Monday, January 9

Chicago Days 3 & 4

I started recapping my Chicago trip so long ago. See parts 1 and 2 here.  But obviously, I have to finish!

Saturday - 11/8/14 - Brunch and museums!

On Saturday morning, I had the best pancake I'd never had. Ever. And probably will ever have. 

Let's start from the beginning. The goal on Saturday was to explore the Museum of Science and Industry. This came very highly recommended and I love museums, so I thought to give it a try! I rode out on the L like I had the day before to get to another line to reach the museum. After the 30 minute ride on the L, I got hungry, so I jumped off and looked for a nearby breakfast location. A quick yelp search brought me to The Bongo Room. When I got there, I knew I had found the right place as the wait was about 40 minutes long. After being seated, I split some red velvet pancakes and a breakfast burrito with my dining partner. With the red velvet and the glaze, I thought for sure that the pancakes were going to be too sweet, but to my surprise, they weren't. They were dense and subtly flavored. The breakfast burrito was good... but not life changing. 

By the time breakfast was done, it was around 1:30 in the afternoon. Instead of bothering with the train, I hitched an Uber ride to the museum. I only spent a few hours in the Museum. It was full of well.... science. There were exhibits about storms and a miniature Seattle with a train running through it. While I enjoyed the Submarine Exhibit, I'm not sure I could ever submerge in a submarine! I think I would be too scared. Another favorite exhibit was "Yesterday's Main Street" where we got to see an American street in the early 1900s. 

After spending some time there, I went to UChicago. Oh! How I wish I had gotten accepted there back in the day. Visiting probably would have made me try harder on my application. I loved the small old homes, bookstores and churches. The diners really made me wish I had lived there. I stepped in a few of the local bookstores as the sun set outside. In all honesty, I was looking forward to meeting Dan Pashman, who was promoting his book, the Sporkful (titled after a podcast of the same name), but a few misteps and spending too long at the museum delayed me. Still though, walking around the campus was wonderful. 

Dinner that night was at Goose Island Brewery. If you're a casual drinker with an awareness of beer brands, you've heard of this brand. While the food was nothing to write home about, the beers were great! I really enjoyed some of the beers! If I remember correctly, Sofie was my favorite. I think I'm a fan of sweet and sour tastes. 


Sunday - 11/9/15 - Chicago Field Museum

Sunday was my last day, and mostly spent in the Chicago Field Museum. This was one of my most favorite places. The biggest attraction for me was seeing the Ghost and the Darkness, two man eating lions from the Tsavo region in Africa. 

There were plenty of other awesome sights in the museum though. There was an exhibit dedicated to the religion of voodoo in Haiti, a hall of diamonds and rare gems, and a rich history of tribes native to the northwest US. It was also home to the largest T-Rex fossil. 

A quick lunch wrapped up this fun trip. A fancy hot pocket and stuffed mushroom, featured below. 





Monday, January 2

New Year Resolution Reflection

Now that it is 2017, I wanted to reflect on some of the goals I set out in 2016. Just comes along with loving the planner community and the bullet journals!

1. Stop worrying about work for the next 6 months. Long story short, I got on a project that is long, unique and outside of the office. For the past few months, I've been extremely worried about about the project. 

Goal Achieved? Mostly. 

My reckless optimism was unwarranted. And it got a hell of a lot worse before it got better. The worst bits had be crying in my car everyday after work. The best bits gave me so much perspective. 2015 was such a great year for my career. It seemed like I found success in everything I did. 2016 was quite different but I'm still at the same job, so it can't be that bad! 

 2. Keep Active. I'm not going to set a goal of losing a certain amount of weight, but I do want to keep active and moving.

Goal Achieved? Not really. 

I didn't even go to the boxing gym I signed up for 12 times in this past year. I have found success in wearing a fitbit and keeping my updated with my stats and my steps, for most weeks. I'll probably reformulate this goal somewhat for the new year. Typical... This was when I did step outside for once to Deception Point.

