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.

Things To Know When You Want To Rent An Apartment Abroad

There comes a time when you have to leave your home country to stay in another country for a while. It can be for business or even because you got a scholarship in an institution overseas. Either way, the first thing you will definitely want to deal with is your accommodation; where are you going to reside during your stay? For a student, you will most likely be given the option to live on campus grounds, depending on the rules of your institution. If you are going for your own business dealings or to work for a certain organization, your option could be to move into a hotel. However, that is quite expensive and it will not be convenient for an extended stay. Your next choice would be to have your own personal accommodation, which implies that you will get your own place to stay. Since you are most likely alone, you will opt for a small place and therefore an apartment will be very suitable. Finding an apartment in a foreign country can be a little difficult considering you do not fully know the best places in the area and you do not have much information about how the neighborhood is. Here are some tips to help you:

Survey The Market Before You Start Looking For An Apartment

Different countries have different economies, therefore it is important to see the state of the country and its economic growth. Find out whether the middle class is growing or there is a big gap between the rich and the poor. These details about the country will give you enough information to gauge if the deal you are getting is a good one or not. For countries that are not so developed, you may find that the houses are quite cheap and you may suspect that the quality of the apartments may not be up to par, but they are actually okay. The opposite situation is whereby you realize the apartments in a certain place are quite expensive. It may be because there is inflation and what you are getting is not a bad deal.

Discover What Is Not Included In The Rent Of The Apartment

There are some fees that may not be displayed in the websites that you visit like Downtown Apartment Company. For some countries or areas, you may realize that there are some standard fees that are not negotiable. You may feel that you are being extorted, if you do not understand the rules and regulations of the area. It is also important that you understand the procedure of how you are expected to make payment. There are some countries that do not expect you to mail the payment, rather drop off the check at a certain office. It is generally important that you are sure of all the details in the contract you are going to sign, so that you may reside in the area with no difficulty.

Geras Hekal is an expert in the field of real estate and has a travel agency. He also works closely with the Downtown Apartment Company. To understand more about real estate management , visit his website. You can also follow Geras on twitter.

Andi Perullo de Ledesma

The Most Defining Moments Of My Careers (Part 3)

As discussed in Part 1 of this series, My Beautiful Adventures began as a something fun to do to pass the time while my career as a Chinese Medicine Doctor grew. I had become quite obsessed with traveling, to the point that I was anxious if I was either 1) not traveling or 2) did not have a trip booked that I could countdown to. My friends and family loved my “on the road” stories and I received so many compliments on my photography that I decided to finally create a blog. I simply had no idea it would turn into a career and that I would one day work with some of the biggest brands, magazines, hotels, and boards of tourism in the world.

Much like my blogging career, my photography career came out of nowhere as well. Sometimes it irritates other professional photographers that I had zero training in photography, but I think a “photographer’s eye” is something you are born with and not something that can be learned in a classroom. It is true, that in the beginning I had to “fake it until I made it”, however I quickly learned the basics and upgraded my camera to one of the best out there. I also think the key to being a successful photographer is practice, practice, and more practice. I try to shoot every single day.

Andi Perullo de Ledesma

This three part series is a look at the most defining moments in my careers. The final post focuses on my career as a professional photographer:

First Time My Photos Were Published

Almost a decade ago, I received an email from a friend in Buenos Aires, Argentina, stating that the magazine she was Editor in Chief of had decided to start a travel section. She immediately thought of me and asked if she could use my photos in her stories. I remember thinking at the time, “This is as good as it gets!” I was over the moon with excitement. Little did I know that that was just the beginning of seeing my photos in magazines and that one day I would become a Travel Editor of a magazine myself. This was the moment in my career where I began to think of myself as a professional photographer and started charging for my photos.


Getting The Cover

It took me a while to get the cover, but once I did, in less than six months I had the cover three times. Each time I felt incredibly honored. It is such an awesome feeling to walk through a store and to see your photo displayed for the world to see.

An Article Was Written About My Photography

A couple of years ago, Four Magazine wrote an article about me. It was fun being on the other side of the lens for once! After that feature came out, I received a lot of new clients that wanted to work with me ranging from fashion bloggers to engaged couples to families. Before I became a mom, I had a photoshoot almost every day. Now I shoot about 2-3 times a week. And I have already started teaching my son how to take pictures.

Andi Perullo de Ledesma

Being Someone’s Inspiration

When I found out that a friend’s daughter wanted to interview me for her school paper, which was about “a person whose shoes you want to follow in”, I will admit shed a couple of tears. Me? An inspiration? It was not only a defining moment in my career, but in my life as well.

What have been your career defining moments so far?

Spa Resort

The Greatest Vacation Resorts In America

If you are going to go to a vacation resort of some kind, then why not go to the best? Okay, so for many people there is an obvious and understandable answer: they tend to be the most expensive. Of course, there are plenty of amazing resorts out there that do not feature on this list. But if you have the money and it is burning a hole in your pocket and if you want the most luxurious resort getaway that the United States has to offer, then look no further!

