All posts by Jen

Hotel Review- Beijing City Court Hotel

When I went to Beijing I knew I wanted to stay somewhere cheap and I knew I wanted to stay in the Hutongs.  When I found Beijing City Court Hotel I picked it because the reviews were great and the price was a “whole” $25 a night…  So I took a chance and that is where I booked…

When I pulled up to the hotel at first I was a bit… concerned because A: the hutong alleyways are crazy narrow (I still don’t know how that taxi was able to get there) and B:  this was honestly my first time staying in a small family run hotel and it seemed so small.

Not to brag or anything… but I picked the BEST location.   If you are wanting to stay in the hutongs I truly do not think you can pick a better place.  It is within walking distance of 100s of restaurants, shopping and the drum towers… and yes you can walk to Forbidden City… while that was a very bad day… it can be done but I recommend you take a taxi.

The semi weird selfie I took… the sun was in my eyes… hahaha and my skin was brutally dry from the flight!

Fun fact:  I really wanted to go to Mr. Shi’s Dumpling’s as I was told about this place prior to traveling to China.  I thought it was a lost cause until I learned that it is LITERALLY right around the corner from here.  I have dreams about Mr. Shi’s ya’ll.  I literally ate there every single day.

So the good–  GREAT location, super cheap, the staff is FANTASTIC and food is EVERY where,

The bad– wifi is spotty my VPN barely worked with the internet connection but since I wasn’t really into being online during this trip… It didn’t bother me.   It may bother you.  The nearest subway station is about 3/4 a mile away which kinda sucks but the walk down the major shopping street makes it so worth it!

The ugly– I found most cabs would drop you off at the main street, because uh like I said the alleyways are CRAZY narrow and I think most of the taxi drivers didn’t want to deal with it, so you will have to walk.  So after walking a marathon every day this did get a bit… tiresome.

Overall if you are looking for budget accommodation with a FANTASTIC location I HIGHLY recommend this hotel.  If I go back to Beijing I will stay here again.

18 months and counting….

So I have reached month 18 and finally my luck has turned around a bit.   I have started a new job that allows me to work remotely from literally anywhere I can get an internet connection.

I am so excited about this opportunity that I am going to share every single detail in the coming weeks.   That being said I am finally back on track with my goals.

So first up this month my goal is to pretty much get caught up on some things.  Fortunately I didn’t dip too much into savings because I have been very careful but I do want to start saving again.

Now that I have a job that I can literally work anywhere in the world I can technically pick up and leave at anytime, but as I have said in previous posts I have obligations that must be taken care of first.  Once those are done I may move my leave day up a bit.   For right now I am sticking with this.   The good news is I don’t have to quit my job or worry about where my money is coming from when I get on the road.  (I still want to save though 🙂 )

I realized this month that you can’t always seek forgiveness from people who you have hurt and while that is hard it is something you have to accept, if that person blames you for everything you have to let them.    Cut all ties and move on, and try to learn from your experience.

I have also learned what true happiness feels like and I am so grateful for that.  Sometimes you have to cut everything off in your life and start over to rebuild a better you.   I am working on a better me, which is why I have pursued job options I knew would make me happy.  One of my biggest regrets in my life is jumping into a claims job when I didn’t want to do that because I was told I wouldn’t be good at my chosen job.  I should have taken time and pursued my passions. I also was told constantly I wouldn’t like traveling to certain places even though I knew in the deepest parts of my soul I would.   I believed them.  Ha! no wonder I was so unhappy,  I betrayed myself.  I was so unhappy, now I am not.  It was a hard lesson to learn but I have learned it and I finally accepted I can’t change my past and my mistakes but I can move forward with a new fire and pursue my dreams.  🙂

So what is the point of saying all of this?  Pursue your passion and stop listening to the negativity.   I can’t tell you how many times I gave up on something because I was told by people “I loved”  I would not be good at that, or I couldn’t do that, or I wouldn’t like that.   It made me one vindictive bitch who was very negative in every aspect of her life.   I hated her.   I can’t change who I was but I know I can be the person I was  before I let everything get in my way.   It is the biggest breath of fresh air I have had in years.

SO let go of the negativity and be you.   🙂

So yeah end soap box.

This past month was pretty boring so I don’t have much to share but I am hoping NEXT month I can start my savings posts back up and get back on track.

Cheers Everyone!

My Summer Survival Items!

Hey guys!

