My Friend May Lyn: Professional Blogger

I got the chance to interview @deepfriedfit for a school project, but it ended up as an article for the Dallas Observer.

Mai Lyn Ngo, with over 12.3K followers on Instagram, blogs for a living. Here is my article about her!

The Woman Behind Deep Fried Fit

Also, click here for her food and fitness blog!

Competing in a Best Friend Vs. Sister Challenge (things got weird)

 

Due to my compulsion to document everything (I’m a journalism major, give me a break!), the much-anticipated (mostly by Elaine who knew she would beat me) sister vs. best friend trivia challenge ensued. 

Elaine has been my sister’s best friend for over 10 years now, and along with her weirdly good memory and my weirdly bad one, we truly had no idea how this challenge would play out.

I spent about a day editing this, mostly because I insert random vines and memes that don’t make much sense, but I think it turned out pretty entertaining. Enjoy!!

Coffee Shop Awards of 2017

I did it! I compiled a list of my favorite coffee shops I discovered in 2017.

Here I have 14 places to get your cup of joe.

Please keep in mind that I am not a coffee expert. At all. A coffee shop expert? Possibly. But mainly I’m a coffee addict.

Ever thought about how coffee is kinda just weird bean soup? Think about it.

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SNUG ON THE SQUARE | Go-to Brunch Coffee 

Mckinney, Texas

  • Best Breakfast Award
    • Amazing breakfast choices for decent prices. My favorite is their oatmeal combo!
  • Best Location Award
    • Set at the heart of Mckinney Square, it’s the perfect place to meet up with people and walk around the cute antique shops right after!

Hustle Rating: ♥♥

Social Butterfly Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Instagram-ability Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Healthy-friendly Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Snug on the Square is a two-parter. Next door to the coffee shop is the restaurant, though the two flow into each other easily. It gets pretty busy on the weekends, so try to go during a weird time. They do offer milk substitutes. On Sunday nights they host a worship service!

http://snugonthesquare.com/


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HOUNDSTOOTH COFFEE| Downtown Modern Coffee Shop

Dallas, Texas

  • Best Productive Workspace Downtown Award
    • Great place to get things done at the center of Dallas. (Though this picture doesn’t showcase much hustling, my grandma was really enjoying her donut.)

Hustle Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Social Butterfly Rating: ♥♥♥

Instagram-ability Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Healthy-friendly Rating: ♥♥♥

The baristas here really know their stuff. It’s a great place to try different roasts with different tasting notes. It’s a camp-out-with-your-laptop-because-you’re-cool environment.

https://www.houndstoothcoffee.com


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FROGG COFFEE BAR & CREPERIE | The European Street Corner

Allen, Texas

  • Best Café for Sitting Outside
    • This Watters Creek shopping center in Allen, Texas has this big grassy area with beautiful trees and a little creek with cute little statues. It’s a super pretty area that never gets too loud and is perfect for a day with nice weather.
  • European Haven Award
    • Look how cute! It’s very europe-esque, and they have BOMB crépes
  • Best Place to Bring Kids and Dogs
    • Guess what? There’s an outdoor playground right outside the patio! Just the right distance for you to keep an eye out for the kiddos while you’re sipping an espresso.

Hustle Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Social Butterfly Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Instagram-ability Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Healthy-friendly Rating: ♥♥

Great for both working and socializing. Sad for people (like me) who can’t eat crepes, but hey! Coffee is gluten free! (Also, they have omelets!)

http://www.froggcoffee.com


IMG_3901SUCRÉ CAFE | Absolute Asian Heaven

  • Most Visited by Isabel Award
    • During the schoolyear of 2016-2017 when I attended Collin College and took classes mostly at the Spring Creek Campus, I was at Sucré at least once a week. Most of the baristas still know me by name. At one point they even gave me discounts just because.
  • The First Open Mic Night I Ever Participated In
    • (Pictured below for proof.) If nothing has changed, they have open mic nights every last Tuesday night of the month! (But don’t take my word on that.)
  • Best Food!
    • Since opening, the place has expanded their food menu SO MUCH. Literally everything I’ve had there is amazing. They have rice bowls, different types of fries, chicken bites (of which I have probably consumed gallons by now), and many other AMAZING asian treats to keep you satisfied.
  • Isabel is Addicted Award
    • They have BOBA. Repeat. THEY HAVE BOBA. Not only is their coffee menu crazily extensive, but they offer slushes, smoothies, and THE best boba tea I have ever had. They make the pearls from scratch every day.

