Tuesday, August 14, 2012

FOX News Segment: Keep Cool in the Summer Heat

I've dished out dozens upon dozens of travel tips from countries throughout Asia.  Today, I was on my home turf in the U.S. sharing some tips on how to keep cool in the sweltering summer heat.  This segment appeared on "Solution America" on FOXNews.com LIVE and FOX Business.com.

Here's a brief rundown of the products featured -- and their websites where you can find more information.
  1. Magniflex:  Coolmax pillows use a high-tech fabric originally designed to be used under the uniforms of police officers and soldiers.  The pillows' outer fabric is breathable and wicks away sweat to keep you comfortable.  These office pillows will help with your posture, lower back pain and are great for those who have to sit for long periods of time.   www.magniflex.us
  2. Mohan's Custom Tailors:  Mohan's has developed the amazing Anti-Sweat Suit designed to remain breathable, wick away sweat and leave you feeling ten degrees cooler.  Mohan's offers more than 40 suit styles so you can pick the look that's best for you.  Mohan's is located on 42nd Street in NYC, but no worries if you're not in New York -- send in your measurements for a beautiful, cooling custom suit!  www.mohantailors.com
  3. CustomMade:  At CustomMade, you can get anything you want -- you guessed it, custom made!  From furniture to jewelry to beauty products.  That's where I found Cold Creme Soaps by Kelly's Creations.  These are handmade and all natural, turning grandma's cold creme into a fresh soap that is gentle enough on skin for daily use, while leaving you feeling refreshed.  It's a great way to start your day!  www.custommade.com
  4. Arctic Ease:  Cooling patches and wraps that never need to be refrigerated are the perfect item to tote around this summer.  Keep Arctic Ease in your car, golf bag or beach bag and use when needed.  Arctic Ease stays cool for three hours, is reusable and available at national retailers like Rite Aide, Walgreens and Target.  www.arcticease.com
  5. Blu-Tek by Kingsdown:  Kingsdown designed Blu-Tek to keep 4-7 degrees than your typical memory foam mattress.  The trick is the gel and airflow technology that keeps Blu-Tek cool all night long.  Our bodies need to cool-down at night in order to get a restful night's sleep -- and Blu-Tek is the answer.  www.kingsdown.com

Chiang Mai, Thailand: More Amazing Video of Tigers

Cute, cuddly, fierce, intimidating, playful -- all these words can be used to describe the tigers we interacted with in Tiger Kingdom in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  If you want to go -- check out my first Tiger Kingdom video for logistics.  This video is simply a compilation of beautiful shots of these wild animals.  We had so much incredible footage, we could not resist sharing more of it with you!  Enjoy...

Chiang Mai, Thailand: Tiger Kingdom

This was like National Geographic in person.  I've never been this close to such a wild animal and it was absolutely exhilarating.  During our time in Chiang Mai, Thailand we made a stop at Tiger Kingdom.  Tiger Kingdom is different than a zoo.  At Tiger kingdom you're able to actually go into the tiger pens and interact with tigers of all ages, including newborns.  To be able to touch and feed these beautiful creatures literally had my heart racing.  The young tigers are fun, the older tigers are intimidating but beautiful.  We thought the tigers were well cared for, healthy and the conditions were very good -- incredibly clean.  If you want a memorable moment, you've got it at Tiger Kingdom!

It's a very easy trip to Tiger Kingdom.  While many tour companies have tours there, they charge quite a bit more than if you travel on your own.  We flagged down a "Red Truck" (they are taxis in Chiang Mai) and negotiated a price for the driver take us there, wait on us to finish and then drive us back to our hotel - it was quite a bit cheaper than booking through a tour company!  You can also rent a scooter in Chiang Mai for $5 a day!  We did and ended up driving right past Tiger Kingdom - so don't be afraid to give it a go.  Find a local used book store (there are plenty), purchase a map, rent your scooter and you're on your way!

Additional Information:
TEL. (66)+053-299363 , (66)+053-86070

Friday, February 3, 2012

Phuket, Thailand: Island & Beach Review

Phuket is the largest Thai island and it's known for beautiful beaches. That's why I came here!

If you want more than simply surf and sun, this is also a good option. Phuket offers nightlife, shopping and adventure sports. It's also easy to get to. We traveled over land through much of South East Asia, however discount airfare in Thailand is something you should consider. We flew on Air Asia from Chaing Mai direct to Phuket for about $50 per person.

Although this is a pricey spot (for Thailand), during low-season you can find great rates at beach front resorts. If your are looking for a true budget/backpacker destination or that "deserted island" feeling another Thai island may be the better bet.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New Year's Resolution: Be Generous

I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions – I’ve never felt a big pull for that “fresh start.”  I think it’s typically because I’m relatively satisfied with where I’m at – and that cliché resolutions always seem to fail.  So, this year I had no intention of setting a resolution until New Year’s Day -- when I realized I needed to.

My husband and I were out eating dinner when he came up with an idea – he wanted to leave the waitress a tip equal to our bill as a great way to start her new year.  “How sweet and generous you are!” – maybe should have been my reaction.  Instead I felt my chest tighten with the reaction that matches my budgeting/saving/often frugal self.  Prudent Lauren needed a moment to think about this and that’s when I realized that I needed to become more generous.  Don’t get me wrong – I always want to help and am actually quite a softie.  However, getting me to part with large amounts of money can be a struggle.  So, I decided this would be my resolution – to be generous beyond my comfort zone.  It started with that big  tip for our waitress.

Then, I got excited – I needed to give more.  So, I signed up with Kiva an organization that helps arrange micofinancing for people around the world in an effort to alleviate poverty.  Essentially, you are loaning your money to others.  So, I found Noeda in the Philippines who needed a loan to buy supplies to expand her farm.  Then, I found Mrs. El in Cambodia who needed a loan to buy a feather plucking machine that would help her to sell chickens at market at a greater volume.   I pulled out my credit card and made a couple of loans.  It felt good – I loved the idea that I was giving to people in countries I had recently visited – I had fallen in love with these countries and their people.  More than that, I had seen the poverty first hand.  I was amazed how in 24 hours these women had their loans fully funded by generous people around the world.  Once the loans are re-paid, I can lend again – what a great, sustaining idea. 

Now, I don’t expect I’ll be throwing cash around at every corner.  And, I fully expect to feel my chest tighten with the feeling that I must save my money – but I can overcome that for a greater feeling of giving to others who need the money a lot more than I do.