In this article, we are going to have a quick rundown of the finest vacation resorts in the country (arranged by category). Consider these amazing locations on your next specialist getaway:

The Best Golf Resort In America

You are always going to hear differing opinions about what the best vacation resort in any given category is. There is often a consensus of some kind, a general agreement, however some categories are more contentious in this regard. And perhaps nowhere is that more true than with golf resorts.




There is no arguing that America has some of the finest golf resorts in the world. But there seems to be widespread disagreement about which is the best. Having said that, it usually boils down to one of three resorts: The Pebble Beach Golf Resort, the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, and the Pinehurst Resort. All three are luxurious and feature world-class golf course designs.

Best Ski Resort In America

There is much more agreement to be found in this category. The Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is seen as the finest ski resort in all of North America. And yes, that grouping does include all of Canada’s fine resorts, too!




The Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is almost as popular in summer, as it is in winter! That is a pretty mean feat for a ski resort. It is also known for remaining incredibly spacious and efficient even when it is filled with tourists. There are plenty of Jackson Hole luxury hotels near the resort at more affordable rates than you may think.

The Best Spa Resort In America

To be fair, most of the great resorts in any category include world-class spas. For many people, it can be hard to tell the difference between a great sport resort and an incredible sport resort. Although with spas, it is much easier to tell which ones really edge out the competition.

Spa Resort



We are going to pick from destination spas. These are resorts that focus primarily on their spa features, as opposed to the spa being a mere add-on to something else. When you whittle it down to this, two seem to stand out in particular. The Mii Amo Resort in Arizona, which was ranked the second-best destination spa in the world by Travel+Leisure. If you are closer to the East, there is The Lodge at Woodloch. Located not too far from NYC, it was ranked the third-best destination spa in the world by the same publication.

Best Entertainment Resort In America

By “entertainment”, I am talking about general entertainment: fun, games, roller coasters, etc. It almost sounds like I am talking about a theme park resort, right? In that case, there is a pretty clear winner: Walt Disney World!

Photography Tips

Seven Awesome Ways To Immortalize Your Instagram Photos

  Photo Credit: Pixabay


There once was a time — say, a little over a decade ago — when the creation of an epic photograph was solely in the highly trained hands of professional photographers and their arsenal of high-tech film or DSLR cameras, ultra-expensive lenses, fancy filters, advanced lighting techniques, and a skilled eye for composition developed through years of shooting experience.

Then, in 2010, the photo editing and sharing app Instagram leveled the playing field for amateur photographers everywhere. By passing unedited camera photos through its filter tools, Instagram allowed practically any beginner with a smartphone camera to mimic the ethereal and dramatic photo effects previously achieved only by the pros. Now, Instagram users (to the tune of 400 million monthly active subscribers worldwide) can tell the story of their everyday lives through quick and colorful Insta-uploads.

Whether you use the app as a personal photographic diary of your day-to-day life, as a dump for your selfies, or as a travel log for your exotic, globetrotting adventures, immortalizing your favorite Instagram moments into something more tangible that you can hang on the walls of your home or decorate your office cubicle with would probably appeal to you. So why not consider turning your Instagram photos into printed works of art? Here are seven ideas to help get you started:

Instagram Photo Book

Photography Tips

Photo Credit: Leetal Elmaleh / AdoramaPix


If you are a fan of coffee table books that are spare on text, but positively brimming with gorgeous, professionally shot photographs, then you will love publishing your very own photo book made up of your favorite Instagram pictures. You may get some inspiration from photographer Leetal Elmaleh, who created an Instagram photo book of her daily adventures in New York.

Ready to create the Instagram photo book of your dreams? Choose from the various online photo book publishing sites that offer easy-to-use platforms and professional, high-quality results to help you turn your Instagram feed into a stunning, ultra-glossy photo book.

Ceramic Tile Prints

Going way beyond flooring, ceramic tile photos feature Instagram images printed on plain white ceramic tiles. Yes, the exact same ones you can find at your local home improvement store, which uses a special process called dye sublimation where ink vapor dyes melting polymer coating on a tile to create a photo-realistic image. Looking just as great as traditional prints, ceramic tile photos are lovely to use as mosaics, tabletop counters, standalone art, or standard floor tiles (naturally).

Canvas Prints

Photography Tips

Photo Credit: Flickr (Photo by Jorge Quinteros / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 )


Make your Instagram photos look like they belong in an upscale art gallery (or even a museum) by having them printed on canvas. You can do this yourself (as long as you have time, patience, and a few key art supplies) at home, or you can take advantage of online canvas printing services offered by sites such as AdoramaPix, CanvasPop, and PhotoBox.

