Category Archives: Lifestyle & Health

Vietnam Tripping: Hanoi Pearl Hotel Review

Hello from sunny Singapore! I’m finally back home and feeling pretty recharged from our recent trip to Vietnam. After all the hotel stays, long bus rides, day trips to nearby cities, trekking with Hmong tribes in Sapa and a wonderful cruise in Halong Bay, it’s time to write about the places we’ve stayed in.

 

In this first edition of my travel tales in Vietnam, I’ll be reviewing the first hotel we stayed in the city – Hanoi Pearl Hotel.

 

Hanoi Pearl Hotel Review

Cute colonial-looking sleeping area, I’d say!

 

At the moment, this hotel is ranked by Tripadvisor as #124 of 521 hotels in Hanoi and has a certificate of excellence under its belt. We booked this hotel via Expedia and had no problems with checking in.

 

Location

 

The hotel can be found at Number 6, Bao Khanh Lane | Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi 844, Vietnam. It’s located in the charming Old Quarter of Hanoi, not far from Hoan Kiem Lake. Price-wise, it’s pretty affordable and location-wise, it’s very convenient for exploring the area.

 

Room

 

Our room was a superior room, and its size suited two people just nice. The room was clean and neat, and had everything that I needed as a guest. However, one thing struck me as odd: We didn’t have any windows!

 

Hanoi Pearl Hotel Review

Lovely little work desk.

 

Hanoi Pearl Hotel Review

Tidy bathroom. You can see the little window that opens at the bottom.

 

Hanoi Pearl Hotel Review

Basin area, which fits one person nicely and two people a bit snugly.

 

Hanoi Pearl Hotel Review

Some necessities provided by the hotel. So thankful for the cotton buds!

 

Hanoi Pearl Hotel Review

The sleeping area once again.

 

The only window we had was a small one in the bathroom, which opened up to the wall of the neighbouring building, which was about 50cm away. So although you don’t see much from there, at least you’ll know if it’s raining or not.

 

Service

 

The service in general was good. The receptionists and manager on duty were always smiling, seemed relaxed and happy, and were up for a little chat when they weren’t too busy. They have umbrellas in the lobby that you can borrow, and how awesome that was, for on our second day in Hanoi, it rained. That same evening, as we waited (again, in the lobby) for our pick-up to arrive to send us to the train station, I requested for the receptionist to call our tour company to confirm that they were on their way to get us. It all went ahead without a glitch.

 

Overall & Price

 

The first thing you’ll notice about the hotel is the musky scent the moment you enter. While it might not suit some people, I didn’t really have a problem with it. Breakfast was decent as well, though nothing absolutely fancy. There’s the traditional Asian porridge if you’re craving for some hot food in the morning but you’ll have to add some garnishing to it (these are also provided and placed beside the porridge).

 

The overall ambience of this hotel is relaxing, welcoming and pretty chill. I’ll let you decide if you’d like to reserve a room at this hotel, but if you’re not fussy and are just staying in town for the night, this hotel serves its purpose. At S$80 a night for a superior room, which includes free wifi and a buffet breakfast, I’d say it is generally all right if you’re not picky about the view.

 

Never lose sight of the explorer within you,

Roxanne

Home Inspo: 7 Gorgeous Bar Cart Styles

 

Bar Cart Styling Introduction

 

Moving into your own apartment is so tiring but it’s also so rewarding. You’ve got all these things, which you’ve accumulated over the years to pack, move and unpack into your new place; and there are tons of other adult stuff that you need to be responsible for. Like signing up for internet service that’s within your budget (preferably one that allows you to watch Netflix wherever you are), registering for a new billing account, getting new furniture, and deciding on the layout of your new space.

 

Apart from realising you’re finally on your own, there’s also the independence and freedom to have guests over whenever you like. That’s when your collection of whisky, champagne and wine glasses get to be presented in all their glory.

 

What better way to do that than to have your very own bar cart? Here are 7 gorgeous bar cart styles I’ve found, that could give you all the inspiration you need for your very first one.