Hustle Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Social Butterfly Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Instagram-ability Rating: ♥♥♥

Healthy-friendly Rating: ♥♥♥♥

https://www.yelp.com/biz/sucre-cafe-plano

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FILTERED | The Hidden Musical Gem of Mckinney

  • My Best Friend’s Favorite Coffee Shop Award
    • My best friend loves it there, and the baristas all know her.
  • Cutest Artwork Award
    • I love the local art they post on the walls!
  • Most Musical
    • There are a bunch of instruments (and a piano) set out for people to jam on at their leisure. I’ve busted out a tune there myself and everyone there
    • is so supportive of random music-making!

Hustle Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Social Butterfly Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Instagram-ability Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Healthy-friendly Rating: ♥♥♥

Great place to get work done (except the occasional possibly distracting jam sessions, though those are random and not usually too disruptive), but also offers board games. Located at Mckinney square, so again, great places to explore in the area.

https://getmefiltered.com

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SUMMER MOON | My Go-To Coffee Shop

Frisco, Texas

  • My Family’s Favorite
    • It’s our go-to, being only a few minutes from my parents’ house. And yeah, we have t-shirts.

Hustle Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Social Butterfly Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Instagram-ability Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Healthy-friendly Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Amazing coffee. Sometimes crowded (which makes sense because it’s great), but it’s super cute and has a great atmosphere.

http://woodfiredcoffee.com/frisco
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SALUBRIOUS JUICE+MORE | My First Coffee Shop Job

  • Healthiest Options Award
    • Organic and vegan! Not only is the coffee good, but they offer smoothies, cold-pressed juices and immune shots!

Hustle Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Social Butterfly Rating: ♥♥♥

Instagram-ability Rating: ♥♥

Healthy-friendly Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

I applied for a job before it even opened, and was hired as the very first employee. When it started out, it was just me, the manager and the owner. The owner had me not only make drinks, but run the social media, paint artwork for the walls and make a full mural, as well as take photos for advertisements. It’s a great place for a quiet place to work, and the manager is super nice! I don’t work there anymore but I’ve stopped by to grab coffee a couple times.

http://www.salubriousjuiceandmore.com

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THE NEST | Super Cool Hidden Gem of Frisco

Frisco, Texas

  • Best Gluten-Free Food Around!
    • THE. BEST. Gluten free bread I’ve had!!! Amazing brunch. CRAZZZZYY GOOD sandwiches!
  • Quietest and Coolest Spot Award
    • I don’t mind spending hours there.

Hustle Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Social Butterfly Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Instagram-ability Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Healthy-friendly Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

It’s a favorite for sure. Great for getting stuff done, or getting brunch with friends and family. Super friendly staff as well!

https://www.nestcafe.net

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DAVIS STREET ESPRESSO | Take a Bus to Serious Coffee

Dallas, Texas

  • Most Serious Coffee Experience Award
    • No milk substitutes which makes me real sad. Buuuut they’re serious about their beans!

Hustle Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Social Butterfly Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Instagram-ability Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Healthy-friendly Rating: ♥

https://www.nestcafe.net

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XO COFFEE | Pretty Girl Boss Cave

Plano, Texas

  • Prettiest Place to Get Work Done
    • Super cute coffee shop! Great place to work!
  • Amazing Coffee Shop Tacos

Hustle Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Social Butterfly Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Instagram-ability Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Healthy-friendly Rating: ♥♥

I was very pleased to find that they serve incredible tacos. But it’s a super cute spot in adorable downtown Plano. Bring a sweater, I feel like I’m always so cold there. But it’s nice and bright with cute decor!

http://xocoffeeco.com

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3E5C678D-682A-4168-98C8-DE14A406A849.JPGMUDSMITH | The Hipster Go-To

Dallas, Texas

  • The “They Have Kombucha!” Award
    • Yup. They have kombucha.

Hustle Rating: ♥♥♥

Social Butterfly Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Instagram-ability Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Healthy-friendly Rating: ♥♥♥

It was a little dark for my liking when it came to studying, but I suppose if you were there for either meeting with friends or working on your laptop, it’s great! Super hipster. Great coffee, kombucha, and juice!

http://www.mudsmithcoffee.com

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IMG_2093.JPGROYAL BLUE GROCERY | Coolest Spot for Coffee and Food in Dallas

Dallas, Texas

  • Nicest People Award 😉
    • 😉
  • Celebrity Spotting?
    • Located at Highland Park, it is frequented by many different people. The likes of Anne Hathaway, Owen Wilson, and Matthew Mcconaughey have been some.
  • Coolest Grocery Store That Exists Probably in the Whole World
    • Wanna get coffee, lunch, and wine, all while getting your grocery shopping done? It’s the perfect place!

