made it to Deutschland!

Aug 13, 2014

I made it into Germany yesterday!
A little bit of difficulty in the airport finding Elizabeth but it worked out eventually haha. I was so exciiiiited to finally see them! Just driving back from the airport everything was beautiful.

Trips are booked. Hotels booked and we start the travel tomorrow!

Hope all is well back in the US!

road trip necessities

Aug 6, 2014

Recently I went on a mini road trip to North Carolina to visit my best friend. We had a celebration for future Sofia Marie with neighbors and friends. North Carolina is not in close proximity to my house, nor is driving down the turnpike on a Friday in the summer a good idea. Actually, it's a terrible idea. This drive isn't new to me, I have visited many places in North Carolina; mostly 8-10 hour drives, but this one kicked my butt. As I was driving down I-95, I realized there are some road trip necessities, especially when you drive alone.

Snacks. Snacks Snacks. 
Healthy and unhealthy. Water or some Gatorade. I always hate stopping when I'm not ready for a meal but I'm hungry for a snack. I make sure to pack some snacks for long car rides. Kind bars, Twizzlers, BBQ chips, trail mix.

GPS and using hands free to talk to anyone who will put up with you for however long you may be driving. Good friends, I have good friends. Plus, music and podcasts are on here!

Chargers for said smartphone.
If you use your phone on a consistent basis throughout your trip, you will definitely need to keep it on a constant charge. I will let mine die just a bit and recharge it fully. There's a myth about letting the battery die fully, then recharge - it saves for longer use. Myth or fact? I shall never know.

Good music and/or podcasts.
Yes to satellite radio and yes to podcasts. Some of my favorite podcasts are: 1, 2, 3. Thank you Pandora and Spotify for existing in the world. I love you.

Hand sanitizers and face wipes.
Being from Jersey, we don't pump our gas. So when I finally have to, I need hand sanitizer to make sure my hands are clean and ready for snacks! Face wipes can be good when you start to get drowsy, it's a little refresher.

Do I need to explain?!

I have a sneezing problem. More like, my nose hates me and I constantly need to blow it. So, a huge essential to my daily driving life is having a travel pack of tissues in my glove box or center console. Don't judge me.

Comfy clothes.
Long car rides and tight jeans? Let's face it, NOT FUN. A nice pair of sweat pants, comfortable leggings, or a good pair of shorts.. a win.

This may not be a necessity for short trips, but when I took a road trip across the country it saved us from spending a ton on towing. It was also a cross-country road trip so it depends on what your travel distance is. For us, it was a life saver. I like the comfort of knowing if I need help, I can call AAA without a problem.

GPS, not from smartphones.
Again, another tip from my cross-country road trip. Your phone will not always have enough reception to have a workable GPS and it will crap out on you. In our case, AT&T failed us on being connected in the West. Luckily, we brought a GPS with us and it allowed us to have directions without freaking out. Yay older technology to save the day!

It may not work for everyone, but this is what has worked for me in my 3-5-7-12 hour road trips. Another tip, driving manual in heavy traffic is a horrible idea, but I love my stick shift, except at that moment. These few items have made driving long distances much easier and more fun!

Do you guys have any must-haves when taking road trips?

what i'm reading

Jul 30, 2014

Reading for enjoyment while working full-time and taking graduate classes is not an easy task. Every time I happen to pick up a book for pleasure, I think, I should be reading the next chapter so I don't fall behind, it would be more productive. So for the next six four weeks, I get to read for the enjoyment of reading a good book. Because really, I love it. Baby shower planning has gotten in the way a bit but so so worth it.

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach | Recently finished this book and I was a bit angry at the end of it. I love the characters and very well written. In high school, all of my friends played baseball so I know a lot about the ins and outs about the stats and how passionate people can be able this. I always knew the short-stop had a heavy job, always had to be a great player. It sucked me in, by the end I was getting frustrated at the characters decisions, but it made the book enjoyable. I was vested in the decisions they were making, as if they were my own friends. Enjoyable read.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling | This was a Summer 2013 read but I never posted anything about it. I can still remember how much I loved it and how it had my laughing out loud on the plane ride home from Seattle. Thinking, I hope these people don't think I'm crazy because this book is AMMAAZZINNNGGG. I could relate to the book, it was pursuing dreams and awkward moments of life growing up culturally different. It had me sending pictures to my best friend saying THAT'S US! I read this in two days; I would read it over and over, and over again.

