Wednesday, August 9, 2017

TBB Asks: Summer


1. Pool, lake or ocean?

If I could trade the Caribbean ocean for the Atlantic ocean, I would in a heartbeat and I would be there all the time. Since I sadly can't make this happen, I love both pools and lake. I grew up going to Lake George, NY for a week every Summer for our Summer vacations and that place has my heart. To this day, it is still one of my all time favorite places in the world.

2. Camping, cottage, or hotel?

I've only been camping a few times in my life so I would say cottage or hotel.

3. Favorite ice cream flavor?

Funfetti (it tastes just like the Funfetti cake mix).

4. PJ's, Nightgown, T-shirt/Shorts or Birthday Suit?

Combination of PJ's and t-shirt/shorts.

5. Fave Summer Beverage?

Sweet Tea/Iced Tea

6. Would you rather be hot or cold?

Cold.

7. Sandals with heels or flats?

Flats

8. Shorts or skirts?

Shorts.

9. Sit in the sun or the shade?

Shade.

10. Water, tea, or soda?

Water or tea. I rarely drink soda. If I do it's usually root beer, cream soda, or ginger ale.

11. Fave Summer Fruit or Vegetable?

Fruit: Mangoes ; Vegetable: Zucchini

12. Sunrise or sunset?

Both.

13. Bike ride or walk?

Walk.

14. Winery or brewery?

Neither. I don't like wine or beer.

15. Garden or no garden?

We don't have a garden anymore but growing up we always had one in our backyard.

16. Big Summer concert or music in the park?

Both!

17. Fave cookout food?

Cheeseburger or Sausage, Pasta Salad & French fries.

18. Dine indoors or patio?

Indoors.

19. Fave Summer Destination?

Lake George, NY

20. Big theme park or local carnival?

Big theme park.

21. Drinks blended or on the rocks?

Depends on my mood.

22. Popsicle or freezie flavor of choice?

Popsicle.

23. Hot Dog or Hamburger?

Hamburger.

Friday, August 4, 2017

July Book Post

Here are the books I read in July:

1. The Arrangement by Sarah Dunn

I really enjoyed this novel. The story was very different and it held my interest. I was very curious to find out what was going to happen next and how the story was going to end. I rated this book 4 stars on the Goodreads website.


2. Always & Forever, Lara Jean -Jenny Han

This is the third and final installment of the Lara Jean series. I have loved all of the books in this series and this one was no exception. I'm sad that there are going to be no more new books but I do love how this book ended and wrapped up Lara Jean's story. I rated this book 5 stars.


3. The Sunshine Sisters -Jane Green

Another fabulous novel by Jane Green. This one focused on three sisters and their childhood and how they were raised by their mother and how the mother treated each of them so differently. A circumstance finds all the sisters (who are spread out in different places) back home for the Summer and trying to juggle their lives and their relationships with each other and their loved ones. I rated this book 4 stars.


4. The Big Love -Sarah Dunn

After I finished The Arrangement earlier this month, I wanted to read Sarah Dunn's other two novels. I didn't enjoy this novel nearly as much as The Arrangement and I kind of struggled to get through this book. It wasn't the worst book I've ever read but it wasn't one that I would recommend either. I rated it 2 stars.



5. Secrets to Happiness -Sarah Dunn

This book held my interest but I didn't love it/dislike it. I liked it more then I liked The Big Love but I didn't love it as much as I loved The Arrangement. However, I would recommend this book as it was a really thought provoking book in the sense that everyone has different things to them that brings them happiness and not everyone is going to be happy over the same things. I rated it 2 stars. Also, how adorable is the cover of this book? The dog laying on his back in the Summer grass just screams happiness to me.


6. Down A Dark Road -Linda Castillo

This is one of my all time favorite book series' and the ninth novel in the series was just as amazing and captivating as the other 8 novels. Linda Castillo just pulls you into every book in this series. The main character, is Kate Burkholder, the chief of police in the fictional town of Painter's Mill. She is formerly Amish and the Amish community is featured prominently in each of the novels. If you love a good mystery, I definitely recommend this book series. I rated this book 5 stars.


7. Mystic Summer -Hannah McKinnon

I was browsing the shelves of the library and this book stood out to me. I ended up loving this book so much that I added it to my list of books to buy one day. It was such a fun Summery story and I really liked the characters. Unfortunately, the two other books by this author aren't available at my library but they are reasonably priced on Amazon's website. I definitely recommend this book if you want a fun and refreshing read for the Summer months. It would certainly be a great book to read at the beach/pool/lake or out on a boat. I rated this book 5 stars.


All images are from Goodreads!

What did you read in July? Do you have any book recommendations that I should check out? Have you read any of the books I read in July? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

What's Up Wednesday: July Edition



1. What We're Eating This Week...

Monday: Sausage & peppers
Tuesday: Chips & salsa (I'm keeping it real... lol)

and I'm not sure about the rest of the week

2. What I'm Reminiscing About...

Summer memories made with my nieces & nephews and my family. I'm also still reminiscing about my trips to the lake every Summer growing up and how it was always one of the absolute best weeks of Summer vacation!