 3. Write letters to friends. 

Goal Achieved? Barely. 

So, yes. I have created several letters to be sent to friends. I have purchased water colors and practiced brush script (which still looks awful compared to others). I have not actually sent out a single letter. But that's what the new year is for, right?

 4. Cook! 


Goal Achieved? Indirectly. 

So, I have adequately developed my cooking skills in this past year. I have tackled cake making, sangria mixing, and various other dishes. But, my SO, has improved by leaps and bounds. He's gone from making very ... meaty steak to making Thai food, Korean food and improving in American, Mexican and Italian. It may not be all my skill and effort... but I'd call this one a win. Also, I made an entire dungeness crab! 

 5. Travel out of the country. 

Goal Achieved? Yep. 

I had already booked the tickets for my China trip at the time i wrote this last year, but I think the year's been pretty solid in terms of travelling. 

In this next year, I definitely have goals that I'll have to reformulate and try for again, but all things considering, not terrible! 

Monday, December 19

Favorite Dates

Quality time. What does that even mean? After moving in with my partner, I've grown to realize that it's about continuing to get to know the other person and to grow with them as they grow. It makes sense if you think about it. What's a common reason for divorce? Irreconciable differences. "Oh... we just grew apart over time." 

That's just the issue, isn't it? I think the most successful couples that I see grow with each other over time. They make each other better. 

This is where quality time comes it. It's so easy to live with someone, to see them every day and not really know them. However, as it comes to exploring new ideas, it can be hard to push each other forward in the same direction. 
check out the awesome hair I have going on here.
1. Visit the Theatre - Or go fancy! Amidst the monotony of living together, the chores, the kids, the long days at work, it's no wonder that things get boring. What do new couples do? They do hot air balloon rides and surprise road trips and spontaneous spa days. What do "old" couples do? A movie night once in a while? A nice dinner out? By going fancy, you get to inject spice and newness into your relationship. Sure, it might be expensive, but saving a few dinner dates for a mystery dinner theatre show would be worth it. 

2. Do Something Physical (see photo above!) - I read somewhere long ago that physical activity really helps body chemistry in developing attraction. I'm going to butcher the science, but there's some chemical reaction where physical exercise causes endorphins that make you like who you spend time with. A physical date helps keeps the both of you in shape, is challenging, and is out of the norm! 

3. Active over Passive - I love watching a movie in theatres as much as the next person, but sometimes you need to be more engaged... more focused on each other, if you will. I feel that this is the main distinction between "time", and "quality time". You have to take this opportunity to check in with your partner. Do so like you would a long time friend, sure, you might talk every day, but how often do you take a step back and talk about the big picture? Or really talk about the details more than that surface level conversation really allows?


Any other awesome date ideas? 
What do you like to do?

Monday, November 28

Walrus and Carpenter (hello, again)

You may have noticed that I haven't posted in a few months. I'd say work has gotten away from me, but I say that every few months. I think it's time to come to terms with the fact that ever since I started working ... 4 years ago, my posts have become a lot more sparse. If you actually look at my post history, you can find out exactly when that was. I'll explain in another post what I've been doing in the meantime and what this blog will look like in the future, but for now, please enjoy this restaurant post! Everyone enjoys some yummy food, right? 

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The Walrus and Carpenter was a restaurant that I wanted to go to during my first visit to Seattle, but it wasn't until recently that I actually made it. 

As an oyster lover, I really enjoyed the place! It's a tiny hole in the wall, but gorgeous decorated. I was seated at the bar and saw the cooking process first hand, which was very interesting to see what was done by hand and what was prepackaged. 

If I had any tips for visiting this place, it would be: 

1. Visit during off peak hours. Since the restaurant is so small, even a few small parties fill the space up. 

2. Go with a small party! Because I was only dining with one other individual, I was immediately seated at the bar. If I had others with me, I'd definitely be waiting for a few more minutes 

For starters, we got oysters! There's a great 50% off HH, but again, space would be a big issue at such a peak time. 