Bossypants by Tina Fey | Because I loved Mindy Kaling's book so much I hoped this would be as good. It took me a long time to read. I started in December and only just recently finished it. Not nearly as funny and engaging as I was expecting. When I put it down I would forget about it and not look at it for weeks, it just did not have me hooked on it. I enjoyed some parts of it and learning about SNL and how 30 Rock was created, but not the same entertainment for me.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green | Young adult novels get me every time. Again, this was from the Fall when I was in Seattle, but it was on a best-sellers list before the movie came out. No, I didn't see it. I wasn't interested in seeing it. The book had me teary at the end, not as tear jerker as the movie may have portrayed. I find I never enjoy the movies after reading the books so I would read it afterwards. It was an easy read and only took a few days to complete. It hooked me and I was interested in the story line, but at the same time I was annoyed at the characters.


Jul 27, 2014

Brian stayed with me two weeks ago, an entire week together! Unfortunately, I still had to go to work those days, but it was a nice surprise every time I got home and he was there to greet me. One day I had come home and he surprised me with flowers. I love the smell of fresh flowers in my house. It's truly wonderful. We were so busy every night, even when it was just relaxing on a Friday night I was drained. An eventful week(end).

We decided to visit Baltimore again to see his friends from college.
We picked a good weekend to go since it was the biggest art festival in Baltimore. #artscape2014
His friends also got a new puppy three days before we came so they were still crate training and getting used to having to take care of a puppy. So friggin' cute. He was precious, so tiny! Italian greyhound, 12 weeks, Sam. Yes, we shared a name. Lots of jokes that weekend.

I was extremely excited to finally take out my camera and snap a few pictures. It has been so long since I've been able to really take photos. I switched out my lens and put my 50mm f1.8 back on, my tried and true. Seriously, I love that lens. I know it crops close and you have to walk farther out to take portraits but it is such a good lens. The bokeh is amazing, the low light capabilities are great too. Overall, my fave. I am renting a lens for my Europe trip with the future possibility of buying it, way too much for me to spend right now.

Okay, back to the story.
I go off a tangent sometimes, my bad!
Anyways, we walked around Artscape for a few hours and I snapped away at pictures of them. I really didn't get any photos of us except on my phone. The trusty iPhone 5! It was hot, but not humid; easy summer weather with tons of people walking around and artsy things going on. Spent most of the time browsing but nothing to really buy.

Played some nerd games, Settlers of Catan, I'm actually amused at how much I enjoy that game. Competitive, too. I came in second. So close!! Most of the weekend Jesse and Brian played Mario Kart and Magic. Yes, Magic: the Gathering. A true nerd. He's so cute.

Now this week, I am planning baby shower games and things.
Brian and I are on hiatus, I know it's confusing because he spent the week with me, but my life is complicated. Or, I just make them complicated, who knows. I need to figure it out and right now being alone is what is best for me. I enjoy his company, his conversation, him. Right now, I'm just not ready. Not for serious long distance commitment. I want to focus on me. Me, for once. We remain friends and talk, we're definitely more than friends with those feelings, but we'll see.

currently: july edition

Jul 21, 2014

Artscape 2014 in Baltimore

super excited that classes are over for the next six weeks

cringing over the bills/expenses I have in the next four weeks

editing pictures I took over the weekend spent in Baltimore

designing baby shower game books for P's shower in August

loving my new Behance Action book

eating home cooked meals from my mom, nom nom nom

drinking less Starbucks coffee and French pressing it at home

counting down the days until Europe, THREE weeks

reading Eleanor & Park, I bought it during Christmas and have had no time until now

enjoying the nice weather we've been having; I am loving the cool summer nights

researching for a lens to take on my trip

watching nothing in particular, except HBO movies

listening to Timeflies on repeat

wanting to learn how to design my blog on my own, looking to take this course

for the love of pho

Jul 13, 2014

It's probably a weird obsession I have at the moment.
It's probably a phase that I will move on from because I will be so sick of eating it, but for right now, I am in love.

