Cliffs are a reoccurring theme

Back in April when Tyler proposed, he did it at the Cliffs of the Moher. More specifically, the O’Brien’s Tower which is a much safe spot (no chance of that 50mph gust blowing the ring away, sorta) at about 700ft right above the Irish sea. The parking lot attendant told us that we had a 20% chance of seeing the cliffs sunny.  I was a bit worried since I traveled all the way to Ireland to see these cliffs and would’ve been really bummed if it was covered in mist and fog.  Luckily, as soon as we hiked to the top of the cliffs, the sun decided to show up after all.

 

 

Six months later, we did our engagement photos on top of the Taft Point, which overlooks the Yosemite Valley, at about 7700 ft.  We got there on a misty/rainy/foggy day with a little bit of a sun.  So when the sun started to set, the fog and mist made the sunset looked like the sky was on fire.  Almost everyone I’ve shown these photos has commented that they’ve got a bit of LOTR feel to it, and one of them even pointed out that it looked almost like we’re on the quest to get the One Ring back to Mordor, ha! It was a bit of a hike carrying all of our clothes and whatnot up and down the cliffs. It did get a little scary and sketchy as the photographer kept trying to urge us to get closer to the cliffs.  Despite not being generally afraid of heights — I finally said fuck it to the heels and kept my hiking boots on when we were traversing the fissures and cliff rocks.  After all, I did have a floor-length dress on.

 

 

Not wanting to risk the possibility of “third time’s a charm”, we’ve decided to conduct our ceremony at the safety of our own home with family come December.  I still haven’t decided if I want a photographer at our ceremony yet… but I do like how these cliff photos turned out. However, I think we are done with cliffs for the remainder of the year.

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I am officially a hermit

So I haven’t done laundry for clothes in like a month. Why does this correlate to me being a hermit? Read on to find out.

Tyler has done a few washes since the last time I did a wash but it’s mostly his own stuff. Although I’ve washed plenty other household textiles meanwhile so don’t be too grossed out. I am talking about the laundering of clothes. Yet I haven’t even come close to running out of clothes to wear, and my closet racks and hangers are still tightly packed — although I am running low on the thinner stretchy pants/shorts. Other than that, I think I can keep going for another month, ha!

Also, I’ve rolled into work in some questionable ugly stuff as well. And not a single person at my work has noticed. I am talking about intentionally wearing extremely ugly stuff like flesh-tone mom-style high-waisted (not the cute kind) elastic band sweat pants and poorly made stained white T-shirt. And not a soul has even looked at me twice when I did these intentional outfits to see how much I can get away with. I guess there are perks to being a hermit nowadays and only have to work at the office twice a week with a bunch of dudes whose interests are only at beer, scantly-clad women and cars (in no particular order). I guess men are quite oblivious to these kinds of things, or they were just too nice to say something about it. I am willing to bet $1000 it’s the former.

So being a hermit has its perks. Not going out means not having to dress up and go out and find an activity and consequently spend money for thus food/entertainment. I still go grocery shopping but you can wear a garbage bag for that and no one would notice. Not only I get to save money by not going out as much, I also do WAY less laundry and save California some more water lol.

Side note, I’ve converted one of our bathroom tubs into laundry basket. Not only I don’t have to clean that shower/tub anymore (now we only shower/bathe in one bathroom instead of both like before), I also have WAY more space to go before I have to do laundry. Last time when I cleaned out the tub I had about 5 loads worth. I wonder if I can beat my previous record. Someone please DARE me.

Annoying habits of people you live with

No matter how many times I try to kindly remind the people I live with that I am not a work-for-free maid, they still forget. In our particular household, I am constantly picking up after other people and it just drives me bonkers. I am at my wit’s end trying to figure out how to properly communicate with a teenager and an oblivious significant other who is just absolutely clueless about things.  It’s not that I don’t have better things to do – in fact I do, I just can’t stand it sometimes when people leave a mess.  Nothing also frustrates me more that after a long day of work — while everyone else can just sit on the couch and play with their phone, I am stuck cleaning. I wanted to be cool and looked for internet memes to share with them but couldn’t find any that was all encompassing.  (I am not sure at this point whether this is me being passive aggressive or just not giving a fig anymore)  I’ve decided on making a list and sticking this on the fridge tomorrow.  Please feel free to share on the comments below about what you think about my list.  And if you love this list, you can download either a PDF version here or an editable WORD version here.


