Weekend Warrior

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The weather here in New England is almost always unpredictable, to say the least- and most weather reports are taken with a grain of salt until we actually see snow/rain/sun/tornadoes for ourselves. I knew well before this past weekend that I wanted to go to the beach, regardless of the conditions- so when the scheduled sun was blocked out by the clouds and occasional showers- I didn’t let it stop me. Myself and a couple of friends headed over to Singing Beach in Manchester-By-The-Sea to lounge around on the near-empty landscape and watch the waves roll in for a couple of hours.

It wasn’t anything like laying on Ocean Beach by the Pacific in San Diego- but it’ll do for now.

Apart from a strong gust of wind every so often, it was a pleasantly warm afternoon. We had a small picnic with the snacks we had packed before eventually making our way to Captain Dusty’s Ice Cream for a couple of cones to bring with us as we headed back into the city.

Singing Beach is quickly starting to become one of my favorite Summer spots- not only because it’s impossibly clean and picturesque- but it’s also a lot easier to navigate to and less crowded than some of the other, more popular beaches in New Hampshire or down by the Cape. I’m tempted to do a write-up of the area, similar to my comparison post about Hampton Beach & Old Orchard Beach back in 2015- to assist those visiting for the first time! There’s truly a lot to see and do around the neighborhood. You just have to know where to look and how far to venture!

With Summer 2017 officially underway (albeit delayed because of the rain throughout Memorial Day Weekend kind of messing things up)– I also saw my first Summer blockbuster yesterday with my friend Stef after a late brunch during a long overdue girl date. We made it a regular women’s celebration and saw an afternoon screening of ‘Wonder Woman’- and wow. It was incredible, you guys. I’m not as big on the DC Universe as I am with Marvel- but it completely blew me away. It was powerful, action-packed, funny, sweet, AND heartbreaking- and I’m honestly just so thrilled with how well it’s doing at the box office because I would LOVE sequels.

I might even go see it again later on this week- that’s how much I enjoyed it from start to finish!

Today I’m all about work and getting things done at the office since it’s shaping up to be a pretty busy week. On Wednesday, I’ll have a really awesome and delicious recipe post to share- and then Friday is the date I’m announcing my big blogging news!

Enjoy your Monday, everyone!


Return To Marble House

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Of all the mansions in Newport, Rhode Island- my favorite, by far- is Marble House. The interior decor, heavily influenced by the Palace of Versailles- is like stepping into another world when you first walk into the main hall. The house is big, bright, sparkling and luxurious- and especially pretty around sunset when the light hits all of the gold in areas like the dining and ballrooms just right- which is around the time I stopped by this past weekend to kill an afternoon since I hadn’t visited in quite some time. I had originally stopped by Cliff Walk before making my way over on foot. It was brisk outside, but not too cold- which made wandering the grounds a lot more bearable than if I’d gone during a chillier day.

By all accounts, the home’s original owner- Alva Vanderbilt- was a pretty tough and no-nonsense woman (and a badass feminist with her women’s suffrage efforts!) who was hell-bent on building up her family, their name and status no matter what it took. She went all out when choosing how the rooms were going to look- and her eye to detail really shows. It’s no wonder her neighbors and the community flocked to every party she threw here. I could just spend hours wandering from room to room all by myself!

I always said that if and when I ever get married- Marble House is one of my dream places to tie the knot. I’m sure it would cost a small fortune- but it’s on my wish list nonetheless. I’ll have to find a groom first, of course.

Below are a few of my favorite photos I snapped during my brief late-afternoon stay. Alva’s Chinese Tea House is currently fenced off for renovations/repairs (I believe!) but I’d like to go back in the Summer to see it a bit more closely.

I’m planning another trip back to Newport soon to visit Rosecliff and the Chateau-sur-Mer- both of which were closed during my last stay for various reasons. By then, the flowers in the gardens should be blooming and the trees should be blossoming- which will make for some really lovely scenery!


Hello, 2017…

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New Year’s Eve, Vermont. 12/31/16

Good Morning and Happy (Belated) New Year, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend ushering in 2017! I’ve been preoccupied at my office the past couple of days, staying busy and on top of my first-of-the-year workload- but before I dove into that, I spent an exquisite weekend in Springfield, Vermont savoring some much needed peace and quiet at one of my favorite New England getaway destinations- The Hartness House.