Metal Prints

Photography Tips

Photo Credit: AdoramaPix


One of the newest and more innovative printing techniques in the industry — metal printing –infuses your photo directly into a sheet of coated aluminum. They make great complements to contemporary or industrial-themed interiors, are lightweight and easy to clean, and come in either glossy or satin/matte finishes that lend a unique depth to photos;something that is impossible to recreate with traditional printing techniques.

Instagram Fridge Magnets

Photography Tips

Photo Credit: Flickr (Photo by Remy Sharp / CC BY-SA 2.0)


Fun, colorful, and pretty cheap to reproduce in multiple quantities, Instagram photo magnets are the best way to turn your refrigerator into a work of modern art. Consider turning them into a photo mosaic piece or a playful jigsaw puzzle on your fridge to bring some Instagram happiness to your kitchen. But do not stop at sticking them on refrigerators; any metal surface can be a unique canvas to work with.

Get your Instagram photos turned into decorative and functional magnets from services like Social Print Studio, Get Pick Pack, and Sticky9 (formerly known as Stickygram).

Handpainted Artwork

Photography Tips
Photo Credit: Pixelist


A few services online, like Pixelist, offer handmade oil painting reproductions of Instagram photos for those who want their favorite picture transformed into traditional canvas art. Simply upload your photo and commission one of the site’s professional painters to recreate it for you according to your design specifications and preferred materials. Commissions usually take 4-6 weeks from order to delivery.

This Instagram photo memento may be one of the most expensive to create, but arguably, has the most lasting impact.

Personalized Phone Cases

Photography Tips

Photo Credit: Casetify


Imagine a photo snapped on your smartphone, then uploaded on Instagram, finally transferred onto a case that is snapped onto your smartphone. It does not get any more meta than that! Personalize your phone with your particular brand of style (or irony) by having your favorite Instagram image or images printed on a phone case.

So, who says your Instagram memories should stay on Instagram? Have you ever gone out of the Instagram box and commemorated your favorite images by turning them into permanent keepsakes? Share them with us in the comments below!

Eleven Important Steps For Jewelry Appraisal

People ask for appraisals for different reasons. When you approach a leading jeweler for an appraisal of a jewelry piece or pieces, these steps must be followed:


You must have a discussion with your jeweler on the appraisal process. A consultation will include discussing the types of appraisals available and how they work. The consult will also seek answers for the reason of the appraisal. Appraisal for insurance purposes or real estate security will determine how the process will be conducted.


To get the actual clarity of a gem or a diamond, the jewelry has to be cleaned. You will find that there will be accumulation of oils, lotions, and sweat. These will obscure the color and/or clarity of the gemstone or diamond giving a false impression. Consequently, you will obtain a false appraisal on your jewelry if it is not cleaned.

Measuring The Gemstones

Using a micrometer screw gauge or a digital gauge, your jewelry’s size will be determined. The length, width, and depth of the diamond or gemstone will be ascertained and how circular or out of shape the jewelry is will be calculated too.

Microscopic Examination

After calculating the actual jewelry size, your jeweler will undertake a thorough microscopic examination of the valuables. Any nicks, cracks, bruises, abrasions, or chips will be seen. Your appraiser might advise you to have the item repaired.

Estimation Of Jewelry Weight

Estimation of jewelry with the gem set on the appraised item is more complicated than loose gems that can have their carats easily measured. You can, however, have the diamond or gemstone removed and weighed separately if a 5% variance will yield higher value. Jewelers in Virginia Beach will advise you accordingly.

Color Determination

The color of your jewelry against the jeweler’s clear or colorless master diamonds will be determined. Hue, saturation, and tone are the attributes for describing colored gemstones. Therefore, specificity should be high, as it is the determining factor for the value in the appraisal.

Clarity Details

This is a character that defines gemstones, their internal features, or inclusions matter. For colored gemstones, the inclusions can be normal, free, or heavily included. Diamonds, for instance, have an 11-inclusion scale step for determination of clarity. The patterns of the inclusions can tell where the gem was mined.

The Cut

Evaluation of the cut puts into consideration the quality of the patterns created by the facets from the design patterns. The girdle thicknesses, table measurements, total depth, polish, and symmetry will give up to 20% of the diamond’s value.

General Description & Photography

The diamond and the metal it is set upon must be well described. An acid test should be done and the description used suitable to create a perfect image of the jewel. A photograph of the jewelry should be available, very clear, and easily reproduced in case of loss. An actual or enlarged image will be fine.

Market Research & Valuation

A market research on the value of similar jewelry should be performed online and offline. This will help in settling on a value as the appraised cost.


A printed report on the true value of the jewelry, its source, and a list of reference information should be added for authenticity. This is the appraisal report and should therefore include metal prices at the time of appraisal.

In conclusion, your jewelry can be appraised following this process for its true value.

Jeremy Stevens is one of the best jewelers in Virginia Beach with vast knowledge about jewelry, diamonds, and gemstones. You can book an appointment to have your jewelry appraised on his blog. Read more on jewelers and jewelry from him on his Facebook and Instagram page