Home Away From Home

MABUHAY, MANILA

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If you ever plan on visiting Manila, then this is the post you want to read. Philippines is a country Tsutsumi and I have been wanting to visit simply because we are always mistaken for being Filipinos. We are of Vietnamese ethnicity, but couldn’t be more stoked to blend in with the country everybody thinks we are from ♥ Even though we only had three days, our time in Manila was a pleasant one. One thing that was quite an experience was our home away from home at Acacia Hotel Manila. When on visit we decided to stay with a local filipino hotel making it extra special for us.

THE BEDROOM..

Upon arrival to our bedroom (at midnight!) we got greeted by a framed picture of us and personal greetings on the flatscreen TV. It was such a cute gesture making us feel at home straight away. The plushy dream bed was amazing and we spent countless of hours relaxing while having our breakfast in bed the day after. I am still daydreaming about the delicious meals we had!

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LURRA..

Acacia Hotel happens to have a beautiful spa center, so you best believe we had a girls night during our visit! After an adventurous day in Manila we booked four girls in for a one-hour massage at the Lurra Spa and had the best time of our lives here. From what we experienced the staff are truly professionals knowing exactly where to loosen up our muscles. It was an amazing and relaxing experience that calmed our stressed out bodies. We wished it stayed on forever, because one hour flew by!

DINING AT ACACIA..

The Lobby

We went here for lunch and had some tea and pastries in the afternoon while enjoying the calm ambiance of the hotel. Our entertainment for the day was actually a full-on wedding shoot at the hotel which was so nice to witness.

Acacia Buffet

Dinner and breakfast buffet with large windows letting in natural lights – this place had a perfect ambiance to cater our needs. We felt so spoiled when dining because the chef would make us food that wasn’t even on the menu. We got to try out traditional soup and adobo which was so good. Thumbs up for the chefs!

A Steakhouse

This is the place for all you steaklovers out there looking for a feast. Sitting in majestic chairs we got a live caesar salad preparations from the cute waitress while listening to soothing tunes from the musicians. It was a magical experience to have professionals playing songs we had on request. We’re definitely Disney girls at hearts!

Taking a dip in the pool

Prior to our breakfast rituals we took a quick swim at the swimming pool. To our amusement the staff played the best R&B songs which kick-started our day. There’s nothing more refreshing than a morning swim.

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EXCUISITE SERVICE..

When we arrived in Manila we kind of knew what activities that we were interested it, but was pretty clueless in regards to when it would be suitable to plan on our itinerary. The charming staff helped us plan our trip and made it so much easier for us to explore the city. A local’s recommendation about where to visit will always be gold tips!

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FILIPINO LIKE NO OTHER

Our stay was something we will remember for a long time thanks to every one of the charming staff at Acacia Hotel. Customer satisfaction was so good they even called us several times at night to check if we needed anything at 9pm, haha. We felt right at home and can’t compliment Acacia enough for making us feel as welcomed as we did. Until next time, #MyAcaciaStory ♥

Q&A: HAIR TALK

Hi you.

Finally back with another hair-talk! Remember back in July when I was wondering what kind of hair color I should go for next? Nope? You can read it here. As you can see, I decided to go for ash grey and I’m very satisfied with the result as always! I initially wanted to keep my blonde hair, but since I have an upcoming project, I thought I would rough it up a little bit. Lately, I’ve received so many questions regarding my hair so I thought I’d make a Q & A session focusing on exactly that! Keep on reading below.

TSUTSUMI-GREY-COLLAQuestions that I get asked a lot regarding my hair:

1. What hair color do you have?

A: Ash grey (balayage)

2. What do you use to curl/style your hair?

A: I use ghd Plantinum White Styler to curl my hair and have been using it for almost a year. It immediately gives natural waves after a single stroke and I truly believe this is an iron that fits every hair type.

3. Can you make a hair tutorial on how you style it?

A: Yes! A hair tutorial is coming your way.

4. Which hair products do you use for your haircare routine?

A: To keep my grey hair from fading I use JOICO Color Balance Purple shampoo and conditioner. It has tone-correcting pigments that protects your hair color and keeps it looking fresh, not to mention, it smells SO good! The only thing that I dislike about this product is if you use it too much it can make your hair brassy. I would say 2-3 times a week is fine.

