Black dress with smokey eyes

Little Black Dress

I had an opportunity to join Modern Luxury Atlanta for To Live and Dine event last Monday 4th. It was a very fun party where gourmet food was served. I ordered my dress from Bluefly.com. It was a sweet heart neck line with empire waist. This dress was from Fable. The cut was very neat and classy. I love the contrast white in the ruffle and the waist line that I can put on a belt to create a curve.
The empire waist helps elongate my torso for a petite girl like me. I am obsessed with the sweet heart neck line, it gave me a great space to play with my necklace.

Sweet heart neck line dress

Fable: Sweet heart neck line dress

Fable black dress

Smokey Eye tools

The night was classy and luxury yet hip. I decided to go with smokey eyes inspired by Lisa Eldridge video. It was simple and effective work! I love all my make up that I’ve collected over a year. After five hours, everything stayed on. I had on a smash lash for fake eye lashes. They made of human hair and they are very natural looking. I don’t feel the heavy weight on my lashes and Duo glue was amazing as usual.

The simple thing about a little black dress is; the accessory and shoes. I think this is why I have so many black dresses and black pairs of shoes. I went with a simple black pumps with peep toes by Guess. These are very comfortable that I could stand all night long without taking them off. My clutch was from Michael Kors, a very soft material with a gold chain across. Love everything black and classy like this.

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Summer Skin Tips for Asian Skin

Ever wonder why Asians age so well? Personally, I think it is our genetics and how we take care of our skin while in the sun.

Traditionally, Asians believe in lighter complexion because it represents a higher class. Asians who were born tan or darker brown, represent a working class. That being said, many Asian girls prevent their skin from being exposed to the sun. They will wear a hat, usually one with big wide wings. They will put on the highest SPF digits the market can offer. Asians do not believe in Sun bathing because it will wrinkle the skin and those freckles are their enemies. While Western cultures fundamentally believe that the darker toned skin is more desirable, some of the concepts for skin care apply to both.

I experimented a few skin regiments myself. Starting at home, Yogurt, cucumbers, and room temperature water are my best friends.
After being outside all day (even when we were in the shades), I would come home and clean my face, put  pure yogurt all over my face and cucumbers on my eye lids. This simple home remedy has been my routine since I was 10.

Skin Treatment:

Asian girls go crazy over this topic. Here are a few things we find are true in all cases

  1. Use  SK II. This is a product that came out the Japan, and was discovered by accident. Workers at the factory regularly had their hands immersed in sake brewery buckets. They discovered their hands remained moist well-nourished without showing any sign of age.
  2. Estee Lauder’s Idealist Pore Minimizing is second to none. It is a great serum, only many of us start using it too early in life. This serum is best for women as they reach their late 30’s
  3. We also love masking, mud masks, white mud masks, clean masks and overnight masks. The nightly routine facial treatment is always a must for Asian women.


Sun and UVA & UVB!

These are three names that we can’t joke around with. Many of Asian girls spend a fortune to have their dark spots removed. The sun-damaged skin is not acceptable in this culture. Many products in Japan and Korea offer skin whitening!  Skin whitening lotion can be used but it makes the skin layer much thinner. This lotion can be used but must be used alongside heavy sunscreen to protect the thinner layer of skin. For this reason alone, we recommend a great moisturizer with high SPF combination for all skin types!

Clinique, Shiseido and Shu Uemura have been in the market for so long that many of their products are so well known around the globe.

I love:
  1. Clinique lip Treatment  It keeps my lips soft without stickiness.
  2. Shiseido – I have tried their powder compact SPF36 . The skin tone matching is amazing.
  3. Shu Uemura – by far has the best oil cleanser. I recommend the green tea version of this oil. It leaves my skin super soft. I use the cleanser primarily in the Summer and Winter.
  4. Lancome lotion with SPF15 – This lotion repairs and protect skin. The texture is light for daily use.

Strong Sun Exposure!

Have you seen Asian women on a beach? They cover their hair with a big scarf, and top it with a big hat. No, we aren’t afraid of it, but the sun can be more invasive in a beach climate than in day-to-day life. Always wear sun glasses because crows feet are not your Christmas list. Long sleeve shirt and a pair of linen crops.

