Have you ever been to a city and instantly knew that you belonged there? Well NYC was that place for me. A love that was est. in 2013 when I spent a whole day in NYC and fell in love with the beautiful city, diverse people, deep culture, mouth-watering food, and overall vibe. After just spending one whole day in New York City, I remember telling myself that I would live there one day...fast forward to over 5 years later and my dream is finally turning into reality. I'm extremely excited to finally live in New York and go on so many adventures, creating new memories that I can look back on.
Moving to a new city is something completely new for me. I've lived in Illinois my whole life, but knew that living somewhere else (especially New York) would be something that I would do one day. I always had this mentality that you're not meant to live in just one place your whole life. There's so much more out there to see, experience, and explore. Why be boxed in, in one place when there's a whole world out there. It might be a little scary moving somewhere new and leaving everything that you're so accustomed to, but it's also exciting and different! You can learn so much about yourself when you're in an environment that isn't what you've lived your whole life. I think it's so important to step out of your comfort zone and put yourself in situations that allow you to grow as an individual. Life should be a continuous journey, and within that journey you should find ways to begin new chapters; allow yourself to experience new things. Don't let yourself live a life with regrets because you don't want to get to a point in your life where it's too late to experience all the things that you've dreamed of.
When life gets stressful and overwhelming, it's good to take a step back and find your happy place. Happy Place is an interactive pop-up event with a bunch of different themed rooms where you can take amazing pictures and just have fun! My favorite room had to be the one with the ball pit where you were able to jump in and snap a photo. This pop-up will be in Chicago until August 6, 2018. Check out my photos from my experience at Happy Place below!
*click on image for full view / All photos shot by @keonjoe
If you’ve read my very first blog post, you would know that I have a love/hate relationship with time. Sometimes we get so caught up in the everyday routine we’ve created for ourselves that we forget how precious time is. Having the right piece of unique, women’s watch is something that has become important to me because of my relationship with time. For me unique watches represent the essence of time. With JORD watches, not only are the women’s watches and men’s watches unique, but they are also minimalistic. The fusion of both a minimalist and unique look intertwine with how time can be represented. There’s a simplicity to time, but time is also unique to each individual.
Whenever I look at my JORD women's watch, it’s a reminder to me that time stops for no one. I want everyone who's reading this to really make every second count. I’ve listed below five ways to make every second count.
1. Speak from the heart
Imagine if everyone spoke from the heart without having the fear of what the response would be. Be true to yourself and how you feel so that you have more time to live a genuine, authentic life. You don’t want to regret not saying the things that your heart speaks. Just let it out and if you don’t get the outcome you wanted from people then that gives you more time to find people who appreciate your pure words.
2. Don’t let anyone get in the way of your happiness
Sometimes we try so hard to please others and make sure that the people around us are happy that we forget about our own happiness. Yes, making others and the people you love happy are important, but not at the expense of your own happiness. There’s going to be moments in your life where the decisions you make may not make others happy, but if you’re not hurting anyone then there shouldn’t be any reason you shouldn't let yourself be happy. Don’t waste your time doing what others want, so much that it stops you from finding your happiness.
3. Follow your dreams
What are your dreams? What’s your purpose in life? If you’re not using your time to follow your dreams then take the time now to really understand what your dreams are and what you have to do to get there. Every person has a purpose in life whether it’s minuscule or monumental. My JORD women’s watch is a symbol of my journey to following my dreams, and I hope you also find your unique watch to represent that.
4. Spend time with people who matter
Wasted time and energy for people who don’t make you happy or bring positive influence in your life should be avoided. Tomorrow is never a sure thing so spend your days with people who matter to you. Make as many memories with those people so that you can look back and know that you spent your time with the right people.
5. Go on as many adventures as you can
Life is meant to be lived, so any chance you get to go on an adventure and experience something new make sure you go for it!
Remember that every second counts and it’s up to you to make it happen. Which of the 5 ways listed above will you focus on first?
