Fairmont Hotel: The Queen Elizabeth

Touchdown – Montreal, the city known for poutine, architecture, and their love for Leonard Cohen.

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It was my first time visiting Montreal, second time visiting Canada overall - and I’m already in love. The people are just so damn polite and the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth’s staff was beyond welcoming.

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Upon arrival, we received a surprise pick-up from the airport and while it may sound silly, it was exciting to see our names held up by a driver when exiting the terminal. I’m not a huge blogger so this doesn’t occur very often and after flying all-day, it was the fact that we didn’t have to worry about getting a cab or Uber that I truly appreciated. It was a short ride to the hotel and the first thing we did after checking-in was check out their bar, Nacarat, because we were starving! 

Nacarat is located on the lobby level of Fairmont Queen Elizabeth and serves the most delicious cocktails. I highly recommend the espresso martini and their duck dumplings. What we thought was going to be a quick bite turned into a couple of hours of just enjoying the bar and relaxing, over drinks and light bites. We basically ordered the entire menu from the oysters to the s’mores. Needless to say, we went to bed with a happy tummy that night. 

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Fairmont-Queen-Elizabeth-By-Lisa-Linh

The next few days were spent exploring the newly ($140-million) renovated Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, from the Artisan market to experiencing a much needed massage at the Moment spa. By the way, there are underground malls and the entrance to it is right by the spa. The gym and indoor pool is also on the same level, and the pool is heated during the colder months. 

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We also got an exclusive tour of the John Lennon suite where Lennon and Yuko held their bed-in protest in 1969. The suite has been remodeled to include all 4 individual rooms that they originally had rented, into one large suite, with all memories included. The suite is available to all guests, but be warned that it is not cheap. 

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Breakfast and dinner at Rosélys were delightful, along with more drinks at Nacarat, and we got to celebrate in style at the official grand opening party. Everything we experienced left us in awe and to say that the Fairmont was one of the best stays I've had is an understatement. 

From the staff to the food, to the drinks and the influencers I had the pleasure of meeting, this press trip was one for the books and I cannot wait to do it again. 

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The Perfect Gift for The Photographer in Your Life
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Porsche-Blurb-By-Lisa-Linh
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This post was in partnership with Blurb Books, however all opinions and photos are of my own.

Is it just me or does gift giving get harder as the years go on?

On our first holiday together, I made a photo book (of us). On this fifth holiday together, I decided to go back to the basics – this time, showcasing his talent and love for cars, and in particular, Porsches. 

With the help of Blurb Books, I created a gorgeous book using Blurb’s new Layflat book format, featuring KSOLE's amazing shots at a Porsche event he attended a few months back. He never uploaded or published these photos himself, as he stated he never had the time, so I decided to surprise him with this book. Of course, getting the photos is another story but he never questioned it so we're all good (hah). 

Creating the book was a breeze with Blurb’s bookmaking tools and easy to follow directions. I also loved that the Layflat book accommodates up to 110 pages and has a double-thick paper type, which feels amazing in person. His unbroken images looked so beautiful spread across two pages – simply stunning!

I received the book in less than a week and was too excited, so I gave KSOLE his gift a little early. I also suck at keeping my mouth shut when it comes to surprises so I saved myself the trouble of trying to hide it from him as well. Needless to say, he loved it and was so amazed by the quality of Blurb Books. He loves the finished product so much that he plans on making a few more books using Blurb on his own now. 

For those of you thinking of ordering a Blurb book for your loved ones this holiday season, click here to get some ideas for your own Blurb Book creation, including order deadlines to get it in time!

Now to figure out what to get him next year.

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Majestic Hotel Saigon
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Located right by the river is the historically popular hotel, Majestic Hotel Saigon. A hotel that my father remembers from his own teenage years in Ho Chi Minh and one that is loved by many tourists for its prime location in District 1.

We were greeted at the airport with a personal driver from the hotel, which was a lifesaver because none of us had coverage in Vietnam to call an Uber (thank you T-Mobile and AT&T). FYI: the airport wifi sucks.

The drive was less than 40 minutes, however traffic makes everything longer than it needs to be so be prepared. Once we got to the hotel, we had a quick and easy check-in process and were escorted to our one bedroom suite.

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Majestic-Saigon
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If you're wondering how 3 people slept on a king bed, we asked for a rollaway bed (for KSOLE), which fit snuggly into the living room. He didn't mind at all and we spent most of our days out and about anyways.