For me, I love sun bathing. I think being tan is so sexy and healthy looking. I can get tan quickly and it will last me a while. When I was young I had few repercussions about extended skin exposure to sun. Now, in my mid 30’s I use more caution when it comes to browning up!  15 minutes of hard sun exposure is really all that is needed in many cases.  Through trial and error, I have found out what works for my skin type. Of course, everyone’s skin is different, but here are some tips I have found to be helpful:

  1. Use SPF 30 or higher for my face. I always re apply sun screen every 30 minutes, so I don’t need to use SPF 80. I have found my new favorite sunscreen though, Vichy SPF 60. It goes on nicely but it feels oily when applying. I don’t mind it, as long as it does the job.
  2. A hat and a wash cloth! I will never, ever let my face expose directly to the Sun. It is harmful and I can see signs of aging on many forehead’s of those who love to have their face naked out in the sun. I put on a hat, wet my wash cloth with drinking water and I lay it on the hat brim when I lay flat in my beach chair. You will be surprised how quickly that wash cloth will dry! Imagine this moisture was taken from your skin. Only your skin, elasticity is also lost!
  3. I apply sunscreen on my body, in one direction only! Crazy right? I don’t rub it back and forth on my arms, legs and body. An old family tip is that sunscreen absorbs best when applied in one direction.
  4. After a dip in the pool, I dry myself, apply body lotion, sunscreen  or tanning lotion in that order! I do use sun tan lotion, so I need to keep my body skin moist at all times. Water naturally takes lotion from your sunscreen, so dry your body before you put another layer on top!
  5. Sun bathing on my back. You know that lower back area where it can get sweat and you always feel heating burn while getting your back tanned? Well, if you don’t get rid of your sweat and re apply your sunscreen, you can get a second degree burn by letting the sun directly harm your skin. This was a tip handed to me by my dermatologist.
  6. Put a leave-in conditioner on my hair while sun bathing. Hair is part of our skin, so I always protect it from being so dry.
  7. Drink tons of water. I do not drink alcohol while sun bathing. The sun is already dehydrating our skin; drinking water will help balance the water we lose through sweat.

|Want to protect and repair skin?

Age and sun damage are difficult to voided. Besides sun screen and moisturizer, there are many helpful skincare that repair damaged skin as well. Skin repair products are in a high competition, which helps consumers like us to explore the best options. Check out great selection below:



Hope your summer is going great and please feel free to share your tips with me. I’ll check out some great tips!




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Le Louvre-The world most famous museum

|Where Mona Lisa lives 

I was more impressed with the modern architect than the grand palace itself!! So I digged a little deeper. This glass pyramid was designed by an American Chinese modern architect, Ieoh Ming Pei. How awesome is that? He combined the strength of steel and glass, created a pyramid shape placed it on top of the originally was a parking lot. The trick is, the entrance is under the ground!! Now, imagine Parisian were freaking out about ruining their Napoleon palace!!!Le Louvre
Any who, the pyramid entrance project was done in 1989 and it has become one of the most famous Paris icons ever since. If you are inside, take a good look through the glass with all those steels crossing. The palace itself didn’t loose its beauty at all. In fact, I think it looks like you are inside a room and looking out a window. At night this pyramid is so gorgeous. If you turn your back to the U shape place and look straight, the pyramid blends with all modern buildings along the road too. I would say Pei was a genius!!
Water fountain surrounds the main pyramid. Great for relaxing and hanging out.
Paris is a very large city. Not only the size, but the architect that caught me of guard while stride along the roads. I’m jealous that Parisian are enjoying their outdoor activity surrounded by beautiful architect. I was very lucky to be able to get inside the museum without standing inline. Why not?!

Was it worth it?
Yes, if you love arts, lots of arts. I don’t think you can get sick of looking at them. Those arts are large and very beautiful. I do not know much about painting, but I appreciate the hard work of getting them together in one place. So I enjoyed my short hour inside the museum. {12 Euros with no guide tape}Going-in

IMG_9045 IMG_9044


This was once a parking lot

Le Louvre Museum

Looking in through the Pyramid glass


The modern architect master by I.M.Pei

Le Louvre

It is clear, you will need 3 days to finish the collection inside the museum



















Mona Lisa

It was worth every step I made to see Miss Monalisa. Her skin seemed very yellow to me. She wasn’t so big but got tons of attention. It did not take me long to approach to her face to face though. After the Europe trip, I totally understood why many artist in that generation did so many self-portraits.

One of the painting I had to get my focus right, was once on the French bill. The woman with one shoulder dress (just joking).
It was much larger than the Monalisa’s and very powerful to look at. It got me stare there for a while. The more I look at those paintings, the more I realize how hard I worked on my drawing and really bad at painting. Good job French artists.French
If you love God and Jesus paintings, you’ll love Louvre museum. Many collections and sizes. It made me wonder how did people back then know what Jesus looked  like? They all turned out to look alike even though they were painted in different countries and times?p1




I was actually got caught by surprised of how big the next painting is. I totally forgot the name but the long table across the room reminds me of “the last supper” I know it is not the same one. This painting was huge, sits across from Mona Lisa! It made her look even smaller.




