Saturday, December 31, 2016

Time Revolution - Missha Treatment Essence

"Unexpected intrusions of beauty. This is what life is..." ~ Saul Bellow

Hello readers.

Its just a few hours to 2017.

2016 has been a roller coaster. Those reading this, we survived, we made it. More is yet to come. 

I have been looking for a cheaper option to that of SKII and I am currently trying out this essence touted as the absolute cheaper dupe of it.

I'll do this for a couple of months and keep you guys updated okay?

Much love from Airiel and I.

Peace and love to everyone.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

(i) Salon De Chocolate (ii) Xin Chao Restaurant - Part 2; (iii) Coffee Stain, Publika

"Abligurition: an actual, if very obscure, English word, which means the spending of too much money on food..." ~ John Green

Hi readers, some updates on some eateries I frequent in Publika.

Because good things must always be shared.

1. Salon De Chocolat

This place is chock full of people on weekends and they have recently seemed to have renovated to have more room by buying the lot next door.

There are more items on the menu, and just look at what FSD and I had. This is just divine. A must visit if you are a chocolate lover.

2. Xin Chao Restaurant

I have blogged about this place before, click on food on the tags cloud. And this place is just my fave to have lunch and I love love their pho.

NIN decided to order something different the other and needless to say, it was simply divine.

Basically you put a bit of the vegetables and the deep fried shrimp thingy onto the rice paper, roll it up and dip it in the sauce. I am going to try this next although its hard to order anything else but the pho when I come here because its so good. Service is top notch here as well. When the staff saw NIN having trouble because she didnt know how to prepare the food, the chef personally came out to assist her. Swoon!

3. Coffee Stain

Last but not least, who can resist 3rd artsy fartsy coffee after lunch?

Haha, alright readers. Head on over to Publika aka Solaris Dutamas and enjoy the food!

Much love from Airiel and I

Peace and love to everyone.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Top 5 booking websites I use to book hotels

"Since the Industrial Revolution, we've treated our world like it was a hotel room and
we were rock stars" ~ Blake Crouch

Hello readers.

Some of you readers have asked me where do I book my rooms for my travels.

This post hopefully answers that question for you guys. Just to inform you that for most of my travels to other continents, depending on  the safety issues involved I would take a tour. 

But for familiar south east asian destinations, I book my rooms on these websites and it starts from the bottom to the top:-

5. AirBnb

I have honestly only used this service once before. But that's because of my preference for hotels I think. I would rather have the 'inclusive of breakfast' and 'free wifi' things thrown in when I book for a place. But you would be surprised at how much these extras cost and thats why most rooms in AirBnb is cheaper than the hotels. Plus some owners now offer free wifi.  AirBnb does not currently partner with Shopback or Milkadeal cashback and that makes it less popular for me. If you want to know what I mean by cashback go to my earlier post on getting more value for the money you spend here. On the plus side, some really awesome but hidden getaways can be found only on AirBnb like the Twinkle Villa and this awesome Private Resort and we are only scratching the surface of Selangor here. It's therefore worth to surf and to give it a try. The very real and honest reviews from the users also help immensely in making your choice.

Expedia partners with Shopback and Milkadeal although you would have to check the rates on which sites offers you the most cashback. At the moment Shopback is offering 9% of the value of your booking while Milkadeal 6%. I used this site for my bookings in Melaka earlier this year. The plus side for expedia is you can opt to book flights as well so it kind of doubles as an all useful travel agent hahaha. If you click on the last minute deals icon on the site it tells you the lowest deal flights to certain destinations that you can book last minute and more flights plus hotels package at some really good prices. I have one quip about this site though, and that would be its annoying habit to change its prices to a slightly higher rate when you are ready to book after perusing for a while and would  like to  make payment. I would rather they stick to the prices they quote initially but it depends on your luck!

3. Agoda

It partners with both Shopback and Milkadeal usually at the same rate so thats a definite plus. It also has depending on the day some of the best value hotel rooms I have ever come across. The catch? Most of the greatest deals like really cheap ones must be paid up front in full and is non refundable so you must make sure that your travel plans are confirmed because cancelling is a no go. Certain deals also come with complimentary enrich miles points so you are getting a cashback + enrich miles which can both be redeemed later. Thats just super awesome! On top of that agoda has its own credit system which can be redeemed to offset against any later bookings, although you must reach certain amounts of credits before it can be used.

