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Samantha - New York City - 25

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  • Happy New Year! on Sunday, January 10, 2016 @ 9:49 PM
    Happy New Year!

    2015 sure passed by quickly! So fast that I barely blogged last year /s 

    I do apologize for the lack of blog posts, it was just that last year was a bit of an awkward year for me, which resulted in me being very unmotivated.


    I just started a new job, which I am very grateful for because it is a million times better than the last company I was at. I am so much more happy 

    This year's New Year's Resolution is definitely to blog more. I actually do have a couple of posts that I am working on! There are DIYs, reviews and I really want to tell you guys about my trip to Japan last March! I seriously want to get back into blogging on a regular basis. 

    Once again, HAPPY NEW YEAR & see you soon (and I mean it!)!

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    Sammo's Guide to Tokyo // Part Two: Portable Wi-Fi [eConnectJapan] on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 @ 1:13 PM
    At this day and age, we constantly depend on our smartphones; it's inevitable. Even in a foreign country, we have to be glued to our phones. However, getting your hands on a portable Wi-Fi is pretty handy so you can search up locations on the go and go on Google maps if you're lost. 

    For this trip, we used eConnectJapan at www.eConnectJapan.com. They offer both prepaid SIM cards and portable Wi-Fi with several different plans.

    Since there will be two of us and we're only going to be staying for two weeks, our best option was to get a portable Wi-Fi. We chose the 3G plan since it had unlimited data and we didn't really need super hi-speed.

    The price per day will decrease if you rent it out for a long period of time. You also get an early bird discount if you order about three weeks prior to pick up.

    There are three options of how they can send you the portable Wi-Fi:
    1. Send to Residence
    2. Send to Hotel
    3. Send to Airport Post Office (Narita or Kansai)
    We were lucky enough that the amazing staff at LiveinAsia let us have the portable Wi-Fi sent to their offices and delivered it to us when we met up so they walked us to the apartment.

    They provide the following:
    • Pocket Wi-Fi
    • External Battery
    • Pouch for traveling
    • Instructions with password
    • Return envelope

    The Pocket Wi-Fi typically lasted 5 hours after being fully charged. If that's not enough for you, they also provide an external battery for about an extra 6 hours or so. 

    Once your trip comes to an end, all you have to do is put everything in the return envelope and pop it in a mail box.

    It was great having this device for the trip! Being able to just whip my phone out and Google Map the restaurant or store I was trying to get to gave me such a peace of mind. Meeting up with people was so much easier.

    I definitely recommend going on www.eConnectJapan.com and renting a Pocket Wi-Fi or SIM card for your next trip to Japan!

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    Sammo's Guide to Tokyo // Part One: Where To Stay? [LiveinAsia.com] on Sunday, April 26, 2015 @ 9:56 PM

    Most important part of a trip is accommodation. Hotels can be expensive and hostels can be, for a lack of a better word, shady. Where you stay can really make or break your vacation. The most ideal situation is to find a place that is 1) convenient; 2) pleasant and 3) affordable. And I've found a place that has all three!

    Every time I have been to Tokyo, I have used www.liveinasia.com. The staff can speak English and are very helpful. They have a selection of apartments in Nakano, Nishi-Ogikubo and Shibuya. The apartments range from one bedroom to three bedrooms. They provide amenities such as a kitchen, Wi-Fi, washing machine and many more.

    I have only stayed in Nakano through LiveinAsia so I can only speak for that area. Nakano is a town that is about a five minute train ride from Shinjuku. It is mostly a residential neighborhood, very quiet and homely. There is a shopping center once you get out of the Nakano station and it gets quite lively. The apartment complex is about a five minute walk from the station so it's quite convenient. There are also a supermarket not far from the apartment and also many great restaurants within walking distant.

    (Pictures taken from liveinasia.com)

    A couple years ago, Jen and I booked the one bedroom apartment in Nakano, which only had one semi-double bed that we had to share. Back then, it was just a tad awkward as we had only met in person for the first time on the plane ride to Tokyo. But hey, it made us closer and now we're best friends!

    This time around, we knew we wanted to stay in Nakano again, but we definitely needed separate beds this time around. We booked the one bedroom twin apartment, which had two beds (we ended up pushing them together).


    Booking with them is quite easy, you just fill out the inquiry page on their website and they will email you back with all the information, such as pricing (with fees and your refundable deposit). The staff is very diligent with working with you to make sure everything goes smoothly. There will be many email exchanges regarding payment and travelers information that they require. If you have any questions, the staff usually will get back to you within one to two days, given that it is not a weekend or holiday, though there have been times they replied back during the weekend.

