals (Mind mapping)
Monthly Overview, Goals and Priorities
Monthly Reflection Page
Weekly Planning Overview (56 weeks, 112 pages)
16 empty square pages and 8 blank pages
Super smooth high quality 100 gsm thick paper (About 245 pages)
Full A5 size (5.8" x 8.3") and Large B5 size (7.5" x 10")
Calendar for 2017, 2018 and 2019
Other Planner Options to Choose From:
A Deluxe 90-Day Daily Planner
THIS IS A DELUXE DAILY PLANNER showing you how to become the best possible version of yourself on a mental, physical & interpersonal level. It's the only diary of its kind, and its design is based on leading scientific studies that are proven to increase productivity & happiness! It has an out foldable vision board to stay focused, morning & evening power questions, mind maps, reflection pages, habit trackers, back pocket, gratitude journal and so much more than any other planner listed!
INCREASE YOUR PRODUCTIVITY AND HAPPINESS BY 300% - Help you become much more productive by teaching you how to focus only on your top priorities and delegate the rest. So you can achieve more and create more free time, happiness for yourself. The perfect daily productivity and time management planner for 2018. This day planner include To-Do Lists, Feel-Good List & Gratitude Journal - The weekly/monthly feel-good list will help you not to forget yourself and put yourself first.
ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS AND IMPROVE TIME MANAGEMENT - Learn How To Set Big Goals and achieve them by improving your time management - Follow the same methods millionaires and billionaires around the world follow to set goals and achieve them. You will be amazed by the results if you follow the 8 steps in this planner! FIND YOUR LIFE PURPOSE AND LIVE YOUR PASSION - Discover what you truly want in your life, following your passion and purpose will give you more joy than you ever imagined.
GUARANTEED - This planner system has worked for thousands of others, and It will work for you if not you can have a 90-Day Money-Back Guarantee! If you don't see results within 90 days, just return your product for a refund. The planner has 288 pages of awesomeness, 90 daily planning pages, 6 month overviews. 100% ECO AND VEGAN FRIENDLY: We use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper. FSC paper protects against harvest of rare old-growth forests, prevents loss of natural forest cover.
LUXURIOUS + TOP QUALITY: Beautiful rose gold durable A5 hardcover made from animal-friendly PU leather with artwork & affirmations. Ideal for both women and men, perfect for entrepreneurs, professionals, college students and everyone who has burning desire to turn dreams into reality! FREE VIDEO MINI-COURSE: You will learn 10-min morning routine used by the most successful people to 10 fold your productivity, focus, happiness & passion! You will master setting goals & fix procrastination!
Initial Reaction:Upon receiving this Planner in the mail, I immediately checked it out and was so excited to write my goals and dreams on it for this whole year.
For me, the reason it looks and feels different from other pretty planners that I've tried is the fact it doesn't only give you space to write out your to-do lists, it also opens your thoughts to different possibilities you can attain in your life. Most often in my life, I limit myself to what I can only deem attainable from my own perspective when in fact, I can be more. This planner asks questions that are thought-provoking and will leave you questioning your self about taking risks and just doing what you have to do, rather than get stuck in the decision process. It helps you identify your different fears and accomplishments, giving you a balance concept of what your vision and mission for the current year and for the rest of your life.
I am so happy to be trying this out for the whole year and I will definitely give you all updates on what and how this planner worked for me.
How to Get the Law of Attraction Planners
You can visit their website (listed below) and use the code LOA10OFF to get 10% off your first purchase!
Disclosure:This Planner was sent to me for review purposes. However, reviews and opinions are my own and are not affected by the company in any way possible. This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something. Please check out my disclosure policy for more details.
Law of Attraction is not a fad. It is a state of mind. It is a universal concept. It is the so-called secret to achieving your dreams and goals. If well-known individuals, philosophers or scientists have claimed that positive thinking can attract positive things back into their lives, why would be so skeptical in owning this kind of thinking as well?
If you’re like many people, you use as many tricks and rewards as you can during the day to get you through difficult work stretches. You might reward yourself with an afternoon walk to the local coffee shop, for example. You might just do a short walk around the office in order to get your body moving a little. But there’s something else that can be safe and effective, and also works all the time while you are at your desk, and those are essential oils.
Essential oils are just the distilled elements present in plants, herbs, and flowers, produced in an oil form and notable for strong scents that are associated with those natural items. Those essential oils have been found to stimulate the nervous system and help mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. So which ones should you choose and what can they help do for you at work? This super cute but informative graphic explains it.