Summer Getaway: Avalon, NJ



We all have one.

That one vacation spot that holds a special place in our hearts.
Not so much because of the location, but rather because of the people you get to spend time with while you are there.

Avalon is that place for me.
It is the one time of year where the majority of my family gets together for a week of sun, sand and laughter.

No matter how many times I walk the beaches in this tiny cozy town I never get tired of the sights or the people.
I especially will never get tired of the ice-cream.
That ice-cream shop pictured above is pure heaven and if i could have one wish it would be to have a window to that ice-cream shop in my home.

It could be because of my amazing family or the ice cream.
Silky sandy beaches or the sunsets that can steal your breath and make you appreciate the little things.
Avalon slows down time for me, I can catch my breath.
A week of worry free bliss.
I only leave with good memories and a countdown set to next year.

Where is your special vacation spot?
Have you ever visited Avalon?

Let me know in the comments!



Just Say Yes

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I am feeling pretty nostalgic this past evening since summer officially ends today.
Tomorrow marks the beginning of the new school year, more things added to my already busy schedule and paper writing…..oh joy.
But that’s not what I want this post to be about.

This time last Sunday I set off on a spontaneous adventure.
As you may or may not know I am no stranger to last minute travel for work.
Airports feel like home to me since I have spent so much of my time in them and I can be packed in 15 minutes.

But this trip was different.
Sometimes different can make me feel a lot of anxiety; especially toward new things.
It was my first time visiting Virginia Beach and a pretty great person.
I had a wonderful time and I’ll be sharing some pictures throughout this post.

But I want to focus on what I learned by just saying yes and deciding to go on this adventure.

From my perspective it is a very important lesson.


I want to encourage just saying yes to things!
Even if saying yes makes you nervous.
Go on that trip with excitement in your eyes and hope in my heart.
Go to that party.
Accept that invitation.
Say yes a new  challenge!
Take on that new project!

Just say yes!

When you say yes to things, saying those words can open so many new opportunities, new friends, and  going places you have never been before.
When you take the opprotunties that are presented to you, you will be able to get more out of life.

When you just say yes to things in life, you let go of fears, insecurities and anxieties.
It may be a small step in your eyes, it may be a big step or it may not seem life a very big deal to you at all.
But  the prospect of missing out on an experiences, missing out on living life, I feel like that is more terrifying than anything.
Just go out and do it!
We can’t let anxiety or anything really stop us in life.

Sometimes moments in life are worth taking a chance.
Sometimes people in life are worth taking a chance on.
New adventures await around every corner if you are brave enough to seek them out.

Just saying yes for me in this moment meant being an hour early to the airport
(partly because I wasn’t sure about security things)
Only being able to read 10 pages of a book while waiting in said airport because I couldn’t wait for the adventure to begin.
Getting on a tiny airplane.
(smallest one ever, but strangely adorable)
AND my favorite part, hugging the person you are going to visit when you arrive.
(Let’s face it, hugs are the best)

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Maybe things won’t be perfect.
Maybe you will have to be flexible.
But you will get to make great memories!
At the very least you will have had a new experience!
And with the new experience the confidence to know you can just say yes to something else in the future.

But you will never know unless you take a chance.

I for one, am going to start just say yes more often.
What is life without new adventures.

I certainly would have been sad to miss out on this one.
Being brave and just saying yes made my heart so happy.
Not only because of the fun things I got to experience but also the confidence it gave me for present and future.
With the confidence to try new things, you can be unstoppable.
It was nice to have a change of pace.
My adventure was full of hugs, sun & sand, amazing food, thoughtful surprises and just a truly wonderful person to share the whole experience with.
I am sure you are well aware that I am a firm believer that it’s the people who are with your that make an experience great.

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Saying yes was a great decision and I am so glad I didn’t miss out on an opportunity to make memories with someone I enjoy spending time with.

Now go out and say yes to your next great adventure!
Even if it might be a small one.

You won’t regret it, I promise!
In fact, you may leave your adventure excited to plan another.


What have you said yes to this summer?
Have you gone on any great adventures?

Let me know in the comments!



Spring Break in NYC

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During my spring break two of my friends Kellie and Jimmy who are rather far away, suggested we do something fun and a little out of the ordinary for this spring break.

Since I don’t get to see either of them very often, I jumped at the opportunity! Our NYC plans were born over several phone calls and a few weeks of planning. Count downs been made and tickets purchased, we waited anxiously for the big day to arrive.
This trip was a first for me on so many levels, this was one of the first times I would get to stay in a hotel on time square (verses my old apartment in Rockaway Beach), the first time I have ever taken a bus as means of transport and one of the few times I have ever been in the city for pure fun instead of work.
Needless to say I was up for the new experience!
The big day arrived and Kellie and Jimmy flew in from Orlando to Pennsylvania the day before a day before our scheduled departure.
We took the day before the trip to visit favorite restaurants, relax and have a cupcake party since I felt extremely bad about not being able to visit for both of there birthdays!