In love, with pho.
A vietnamese style dish, which usually never comes vegetarian. Why? Because it is typically made in a beef broth, not very vegetarian of me. But I found a place, a place so wonderful it thinks of the small population of vegetarians, who want to try something oh so delicious without giving up our ideas. Vegetable broth! You have saved the day.

I finally found one which serves a vegetarian dish, it has a little section dedicated to us lowly vegetarians and I visit this restaurant almost once every other week. Like I said, obsessed. The employees even know when I come in there what I'm going to order, the only reason for me to look at the menu is to decide what drink I would like, if it's Tuesday. Two pho Tuesday!

And last, but not least, mochi. Oh mochi, mochi, mochi.
Red bean, you are my favorite. Taro, I wish you didn't come on the dish. Green tea, runner up to the best. You can almost guarantee that I will order dessert no matter how stuffed I am with food. It has to be frozen because if it's not, it's pretty gross. I'm also always afraid while in the process of cutting it in half, it will fly off the plate onto the floor. It has yet to happen and I'll keep crossing my fingers it doesn't.

Now that I have made myself hungry for it and regret talking so much about it, I am going to go back to studying! Enjoy the last World Cup match today and the last parts of your weekend!

back to the grind

Jul 9, 2014

I spent the fourth down in Florida visiting B for a few days and it was a nice getaway.
We spent most of the time taking naps and eating out. I am a huge fan of naps, eating out - not always. It has been my experience lately, his area is not keen on the vegetarian, mom-and-pop lifestyle that I love so much. It poses a problem to the future of me moving down there; I'm not sure I could handle that!

It was a good time overall and I was happy to spend it with him and his coworkers/friends. Being able to set off fireworks and not have to worry about getting into trouble over it was an amusing part of the process. I had never been into a fireworks store so it was crazy to see how much they spent. New Jersey has none and it is illegal to set them off, but so is Florida. I was most excited about sparklers because I'm about 10 years old, ya know? They're fun! You can't blame me!

I met one of his friends from college who brought his 6 month old with him and B takes the funniest pictures when holding children. We both have the same reactions to it, I think. He's much better than I am haha. One day I am sure I'll get better at it, but until then I'll stick to holding dogs and children that can walk themselves.


Classes are almost over so I can't wait to have more time doing things! Like planning my trip in Europe! Woo! I will return with a bang when class is done and I've had a few ideas on wanting to change the look and updating more often. Let's cross our fingers.

the weekend | 02

Jul 1, 2014

When the weekend was approaching I would have told you it was going to be a relaxing, study for my exam type of weekend... I was wrong. But in a really good way.

Friday night was spent playing with water color and watching random movies playing on the television. I think it turned out pretty good, considering it filled up two frames!

This weekend was perfect for beach going and I took full advantage of it! I love the beach, it's one of my favorite parts of the summer and one of my imaginary "summer manifestos" was to go to the beach at least every other weekend. Twice this weekend makes up for any time I have missed. And spontaneous me, a friend of mine had an extra ticket to the Paramore/Fall Out Boy Monument Tour - VIP parking and a seat in section 102, closest I've ever been to the stage in a big concert like that. So excited. I loved Fall Out Boy in high school, loved Paramore as well, but FOB - it brings me back. The show was AWESOME. I could not stop jumping up and down and singing all the old school songs. I loved it. R and I have been friends for a long time so it is funny to look back on our history and see where we are today, friends. If you knew our history, you would ask the question: why are you friends with him? I get that a lot but to hold a grudge when you're already over it, it's useless. It was great. He even broke out of his shell and danced and sang along. Woah. Scratch one off my list. Spent the last day of my weekend at the beach with A. We had a good time, relaxing on the beach, falling asleep and wading around in the ocean, my fave. It's been a good time.

Meanwhile, B surprised me with beautiful flowers from a local florist where I live - he knows I love lilies and buying local and not from the "big chains." The only sad thing, I don't to see them for very long because I'll be visiting him tonight until Saturday! I hope they're still holding on when I get back. I love the smell of fresh flowers when I walk through the door.