The Hartness House is a former Victorian-style mansion (which belonged to James and Lena Hartness) turned inn that is a popular destination for locals’ weddings, formal functions, and for skiers and snowboarders to lay their heads for a night before hitting the slopes in the early mornings. My first trip to The Hartness House was when I was about eight or nine years old. My parents brought me up for a weekend during the holiday season and I quickly fell in love with the house, the surrounding gardens, and the underground tunnels that lead to the gigantic Hartness Equatorial Turret Telescope on the property (James was a big fan of astronomy, as it turns out.)

One of my most vivid memories of my first trip to the inn, however- was sitting in front of the fireplace and a massive Christmas tree in a large library area and reading a book undisturbed while my parents sat nearby and played board games. And then, of course- was the food. The inn boasted an impressive menu and talented kitchen staff. My family and I were so thrilled with our first initial visit that we ended up making a few more stops there throughout the next few years.

So when it came time to make plans for New Year’s Eve, and the idea of doing anything other than fall off the grid for a few days and relax was enough to make my head spin- I thought of re-visiting one of my fondest childhood memories and booked Lena Hartness’ suite for the New Year’s weekend. I had heard the inn had gone through some renovations and a change of ownership in recent years- so I wasn’t sure what to expect- but my mind was immediately put at ease when I first walked in and saw the main hall in all it’s splendor (and still decorated from Christmas!)

Click on any of the images to make them bigger!

Every room- including mine- was adorned with Christmas trees. It was such a nice treat to walk into- and right away the staff were so unbelievably friendly and accommodating. On New Year’s Eve, as the clock ticked closer and closer to midnight- I crept down to the inn’s tavern to grab a drink and a bite to eat. Not only did I get those things, but I got some funky 2017 glasses, a tiara and a confetti popper from the ladies who were bartending, too! By the time midnight rolled around- most of the kitchen staff had gathered together with those of us lounging at the bar- including a few locals who had dropped by- to celebrate and share a toast with us. I could not imagine a more pleasant group of new faces to drink champagne and ring in the New Year with!

By the end of the weekend, we were all on a first name basis with each other. Even though I had gone up to the inn solo- I never, not once, felt lonely. Everyone went above and beyond to make me feel welcomed and comfortable during my stay. I’m so grateful for their hospitality and laid-back natures. It was so refreshing.

And remember how good I said the food was when I was a kid? It was even better this time around. The head chef, Nick- is AMAZING– as made evident by my delicious NYE dinner and the follow-up brunches and breakfasts I had during my remaining days there. I couldn’t help but snap a photo of the menu and one of my meals before I dug into it- because it even photographed incredible:



And while I caught up on plenty of rest at The Hartness House, I did take some time to explore some of the surrounding towns, as well- Charlestown, Rockingham, and Bellows Falls- where I did some antique shopping and marveled at the mountains while I sipped a hot cup of coffee.

I also discovered a lot of abandoned places around the section of Vermont I was traveling around, too- which is going to make for a nice follow-up trip to photograph them once the warm weather rolls around and I don’t have so much snow blocking my views!

Click on any of the images to make them bigger!

I returned home on Monday, the 2nd- but not before making a pit stop in Melrose to meet up with Sean, grab some Mexican food and catch up since we hadn’t had the chance to see each other since right before Christmas. His birthday is tomorrow- and we’ve got some big plans I can’t wait to get to!

Overall, my New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, and Post-New Year’s Day were wonderful and very chill. If anyone reading this should ever find themselves in Vermont- I strongly recommend you make a stop and take a night to rest at The Hartness House. Being there is an experience in itself and you won’t regret it! I promise! Every room is unique and gorgeous in it’s own way, the staff are an absolute joy, the food cannot be beat- and it’s the perfect spot if you just want to get away for a little while. I came home feeling positively refreshed, radiant- and ready to take on the new year!


Not a bad start to 2017, if I do say so myself!


Day Off Date!

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With everything that happened in the month of June, I never actually got around to commencing my yearly “Summertime in New England” rite of passage with a weekend away (or in this case, a day trip) to Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. I’d been so distracted, so stressed out, and so swamped with work and personal/relationship matters that I hardly found the time to eat or sleep properly- never mind take an afternoon to head up North and catch some sun and surf.