The next day was the day of the trip!
Our bus was scheduled to leave very early so we all set our alarms for the ungodly hour of 5am to make sure we had enough time to arrive at the bus station and for last minute packing. Unfortunately all of us ended up oversleeping but we still managed to make it to our bus on time without forgetting anything and still being able to grab a quick breakfast! Although the bus was a new experience I would highly recommend it as a means of getting into the city! We arrived at the bus station 30 minutes ahead of schedule and it was a wonderful alternative to getting stuck in all that traffic you often hit when you drive yourself.
We managed to get a cab very quickly, stuffed our four suitcases (one per person attending the trip: we did not over pack stop judging us….) and made our way over to our hotel. We were booked in at the Hayat Time Square. The Hayat is a beautiful sleek looking hotel complete with complementary concierge luggage check in, restaurant T45 and Bar 54, which happens to be the highest rooftop bar in NYC.
As you enter the lobby you are greeting by a sleek white interior with modern furniture, stainless steal accents and the air smelling of mint. I made the decision right there they I would like all my surroundings to smell like mint. It was wonderfully relaxing.

The staff is extremely friendly and although our check in wasn’t until 4pm they quickly accommodated us and we were assigned a room on a lower floor. It was wonderful to unpack out things right away and our room keeping with the modern design plan was small but the space was used efficiently.
Fresh with white linens decorated the beds and a few fun accents like a orange balloon poodle statue sitting on the long shelf above the beds and a cool take on an eye chart from a doctors office hanging above the desk. The bathroom was completely white marble with silver chrome accent pieces, the shower glass and beautiful complete with two showerheads, one was a rain faucet and the other a standard removable showerhead.
After we were all finished unpacking and soaking in the amazing view our room had of midtown, we bundled back up to brace the cold New York air to walk around Time Square. The Hyatt is a prime location because Time Square is only two blocks from out hotel i might add and to go in search of some lunch.Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 7.26.13 PM
Time square was absolutly beautlful and packed with people as to be expected dispite the cold weather. We had a great time wondering around and getting our barrings before finially deciding on a place to eat.


After weighing our options we settled on a family style Italian restaurant called Buca di Beppo. We decided on calamari to share and also a huge portion of fettuccini alfredo with chicken. These portions were huge but between the three of us we almost finished the whole thing.

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After lunch I texted my many cousins Kat (recently turned a New Yorker) to see if she wanted to meet up and join in the day of fun!
The timing worked out perfectly and by the time we were done with our meal they were ready and took the subway to meet us at the entrance of Buca di Beppo. Once Kat and her boyfriend joined us, we took a wonderful stroll through central park together! The sun was shining and the temperature increased making it perfect for strolling the many paths! After our delightful stroll we wondering into the Metropolitan Museum.
The Met is one of my favorite museums we went to five different exhibits and it was absolutely wonderful.

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Afterwards we headed over the Magnolia Bakery for some well deserved treats after all of that walking!

I chose the personal cheesecakes, my favorite desert next to cupcakes. We then found a nice fountain in the sun and we all sat down to eat our treats together and companionable silence, as they were too delicious to stop eating and talk with each other.
When we were finished with our treats it was nearly 4pm so I had to say goodbye to Kat, if Jimmy and I were going to make it to our nexted planned event!
A show on broadway! It was really lovely to spend the day with one of my favorite cousins and I really enjoyed seeing her since we don’t get to visit as often as we would like these days so it was really nice to spend the day together!

Jimmy and I then proceeded to walk back to the hotel for a bit of chill out time and to get ready for the eight o’clock showing of Aladdin at the New Amsterdam Theater. In honor of the show my outfit consisted of gold sequins pants and a lacy black tank top with a sweater because it really was that chilly. All of us headed down to Time Square to do a bit of window-shopping before the show. We ended up stopping in the Disney store where I purchased the cutest piglet plushy in the entire universe! My dear friend Kellie was kind enough to take my spherical pig back to the hotel with her as Jimmy and I made our way to the theater.

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The show was absolutely fantastic! The costumes and sets were amazing, the whole cast put there heart and soul into the performance. I would highly recommend going to see it if you get a chance. I was most excited about Jonathan Freeman who not only plays Jafar in the Broadway version but also voiced Jafar in the movie. Just like all Disney stories this stage version has a twist with new characters and songs so it is truly a wonderful experience.

After the show was complete we made a mad dash to our dinner reservation at Tony di Napoli’s, where I ate my body weight once again in delicious pasta.
We also had wonderful white wine and just an overall great meal!

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Since the night was so beautiful we walked around time square and took some pictures on the steps that lead to nowhere!
Then we made our way back to the hotel to check out Bar 54.

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We got a table inside and looked at the extenstive drink menu Bar 54 has to offer! It is a really amazing space and I was surprised to find it wasn’t all the crowded! After we placed our drink orders, I ended up ordereing a drink called the jewelry box.

We stepped outside to take some photos on the outside portion of the bar. You could sit outside even in the winter Bar 54 has these inflatable tents that resemble igloos complete with blankets to keep you nice and cozy!
We ended up staying at the bar until last call, it was so lovely that our room was a short evevator ride away!
It was a fantastic first day in the city and I snuggled into bed anxiously awaiting to see what day two had in store for all of us when we woke up!

Stay Tuned for Part Two!