Fall Foliage in New England || VLOG & GUIDE

Hey guys! I got to explore the Kancamagus Highway (112) in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, one of America’s most scenic byways to view fall foliage around peak times.

Here’s the video:

There are many stops along the 56 mile stretch you can take and I went to a few that sounded/looked good as we drove by.

We were stuck in 3 hours of traffic just going back down the mountains so I made a quick guide in hopes of helping people who come across this avoid the same fate while in these beautiful mountains.

My Mini Guide:

– If you think you’re going early enough go even earlier! Make sure you have a FULL TANK of gas once you’re in the area and pack a meal/snacks just in case you get stuck too.

– Grab the map if you see it! We had no service the entire highway so it literally saved us. Ricky got it from someone in a visitor center rest stop on the way before Loon Mountain.

– If I could redo it I’d start by driving down to the far end toward Rocky Gorge then turn around to make the stops on the way back to Loon Mtn so if you do hit traffic it’s not as bad as later (and you can scope out what stops you’d like to do) *Also, don’t leave at 3PM, that’s how we got stuck just going back down for 3 hours!

– Avoid Pemigewasset Overlook, it’s beautiful but unless you get a roadside spot, the parking lot becomes a 1 lane in/out jam if it’s busy/getting full.

Ice Castles & Loon Mountain, NH Trip!

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).

IMG_7786.jpgWe 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:

  • HAND WARMERS
  • 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
  • Moisture-wicking underlayers

IMG_7662.jpg
On the way to the ice castles!

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!

MA Conference for Women 2019 || Experience & Tips

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.)

IMG_6251
At the Reebok “It’s a Woman’s World” Booth in the Exhibition Hall

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:

Processed with VSCO with au5 preset

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!

 

Overview of Events and Sessions I Attended:

full schedule hereIMG_6168.jpg

Opening Keynote Session

IMG_6331Featuring Simon Sinek, Amanda Southworth, Yara Shahidi, and others; we were welcomed to a day of reminders that we can kick ass!!!

  • 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)

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset  Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

  • 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)

Screen Shot 2019-12-21 at 4.11.15 PM
(from left) Tiffany Schlain, Mary Laura Philpott, and Stephanie Humphrey

    • 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

IMG_6332Alicia 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 Keswin joined 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.

Keynote Luncheon: Malala Yousafzai, Tara Westover, Megan Rapinoe

IMG_6333

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!

New York City Girl ♫♪|| Weekend Guide

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!

Screen Shot 2019-11-17 at 8.26.09 PM

Heres a list of some things I did in NYC & scroll down for the deets:

  • The Vessel
  • Ichiran Ramen (Brooklyn)
  • Line Friends NYC
  • Tiger Sugar
  • Tim Ho Wan Hell’s Kitchen Dim Sum
  • Taiyaki NYC

Processed with VSCO with al5 presetWe 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!

Processed with VSCO with al3 preset

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!

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

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.

Processed with VSCO with u2 preset

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.

Processed with VSCO with aga3 presetProcessed with VSCO with ka3 preset

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetWhen 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.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

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. Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

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.

And that concludes my short guide to NYC for now!

Stay tuned for more by following this blog or following me on IG @Sambarrassed, or check out my YouTube channel.

The BEST of TEXAS || Travel 2018

IMG_9858

Hey guys! Sarah and I flew down to Texas to visit our cousin Daniel in Dallas for a week this past summer. We also road-tripped to Austin and declared BUC-EE’s or bust.

I guess things really are bigger in Texas… we pit-stopped at the World’s Largest Convenience store! It had 60+ gas station pumps as well.

To see more of the BEST of Texas, check out my vlog and feel free to subscribe for more!

Some featured things or places we went:

IMG_9600Go Ape Ziplining & Adventure
Mitsuwa Japanese Supermarket
Pecan Lodge
Summit Climbing, Yoga, & Fitness
Melt Ice Creams
Ronald Kirk Walking Bridge/Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge
Ramen Tatsu-Ya Austin
Mozart’s Coffee Roasters (by the lake)
Lady Bird Lake, Austin (Rowing Dock Stand Up Paddle-Boarding)
Watching the bats from Congress Ave Bridge
Shinjuku Station
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
—If anything you want to know isn’t listed yet just ask!

 

Washington D.C. 2018 | TRAVEL VLOG

Hey guys! Over spring break I had the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. as an advocate for my university in a Student Leadership Program.

Check out my video:

Some things I did/places I saw included:

  • The Capitol Building
  • March for Our Lives
  • Union Station
  • Tour of the White House
  • Congressional Offices
  • The Supreme Court
  • Washington Monument & surrounding area
  • The National Gallery of Art
  • Watched the Wiz at Ford’s Theater
  • Tried my first Krispy Kreme donuts
  • & more!

DSC03013

I’ve been able to see so much more than I did the other times I traveled to D.C. and am looking forward to coming back again some day.