Last Tuesday, after running some errands that I grossly overestimated would take up the majority of my day- I was pleasantly surprised to find I had a chunk of my afternoon and evening left in front of me to do whatever I pleased. With the sun still beating down and my toes freshly painted a pretty awesome glow-in-the-dark neon coral color- I opted to finally hit the sand and made the mini-trek to Hampton to cruise the coast from Portsmouth, sit by the waves for a couple of hours and finally get my hands on a lobster roll (I EARNED IT) from The Beach Plum.

I may have actually cried from joy while I ate this.

I may have actually cried from joy while I ate this.

After putting myself in a mini-food coma, I stopped by my favorite surf shop along the coast- just a couple miles north from the main section of Hampton’s boardwalk and casino- Cinnamon Rainbows. I always try to make it a point to pop in whenever I’m in the area because they have the cutest assortment of clothes, shoes and accessories- the staff are really friendly- and I like looking at the finished/unfinished surfboards and skateboards they keep near the back of the shop. Crafting those boards takes a level of patience, talent and dedication I wish I had. It’s an art form. Truly.


I didn’t go home empty handed, though. I couldn’t resist picking up a new thin, loose-fitting t-shirt to rep the shop (I used to have a tank top I loved that has since been misplaced or shamelessly stolen from my laundry bin by my dog) for when I got back home to the city- and some Sun Bum leave-in color protector spray for my hair because color-treated red hair and salty air/water is a dangerous combination. I love Sun Bum’s products- and this spray is no different. It keeps my hair frizz-free and fade-proof. It smells really nice, too.



It wasn’t until the sun had started to set when I headed back over towards the boardwalk to pick up some fudge for my mom from one of her favorite candy shops (and a Slush Puppy for myself) and sit by the water again to watch the clouds overhead turn different shades of orange and pink. It was a much needed calm and peaceful moment in my life- which has otherwise been swirling around me like a tornado at times.

I’ve lived by bodies of water my entire life. I grew up near a lake, and I currently live beside a river- but none are as beautiful or as calming for me as the ocean is. I keep telling myself that if and when I ever get myself out to California (or outside Massachusetts, really)– I’m going to be as close to the Pacific as possible. I want to wake up and fall asleep to the sounds of crashing waves every day.

It was a nice day- and today is yet another day off for me. I’ve purposefully avoided making concrete plans since I’d very much like to head back up to the coast for some more sun and sand later on this afternoon (and also get my skee-ball on at the arcade and grab some fried dough)– so we’ll see how that goes!



Day Off Date!

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Although I travel to NYC fairly often, and have seen nearly all of the more popular landmarks or attractions (and some of the city’s best well-kept secrets) more than once- there are still a couple of areas I’ve never been to despite barely needing to check my phone’s GPS for directions anymore.

Coney Island is one of those places.

When it comes to Summertime beach-side attractions- all I really need is a boardwalk, some funnel cake, and maybe a couple of old, rickety amusement park rides and I will be perfectly and completely content (which is why I adore Old Orchard Beach so much) so I’m actually a bit surprised I’d put off checking out Coney Island until this past Tuesday- where Sean and I, already planning on going to NYC for the day, anyway- headed all the way down on the D train on a whim.

The original plan was to head into the city specifically to try and grab one of the INSANE milkshakes at Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer in SoHo (seriously- just Google them and be amazed/horrified/fascinated)– since the weather heading into Manhattan was on the cloudier, rainier side- but once our train into Grand Central started rolling, the sky cleared up and the sun came out. Sean and I decided to embrace the change in the forecast by enjoying some time outdoors while we traveled- and the idea of checking out Coney Island once and for all popped into my head.


My end game at Coney Island was to ride the Cyclone coaster. It’s been on my bucket list for a while now, although I didn’t think I’d really get around to doing it anytime soon until I was actually buying a ticket and waiting in a brief line to hop in- quoting ‘Captain America’ to Sean the entire time:


And while neither one of us threw up- I think I may have bruised a rib coming around one of the bends. That thing hauls ass. It has way more kick than I originally gave it credit for- but it was fun! I’m glad I finally got to do it. The older roller coasters will always and forever be the best.

