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4 Awesome Spots to Eat Sushi in Honolulu

sushi
whiterose_kana/Flickr

There is so much to do in Honolulu — the capital city of Hawaii, located on the island of Oahu. People come from all over to swim, sunbathe, surf, stay in Honolulu’s famous beach hotels — like the legendary Moana Surfrider — and learn more about Hawaiian history. There are countless places to eat great sushi in Honolulu, and we’ve rounded up some of the best.

1. Doraku

Located just around the corner from the Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk on Kalakaua Ave., locals and visitors alike agree that Doraku may have the island’s best sushi. An outpost of a restaurant originally started in Southern Florida, Doraku serves upscale sushi in a Japanese gastropub environment. The restaurant has a selection of sushi rolls, but regulars of the restaurant say you must try the Nigiri and Sashimi — the fish here is just too fresh to pass up.

2. Tokoname Sushi Bar and Restaurant

Tokoname, located near the University of Hawaii at Manoa, is an excellent choice of sushi restaurant in Honolulu. Tokoname offers quality sushi in a quiet and cozy atmosphere — all at an affordable price. If you want to learn more about different neighborhoods in Honolulu and escape to a place that feels truly local, there’s no better sushi spot than Tokoname. The restaurant offers a full bar that stays open late for students in the area, so make sure you try one of their signature cocktails.

3. Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar

Sansei is a restaurant dedicated completely to seafood. The sushi they serve is touted to be some of the best in all of Hawaii, and there are additional locations on Maui and the Big Island. They tout their special rolls like the Kapalua Butterfly Roll, made up of salmon, crab, fresh shiromi, and veggies in a crisp deep-fried panko crust, and the crab salad handroll. Come to Sansei, right around the corner from Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach, for a vibrant and relaxed atmosphere.

4. Hakone

Located at the Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki is Hakone, a sushi restaurant that is known for its food and its views. The restaurant serves up an extensive menu of high-quality sushi in an elegant atmosphere. What makes the dining experience at Hakone so unique, however, is the idyllic view of the Ala Wai Harbor that patrons can enjoy as they dine.

Given its proximity to the ocean, it’s no surprise that Honolulu’s sushi is a culinary draw for visitors to the town. The fish served at the best sushi restaurants in town is so fresh, it is often pulled out of the water the same day it is served!

4 Reasons You Should Experience the Arts Scene in Singapore

Singapore
leonid_yaitsky/Flickr

In January of 2015, Singapore celebrated 50 years of its independence. This time frame renders the country ripe for momentum in its arts scene — still young enough in its independence to exude that fresh, liberated energy through arts and culture, yet mature and modern enough to have something to say. From galleries and museums to festivals and art hotels, here are some of the key reasons you should take the time to experience Singapore’s evolving arts scene.

1. Incredible National Museums

Singapore has five national museums for the art lover to tour and appreciate. They include the Singapore Art Museum (SAM), the 8Q SAM extension for multi-disciplinary, community-oriented art, the Peranakan Museum, the National Museum of Singapore, and the Asian Civilizations Museum. Each of these five major museums brings a different flavor to Singapore’s arts scene, showcasing unique facets of the country from both historical and cultural perspectives.

2. Minor Museums and Galleries

In addition to these five main national museums, there are at least 15 other smaller museums, plus dozens of compelling public and private art galleries located in Singapore. Exhibitions range from visual art and sculpture to performance art that will rock your senses.

3. The Singapore Arts Festival

This annual festival lasts for a month in late summer each year and showcases just about every type of art form you can imagine. Visual art, music, dance, theater, and more are available to see and enjoy at the festival. While many local Singaporean artists participate, a large percentage of the artists are from other countries, making the festival and truly eclectic, international experience.

4. Artistic Hotels

Of course, you’ll need a place to stay as you drink in the Singaporean arts scene. Fortunately, there are some very creative and inspiring Singapore hotels to choose from. The Patina Capitol Singapore in the Colonial District just opened in 2015, and it is one of the best hotels in Singapore. For Singapore glitz and opulence, stay at the Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa. If you’re looking for cheap hotels in Singapore that still have plenty of flair, the Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium might just be the perfect choice.

