New Zealand

For our honeymoon, we went to New Zealand during Christmas vacation. It was amazing! Everywhere was so beautiful from the lush grass with sheep everywhere, mountains, to one of the most coastlines with turquoise blue water.  We flew to both the north and sound island and rented a car to drive around the islands. We started in Dunedin, then down the Caitlins, back up to Queenstown, Fox Glaciers, Hokitika, Arthur’s Pass and then to Christchurch. Afterward, we flew to Rotorua and then went up to Auckland. Some highlights of the trip were seeing Yellow Eyed Penguins come up from the beach, scenic flight from Queenstown to Milford Sounds and Glenorchy, Milford Sound cruise and Dart River jet boat tour, and visiting Hobbiton! Here are some of my favorite photos.

Pineapple Buns, Egg Tarts and Sausage Rolls!

For Christmas, Kim got Seth and I a baking class to make pineapple buns, egg tarts and sausage rolls! We just went today and had a great time.

The class was at The Mixing Bowl in Sheung Wan.  We had 8 people total in our class with one main instructor, Victor, and one more employee to help set up our materials and things. Victor was very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. We learned some techniques on how to properly knead dough and shape it into some nice balls for our bread.

One thing that I didn’t like about the class is that they measured all the ingredients for you in order to save time. He did tell us the ingredients for each recipe and said that we will get the recipes in an e-mail which is good. Everything turned out delicious although they baked the egg tarts a bit too long. We even had a little break in the middle where we had some scones and tea!

Wedding Ring Shopping

Wedding ring shopping is fun but exhausting.  We went to many big jewelry chains in Hong Kong like Chow Tai Fook, Luk Fook, Chow Sang Sang as well independent stores that make custom made jewelry. I had no idea in terms of what I wanted since I don’t really wear rings and don’t know my size so it was nice going into stores and trying out different kinds of rings. Once I found out what kind of style I was looking for, I looked at some online stores like BrilliantEarth.com, BlueNile.com and JamesAllen.com to compare the prices and found that online stores have a lot more options on the different styles of bands and they tend to be a bit cheaper. I found a ring that I loved on James Allen’s site so I wanted to see if they had similar styles in the local stores but they didn’t; many independent stores said that they could make it but it would cost more than what it is on James Allen’s site. Also, many stores didn’t have rose gold since it’s not so popular here. So, it made sense for me to buy it online!

After a lot of research, I’ve found that James Allen was the best option for me. One reason was that their diamonds are conflict-free diamonds. Many of the diamonds in the big chain companies in HK come from De Beers and they are proud because it’s a well-known company. I guess they never heard of the monoploid practices of De Beers and its history of blood diamonds. Another reason why I chose James Allen is that you can really zoom in to see all the inclusions of the diamonds and the diamonds are all GIA certified. After researching the ideal proportions of diamonds as well as the 4 C’s – color, clarity, cut and carat – I was able to use the filter feature and find the perfect diamond. I also found out that since I bought a rose gold band, the color of the band will reflect a bit in the diamond. That means that I was able to save some money by not purchasing a colorless diamond. Other advantages of this site is that they offer free international shipping, have a 30 day refund policy, and have 24-hour online customer service.

So a month after I ordered it, it finally arrived yesterday! I think the ring looks a lot better in person than the picture they have on their website. The website has this 360 view which makes the ring look a bit stretched out. Overall, I had a good experience with James Allen and would recommend it to others! Well, here it is!

Well, here it is!

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It came in this nice box.

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There is a bottom compartment that holds the appraisal, receipt, GIA certificate and a cleaning cloth.

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My ring!

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I guess when I really zoom in, the diamond looks dark but it doesn’t look like that in person!

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I’m very happy with this ring. Thanks Seth!

 

Here are some things that I have learned from ring shopping in Hong Kong:

  • the prices on the rings are not the actual prices (they will give you a “good” price)
  • the salesperson will expect you to buy it if you like it
  • don’t shop in busy tourist areas (aka TST) but instead, go to stores in the New Territories
  • many places do not resize silver rings
  • one place that do resize silver rings is Power Jewellery Company (19A Hankow Road, G/F., Han Yee Mansion, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong) and they did it for a reasonable price