Majestic has 5 floors, in which the 5th hosts a daily (complimentary) breakfast (if you opt-in for this package). The extra money is worth it because it's a breakfast buffet and the food there is worth waking up for! I had the best traditional Vietnamese dishes, but they also offer American entrees as well. Take a walk up for a secluded rooftop patio and if you want a mini sanctuary, the hotel has a garden patio located on the 3rd floor. Every corner of this place was photogenic!

The area that the hotel is just 15 minutes away from popular spots such as the Ben Thanh Market and Viacom Mall. In addition, high end stores such as Gucci, YSL, and Louis Vuitton are just a 5-minute walk down the street. It was a very safe area and the hotel always checks on their guests whenever they enter and leave, to ensure safety and security. 

We had a comfortable stay at Majestic Hotel Saigon and would highly recommend anyone visiting Ho Chi Minh to stay here.

Thank you so much to the hotel and staff for having us!

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Hotel Majestic Saigon
1 Đồng Khởi, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam

Picking The Right Travel Buddy
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Traveling, the ultimate test of any friendship and relationship. If you can survive a trip with your friend, well your friendship is pretty solid. 

When it comes to traveling, I am super cautious about who I take my trips with. After all, you're going to be spending everyday with this person for X amount of days. If it ends up going sour, you can't really do anything about it. But, if it ends up being one of the best trips ever, you've found your ideal travel buddy.

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Finding the right person to travel with is tough. I've gone on trips with plenty of people and while some were good, others were horrible.

To determine if your friend is the right travel buddy for you, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you two able to survive a weekend together? This should be the first step before any big trip. It'll show each other's sleeping habits, planning/organization styles, and whether you two can share a confined space.
  • Do you two share the same work/life balance and/or ethics? For example, if he/she prefers partying all night while you enjoy early mornings, that might be a problem when sharing rooms or coming up with itinerary.
  • Do your personalities mesh? When it comes to figuring out what to do during the trip, where to eat, and even where to stay, your personalities will play a huge factor on preferences. 

Lastly, is he/she reliable and by that I mean if a situation arise during the trip, you can totally count on the other person to help out and/or be there. In other words, there's no history of flaking or no-show's. 

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Luckily for me, I have Pau. She's my go-to when it comes to trips and with this last one to Asia, it further deepened our friendship and I couldn't have asked for a better person to go with. We've been busy most of the year on our own individual projects and the last trip we took was probably back in January, for my birthday in Napa. So this was long overdue and I'm excited for our upcoming trip to Montreal this week!

As silly as it sounds, the process of choosing a phone case is similar to picking your travel buddy. You go through the same selective process, as you've invested in your phone already and if you have the X, you definitely paid a pretty penny and don't want to damage it. Therefore, it's natural to want to research the most reliable and trustworthy cases prior to purchasing. 

When it comes to protecting my phone, I want something that is also functional and slim. After all, who wants to add on unnecessary weight? Knowing I was going to have my phone in hand throughout Asia, I decided to partner up with the #1 seller for smartphone cases and tables, Otterbox

Otterbox was founded in 1998 and it's a well-known name in the industry. While they're most popular for their industrial cases, they recently released their stylish Symmetry series. I was quick to grab their ultra slim cases for the trip, particularly these two (featured below). These lightweight cases guarantees protection from drops, bumps, and scrapes - which is perfect for a clumsy klutz like me! If it wasn't for the case and the protective screen cover, my phone would be in pieces by now. 

When your phone is your life, you have to do whatever it takes to protect it. After all, how else would I be able to share my adventures with you all?

Find exclusive travel photos on my Instagram and be sure to follow Pau too!

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Otterbox-By-Lisa-Linh
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Photos by KSOLE

This post is in partnership with Otterbox, however all opinions and photos are of my own.

My 3 Favorite Cafés in Ho Chi Minh
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Vietnamese coffee, you either love it or hate it, depending on if you think it's too strong. I had my first sip at age 8 and have never looked back. However, I don't need coffee to "survive" as I'm pretty much immune to caffeine at this point. Instead, I consider my morning cup, my mid-day coffee breaks, and after dinner lattes a way to relax and unwind. The smell of coffee just makes me happier, which is probably why my boyfriend always asks if I want coffee when I'm being a bitch (hah).

Coffee has a way of bringing people together and I can never say "no" to a coffee date with my friends. In fact, my best moments with people always involved a cup of coffee (in my hand). For example, one of my fondest memories of my grandmother includes a homemade cup of coffee served with a slice of Sara Lee's pound cake. It was her afternoon treat, which eventually became a ritual for the both of us whenever I was over. We would watch I Love Lucy on TV while we sipped our coffee and enjoyed the pound cake. 