Hustle Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Social Butterfly Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Instagram-ability Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Healthy-friendly Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

https://www.royalbluegrocery.com

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463DBD08-304C-49A5-A44C-3B55B0414B77.JPGODDFELLOWS | Super Cool Restaurant I Treated Like a Coffee Shop

Dallas, Texas

  • Photogenic Food Spot Award

Hustle Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Social Butterfly Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Instagram-ability Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Healthy-friendly Rating: ♥♥♥

Only been there once, but I stayed pretty much all day. Got a bunch of stuff done, had good coffee, and met with a good friend!

http://www.oddfellowsdallas.com

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F4868110-FDC1-4648-92A1-A9D92DB7459A.JPGBIRD BAKERY | Cupcakes That Make Me Love Life

  • Gluten-free Desserts That I Sometimes Dream About
    • The CUPCAKES
  • Prettiest Bakery in Dallas
    • Pink neon signs? I think yes.

Hustle Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Social Butterfly Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Instagram-ability Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Healthy-friendly Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Amazing pastries, super good coffee and kombucha, and great food! Located right by Royal Blue so spending the day in the area is a really good idea.

http://www.birdbakery.com

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Finding Dory | Movie Review

(The following review is absolutely spoiler-free!!!)

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My grandma, mom and I went to see “Finding Dory” to finish off the celebration of my 18th birthday. We almost didn’t go, because we hadn’t heard much about it besides the fact that it was existing. But I wanted to see it no matter how good it may turn out to be. I mean, we’ve waited 13 years for this!

“Finding Dory” did not disappoint. I loved it! It was everything I needed it to be, having grown up with the last movie. It gave us everything we loved about “Finding Nemo,” with new surprises. Made us feel happy, sad, stressed, excited, and happy again. As can be expected from a movie about Dory, there were plenty of laughs. I was also impressed with the love-able new characters, the animation that seemed advanced yet consistent with the previous installment, and the story line that always kept you guessing.

Pixar did it again!

Below is an entry into my little notebook of movie reviews. I wrote it late at night so hopefully you can read my handwriting!

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Top 5 Studying Tips and Tricks

study, studying, school, tips, tricks, college

I’ve been homeschooled most of my life. And I love it. It’s taught me a lot about having a solid work ethic when it comes to school.

I am now a senior in high school, but I’m taking dual credit classes at my community college. I was really nervous about it at first, but surprisingly the jump from homeschool to college wasn’t so bad. Plus, I got a system down.

Here are my top 5 tips on studying.

  1. Cell Control

Let’s just – as a generation – face the truth. Phones are distracting. Unless you have super-ultra-crazy self-control powers, one little “ding” or “bleep” (or in my case, “medieval horn noise”) and all of a sudden you’re out of your studying zone and into the consuming world of technology. There’s always a new app to look at, a new social media platform to check. So will we ever get things done?

The best way to stop yourself from using your phone is by using your phone. Hear me out on this.IMG_2027

There’s this app called “Forest”. Really modern and simple, which I love. You “plant a tree”, and it sets a 25 minute timer. During that time span, you can’t leave the app or your tree will die. You can also set it to more than 25 minutes by planting multiple trees, and soon you’ll have a “forest”. It’s a great way to stop myself from doing anything on my phone for a while so I can concentrate on whatever it is I’m doing. There are also a lot of other apps similar to this one, but this is my favorite.

2. Mynoise.net

I know a lot of us love to study with music in the background. It’s just more fun that way. But sadly, science says it’s not the best way to study. It’s distracting. You can’t retain as much information while listening to music.

But with no music, my mind tends to wander off. So what do I do? There’s this website called mynoise.net, and it is a life-saver. It contains a whole bunch of different background sounds that are great substitutes for regular music.

mynoise.net rain noise studying tips

The noises are stimulating but not too distracting. There’s so many fun ones to choose from. You can hear the sound of rain, the ocean, a waterfall, even things like a cat purring or a cafe restaurant. You can even adjust each sound to your preference. It’s just awesome. Click on the picture above for the link!

3. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

Repetition is probably the best way to study. Writing out something over and over again is a good way to remember things. Also, recording yourself reading your notes aloud and listening to them over and over does wonders. I just use my voice memos app.

4. Make Your Notes Good

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You probably know, I’m an artist. I like things that look nice. I like to try and make my notes look decent. In a way, it kind of motivates me to look at my notes. Is that weird? Oh well.