Besides the exciting news, my plants are growing! My basil has some tiny mushrooms and I am not happy about that, I'm searching the web to get rid of them. Any ideas? The plant I have up there, I clipped some of those stems off of someone else's plant at work and it has been growing! I am so excited!! My green thumb isn't completely black, ha.

I hope you all enjoyed your weekends.
I won't be around for the week so have a happy 4th!


friday faves | 06

Jun 27, 2014

1 | My mom recently bought me these gummy bears, I think they're my new faves.
2 | I love these summer drink mocktails by ABM.
3 | Easy DIY cake toppers for the baby shower.
4 | My little succulent is growing a baby succulent, thanks to this.
5 | I need to make these vegan cinnamon rolls.

Enjoy your weekend all.


baby shower mood board

Jun 26, 2014

If you know me well, you would know I am not a baby fan. I have never been the girl that was gawking over an infant and wanting to hold it (yes, it). They are too fragile for me to feel completely comfortable with holding a newborn; it makes me nervous. Is that weird? Probably.

BUT, my best fran, P, is having her first child this coming October and I will have to overcome my fear of babies. Yes, I realize how ridiculous I sound but shhhh. I am so so soooooo excited for her and her husband. I was lucky enough to take photos for her wedding day and I can't wait to take pictures at her baby shower in August.

It pains me to think how far away we are from each other and I can't be there to really throw her a baby shower. The distance has always sucked, but now it really sucks when there are such big events such as these. A friend of hers in NC is throwing the shower and I want to be apart of it so bad so I made sure to email her so I wouldn't be left out. On top of that, I spent my entire class searching Pinterest for baby shower ideas and created a mood board of ideas. Let's hope some of these can come to fruition.

currently: june edition

Jun 25, 2014

working on the new gallery wall in my apartment

eating tons of watermelon my mom precut for me (!!)

drinking iced coffee every morning, perfect weather for it

counting down the days for #sammyvaca

planning beach days for the weekend

trying to figure out how to uncomplicate my life a little

reading blogs about blogging and how-to design blogs

designing pretend baby shower invites for practice

searching for baby shower cupcake ideas for P's shower in August

laughing at Harlow and Sage Instagram videos

flicking through channels because I have no shows to watch

listening to music I played in high school, need new stuff!

enjoying the summer weather, minus the humidity

catching up on all the blogs I am behind on, damnit school you get in the way again

obsessing over how much I love vegetarian pho

attempting to blog more because I miss it

the weekend | 01

Jun 23, 2014

Being a 27 year-old single girl, working full-time at a university, while going to night classes, with no real responsibilities gets difficult to update a blog. Every podcast, blogger, or how-to blog site explains that consistency is key, but it's definitely easier said then done. My life does not revolve around the blog because it's not my full-time job, but I do love it.

So what does a 27 year-old do on the weekends?

It's always hanging out with friends or a recovery weekend from every other busy weekend. The majority (let's say 99%) of my friends are in similar positions as I am; the no children grouping. All of my friends who have children or are soon-to-be parents, don't live near me -- they all live out of state. Most are not married, with a few in serious relationships, but still in the stage of "I'm just having fun." When I was younger, I could have sworn I would be married with children now, but I'm happy with where life has taken me so far.

This weekend consisted of hanging out in Pennsylvania with a few friends..

Pancake cook-off.

Box mix vs. homemade from scratch pancakes. Box mix pancakes with crushed up chocolate chip cookies mashed in, basically anything he could find pancakes. I would like to believe the scratch pancakes were the winners. Fluffy pancakes for the win!

Fifa enjoyed her time there, she loves having a fenced in yard. I also like how easy it is to wear her out when we have a yard to play in. Throw ball. Catch ball. Run back. Pretend to give ball back but don't. Rip ball from mouth. Throw ball. Repeat.

Spent Friday night at a baseball game for a 31st birthday celebration. I love baseball games. As much as I tried to pay attention to the game I'm pretty sure we socialized more then actually watching the game. Oh well. Ten dollars well spent. Fireworks on a Friday night in the summertime? You really can't go wrong with that.