Credit: This Site

3. What I'm Loving...

This past weekend, I got together with my planner friends and we had a meet up. It's so much fun getting together to chat and plan with good friends. I also got to meet one of my best friend's new baby boy!

Credit: This Site

4. What I've Been Up To...

Last week was my sixth and final week of physical therapy for my hip bursitis. For fun, I've been spending time with my mom (when she's not working). I've also been doing a lot of reading and planning. I'm also trying to catch up on my Bloglovin' feed and Youtube videos.

5. What I'm Dreading...

The problems I'm having with falling asleep and staying asleep. I had a sleep study done earlier this year and apparently I don't get REM sleep, which is the deep sleep that makes you feel rested.

^I saw this on Pinterest and it made me laugh.^

6. What I'm Working On...

Upcoming blog posts. I'm trying to get back into a routine with starting to post more.

7. What I'm Excited About...

On Monday, I found out that I won a really big planner related giveaway and I'm so excited about it!

8. What I'm Watching/Reading...

Watching: As always, I'm watching lots of Mets games. I'm also watching Nashville, The Fosters, the new show on Freeform: The Bold Type, Date My Dad, The Bachelorette. I just finished binge watching the last season of Total Divas. It's a show about the women super stars in the WWE (professional wrestling). I don't watch wrestling anymore but I watched it for many years and I love watching the show Total Divas and Total Bellas (a spin off of Total Divas which focuses on Brie & Nikki Bella, the Bella twins, and their families).
Reading: I will be posting my July Book Post on Monday! I read a lot of great books this month!

Credit: Pinterest

10. What I'm Listening To...

Right now, I'm listening to the Nashville cast on Spotify.

11. What I'm Wearing...

Lots of comfy clothes... pajama shorts/pants, t-shirts.

12. What I'm Doing This Weekend...

As of right now, I don't have any plans except watching the Mets baseball games.

13. What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month...

My trip to NY to see family!!!

Credit: Pinterest

14. What Else Is New...

Earlier this month, I had some fun times hanging out with two of my best friends. On Saturday, my friend Lisa and I went out to eat and did some planning together. It was really fun and we have plans to do it again one of these days. Then on Sunday, I went out to lunch with my friend Naomi, her husband, and son. It was really nice getting to catch up with her since I don't get to see her as often as I would like. On the 17th, my nephew N, turned 9 years old! On July 23, it was National Auntie's Day!

Credit: Pinterest

Bonus Question:

What's Your Favorite Thing About Summer?

I usually take at least one trip to see my family in NY. Also, it's baseball season and you know I love baseball.

Credit: This Site

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Reading Is Dreaming With Open Eyes...

Since I was a little girl, reading has always been my one of my favorite things to do. I was always obsessed with going to the library and to book store. When I was younger, reading, helped me get through a lot of things and for that I will always love and be grateful to reading.

Credit: someecards.com

 When I became a little older, I would walk up to our local neighborhood library with an empty backpack and spend hours there browsing through books and picking which ones I wanted to take home. After I checked out with one of my most prized possessions at the time (my very own library card!), I would put a quarter in the pay phone and call my mom to tell her I was ready to come home. I couldn't walk home because the empty backpack I brought with me, was now filled to the brim with treasures: my mountain of new (and old favorite) books to read.

Credit: This Site

This year, from January until the end of the school in early June, I wasn't able to do a lot of reading because I was very busy with a variety of things. This Summer, I've been able to read more often and it's been so wonderful.

I have read 14 books so far this year and I loved all of the them except for one.

1. It's A Wonderful Life  by Julia Williams
^Great holiday themed novel by an author I love.^

2. The Girl Before -J.P. Delaney
^A great mystery/thrilled I read while on vacation in Turks & Caicos. I'm very excited for next year when he releases his second book!^

3. My (Not So) Perfect Life -Sophie Kinsella
^The latest novel from one of my all time favorite authors. It really gets you thinking about social media and it's impact. I'm so excited for her next book which is coming out in February of 2018. I've read all of her books, including the ones she's written under the name Madeline Wickham.^

4. We Were On A Break -Lindsey Kelk
^Another great book from an author I love. She is coming out with the 7th book in the I Heart series in September! I have read all of her novels.^

5. Shaken -Tim Tebow
^This book was absolutely amazing and it seriously gave me so much inspiration and joy. I highlighted a ton of things in this book because I am going to write it all down in one of my inspiration notebooks. I also love that he's playing in the minor leagues for the New York Mets! I also have his first book that he wrote on my list of books to read.^

6. Girl Online: Going Solo (Book 3 in the Girl Online series) -Zoe Sugg
^I love these novels by Zoe Sugg aka Youtube personality Zoella. They are fun Young Adult novels (I read and love a lot of different types of novels including Young Adult) and interesting reads.^

7. Invisible Ellen -Shari Shattuck
^I found this at a local book store for less than $8 and I thought it looked interesting. This book definitely spoke to me and I enjoyed it so much. After I finished reading it, I found out that there is a sequel to the book called Becoming Ellen and I can't wait to read that book!^

