Grace Hopper Conference Prep

Tomorrow morning I head off to the airport to go to my first professional conference. I’ll be heading to Orlando, Florida to attend the Grace Hopper Conference, the largest conference for women in Tech! I’m super excited, but also nervous.

As someone who considers themselves an introvert, this is going to be quite the adventure for me.

My hopes for Grace Hopper:
1. That I have fun! That’s the most important part. As long as I’m enjoying myself, then it’s worth it!
2. Meet new people and create connections. You never know who you might meet and how that connection could change your future.
3. Learn about interesting tech. From Google Assistant programming to Netflix using technology for storytelling, I can’t wait to see what I learn.
4. Learn about other companies and education programs that lead the way in the world of tech.
5. Become inspired. There will be over 20,000 women in attendance. Working in tech you’re often the only woman in the room, so I’m pumped to be surrounded by so many intelligent, passionate, and confident women.

My goal is to make a few videos about the experience, share some tips, and help future conference goers feel confident and excited. I’ll add these to my Youtube channel in the coming weeks, so make sure to subscribe!

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Travel Fix: Pockets Required!

Photo courtesy of Stitch Fix

A few months ago I took my first trip to Asia. I was full of all sorts of emotions, from not knowing what to expect, wondering what I would eat, if I would be able to communicate with people, and what in the world should I pack! The first leg of my trip was to the Philippines, a place I never expected I would visit, but when works calls and an adventure awaits, you pack that bag and go. I knew that offices in the Philippines, particularly Manila, had some rules around dress code, and that shorts were apparently a no no. However, I looked at the weather report and I wondered how I would survive without shorts. So, I pulled up the Stitch Fix app and requested an emergency Stitch Fix travel fix with one BIG requirement, everything must have pockets!

If you’ve been reading my Fix posts, you know I love a dress with pockets, so I knew I had to request those, and I also told my stylist to throw in a skirt too, but only if it had pockets. Why was I pocked obsessed? Well, a girl has to carry her phone, clip her work badge on to something, and be able to carry other essentials of course!

Alright, enough back story, get ready for the Ultimate Pocket Fix from Stitch Fix!

#1 THML Andrea Textured Knit Dress
The first dress I pulled out was an solid black knit dress with a small black and white turtleneck. The fabric seemed pretty heavy, not super lightweight, so I was immediately concerned that I would be way too hot in this dress, especially with a high neck line. I tried it on, and found it was pretty comfortable, but the true test would be in the Philippines. I was happy to find the dress did indeed have pockets, but I felt the pockets were a little extra bulky so when I wore the dress it seemed to accentuate my hips, making them look bigger. Fast forward to the Philippines, and I pulled this little number out, and it seemed to hold up with the high humidity and 80+ degree temps. Win! It also worked well for going from day to night. After wearing the dress all day in the office, I then went out for a late dinner with a coworker/friend and I felt I looked dressy and appropriate for a nice evening out.

THML Andrea Textured Knit Dress – Stitch Fix

THML Andrea Textured Knit Dress – Stitch Fix

#2 – Daniel Rainn Estefany Lace Detail Split Neck Blouse
Next up was a super cute blouse by one of my favorites, Daniel Rainn. When I saw I received a shirt, it was a giveaway that a skirt was coming, since I asked for a matching top if a skirt was given. I absolutely love the color and pattern of this top. It screams summer, fun, and it’s perfect for traveling. Not only did this shirt not wrinkle during travel, but it kept me feeling cool and chic! The little birds make me think tropics, and I was in a pretty “tropical” area at times, so I loved how my stylist took notice of where I was going and incorporated a fun pattern to match. You’ll see this paired with the skirt in the next item below. Oh, and don’t forget to wear a nude colored bra with this top, it is a bit see through via the fabric and lace near the chest.

Daniel Rainn Estefany Lace Detail Split Neck Blouse – Stitch Fix

#3 – Liverpool Aislin Pencil Skirt
Before this Fix, I didn’t own a pencil skirt. I know, it’s practically a fashion sin, but I just never found one that I felt looked flattering. This Liverpool skirt changed my mind on the pencil skirt. Not only is the skirt cute, but it’s extremely flattering. If you’ve been thinking about trying out a pencil skirt, look no further. This skirt fits perfectly, without being too tight. Of course, it has pockets! This skirt zips and buttons up, allowing for a comfortable fit. Pair it with a fun printed top, and you’re ready to take on work or date night! The below outfit was a hit with my teammate/friend.