    They also have optional services such as baggage delivery (from airport to apartment AND from apartment to airport), cell phone rental, portable Wi-Fi rental and tours. They will take care of everything for you, which is pretty great. This trip, I did decide to use the baggage delivery, which saved me such a headache. I also used another website for a portable Wi-Fi, which will have its own post.

    As your trip approaches and your payments are complete, the staff will suggest to you which transportation will be best to take from the airport to the apartment. Also they provide a contact phone number as an employee will meet you at the station closest to the apartment you are staying in.


    "Checking in" is quite simple too. The staff will coordinate with you regarding meeting up. We decided to take the Narita Express (N'EX), which takes you from Narita Airport to either Tokyo or Shinjuku station, where you transfer to go to your destination. They will require you to call their personal cellphone prior to leaving the airport and once again when you're at Tokyo or Shinjuku before you transfer. That way they know when you will arrive to the meeting point.

    When we arrived to Nakano, it was POURING, so we were really grateful that the designated staff was there and helped us with our luggage. She walked us to apartment, which was the same complex as the one we stayed at previously.

    Upon arriving to the apartment, the staff will give you a run down of the house rules. And most importantly...the GARBAGE system. This is legit the worst part of staying at an apartment. We have to sort garbage by the following categories:
    • Combustible 
    • Non-Combustible
    • Recyclables 
    And even THOSE categories are separated out into different types of waste. AND they collect different things almost every weekday. It is really complicated because in NYC, we only have two garbage collection days a week and we only separate it out into garbage, paper, and metals. 

    I know it is for the environment but it's so bothersome to have to look at the guide every night after an exhausting day to see what the garbage guys will be collecting the next morning. #FirstWorldProblems


    The apartment is quite cozy and small, which is typical Tokyo. We were too tired to take pictures of the apartment when we got there because we were too exhausted and then after we unpacked, it was messy as hell! So I'll just post pictures from their website.


    Procedure for checking out depends on what time you leave the apartment, If you happen to leave very early (prior to 11AM or noon), the staff will ask you lock up and leave the keys in the mailbox. If you leave around noon, the staff will meet you at the apartment so you can give them the keys.


    All in all, I really enjoyed my stay at this apartment. It was great to be able to do laundry and cook if you're in the mood for it. 

    I definitely recommend using LiveinAsia.com if you plan on traveling to Tokyo!

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    Apologies & Updates on Wednesday, February 4, 2015 @ 11:16 PM
    Hello, everyone! It seems like in all my recent blog posts, I'm apologizing for not updating often. But I really am sorry that I haven't made a post since November! It has been really busy and stressful at work that I have absolutely no energy to blog.

    A bit of an update.

    My beautiful goddaughter was born on November 26, 2014! One day before Thanksgiving; I am so thankful that she arrived safe and healthy. Congratulations to Emma and Doug! I am so proud of you two and I know you guys will be wonderful parents!

    Second update: I'm going to Tokyo in the beginning of March for two weeks! I haven't been in about four years and I can't wait to eat and shop my heart out! And of course, no trip to Japan is complete without seeing the Gazette live! I will be attending their 13th Anniversary at Nippon Budokan.

    I am planning on doing a guide series that includes where to stay in Tokyo, restaurants and stores that I recommend. Please look out for that coming out soon. Until then~

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    Meeting the #AAAgirls & Sharon Needles' Haunted Manor on Saturday, November 1, 2014 @ 1:32 PM
    Once again, I'M SO SORRY I haven't been updating regularly. Work has been REALLY busy lately so I haven't had the energy for anything after I come home from the office. 

    BUT last Sunday, I did go to the American Apparel event to meet some of my favorite RuPaul's Drag Race queens: Willam Belli (Season 4), Courtney Act (Season 6) and Alaska Thunderfuck (Season 5). American Apparel are selling individual shirts with their faces printed on them and had them for an in-store meet & greet at the Chelsea store.

    I got there around 4:30 and there was already a line around the block! The event started at 5 but the queens didn't get to the store until about 5:20. 
    The store started letting about groups of 5 people go in at a time so it took FOREVER to get inside. But Willam actually came outside several times to say hi to fans and also gave out cupcakes. She even told people to take selfies with her as she walked along the line. 
     Here's mine! After I took it, she told me "That looked good, girl!" and patted me on the back. Her wig is everything btw. She kept saying to people on the line to "tell everybody on the internet that I'm real nice and sincere and shit." In reality, I really do think she is sincere about meeting fans. She might play a bitch on TV but she really does care.