Moroccanoil Treatment Original is a must-have for my haircare routine. I apply 2-3 pumps in towel-dried hair for a smooth and healthy glow. If I want to take it one step further, I apply the oil on dry hair or after I’m done styling/curling it.

Once a week I apply Moroccanoil Restorative Hair Mask on my hair after shampooing. I let it absorb for about 10 minutes before rinsing it off. This mask is great for damaged hair. It is rich in shea butter, argain oil, and healing proteins that rebuild the hair’s inner structure.

5. Where did you get your hair done? 

A: I get my hair done at HAIRDO that is located in Kværnerbyen. If you ever visit, ask for my talented hairdresser, Kimi. She is the mastermind behind all my hair styles the last five to six years and is particularly a specialist when it comes to Asian hair. To book an appointment you can check their Instagram, HERE OR give them a call at 21 90 90 98

6. What technique was used and how long did it take for you to get that color?

A: The Balayage technique & natural hair streaks. It took me only 3-4 hours to reach the ash-gray color because my hair was already bleached from before. If you have naturally dark hair, you will not get results the first time. It will take at least 2-3 treatments before you achieve the perfect color.

Hope you liked the questions & answers! See you on the next one, xo.

ACCESSORY: BJØRKLUND LASHES: ICONIC, HOUSE OF LASHES

BALI, A TROPICAL PARADISE

Our Baliventures exceeded our expectations and was beyond amazing. We couldn’t be more thankful to explore Bali together and hope you like to follow along what we got up to! Here is a recap of the week we spent in Bali snorkeling, visiting the monkey forest and tasting cat poop coffee. Make sure to subscribe to our channel because vlogs are always uploaded several days ahead & you’ll make two girls very happy :)

BREAKFAST IN BALI

THE BEST WAY TO START THE DAY

If there is one place in Bali that knows how to make a phenomenal breakfast spread, The Balé would be it. When staying at the resort we had the option to either dine at the restaurant or order breakfast to our villa. As you can see we opted for in-room dining, simply because we didn’t want to leave. Normally, Tsutsumi and I are either sleeping-in like the less pretty versions of sleeping beauty, or have such a rush in the morning that we dont have time for breakfast. But whenever we’re away, the best thing about going for a vacation is a big breakfast spread. Sleeping is suddenly a time machine to wake up nice and happy for breakfast at 7:00am. That being said, The Balé have a really luxurious setting to all aspects of the resort making it pretty easy to wake up too ♥

When traveling we always have a huge breakfast in the morning, ‘cause with so much to explore we dont really know when the suitable time for the next meal will be. Starting the day with food in our bellies keeps our mood up-beat and happy all day for adventures in Bali.

WHAT’S FOR BREAKFAST?

What’s better than to wake up in a tropical paradise in white robes? Hands down, breakfast in bed. While staying at The Balé resort in Nusa Dua we had breakfast like champions every day. Eggs Benedict, fried noodles, fruit platters and fresh smoothies. You name it, they got it. So delish!

Have a lovely weekend, sweeties! ♥

A BALI ADVENTURE

Privacy Pls maxi dress here & Tularosa Wrap dress here

Bali, oh Bali! What an amazing island with so much spirit to it. For this trip we got to experience some of the most beautiful places and resorts the island has to offer including Sanur, Ubud, Uluwatu, Nusa Dua and Seminyak. An unforgettable experience that we’re so happy we got to share with you on Instagram and Snapchat, as it has been so fun for us! Here is our Bali week day by day, we hope you like it ♥

DAY ONE:

Activities:

Balinese Cooking Class

Gazing out over Rice Fields

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Bali has many traditional dishes to offer, so on our first day we booked ourselves a Balinese cooking class with our own chef. We made Soba noodles, curry paste from scratch and a tasty tuna dinner. It was a really cool experience and we felt so accomplished when enjoying it by the pool overlooking the beautiful rice fields.

WAKE UP TOSpeaking of rice fields, you can visit the Tegalalang Rice Terrace if you leave nearby Ubud or Sanur area for some breathtaking views. We didn’t visit this particular place because our resort was located right next to a rice field, so we were lucky enough to wake up to the sun shining over the rice fields.