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Putting empty boxes/containers/bottles back in the fridge/cabinet. Because finding that entire carton of milk only had 2 drops in it is awesome!

Leaving dirty dishes/empty glasses around the house.  Because a tiny little magical fairy aka the maid that doesn’t exist will pick it up and clean it for me.

Using cellphone at the dinner table. Let me read about something stupid on the internet instead of talking to people I am having dinner with.

Leaving a bunch of food/debris in the sink after using the sink. Because a tiny little magical fairy aka the maid that doesn’t exist just LOVE picking up all that gross crap from the sink that you just poured out of your bowl. YUM!

Not cleaning up the oven/stove after use. Because the next person who must use it just LOVE seeing all the grease and gunk that splattered all over the place! Maybe the fairy will do it for me?

Hair in the sink and bathroom areas. Because making other people gag is your goal/endgame here.

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Stealing chargers/moving them and not returning them to their original spots. Well next time when you have a dying phone, it won’t be where you thought it was!

After using the couch, not putting the pillows back in place and not folding the blankets. Because a tiny little magical fairy aka the maid that doesn’t exist will do it for me eventually!

Using other’s peoples things without asking and not putting it back. Please, help yourself… I love it when other people touch and use my shit!

Taking long showers. Hot water is unlimited!

Not hanging up the towel after a shower. Everyone loves a wet, moist, damp towel.

Leaving the toilet seat up.  Why, I do that all the time because I am fucking stupid!

Not replacing a nearly empty/completely empty toilet roll.  Who doesn’t love wiping their bare dirty asscracks with hands?

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Working moms are crushing it, and they have higher productivity on career average

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Wish I shared it on Mother’s Day instead but nonetheless, it’s worthy of a blog post despite my typical laziness.
While I respect everyone’s choices on whether having or not having kids is for them, the topic of working mom struggles has come up many times in previous conversations between me and my friends ––– particularly how sometimes employers might use that to discriminate against promoting/hiring them. Even though these findings are derived from a single study and the sample size is very restricted to academia, the results of this published research are astounding and should be brought up anytime someone makes a sexist remark about working moms not being able to be as productive or committed as those who don’t have kids.
This research found that women in academia with 2+ more children are more productive at work than those with 1 child or childfree in overall career average. They are even more productive than their childfree male counterparts. However, during their children/child’s preteen years, there is a significant loss in productivity (9.5% first kid, +12.5% second kid, +11% third kid), attributing to average 33% loss in productivity first four years, however once the child reaches teenage years they pretty crush all other demographics. They crush it so hard that their career average ends up being much higher than all other demographics. So pretty much once your kids are no longer asking you for rides, the women excels significantly professional career, more so than those who are childfree in both genders. Some obvious statistics: Women who have children between the ages 30-34 are significantly less affected by the “motherhood effect” than those who have children before the age of 30 (better family planning, financial security, significant other involved, etc)
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All in all… mothers of at least two children are, on average, more productive than mothers of only one child, and moms in general are more productive than women who don’t have kids. Fathers of at least two children are also more productive than fathers of one child and childfree men. However, towards the end of the career – men with no children did perform better than men with one. Also another interesting factor, women who have children, have exceptionally highly productive years right before they have kids. Which makes sense because they want to reach a certain professional level (and they work extra hard to get there) before having kids. You may read more about this research here:
Working moms are truly superheroes that don’t wear capes.

Visiting family in China

I’ve been doing this annual pilgrimage to see my relatives almost every year now for the past 4 years.  Before that, I was only going once every 2-3 years because of restrictive work schedule and schooling.  Now with a job that lets me have “at will” vacation, I am definitely taking as much time as I need to visit abroad.  I The primary reason for me to make this trip every year (despite the 15 hour flight time, 6 hour layover, another hour of ferry ride), I really do enjoy seeing family that I never get to see since moving to the States.  I guess as one grows older, I am finally realizing and feeling the effects of that while I am busy growing up, my parents and grandparents are growing older, and sometimes they can’t wait for me to be “done” with something before their time is up.   My last set of grandparents (paternal) are 90 years of age – they won’t be here forever. While I can still travel, I’ll make an effort to come as often as I can. Although I was a lot closer to my maternal side grandparents, I wasn’t able to spend as much time with them towards the later years of their life, right before their passing.  Life doesn’t wait for anyone to grow up, and anything can happen to those who are close to us that we often take for granted when they’re around.  But seeing my grandparents isn’t my only reason for this trip. I pretty much just want to see all of my immediate relatives that I normally never get to see.