Follow the photographer from this shoot @rommelaleta | *Click on the button below to shop for YOUR unique watch by JORD
Happy 6 months - The Hungry Dreamer (well a little over 6 months)
It's been about six months since I launched The Hungry Dreamer blog site and so much has happened. Not only have I grown so much as a person, but I've also seen growth on here with my blog site. I don't even know where to begin as I look back on the past six months, so let me back track to September 1st.
There's two types of people in this world when it comes to trying moments in life; you're either the type to hide away from the world and lose all motivation to do anything OR you're the type to take those emotions and turn it into something good. When I launched The Hungry Dreamer on September 1st, 2017 I didn't have the intention of having it be a business or platform for companies to get exposure. I didn't go into the creation of The Hungry Dreamer thinking that I could possibly make it into a means of income. The truth is I created The Hungry Dreamer for myself. This blog site was a way for me to focus my energy on something that I could be passionate about. I had full control on this entire project and I knew that I wanted to launch it on the first day of my birthday month. So for the whole month of August I did my research and I worked hard on putting this blog together all on my own. Looking back on it now I probably should have taken more time to work on the site and create higher quality content, but I was eager to launch The Hungry Dreamer. I was doing this for myself and I wanted it to be the beginning of a new chapter in my life, so launching it on the first day of my birthday month only seemed right.
For the first couple months it was exciting to see all the feedback that I was receiving from everyone. It felt good to see people enjoy what I had created all on my own. It was rewarding to see people interested in what I had to show and talk about. As time went by I began to really take my blog site seriously and worked to create better quality pictures and posts for the public to see. As I improved the quality of my content I began to receive emails from companies wanting to collaborate and partner up; they all loved how my blog looked! Receiving all the emails from various companies were an indication that The Hungry Dreamer had the potential to be something more than just a place for me to forget about my trying moments in life.
Not only have I seen success with my blog site, but I've also personally grown as an individual. This blog site has pushed me to do things I wouldn't have done before. I'm learning to step outside of my comfort zone more than ever which can be scary, but fulfilling at the same time. I'm meeting new people and having more experiences in life because of The Hungry Dreamer.
If you've read about me on the "ABOUT" page, you may know that my overall goal in life is to be truly happy and inspire others . I'm still working on the first part, but when it comes to inspiring others I think that launching The Hungry Dreamer has been the first steps to that. I've seen a few people in my past already be inspired by my work, which really pushes me to go even further with this site. So my little bit of inspirational words for everyone who is reading this is to do something that you are passionate about. When you do something for yourself and have a genuine intention it is only a matter of time before it becomes something more than what you had planned. You should never have the initial questions of "will this become a success" or "what if people don't like it" because you should do things for yourself and not for the approval of others; when you do this it shows in your work and people will love what you're doing even more.
After looking back at how the first six months since launching my blog site has been, I can't even imagine where The Hungry Dreamer will be in a few years! I'm excited for the future and where this blog site will take me, so I hope you all stay on this journey with me!
-Shannon (The Hungry Dreamer)
Check out my very fist blog post below
Escape rooms are something that have become pretty big in the past years and I think should be experienced at least once. I was really excited to be invited by PanIQ Room Chicago this past weekend since escape rooms are something that I've been wanting to try out!
There were three themes that I was able to choose from, which were Infection, The Mob, and The Prison. The first two were considered "family friendly" while the last theme was not. I wanted the most intense experience, so of course I chose The Prison! PanIQ Room lets you have up to 7 people in each escape room; I obviously had 3 other friends with me for this one. Although escape rooms are a group activity and can be booked for team building, this specific theme makes you split your group into two different cells. The two groups still interact with each other and have clues that are for each other, but I was hoping to fully experience the escape room in one single room.
All of the escape rooms at this PanIQ Room give you an hour to try and "escape". There's a big timer on the wall that counts down your time so you're aware of how much you have left to solve all the riddles and get out. Another thing that comes with doing the escape room is a walkie talkie where you can ask for unlimited clues. My friends and I didn't rely on this too much until towards the end. When it came to about 10 minutes left of the escape room I just wanted to be closer to getting out. A lot of the riddles seemed almost impossible to figure out and the 1 hour goes by really fast.
You can probably see from the picture that we did NOT escape from the prison cells. We were told that we did make it to about 80% of the escape room, which did make us feel better! I would definitely do this again, but probably choose a theme that's less difficult.