It was a very eventful weekend and I am glad I enjoyed Sunday with my parents, shopping with mom and watching FIFA World Cup with my dad and, what do you know it, Fifa. I hope you all enjoyed your weekends, they are always way too short for me.

currently : may edition

May 30, 2014

listening to The Lively Show podcast

attempting to walk a mile-a-day with Fifa, two in one day if I skip one

eating oatmeal with peaches and strawberries, thank you Ann-Marie

watching random movies on TV because all of my shows ended

anxiously awaiting the Game of Thrones episode since it didn't play this week

enjoying the sun and beach from this past Memorial Day

drinking iced coffee again from Starbucks

thinking about how much I don't want to start my summer class

wondering if B is going to come visit in July

loving maxi dresses this summer

happy about my parents coming back home this weekend

saving money for bills and vacations #sammyvaca

missing spending time with B

instagramming my 100 Happy Days with only 8 days left #100happydoods

reading Bossypants by Tina Fey, it's taken me a while to get through it

looking forward to beach days and happy hours outside

confusing thoughts about my roller coaster love life of indecisiveness

hoping my basil plants stay alive this time

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

why i blog

May 24, 2014

While walking Fifa around the neighborhood last night, I was listening to episode 7 of Elise's podcast with Ann-Marie. These two are probably my top favorite bloggers and I can't even recall how I happened to stumble upon them (like most of the blogs I read), but I love reading them. After listening to it, I wondered why do I blog? What really is my incentive? And I realized..


I have no hidden agenda to the reasoning of this blog, other then I really enjoy writing in it, for myself and to whomever chooses to follow along. When I was in high school I had a blog over at LiveJournal, it was the thing back then, but really it was for causing cat fights. Lame. I know. I never said I was a genius at 16.

When I began this blog, the reason for it was to document my Project Life pages for others to view, while allowing my parents, who live overseas for half the year, to be updated. My mom read it, I'm not sure if she still reads this but it has become my own little journal. My former boyfriend was also a reader and a full supporter in my journey to make this little space, as well as supporting all of my little side notes. Even after we broke up, he continued to read it, which probably was a terrible idea since I constantly vented about our break-up. Sorry about that.

But that's the thing, this is a space to vent, to share, to create something for myself.
It's what helped me through my break-up and right now, it's helping me figure out what to do in my current love life...

I share what I want to share, yet have not made a huge deal about having a blog to my friends in real life. I can't tell if it's because of embarrassment or just because I don't think they would have an interest. This space is for me and to find others who share the similar passion of just telling our stories. I'm not a mom, engaged, or have a real boyfriend, but I can relate to a lot of other people who blog. There are some blog posts that have gotten me through tough times and some that have helped my 'creativity' grow - and I enjoy it.

Blogging helps me.

It lets me write down how I'm feeling and what I'm thinking. I have a hard time getting my feelings out without sounding like a total ass. My mind goes crazy and I get anxiety from trying to think too much and say the correct thing. This helps me filter myself into what I truly want to say.

My blog pushes me to do more and it is one thing I love about it.
I love to cook and bake, I love to be crafty and although I can not do it on a consistent basis because, well life, I really like having it there when I need it. It has never crossed my mind to think hey, I want to do this professionally, it's just not my thing, but it works for me.

This little space of mine may never turn into a crazy lifestyle blog, but I will love it no matter what. I will always come back here to my little space on the Internet and click through the archives and see how much has changed over the years. I've been doing this for two years, two years! I can not believe I have been somewhat consistent over these last few years. It's wonderful in my eyes.

I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have.
For those of you who stop by and read - thank you, thank you, thank you. It does mean a lot to me and I love finding new blogs to read so, stop by, say hi and let's be friends :)

friday faves | 05

May 23, 2014

After finding Kelsey's blog [Kelsey, Especially], I have been non-stop reading random posts that I keep clicking on throughout the current post I am reading and loved her 5 Fandom Things post. So in honor of it being Friday and totally getting some inspiration from her, I will do one! Because May has been a month of cooking new recipes, I decided to do a food related topic.