In fact, I am going to visit my grandparents for a bit in their village.  I didn’t know that fireworks are banned in major cities, so I was vastly disappointed when I came home and found out that I couldn’t blow sh!t up in the sky. But since my grandparents live in the remote/rural countrysides, fireworks there are perfectly “legal” there – and I have every intention of blowing a lot of stuff up in the sky.

Hotel Tonight: I am obsessed with this last minute hotel booking app

I am normally not one to shameless promote a product especially for free, and since I never get paid for these kinds of things, you can bet your bottom dollars that if I am writing a blog about this, it’s because of sheer positive experience from using the app and I want to spread the gospel.

My best friend and I have been doing quite a bit of traveling back and forth between the Bay Area and Sacramento quite frequently due to work. Sometimes we have both have back to back meetings in one city of the next, so was just easier to stay out at the Bay overnight and get to our early meetings next day without having to drive all the way back to Sacramento.  We usually try to plan our meetings together so we can go to the city together and hang out in the same hotel room together. It’s a lot like spending the night at your friend’s house but grown up style. I guess that’s the perk of being relatively independent and having somewhat seniority and flexibility with our work (she’s an ED and I am a CD).  My BFF and I have been booking traditionally with sites like Kayak, Priceline, and Hotel.com. I found out about this new app call Hotel Tonight through a friend almost a year ago, actually maybe even longer than that — downloaded it but never booked through them, finally I wanted to try it out. Pretty much what it does is give you last minute hotel deals in your city of your choice. So if you’re in say, San Francisco, last minute trip, during a weekday, and have absolute no preference on where you stay as long it isn’t a shit hole (meaning 3 stars and above, checked out and lived in by real people, have good insider intel about the hotel, not just a shitty picture, etc), you’ll love the app.

First time signup: $25 0ff  for Hotel Tonight code: KLAU59

Normally we would stay at a Kimpton, Mariott or Hilton because we want to accumulate points or what not, but the rooms in a big city like San Francisco gets up to $300 a night easy on a last minute weeknight and sometimes it’s hard to justify that even on one’s expense reports, especially if you just walk up to the place and book it last minute.  The traditional hotel booking system punishes the user for booking last minute deals. On Hotel Tonight, it’s the opposite.  It actually rewards the user for booking last minute. 

Last week we stayed at the Petite Auberge near Union Square.  It was an awesome experience.  If it wasn’t for Hotel Tonight, we wouldn’t have discovered this awesome French style B&B that offered free breakfast, and $30 Valet Parking, which is UNHEARD of in the city.  The rooms were super cute, bedding was luxurious, and no funny smells. The normal rate of valet parking in the city is anywhere between $45-$60.  The best part of all this was the rooms were a little more than $120 a night on Hotel tonight, and if I had booked it on Priceline or something like that, it would have been closer to $200.  The fact it has awesome breakfast for free till 10 on the weekdays is even more amazing. Did I mention we have a fireplace in every single room? It was pretty awesome.  Pics below!

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The hotel room! It might not be the best lighting, but the room is SUPER cute and quaint. The fireplace turns on with a switch on the wall!!!!

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Breakfast buffet – Frittata and sausages

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Hotel Auberge had super cute patio, too bad it was a bit too nippy to stay outside, but the inside area was just as cute.

I highly recommend the app if you’re looking to book last minute deals! I had such an awesome experience, and this whole experimenting with different hotels and being open to new places and adventurous was definitely one of the highlights of rolling the dice with this.  And if you want $25 off on your first hotel booking through the app, here’s the code: KLAU59, so you can enjoy your hotel tonight! (see what I did there, so clever, har har har… ok I am done).

Hotel Tonight app discount code for $25 off: KLAU59
(new sign-ups only)