On my recent trip to Vietnam, I enlisted help from my friend, Viktor, who provided me a list of cafés to visit. After all, you can't go to Vietnam and not get Vietnamese coffee. Despite it being served literally every where, I was on the hunt to find the place that served the best cup.

For 5 days straight, we started each afternoon with a visit to a coffee shop off the list. While there were some good ones, there were 3 that myself, Pau, and KSOLE all loved and highly recommend.

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1. Mockingbird Coffee

4th floor, 14 Ton That Dam St, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Hidden on the 4th floor of an old building is Mockingbird. Yes, the building is sketchy looking and the flight of stairs will tire you out, but it's worth it. We initially came to this building for the Banksy Studio located on the first floor, however it was closed and that was probably the best disappoint to happen to us, as we settled for Mockingbird after finding out. 

This cozy café is a great quiet little hang out with just a few seating areas and a very tiny balcony. It's great for an intimate afternoon getaway, as there is free wifi, and the Vietnamese coffee here is the best of all the ones we tried during our trip. It was so good that both KSOLE and I ordered two each! Flavor was on point, ice ratio was great and sweetness level was just right.

I'm pretty sad we didn't get a chance to revisit before we left, but it's certainly a must when we return. 

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2. Ciao Cafe

74 - 76 Nguyễn Huệ, P. Bến Nghé,  Quận 1, TP. HCM

On our very first night in Ho Chi Minh, we wandered around District 1 for a bite to eat and randomly walked into Ciao Cafe. 

This cozy corner cafe is said to be a bit overpriced for many, but I didn't mind it as it was just a few bucks than normal. After flipping through their menu, Pau and I ordered the bún bò huế, in which I liked and would recommend. However, the star of the dinner was the much needed cup of coffee. They had a pretty wide selection of drinks but their coffee definitely hit the spot after a long 28 hour flight!

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3. L'Uisine 

70 Le Loi or 151 Dong Khoi, Q1

What started as a pioneering project has become one of Vietnam's most-loved lifestyle brands, offering a diverse range of products and a space perfect for locals and travelers alike to work and chill. 

We loved the hipster vibes of this space, of course the free Wifi (as with all coffee shops in Vietnam), and the fact that you can spend a few hours here, just enjoying the vibes. L'Uisine has three locations around Ho Chi Minh, but we decided to visit the Le Loi one by recommendation of our friend. 

The coffee here is darker but still just as delicious. In addition, they also offer beer, wine & spirits which are accompanied with roasted peanuts. Overall, a great spot to catch up on work and with friends.

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4. Coeverything Art Bar & Cafe

146 Vo Van Tan 1st Floor, Ward 6, District 3

As an added bonus, I'm mentioning Coeverything because of their aesthetics. This art bar and cafe is located in District 3 and has the perfect lighting for photos during the afternoon. 

While the coffee is just OK (in my opinion), the place has some unique furnishings that I do love and the walls are filled with shelves of cute notebooks and planners (something I love to splurge on). I believe it's a new place so it wasn't crowded when we went, which was also a nice perk. 

Note: entrance is through the alley way.

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Photos by KSOLE

There are many coffee spots all over Ho Chi Minh and while these are my favorites, I highly suggest trying a new spot every day so you can find your own. Coffee in Vietnam is good at every spot so you really can't go wrong!

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is a Tourist Trap
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If you searched "things to do in Bangkok", the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market will be listed as one of the top 10 activities. After all, it's a tourist trap for a reason.

We spontaneously decided to take a trip outside of the city to visit the market on a Saturday morning, and by morning, I mean 7:30AM. Traffic starts after 10AM, according to the locals, and it's about a two hour drive, so 7-7:30AM (latest 8AM) is suggested. 

There are plenty of group tours available that you can book either through Trip Advisor or tour agencies, but we booked ours through our private driver from the hotel we were staying at (Mandarian Hotel). The drive there was easy, as we slept through most of it, but the drive back took 3 hours due to traffic so brace yourself.

Upon arrival, we were immediately approached by a few people attempting to sell packaged tours for the floating market. Admission for a 2-hour trip, which takes you through the entire market and a stop by one of the temples, is about 2,000 THB, which is $60 USD (at least that's what we were being told). This was the lowest option available. Prices per package basically goes up as you add in more attractions such as a monkey or crocodile show, or a ticket to ride an elephant. We didn't believe in any of the attractions and I personally refuse to ever ride an elephant, so we stuck to the basics. After payment, we were hurried off to a motorized long-tail boat and began our tour. 