You can book an escape room with friends or family on the PanIQ Room Chicago website. If you're not located in Chicago PanIQ Escape Room has other locations as well! Comment below how your escape room experience was! I wanna hear all about it!
I was recently invited to be an UrbanMatter influencer, which got me excited to keep exploring the local Chicago food, event, and nightlife scene. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm the type of person who loves trying new spots and always looks for the best things to do in the city! I always want to be in the know when it comes to upcoming events and new establishments in the city; I guess you can call that FOMO? Either way if it's rated the best or is something brand new to try, just know I'll always be down!
When it comes to figuring out what to do in the city of Chicago, UrbanMatter is THE source to visit! Being able to collab with a company that cares about the local creatives is an amazing opportunity, and I can't wait to explore more of my city with UrbanMatter. UrbanMatter is not only exclusive to Chicago, but they are also a source for my FAVORITE city (apart from my hometown of Chicago)...New York! It's like UrbanMatter was made for me - a place to find the best of the best when it comes to my hometown of Chicago and my favorite city, New York.
-Make sure to follow UrbanMatter on social media | @UrbanMatterChicago & @UrbanMatterNYC
-Follow the photographer from this shoot on Instagram | @rommelaleta
*click on the image for full view
And just like that 2017 has come to an end. Is it just me or does it seem like this year flew by? It feels like it was just yesterday that I was ready to take on 2017, hoping to make amazing memories and go on new adventures. Yes 2017 did give me all of that, but along with it came hardships and experiences that made me realize certain things. It was a year that truly tested me in ways I wish I didn't have to, but that's life. There's a lot of things we don't have control over and so we must learn to live with the circumstances that are given to us.
Listed below are 10 take-aways from 2017.
If you don’t already know, bloggers can sometimes go to extremes just to get good shots. The following story is most likely the first of many stories of what happens when you try to get a good shot for the blog.
I had collaborated with my very good friend Bri of Brianna Napier Productions to take some photos for the blog. We were at a location that had a colorful water fountain, and she had the idea of me getting on top of the water fountain to take some pictures. Of course I didn’t hesitate and jumped on top of that colorful water fountain! When it had come to about 20 minutes into the shoot, I reached into my pocket and realized that my phone was gone. My initial thought was that it had fallen out before we started shooting on the water fountain, so I walked around the vicinity and searched for my phone. When I couldn’t find it my friend walked back to the water fountain, and that’s when she yelled out that my phone was submerged in the water. I just couldn’t believe that my phone was in the water fountain the whole time. As she reached into the water to grab my phone all I could think about was how much money I would have to spend on a new phone that I wasn’t planning on buying any time soon. When she had handed the phone to me I pressed the button and was in disbelief! I had suddenly remembered that my Samsung Galaxy S7 is water resistant. My phone was on and still working perfectly normal. The only problem was with the charging, so I left my phone in rice overnight and the charging worked just fine the next day. So, for all you android haters out there can you say that YOUR phone would have survived being submerged in water for about 20 minutes?
What an experience it was to walk through an art exhibit by art genius Takashi Murakami. If you didn't get the chance to visit Takashi Murakami's art exhibit while it was at the Museum of Contemporary Art - Chicago, here are a few photos from The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg.
Birthdays are an amazing thing to celebrate. You get to look back at all the beautiful (and not so beautiful) things you were fortunate enough to go through at that specific age, but then have the blessing of looking forward to even more when you turn a new age. When your birthday comes along you get to turn the page onto a new chapter where you create new memories, meet new people, grow as a person, and experience things you've never experienced before. Make sure you take the time to reminisce on how much you've grown within that year. Be thankful of all the people you've met during that year and bring along the ones who have stuck by your side into your new year. Failure and lows were bound to happen when you look at all the memories within the past year, but you can say that you got through it. Now you have the opportunity to make this new year of living even better than the last. So don't ever have that mentality that you're getting old and losing time to really do what you want. You may not be where you want to be right now in your life, but you get another year to work even harder and push your limits. So blow the candles and wave hello to that new chapter.
photo credit: Brianna Napier Productions