The Singaporean arts scene is a truly enriching cultural experience that you should definitely experience. Consider these four reasons to immerse yourself!

Freshen Up Your Outdoor Space with Summery Pops of Color

This is a sponsored guest post created in partnership with eAccountable and contains affiliate links. Incentive was provided.

Nine Space decorative pillows

Sometimes changing things up and giving your space a fresh, new look is as easy as adding pops of color.

Spending time entertaining and relaxing in your outdoor space should be a huge part of your summer days and nights, and nothing livens up an outside living space like pillows. Decorative pillows add a fresh level of style and functionality to an outdoor space that isn’t often thought of. You can change the entire look with fun, modern, graphic, bold pillows that also add that touch of flair and comfort. By mixing, matching, and playing with color, you can change the look of your space again and again. You really can’t go wrong — especially once you add family and friends.

Nine Space Solana beach towels

You can also add some beach-inspired towels to help perk up your bathroom or poolside deck or patio. Wrap yourself in luxurious comfort with soft, beautiful, absorbent towels that add subtle nautical flair with stripes in muted colors.

But it’s not just about your outdoor space. A simple, breezy tablecloth with an unexpected dip dye look adds an unexpected splash of whimsy to your dining experience. Casual, yet elegant, this modern tablecloth is perfect whether you’re dining indoors or entertaining alfresco.

These simple, colorful updates from ShopNineSpace.com have a bold impact and give you that fresh, updated, stylish feel that comes with summer.

What are some of your favorite ways to freshen up your outdoor space for summer?

Spend Less Time Standing in Line with These 4 Airport Security Tips

airport
kalleboo/Flickr

It’s a familiar scene: Two lovers cling to each other in a tearful embrace, exchange one last hand-squeeze before one of them picks up a bag and walks… two feet to the airport security line. They then proceed to stand idly for the next 20 minutes while their partner awkwardly looks on and frets about getting home before rush hour.

It’s time to rewrite the script. Skip the drawn-out goodbyes and breeze through security with these four time-saving strategies:

1. Become a Trusted Traveler

Programs like TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, Nexus, and Sentri allow so-called “low-risk” travelers to move through participating airports more efficiently. As part of the pre-screening process, you’ll cough up personal information (and a fee) in advance of flying. Fees range from $55-$122.25 for a five-year membership; if you book flights often, the time savings may be well worth it. Learn more here.

2. Get the App

The TSA has created a helpful (and free!) app that features security wait times, a guide to TSA rules, airport status updates, and instant answers to the question: “Can I bring _____?” It’s available on iPhone and Android. Download it here.

3. Pack and Prep Correctly

Practice the 3-1-1 rule for carry-on liquids. Gels, creams, liquids, etc. must be in 3.4-ounce or less containers; stored in 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic bag; and limited to 1 bag per passenger. Keep the bag near the top of your carry-on so you can easily place it in a screening bin.

  • Leave prohibited items and foods at home (or in your checked luggage) to avoid being detained by security.
  • Pack large electronics (e.g. laptops and video game consoles) near the top of your bag; you’ll need to remove these for separate X-ray screening (unless you have a checkpoint-friendly laptop bag).
  • Dress right. Wear easy-to-remove shoes (when it comes to airport security, velcro is so in). Avoid wearing a belt, heavy coat, or lots of jewelry, since you’ll need to remove these items for screening.
  • When approaching security, have proper identification and your boarding pass in-hand.

4. Pick the Right Line

Before entering security, take a moment to observe which line is moving fastest, then join in. It’s smart to avoid queuing up behind large families, as it’ll take them a while to move the whole clan through security. Instead, get in line behind people who aren’t carrying much luggage and/or have already removed their shoes and coats; this signals they’re ready to cruise on through.

This post was published by Fiona Moriarty on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on June 5, 2015 and has been republished with permission.