It took about 6-8 minutes through the river before we arrived at our first stop, a food stall, and that's when we realized our assumptions of the floating market were going to be proven wrong.

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Assumption: We would dock and be able to walk through the floating market, as boats pull up to us to sell items.

Reality: We stayed in the boat the entire time except for two stops - a large centralized stall and the temple at the end of the tour. All the stalls look like the one below and they get extremely repetitive as they mostly all sell the same things.

Tip: The centralized stall does have an ATM if you need cash and they only accept cash here.
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Damnoen-Saduak-Floating-Market-By-Lisa-Linh

Assumption: Haggling would be easy and we'd get great deals on unique items.

Reality: Our driver seemed to have selectively stopped at stalls of people he only knew, in which these sellers were harder to negotiate with. Haggling consisted of their asking price, them showing us all the colors an item is available in, making us touch it, and then when we gave an alternative price, they exclaimed we were being too cheap. We then would pass on the item and try to leave, but our drive wouldn't budge as the sellers tried to fight back on a price. They would plea and try to guilt us into buying the item, so the whole transaction can a bit overwhelming. Repeat this about another 10-20 more times throughout the trip. 

Tip: Haggle your ass off by at least 50%. We found many of these same souvenirs at gift shops in the mall and even asked the store clerks at the mall about the floating market. They replied laughing stating that all items sold at the market are way overpriced. 
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Assumption: There'd be plenty of great dishes and snacks to buy.

Reality: If you pay close attention, some of the uncovered food doesn't look fresh and others are questionable as flies are buzzing around all day. However, I also have a sensitive stomach so I'm very paranoid about street food in general so try at your own risk.

In addition, the main area where majority of the food are is congested, hard to navigate through, and you won't be able to stop where you want due to the traffic. We ended up getting stuck as if we're on the 405 during rush hour - for a good 30 minutes in the blazing sun. I came back with a tan, a few nasty bug bites and spritz of dirty river water on my skin and hair, which was splashed on me when our driver zoomed through the river. 

Tip: Dress for the heat and be prepared for anything. Survey all food carefully before purchasing!
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Two hours later, we called it quits and made a final stop at a gorgeous temple (I can't remember the name).

We walked through it briefly as we were pretty exhausted and ladies, be aware that you'll be asked to wrap yourself in a blanket if you're showing off shoulders, stomach, and/or legs. Basically, you can't wear tank tops, crop tops, and/or shorts at any temple as it's disrespectful and seen as being too sexy. Also, shoes need to be off when stepping inside temples.

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While the experience was interesting, would I do it again? No.

Would I recommend it? Yes, if you've never been because everything is worth trying at least once. Just make sure you bring enough cash and dress accordingly. 

Things You Shouldn't Do Before Leaving The Country
Before-You-Travel

T-minus 8 hours before we take off and I just finished packing, after re-packing my luggage about 20 times (since last week). So much for getting a head start!

This is going to be my longest flight to date and the first time I'm visiting Asia. I'm excited, nervous, and paranoid at the same time, although the paranoia only started after my parents kept telling me stories about people getting kidnapped and/or getting really sick from the food they've eaten while in Asia. Anyone else's parents like to scare the shit out of you before you travel? 

Despite planning the trip since February and having over 8 months to plan, I still ended up fucking up and want to make sure you don't make the same mistake.

Here are a few things you shouldn't do before that trip out of the country:

1. Try to book all the flights yourself - unless you're an expert traveller: If you're flying to multiple countries (for the first time), it is probably a lot less stressful and easier if you book through a travel agency. I spent the first 4 to 5 months trying to plan the entire trip myself, tracking flights and figuring out time frames of when we land and where we can transfer within the airport. Needless to say, if I had went ahead and booked all the flights myself, I probably would've had a complete meltdown and fucked up because of time zones. Spend a little more and use an agent.

2. Underestimate the weather: I did my research and knew that October is known to be monsoon season for most Asian countries. However, I also read some where that it wasn't a huge deal and that rain was going to be light towards the end of the month.

What I didn't do until about a week ago, is actually look up the weather in the cities we were traveling to. In result, I had to re-think what I was going to wear and bring. This meant rethinking what I was going to wear on the trip and re-strategizing how to pack. Basically, I ended up spending more time and energy than needed if I had knew ahead of time what to truly expect (weather wise). Common sense, but it totally slipped my mind - so do your research throughly!