DAY TWO:

Attractions:

Traditional Market

Ubud Monkey Forest Temple

Spare Ribs at Naughty Nurie’s

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Since Sanur is a small area, we spent half a day to explore the culture of Ubud.  We stayed in the Sanur area so a 45min one-way car ride to Ubud cost us $250 000. I did some research online in regards to transport and by the looks of it $200 000 – $250 000 is a good price for that distance. Upon arrival In Ubud we visited the Monkey Forest Temple. The monkeys living in the area wild animals and very aggressive compared to the snow monkeys we met in Kyoto, Japan back in March (see here) Since neither Mom, Tsu or me had our shoulders covered we were very careful to not draw unwanted attention. Our driver warned us to take care of our belongings because some monkeys are cheeky enough to steal, but nevertheless it was a cool experience to see the temple.

MONKEY-FOREST-COLLTsutsumi Dress For Love & Lemons here and Alexandra’s Pattaya Romper

After this we just walked down a path that lead us to the traditional market. The stalls here are almost identical with all offering the same things, but very interesting to see and so much life! When the sun set we got in a taxi that took us to famous Naughty Nuri’s for barbecued spare ribs. There are no queues and you simply have to line up and wait for a table to clear up. You’re guaranteed to leave smelling like BBQ smoke, but if you’re in Ubud; this place can simply not be missed!

DAY THREE:

Kopi Luwak Coffee tasting

COPPEEThe place where the world’s most expensive coffee is grown is right here in Bali which made it a unique experience for us to try. Kopi Luwak is made of a cat-looking animal that eats a specific coffee bean, partly digesting it, before it is then pooped out to our enjoyment. We visited a local coffee garden and got to taste and compare Kopi Luwak and ordinary coffee. Kopi Luwak has a richer coffee taste and a good aftertaste, so we actually liked it!

DAY FOUR:

Day trip to Nusa Dua Three Islands

If you live in the Nusa Dua area this will be the perfect place for water sports. On the fourth day of our trip we booked a day trip through Klook Travel to see the three islands of Nusa Dua. The boat ride was insane on max-speed with no need for life-vests and most of the time you saw nothing but the ocean. I personally loved the thrill of the boat literally jumping its way to its next destination, but its for sure not suitable for someone who gets easily boat-sick. The program’s slogan is “Get The Ocean Rafting Fever” so if you’re up for an adventurous trip from start to end this is your activity!

Our tour-guide picked us up in the early morning and the activity program provided snorkeling gear for us. On our way to the snorkel destinations we cruised through a hidden beach in a cave, bat rock and 300 natural iconic coastal cliffs.

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The snorkelling spots that day were at Gamat Bay and Bali Hai Pontoon. We were lucky with the weather giving us crystal clear views of the turquoise waters! The sea-world was AMAZING with colorful corals and fishes of all shapes and colors. (We found Dory!) I was very impressed by the views, because when visiting Cairns, Australia last year many of the corals in the area we where in was already dead due to tourists touching the delicate coral. I therefore truly hope that while visiting people will be respectful of the sea life because it’s so beautiful and should stay like that for as long as possible.

SEA LIFE COLLIMG_1377After snorkeling and enjoying a picnic lunch buffet we got to spend lots of time at the Bali Hai Beach Club. Here we got on a banana boat ride, paddle boarded, sun bathed and enjoyed cocktails. It was an unforgettable experience and I’m so glad we found this activity on Klook Travel and managed to book in advance. If you plan on visiting Lombok or Gilli Islands then do consider this activity, it exceeded our expectations!

DAY FIVE:

Padang-Padang beach in Uluwatu

ALEX-PDA very beautiful beach recommended by many of our readers. Eye-catching scenery and great waves for surfers. The passage down to the beach is pretty steep and since its between two massive rocks its also very narrow making people having to queue up going one-by-one. Expect for the place to be cramped with tourists if you’re traveling during peak season.

PADANG EYE WAVES COLLTSU-PADNALEX-PADN-ROEverything in Bali is around 30-45 minutes apart from each other so if you want to explore as much as possible our tip would be to hire a driver. It is an island paradise with lots to offer for all kinds of travelers. This trip was a much needed retreat from the fast-paced life to just enjoy life. Hopefully you liked our little Bali Guide and we look forward for your city to be the next!