We were basically children in Chicago but it’s fine, that’s how you stay young!
Last year, I flew to Chicago with Theresia, Gabe, and Austin from the moment we left work until very late at night before coming back to work Monday. We did so much in the few days we spent there!
Our airbnb stay was awesome, we went with 3 bedrooms because Ricky was in our original plans to come but something came up. If you’re interested in the newly renovated airbnb close to so many things within Chicago, here it is. *I just became an airbnb associate so we both get some credit towards my future travels if you do book a stay!
Food we ate/things we did:
-Top of the Willis Tower
-Boat Tour Chicago
-Navy Pier (did not feature)
-Museum of Science and Industry Chicago
-Lou Malnati’s Deep Dish Pizza
-Imperial Lamian Soup Dumplings & Hand Pulled Noodles
Stay tuned for more of mine/our adventures!! xx Sam
Hey guys! Due to being home more often because of social distancing, I had the urge to redecorate and I tackled the bathroom first.
I updated the look of my bathroom vanity by using 2 types of contact paper and peel and stick backsplash tiles.
Hopefully this video inspires you to do it too! (Btw I totally did it the harder way because 1. it’s surrounding the sink & 2. I wanted to try to minimize the amount of seams, it’ll be much faster and easier if you just have a plain counter surfaces)
Hey guys! Here is my 4-year update and removal of the marbled contact paper applied onto my bathroom countertop.
I can’t believe I kept it on for so long and it’s time to remove it… so I can redecorate! Right after filming the removal, I went ahead and tackled applying more marbled contact paper from the same brand I used and this is what it looks like currently:
This time, I added some peel and stick backsplash tiles. I originally bought a pack of 10 12″x12″ sheets to use as my shower surround backsplash but all of the little squares would be too much next to the wallpaper–so I had plenty to play around with and figured out different ideas for them.
Stay tuned for an upcoming video of what redo-ing the marbled contact paper + adding backsplash tile will be like! Also, I’m potentially putting grey wood grain contact paper onto the cabinets…
Hey guys! Right after graduating from University and receiving my degree in computer science, I traveled to London to visit a friend! Ngoc was studying abroad at the time which lined up perfectly for a chance to explore places together.
It was my first time flying alone out of the country and I’m grateful for the polite strangers who helped me navigate along the way!
Here are some pictures from the trip:
Of course we had to go to the Tower Bridge! We also took a day trip to the White Cliffs of Dover which was such a beautiful site and world away from inner London which was only a 2 hour train ride + 1 hour hike away (one way.)
A lot of the pictures are also included in my vlog, London was very instagrammable! Ngoc brought me to some “hidden gems” like God’s Own Junkyard, which was basically this place that collected neon signs & props from movie sets, strip clubs, and places that would have these.
We were literally running around for 8 days straight–can you believe it?! As the grand finale for our adventures, we went to Sketch London for breakfast on the day of my departure. I’d been dreaming of going to Sketch for a few years.
The rooms are just so aesthetically pleasing to the eye and don’t even get me started on the cool INDIVIDUAL POD RESTROOMS. I knew of it before my first trip to London with my university’s entrepreneurial student organization but it’s very hard to convince college students to drop ~$40 for breakfast or ~$75 for high tea just for the experience combined with our limited time to explore!
Check out the video for a better look at the experiences!
Hey guys! Your girl had a much needed weekend getaway in the mountains; we went to the Ice Castles and snow tubing at Loon Mountain (New Hampshire).
We stayed at an airbnb in Twin Mountain, NH; please use my referral so I can save on future trips if you haven’t made an account yet and are planning to anyways (not sponsored btw, you just get $55 and I get $30 off or something).
Things You Should Pack
All kinds of warm winter gear; especially the following:
Warm boots/shoes (I brought my LL Bean duck boots that I added winter-fur soles to but that lowkey became cold too, luckily I also packed a pair of Uggs and my toes stayed toasty in those!)
Snow pants, maybe not needed for Ice Castles but definitely for snow tubing
Check out my vlog above to come along with us on our adventures there + some food places we went to and other random things.
Thanks for watching/reading, I hope you have an /ice/ day!
Hey guys! There were roughly 12,000 attendees at the MA Conference for Women last week and I had the wonderful opportunity to be one of these attendees on behalf of my company! (I am an associate software engineer for those who may not know.)
I took the train into Boston and was at the convention center all day long with booths to see, sessions to attend, and people to meet. When we arrived, we received attendee “swag bags” filled with snacks, a water bottle, the event guidebook notebook, and other miscellaneous items.
Tips on how to make the most of the event:
luckily I was warned of these, i’m now queen of the event
Arrive early: by 7am to head into the line or else you’ll have to spend time outside in the cold waiting to get through security and this way you’ll be one of the first to grab breakfast (free) and hit the booths down in the exhibition hall
Skip the coat check–bring a warm enough but lighter jacket to carry or else you’ll have to be in line twice and there’s sooooo many coats in the coat check
Use the womens restroom: I know, like isn’t that obvious? They actually convert a bunch of the mens restrooms into womens restrooms for the event, but the permanent womens restrooms have a lot more stalls. I accidentally waited in line for one of the converted restrooms for a long time only to find there were only 3 usable stalls and the other half was urinals!
Sinek focused on the infinite game: explaining how learning from our competitor and using what we can study from them could help us become better ourselves and get stronger (and vice versa).
Southworth told her story of mental health and how coding not only helped herself but enabled her to help others too.
Shahidi is asked a question and answers with how she was taught at an early age about financial independence and how to be smart about money; saving it, spending it, and donating it.