    01 //  If you've been reading for a little while now, you'll know I'm a vegetarian/vegan/pescetarian. More of a vegetarian, but on occasion I'll cheat with some shrimps and scallops. Why? Because I really like them and when I'm out, I have a craving for them. I eat how I want to and I don't stick to a completely strict diet of vegetarianism. I will not eat any chicken, pork, turkey, or beef. It's a decision I made nearly three years ago and have never looked back on it. 
    02 //  Avocados? Yuck. I can't do it. No matter how many times I have tried to eat one and tried to enjoy it, the texture just makes me cringe and I won't take another bite. A vegetarian who doesn't like avocados? I know, so sue me.
    03 //  Trader Joe's is my go-to grocery store. I love that place, especially the one near my place because the employees are super friendly too.
    04 //  I drink coffee almost everyday. It's my one true addiction. 
    05 //  Cooking wasn't a 'thing' for me until I became a vegetarian/vegan. Vegan baking is one of my favorite pastimes, watching other people enjoy them is more fun then eating them for me.

Now to start the long 3-day weekend (after I get off from work)!

the weekend recap

May 21, 2014

Yes, I am fully aware it is Wednesday and I am doing a recap of my weekend, which occurred almost towards the new weekend. Whatever, it's my space right?

Although my birthday was a few weeks ago, I went to Atlantic City to spend it with some friends. It has not been nearly as crazy as the past years when I have gone down there with tons of friends in tow and blaring music in the hotel room. It usually ends up with an old couple calling security on us because we are too loud at 10pm. C'mon, it's 10pm on a Saturday night - I'm ready to dance. This was a somewhat low key birthday. My friends bailed. Thanks. I was meeting some other friends down there who were celebrating a 30th birthday - kind of a big deal.

My best friend showed up with his girlfriend and we gambled for about two hours before they had to head home. Working and being an adult really does suck sometimes. I ventured off to find my other friends and the night was the kind of night you would want on your 30th birthday, as a guy. Strip clubs and alcohol. Thanks to yours truly, I am a bit of a sweet talker, I was able to get us into the strip club after we were turned down (who wears shorts when you're trying to go out dancing?). I was able to talk our way to a table, then to a table on the floor, where we picked out lap dances for the birthday boy.

Yes, this sounds sleazy and inappropriate, but it was all in good fun. It was celebrations.

But the weekend got me thinking, when is it time to grow up?
I am 27 years old, but I live in a college town, I work for a university so it's hard to seem grown up when my surroundings are the same. I guess the fact that I look like I'm still 18 doesn't exactly help my cause for grown up status. I still wear American Eagle because it's the only thing that really fits, I don't dress up for work -  I wear jeans and a t-shirt.

My friends are getting engaged, having babies, and I'm over here like hey, what bar are we going to this weekend? But I'm happy with it. I am nowhere near ready for children, I have no idea if I want children. Engaged? I can't even keep a boyfriend longer then a few months lately. Although, long distance has made it rather difficult to be with B, maybe it's because I need to get my head clear.

All I know is: I will figure this out one day and right now, my focus is on what makes me happy; not what will make others happy.

maple-glazed tofu and brussel sprouts

May 16, 2014

Hello to one of my new favorite recipe blogs: Cookie and Kate.
I don't recall how I stumble upon most of the foodie blogs I follow, but when I find a good one, I fall in love.

Being a vegetarian/vegan it is difficult to find recipes I use as my "go-to" types. I like to reuse and on occasion I make the weekly breakfast-lunch-dinner menu to make it easier on myself when I get home from a long work day. I wish my kitchen had more counter space, but that is a whole other story.

I am not a tofu fan. Why? Because I despise draining the water from it. I am terrible at it. I should just buy the tofu press but I have not indulged in it. For now, it is paper towels and heavy books. For this recipe you definitely have to get the water out because it doesn't soak up the flavor as much. This recipe was delicious, I mean it made my meat eating friends actually enjoy eating tofu and vegan! I love those types of recipes.