Walking out of the museum was not hard but it was hard to find a restroom. If you get there earlier than 5 PM, there is a nice cafe on one end of the building {I honestly don’t remember the name of it}. It would have been nice to relax inside the museum. So I took my last glance at the ceiling of Napoleon’s house or so call palace. What a one lucky man!

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p5 p6












My one last look at Miss Mona Lisa


Napoleon’s little nook

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Out I went, to the blue sky and nice breeze. I had to enjoy this on the green well-maintain grass in front of Le Louvre. I wanted to spend my day like a Parisian. So I got myself a croissant {my 12th croissant).
IMG_9087 IMG_9084 IMG_9085






Looking out to apartments buildings {really? You live here?}
The weather was perfect. The view could not get any better than this. “I’m in Paris, I’m taking it in”. It was my last stop before the train ride back to Amsterdam.

Next time, I’ll come prepared.

But for now, I got myself a spot on the grass and munched that fatty croissant for the last time.


Walking straight from the Louvre and saw this familiar looking gate!
IMG_9081 IMG_9083

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Amsterdam in the rain

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Solo in Paris Part II

|The icon of the Parisian city

Second mission of this trip, Eiffel tower early morning. I thought I was going to make the sun rise at the tower but poor me, I was so tire, hours later I have arrived!
It was a bit of a hunt for me as I did not really know how to get there. I followed my “off line google map”. Finally I turned around and found the steel tip of the tower 2 blocks from the Metro. She was beautiful and very powerful in a way made me stare. Not sure if it was because Eiffel is very famous or its iconic symbol to Paris that made me just examine her from head to toe, all by myself.

IMG_8935My version of Eiffel tower is a bit different than others that it has a huge tennis ball hung right in the middle. Yep, there were people working on getting that round ball up there. It was supper nice and quiet at 8:00AM here in the park too. People were jogging and heading to work.

I love it. I love that I got to see all daily life that they had. I enjoyed the kind blue sky that Paris has today. It made my blog looks colorful 🙂

Helpful fact: You can get a free wifi in the park here in Paris. There are at least 2 free public restrooms. They are automatic and when it cleans, it cleans the floor as well. So be ready to grab your belongs before hit that exit button!!

There are so many restaurants and cafe opened around the tower. You can take your time picking one you like.

Ticket windows were still closed at 8:00 AM.







Eiffel tower stands tall in a beautiful and well maintained park.









It is amazing to be able to look up and see bunch of iron constructed like crisscross and look awesome. I guess  Gustave Eiffel did it right!

Eiffel Tower French-open-2014

Complicated construction for French Open 2014!

Eiffel tower

Eiffel Tower surrounded by beautiful apartments













I got a chance to feel the rush of the Parisian in the morning. A quick cup of coffee at a bar. A very small cup of coffee more like capucino.



The best chocolate croissant and a cup of coffee.


Getting ready for French open 2014


Apartments and condos near Eiffel Tower


Children are going to school


























Visit other cities with me


Amsterdam in the rain

Amsterdam in the rain

Fun with friends in Munich

Oia, honeymoon heaven

Oia, honeymoon heaven

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Solo in Paris Part I

|Bonjour Tout le monde 

ThaylsI started off my trip to Paris from Cologne, Germany. I booked a 3 hours train ride, Thalys. It was a “first class” section of the train. Thalys has become European dependent train going across Europe in the countries like German, France, the Netherlands and Austria. I enjoyed the train as much as the food! It was breakfast time when I left Cologne. I started my first croissant in Munich and this is going to my second one.
First class section is located in the very front compartment of the train. You will have a bigger restroom. Larger leg room and a huge seat. I think it is a bit bigger than a economy seat on the plane. When you book this train, book it from its website. You will get a cheaper price by surprise! Book ahead of time for seat selection and secured. The price is going up as days get closer to your departure. First class offers a free wifi and the connection was good. The view from Cologne to Paris was very pretty. Breakfast1Thalys in action





So I would recommend this service train for your Europe trip! But France offers TGV as well. Thayls is considered a premium type of train though. I think you will enjoy the cleanliness and sweet service on the train.



|Arriving at Gare du Nord

If you catch a train like me and your destination is Glare Du Nord, you will find this information useful.
1. Do you need to deposit your luggage like I did? I have to pack light for 3 nights in Paris. So I found the luggage deposit comes in handy.
2. Do you enjoy Metro or Underground or Subway? If yes, you will find Glare du Nord very convenient to access those.
3. I love beautiful architecture and great food, Glare Du Nord has it all. Their train station is very pretty and clean.