Anyway, I like to write my notes like I’m writing a textbook. I write as if I have a friend who is taking a test and all he has to study with is my notebook. I also go crazy with sticky notes and color code my highlighting 😉

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Things you can do in your notes that help:

  • highlight
  • underline
  • doodle and illustrate
  • make mind maps
  • make lists!

5. Plan and Strategize

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I. Love. My. Student. Planner. I think it’s just so important to stay organized. To stay on top of deadlines and everything.

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I am really forgetful, so writing down all my deadlines and things I need to read is super important. That way every time I have time to study, I know exactly what I need to do for each subject.

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Oh, and here’s a picture of my backpack. I like to think it’s secretly cow-printed.

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That’s all for now, folks! Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment or share… you know….

Random Questions to Ask Your Friends

Random Get-to-know-you questions

Watch out, awkward silences.

P.S. I made these up all by myself 😉 you’re welcome

  • If you had to be renamed based on what you ate for breakfast, what would be your new name?
  • What’s the first thing that pops into your head when I say “don’t do it!”?
  • What restaurant have you probably eaten the most at?
  • What’s a unique skill you have that you wish you could get paid for?
  • What’s your spirit animal when you’re angry?
  • Which celebrity do you want to be friends with?
  • What TV or movie family you think you’d fit in with?
  • Would you rather fight off 3 toddler-sized adults or one adult-sized toddler?
  • What’s your fictional dream job? (super spy, superhero, mermaid…)
  • Would you rather have to act like you just won the lottery every time you saw a vending machine or cry a single tear every time you forget someone’s name?
  • What time period would you most like to live in and what one thing would you want to bring with you from the present?
  • If you had to be roommates with a movie villain, who would it be?
  • If you had to take a bath in a breakfast food, which one would you choose?
  • If you had to be renamed after a name of a restaurant, which restaurant would you pick?
  • What song describes your relationship with food?
  • Would you rather be a bird that can swim or a fish that can fly?
  • Which do you think is the most unnecessary letter in the alphabet?
  • If you had to trade places with one of your friend’s parents, who would that be?
  • If you had to dress like one movie or TV character the rest of your life, who would that be?
  • Which pop star would make the best math tutor and why?
  • What’s the nicest house you’ve ever been in?
  • Would you rather have an ugly car, an ugly house, or ugly clothes?
  • What board game do you wish you could earn money with?
  • What’s the nerdiest thing you’ve ever done?
  • What’s the smartest thing you’ve ever done?
  • What cartoon character describes you when you’re tired?
  • Weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten that you actually liked?
  • Which historical figure would you like to have as a sibling?
  • You’re stuck in the last book you read. What are you doing?
  • If you could master 3 skills right now, what would they be?
  • What commercial would you love to be in?
  • If you had an exercise routine based on the last book you read, how fit would you be?
  • During a zombie apocalypse, would you rather go to an office supply store or a craft supply store?
  • If you had to/got to relive a day from last week, which one would you choose?
  • If you got to scroll through your Instagram feed from 1 year into the future, would you do it?
  • What book would you love to live in?
  • If you had to switch lives with one of your grandparents, which one would that be?
  • Who do you wish could sing you to sleep every night?
  • What store/restaurant would you rather be the manager of?
  • You have to spend the next 24 hours on one app. Which one?
  • If you had to change languages right now, which one would you pick?
  • What first comes to mind when I say “favorite”?
  • If you had a superpower based on the last restaurant you ate at, what power would that be?
  • If you got to talk to your childhood self but only got to share advice using song lyrics, what would you say?
  • What would your autobiography called?
  • What movie genre would your life be and what would it be called?
  • If you had to perform a commercial jingle in front of a live audience, which one would you choose?
  • What would you choose as the theme song for a sitcom based on your year?

That’s all for now, folks! Let me know if you’d like more, there’s a lot where that came from! Thanks for reading!

Pinterest- my internet addiction

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This is my pinterest account. I have 5.2K pins and counting. It’s kind of a problem.

I don’t know why, I just can’t stay away from this website. It’s so cool! Right now I have a lot of boards dedicated to fashion and all that jazz, but if you scroll down you’ll see my extremely nerdy boards. Oh, and if you want a laugh, check out my “laughs” board, because I think it’s hilarious. Just my opinion, though.

I guess I’m just really visual, so a website full of pretty pictures is the perfect Isabel trap.

Anyway, click the above picture to go check it out! Just wanted to share so anyone who also has a Pinterest addiction can know that they’re not alone.

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