Next, we had the smoked salmon. I would not recommend this. While it was good, it was pulled straight from a package. In its place, definitely get the fried oysters. The couple next to me ordered this and it looked great! 

Lastly, because I would not leave without having dessert, the bread pudding. This is one of my favorite desserts and Walrus and Carpenter did not disappoint!

Monday, August 29

Cozy Cardigans

It should be no surprise that I absolutely love cardigans. For proof, just see here in my Work Staples Series and here with a Halogen Cardigan. But I recently discovered the chunky cardigan. 


Dress: H&M ($12.95)
Cardigan: Forever 21 ($24.90)
Boots: Nordstrom ($99.95)

Please excuse the terrible picture, but I absolutely love this cardigan and had to share it. It goes well over dresses and skirts and even outfits with pants. This picture was taken when it was a bit warmer and I was rocking it with bare legs. 

I wore this cardigan 2 days in a row when I was recently in Florida for a conference. For all the lovely warm weather outside, it was freezing cold inside. I stayed warm with this guy! I love it when you know you made a really solid, useful purchase. 

Monday, August 8

Chicago Trip Recap Day 1 & 2

Like in the vein of my Seattle Trip and my Scotland Trip, I love recounting my vacations. It's basically another way to relive them over a full year ago, I went to explore Chicago for a few days. 

Thursday - 11/6/14 - Landing... and prompting sleeping


I had planned to land late in Chicago. With my flight delayed, my late flight became even later and I ended up reaching my hotel at 10pm, when most restaurants were closed or closing. With no dinner in my belly, I opted to order a deep dish pizza from Giordanos. Then, I watched a bit of golf and called it a night. 

Friday - 11/7/14 - Financial District, Miracle Mile, Cloud Gate


an indoor market
Friday was the day I had planned for most of my outdoor activities. After waking up in the morning, I made my way downtown to the financial center. While there were plenty of tall buildings, I didn't find it oppressive. In fact, I really like the city feel of it all. With waking up late, I ended up grabbing a waffle at a place called Wafel. It was a Liege style waffle, which I realized I had never had before... and it was delicious. From the financial district, I walked to the shopping area/Magnificent Mile. 

While I didn't get anything, I took in the sights of the festive stores and large crowds--that's just a scene you don't get in Phoenix. Eager to try some hot dogs, I ventured into the fast food joint called America's Dogs. This place featured about 20 hot dogs based on the traditions of major US cities. This was when I realized I was a NY girl at heart, because I ended up with a NY Dog. 

After the lunch pitstop, I made my way to Millennium Park. This is where the infamous Bean is. I actually really like the park. It was a bit smaller than I imagined (or at least all the lankmarks were pretty close together). It definitely seemed like a lovely place to hang out if it wasn't super cold outside. From there, I walked to the museums to get to them right at closing time... oh well! I took a few pictures of the scenery. 

After a day of walking, I realized that it had also gotten progressively colder and colder. my feet were tired. My skin was cold and dry from the wind. A yelp search and a few blocks later, I found myself myself in a lovely warm restaurant, resting my aching feet and with this delicious bowl in front of me. I had an entire hotpot all to myself at Tamarind. This was so much food and it was so delicious.



Friday, July 22

My Hairstyle Evolution

Long hair, to me is safe. Not because I hide behind it, but because it's heavy enough to dry straight, so I never have to brush it. But I've been wanting something different. Some of you can already tell that I cut my hair quite a bit! 


It went from quite long... 
#derpfacemode

To long, but tamed.

To SHORT! 


That last picture is actually from December of 2014! I have maintained my short hairstyle for most of 2015 and 2016, but now it's nearing shoulder length and I want some new inspiration! 

What's next is of course the long bob. It's been on every celebrity. See here on the most banal celebrity. (I say banal, but I mean no offense because she looks awesome here.)


via 
Maybe next time I'll get some color in my hair for the first time...