To watch my video from 2016:

72 Hours in Chicago (First Time!)

Hey guys! Last month I had the opportunity to visit Chicago for a few days. Most of these pictures were taken on the same day of exploring. I uploaded a short travel vlog;

Of course, I had to go to Millenium Park first to see THE BEAN!
IMG_4462.JPGIMG_4460.JPG

We walked from Millenium Park to Navy Pier to meet up with the guys in our group and along the way, we came across these views!

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with hb1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with a6 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with a5 preset

There’s way to many pictures and things we saw throughout the city so I just chose a set of photos from the same general area.

Last but not least, you cannot go to Chicago without trying deep dish pizza. We chose Giordano’s!

Pro tip: DO NOT order appetizers before getting your own personal pan pizza. When they say deep dish, it’s thicc af. I could barely get through half of mine after having mozzarella sticks and other cheese-related samplers.

IMG_4463.JPG

A Teenage Girl’s North American East Coast Adventure, Experiences, and Fun Facts! (A Series of Posts)

IMG_5288
Running New York, call me!

Check out all my experiences that took place over the span of six days! I’ll be linking them as they are posted. Pictures from my momentous trip are included, in the hopes that you’ll like them. Feel free to comment about any questions for places I’ve been to!

The Teenager’s Guide to Traveling on a Bus for 6 Daysthe dos and don’ts from my experience

Why Canada is Great – the things I noticed while in a different country

French Words I Learned + Fun Facts – I may have picked up a word or two (not an under-exaggeration)

Day One – New York City (NY) – from stunned and hot celebrity figures to the top of the city that never sleeps 

Day Two – Philadelphia (PA) and Washington, D.C. – hearing the sound of the Liberty before going to the Capitol

Day Three – Corning (NY) and Niagara Falls (CAN) – from the Corning Museum of Glass to the Skylon Tower+

Day Four – Toronto, (ON) – they don’t call it a glass floor for no reason and fruit we haven’t seen for 20 years

Day Five – Thousand Islands (USA/CAN), Ottawa (ON), Montreal (QC) – what a beautiful French sunset

IMG_6207
The front entrance of La Citadelle de Quebec, a military base in Canada that is still active today.

Day Six – Quebec City (QC) – last-minute souvenir grabs and the live-goat mascot, Baptiste

My view from the Skylon Tower, Toronto.
My view from the Skylon Tower, Toronto.

Skiing and Scoping Out Boys on the Slopes

Image

I’m the girl on the right in the photo above and I may or may not be kidding about the second part of this post’s title haha. Anyways, my friend Kathy (girl on the left) invited me to go skiing with her family yesterday and we were straight up beginner skiers. We went to Mount Wachusett, MA and got the “Beginner Learn to Turn Package” for one day ($89 each). The instructors were kind and helped us depending on our level of learning how to ski.

Ski wear and prep: When skiing, we need to wear a few layers of athletic or moisture-wicking clothing underneath our ski jacket, a layer of something under our ski pants, ski socks (I bought a nice turquiose pair from Eastern Mountain Sports for $25.95), ski gloves or mittens, a warm circle scarf, and goggles at least! There are convenient locker rentals available for the day until we are done with them for $10 (they are bought electronically).

On the mountain: Again, we were beginners who have never been on skis before. Our level 1-2 class taught us to turn while going down the small hill, the kind you use to get up with a “magic carpet” lift. However, the beginner class did not prepare us well enough for the blue trail that someone told us was the “easy” one… halfway down the mountain we realized it was a really bad mistake to go down a certain path… Ralph’s trail. It was the medium (close to hard) one! I am definitely sticking to proper green trails next time before going back on a blue one…

Cute boy alert: When I was returning my skis at the rental station, one of my mittens got caught to a ski while handing them to a guy and he was like “I’m taking you with me.” Haha… I wish! ((((Wait what))))

Coachella Bound & the 52 Week Money Challenge

For a girl who hasn’t been to a live concert before, I sure do love them!!! At least once in my life, I’m going to spend a weekend at Coachella in Indio, CA (a desert!) and camp under the stars in a tee pee by lake Eldorado. Kathy, one of my best friends–we are Sam & Kat, is going with me to the other side of the country for this! We’re planning on saving a few grand each in order to pay for all our expenses; plane tickets, tee pee, VIP passes, and more for Coachella 2017! I would totally be asking to go sooner if it weren’t for the fact that we have to be 18+ to be on our own without a legal guardian/parent present!

The total cost: $2,000+ for each of us. We’re doing the 52 Week Money Saving Challenge for 2 years. I decorated my jar to motivate myself to keep saving up for Coachella. If you don’t know what the challenge is; on the first week we add $1 to the jar, on the second week we add $2…on the fifty-second week we add $52. Until we get a grand total of $1,300+ at the end of the year saved. (You can also choose to do it in reverse or other increments.)

I bought a mason jar from Michael’s Arts and Crafts and decorated it for 2014 savings 🙂