Notes for THIS recipe:
+ get the water out of the tofu (always the case in any recipe)
+ when coating with cornstarch, I would mix it in a bowl because a lot of it didn't coat my tofu, probably use more then 1 tablespoon
+ maple syrup instead of honey for a vegan version
+ 2 teaspoons of Thai sweet chili sauce, I like it so much more then sriracha
+ rice cookers make cooking rice easier

I highly, highly recommend this recipe. It will go into rotation for me!

the list

May 12, 2014

A few years ago I decided to create a list of things I wanted to accomplish in the year I turned twenty-five, last year I chose not to create one, but alas, I am back. As I sat at work, it felt like it wasn't my birthday, I kept forgetting my birthday was that week and it was just getting older. People say as you get older the birthday's seem less important, I did not want to accept that as an excuse and began my list. Sure, some of these things have been on there forever and probably will continue to be there but it is an attempt to make change. Make the effort to do more.

One of these will take place Wednesday night when I venture into NYC with some coworkers for an improv show. A friend of a friend is performing and well, it's only $5 for the show! Driving in with a bunch of friends and venturing into the city for food and entertainment? Win.

Lots on the list are random but it's what it makes it enjoyable. Attempting the small things that make my life a little special to who I am.

Do you guys ever make lists? I love checking things off.
Let's roll.

here we go!

May 11, 2014

And so begins 27.
My birthday happened to be fantastic. I have really great friends who bake delicious desserts, buy delicious desserts, and treat the birthday people to amazing Thai dinners. The past three days have been busy with tons of friends and I could not ask for a better way to spend 27.

On my birthday, tons of us went out to dinner and to the brewery across the street for drinks. It's hard to get a bunch of coworkers together, especially when one of them no longer works with us, but I was so thrilled to have everyone together. I work with some amazing people and my job would not be as good without them there. The next day at work felt like forever considering we were out so late the night before.

Friday was relaxing. Although it was a night of nothing, it was the perfect night of nothing. Do you ever find yourself enjoying those nights where you can watch TV with someone and not need there to be something going on? It felt good. I headed down to my parents house for the air show the next day and boy it was a loooooooong day. Watching the planes all day was awesome though, I have lived next to the Air Force base my entire life and this was the first year I have ever gone to the show.

Overall, my birthday was spent with some special people and I received some amazing flowers, which I love. I found that daisies are my second favorite flower now haha. Enjoying the beginnings of a new year. I hope you all are going to enjoy it with me.

welcoming twenty-seven

May 8, 2014

Last year before I turned 26 I gathered about 25 pictures throughout my 25th year and this year is no different. So many things have changed in the last year of my life. What do you ask? Well, I got new glasses this year, I know it was this year (and not last) because you can see from last years photos. I know, genius I am. There is more to add to this story..

Twenty-six was good to me. I traveled a lot. More then I normally do. Seattle (twice actually), Orlando, West Palm Beach, Adirondacks, weekend trip to Baltimore and Cape Cod, day trips to NYC, and so many other little trips. I have had a fantastic year and I am so so excited to bring in this new one.

During this year, I graduated with my Master's in Labor Studies and Employment relations, bought a new car, moved into my own apartment, met some fantastic new people, started dating again and learning more about myself, began my second Masters in Human Resources Management, got to be apart of a wedding for a college roommate, bought my very first real Christmas tree, booked a trip to a new country (August!!), found out two great friends are pregnant and another got engaged. I know there has been more but this is what comes to mind from the last 365 days.

A look into the past year.
I really do have wonderful people in my life. I am truly lucky to have friends who I can truly call family. I would have been a wreck without them.

Tonight, I will be enjoying delicious Thai food at my favorite restaurant with my birthday twin and a bunch of our coworkers. Probably visiting the brewery across the street for drinks and then snuggling into bed with my baby girl, Fifa.

a new month

May 3, 2014

It is no doubt that May is one of my favorite months out of the year. Why? Well, because it happens to be my birthday month and it always seems to be the true beginning of spring and summer weather. Yesterday's down pour of rain the entire day did not help the case but that was April showers, now for the May flowers!

A lot has changed since the beginning of April. I'm not sure if it's good or bad news, but it still continues into May. B and I ended our relationship for the time being. Long distance took its toll on us, probably me to be honest, and I couldn't honestly be dedicated to it when I was half-hearted. My feelings for him have not changed but at the moment, I need to focus on myself. With a full workload and school load coming in the next few months I need to figure out how to handle it. He is really wonderful in understanding the difficulties I am having and I am hoping in the next few months we can work something out together. Until then, I need my life to be my own, not wrapped around a partner. I've done that before and it's not what I want again.