Sultry Hair How-To: The Snake Braid

snake braid

Looking for a braided hairstyle that stands out from the crowd, but isn’t a killer to recreate? May be present the ever-so-sultry snake braid. This braid is a great way to change up your braided look and even better, it’s ridiculously easy (and fast!) to do. If you can do a basic three-strand braid, you can master the chic snake braid. Here’s how:

snake braid tutorial

  1. Create a diagonal forward section of hair behind your ear.
  2. Split the section into three equal subsections. Apply a bit of pomade to your hand (about half the size of a dime) and smooth out each section. This will help make a smooth, clean braid. Begin braiding (a basic three-strand braid) this section, keeping medium tension on the braid. You do not want this braid too tight or too loose.
  3. Braid almost all the way down to the ends of your hair, leaving one to two inches left below where you stop the braid.
  4. Take two of the sections and combine them to make one larger section (you will not have two sections, one small and one large).
  5. Take the smaller section and carefully slide it up the braid.
  6. Keep sliding the smaller section up to the top of the braid.
  7. Now slide the section back down to create a looser “s” pattern braid.
  8. Wrap the snake braid around the back of your head and pin in place. Spray with a medium hold hairspray to add extra hold and tame any flyaways.

TIP: Lift a small section of hair up and pin your snake braid below it. Drop the hair down so it conceals where you pinned the braid in place.

This post has been republished with permission and provided to Woman Tribune by Latest-Hairstyles.com guest contributor Jennie Kay.

Summer Travel Planning: Go to Slovenia. Done.

When flight searches to Slovenia increased by 306% in 2015, we decided to investigate. Nestled between Italy, Croatia, Hungary, and Austria, Slovenia is a crossroads of European cultures and offers the opportunity to explore all four of them from the comforts of a single hotel. You can experience the tastes and traditions of four countries at once with a little bit of travel planning. We took the liberty of getting you started.

Go to a Vineyard

Slovenia
emwilska/Flickr

Spanning Northeastern Italy and Western Slovenia, vineyards in the Gorizia Hills are producing world class wines. Those vineyards on the Slovene Brda side are harvesting distinctive reds and whites without the Italian prices or crowds. Now, all you have to do is learn the word for wine in Slovenian (easy, it’s “vino”).

Spelunk through a UNESCO Cave

Postojna Cave Park
michaelrperry/Flickr

Postojna is the most famous and second longest cave in Slovenia, attracting thousands of visitors a year with its underground train system. But ŠKOCJAN boasts the title of a UNESCO world heritage site. It has the highest cave hall in all of Europe, gorges, waterfalls, and footbridges. The next question is, do you know the difference between a stalactite and a stalagmite?

Be Royal at a Slovene Castle

Predjama Castle
klmircea/Flickr

Most castles in Slovenia are built on a hilltop, making them worth a visit for the views alone. However, built into the side of a cliff in a cave’s opening, Predjama Castle in Postojna is by far the most novel. Legend has it that the knight and renown robber baron, Erazem Lueger, fended off Habsburg soldiers by pelting them with cherries for a year, gaining supplies from a secret chamber that lead in and out of the castle.

So there you have it, a Slovenian getaway in the making. If you are feeling inspired by Slovenia, we already started the planning process for you (you’re welcome).

This post was published by Fiona Moriarty on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on April 22, 2015 and has been republished with permission.

Making Sense Out of Recent Direct Real Estate Investment Trends

real estate
Sherwood CC/Flickr

Investors with extremely high net worth have started to take a second look at real estate according to some recent market figures. A recent survey found that over half of wealth managers and private bankers feel that the amount of money their clients put into real estate will double over the next five years. Less than 10 percent of wealth managers expected to see less money put into direct real estate investment funds.

North American Real Estate

Despite many news stories that would suggest otherwise, North American real estate remains quite popular with wealthy international investors. The same study suggested that more money would be spent on direct real estate investments in the United States and Canada than in any other nations. Some financial experts feel that this kind of maneuvering will ultimately lead to higher prices in domestic real estate markets.

