The biggest Lesson I learned from my 20’s :: Connecting the Dots

{ Connecting the Dots // Champagne at Shannon's }
I am currently in the air en route to Cabo for my birthday which I am straight stoked about.

But I want to talk about my birthday real quick.

I know I normally do my Friday music posts but in honour of my birthday, I wanted to share something I have been thinking a LOT about.

Lately, I’ve been pretty nostalgic – & righteously so. I am entering a new decade and leaving everything behind in my 20s.

Trust when I say my 20’s were a very trying time.

They were full of lessons and development, and to be completely transparent, it took me a good half of the decade to finally land on my feet and learn the biggest lesson of them all…

Connecting the dots.

What do I mean by this?

Think of a connecting the dots picture.

From first glance, it’s just flat out chaos.

Dots are everywhere, and it makes no sense from a distance.

However, as you take a closer look and put one and two together, before you know it, you have yourself a picture that makes total sense.

{ Connecting the Dots // Champagne at Shannon's }

As I leave the utterly craziness of my 20s  I really want to share this with YOU: figure out a way to connect the dots and make your own picture.

All of those dots do & WILL connect despite how far they may seem from each other – it’s just your way of figuring out how.

Let me get a bit personal with you guys…

Remember this post? This was the seed of everything in my life. Seriously.

When I was 23, I became utterly obsessed with alcoholic desserts 

That, then, got my career goals at the time rolling to be either a chef or sommelier. I wasn’t quite sure what yet, but in my head, I was young, and the world was my oyster.

I’ve said it before & I will say it again… The person I am the most envious of was myself at 23. Then, I was driven by passion and have yet to experience my share of vices & darkness {I did not know they could possibly exist…. until they did}. Everything was bright and the path ahead of me was one I was to pave myself. And I was stoked, bright eyes & bushy tailed, with nothing to supplementing my eyes wide and my tail bushy. The good ole days.

I am & always will be so passionate about food & wine, however, I made the decision years ago to leave the industry.

That said, I had to figure out a way to connect those dots which was very scary.

That industry was truly the only thing I knew. I spent a lot of time soul searching {trust me, it sounds more glamourous than what it was}, and put a list together of my skills.

Everything I learned in the hospitality industry, I was able to connect & cultivate into an administrative career. That is a perfect example of finding a way to connect dots that didn’t look liek it could ever connect from a far glance.

From then, I was able to take my career from payments, to investment banking, to now at a food/beverage x internet start up {aka ALL THINGS I LOVE}.

{ Connecting the Dots // Champagne at Shannon's }

However, let’s go back to passionate 23 year old Shannon. I lost touch with her for about a good five years, so I needed to figure out a way to connect that dot where it seemed almost impossible to connect…

… & lo and behold, Champagne at Shannon’s – my blog – aka my outlet to staying connected to that passion was the bridge to that dot.

…and with that, many others followed, such as the dots representing:

⚜ California. Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I would live in California. In 2013, everything became clear I had to leave Texas and take the risk on San Francisco. The bigger the risk, the higher the pay-out. This was the best gamble on my life I ever made…. but it wasn’t so much a gamble, per se. I saw that dot, and I knew my odds, I just took the leap to connect the far out dot.

⚜ the online / coding world. It was something I have always wanted to learn & that puzzle is one that keeps me challenged on the daily.

⚜ music. If you follow me on any social network, you know how important this is to me. And it was an outlying dot that I yearned for years to connect. Now, I have an outlet to talk about music I am digging, as well as teaching myself the synthesizer when I get back from Mexico.

⚜ tea. I’ve mentioned I am working on a tea product. I’m a bit tight-lipped for it for a good reason, but it was another dot that means a lot to me & an industry I am stoked to join.

⚜ connecting / empowering other women. There’s the saying that “I am in love with places I’ve never been & people I have never met.” The internet & ESPECIALLY the blogging world has totally facilitated that for me. I LOVE comments – not for the numbers – but for connecting with other women. Is it weird that I consider readers I have never met my friends? I love discovering new blogs & connecting with other’s who decide to share their life online – & I applaud them. Trust me, it’s not as easy as it looks – in fact, it’s the complete opposite.