GARE DU NORD METRO Metro2So, once you get off the train, head to platform # 3. Look pass the sign of the platform, then you will see a big yellow sign for Luggage deposit. Take that escalator downstairs and immediately to your right you will find a security scan with two staff inside the fence. Walk in it.
Have your luggage scanned here and get your coins ready. Don’t have coins? don’t worry, they have a coin vending machine. Now look for an empty locker. There are different sizes and you might wanna think modify! Can your luggage lay flat instead of straight up? if yes, you might find a smaller locker which is cheaper for your luggage.
Read the instruction and follow it strictly. Do not lose that receipt! It has your unlock code on it.
Locker1The price has changed over the year. Make sure you understand that price per day or hours. As for me, I asked the staff and she said “put the coins in for the first 24 hours and then the day that you will leave, you will add the rest of the value for 2 additional days” Ha! no problems (said to myself).

I then got all my coins changed from the spot for 2 extra days. It was cheap but I knew it would help me from not carrying a 50 pounds luggage walking up 7 flights of stairs in Paris!!

Remember! the receipt from the locker is very important. Locker2The code on the receipt is the code to unlock it when you need to open your locker.

When I came back 2 days later, it was just the matter of putting the code and the locker was opened! I didn’t have to add anymore coins??!!
Anyway, this luggage storage opens at 6:15 AM, so if you need your belongings before that, you will have to wait. If your train leaves Paris very early like mine 7:30 AM, You will have to spare sometimes to get your luggage out and probably reorganize before your departure.

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|Notre Dame Cathedral

It was a rainy week in Europe when I arrived Paris. I waited 20 minutes and got out of my apartment. My first mission was to see whatever closest to me because the unpredictable rain. Notre Dame it is!
Notre Dame It was grey and a bit chili everywhere I went. But Notre Dame sits right along the Seine river, so gorgeous. I kept on walking and taking photos. It was a nice relaxing walk but the beauty of the scene made me overwhelmed.

Notre Dame










Then I walked up the bridge of promise.IMG_8906 It is a lot of love on the bridge. Imagined if only the sky was blue. I turned around and looked back at the cathedral once more. Taking it in at this point.

Notre Dame





The history and the architect on this cathedral was beyond beauty. It made Seine river looks prettier by default.

I then walked around the river, looked at the Parisian living their normal lives. I always wonder, if they ever stopped and looked at their city and said “Am I lucky or what?”.

Notre Dame and Seine River

I started to ask myself, “Do I have enough time in Paris?”. This thought was a spike, I walked faster and took more photos. Hurry before it rains.

Beautiful Seine

Beautiful Seine

I felt like I couldn’t walk fast enough. Everything was very big and as far as I could see. Paris at the moment was a challenge to me. Being there solo was awesome but somehow confused. I needed to do better on my homework for my next visit to Paris.

Any who, it was my destiny and I had to keep going.



|Master the Metro

Getting around Paris was one of my favorite. My little knowledge of French got a refresh button. I got a help of google Nexus along with a useful Metro app on my iphone. Carrying a tablet and an iphone seemed much to me.

I bought myself a 3 days public transportation pass. It is a tiny ticket that let me get on and off their metro train and buses with no limited. Now that was convenient. I also love how they have all metro maps clearly pointed out where you are and what line you’re looking for. Easy tip is: if it’s a circle with filled in background, it is a subway. M is for Metro then the number is the line that gets you there. Sometimes you will have to get yourself to a connection but it is very easy and inside the subway train is a map and station alert on speakers.
Metro in Paris


Bus rides are fun too!
I had to see the city within 3 days. I found that riding buses is quick and cheap. I can jump off and check out the place I wanted to see. I can take Metro back to my apartment anytime.
Below: Views from the bus rides





Below: views from my bus ride in Paris


I noticed one important thing while on the buses in Paris. Every time there is a senior on the bus, his card that he swipes will trigger a voice machine. Guess what? That voice machine lets people know that there is a senior, please be kind!! Let me know if I’m wrong.
Bus ride in Paris busride2








I just took my tablet and took photos with it! How fun. I saved my map on Google map while I was online at the hotel, and then use it as off line map when I walk in the Paris city!


