IrenesStory

The Most Instagrammable Cafe in Taiwan: VVG Hideaway

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Because of the beautiful aesthetics of this one particular Taiwan cafe, I knew I wanted to give an entirely separate review to the lovely VVG Hideaway in Taipei City, Taiwan. In fact, I discovered this hidden gem (it’s literally hidden…we had to park near a random stranger’s house and took a 5-min walk down a random hill to get here) through a blog post written by Singapore blogger, Christabel Chua from @bellywellyjelly, when she visited Taiwan a while back. As soon as she posted photos from this Instagrammable cafe, I knew I had to take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit this place for myself!

You know those Facebook videos you find on your newsfeed that have catchy titles such as “The Most Instagrammable Restaurants In Taiwan” or “15 Places You Need To Dine At In Taiwan”? Well, VVG Hideaway would honestly make the cut in any press-related restaurant videos filmed in Taiwan because it is literally #cafegoals when you analyze the exceptional quality and presentation of the entrees and drinks, the clean and minimal aesthetics of the cafe, the customer service, etc. Since I am not from Taiwan and will probably not visit this country often, I would honestly come here EVERY single time because I personally believe it is the ideal location to grab tea/coffee and desserts with friends or a loved one, to catch up on some quiet reading time, or to get that Instagram-worthy shot. If I had to put my finger on it, VVG Hideaway reminds me of one of those quaint, private “treehouses” that is tucked away from the hustle and bustle and noise of any neighboring city.

In today’s blog post, I’ve listed a numerous amount of reasons on why I loved my first-time experience at VVG Hideaway and why you should add this particular cafe to your Taiwan bucketlist as well


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1. This cafe has a very clean, cozy, minimal, & welcoming vibe - both indoors and outdoors.


As soon as I took one step into this lovely cafe, I felt like I was going to star in an Asian drama (LOL, I’ve been watching too many of these as of lately - thanks a lot, Netflix!). The first thing you see upon walking in is are two hostesses to your left waiting to greet you, and adjacent rooms that contain bookshelves, various decor, greenery, and more. In fact, the entire cafe is an open space, meaning there is a lot of walking room and rooms to browse through while you’re waiting for your seat.

With huge bay windows surrounding the entire cafe, it is amazing to see just how naturally lit this entire place is without a huge necessity for what’s normally deemed, “shitty restaurant lighting”. Essentially, you are spoiled with a beautiful view of the outdoors (BTW, the outside is just as pretty as the inside!) as you munch on the cutest menu options that VVG Hideaway has to offer. Plus, this natural light is perfect for bookworms like me - if I lived in Taiwan, this cafe would seriously be my number one work, reading, or study location of all times.

When a cafe provides an ample variety of food/drinks, perfect window lighting, a picturesque view, and plush sofas, you know that you’re about to feel pampered AF.

*Note: Please reserve a table for your party at least a few days to weeks in advance.

See VVG Hideaway’s Yelp page here.



2. A huge variety of menu options to choose from when it comes to ordering food, drinks, and/or dessert. Aesthetic and delicious!


I remember browsing the menu for a few minutes in deep thought before deciding what I really wanted to try! After careful consideration, I ended up ordering their Iced Coffee and Tiramisu Cake.

Honestly, my Iced Coffee was one of the best coffee drinks that I ever had. Not only did I find it super cool that my ice cubes were made entirely out of coffee, but it was also fun to pour the milk and creamer into the glass to see the entire mixture combine into one delicious beverage. It contained the perfect amount of coffee flavor; in other words, it was not too sweet or too bitter, but just right. If only we had this place in America!

As for my Tiramisu dessert, it tasted beyond delicious and I had no complaints at all. It was a combination of sweet, light, decadent, and fluffy. The best part? It didn’t contain too much alcohol (because we know some tiramisus can taste a bit too bitter!) and tasted just like a cake, so that made me a happy camper!

If I had to recall the other menu options to choose from, VVG Hideaway also served sandwiches, spaghetti, soups, salads, alcohol, and more. In terms of the price point, Wendy mentioned that the desserts and drinks ranged from around $6 - 9 USD each, while the entrees were a bit pricier. You can click the link here to view screenshots of the menu.

*Note: Each person in your party must spend at least $16 USD minimum to dine here.


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3. Solid customer service.


Although I cannot speak Chinese, I had no complaints about the customer service. From cordially greeting our party to leading us to our table to taking our order, everything went smoothly.

I do have to say that the menu items do take a bit of time to prepare, so just expect to wait 10 - 15 minutes before you get your order!


4. Photography-friendly policy.


Not only was I able to take a billion photos at this dream cafe without judgment or weird stares from others (sorry Wendy), but I saw other customers taking fun cafe photos here as well.

However, they do have a strict policy against videography so just FYI! I love how the staff was kind enough to tell us about their policy after they spotted us creating content and apologized for the inconvenience, even though they didn’t cause us any inconvenience at all. When it comes to customer service, I appreciate employees who know how to communicate their policies in a clear and concise way all the while remaining respectful and polite to their customers.