⚜ standing up for myself. As I figured out my path, unfortunately or actually fortunately, I pissed off people on the way. However DO NOTE, I pissed them off because I stood up for myself. There are things worth standing up for, and yourself is one of them. Being a millenial, I get tied to all those “entitled” aspects, but please, do not confuse entitlement for standing up for myself. To connect another dot, you might find yourself pissing people off as you grow or have to leave things behind. C’est la vie. Sometimes you need to burn a bridge to build a more improved one.

⚜ a few other things that I do not want to mention yet but trust me, you will see in time. & if you can read between the lines with this and other posts here or on social media, then you know. Big things are coming – to both me and the world that we know it. And it is about fucking time if I do say so myself.

{ Connecting the Dots // Champagne at Shannon's }

At the end of the day, the best thing you can do for yourself is to take a look at the constellation of your dots.

It may take hours, days, months, or in my case, years – to figure out how to connect them, but trust me. It is worth the struggle & the soul-searching.

Once they connect, no longer will you see chaos, but instead, a clear path. The chaos is more organized than you think.

AND don’t get me wrong. I’m probably 40% there in connecting all of my dots, but I’m on the right track, baby. & I can finally see the outline of the picture my dots are trying to create.

As you put in the work to connect your constellation, an entire galaxy will appear. I promise you this.

The best part, it’s a galaxy that you created YOURSELF. So your interests, passions, ambitions are what will cultivate it so stay true to them. I know it’s a platitude, but love what you do and putting in the blood, sweat, and tears is easy.

As far as turning 30 – I am beyond stoked. I’ll admit, I had a ton of hangups about it for a bit earlier this year. It’s easy to want to look back and keep living youth but to be frank, 24-28 were the heaviest, darkest years of my life & you could not pay me to go back to them.

However, at 29, I have found love in all sorts of ways: romantically, professionally,  personally, & finally but most importantly, I learned to love myself after years of the opposite. With this light guiding me to my 30’s literally straight out of Inferno or hell Purgatorio style, I know for a fact this decade will be Paradisio. I spent five years to climb my purgatory mountain that there is no way that it cannot be anything but.

If you understand my allegory, I love you.

On a very serious note, I highly recommend everyone to read Purgatorio. When life gets hard, it is something I turn to, which constantly reminds me how hard going uphill can be, and why it is so worth it.  Trust me, it’s life-changing. To reach Paradise, you must struggle.

Anyways… was this a little too deep? I hope so, that was my intention. I would love to hear from others on their thoughts, lessons they’ve learned over the years & where my Geminis at?! Also, if you have a blog, leave it in the comments so I can check it out. Connecting with people online truly rocks my world.

On another note, I am going to take a mini birthday break from the blog so I will be back on Wednesday, to disconnect a bit. In the interim, you can follow on Insta or Snap: shnnnlynn

k talk to you in the next decade xx

Shannon

{ Connecting the Dots // Champagne at Shannon's }

 

{ pc Ryan Johnson }

My favourite beauty secret for bright eyes… & it is under $10!

{ Sephora Wide Eyed Pencil // Champagne at Shannon's }
{ Sephora Wide Eyed Pencil // Champagne at Shannon's }
{ Sephora Wide Eyed Pencil // Champagne at Shannon's }
Ever since I was in college, I always lined the waterline of my eyes.

Not going to lie, in college, I was ALLLLLLLLLL about a good sparkly, smoky eye.

Whatever shade was darker than black went all over my eyes. At the time, it was my go to look – especially paired with a lil Fleshpot by MAC.

As I got older, I started cutting down on the make-up. I still love a good smoky eye for the right occasion, but these days, I’ve cut down my make-up… a LOT.

I switched from a black waterline to the tried and true white to brighten my eyes. It was the oldest trick in the book, and a nice contrast for the dark bags under my eyes from not sleeping ever, right?!

{ Sephora Wide Eyed Pencil // Champagne at Shannon's }

Look more awake, they said…. but instead it was always a little harsh on me.