After a spin on the ferris wheel (with a really beautiful view from the top of the city skyline and the ocean)– Sean and I strolled the boardwalk and browsed some gift shops, arcades and food stands before we decided to head back towards Manhattan for dinner and to catch a train home at a reasonable hour since we both had to return to work bright and early on Wednesday morning.

Although we had gotten back into SoHo in what I thought was record time- the line outside Black Tap had already wrapped around the block. Famished at this point, Sean and I ended up popping by GATSBY’s for a pub style dinner that was really good and made the trek back to our train a little easier since I wasn’t stopping every few feet to whine about needing food (and their sweet potato fries are awesome!)



Although I left NYC without a $15 milkshake smothered in cookies and/or M&Ms- I had a really good day and it was worth being a little groggy at work on Wednesday. It was the perfect way to wrap up my Fourth of July weekend (I even saw fireworks from my window on the train during my ride back home!) and I would absolutely love to go to Coney Island again someday- maybe just to ride the Cyclone until I throw up.

Thanks for another great adventure, NYC!



State of the Union

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The last time I was in Virginia, and stopped by Washington D.C.- I was on a week-long vacation with my parents during a break in my Summer college classes. We had driven down, which felt like it took 15 hours (when in reality it had only taken a little over six) and stayed at a resort that was- no exaggeration- in the middle of the woods in West Virginia. The closest civilization and WiFi connection was at a rest stop approximately several miles away.

As cut-off as we were- I had a great time. I spent my days hiking, lounging by the pool, playing mini-golf, and watching syndicated ‘Criminal Minds’ episodes on the REALLY old TV I had in my room at the resort- which in hindsight- is not an appropriate program to watch when you’re in a VERY rural, wooded area and no one can hear you scream…

… Anyway! Last week I once again made the trip to Virginia- solo this time (and in a very nice rental car because I didn’t want to put the mileage on my poor little KIA. It’s been through enough!) to stay in tiny- but very pretty- Alexandria. The trip wasn’t solely to enjoy a nice long drive or satisfy my ‘Walking Dead’ fanatic side, of course- but to attend a wedding with my BFF from San Diego, Duncan! His long-time friend Linda, who lives in the Alexandria area- was getting hitched to her now-husband, Arash- and Duncan was flying in for the ceremony.

On Friday, after a few traffic jams (thanks, New Jersey Turnpike)– I arrived in Alexandria just a couple of hours after Duncan’s flight had landed and he had gotten situated. My accommodations were MUCH different than my last stay in Virginia, by the way. I stayed at the Westin Alexandria, where the view was a little less woodsy and a little more populated- and I didn’t have to drive twenty minutes to find places to eat, shop, or check my e-mails.

The view from my hotel room. The Westin, Alexandria.

The view from my hotel room. The Westin, Alexandria.

No sooner had I checked into my room and dropped off my bag when I had to turn right back around and hurry over to Shamshiry in nearby Vienna to meet up with Duncan and introduce myself to the then soon-to-be-newlyweds for the first time at their rehearsal dinner. Arash is from what I quickly discovered is a very big and VERY fun Persian family- so Shamshiry seemed like the ideal place to get everyone together pre-nuptials to eat and toast the couple. I was so happy to see Duncan again (it’s been months) and meet some of he and Linda’s friends.

Also? I’ve never tried Persian food/dishes before- and it was really, really good!

While Friday night had been sunny but cool outside- Saturday morning was a snowy, sleeting, mess. I had opened the curtains to my hotel room, saw what was going on outside- and pretty much just closed them back up immediately and tried to forget about what was happening. THANKFULLY, the snow gradually turned to rain, and then the rain gradually turned into sunshine- and even though it was pretty cold outside for the remainder of the day- the conditions were much better for Linda and Arash’s wedding in the afternoon.

The ceremony was beautiful. I loved Linda’s dress (and the bridesmaids all looked stunning in their matching deep red colors!)  and by the time the actual ceremony had finished- we still had enough time to get over and get approved by security for the reception at Fort Belvoir. Up until now, I’d never been on an actual military base- and I wasn’t sure what to expect- but WOW that place was huge. I didn’t realize bases were pretty much isolated towns- but there was a gas station, a pizza place, a hospital, schools- and a Starbucks (granted, it was closed, but still.)