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So after reading my review and looking through these photos, are you convinced to add this place to your Taiwan bucketlist? What would you order if you were here?

Talk to me in the comments below - let’s chat!


Outfit Details:

Hat: Irene’s Story

Top: Free People

Cardigan: Uniqlo USA

Skirt: Irene’s Story

Boots: DSW


Where To Take Bae On Your Next Date In OC/LA

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One of the greatest satisfactions I get from being a freelance lifestyle blogger is being able to listen to requested topics or feedback from my followers and fulfilling these requests to the best of my ability. By being able to engage and interact with my audience on the daily, I always strive to write helpful articles that give back to the community because nothing makes me happier than putting a smile on your face. As cheesy as that sounds, it's nothing but the truth! Thus, from the request of one particular follower who personally messaged me asking about various date spots to go to with her significant other and majority's vote from a recent Instagram poll that I initiated, this post is for ALL of you who are looking for recommendations on popular date spots or ideas in the Orange County and/or Los Angeles area! Also, I made sure to categorize each date based on the type of couple you are, whether that revolves around traveling, adventure, photography, or food. So without further ado, are you ready to surprise bae with one of the most fun and memorable dates of his/her life?! If so, let's get planning!

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Outfit Details:
Hat: Nordstrom
Sunglasses: Sunglass LA
Romper: Irene's Story
Shoes: Zooshoo


Photography By:
Sharon Litz (@sharonlitz)
of www.sharinaone.com


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1. The Foodie Fans

Ever spot that one couple where the man takes fifty photos of the woman holding her warm (but about to go cold) Vanilla Latte, or the woman who shoots her man doing a noodle pull from his ramen bowl while straight flexin'? Or if you both aren't active on social media but know how to savor the flavor of each dish, that counts too! If you're one of these couples, then props to you! Below, I've listed my favorite restaurants in the OC/LA areas that you both should dine at if you love food as much as I do! ;)

Orange County:
7 Leaves Cafe (Irvine) - Coffee, Tea, Boba, Macarons  [Affordability: $]
Almond Haus (Garden Grove) - Boba & Tea  [Affordability: $]
Anepalco (Orange) - Mexican Food  [Affordability: $$]
Bo De Tinh Tam Chay (Westminster) - Vegetarian Vietnamese Food  [Affordability: $$]
Brodard Restaurant (Garden Grove) - Nem Nuong & Vietnamese Food  [Affordability: $]
Cafe Maji (Artesia) - Asian Fusion Food, Coffee, & Tea  [Affordability: $$]
Cauldron Ice Cream (Santa Ana) - Ice Cream & Puffles  [Affordability: $]
Gen Korean BBQ House (Tustin) - AYCE Korean Barbeque  [Affordability: $$]
Milk Box (Tustin) - Boba & Tea [Affordability: $]
Mint Leaf (Westminster) - Dim Sum & Chinese Food  [Affordability: $]
Poke Me (Irvine) - Poke Bowls  [Affordability: $]
Project Poke (Fountain Valley) - Poke/Sushi Burritos, Poke Bowls, Musubis [Affordability: $]
Puesto (Irvine) - Tacos & Mexican Food [Affordability: $$]
Sushi Damu (Tustin) - AYCE Sushi [Affordability: $]

Los Angeles:
Again Cafe x Chibiscus Ramen (Pasadena) - Ramen, Desserts, Coffee, & Korean Food [Affordability: $$]
Bardonna (Los Angeles) - American Brunch Food [Affordability: $$]
Marugame Monzo (Los Angeles) - Udon [Affordability: $$]
Night + Market Song (Silverlake) - Thai Food [Affordability: $]
Din Tai Fung (Arcadia) - Dim Sum & Chinese Food [Affordability: $]


2. The Traveling/Adventurous Duo

Do you two enjoy hiking through the outdoors, visiting beautiful attractions, or love trying out new activities together? If so, you might as well call yourself the traveling duo as you embark on your next destination together by visiting one of these recommendations below! 

Orange County:
CorgiCon - check Facebook events for available dates.
Irvine Spectrum (Irvine) - Shopping Mall
Noguchi Museum (Costa Mesa) - Museum
OC Night Market (Costa Mesa) -  Food Event & Vendors [Affordability: $$]
Plant Nite (at respective locations within Orange County) - Plant Nite Activity [Affordability: $$]
Red Rock Canyon (Lake Forest) - Hiking
Sip + Colr (at respective locations within Orange County) - Paint Nite Activity [Affordability: $$]

Los Angeles:
Americana At Brand (Glendale) - Shopping Mall
626 Night Market (Arcadia) - Food Event & Vendors [Affordability: $$]
Hollywood Sign (Los Angeles) - Hiking
La Brea Tar Pits & Museum (Los Angeles) - Museum
LACMA (Los Angeles) - Museum
Urban Lights at LACMA (Los Angeles) - Architecture