3. Forget about the visa: Yep, the one thing that fucked me over this last weekend was realizing that I needed a visa for Vietnam. I remember looking it up at the beginning of the year but I think I assumed that the travel agency would also tell us if we needed one, but they didn't.

We were notified about the required visa last Friday and from Saturday morning to now, we were able to get a rushed visa (which wasn't cheap). You are required to have a visa to board the plane to Vietnam and from what we've heard, there's been plenty of cases of people missing their flights because they didn't have the visa. I'm thankful for my amazing friends who travel so often for helping me out with this situation over the weekend! 

If you're in need of a visa to Vietnam, here are the suggested websites I got from my friends:

4. Not notify anyone that you're leaving: If you're planning to use our credit card and phone overseas, make sure to tell them. I spent a couple of hours last week calling up my credit card companies, banks, and phone carrier to let them know I'll be traveling. Last thing you want is your card frozen while you're half way across the world or getting surprise charges on your next phone bill. 

Heads up, if you're under T-mobile, Vietnam is not a covered country under any of their plans and it's about $5/minute for talk. Also, if you have a Chase account, apparently Thailand OR Vietnam is on their high fraud risk list (they wouldn't tell me which one), so they cannot make a notation on your account that you're traveling. That doesn't mean you can't use your card, but it'll be a bit of a hassle. They'll be alerting you and you'll most likely have to call to confirm purchases during your trip. Depending on the account you also have with Chase, it's a 3% finance fee for ATM withdrawals and purchase (I think). Double check before you go.

5. Stress: honestly, I was so stressed out from a month ago to today about the entire trip. Everyone told me not to and to enjoy the trip but I'm a planner so naturally, when things aren't organized, I freak. We literally booked our Thailand hotel last week and that's probably the latest I've ever waited to book a place! As hard as it is, really try NOT to stress because it just makes you freak out and in the end, everything will always work out. Shout out to Phoenix for always telling me to "breathe" and sending me "you got this" texts - and KSOLE for being the great BF he is and always asking what I needed help with <3

A few ways to relax during the planning of your trip:

  • Get a massage cause yes, you deserve one
  • Burn sage/candles/incenses because certain smells do help relax you - or use a lavender room spray 
  • Meditate (Headspace is a good one)
  • Go out with the girls! Have a blast and don't think about the trip at all the entire night (yep, I dare you)

Alright, time to double check everything and chill out before heading to the airport. Make sure to follow along on Instagram for all the fun we're going to have on our trip! 

Key Things to Have on Your Blog
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Starting a blog is a commitment and investment, from purchasing the domain to spending countless hours on the design. You've got things set up and even have a few posts scheduled, but wait, how do you categorize them - better yet, what exactly should you include on your blog?

Not every blog is the same and depending on your niche, there are some things you should have while other things are optional. 

I was recently asked what were necessary items to include, which is something I actually continue to struggle on. When I initially launched my blog in 2012, I basically looked at all my favorite blogger's sites and copied what they had (haha). Through the years, I consistently edited my pages to ensure it fit my brand. I recently did another change and cut out a few pages to narrow down my focuses.

As you grow, you'll need to adjust your blog so that it grows with you. However, there are 4 key things that I believe never changes and are on everyone's blog.

  1. About Me (section or page): people want to know who you are and why you're worth following so having an about me section or page is always helpful
  2. Contact (form or page): how are brands and/or readers suppose to contact you without one of these?
  3. Social Media Links: let the stalking begin! People will want to follow along on your daily happenings in "real time", so be sure to give them outlet options.
  4. Archives: allow readers to see what you wrote in the past because you never know which article is still relevant or may appeal to them so let them dig.

In addition, these are optional categories that you can apply (if they fit your brand):

  • Shop/Shop My Instagram
  • Instagram Feed
  • FAQ
  • Videos

For categories, it is dependent on your niche.
If you're a fashion blogger then you might have categories such as outfits/style, accessories, trends, and maybe beauty.
If you're a travel blogger then your categories might be broken down by destinations or travel guides, things to do, where to eat, etc.
 
There are no rules when it comes to categories and if you're only blogging about one thing, then you can skip categories altogether.

In addition, I would suggest to ensure that your blog is easy to maneuver so don't go overboard on your categories. Also keep in mind that the more clicks you require to get to the end result, the more likely your readers will click out entirely. For example, if it takes more than 3 clicks to get to an article, I'm probably going to just give up and leave the website. Remember, people are typically in a rush and have a short attention span these days.