Solo in Paris continue page Solo in Paris part II

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Amsterdam in the rain

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Oia, honeymoon heaven

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White & Brown for Summer

|Wear white for the heat

LV-HOME-BR-CLUTCHGetting hot out there, isn’t it? I got myself a pair of crop jeans from Max jeans at Nordstrom Rack. The stretchy pants give me plenty of room to move around. They are not too stretch to make me look like I’m wearing a workout pair of pants thought.
My favorite strapy brown shoes are from Chinese Laundry. Supper comfy with this pair. The buckles on the front allows me to adjust the shoes to fit my wide feet. Very practical for summer and can be dress up and down. The heels are made for walking! No joke!. I can stand in these for four hours straight.
I think there also come in black but why black when you can buy them in brown?

The clutch is my old Louis Vuitton Home clutch. It is handy when I need something simple. I’ve been using it for a while and it fits my 7″ Nexus perfectly fine.  It is very roomy but very structural.

My watch was from a handmade fair. It is a leather strap all the way around the wrist. Very cool look dial too. It reads movement just like other expensive watch, except mine was only $70. Great buy for a chic look.
photo 2

For the top, you can pretty much modify for whatever you’re in a mood for. Since all of the above are so neutral, it can go with anything. I love a fitted button down blue top. Sometimes, I just wear all white with maybe a belt!
White crop jeans











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VAT Refund-in Europe

|VAT Refund?

Yes. Value Added Tax is VAT. When you put the word “refund” after VAT, means that there is a returned money or value. Many tourist know how to deal with VAT refund procedure but if you don’t I can tell you how to get it.

What to buy and where?
When you are traveling to Europe, Asia or North America or any country that you’re not their citizen, you can claim VAT refund.
Ask the store first!
Each store in different countries has its own policy about VAT refund. For example, H&M in Paris only allows VAT refund when you purchase items at minimum of 175 Euros of your total receipt. You can shop 3 different times in H&M but the total amount of  175 Euros has to be on the same day. Combine all receipts and they will work on the TAX form.
What if you go to Paris and fall in love with a Louis Vuitton bags? Very simple.
1. Shop the bag and pay for it. I recommend using a credit card, Visa, Master and Amex.
2. The price on the bag is what you’re paying for. Let’s say their Mini Pochette is 204 Euros. You will be charged for 204 Euros.
3.  When you are paying for this item, LV staff will kindly ask you if you would like to claim for TAX or VAT refund (same thing). You will say Yes please. Then get your passport out.
4. LV staff will fill out the form for you according to your passport. Name and Passport number are recorded on to your Tax form at this point. LV is affiliated with Global Blue, the company who will handle your money return.
5. LV staff will hand you the Tax form. It is blue fonts on a white paper. You will fill out your name and address, etc. They will ask you if you want your refund money in Cash or back to you credit card. If you choose to have it back to you card, then show them which card it is.
6. Once everything is done. LV staff will hand you the receipt (LV receipt) and the tax claim form. You will walk out of the store with 2 very important pieces of documents, if you lose one of them, then you can’t really claim your tax.
Unless you lost your LV receipt and they can reprint it for you. Do not lose your Tax claim form though.
7. When you are leaving Europe, it doesn’t matter what country it is, Italy, Germany or Spain. Make sure you have that very important papers in your hand. Keep your item that you bought in Paris in your hand.
8. At the airport, go to Customs office first! Do not check in your bag unless you only buy one item and it will go in to your carry on bag.
9. At the Customs, they will ask to see your receipt, your Tax claim form. They will ask you to show the item that you purchased. Show them what they want to see. If you bought 10 items, it will be a random pick. I had to show one item out of 6 items.
10. The Customs will then stamp your Tax Claim paper (that has Global Blue on it). If you don’t have this stamp, you can’t claim tax.
11. Then you will grab everything, your receipt, your Tax form, your purchased item, to Global Blue counter.
12. Hand the stamped Tax form to the staff at the Global blue and keep your LV receipt. Global Blue has a receipt for your record, do not lose this one either.  Right here, they will ask for your credit card that you want your money refunded toGlobal-Blue.
13. The staff will put all required paper works into an envelope and put it in the mail for you!! I was very surprised when she said “I’ll mail everything out”. It was great, short and simple. I did not have to mail a thing!
14. At this point, you can put all purchased items into your checked-in luggage. I carried mine. I don’t want an unexpected delayed/lost luggage at the destination.
15. Wait for your money back 4-6 weeks. I got mine back within 4 weeks.