I was perusing Sephora a while back and came across the Walk of Shame by Urban Decay. It was flesh coloured & it was PERFECT. My eyes looked way brighter, bluer, way natural, youthful, and this was my key to not wearing any make-up.

Seriously, this brightened up my look instantly – which is perfect for lazy days.

Y’all this was the jackpot…. however, it came with a price. $20 to be exact. Some things I’m down to spend money Leonardo di Caprio as Jordan Belfort on a Yacht style but to be completely honest, make-up isn’t one of them. That’s just me. To each their own.

The other day, I was in Sephora for another Walk of Shame only to find out it was sold out. Disaster.

I asked an employee for a good replacement and she was all like:

“ready to get your world rocked?”

And generally, my answer to that question is always fuck yes {& was also surefire way to find myself into some trouble but #yolo}

she lead me to the Sephora name brand counter and was like honestly, this is the best one out there… and handed me this $8 {!!!!!} Sephora Wide Eyed Pencil in the most perfect nude.

In fact, the exact name to this product is Sephora Collection Contour Inner Rim Gel Eyeliner in Wide Eyed Nude {if you order from my links, make sure you choose this colour}

{ Sephora Wide Eyed Pencil // Champagne at Shannon's }

{ Sephora Wide Eyed Pencil // Champagne at Shannon's }
{ Ignore the chipped nails, we literally took these before getting on a plane }

I’ll admit, I was a bit skeptical, but also pretty stoked because that savings, tho…. but she was right. Plus, any pencil made exclusively for the waterline will have more staying power than a psycho ex boyfriend.

The colour of the Sephora Wide Eyed Pencil is PERFECT & paired with some collagen coffees will make you look wide awake in no time.

In the picture below, literally the only make-up I have on is some cc, eyebrow gel, & my new ride or die pencil.

{ Sephora Wide Eyed Pencil // Champagne at Shannon's }

Pick up this pencil & look bright eyed and bushy tailed after a long night. It can be our lil secret. With the extra money saved, go buy yourself an extra drink 😉

Anyways, this is my all-time favourite tip ever, and the price makes it even better! I HAD to share with you guys! Now your turn – spill – what are your favourite no-makeup makeup tips?!

PS – I still love me a good flesh pot though 😉 old habits die hard…

xx SLS

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{ WEEKEND VIBES }: Amsterdamn, tho.

{ Amsterdam // Champagne at Shannon's }

{ Amsterdam // Champagne at Shannon's }
{ Amsterdam // Champagne at Shannon's }
amsterdam-canals-3
{ Amsterdam // Champagne at Shannon's }
{ Amsterdam // Champagne at Shannon's }

Happy Monday!

Hope everyone had a great weekend, and cheers to a rad week.

Today, I start my new job which is exciting! If you’ve followed on Snap, you know I’ve kinda sorta been chilling for the past 2 weeks so I am excited to hit the ground running.

Also, I just got back from Amsterdam.

I’m still on Cloud 9 from Amsterdam.

This all kind of just happened… my boyfriend had some business, I had the time off so we figured why not.

And I am so, so, so glad it happened.

For starters, it was a week before my birthday (which is this weekend!), so it was the perfect way to spend the end of this wild decade. Amsterdam has also been on my radar for a very, very long time.

And it should be on yours too.

Whenever I was asked “where is the place I am dying to go?”, the answer was always Amsterdam.

And it was everything I ever dreamed of.

{ Amsterdam // Champagne at Shannon's }

Amsterdam is BEAUTIFUL. Seriously. The architecture is incredible, and it is built along canals – which also made it a very walking friendly city. Other than to/from the airport, we didn’t need any transportation, but a friend of mine told me to get the Amsterdam City Card if need be. Since our trip was so short, we didn’t need it but will def get it next time!

Not only is the city beautiful, but the food & beverage scene was the best I have ever seen.

Imagine a city very heavily saturated with restaurants and bars… but don’t stop there! These restaurants and bars… now imagine them having so much charm, the coolest aesthetic, top notch lists, fantastic beers, crazy good wines, and damn fine food.

