Author Archives: Andi Perullo de Ledesma

About Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

The Train To Christmas Town

The Train To Christmas Town

As my hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina continues to exponentially grow, the more fun, family experiences become available. For the first time ever, The Piedmont & Northern Railway in Belmont — a 20 minute drive from the Queen City — began service onboard The Train To Christmas Town this past week and I had to make sure that Joaquín and I were on the inaugural train ride. I brought my Mother and Grandmother along with us as well!

The heartwarming holiday tale comes to life when the train departs Belmont for a one-hour roundtrip journey to “Christmas Town”: a secret location that only the elves and Santa know about. The cheerful elves greet you the second you board the festively-dressed train cars.

Guests are then welcomed by the Conductor and are given hot cocoa and sugar cookies to enjoy while listening to “The Train To Christmas Town,” which is read aloud by the voice of author, Peggy Ellis. Then Bumblebee the Polar Bear and Wabash the Squirrel appear, as everyone joins in for Christmas carols and nonstop surprises. Joaquín was absolutely delighted the entire train ride and did not know which direction to look in!

Once you arrive at Christmas Town, Santa climbs onboard and greets everyone with holiday cheer and presents each child with a special gift. The return trip is filled with more carols, photo opportunities with Santa, dancing elves, and unforgettable memories.

Developed by Iowa Pacific Holdings, LLC, The Train to Christmas Town is a custom holiday event that is based upon the book authored by Peggy Ellis. She is an experienced public school educator, mother, and writer. The book centers on Janet, a girl searching for new meaning in friendship, family, and the meaning of Christmas. She relies on her brother and their woodland friends as they make their yearly journey to Christmas Town. The train journey also has a custom produced soundtrack by Grammy Award winners Trout Fishing in America. The album features the theme song named for the event, “The Train to Christmas Town”.

The Premier Rail Collection is a family of passenger railroads across the United States that aims to bring the spirit of rail travel to a new generation, and reinvigorate the love for trains in those that knew it in its golden age. I hope this train ride was just the first of many that Joaquín and I will ride around the world together!

Style: What Does It Mean In The 21st Century?

Style — no one is exactly sure what it means anymore. Back in the 50’s, understanding style was simple. You looked to Marilyn Monroe or any of the other beacons of Hollywood. They had the best clothes, the most suave friends, and the kind of panache that could only exist in dream factories.

However, look at the state of style now. One person’s style queen is another’s garish trash. To some, Kim Kardashian is the epitome of high-fashion. To others, she is little more than a master manipulator of the media.

And it is made staying fashionable all the more difficult. You could be Zooey Deschanel’s manic pixie dream girl-stylish or get in on the trend of the early 90’s by mimicking the fashions of the film Clueless.

Thanks to the internet, a thousand-and-one subcultures have sprung up, making pretty much anything fashionable. Do you want to be a moody goth or an uber-geek? The good news is, it does not matter. The bad news, it makes deciding what to wear an outright nightmare.

With that in mind, we’ve selected a few options to help you get the perfect style. At the very least, you will find deciding what to wear will be a little bit easier.

The Perfect Base For Makeup

Some glamour pusses like wearing more makeup than clothing. They will slather on enough foundation to put Oompa Loompas to shame. They are so orange that they could replace a beacon on an airstrip. Fair play to them, but their fashion choice will play havoc with their skin.

If you have a love for cosmetics, mineral makeup offers the perfect base without clogging your pores or irritating your skin. Applying it is simple and it will leave your complexion looking a little bit lighter, as opposed to the heavy, cakey look of other makeups. Give it a go!

Just Be Normal

Normcore is a fashion trend that has been riding a wave of headlines over the past few years. What is it? It is anti-fashion, a determination to look normal in the face of outré trends. Not a fan of goth styles or mad trends? Just be normal. Do not want to dress up for the cocktail party? Just be normal.