How Much will I get my money back?
It depends on where you bought your item. In this sample, I got my mini pochette in Paris. After I got my tax refunded, it came down to 10%. So, I paid 10% less on items that are already cheaper than the US prices.
If you decide to have it in cash refund, you will either get 10% or 12%, it doesn’t have a rigid number. I asked Global Blue on the day of departure Europe, they said “it’s not necessary that cash percentage is lower than credit card’s”.
I had my refund back to my credit card. It is 10% and it is not bad. I saved over $840 of the total price.
global-tax-formThe form on your left is what you will get inside the stores. You will fill out your name, phone number and mailing address. The very bottom piece is for you to keep. There is an estimate value of what you will receive for your VAT refund.
Keep this piece with you for your record. In case of missing claims or you have not gotten your money back, you will have to show proves of purchase.
Global Blue is a very well known company and is affiliated with many commercial stores. You will get a quick service at the airport if you have your documents ready, your items that your claim tax on ready, and your passport. When you stay in line at the Global Blue, make sure that you have these ready on hand. Get your credit cards that you want your money refunded to ready, Global Blue will have to get the card number in order to get your money transfer to it.

When I reached the window at the Global Blue, the staff first notified me that LV charges $1 (or a Euro, can’t remember) for this tax claim fee. I said “OK” without asking her to repeat it. Everything that costs $1 or a Euro is fine by me.



The price comparison in this table is based on $1.37 = 1 Euro.
If you take a look at my price sheet above, you’ll see how much cheaper a pochette already is in Paris, before the VAT refund. I think it is worth the trip to get what you want and it is worth the extra time to fill out the form for your money back.



Where is VAT refund office at the airport?

Global Blue counter in an airport

You will have to find it yourself. Search the airport website, there usually is a sitemap and it will tell you where it is. The easiest way is to ask any staff at the airport where the Customs is and the the customs’ staff will tell you where Global Blue is. I’m not affiliated with Global Blue, I use this as my sample because I bought my mini Pochette at LV and they affiliated with Global Blue.  This picture below is what the Global Blue office usually looks like, only it is more crowded with  a long line. Spare an extra hour at the airport if your flight is a prime time flight like lunch time or dinner time etc.  The earlier you get there, the better chance you will get everything figured out way before your check-in time.

Customs & Global Blue in Amsterdam Airport
I departed Europe through Amsterdam Schipol Airport. When you arrive at the airport, facing the departure terminal, you’ll look for Departure 3. It is almost at the end of the terminal building. You’ll see the customs Tax free office then immediately to your right is Global Blue. If you walk pass this customs tax free, you’ll see check in counters. But I don’t think you can miss the Customs Tax free. It is in your face and the line gives away the obvious.
If you buy items affiliated with Premier TaxFree, you will have to take an elevator downstairs. It is very easy to find this Premier TaxFree as well.

Global blue is right next to Customs

Global blue is right next to Customs

Customs counter inside Schiphol Airport

Customs counter inside Schiphol Airport








Great fares to Europe and beyond.



Items worth stay in line for VAT refund

Fragrance, Makeup, Skin care products, Clothing, leather goods and many more. You cannot claim your hotel charge and meal. If you have an extra room in your check-in luggage and you won’t come back to Europe in two years, then go ahead and buy them because they are cheaper and worth the running around.
Europe has more to offer than just shopping, I hope you find you what you’re looking for in stores and also have time to enjoy yourself checking out European museums and history.

Good to know: Chanel is not affiliated with Global Blue but the procedure is pretty much the same. I only bought one item from Chanel and the refund time takes longer than Global Blue. If you have any question please leave comments below. I’ll be glad to help you out.
Update Premier TaxFree: Chanel is affiliated with Premier TaxFree and I just got a refund to my credit card at $1.34 per 1 Euro. {June 2014}

Match your favorite brand with their affiliate
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Amsterdam in the rain

|When visiting Amsterdam

If it wasn’t for the beautiful ancient canals, the amstel beer, the red light district and the famous bikes in the town, I would have been sleeping in bed because it was rainy, windy and cold.

We took 2 trains to where we stayed, Lelylaan. Right outside the heart of Amsterdam, I was able to find a reasonable price apartment to stay. We weren’t going to be in the room anyway, why pay more?
Anyway, we bought 24 hours pass for trams and trains. It was about 10 Euros per one ticket. This is a lot of helps, we hopped on and off public transportation like crazy. It was fun. I like how they always check if you’re on or off the bus by having a pass reader right at the door of the bus.

When we got the heart of Amsterdam, we saw the palace, shopping center, trams and many bikes, lots of bikes. It was windy, so I bought myself a winter hat 🙂 What a great idea. My hair was flying everywhere and it was cold. Our umbrellas were from the host of our place.
Having issues with the weather, we found a few places to chill out in door! Bars and restaurants were packed of course.