Daniel Rainn Estefany Lace Detail Split Neck Blouse and Liverpool Aislin Pencil Skirt – Stitch Fix

#4 – Truly Poppy Carlina Cold Shoulder Dress
A cold shoulder dress for a tropical climate? Yes! I’ve never owned a cold shoulder dress before, and in my last Fix post you saw me get my first cold shoulder top. This dress actually came first, I just decided to post this Fix in a more appropriate season (spring/summer) than when I received it (winter). I was a little nervous because there seemed to be a lot of sleeve situation going on, but I figured I’d give it a shot and see what it looked like on. I’m so glad I received this dress, not only is it a beautiful plum color, but it’s perfect for spring/summer and outings of all types. I added a sweater (occasionally) when I was in the office to help keep me warm from the AC, and although there’s a lot of sleeve action, I was able to neatly tuck everything in under a thin fitted sweater, a major plus. The back of the dress has a cut out, and is brought together by two big snaps. I didn’t have any issues with the snaps coming undone, but it can be a little tricky snapping things into place the first try, but you get used it!

I received tons of compliments on this dress while I was on my business trip, which is an added bonus!

Truly Poppy Carlina Cold Shoulder Dress – Stitch Fix

Truly Poppy Carlina Cold Shoulder Dress – Stitch Fix

#5 – Truly Poppy Crissie Linen Dress
Now you may say to yourself, didn’t I just see this dress. Close, but nope! I thought the same thing when I pulled out this dress. When I put on the Crissie dress the fit was immediately different. Both dresses from Truly Poppy were provided in the same size, but this one was significantly tighter, especially in the chest area, making everything look very unflattering. I was a bit upset because I was hoping this was going to be another winner that I could put in my suitcase for my big trip to Asia, but it just wasn’t going to cut it. I tried to see if I could exchange it for a size larger, but the checkout page said they didn’t have the size I wanted, so I returned the dress, left feedback in the open response section at checkout and called it a day.

Surprisingly, Stitch Fix contacted me a few days later to say they were able to get this dress in the next size up and wondered if I wanted to  try it out. I said “sure!” The dress came after my trip, but it fit great! This was my first time doing an exchange with Stitch Fix, and it went smoothly. I loved how proactive they were to find me a new size, it really made my day. While I didn’t have this item for my trip, I’m glad I have it now.

The back of this dress has a cute cut out, as does the previous Truly Poppy Dress. It helps keep you cool in humid weather and adds a little sass. Best part of course is the pockets! I also want to give a shout out for the scalloping at the neck line, it’s a nice added detail that makes this a fun option. If you’re going to wear a bra, make sure to pair it with a strapless bra that doesn’t have too thick of a band in the back, or it will show. Pair this dress with a light sweater and you’re ready for a Spring evening stroll. You’ll love how breezy the linen is!

Truly Poppy Crissie Linen Dress – Stitch Fix

Truly Poppy Crissie Linen Dress

Truly Poppy Crissie Linen Dress – Stitch Fix

Final Thoughts: While I may not have necessarily picked all of these items on my own if they were in store, I’m truly happy with the pieces I received. My stylist came through with my odd request of everything must have pockets. Thank you for delivering, Cassandra! If you’re a pocket in dresses kind of girl, you can’t go wrong with any of these pieces. My philosophy in life is that all dresses should have pockets, and this Fix has certainly spoiled me. Hope you enjoyed this Fix and that you found an item or two you’ll want to request too!

Don’t forget to follow my Pinterest Boards for more Stitch Fix fun!

Haven’t tried Stitch Fix yet? Sign up with my Stitch Fix code!

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Crazy Cotton Candy in Asia

When I was in Asia, there was one food related thing on my bucket list, and that was to get a crazy shaped fun cotton candy. Cotton candy in the US is simply not as exciting or shapely as it is in Asia.

I found a cute cotton candy stand in the Venice Piazza Grand Canal Mall while in the Philippines, and had to check it out!

The cotton candy met my expectations. It was cute and fluffy, but once I walked outside to cross the street to get to the office, it deflated really quickly!

