travel · Uncategorized

Updated Travel Carry-on

A wheel went missing from the carry-on I got last year. This is my updated long-term travel luggage carry-on.

I purchased a vegan leather travel bag from Sole Society final sale for about $34 bucks. The inside of the bag has three pockets and a stylish black and beige print. The bag has an extended crossbody strap. I love that the vegan leather material is wipeable so I can clean the bag if I have to. https://www.solesociety.com/cassidy.html?color=black-nylon&size=one-size

I’ve been meaning to launch my solo travel series, maybe I can begin it after my work term. I define solo trips as flying to a place by myself. I’m currently planning a winter trip.

I will start up my new Instagram soon. The next blog posts I’ll upload include my Reformation clothing haul, Pat McGrath lip products, clip-in hair extensions review, San Diego road trip, and my spring and summer clothes recap. Next month, I will blog about work clothing/work and study preparation in more detail. ❤

(A few pictures of solo adventures – Copenhagen below wasn’t really solo because two friends decided to join me. ) ❤

travel · Uncategorized

An Ode to California ~ Planning My San Diego Trip

Have you ever moved somewhere and find that you fell in love with the location? I first fell in love with California almost ten years ago. It happened when I flew into Los Angeles International Airport, LAX, at night. My family moved from the East Coast across the country to the West coast with little money and no concrete plan. It was the adventure of a lifetime! From my window seat on the plane, I vividly remember the view of the shimmering Los Angeles skyline. I was enchanted, spellbound by the city’s magic, and incredibly nervous to embark on this new adventure. I associate LA with self-discovery and tasty food. I remember the late-night tacos made with craved meat marinated in pineapple (carne asada con piña es la mejor) for $1.50. Since then I’ve moved to other states, and then back to CA (pictures from the Bay Area featured on this post).

From my general experience, California is most popularly historically related to stories of the Wild West, the Gold Rush, Alcatraz, and the Transcontinental Railroad or ‘Chinese Railroad.’ In a way, I found gold in California when I first traveled here years ago. The location pushed me to find the gold within myself. Today, I remain in awe of the state’s natural beauty, friendly people, and endless delicious food options (the most important detail for me honestly lol). Also, the history is fascinating here too, did you know the city Los Angeles had more racial discrimination in schools in the 1950s than most states in the South? This state always undergoes major shifts and change, pun intended for the earthquakes that happen here too. The bottom line of the story is that I’m grateful for my slice of California.

I’m currently planning a little staycation in San Diego. We embark on the 5-hour drive down to the area soon. Since I need to think of places and beaches to visit I’m using a favorite blog and Youtube channel of mine called California Through My Lens to brainstorm. ❤

https://californiathroughmylens.com/day-trip-ideas

https://californiathroughmylens.com/san-diego-guide

I’m for sure going to Tacos El Gordo (12:57 timestamp in video), my mother has been there and said the tacos are delish!
food · travel

Panama 🇵🇦🇵🇦🇵🇦 Recommendations (En español y ingles)

Que bello es mi Panamá, centro del mundo corazón del universo. ¿Porqué Panamá es especial? Porque esta en el centro del mundo donde lo acompaña el océano Pacifico y el océano Atlántico es el único país del mundo con los dos océanos.

Panamá tiene comidas muy deliciosos como el arroz con pollo, tamales, carimañolas, empanadas, Sopa de Gallina, como muchas otras delicias. Puedes disfrutar de frutas muy deliciosas como el marañón, mamey, guayaba, guanábana (jugo de guanábana), pejibaye, entre muchas mas. Puedes disfrutar de estas frutas en los mercados públicos donde también puedes obtener enyugado, koka. La Koka es hecha con coco, azúcar y jengibre. Cuando quieras disfrutar de una noche de música y una cena exquisita, puedes visitar el casco viejo.

En el Casco Viejo hay un lugar llamado Diablicos donde puedes disfrutar y bailar al son del tambor de la música panameña. Un plato muy sabroso el arroz con coco y la ropa vieja, patacones y jugo de Tamarindo. El chicharrón y yuca frita es una delicia y no olvides el postre dulce de tres leches. Panamá cuanta con la bendición de ser una nación que, a pesar de ser territorialmente pequeña, tiene varias de las playas mas hermosas del continente americano.

San Blas compuestas de 365 islas desaminadas en el archipiélago de San Blas. Puedes rentar una de estas islas donde puedes disfrutas de la privacidad y hermosa hospitalidad.

Isla Bastimentos esta ubicado en el archipiélago de Bocas del Toro, en esta playa puedes disfrutar de diversidad de aves marinas y anfibios.

Isla Grande, una de mis favoritas, esta localizada en la provincia de Colon. Se caracteriza por sus playas de arena blancas y arrecifes coralinos.


Panama and Panamanian food (as well as Colombian) is painfully underrated. The cuisine is ignored just like our soccer teams lol. I think Panamanian food is some of the best in the world and I’m not biased of anything, 😉(just kidding).

Fruits and Foods Recommendations:

Toasted cashews and the fruit of the plant (called marañón – my family toasts the cashews at bonfires), guava, and mamey sapote fruit. Tamarindo drinks are amazing! They taste sour and distinct. Panamanians make tamarindo drinks with lemon, and panela or cane sugar. Pejibaye (pronounced pi-va, its a fruit, typically eaten in Panama boiled with salt. My great-grandmother had several pejibaye trees in her backyard, they remind me of childhood), guanábana ( try out guanábana juice, the fruit is slimy and ugly but it tastes delicious and sweet yet tangy. Panama has a zillion fruit drinks, so explore the world of fruit flavors and fresh fruit smoothies.