    I finally got in around 7, inside the first one I met was Alaska Thunderfuck
    She was so incredibly nice after we exchanged our Hiiiiieeeee's. I really was rooting for her to win Season 5 and when it didn't happen, I was devastated. Not that I didn't think Jinx Monsoon isn't a good drag queen; I just don't think she had the caliber to be the winner of the season. 

    Next was Willam but since she was having a deep conversation with someone and I had already taken a picture with her, I moved on to meeting Courtney Act. 
    HOLY SHIT! She is even more beautiful in person than on TV! I'm always envious when a man can look 1000 times better than me. She was also really nice and her Australian accent is so cute. 

    After the event, I went over to Blood Manor as they were hosting Sharon Needles' Haunted Manor, featuring Alaska Thunderfuck, Courtney Act, Darienne Lake, Ivy Winters, Milk and Sharon Needles.
    The haunted house attraction itself wasn't too scary, more so disturbing. The only time that it was scary was when an actor jumps in front of you. But here's an evaluation of the queen's performance:

    Sharon Needles: She was the one who greeted you when you first enter the attraction. She just paced around (not even really), applying lipstick and talking shit about Phi Phi O'Hara. Pretty lackluster for the "host" of the event.

    Courtney: I wasn't even paying attention to the scene because I was looking at that tuck! It was incredible. She was chained up to an operation table acting deranged.,.NAKED. 

    Milk: She was in a room walking around with a mask and chainsaw. I knew it was her immediately even with the mask because that bitch is like 8 foot tall. She wasn't really doing anything except for walking around menacingly. 

    Darienne: She was in a slaughterhouse room with blood and pig heads everywhere. She just went up to each person and started oinking.

    Ivy Winters: She was in clown makeup in a Jack in a Box, juggling pins.

    Alaska: I don't remember seeing her but apparently she was in a jungle-themed room. 

    Even though the attraction wasn't too scary, I did enjoy seeing all the queens in this type of setting. All in all I had a really fun drag queen-filled day!

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    End of an Era: Crumbs Bakeshop on Thursday, July 10, 2014 @ 10:17 PM

    Many of you might not know this about me, but a couple of years ago I used to work at Crumbs Bakeshop. Even though it was only a short term job I had for a couple of months just so I can save up to go to Japan, it was a really fun place to work. Even though I had to wake up at 4am to go to my 6am shift, I never really dreaded going to work then. People who worked there were amazing. I used to be able to eat any cupcake I wanted. It was really a miracle that I didn't get fat while working there. 

    When I found out that Crumbs had closed down all their stores earlier this week, it was really sad. Sure, they had cupcakes that were WAY too big for one person to consume and sure, the calories were up the roof, but I have really fond memories of this place. 

    I do wish that they would have announced this beforehand instead of abruptly closing down all stores. I would have loved to have a Red Velvet or Good Guy cupcake one last time from them.

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    A Dragtastic Birthday on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 @ 10:50 PM
    So, last Friday I turned 24 years old! It's weird that after turning 21, time seems to pass by so fast that I started losing track of my age. Before I know it, I'll become an old lady!

    For my birthday, I went with one of my friends to the Hot Mess Drag Revue at 42West hosted by Bianca del Rio! Let me just tell you that Bianca has quickly became my favorite drag queen in the universe. I mean, she's hilarious, she can read a bitch to filth in no time and she is so talented! If she doesn't win season 6 of RuPaul's Drag Race, I am going to be really mad! #TEAMBIANCA

    I got tickets to the show via Groupon, which had a deal to get either 2 tickets for $29 or 4 tickets for $49. Both deals come with complementary flute of champagne and appetizers. I actually was surprised at how nice the club was, with the exception to the weird layout of the restroom. 

    Bianca kicked off the show and she was phenomenal! I don't think I had laughed that hard in a really long time. I think I have the same bitchy mean humor that Bianca has that...is not everyone's cup of tea. But at the end of the day, I think it's best to not to take yourself too seriously, especially if you're at a drag show!

    The performances were mostly good. I really liked Skyla Versai and Jada Valenciaga (her Beyonce performance was FIERCE). Unfortunately, Lady Bunny wasn't there that night so they opted to playing a god awful parody video instead. 
    Overall, it was a really great night, I am really glad to see Bianca live because she had me in stitches. 

    Funny thing, I had told my boss about the show and he wants me to plan an office trip to go to Hot Mess now! 

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