All posts in: Life

01 Dec 2019

Blog Roundup

  • In the 2010s, Instagram Became the World’s Filter [The Cut]
  • ‘Being Careful’ Won’t Prevent Revenge Porn [The Cut]
  • The 100 Best Movies of the 2010s [AV Club]
  • What to Do If a Package Is Stolen From Your Porch [Life Hacker]
  • Second Life Podcast: Sallie Krawcheck [WhoWhatWear]
  • 24 Things to Do With Your Thanksgiving Leftovers [Bon Appetit]
  • How Much It Costs To Run For President in the US [Digg]
  • 6 Things to Stop Saying At Work – – and What to Say Instead [The Everygirl]
28 Nov 2019

Happy Thanksgiving!

However you decide to spend your Thanksgiving day, I hope it is filled with joy, delicious food, and rest. This is the first time in six years that I’ve returned home to spend Thanksgiving with my immediate family and I’m surprised at how a change of environment can impact your way of enjoying the holidays. Time spent thinking about work has significantly lessened. I’ll admit I have had to push myself to log off Slack and remove my email tab since I got home.

If we’re being honest though, I maybe officially checked out last week in anticipation for this. Why can’t Thanksgiving stretch out to a full week instead of just a day? As I type this from my parents’ living room and watching the first football game of the day, I’m so grateful for my relationships, my job, and my health and well being. The last few years of my 20’s have surrounded me with some of the best people in my life and have given me incredible experiences. Instead of the usual anxiety about heading into my 30’s that I normally have, I’m more excited than ever. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

27 Nov 2019

Down to Denver

As we get older and life happens, it can be challenging to find quality time with your friends. Trips get harder to plan and even brunches fall by the wayside between everyone’s weekend plans. A couple years ago, our friend Leah left the Bay Area for a new job. None of us had ever been to Denver before and when that’s where we had decided, I was thrilled. For the last year, Denver has been coming up in my searches as an up-and-coming food city, but as you expected, a weekend is never enough time to try everything.

I landed in Denver before everyone else which meant I got one extra food spot to try! Seeking a simple lunch, I landed at Call, also conveniently located in a fun neighborhood.

Read more “Down to Denver”
24 Nov 2019

Wedding Mondays

I’ve been following [Lucie Fink] and her videos for years ever since she joined Refinery29. In fact, while I have no video talent whatsoever, she’s the one that made reconsider including more video. I’m still at beginner level and the closest I’ve gotten is with Instagram Stories, but she was my original inspiration.

What I have enjoyed about Lucie is that she opens up to her audience quite a bit. Over the years, we’ve learned about her career, her family, her present day life, and more importantly her relationship with Michael. We’ve followed her through her entire journey and it’s that kind of present-ness that I hope to have for Yow Yow! someday too.

I watched her wedding video while on my commute the other day and embarrassingly, found my eyes welling up with tears. Yes, this still happens to us.

23 Nov 2019

Angel and Katie Take Taipei!

Even though I’ve been back from this trip for six months, I still remember it like it was yesterday. I’ve been working full time for years, but would you believe this was the first vacation I’ve ever taken that was a week+ and that wasn’t related to a wedding? I’m slightly embarrassed that I let this get out of hand. Friends of mine take these sorts of trips once a quarter or twice a year even! It was Angel’s pick to go to Taipei, but I’d only been to Asia once before so spending more time there at all was appealing to me.

There was quite a bit of planning that went into this beforehand – true to our personalities, but the plan wasn’t followed exactly once we got there. Flights, accommodations, and a trip out of the city for a day were our priorities. Everything else could be done on the fly! The planner in me also crafted us a spreadsheet to track our whereabouts every day. I told myself that I would go back after the trip to fill in exactly everything we ended up doing, but that didn’t happen! We were also lucky enough to have our trip overlap with my friend Jac and her husband’s. The two of them have been there plenty of times before so navigating the city with them and going to their favorite spots were the best part of the trip. It felt like we were living like locals when we were with them!

Where we stayed: Da’an District

We honestly could not have picked a better neighborhood. Right outside our front door were three coffee shops – two of which we went to almost every day. There were plenty of restaurants down every street so we were never going to go hungry. Even if we never left Da’an, there was no shortage of things to see, shop, and eat. Since we were out and about frequently, accommodations didn’t need to be lavish. Our Airbnb ended up being $23 a night USD. Aside from killing something resembling a cockroach one night, this was a steal. It’s not like Angel could get me to stay in a hostel anyway!