 


7 Gorgeous Bar Carts for Work & Play

7 Gorgeous Bar Carts for Work & Play
Picture 1 of 7

Fill it up with a supply of San Pellegrino and flowers.

 

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

 
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Link Love: A Summer in Wanderlust

 

Wanderlust

 

If you’re a lover of travel, then you’re just like me. Oh, if only travelling isn’t so expensive, and if only I had all the time in the world to travel to anywhere I want. But I suppose for now, that’s why blogs exist – websites where people can share their stories in bundles of pictorials and prose.

 

I’ve just returned from a trip in northern Vietnam and I’m already missing all that is out there to see. So for today, let’s just make do with some summer travel tales and daydreams of untold seafaring.

 
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The Ultimate Skincare Routine (Night) for Oily and Sensitive Skin

 

The Ultimate Skincare Routine (Night) for Oily and Sensitive Skin

 

We’ve all gotten advice for our skin woes, read articles online for tips to deal with skin sensitivity and even tried to come up with routines on our own that would solve our skin problems. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t and sometimes they just make things worse. Based on seasonal and hormonal changes, it can be quite the challenge to find something that works all year round.

 

If you’ve got oily and sensitive skin, you’re in luck. Today, I’m sharing with you my ultimate skincare routine for oily and sensitive skin, simply because that’s the kind of skin I have (with gaping pores too, no joke) and because it is way too difficult to find something that’s been as effective as what I have been using for the past couple of years. This routine – with specific products that I use – reduces breakouts, prevents whiteheads from forming and speeds up the clearing of blemishes.

 

Step 1: Remove makeup Using a Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil and a Sonic Cleansing Tool.

Oil-based cleansing oils work wonders, if you haven’t tried them yet. I’ve stuck to the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil for years and when the brand launched the Ultime8, I never looked back. Take 2 pumps of the cleansing oil and apply it all over your dry face. Then go all over your face for 1 minute with the Clarisonic Mia (video tutorial by Deb at Beauty Heaven here) to make sure you break down the gunk stuck in your pores, so that it can be removed easily in the next few steps.

 
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How to Love Your Body without Shaming Others for Theirs

 

Lane Bryant Ad Campaign

 

As far as lingerie or beauty ad campaigns go, I’m all for promoting self-love. In 2013, Abercrombie & Fitch incurred the wrath of self-made activists by proclaiming their clothes were made for “good-looking people.” Tables were flipped, keyboard warriors went mental and bloggers such as Jes from The Militant Baker embarked on personal missions to make their voices heard.

 

More recently, Lane Bryant introduced their “I’m No Angel” campaign for their lingerie line. As a plus-size retailer, it’s no wonder they don’t subscribe to the stick-thin-with-enviable-cleavage notion that the Victoria’s Secret angels fit. Again, I’m all for supporting anyone who promotes self-love and self-confidence. But what I cannot see eye to eye with are hypocrites.

 
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Link Love: All Things French

 


 

Everybody knows @ParisinFourMonths (If you don’t, you should definitely check her out on Instagram here). To cut it short, photographer Carin Olsson moved to Paris, intending to only stay there for four months. However, she fell in love with the city and everything else was history (i.e. She’s still there!).

 

I can totally understand her love for Paris. Though I feel that there are many other French cities that are totally understated and open us up to more worlds than Paris, there is this je ne sais quoi about France and the French way of life that is hard to replicate anywhere else. I definitely would love to move to France one day in the future, seeing just how much I miss the place, the culture, the food and the people. It’s not that Singapore is bad. On the contrary, I feel quite balanced where I am at this point in my life.

 

But France is always tempting.

 

Today, I’m featuring not 5 but 6 French bloggers to introduce to all of you a little more about France. It’s not just about macarons, sex, fashion and good food. It’s all of that with a twist.

 


French Bloggers - Laced Ivory's Picks

 

1. Valentine from Hello It’s Valentine exhibits Parisian chic in what I call a vélo à la crème and a pair of vintage jeans.

2. Fiona from Paris Hues shares with us her Breakfast Cranberry and Sesame Flapjacks recipe. And we know how well the French eat!