This website is currently moving fast up my favourites list. What I love about it? When you book 10 nights you get one night free equivalent to the average amount per night you have spent on the 10. So lets say you have a free night equivalent to RM250? book a hotel room at RM300 and pay only RM50 being the difference.  This site also partners with shopback and milkadeal so its cashback + free nights! 

I am a veteran on booking. I use this for almost all my hotel bookings as most hotels agree to not charge up front and I can opt to make payment only upon check in at the hotel. Most of the time I do not have to pay extra to get that, unlike Agoda where cancellation up to a certain date or paying only upon check in will result in you paying higher rates. It partners with both milkadeal and shopback, although it does not currently offer anything else as a bonus compared to the other websites above. That being said, as my family travel plans can change drastically I usually opt for this website for family bookings (we tend to book an average of 5 rooms per trip, phewwww). 

Tip : When you want to do bookings, open all these websites at once and compare the prices before deciding. Good luck and happy travels!

Much love from Airiel and I. 

Peace and love to everyone.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Mid Life Changes

"But just then, for that fraction of time, it seems as though all things are possible. You can look across the limitations of your own life, and see that they are really nothing. In that moment when time stops, it is as though you know you could undertake any venture, complete it and come  back to yourself, to find the world unchanged, and everything just as you left it a moment before. And it's as though knowing that everything is possible, suddenly nothing is necessary..." ~ Diana Gabaldon

And the quote above is precisely how I have felt this past year.

How the world has not changed and how much I have.

From my twenties and having just turned 33 and have taken a love for travelling, I have internally differed in how I look at the world, how I decide what's valuable.

I mean, I used to be crazy about designer leather bags and would buy them in droves. And then I saw a video clip about how the animals were treated in obtaining the skin and I just couldn't bear looking at these bags anymore. I would just opt for the nylon or fabric ones now. And I see the packaged ones I  keep in my closet, rows upon rows of them...just staring at me.

I used to wait for the newest phones to come out and book them and line up to buy them, no matter the price. And last weekend when my iphone went kaput I winced in pain when I realised I would have to spend 2k to replace it, because I do not want to  be bound by a contract. I just find spending that much money on a phone so wasteful and I do not want to do it anymore. So when this one breaks down, no more of these types of phones.

I look at the clothes I have in my closet, and I just feel like apart from my favourites, I need to sell the rest and put money in Aracare, or I need to find people to give these away to. 

I would rather spend on books and my travels, and on Airiel's education, and on helping others.

I see people treat me or my family like crap or bitch about us constantly or take advantage of us and apart from not needing to respond, because I do not respond to people beneath me, I sometimes actually feel sorry for them for being so miserable. I would just cut them off because I do not have the energy to let them be in my life. It's just too tiring.

Being angry is tiring, being vengeful is tiring, being bitter is tiring. And I am tired of being tired. 

I just feel like I have so many things, and these things are suffocating me and caving in on me, and becoming a liability, a burden. Its just so heavy.

I can't explain it. I just feel like there is so much suffering in the world and yet people around us, society, have become so selfish, with little or no empathy and obsessed with THINGS and how people see them. And I am so ashamed to admit that at one point in my life, I was like them too.

It's crazy how I wake up one day and realise how messed up the world is and I need to do something about it, no matter how little of a difference I can make. 

One life at a time. One step at a time.

I need to start. I need to help. I need to grow. I need to not simply exist.

Lets do this.

Fernweh 2016 - Krabi

"To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries..." ~ Aldous Huxley

Hello readers.

I have just been back from another one of my travels.

Reviews soon.

I was here in 2011, and am back here again in 2016. 

Full circle. It was time to make new memories. And it was great.

I have not blogged about Morocco even but let me do it bit by bit.

Tons and loads of things.


Soon, I promise.

Much love from Airiel and I

Peace and love to everyone.