Beauty Life Travel

May Discoveries

Since I spend many of my non work related working hours puttering around, finding books to read on Amazon and trawling around for trinkets to buy, I often come across some excellent little items that I want to share. Each item probably isn’t enough for its own post, so I’ve decided to start doing a “recent finds” series once I get enough together. Here is my first, some recent discoveries that I’m currently enjoying!

Sephora X

The best nail polish top coat. I always paint my own nails and go through clear top coats quite often. I often use the opportunity to try out different brand’s, and Sephora’s is the best that I’ve found so far. Super fast drying and very, very shiny! It keeps my polish chip free for at least five days and I’m quite hard on my hands.

Global Services

United Global Services. Compliments for U.S. based airlines are few and far between these days, perhaps justifiably so. I usually try to fly with Star Alliance airlines for loyalty status (though I’ll take a flight on Cathay Pacific or Qatar any day) and this year is my first trying out United’s level of Global Services..

So far it’s been a very positive experience – immediate connection to a live and competent agent on a dedicated phone line, easier chances at upgrades, and at some airports agents will seek you out to pre-board as early as possible. In all honesty I probably wouldn’t make the switch to United just to try and get Global Services, especially if you already like your airline and get good perks. But if you’re already flying United, the status can be helpful, especially overseas (I always find agents much more helpful out of Hong Kong/Frankfurt than domestically).


Greenoodle. I am extremely, extremely fond of all kinds of ramen and noodles and it was a very sad day for me when I decided that my body was getting too old to beย regularlyย stuffing it with Shin Ramen like I did in college. I still indulge occasionally in my favorite spicy Korean blends, but much less than before.

I was thus thilled when I happened to be walking through a Japanese market and they were sampling Greenoodle – a vegan, “healthy” ramen made out of Moroheiya plant (my first time ever hearing about it). I didn’t really hear the whole pitch – I tried it out, looked at the nutritional label, and dumped a bunch into my cart. Yummy and much less guilt inducing than Shin Ramen! I like making it cold and eating it with a sesame sauce mix. I would look for these noodles at your local Japanese market, and if you can’t find them, Amazon also sells in bulk.


Nothing to Envy. I don’t have a “real life” picture of this book as I bought this on my Kindle and over the last six months, have read and then re-read the book in light of the latest events involving North Korea. Barbara’s Demick work shares the perspective of multiple former residents of North Korea – their stories and experiences and how they are adjusting to life outside of the regime. It’s really an incredibly well done read that I can see capturing anybody’s interest, on a topic that is certainly very relevant today. Highly recommended.


If you have any book recommendations (or other discoveries) to share, please do! I’m always looking for new areas of interest, and as always – thank you for reading!

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    May 6, 2013 at 7:33 am

    You are just gorgeous – I love your post, very honest.
    I also have the same problems regarding food – the past few years I noticed I just can’t gorge myself with bread or ice cream…my body no longer have the same metabolism. So now its everything in moderation ….serious moderation. ๐Ÿ™

    • Katherine
      May 6, 2013 at 8:04 am

      Oh thank you! Yes, moderation is key…I hope you do enjoy your ice cream!

  • Sonya
    May 6, 2013 at 10:22 am

    I am Executive Plat on AA & and have been thinking making the switch over. Have you ever flown AA and can you compare the 2 if so?

  • Marlene @ chocolatecookiesandcandies
    May 6, 2013 at 10:31 am

    I used to collect point from Star Alliance airlines but less so now that I live in the UK. Thanks so much for your tips, Katherine. I just love this kind of posts. Off to find the green ramen and book.

  • Jess
    May 6, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Hey Katherine! I fly United almost exclusively in the US and have calculated my mileage to be worth around 2.8 cents per mile. I get a mile per every dollar I spend with my credit card.I have other credit cards that do give me 5% off for cash back at times, so sometimes I use another other card if the cash back on that card is greater than 2.8%. Sometimes the United online shopping mall gives 6 miles per dollar for Nordstrom and some other really nice online stores as well! Otherwise, I always try to use ebates or something similar as well for an extra 5-10% off of online shopping in form of rebates. Hope that made sense:)!