Domestic Investors Chime In

Domestic investors were quick to note that this kind of movement has actually happened several times in the past. Consider the case of Louis Ceruzzi. He purchased a house on Nantucket back in 2004 during a property bubble when fewer and fewer high-end homes were available to rent. He ended up taking the plunge and purchasing a home on the island as property values continued to rise. There was still a way to get a good deal on a home, however.

He purchased the house for considerably less than it was originally worth because it had been on the market for so long. Ceruzzi was able to get a deal as a result, and ended up saving quite a bit over renting. Rental costs have a tendency to spiral out of control whenever regular property values begin to rise.

Looking at Market Trends

Nothing is permanent, and the Nantucket example serves to prove that everything comes in trends when looking at the real estate market. That being said, these market studies seem to suggest that the North American property market should remain strong for some time to come.

Most of these figures seem to suggest that high-end homes will see the biggest appreciation when it comes to property values, but there’s no reason that this rising tide shouldn’t raise everyone’s values as well. Those who are interested in taking advantage of a temporary increase on prices might consider putting their houses on the market. They should be aware of a few things first, however.

Rising prices can also mean higher fees and taxes when it comes time to actually close on a house. Interested parties should always be sure to speak with appropriate agents before making any big decisions.

Those in the field of business might also be interested. Developers could soon be looking at purchasing existing high-value homes and putting them back on the market. This might be a good deal for them if they can avoid overpaying for properties that they wish to later turn around and sell.

Other people might end up taking Ceruzzi’s example and purchasing expensive properties in lieu of renting existing ones. That could end up saving them a substantial amount of money depending on what they pay for the property. They might also consider the fact that he was able to purchase a home that had stayed on the market for quite some time.

Why Polka Dots Will Never Go Out of Style

polka dots
shandilee/Flickr

Polka dots have been around for a long time, and there’s not much chance of this playful pattern going out of style any time soon. Polka dots aren’t just fun to wear on their own, they pair well with wardrobe staples like denim for a comfortable, new look. If you’re one of the many polka dot fans looking for new ways to incorporate these spots into your wardrobe, there are many different pieces to choose from, like dresses, tops, pants, and even swimsuits; plus a slew of accessories in every color of polka dot you might imagine.

American History of Polka Dots

Marilyn Monroe
Americans have been fans of the dot since 1926 when Miss America wore a polka-dotted bathing suit. A couple of years later, Minnie Mouse arrived in her iconic red polka dot dress. After that, a trend was born and spotted dresses for little girls, teens, and adult women began to appear in dress shops around the country. Then, several movie stars and musicians got into the act:

  • Frank Sinatra sand a hit song in 1940 called “Polka Dots and Moonbeams”
  • Christian Dior released a line of clothing speckled with spots that became popular with actresses, namely:
  • Another hit song was released in 1960 called “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini”
  • In 1962, Polka-Dot Man was introduced as a superhero by Marvel Comics

Even Earlier in World History

During Medieval Times in Europe, wearing dots was frowned upon, because they reminded people of dreaded diseases and medical conditions such as small pox, the bubonic plague, and blood spots on handkerchiefs due to tuberculosis.

Where the Name Came From

In the middle of the nineteenth century, dotted fabric was named after the spots on dice and the shape of coins, and went by several names, including:

  • Dotted Swiss (English)
  • Quiconce (French)
  • Thalertupfen (German)

The name is also related to the dance step. While WWII was going on, polka music spread like wildfire, and polka-themed products were born, such as:

  • Polka pudding
  • Polka hats, curtains, and shoes
  • Polka sauce

The Dots in Fashion

polka dot bikini
Today, polka dots still decorate many wardrobes. Because this is such a whimsical pattern, it’s usually reserved for more casual attire, although formal gowns are sometimes made from black and white polka dots. You’ll find spots on:

If you love polka dots, you’re in good company. This snappy pattern still has such a large following and will probably stay in vogue for many years to come. If you want to add some dots to your wardrobe, there are tons of stylish options to choose from.