How did it taste?
Unfortunately, not as tasty as it looked! I don’t know how to explain the flavor but it wasn’t sweet or similar tasting to traditional cotton candy here in the US. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the facial features being made of seaweed, which I definitely didn’t want to eat.

Check out my video below, and feel free to subscribe on YouTube 🙂 I’ve got many more videos on their way!

I also spotted some massive volcano cloud like cotton candy treats while in Harajuku in Toyko!

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Travel Tips: Manila, Philippines

I just got back from my first trip to Asia! My first stop was in the Philippines. If you’re looking for tips or info on traveling to the Philippines, particularly Manila, check out my latest video!

I’ll be sharing more of my tales here soon!

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A Visit to Amish Country

This past weekend my mom and I visited Amish Country in Lancaster, Pa. I’ve always been fascinated by different cultures, particularly the Amish because it’s so amazing that they can keep their lifestyle as it is, when they are surrounded by so much technology and modern culture. For a time, I even considered majoring in a field that would let me study different cultures and people, Anthropology, after I took a class at Mount Holyoke College during my senior year of high school, but I opted for Broadcast Journalism and Political Science instead.

My mom had planned to visit Amish Country back in the day when she was pregnant with me, but her doctor suggested she skip the trip, so you could say this trip has been 27 years in the making.

Here’s my list of go to places and must dos

Where to stay: DoubleTree Resort Lancaster
There aren’t a ton of hotels in the region, so if you’re looking to stay at a place that isn’t a Bed and Breakfast, you’re options are limited, but the DoubleTree suited us just fine!

Buggy Ride
If you go to Amish country you absolutely have to take an Amish horse and buggy ride. As we drove into Lancaster, we ended up on some middle of the nowhere roads, even our maps app lost us, but the neat thing was we got to see so many people riding in their buggies. This was the number one activity my mom and I had on our list of must dos.

There’s a number of buggy riding companies, but there’s only one that is worth visiting, and that’s Abe’s Buggy Rides. This is the real deal! You’ll be taken on your ride with a real Amish person, unlike the other tours in town that are not run by the Amish and are extremely touristy and unauthentic. If you want an authentic experience, going through real Amish neighborhoods, you have to go to Abe’s.

We opted for the hour long ride ($45 a person). The best part of the tour was that it was just for us. At Abe’s you get a private tour, no sitting with strangers! On our ride we got to see an Amish school house, and school was getting out when we drove by, which was cute. We also got to stop at a bakeshop were we picked up a lot of yummy goodies.

Our driver, Sam, even allowed me to drive the buggy twice, which who can say they’ve actually driven a real horse and buggy!? It was so much fun.

Driving a horse and buggy in Lancaster, PA

If you’re interested in doing something focusing on food, there’s a few spots you should take a pit stop at nearby.

The first is Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery in Lititz, PA. It’s not too far away, around a 20-30 minute drive from Lancaster. The bakery is the first commercial pretzel bakery in the country. Here you can take a cute 20 minute tour for $3.50 a person. You’ll get to see how pretzels were made back in the day, hear some tales about the Sturgis family, and even get to roll out a “pretzel.” I put pretzel in quotes because I don’t believe it’s real pretzel dough and you don’t actually get to cook/eat it, but it’s a fun activity especially on a rainy day.

Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery

Wilbur Chocolate
This factory chocolate store is only a couple blocks away from the pretzel bakery, and it smells heavenly. In the back of the store they have a couple tins of Wilbur Buds, a small chocolate they are known for, that you can sample. Pretty tasty! They also have a little section with windows where you can see some of the workers making chocolate.

If you’re looking for some shopping (not necessarily Amish ran businesses), you should check out Kitchen Kettle Village. They have a lot of fun shops here where you can buy everything from candles, soaps, fudge, decorations, and so on. The best shop here is The Jam and Relish Kitchen. So many tasty treats await you, plus tons of samples! In the back there’s also a canning kitchen where we were able to see a bunch of Amish women canning pickles that day.

Bird in Hand Farmer’s Market is another must visit shopping spot. You’ll find tons of sweet treats, meats, canned items, and more here. There’s also a number of craft shops to puruse as well.

Overall, Amish Country was a lot of fun. I’d recommend 1-2 days there depending on what you want to hit up. It’s amazing to see how different the Amish culture is, and you can’t go wrong with their cooking and baking!



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