Turning the everyday into high-fashion is, of course, the most ingenious piece of pop marketing since Andy Warhol. Although, if it means you can look great while making no effort whatsoever, it sounds pretty good to us!

The Subculture Bible

For our money, i-D Magazine is, has been and always will be the greatest fashion magazine available in newsagents. Not only is its coverage of the catwalks peerless, but its reports on the art world can provide you with endless amounts of inspiration for your latest clothing choices.

Give it a look and feast your eyes on the wonders inside!


Visit Ulu Temburong National Park

Affectionately known as “The Green Jewel of Brunei”, this stunning, 500-square kilometre wildlife reserve is one of the most well-preserved rainforests in all of South East Asia. While only one square kilometre of the park is open to tourists, there is still plenty of outdoor activities to keep adventurous travelers busy while they discover Brunei’s unique nature and wildlife. Follow our guide to Temburong National Park and see why this compact nation is quickly climbing the ranks as one of the world’s most sought-after ecotourism destinations:

Ride Down The River In A Longboat

Set your sights on Ulu Temburong National Park with a leisurely trip down the Sungai Temburong River. The only way to reach this remote conservation area, this fascinating experience sees travelers board a traditional Iban longboat before navigating the estuary’s mangroves, sandbars, and low-hanging trees with an experienced guide.

Walk Amongst The Treetops

Once you reach Ulu Temburong National Park by longboat, take to the treetops on the Aluminium Walkway. Suspended 60 metres above the forest floor, this sky-high adventure brings tourists up close and personal with the rainforest’s dense canopy, where rays of sun shine between the leaves of colossal palm trees and exotic birds leap from branch to branch.

Swim In Mountain Streams

Teeming with hidden-away rock pools, trickling springs, and thundering waterfalls, there is no shortage of streams and creeks in Ulu Temburong National Park, in which to take a refreshing dip. Follow one of the many rainforest walks to reach secluded spots, where crystal clear waters offer welcome relief from Brunei’s balmy afternoon heat.

Look For Local Flora And Fauna

While you make your way along Ulu Temburong’s walking tracks, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the park’s resident critters. Home to thousands of species of insects, reptiles, mammals, and birds, visitors can expect to see all kinds of animals in their native habitat, from rare butterflies to Bornean gibbons.

Unwind In An Eco-Chic Paradise

Once you have seen everything Temburong National Park has to offer, make your way back to the comfort and luxury of a hotel in Brunei. Nestled in the heart of Bandar Seri Begawan, Radisson Hotel Brunei Darussalam is the perfect retreat after a day in the wilderness. Rejuvenate your senses with a relaxing spa treatment, or simply stare out across Brunei’s lush jungle from your spacious, stylishly-designed room.

Troy James Clothes

Joaquín’s First Thanksgiving + Troy James Baby Boy Bow Tie Giveaway

I have never been so excited for an upcoming holiday season in my entire life! I get to experience so many “firsts” with my son Joaquín — culminating with his first Birthday right after New Year’s. After I gave birth to him last year, I did not think I would make a big deal out of the holidays for the first year of his life. I wondered what the point was, since there was no way he would remember anything? My attitude changed pretty quickly (Valentine’s Day was his first major Holiday), as I soon realized that these are such unforgettable and truly once-in-a-lifetime days that cannot be relived again. Thus, I decided to make each first holiday for Joaquín as special as possible.

For Joaquín’s first Thanksgiving, I wanted him to be dressed as fashionable as possible, but equally as comfortable! I turned to the lifestyle brand of pure hipness: Troy James. If you have never heard of this clothing company before, head straight to their Instagram feed to see some of the most stylish boys you can imagine. Who said dressing boys has to be any less fun than dressing girls?

Meeting the needs of some of the world’s smallest fashion lovers, this new boys brand is making its mark. With hip attire, fun energy, and flawless fits as its primary goal, Troy James is perfect for today’s modern youngsters. It introduces those hard to find items, as well as those barely boring basics to the 0 to 6 year old boys market. The collection is defined by its softness and made for movement motto. Its range is broad from uptown bow ties all the way to downtown bermudas. Troy James’ attractive price points assure the brand as a one-stop-shop certain to complete any boy’s wardrobe.