Lastly, your blog is YOURS so you can really do whatever you want to it but I would just keep in mind the key elements I mentioned above.

Beauty Services Anywhere with REV
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Rev-Beauty-By-Lisa-Linh

My dream has always been to have my own styling team, from hair to make-up to even my personal masseuse. I want to wake up and just have my glam team do their thing, I mean how amazing would it be to be able to answer emails on your laptop or phone, while getting styled. It would certainly help me be more productive! With REV, I'm one step closer to having that dream come true. 

REV is an on-demand beauty and wellness beauty app that offers services from manicures, massages, hair, and more. Basically anything you can think of, they offer and the best part? They cover the outside LA area! This is the first app that I know of, that actually does cover the San Gabriel area. I was so thrilled to find this out that I ended up booking REV for a couple's massage, hair, nails, and airbrush make-up session. 

While I had my nails done at home, I decided to have the couple's massage at the Everly Hotel, where we were staying for the weekend. In addition, since I scheduled a photoshoot that same weekend, I had my hair and make-up done in the hotel room as well. 

Overall, I saved so much time and energy because I was able to work on my phone while the services were being done (except for the massages). It is a great idea for a night in, celebrating a special occasion and/or anniversary while you're on vacation, and just super convenient. 

REV will be launching soon so in the meantime, be sure to follow them on Instagram!

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In collaboration with REV, however all opinions are of my own.

Scheduling Work Into Your Vacation
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Hotel-Normadie

If there's one thing I believe I am good at, it is balancing productivity with activities when I'm on vacation. Yeah, it's the one time I'm supposed to relax but let's be real here, when you're the CEO of your own business, you really don't have much of a choice. That is, until you grow into an empire with several employees and a trusted manager to watch over the company when you're gone.

While I'm progressively building my business up to that point, I have figured out a schedule that works well for me and perhaps for you too. This schedule works best for weekend getaways but can be adjusted for week long trips, depending on who you're traveling with and how heavy your itinerary is. 

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The First Day/Night

  • I always set up my work area on the first night. I take out my laptop, charge it (if needed), my external hard drive, notebook, pen, and whatever book I'm reading it. 
  • Before I go to bed, I prioritize deadlines, projects, and go over the trip's itinerary to see what time I have to work. 
  • I do not do any work the first night because I'm tired/jet lagged and need to sleep! I also don't want to start my vacation off stressing.
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Second Day to Second to Last Day

  • I typically wake up 3 hours before we have to leave the hotel. This gives me 2-2.5 hours of work time and 30 minutes to an hour to get ready before we head out for the day.
  • Morning work loads are light to medium. I check/answer emails, write a blog post, take conference calls (30 mins or less), edit photos from the previous day and transfer them to my phone to schedule onto Planoly. 
  • Before I leave the house, I always set up my alarms for the day, which notify me when to post for my clients. I currently post on 4 Instagram accounts, including my own, every day. 
  • Upon returning for the evening/end of day, I will usually shower and change into PJ's before hopping onto my laptop for an hour before bedtime. Typically just checking emails and editing photos from the day.
Note: Sometimes I will end the night earlier when it comes to social events, such as skipping on after dinner drinks and/or the after party so that I can get some work done and still get at least 6 hours of sleep. A little sacrifice goes a long way. 
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Photos by KSOLE; Location: Hotel Normadie

The Last Day

  • I'll wake up 2 hours ahead of schedule to work, pack-up, and get dressed. I typically will spend the first hour answering emails, editing any leftover photos or scheduling posts to be published onto Instagram that day. I also will go over my list of deadlines to make sure I completed what I needed during the trip (i.e. hotel room shots, any sponsored projects, editorials).
Note: I always keep my laptop on me during trips, either in my personal bag that I carry onto the plane or in my tote bag for car rides, so that I can easily access it. That also means that I do additional work while I'm at the airport and in the car, if I'm not driving. 

Every person is different, some aren't early risers and hate waking up in the mornings so adjust this to fit your nighttime schedule instead. Whenever I'm at home in LA, I actually do the complete opposite (as I write this post right now at 1:26AM). I don't wake up until 10AM and sleep around 1 or 2AM, since I spend majority of my time with clients during the day and attend events at night. 

Finding a schedule that works with you is always a trial and error process, but hopefully sharing how I do it can help you figure out yours.