Exhibition Hall (ft. sponsor booths, small business marketplace, and roundtable discussions)
So. Many. Things. Being. Given. Away.
And so many photo opportunities!
Essentially, I came home with (on top of the swag bag stuff) a T Shirt, schrunchie, button pin, mirror, mints and lip balm, crystal nail file, travel brush and sewing kit in one, pens, magazine, candy, and more!
Unplugged: Reclaiming Balance in a Connected World (POE)
This was an interesting panel session on unplugging from the social media world, turning 24/7 into 24/6.
Tiffany Schlain (filmmaker, founder of The Webby Awards, author) talks about a “tech sabbath” of sorts that her family has done for almost 10 years now where they unplug from their devices for one 24-hour period a week and focus on the present.
Mary Laura Philpott (author of I Miss You When I Blink) catches attention from the Type-As of the room, those who love lists and getting things done once they’re started. It’s her journey of accepting that our time is our time and it’s okay to take it back to do what we want.
Stephanie Humphrey (technology and lifestyle content creator) discusses how she tries to unplug even with a career that consists of being on social media. Setting time for planning in one period and then scheduling posts is a must.
The Likability Trap: Women, Leadership and the Double-Bind
Alicia Menendez, asked us a question: do you want to be likable or do you want to be successful? Her answer is to ALWAYS. CHOOSE. SUCCESS. People will always either like you or not like you for various reasons and it should not hold you back from reaching your goals.
Yvonne Garcia,Minda Harts, and Erica Keswinjoined Menendez in discussing their own experiences of having to choose between being liked or being successful in their workplace and the feedback they have sometimes received from it.
All of the women involved in the keynotes, panel sessions, and other discussions have all done something to be recognized as leaders, mentors, or just those to look up to. During the keynote luncheon, we also were lucky to hear from Malala Yousafzai, Tara Westover, Megan Rapinoe, and others.
Yousafzai spoke of her journey that most of us have heard about (if you need a refresher) and how her father continued to push for her education when extremists who took over their town banned girls from school and how it has developed her into the strong woman she is today. She continues to fight for 12 years of education for girls in countries who are less able to receive the opportunity.
Westover joked about how her job is to be a professional narcissist, telling her story about how she was raised in a family that did not believe that the government, education, and other things were genuinely real (instead seen as a conspiracy). She eventually went on to being enrolled and educated at the age of 17 and then went on to get her PhD.
Rapinoe was her authentic self with Kara Swisher; it was highly entertaining to listen to them discuss important topics like how Rapinoe was fighting for equal pay among professional soccer players (ex. how the womens soccer team is not compensated the same as the mens soccer team), the upcoming election, and various other topics.
While leaving the convention center, I realized that I was feeling so empowered, a feeling that I had not felt in a while. It makes me want to continue to chase after it all.
I’m hoping to get the chance to continue attending The MA Conference for Women and other events like this! The 2020 Grace Hopper Celebration for Women Technologists is also on my radar and I can’t wait to launch into this potential opportunity!
Hey guys! Your girl had a weekend trip with her mans to NYC this fall and finally got to try and see some of the places on my bucketlist so here’s my mini guide!
Heres a list of some things I did in NYC & scroll down for the deets:
Ichiran Ramen (Brooklyn)
Line Friends NYC
Tim Ho Wan Hell’s Kitchen Dim Sum
We made our way to The Vessel sculpture and it was a pretty interesting sight! We got to walk around it and the surrounding area but unfortunately we weren’t able to go inside and up around it because you have to book tickets in advance due to the limit of people being inside!
Admission is free but it was a busy day so going in was booked out for a few hours. After some wandering and intense games of giant Connect 4 (where I defeated Ricky…once hehe) we got hungry and started our adventure to Ichiran Ramen!
I recommend going to Ichiran Ramen in Brooklyn because it’s the bigger location which means the wait time is shorter. We arrived for our late lunch/early dinner around 5pm–there was no wait for us on a Saturday to sit in the individual booths next to each other. Since it was my first time (shout out to the recommendations from Theresia and others who have been to NYC) I ordered the “Recommended Set” ramen bowl. IT WAS PRETTY GOOD!! There was a special going on where you get complimentary noodle refills so of course we took advantage of that option too.
Line friends NYC was also on the list and I finally got to see the giant bear! This time he was decked out in a cute not-so-little halloween costume.
When I asked Theresia for her must-try or must-have NYC boba she said it’s gotta be Tiger Sugar! In the pictures it might look intense (a little less than usual tho since we walked around before this pic) but the drink is actually pretty refreshing and lighter than you would expect. It’s still sweet but that’s what I love. Sadly that is where our first full day in the city ended because I got a stomachache right before we ordered our drinks so we headed back after. I’d imagine we would’ve tried to explore the Oculus.
Speaking of sweets, we o-fish-ally got to try Taiyaki NYC! We almost walked past the storefront until I noticed colorful sprinkles on the sidewalk in front and thought to myself “we must be near it now!” You get to choose the filling, ice cream, and toppings.
One of our last meals in NYC was dim sum at Tim Ho Wan Hell’s Kitchen. I recommend checking in/making a reservation through the Yelp app because the estimated wait time for 2 was basically an hour. The baked bbq pork buns (top right in the pic) are a must. Crispy and sweet on the outside and the usual on the inside. Ricky recommends the spareribs because they’re not too greasy. Surprisingly the only vegetable on the menu was steamed lettuce but it was good with lightly drizzled soy sauce.