We didn’t even bother with reservations anywhere because the options were endless and all ideas where a good idea.

Speaking of aesthetic….

Everything about Amsterdam was my aesthetic. I know I touched on the architecture and, of course, restaurants – but also all the shops, store-fronts, VIBES. The coffee shops {wink wink nudge nudge} were beyond cool. The fashion was incredible, and I found a bit Scandinavian inspiried. The shop displays were beyond cool – & I especially thought some of the seed shop fronts were just so cool.

I also love that there is really no stigma for anything there. I am all about that.

The hotel we stayed in, the Amsterdam Sofitel, was BEAUTIFUL.

Everything about it was perfect.

{ Amsterdam // Champagne at Shannon's }
{ Amsterdam // Champagne at Shannon's }
{ Amsterdam // Champagne at Shannon's }
{ Amsterdam // Champagne at Shannon's }
{ Amsterdam // Champagne at Shannon's }

Seriously stunning. A charming exterior, and inside was full of marble, stained glass, and awesome sculptures. We did not dine or drink there, but the restaurant has a Michelin star and they have a sick cigar lounge.

Even better though, in the room, they greeted you with a bag of the best thing ever – STROOPWAFELS.

omg I had to have had ten of them…

Now as of what we did… so we are crazy. I got to Amsterdam on Thursday afternoon, my boyfriend Thursday evening via Zurich – & we left on Saturday so we could have all day on Sunday to adjust. Soooo that is my very long way of saying we really only had Friday there.

On Thursday, as soon as my boyfriend got in, we hit the town.

We walked around the city & did some sightseeing. We did dinner at Cannibale Royale which was phenomenal though I did not take any photos there.

Friday, he did some work and I slept in a bit. We grabbed lunch at a place he has been raving about since he first went to Amsterdam called The Seafood Bar – & now I am totally on that raving bandwagon. This was probably THEEEEEE best seafood restaurant I have ever been to.

{ Amsterdam // Champagne at Shannon's }
{ Amsterdam // Champagne at Shannon's }
{ Amsterdam // Champagne at Shannon's }
{ Amsterdam // Champagne at Shannon's }
{ Amsterdam // Champagne at Shannon's }

The restaurant itself looked like Patrick Bateman’s apartment. Think VERY minimalistic, lots of white space, way symmetrical, & sharp lines.

In it, they have on display their seafood market. Think the daily catch of lobsters, sea bass, shellfish, salmon… the list goes on. Many of the fish, local.

We ordered the combination platter which was a mix of the fruits de mer platter (all time favourite) & the grilled platter (think grilled salmon, oysters, mussels, etc). This double decker platter was perfect for the two of us… not to mention that it was served with some of the best fries I ever had. I had a glass of Gruner Veltliner & my boyfriend had a Heinekin. Another thing to note about the wine is that they served the reds chilled to complement the fish!

{ Amsterdam // Champagne at Shannon's }
{ Amsterdam // Champagne at Shannon's }
{ Amsterdam // Champagne at Shannon's }
{ Amsterdam // Champagne at Shannon's }

Afterwards, we walked over to the Rijksmuseum – but that walk alone was full of PLENTY of distractions! Think shopping at Rika Studios & a book market where we picked up some new art. Think a Farmer’s Market but instead of produce, it was books and art.

With our wallets lighter, we ended up at the Rijksmuseum which was phenomenal. Seriously, so cool. We spent about 3-4 hours here. If you find yourself in Amsterdam, I highly recommend going. You will see some of the most classic art in the world. They also had an awesome boat & weaponry exhibit, which we loved. I also loved seeing the evolution of humanity through art. They have works from the Medieval times until the early 1900’s.

Afterwards, we walked through a garden in hunt of tulips (with no luck!), did some more shopping, and hit a few more bars.