One of its true attributes is in its playful packaging. The packaged series embraces sustainability by creating multi functioning, reusable packaging. The brands signature stackables, piggy banks, toys, and storage containers for mothers are a few of the many ways Troy James delivers innovation to marketplace. All of this without neglecting the foundation of kids’ fashion: comfort!

In the following photos, Joaquín is wearing three pieces by Troy James. He has on a black classic crew neck boys tee, yellow harem pants, and he tops off the look with a black dot premium boys bow tie!

I look at these photos and tears well up in my eyes. My ten month old baby boy is walking and standing now! I am caught in this dichotomy of being so proud of every milestone he reaches and yet wanting him to stay little forever. This Thanksgiving I have too much to be thankful for, but I am definitely most thankful for Joaquín. Exactly a year ago, I became very sick with pre-eclampsia and I was scared to death what was going to happen to both of us. Here we are a year later and we are as healthy as can be! I am not sure what I did to deserve such an extraordinary kid, however I will be counting my blessings until my very last breath.

For this giveaway, I am offering a chance to win a Troy James baby boy bow tie! This gorgeous red and navy premium bow tie would look stunning on your son or any boy you know and is perfect for the holidays. It has a $16 value and a one size fits all for the perfect fit. It is beautifully handmade, 100% linen, and adjustable from 0-6 years old.

All you have to do is visit my Instagram account, follow me, like this photo, and leave a comment telling me what you are most thankful for this year! The winner will be announced on December 1st, 2015. Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Discover The Stowe Experience With Cool Luxury Homes

Buying a luxury home always sounds like such a serious investment. Well, it is a serious investment — that much is true. You need to summon all your planning skills and finances in order to make the purchase. The two main challenges that you will have to grapple with are: finances and finding the home. You might have the money to buy the house, but then you do not find a house that satisfies your tastes. Ridiculous as that sounds, it does happen particularly when you go looking for homes in all the wrong places.

Stowe, Vermont is one of the best places to go hunting for a luxury home. You might be asking, “What is there is to love about Vermont?” The better question would be: what is not to love about Vermont? This state has some of the finest towns including Morrisville, Elmore, and the amazing Stowe. If at all you are looking for is a luxury home and want to get great comfort and convenience at affordable rates, Stowe is the place to go. This town exudes an aura of excellence, perfection, and most of all, peace. The architecture is charming, the atmosphere bewitching, and the facilities are in no short supply.

Buying Your first home

One thing that you will love about Stowe is its diversity, particularly in the real estate industry. There are so many different properties for your selection. When you are buying a house variety is important. It is not in home-buying only, because where there is variety there will always be quality. If you are in Stowe you can find beautifully designed luxury homes of all sizes, shapes, colors, and prices. What the luxury real estate Stowe, Vermont has to offer is simply breathtaking.

The first thing that you should look for is the houses. Check out at least five houses before you break your back trying to find a mortgage option that will work for you. If you are buying a home for the first time, you can explore the mortgage companies to find the mortgages that will work best for your pocket. The worst thing that you could do to yourself is strain yourself in the name of servicing a mortgage. You are not looking to lose money by buying a house that you cannot afford.

Mortgage companies and banks are providing people with so many alternatives when it comes to mortgages. There is a world of amazing loan options that you can select from to make owning your dream luxury home a reality. Taking up a loan can be a daunting task, but with help from a professional, you should not have much of a problem.

Why Live In Stowe

As aforementioned, Stowe is rich in its diversity. The community here is very accommodating. You can be sure that you will fit in here quite easily. It could be a condo or something even fancier, however you are assured that you will find something that works perfectly for your taste and preferences. Overall, it is highly likely that you will fall in love with Stowe’s vibrancy and calmness!