3. The Instagram Husband And Wife

Let's forever take pictures of each other for da gram - till death do us part? Yeeeaahhh, this pretty much sums up the relationship of an Instagram couple. If you are the ambitious couple who strives to improve your photography skills and constantly scouts out dope photoshoot locations, these are just a few of the many places that you HAVE to visit to take your Instagram game to the next level! #Instagramgoals #couplegoals

Orange County:
Bardot Bars & Coffee (Tustin) - Aesthetic Coffee Shop [Affordability: $]
Coffee For Two (Huntington Beach) - Aesthetic Coffee Shop [Affordability: $]
Downtown Disney (Anaheim) - Vendors
Hopper & Burr (Santa Ana) - Aesthetic Coffee Shop [Affordability: $]
Laguna Beach (Laguna Beach) - Beach
Noguchi Museum (Costa Mesa) - Museum

Los Angeles:
Coffee For Sasquatch (Los Angeles) - Aesthetic Coffee Shop [Affordability: $]
Griffith Observatory (Los Angeles) - Architecture
Pasadena City Hall (Pasadena) - Architecture
Rodeo Drive (Beverly Hills) - Shops
Santa Monica Pier (Santa Monica) - Beach/Pier & Vendors
The Bates Motel (Silverlake) - Hotel
The Beverly Hills Hotel (Beverly Hills) - Hotel
Urban Lights at LACMA (Los Angeles) - Architecture


4. The Competitive Couple

Ever feel that rush of adrenaline or stream of sweat trickle down your forehead when you're trying to beat bae at basketball? Competitive dates can get pretty hot and heated when you both share a competitive edge and refuse to lose. Here are a few places to battle it out against each other - just be sure to refrain from beating each other up when one person ends up losing, heh!

Orange County:
Boomers (Irvine) - Amusement Parks, Go Karts, & Mini Golf [Affordability: $$]
Irvine Lanes (Irvine) - Bowling [Affordability: $$]
Dave And Buster's (Irvine) - Arcade [Affordability: $$]

Los Angeles:
Karaoke At Music Box (City Of Industry) - Karaoke [Affordability: $$]
Round1 Puente Hills (City Of Industry) - Arcade, Karaoke, & Bowling [Affordability: $]


With this blog post, I hope that you will be able to check out one (or a few) of these recommendations that I've listed above when it comes to potential dating spots to take your boo! I've compiled these list of locations based on personal preference or word-of-mouth and made sure that these places were worth visiting - after all, I only include nothing but the best for my followers ;) If you found this blog post handy, I'd love it if you could click the heart button at the bottom of this post and don't forget to send a link of this post to your friends as well! ;) Happy Holidays & stay safe everybody!

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Much Love,

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Three Reasons To Own A Large Handbag ft. Hazlmay

Three Reasons To Own A Large Handbag ft. Hazlmay

As much as chokers, jean patched shorts, and embroidered jackets make the list for this spring's current trends, we can't forget the one important accessory that will never go out of style - the classic ol' handbag. Today, I've partnered with Hazlmay to share with you guys the top three reasons why it's so important to own a spacious and large handbag not only during the spring, but all-year round.

Quick Getaway At Montage Laguna

Quick Getaway At Montage Laguna

When you take the time to explore outside your hometown, you'd be surprised with what hidden gems lie just a couple miles away from home. Only a 20-minute drive from my suburban neighborhood, Montage Laguna served as the perfect getaway from the boring repetition of my work schedule. Greeted by the panoramic view of this luxurious resort overlooking the coast of the Pacific Ocean, I was completely mesmerized by the beauty around me. Whether you are looking for a quick weekend getaway or a peaceful place to clear your mind, Montage Laguna is the place to temporarily escape all of your stresses in life.

The Truth About Working In The Social Media Industry

The Truth About Working In The Social Media Industry

You watch her Instastories seeing her have the time of her life at a social gathering, clinking her colorful cocktail glass against her friend’s hibiscus margarita.

You come across his most recent post, raving about the wonderful time he’s currently having as he explores the streets of Paris.

You tell yourself that working in the creative field must be so goddamn perfect and that everybody seems to be in love with what they do.

But as a passionate lifestyle blogger who’s been chasing her dream career for two years and counting, I’m here to tell you that life behind Instagram’s little squares isn’t exactly represented through one's perfect aesthetic feed. Today, I wanted to share a heart-to-heart talk with my followers addressing the side of social media that nobody sees. This includes the financial struggles of being a full-time blogger, the overwhelming amount of stress from juggling multiple collaborations, the never-ending deadline to create content 24/7, and more.

Casual Fall Look + De Blossom Giveaway

Casual Fall Look + De Blossom Giveaway

Did summer break fly by at a lightning speed or is it just me?! But seriously, I cannot believe that it's already August! For some, this may mean going back to high school, college, or grad school. In today's blog post, I wanted to share with you guys this comfortable and casual chic look that you can wear from school or work to dinner just in time for the incoming fall season. And of course, I cannot forget a sweet little giveaway for you guys - just keep on reading to find out what you could win! ;)