    • Katherine
      May 6, 2013 at 8:05 pm

      That’s an awesome value! I need to learn to be better with CCs, I’m not that strategic, I do have the Chase cards though which can convert to United. Thanks for being a great inspiration to do so!

  • megan
    May 6, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    interestingly enough, i am obsessed with documentaries on NK … I watch them all the time. I need to read this book!!!

    • Katherine
      May 6, 2013 at 8:05 pm

      You know that doesn’t surprise me! I can totally see that, you’d love this book ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Annie
    May 6, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Wow, I just looked up UGS, travel on United and had never heard of it before. Top 1% of all Elite members, that’s crazy! If you wouldn’t mind me asking, how much did you fly and how did you go about getting it? Love the blog and all the cool things I learn here:D!

    • Katherine
      May 6, 2013 at 10:05 pm

      Hey Annie! I don’t think they publish how you get it exactly and I know it’s different depending on the area you typically fly out of. You have to fly quite a bit, I’d say at least 6 international flights a year if not more, and all in paid biz/first which is why it’s usually biz travelers on there ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope that helps, I think there is a lot more info online!

  • Ammu
    May 6, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    Nothing to Envy is just brilliant. Am so glad you spotlighted it!

    • Katherine
      May 7, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      I am so glad you agree Ammu! Do you have any other similar brands you’d recommend?

  • jennell
    May 7, 2013 at 1:12 am

    while i’m not gs, my parents are lifetime global and i definitely get to enjoy many of the benefits. it’s the best! i’m biased and will only fly united but their service for gs members is incomparable.

    • Katherine
      May 7, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      Lifetime global sounds amazing!! I am probably not going to get to keep mine, have had too little flying and also split on other airlines

  • Ava Lon
    May 7, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Hi Katherine,
    Great post! Can’t wait to read the book and on that note, a good book to read if you like clever word play is Christopher Hitchens memoir, “Hitch 22.”

    On a completely superficial note (and more cheerful one) would love for you to do a beauty post! I, too, do my own nails and I am so curious as to how other-at-home-non-professional-manicurists do their nails. Sure, we may do the thing that Deborah Lippman says is a no-no (like filing my nail bed to make for a smooth surface – I admit it as do most of my colleagues who do their own nails) but maybe you have some tips like this top coat! Would love to see a “before” and an “after” photo of your nails, for example. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m a dorky nerd I admit it.
    And now I cannot wait to go to Sephora and try out this top coat! Yay!

    Oh, and a PSA for your NYC readers – there is a Manolo Blahnik sample sale tomorrow at the Warwick Hotel, cash only. And at the Financial District Century 21 department store there are the following brands of shoes:
    Tom Ford (size 7 and 7.5)
    Lanvin (size 7’s mainly)
    Alaia!!!!!!!!! (Alaia sandals, but yes, Alaia!!! Still over $1K on sale, but still . . . ALAIA?!)
    Naturally all are from previous seasons, but wow!


  • Elna
    May 8, 2013 at 6:54 am

    Have you read the Princess Trilogy by Jean Sasson? You should ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Whitney Worthington
    May 8, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    I have got to check out Nothing to Envy! That looks fascinating.

  • R.L.
    May 14, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    My sister got me Nothing to Envy for Christmas and I couldn’t put it down! I’ve read many personal accounts from North Koreans, but this one was by far my favorite because it helped me understand the “devotion” North Koreans have for their leader and I was a sucker for the “love story” throughout the book. You mentioned you’re reading Lean In? I mentioned to a friend that I was planning to read that and she suggested I also try “How Remarkable Women Lead”.

    • Katherine
      May 15, 2013 at 12:01 am

      Thank you for the book rec! I’d heard of it before but always need a reminder – thank you!

  • Jenn
    May 20, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    I have to admit – I’m hooked on the book and your instant noodle recommendations.

    How are you prepping your noodles? I’ve been subbing the rice for noodles. They have a really good flavor all on its own.

    Take Care!
    Jenn. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Katherine
      May 21, 2013 at 4:20 pm

      Is there a rice version? Yummy! I just make the noodles, drain of water and then put sesame dressing on top (you can find that at any Japanese supermarket)

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