How to Begin Your Search for the Best Fresh Seafood Online

shrimp
dinesarasota/Flickr

Seafood is a delicious delicacy that is more traditionally served during a romantic evening for two or to set a classy theme at a special or otherwise important party. Though mostly reserved for special occasions, seafood can be served — and served tastefully — during any occasion that could use some significant livening up. No matter if you are interested in lobster, shrimp, crab, or any other food from the ocean, seafood has a taste that is unique and memorable. Fresh seafood becomes even more attainable when you find a place that can sell it to you for significantly less than you would pay in a specialty store, such as online; though finding a place that sells premium seafood over the Internet can be easier said than done. The level of quality and price of seafood varies drastically, especially online, which is why you should look around before you start spending your money. Here are some of the best places to look when you are interested in buying seafood online.

Family References

Do you have people in your family who enjoy seafood? If you do, there is a chance that some of them have ordered it online. They might be able to give you the name of a site that sells high quality seafood at affordable prices. It never hurts to ask. After all, you have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain by discussing this with the members of your family. If you are lacking enough references, you can also ask your friends to weigh in. Between all of these people, the odds of you coming up with a few good online seafood dealers is pretty good.

Browse the Internet

You might as well take some time to explore some of these online seafood companies yourself. While it is always nice to get references from people in your life who you love and trust, it also helps to look at what each company has to offer. By doing this, you may discover that certain online seafood dealers are considerably cheaper than others. You may also find that some companies will offer great introductory deals as a way of attracting new customers. You work hard for your money, so there is no sense spending it when you do not need to. The key to finding cheap fresh seafood online is being patient and looking at all your options.

Saving Money While Enjoying Rome Requires a Bit of Homework

Rome Italy
storm-crypt/Flickr

International travel has an appeal that piques the interest of just about every tourist. One city in particular that normally rises to the top of most lists is Rome, Italy. Rome has a certain majesty about it, and the importance the city enjoyed in history is revealed in any number of magnificent landmarks and historical settings. Of course, the major factor that keeps many from chasing down their dream of seeing the city is the cost. Luckily, online travel guides, hotel planning tools, and booking early present a few great ways to save money on a trip to Rome.

Online Travel Guides

Online travel guides like Hipmunk offer insight into any location no matter how exotic it is. The compiled information is presented in a clear and precise manner, which makes planning a vacation, tourist trip, or even a romantic getaway a simple task. Travel guides can even offer up some information regarding hotel selection, and these electronic guide books also present a number of ways to save money. There’s nothing wrong with saving a little cash while touring the historical wonders of Rome, but knowing where to start is often the key.

Hotel Planning Tools

Being able to shop the rates of several hotels from a single website is a huge advantage that many potential travelers fail to take full advantage of. Often the lowest rate might not be the best deal because of included amenities like breakfast, workout facilities, and information centers. Therefore, vacationers looking to score the best hotel deals in Rome need to be aware of what the property being evaluated has to offer. While the process of finding the best match of needs versus budget seems like a simple concept, the varieties of hotels in and around Rome complicate the scenario. Research pays off and vacationers that consider all the factors before making a decision come out on top.

Booking Early

Hotels are not unlike traded commodities. Rates fluctuate from season to season, but as a general rule increase every year. Booking as early as possible, even a year in advance, is a great way for travelers to lock in the rates of the previous year. Not only will long-term planners beat any potential increases, but they also gain the ability to get the hotel booking out of the way in order to concentrate on planning the rest of the trip. Rome has a lot of attractions and sights to offer, which means putting together some sort of itinerary generally requires a bit of effort.

Roman Forum
Bert Kaufmann/Flickr

In the end, traveling to Rome presents a number of chances to see some legendary sights. By performing research with online travel guides, using hotel planning tools, and booking early, travelers can increase their chances of getting a great deal. Package deals can present some interesting savings as well, but anyone looking to book one of those deals should evaluate exactly what is included in the purchase before making a commitment. Rome offers a lot for the average tourist. Therefore, potential tourists that make a list of what they want to see before booking can more efficiently evaluate their options. Having a good plan can result in having a great time in one of the most popular cities in the world.

This guest post was contributed by Fiona Moriarty of Hipmunk, the most comprehensive travel search website allowing you to find the best deals on anything from flights to hotels to train rides and Homeaway rentals.