So here is to May.
Sunshine, beaches, crafting, working, studying, tanning, and all things wonderful that the summertime brings. I need to manage my finances a little bit better, considering I am going to Germany in four months I need to SAVE. Says the girl who checked out with some new white converses and a cutlery set from Macy's this morning... oops.

Here's to May.
I will be carrying my camera around with me more often. The nice weather will bring more walks for Fifa and outdoors-y activities. It seems annoying to carry this big DSLR around but, honestly, I love photography and I need to get back into it. SP was so supportive of all of my adventures in hobbies and he pushed me to do more of it, I need to do that for myself now.

One week until my birthday.
Twenty-seven will be another good year for me. Twenty-six was tons of fun and full of new things. I can not wait for 27, it will be so exciting and full of travels. So so many travels. And lets cross our fingers on a new job and state to live in.

+  learn how to use my sewing machine
+  work on Project Life
+  take more pictures with DSLR
+  make new recipes and/or bake something new

currently: april edition

Apr 28, 2014

starting Project Life, finally, I began the title page and decided on 12x12

enjoying the weather beginning to warm up

taking time to walk Fifa outside and using her long leash so she can run

thinking about how I don't know what to do with my love life

missing B when I know I made the decision to let go (ugh, long story)

watching Game of Thrones and hating that I caught up because now I have to wait a week like everyone else

eating kale and arugula salads like it's my job 

drinking iced coffees again, although my taste in coffee has changed

hating this sore throat

counting down the days until my 27th birthday *gasp*

wishing we weren't so far apart so things could work out

trying to figure out what to do with my life and what I want

reading tons and tons of blogs about gardening, crafting, scrapbooking

dreaming of my Germany trip in August

waiting for the semester to be over so I can relax a bit


Apr 10, 2014

If you have ever followed me on Instagram, you will know I use the hashtag #sammyvaca whenever I go on vacation. Well, this might be my new future favorite vacation plan by far. That says a lot, considering I spent three weeks in Thailand.

Well, while talking to my friends wife, Elizabeth, I started planning my trip to Germany to visit her and one of my good friends, Craig. I can not tell you how ecstatic I am to go visit. I have gone to North Carolina a few times to go visit them, you can check that out here and here (when they got married). They moved to Germany almost a year ago for the military and it has been a long time since I have seen them so that is also a plus!

I'll be visiting in August for about two weeks and taking a trip to Rome to visit a friend from college for a few days as well. Along with Germany and Rome, Elizabeth made the suggestion for other places in Europe to travel to, uhhhh yes please. She suggested Greece, Czech Republic, Turkey; ermahgawd. I could pee my pants I'm so excited.

Summer can not come soon enough.
Do you guys have any exciting summer vacation plans?


Apr 8, 2014

We celebrated this past weekend for his last birthday in his 20's. The big 29.
He absolutely loves aquariums, I may or may not have mentioned this before, so I drove down to southern New Jersey and took him to the Adventure Aquarium to meet some friends. He got to pet a shark and I got to see penguins - win. I was really excited to see the hippos, which to my misfortune was off exhibit until June.

We don't get to indulge in a lot of dates so I really cherish when we are able to go out to lunch for a burger and beer. By burger, I mean mine was wrapped in lettuce and made of quinoa (it works for me). I cherish the moments we get to try new places together.

I especially love the moments when he snuggles with Fifa, when she crawls into his nook and falls asleep. He finally got to hear her snoring in person.

For his birthday after the aquarium, I took him to the nicest steakhouse in my area. Yes, this vegetarian willingly went to a steakhouse for her boyfriend. I turned pescetarian for the night and tried some mahi mahi, not terrible but I probably will not go for it again. He loved it, one of the best steaks he's ever had. I think I did good for his birthday.

Distance isn't easy. We struggled, we still struggle but we are managing. I can not say we are perfect but we are attempting to make it work for us. I try not to overanalyze the situations and enjoy the moment we are in and enjoy the moments we have together. Hopefully it gets easier with time. Thank goodness for technology.

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