{ Amsterdam // Champagne at Shannon's }
{ Amsterdam // Champagne at Shannon's }
{ Selfies at The Seafood Bar }

I was starting to get really, really hangry bc I’m annoying so we popped into an Australian-themed bar that I could not even begin to tell you the name of where we had some bombbbbb nachos that I will def try to recreate. They were seasoned like Doritos and we finished the whole thing. Finished off with some beers and white russians and headed over to another bar….

so we go this Amstel bar, and have no idea what to drink… not to mention, we are some of the only ones there – it was an odd hour – and we are just stumped. Welllll lo & behold, there was a  WHEEL of drinks and whatever it landed on was 10 Euros. Trust me, not all were good (think 5 Smirnoff Ices, 10 rainbow shots, 1 beer, etc)… but lucky for us, we landed the five Amstel beers. Phew!

{ Amsterdam // Champagne at Shannon's }

{ Amsterdam // Champagne at Shannon's }amsterdam-rijkemuseum-3

We finished them up, and it was getting to be 9:00 PM so we headed back to the hotel to get some work done before the evening. At around 10:30 PM, we hit the town again.

I really wanted to see the Red Light District, so we walked through that. It is def worth seeing, but it is VERY crowded. A little too much for my liking. I was hoping to see a ton of cheeky, dirty neon lights. There were a few, but not as much as I imagined. All that said, it is unlike anything I have ever seen.

We finished the rest of the night walking around Amsterdam, checking out the bars, the coffee shops and finding dinner. By now, it’s pretty late, think 2:00 AM, and we are STARVING (common theme with me). Not even going to lie, but we spent a LOT of the time from 11:00 PM – 2:00 AM just wandering trying to find something to eat. Between my boyfriend and I, we would make excuses on whatever we found and would continue looking. It became a never ending cycle and so we hopped into a burger joint for some Waygu burgers & fries. Again, the name escapes me (sorrrrrryyyyyyy guys).

Dessert was necessary too, so we jumped in the dessert shop next door (again, no idea the name – I’m literally the worst) for a MAJOR necessity – an Amsterdam waffle. THINK THE BEST DONUT YOU’VE EVER HAD… but in waffle form. They are warm, fluffy, sweet, and just perfect. We got ours with vanilla & strawberry icing and topped more with sprinkles.

{ Amsterdam // Champagne at Shannon's }{ Amsterdam // Champagne at Shannon's }

We got back to the hotel room at around 3:00 AM…. with our flight at 11:00 AM. It happens.

So we took a power nap, saving the sleep for the long flight home. The trip happened so fast and I did not take many pictures. Between not remembering the names to the places to not taking a lot of pictures, I am seriously the worst blogger ever, but to be very transparent, I wanted to really spend the time with my boyfriend in a city I was dying to be at than be tied to my phone (it’s a terrible habit of mine, and in this day & age, it is getting even worse). Sooooo apologies for that, but I tried to keep everyone on Snapchat pretty updated.

That said, the only cons of this trip was not getting enough pictures, not having enough times, not seeing the tulips, and per usu, being away from my cat.

Literally, that’s it.

Amsterdam & Tokyo are neck to neck on my favourite city. They are the two places I’ve been out of three (San Francisco being the third), that as soon as I went there, I felt at home & at peace.

{ Amsterdam // Champagne at Shannon's }Sephora-Wide-Eye-Shannon-Silver-4

Sooooo that was my weekend! I hope everyone had a great one.

In other news, I made a HUGE decision – if you follow on Snap, you saw my announcement about it yesterday, but I am going to learn the Synthesizer. And I am STOKED. Like the blog, it is a perfect outlet for creativity.

Again, to be transparent, there are times I find myself uninspired, or unmotivated online as a blogger. When those ruts happen, I always turn to music which always inspires me. I also love teaching myself a new hobby, like I did with Photography & Photoshop. I love learning & to keep my brain ON. Yes, I talk about how good it is to turn off after a while – but I’d rather be tuned on.

That’s also why I’m such a psychopath… but like the print art I just ordered says: a psychopath is better than no path!

And on that note… I’m out!

Where’s your favourite place on Earth? If you’ve been to Amsterdam, what do you love to do there?? I need reccs for my move next trip there, which WILL happen ASAP.

Talk soon,

Shannon

x

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