What we ate: everything

Not only is the food in Taipei fairly simple and inexpensive, it’s also delicious. Our meals were what Angel and I looked forward to the most every day and I’d say we did a good job of remaining balanced. The key was to eat light for every meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) so that we could pack in more. We also made it a point to share everything instead of getting our own individual meals. This way we get to try more stuff and we waste less. Just blocks from our apartment was a stand for green onion pancakes. Nearly every guide we read online told us this was the spot. We ate here twice and even made it our breakfast on-the-go one morning. There is always a line for it and you can have add on’s like corn, meat, etc.

Read more “Angel and Katie Take Taipei!”
23 Nov 2019

Talking About Our Bodies

What I love about Instagram is that it has the ability to connect you to those that you may never cross paths with. I can’t remember when or how I decided to follow Leslie on Instagram, but when I saw her stories about seeking people to interview for discussing body health and wellness, I raised my hand. To be honest, I don’t have these conversations often. Even though it’s something that gets brought up, there’s still a stigma to it. I’m not sure what it is and I was hoping that my discussion with Leslie would help me get clarity.

The answers to her questions are ones that I think about frequently. However, she was the first person I ever told them to. It felt crazy to say it aloud for the first time. I may have rambled and it may have been because I’d been holding onto these thoughts for so long.

  • How do you generally feel about your body currently?
  • When you don’t feel good about your body, what do you do?
  • When do you feel great about it?
  • What are your thoughts around body positivity?
  • What are your thoughts on body neutrality?

My immediate takeaway was that I’m glad these aren’t job interview questions because I did a terrible job of answering succinctly! I could’ve spent more than just the 30 minutes speaking about all of this with her because it’s such a huge topic. In the end, I’m glad that I didn’t know the questions ahead of time. It allowed me to answer honestly and brought up some feelings that I didn’t realize were there. Here are were my own takeaways:

  • I think a lot about the things I could be changing in my lifestyle to be happier with my body, but I rarely make those changes ie) cutting alcohol, exercising more regularly.
  • Everyone’s ideas about health, wellness, and their body are so different from each other. I don’t myself discussing this often with my friends or network because I don’t know everyone’s comfort level.
  • Social media and what I post on Yow Yow! sometimes causes me to second guess. I stress about what I’m posting because it may trigger someone else and not knowing other people’s triggers are heavy. I’m not sure where the boundary is and I wish I didn’t have to think about this.
  • I did not know what body neutrality was and need to spend more time enlightening myself.
  • When health, wellness and body topics come up, I am not the one who initiates it.

When we started Yow Yow! this was never a topic that I thought about touching. 19-year old me just wanted to get through college and figure out my career. It’s important now as I watch my parents age and those around me that I figure out the best way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Taking care of myself goes beyond mental health and now that my metabolism has slowed a bit, physical health should play a larger part.

17 Nov 2019

Weekend Update

I recently have been debating writing a tougher piece. Digging up that grave in the last week hasn’t been easy and I underestimated my own strength in dealing with that. Something I’ve found is that no matter how much time has passed, some things don’t get easier. It is a very real thing to have those feelings come up again the same way as when you experienced it the first time. Going back to that place this week brought me to a darker place. It consumed an evening without sleep and somewhat uncontrollable tears to the point that I couldn’t bring myself to get out of bed and into work that day.

Ten years ago, my life was impacted by a personal trauma and only then did I start to understand what it meant to feel mentally unstable. When this phrase comes up, people naturally tend to have a negative reaction to it, but I want to remind all of you that it’s a spectrum. A younger me, before this moment, thought I could breeze through life without ever experiencing anxiety or a panic attack. Wouldn’t that be nice! For years, I wanted to fight how embarrassed or shameful this made me felt. It hasn’t been an easy ride adapting and learning how to take care myself in this way, but it has taught me a lot.

We haven’t discussed mental health and wellness much on Yow Yow! but maybe we should. To this day, there’s so much stigma around the topic, but it doesn’t have to be as lonely as it sometimes feels. I know words are just words, but Veronica left me with a reminder on Friday to “be kind to myself.” Though small, setting that intention has got me through the weekend.

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