Other dishes to try include rice and chicken ( arroz con pollo, Panamanian style ja ja), coconut rice with gandules ( don’t disregard plain looking rice and beans, the dish is likely packed with flavor), carimañolas (yucca stuffed with tasty ground beef and fried, empanadas (Panamanians make zesty flavorful empanadas because the meat is cooked well in sauces like a strew before being encased into the corn), chicken soup made with female chicken or hen (hen tastes sweet in my opinion and the bones are harder), the dish is called Sopa de Gallina. Also, try frituras (fried breakfast foods like corn tortillas with Panamanian coffee called Café Duran). ❤

travel

Photo Journal of Trip to Guatemala

Three years ago I traveled to Guatemala for service learning during my undergraduate studies. I’ve realized it was a disservice to not have posted these pictures on any of my social media. My next post will overview some of my favorite places to go to in Panama. My family is from Panama, and I know a few hidden gem spots / must-try foods. More travel posts coming soon, I’ll begin solo travels during the late Spring and summer once classes end. ❤

food · travel

Howth Day Trip & Fish and Chips Review

This morning I visited Howth for the first time with new friends. I recommend taking a trip there from Dublin because it’s a fast journey via DART (train) and supremely scenic. The water is a gorgeous blend of turquoise and dark blue. Together, we walked the Cliff Path Loop and then went to The Bloody Stream restaurant.

The Bloody Stream is very Irish — it has a fireplace, pub, and looks dark and cozy. Plus, it’s conveniently right next to the DART station. I ordered fish and chips to review.

The presentation looked as appetizing as it was convenient with the paper bag sheet to soak up the fish’s excess oil. I rate it 5/5. The fish itself was large and fresh, but the batter did not stick to the meat and tasted a bit too oily. I give the fish a 3 out of 5. The fries (chips) were perfect, crispy yet potatoey. I rate them 5 out of 5. Overall score: I added points given that they included iconic mushy peas to the meal, I rate this 14.50 euro meal 4.6 out of 5. I wish the fish had a bit more flavor and less oil. Still, I recommend this restaurant for a visit. It’s the type of place most envision when they think of an “Irish pub” — very classic. ❤

natural hair · travel

Box Braids – Third Time’s the Charm

I’ve gotten box braids with extensions done three times now. The first time I got the style installed was in North Carolina. The stylist made the braids skinnier than I anticipated and used *gasp* 20 packets of hair!

I loved the results of this first experience. The hair was not too itchy and the quality of it was nice. The braiding process hurt because of the weight of the style. Plus, it made falling asleep comfortably an impossibility. I took a bunch of Advil to push through during the styling and afterward.

I probably will only do such an extravagant style again for a special occasion. It took about 6 hours for the stylist to finish my hair. She charged $350+ for the style and did not provide the hair. The hair totaled to around $80-$100. (I can try and search for her contact info if anyone is interested)


I disliked how frizzy the front of my hair became when I first got box braids. I think the thick parting made my hair frizziness more noticeable. I took the braids out a few days short of a month later on.

The second time around I flew to London to get box braids. I went to Natural Gloe Hair & Beauty. Address: 14 Northfield AvenueW13 9RJ
www.Naturalgloe.com

I highly recommend the salon, the owner was incredibly professional. Two stylists — the owner and her assistant worked on my hair at once and finished in 4 hours. The salon provided the hair. At my request, they washed it pre-styling for me because my scalp is sensitive to the chemicals put on synthetic hair.

I had a nightmare braiding experience in 2017 that taught me this, I had to take out my $300+ braids the night after getting them done because my scalp burned and itched horribly. 😦

The style only amounted to around 120-150 euros. I was super happy with how much lighter the hair was but I preferred the softer quality of the hair I used in my first box braiding experience.

I just recently got box braids done again a third time in a thinner style. The stylist only used three packets of the high-quality hair that I purchased called “RastAfri – Freed’m-Triple-Braid”. Though I was unhappy about my stylist’s professionalism, I am pleased with the results. I hope that this time once the braids get frizzier it will look less obvious and more purposeful, akin to Zoe Kravitz’s skinny box braids look. ❤

First box braids on the side, top row is the second time and bottom row is the third time
food · travel

Fish and Chips Review Series: Part One

This fish and chips series will include reviews of fish and chips restaurants at various price points and locations.

I love fish and chips when its done well, and Leo Burdocks at 4 Crown Alley, Temple Bar, Dublin do just that. True, Temple Bar is a tourist area, but the building is so picture-ready! That location’s restaurant is well maintained and fairly priced. I bought a full cod fish and chips with a water and it only ran up to around 11 euros. Its a very large piece of fish and they jam pack the container with fresh hot chips as well. When I went there with a friend on a Sunday afternoon it was mostly empty and quiet during the beginning of our meal. I give the exterior of this restaurant and interior cleanliness 5/5, and customer service 5/5.

As for the food, I loved that the fish was not oily, yet still had a flaky batter. I give the fish and chip quality 4.5/5 and flavour 3.5/5. The dish is very simply flavoured, but despite its simplicity, just like a nicely done lightly seasoned Udon soup, the overall eating experience was deliciously satisfying. It’s best to eat it hot and immediately in house, there’s plenty of seating at this location as well. I recommend Leo Burdocks and I’m happy to kick off this series with this restaurant chain.

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