Amsterdam Train to Lelylaan







You will have to be quick and on time (very on time) to catch their public transportation otherwise, wait till the next one. Oh, don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes!

ticket reader Trams in Amsterdam











If you’re lost, just look for a train map or bus maps that has the word Centraal on it. This place is the combination of all transportation. Keep in mind that Amsterdam is not big.
Amsterdam is also known for a city of small shops and restaurants everywhere on the streets. When I took shots of small streets and roads, I felt safe in this city. Even when it was midnight! No hidden people, many tourists and lots of taxis.
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Food in Amsterdam
I love food, way too much I have to take photos. Everywhere we go in Europe in general, we found Italian restaurants. I happened to order pastas dish in all 4 countries we visited.



















My husband is a big beer fan and he wouldn’t miss the local beers. He tried almost everything that the local bars recommended. We found that most local bartenders were friendly, their tasting beer glass is huge!

Beer was cheaper than fruit juice. I understood why many Europeans were so happy to have cheap fresh fruit juice in Thailand.CIMG4695











This Irish pub also has an INN right next door

This Irish pub also has an INN right next door












What to do when you’re in Amsterdam?

Amsterdam central

Somewhere in the middle of Amsterdam

Homes in Amsterdam

Catch the blue sky before another rain




You will walk and walk and walk around Amsterdam. Great walking shoes are a must! Pebble stones and chasing the trains will hurt your feet. If you get there and it happens to rain, bring an umbrella or buy one there. It rains all day, on and off. You will have plenty of things to do before the rain stops.




We found some restaurants that open till late. Amsterdam at night is very pretty but make sure you are safe and don’t forget that trains schedule! Most restaurants and bars allow non-customers to use their restroom (toilets) but make sure that you read their sign “customers only” before entering. Many of them are free only when you are in the shopping center area or fast food like Mc Donald’s!!
Sushi bar









This Mc Donald’s charges restroom they check on me if I had bought food before I walked inside!

McDonalds in Amsterdam











Canal tour!!!
For only 10 Euros a pop, you can enjoy an hour tour on the boat. There are many different types of tours on these canals, but we got a short day so we went with 1 hour. It was worth it even though our sky wasn’t blue and was raining that day. Please excuse our photos, they are gloomy and gray.
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Red light district! 

CIMG4679 CIMG4680Right, who would want to miss this district? So hundred years ago when Europe started commercial with China, all products are coming by ships. Later on, business was going so well, they decided to build canals to support all goods. Amsterdam has plenty of canals and they are clean!
Now, you wonder why they have red light district? well guess who got to be on the boat from Asia? and guess where they have to let that urge go?
at least that is my theory. What’s yours?
Girls in the district are either drop dead gorgeous or very out of shape. Older and younger, all sort of styles you can choose from. I enjoyed watching them from the streets. I have many more photos but they might not be appropriate on a blog like this:)

Ride a bike in a public garden
Unlike any other garden that you know. This place is dedicated to the locals who live in an apartment or condos but love gardening. They will come out here and enjoy planting their flowers and herbs or even vegetables.
We walked! as usual, we took a tram and let it ride us way out of the city. We ended up at this beautiful place!
IMG_8194 IMG_8181 IMG_8187 IMG_8191 garden

Ann Frank House
With no doubts we wanted to visit this museum after we read what happened to Ann Frank. The line was longer than a MBA ticket booth. We had to come back to this museum after 7 P.M. Boy!, was it worth it! I teared up when I was approaching the end of the museum. What an impressive story and her diary? No joke about this, a little girl who survived the war just because her heart was nurtured with love from her family. Without them, she was torn apart.
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It is an absolute must see museum. No photos allowed inside, bring tissue.

The Canal walk
Like I mentioned earlier. Walking is awesome and walking in Amsterdam is even better. Get yourself to the canal zones and you’ll see. I hope you have a great weather in Amsterdam.
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At night, when all houses along the canals lighted up the lights, they looked so gorgeous!
Have a safe walk!





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Located in a beautiful location with many museums around. This is the symbol that got me excited. Guess who has the green umbrella?

Amsterdam, Honeymoon

What a day to remember.


“Just me and you kiddo”

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My favorite drinks in Amsterdam


What am I talking about? This Latte Macchiato has the right amount of IMG_8172caffeine and sweetness. Not too much like our Starbucks and not too mild like when I did it myself. What an enjoyable cup of coffee.






More importantly, it is beautiful!