Summer is literally ALMOST a month away!  I can’t believe it is finally here.   While it is quite warm in Texas and already feels like Summer in the afternoons,  I know some are anxiously getting ready for their summer vacations or road trips during Memorial Day weekend!  (Envious!)  I feel very much like a vampire, I am currently an American working on Beijing time and it is killing me, I literally ONLY come out at night and even then I am rarely seen.  (true story!)

That being said I am really hoping to get to enjoy some of the sunshine this Summer!  That being said I want to share some of my favorite products with you!  I hope you give them a try and love them as much as I do!  Bonus most are SUPER cheap as you know I am ALWAYS on a budget (plane tickets are not cheap!)

All my products are cruelty free & I love each and every one of them!

I have the worst luck with nails!  I am very rough on my hands, I am really working on that.   I use gloves now when I do any cleaning and the dishes!  I am also trying to not be as aggressive when it comes to typing.   That being said I LOVE Wet n Wild 1 step wonder.  SO many colors to choose from I can’t help myself!

Summer is brutal on my hair.  Between the sun, chlorine, beach water (if I am lucky) my hair gets so dry!!!!  Shea Moisture is always to the rescue.  I LOVE ALL of their products and use them year around!

I bought this H&M bikini and I am in love with it.   It is mix and match and they have it available in all bra sizes so you can guarantee a perfect fit! #winning

I love the Yes To line.   I love their sleeping masks and I really try to use one a week depending on my skin issues.   My skin gets very dry & sometimes agitated and sensitive.   I love how there is a wide variety so I can cater my sleeping mask to my current issues.

ALBA sunblock.   THERE is a very good chance your sunblock is doing more harm than good.   Ever since I learned about the corals getting bleached I realized I had to do better when it comes to choosing my sun block products.   That is why I use ALBA.   I use ALBA everything and I am always boasting at how much I love their products as I find my skin & hair have started looking pretty stellar since I have started using their products.    I would work for ALBA if I could. 🙂

Finally, I rarely if ever wear makeup in the summer.  It is always over a 100 and humid as hell in Texas so why bother.   I might wear full makeup if I am going somewhere but I don’t see that happening much this summer as I plan on working crazy hours.   I have two debts I am trying to get rid of this summer and I am done with debt.   I am a woman on a mission 🙂 but that being said if I need to wear something to even my skin tone I always turn to E.L.F tinted moisturizer.   It has SPF and I have found it works for me and hell for $3 it is a total STEAL.

So there you have it the products I love and will use all Summer.   What products do you use?  Comment below and let me know!

Post contains affiliate links which help me keep the growing cost of keeping this website online.  They are as always NO cost to you. 🙂 

How do I plan my trips?

As I get more seasoned with travel I am finding that I get random PM’s from people that I didn’t even know were paying attention to my Facebook.  I get asked random questions like “How do you plan a trip to a country across the world?” or “How much underwear did you take to China?” or “Where are you going next?”…

I only have one trip planned this year and it is taking me all over the Caribbean but as I start preparation for next year I realized that I do in fact have a bit of a process when I start planning my trips.

Typically my trip inspiration will start with a book, movie or TV show.   (Anthony Bordain is 100% responsible for my trip to Chengdu. )  I am pretty sure I am 100% going to St. John Newfoundland next year and it is 100% because of Republic of Doyle on Netflix.

Side note- As far the other places next year?  I am still working on those plans.  Now that I have a remote job, I really don’t have to stay in one place for long anymore and I plan on taking advantage.  

Then will come my skyscanner search for flights so I get an idea when I can go… or if the flights are crazy expensive how long will it take me to get there…

Currently I can go to Germany for $383.00!!!!!!!  Skyscanner is a great place to check out cheap flights.  I always use them for an idea of cheap places to go 🙂 just choose everywhere as your destination… make your time flexible and choose cheapest month.  YOU might be shocked at how cheap some places are 🙂 

Then comes the quite shameful stalking of my three favorite bloggers and sometimes other bloggers if I know they have been somewhere.

Seriously almost a stalker… but bloggers are fantastic resource. 

Then I check out travel guides at the library to get a more detailed idea of budget, where to stay and a basic history.

I don’t buy travel guides, I buy plane tickets.  I use the library, you should too! 

Then comes many hours of internet searches… and shamelessly watching YouTube videos.

I just search my country of choice and get to watching.  OMG YouTube is a new obsession. 

I also google books set in (insert country or place here) and check out and read as many books as I can during this entire process.

I have been reviewing books set in certain places for years so this is more than just a random hobby 🙂