3. Eleonor at Le Blog de la Méchante gives us an idea on how to welcome spring with hues of lavender.

4. Louise at Pandora show us how colour blocking can be done in Paris.

5. Swedish lifestyle editor and photographer Solli at Solli Kanani gives us a glimpse of what we love best – macarons!

6. Typhaine at Cuillère à Absinthe shows us a great way to wear pinstripes.

 
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Stay: The PuLi Hotel & Spa Shanghai

 

The PuLi Hotel & Spa Shanghai

The elegant lobby of one of the most luxurious hotels in Shanghai.

 

{This is the last part of my series of posts on my travel to Shanghai. To see the rest of them, read: Travel Diary: Shanghai Travel Tips and OOTD: Reminiscing Shanghai.}

 

To date, Shanghai is the first Chinese city I’ve ever visited. It was a pleasant surprise in some ways, especially how easy it was to get around based on my knowledge of Mandarin Chinese. However, the locals in the service industry speak English as well, so you’ll be just fine if you only speak that.

 

We spent our final night at the wonderful PuLi Hotel & Spa and our experience there had been nothing short of extraordinary. Checking in was a breeze in the huge lobby area and bellboys were there to greet us and handle our baggage the moment we arrived. I requested for a room on a high floor and we were given one on the 21st storey, which had amazing views of the city and highways below. You’ll want to know that rooms in The PuLi Hotel & Spa from the 20th storey onwards are Club Rooms, which come with exclusive club benefits, such as your personal butler and a complimentary mini bar. The high ceilings and wide windows also allow more light into the room, which makes everything feel much more inviting.

 
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Travel Diary: Shanghai Travel Tips

 

Shanghai Travel Tips

 

Shanghai. The land of the customised cheongsams and pork dumplings. I never thought I’d ever give this city a visit but I’m glad I did. It was a good 3 days spent, seeing Shanghai Old City, the Bund and Nanjing Road. I even managed to squeeze in some shopping on Day 1!

 


 
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Stylish Activewear for the Lunch Workout

 

Stylish Activewear on Laced Ivory

 

It wasn’t only till recently that I picked up running. Well, make that jogging. I’ve always been more of a sprinter than a long-distance runner but sitting way too much in the office means there’s work to do in the house of cardio.

 

It’s isn’t always easy to pick myself up and get moving, and I’m pretty sure many of you face the same obstacle. That’s why having some form of motivation helps. It can be in the form of having a workout buddy, a paid gym membership, great weather to head outdoors or stylish activewear to boost your confidence when you step outside. The latest launch of the Nike Flyknit Lunar 3 got my heart racing and inspired me to share with you some cool sportswear and accessories I found online. All these items I’ve picked below are from stores that ship globally, so happy shopping!

 



 
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Guest Post: Skirts for Every Occasion

 

A photo posted by Roxanne C. (@lacedivory) on


 

{A while back, in the second instalment of my Workplace Essentials blog series, I wrote about the different types of skirts that you can wear to work. Just to recap, these were the pencil skirt, flare skirt and the skirt with prints for the bolder ones in us – or just those who were bored of plain colour themes. Today, a certain Miss Skirt Maven from Zalora brings us her interpretation of how a girl can wear skirts, so read on to find out!}

 

Skirts are undoubtedly one of the most versatile pieces in a girl’s wardrobe. Available in so many cuts and designs, skirts are now one of the few wardrobe staples, along with the little black dress and blue jeans.

 

Having been around since the 19th century, skirts first originated as dresses, which over time came with lower and lower waistlines until they became separates. Since then, skirts have evolved into everyday wear with variations in hemlines through the decades. Although pants have been introduced to women’s fashion in the early 20th century, skirts still remain a go-to option that can be dressed up for the office and down for a weekend jaunt around town.

 

Here are some skirts for a few common occasions:

 


Zalora Skirts

 
1. Lunch with the Girls

For daytime, nothing beats a feminine cut-out pencil skirt in a spring-ready hue like lavender. This lace skirt from Twisted Sisters is perfect for lunch with your girlfriends. Be prepared to turn heads with a pair of white pumps, a structured white bag and gold accessories like stacked rings.

 
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