Reception Hall

Reception Hall

The only thing Fort Belvoir didn’t have was power. The electricity around a section of the base had been unexpectedly cut out by a fallen tree- and part of that section included the Officers Hall where Linda and Arash’s reception was going to take place. Despite a potential disaster- spirits remained high. The Officers Hall was gorgeous, and I think everyone was too busy admiring the scenery (and enjoying the open bar) to really notice that the lights were out. When it started to get darker and darker in the room- and candles seemed to be in high demand- the lights magically turned back on. Just in time.

Duncan and I agreed the snow/sleet and then the power outage would be a memorable (and admittedly pretty funny) story for Linda and Arash to tell years and years from now when talking about their special day.

With the lights back on and the DJs able to play some music- it didn’t take long for the party to kick off. I had SO. MUCH. FUN. dancing with Duncan, his friends, the bridesmaids, and even some of Linda and Arash’s family. The speeches from the best man, the Maid of Honor, and the proud fathers of the bride and groom were really emotional and moving- and even though I didn’t participate in the bouquet toss- I thought one of the little girls walking away with the flowers was a really sweet touch.


I absolutely love this beautiful glass wine stopper that was wrapped at my seat at the reception. So lovely!

I absolutely love this beautiful glass wine stopper that was wrapped at my seat at the reception. So lovely!

Duncan and I stayed late into the night, but we had a few things to do the following day- and we had to bid farewell to everyone so we could head off base and back into town.





I was scheduled to drive home on Sunday afternoon, but Duncan and I had wanted to grab brunch with a friend of his who was also in town for the weekend and do a little sight-seeing, first. It’s not every day we get to spend time together- or time in D.C. for that matter- so we wanted to make the most of it.

Although the initial brunch plans fell through- we had managed to grab some great lattes at Bourbon Coffee before we went for a long stroll around the Washington Monument, the National Mall and Reflecting Pool, and The White House. The weather was considerably better throughout the afternoon than it had been in the previous days and when it came time for me to say a tearful goodbye to Duncan and head back to my car- I had left my coat in the backseat and cracked the windows down throughout my eight hour drive home.

Overall I had an INCREDIBLE time. I can’t thank Duncan enough for inviting me to be his guest and being such a gentleman throughout our weekend together (he has perfect manners!)– and I also have to thank Linda and Arash for including me in their most magical of days. Should you two ever see this post- I wish you both nothing but the best as you start this new chapter of your lives together. You’re a beautiful and inspiring couple!

I really do love Virginia and D.C.- and I’d like to go back sooner than later and for a longer stay next time!




“The scent of apples – I am drowsing off…”

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One of my favorite Autumn activities in New England is, without a doubt, going apple picking at any of the beautiful orchards located in the more picturesque parts of Massachusetts. I usually take an entire morning and/or afternoon for the occasion so that I can enjoy the scenic drive along back roads to and from the orchard and still have plenty of time to pick my apples while sipping a cup of warmed cider or nibbling on a freshly baked apple dumpling. It’s such a wonderful (and delicious) way to welcome the Fall.

This past Sunday, although drizzling on and off, was just as good as any other day to head to Brookfield Orchards (a longtime favorite location for my family and friends- and one I’ve been going to since I was a little kid,) and stock up on fresh apples for snacking and baking. The trees were unbelievably full- the most I’ve seen them in years- which led to a lot of great photos and quite the haul!







Couldn’t resist a selfie!

I also made it a point to pick up a few of Brookfield Orchard’s very popular apple cider donuts- which you can watch being baked fresh right inside their country store. They’re pretty addictive, and taste amazing when paired with a hot cup of coffee or tea. I really need to find a recipe so that I can try to make my own at home one of these days.


With plenty of apples to get me through the next few days (or weeks), I’m getting ready for my other favorite orchard/Autumn activity- pumpkin picking. I love piling into my car with my friends and going on a state-wide search for the biggest pumpkin imaginable. It’s a time honored tradition!