Hot tea! yes, I love hot tea. Since I have been getting off coffee, tea has been my monument.CIMG4644 When you order a cup of tea, you will get a tea biscuit. It comes with no extra charge.








What have I done inside Amsterdam bathrooms?

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I took a ton of photos of the CIMG4797flush buttons. Europeans are very natural resource conservative. If I can get all of these, What a collection to have in one house, right? Don’t you think these are cool? These are on a bathroom wall. I would put it next to the toilet bowl not right above it. This way, you can flush while sitting if you have to 🙂



I hope you enjoyed my Amsterdam Blog. Please visit other cities that I’ve been visited. Click here to explore

Have a wonderful day.

To explore Akrotiri, click here.
To explore Munich, click here.
To explore Oia, Santorini, click here

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Fun with friends in Munich, Germany

|The Bavarian

When we arrived in Munich from Santorini, I did not know what to expect. Organized and clean city, it seemed. Everything was yellow and grey inside the airport. At our luggage claim belt, I saw a monitor with BMW most up to date model cars. Yes, I was in Munich and yes, BMW has been haunted in my head since I was 5. I love this blue and white fan icon so much, I got to visit their museum.
I had my mind set on the museum, nothing else. My husband took me to the booked hotel right near the main train station. Munich train station is large and it is last destination of many major train rides.

After we dropped off our luggage at the hotel. We met up with a long time friend of mine, Kate along with her husband and 2 sons! We got a handful that afternoon. So we grabbed a quick sandwich stop at the train station and walked to BMW museum. Keep in mind that it is my all time favorite car and I’ve wanted to see this museum forever!

BMW World Museum or BMW Welt
IMG_8773Car lovers will drew at this museum. It is tremendous and filled with cars technology that you are probably not aware how fast it grows. BMW has always been a genius when it comes to ideas and drivers’ mind reader.
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It is free in the showroom where you can browse through all sort of models that they market at the moment. It is more than any local motor show that I’ve been to. But it wasn’t enough for me. I was hungry for the classic, those ones that I used to ride when I was 5 and 9 years old. So we went to the BMW world! Or Welt in German. There they were, my dad’s old BMW model the original 3 series before the “i” was born. Brought me back to my childhood and reminded me of scare I was to be in a coup up and down the Southern mountains in Thailand.










BMW The Classic














Then they show the modern cars like these ones,

















It was a simply overwhelming museum that you will probably need half of your day to look at all cars. I love the fact that they are all there to compare with each other. I can stay there much longer if they provided AC 🙂 just a bit too warm.

BMW Museum bmw model











|The HofBrauhauss

MunichHungry and want to get drunk? Hofbrauhauss has both to offer you. Huge meal with all types of beers and guess what? You get to sit as long as you and you company would like to. I ordered chicken with my hunger, I finished it! Not to mention that my stomach had expanded one size up just to be in Europe for a week then.
A small chicken like that? not going to hurt me. We met up with our awesome friends who basically lighten up my day after a long plane ride. We enjoyed Sunday in Munich and ice cream cones 🙂 Beers and laughter could not go wrong on that day.
Hofbrauhauss Hofbrauhauss










Munich Munich

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Akrotiri, Santorini

Ancient city discovered & their villages.
We took a local bus to see an old town called Akrotiri where an old city was discovered. Akrotiri was destroyed by three earthquakes and one huge volcano. Apparently, the volcano sealed every pots and pans including paints so fresh you can feel the history. I was amazed how everything is preserved so well under an amazing designed museum. It was huge and filled with knowledge. I’m always fascinated by ancient architecture. They seemed to know what to do with their weather and mother nature.

Akrotiri town tour

Information and ticket booth













Akrotiri museum ticket

Museum ticket is 5 Euros




Inside the museum. Floor plan information provided. Photos and water are allowed.












Akrotiri town

Walk the line!













Akrotiri museum restrooms

Restrooms are nice and clean at the museum.





Akrotiri Village

Akrotiri is on the opposite side of Oia. Take a bus from Oia to Fira then take another bus from Fira to Akrotiri. It’s worth the ride! Before you leave the museum, make sure that you visit Akrotiri village as well! It is on the very top of the mountain, a bit of a hike if you don’t have a rental car. We did it and it was amazing.

Akrotiri village

This is the top of the village, over look the red sand beach.

Akrotiri village

The church of the village, top of the mountain

Akrotiri bus

Our bus ride from Akrotiri!

Bus ticket in Fira

Ticket from Fira to Akrotiri








Akrotiri Village

I remembered saying “wow”.

Akrotiri church

Akrotiri Village








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