Seafood Festival: 2015

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Every year around this time, for as long as I can remember, I’ve always headed up to Hampton Beach with my family for the annual end-of-the-Summer Seafood Festival. Since my dad passed away a few years ago, I’ve been making the drive with my mom and my cousin Paige (and occasionally with other relatives who were around and wanted to come, too-) for a carefree day of shopping, eating, skee-ball, and strolling the surf before the water gets too cold.

This past Saturday, the three of us got a bright and early start in an attempt to beat traffic (it kind of worked!) and find a decent parking spot (and that sort of worked, too!) before the mid-afternoon crowds descended upon the boardwalk and made it almost impossible to move around and get in and out of the area.

The head start gave us the advantage of being able to do some thorough browsing of the sales racks without bumping elbows with other people over and over- and I found some incredible bargains!


I’ve always really liked the look of varsity jackets, especially in the Fall over boot cut jeans and a chunky knit sweater- so when I saw this really nice quality jacket (with a stitched Hampton Beach patch)  for only $10 (!!!!)– I knew I had to snatch it up. I’m so excited to rock this in the coming weeks. I love it!



I found a couple of really cute, comfortable pieces for work, too. The grey-ish dress above, with fancy-looking embroidery and dark brown decorative buttons- was marked down to $13. I’m going to be layering it over black tights, and maybe over a black turtleneck on colder days since it hangs a little loosely on me.

The black and white skirt, marked down to $8- is made of lightweight material and will also be worn over black tights (and probably paired with a sweater, too.) I like the way it sways with every step I take. It’s fun.


I took it easy on accessories this year, opting to skip purchasing any jewelry and picking up this $13 bag, instead. I love the size, which accommodates all of my stuff- and I love the colors. I typically carry deeper-toned bags in the Fall/Winter- like dark browns, navy blues, and hunter greens- but the orange, blue, and pink stripes on this bag are a beautiful combination. I’ll be using this to brighten up my “Colder Months” looks!


Finally, I visited the booth for my favorite all-natural soap company, Scentastics, and treated myself to three bars- one of each of their newer fragrances. I love how soft and clean these bars make my skin feel- and they all smell amazing. My favorite of the bunch is ‘Woodstock’, which has a touch of patchouli in it (but it isn’t overpowering.)


Of course, a seafood festival doesn’t live up to it’s name if there’s no actual seafood- so prior to leaving Hampton for the evening- we stopped to enjoy some incredible crab cakes and a fresh fish dinner on an outdoor patio right across from the ocean. Everything was delicious, and our server was a sweetheart (and kudos to her for staying calm and composed even though the place was packed!)

As the sun began to sat- my mom, Paige, and I made one final stop before we started for home- a more secluded part of the beach where we watched the waves roll in from the rocks, paid tribute to my dad in our own special way, and wrote silly messages in the sand. It was the perfect way to end what was a really, really nice day.


“We’re gonna’ need a bigger boat.”

Backyard BBQ

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Good morning! Although today has some somber undertones (today marks three years since my father passed away,) I’m planning to spend the afternoon- graciously freed up by my boss who gave me the day off- with my mother so that neither one of us has to be alone right now. I know my dad would want us to have fun together today- so we’ll be doing some shopping and going out for dinner in-between what I’m sure will be a few tears and plenty of reminiscing.

This past weekend was purely about having silly fun, however- when a group of friends and I spent Saturday afternoon and well into Sunday morning having a backyard BBQ at the waterfront home of our friend’s boyfriend. We all brought a little something to eat (and boy, did I eat so. much. food.) listened to music, made a big slip & slide out of a huge tarp, some dish soap, and a sprinkler- and lit a campfire as the sun began to set.


My friend Stef had brought her projector, and using an ironed sheet and some extension cords- she managed to rig up a big screen movie theater for us on the back deck so that we could watch terrible horror movies on Netflix (my specialty!) while roasting marshmallows on the fire and passing the bug spray to one another.

I really hope to have more nights like that in the coming weeks. It’s one of my favorite things about the Summer- just laid-back, inexpensive fun with good friends, good food, and a few drinks.

With July underway and 2015 being more than halfway over, I like to re-visit the resolutions I’ve made for myself for the year and map my progress as I move forward through the Summer. It’s a great way to stay focused and refresh yourself on your goals and aspirations for the year so that you don’t give up!

While I’ve definitely been getting into better shape, am far more organized in most aspects of my life than I was prior to New Years- and have low-key been researching different houses and condos in and around the San Diego area for a potential move- I have yet to complete my Route 66 road trip. I have it mapped out, I have the finances (mostly) planned- it’s just a matter of making the time!

I still have a few months left to do it, so I’m not completely discouraged- but I’ve come up with a couple of backup plans for some long-distance vacation destinations should I have to postpone the great cross-country journey until next Summer or Fall when work isn’t so busy. I’ve been eyeing a week in New Orleans this fall, for example- and although I’d like to save a trip to Hawaii to commemorate my turning 30- my wanderlust is kicking in a little, so I have a feeling I might be checking that out sooner than later!

Overall, though- I’d say I’ve made some really great progress with what I set out to accomplish this year. Now that I’ve reflected and have seen how far I’ve come in just a few short months- I’m ready to continue working towards achieving most- if not all- of my resolutions again.

‘Til next time!



June 2015: In a Nutshell.

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Where does the time go? It feels like I was launched out of a cannon at the beginning of the month and have been hurdling forward ever since! June was crazy, hectic, and most certainly a blast- although I did fall behind on my posts just a little bit. Now that I’ve got a couple of quiet days ahead of me before Fourth of July weekend, I’ve been playing catching up.

I thought I’d be writing this from San Diego right now- but with my work schedule, current case load, and friends moving to and from the area in recent weeks- I’ve been grounded here on the East Coast for the time being. I’ll be returning to SoCal soon, though!


I didn’t spend all of June in Massachusetts sitting behind my desk or helping friends pack/unpack their belongings, though. A considerable amount of time was spent hanging around NYC, too. A few weeks ago I had my aura read in Chinatown, and last weekend a group of friends and I caught an early morning train into Grand Central Station to give one of our own a nearly 16-hour tour of some of the city’s most famous landmarks since he had never been to NYC before and was itching to go. We started in Times Square, made our way to Radio City Music Hall, then Rockefeller Center, Central Park (where our friend had his first authentic pretzel cart experience,) One World Trade Center, the 9/11 Memorial, Battery Park, Wall Street- and then worked our way to Brooklyn before we caught an evening subway back to Grand Central. We did it all on foot- and I’m pretty sure I’m still sore from it!

The only two landmarks we couldn’t make it to were the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island, which were closed by the time we made it to where the ferries were- and the top of the Empire State Building. The weather was rainy and foggy the entire time we were there- so much, in fact- that we couldn’t see the top of most of the skyscrapers! With visibility being next to zero- we all collectively decided to head back on a sunnier day to finish the tour properly.

June2015InANutshell2The 9/11 Memorial especially stood out to me. The last time I was down by where the Twin Towers once stood was in the Spring of 2002- and there was nothing left. It was both horrifying and heartbreaking. Now, over a decade later- and this beautiful memorial stands in it’s place. It’s truly something to behold. While I was there, I leaned that a white rose is placed on name plates to commemorate victims’ birthdays- which I thought was so touching (because everyone deserves to be recognized and remembered- especially on their birthday.) It happened to be Martin N. DeMeo’s birthday while I was in the area, and I snapped a photo of his rose.

I haven’t checked out the 9/11 Museum yet, but the memorial itself was worth the trip.

So what’s in store for July? More travel, of course (and not just to NYC this time!) some fashion and recipe posts I’ve been meaning to put up for a couple of weeks now, a head-to-head breakdown of Hampton Beach v. Old Orchard Beach, the usual subscription box reviews- and maybe a good old fashioned camping trip (weather permitting!)

And while I may not physically be at San Diego Comic-Con in the coming days- I’m very much there in spirit (and my spirit just happens to be cosplaying!) I might be writing up a couple of posts about upcoming projects that are displayed/revealed there based on the panels and press releases that are provided to those of us not in attendance. I’m really looking forward to seeing the new trailer for the sixth season of “The Walking Dead” and anything pertaining to Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight!”

July is the prelude to what might be my busiest and most exciting month yet- August- but we’ll get to that when the time comes!

Until then- I’m ready to slow things down a bit and enjoy all the fun July has to offer!