8. Something In Between -Melissa De La Cruz
^Another interesting YA novel from an author I love.^

9. Dash & Lily's Book of Dares -Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
^A YA novel told in the perspectives of both Dash & Lily (the two  main characters) with each chapter being written by Dash and the next chapter by Lily throughout the whole novel. I think that's such an interesting way to tell a story in a novel.^

10. Once & For All -Sarah Dessen
^This book is definitely one my list of my all time favorite novels. Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite authors. I started reading her books when I was in middle school and to this day she is still one of my favorite authors. I have read and loved all of her books, including this one. It was such an interesting, heart felt, and captivating story.^

11. Fireworks -Katie Cotugno
^Another great YA novel. I've read all three of Katie Cotugno's books and I have loved them all, including this one!^

12. The Moon & More -Sarah Dessen
^Another amazing novel from Sarah Dessen!^

13. Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist -Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
^These authors have 4 novels that they have written together and after reading the first one, I decided that I wanted to read them all. However, I was really disappointed with this novel. I thought I would enjoy it much more than I did considering that I loved the first novel I read by them.^

14. The Arrangement -Sarah Dunn
^I just finished this book this morning and I really liked it. This is the first book by the author that I read and I added her other two books to my (ever growing) list of books to read.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? Do you have any book recommendations for me?

Credit: This Site

Friday, June 30, 2017

Five on Friday: June 30, 2017

^I'm linking up with these blogs for Five on Friday!^

1. Weight Loss Journey (so far)

Last November, I really got motivated to start my weight loss journey. Since then, I've lost almost 25 lbs. I was sick a lot between November-February and I also had my tonsils out at the end of December. Along with that, I've been keeping track of what I eat in a food journal, cutting back on my portions, not going for second helpings (even if it is one of my favorite meals/foods), not snacking as much during the day, making better choices when I do have a snack, and rarely having anything to eat after dinner. I've been drinking more water. Aside from water and my morning coffee, I have apple juice at night, (which is when I sometimes find myself craving something sweet) but I drink the Mot's for Tot's which has 40% less sugar than regular apple juice and it's mixed with water. Before I started having the problem and pain with my left hip, I had been walking a lot as well. I'm making small goals with losing weight and when I accomplish them, I make new ones.

Credit: This Site

2. Planner Meet Up

This past weekend, my friend L, and I went to a planner meet up that took place a few hours from where we lived. We really enjoy these meet ups and being able to see our planner friends who don't live near us and who we don't get to see as often as we would like to. We had a great time chatting with our friends and planning. It's definitely true what they say: planner friends make the best friends!

Credit: This Instagram

3. Fourth of July

I'm not sure what my plans are for the Fourth of July. I'm probably just going to stay home and relax and watch the fireworks on TV at night. With the constant pain in my hip, I've been at home a lot because it's hard to walk for a long time or to really enjoy going out and doing things. I hope you all have a very happy, fun, and safe Fourth of July!

Credit: Erin Condren

4. Quotes & Funnies:

Credit: This Site

Credit: This Site

Credit: This Site

Credit: This Site

5. Hello, July

I saw this on Pinterest and thought it was a perfect way to welcome in a month!


Credit: This Instagam

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

What's Up Wednesday: June Edition



1. What We're Eating This Week...

Monday: Grilled chicken, string beans, French fries
Tuesday: Pasta with meatballs

and I'm not sure about the rest of the week, yet.

2. What I'm Reminiscing About...

As a child, every year, for a week in the Summer we went to Lake George, NY. It was the highlight of Summer every year. To this day, that lake is still one of my very favorite places. I would spend all day in the lake, swimming, jumping off the dock, and just spending time in the beautiful lake. We stayed at the same place every Summer and I became good friends with the owner's of the place grand-daughter who would spend the Summers there. During the rest of the year, we were pen-pals and wrote letters to each other.

^I went back to Lake George a few Summers ago for the first time in a while and it's still my happy place.^

3. What I'm Loving...

My planner friends & the planner community! This past Saturday, I attended a meet up that I was a few hours from where I lived and I had the best time seeing my planner friends that I don't get to see often and meeting new friends. We had so much fun chatting, playing games, and of course, planning.

^Planner Stack from the planner meet up!^

4. What I've Been Up To...

Aside from attending physical therapy three times a week, I've been home a lot relaxing, doing a lot of reading, planning, watching NY Mets games, spending time with my mom and my cats, watching TV & movies, and spending time on the computer.

5. What I'm Working On...

Upcoming blog posts.

6. What I'm Dreading...

Nothing at the moment.

7. What I'm Excited About...

I'm hoping and excited that I might be able to go to NY to visit my family for a little while in August. I can't wait to see my nieces & nephews. I miss them so very much!

Credit: Pinterest

8. What I'm Watching/Reading...

Watching: I just watched the series finale of Pretty Little Liars. I'm so bummed the series is over. I love all of actresses and actors that are on the show and I hope they do other TV shows and movies now that PLL is over.

Credit: Pinterest

Reading: I'm reading a lot lately. I will be writing more about this in Friday's blog post.

9. What I'm Listening To...

Lots of country music, including... Brett Young, Kenny Chesney, Sam Hunt, Jake Owen, Luke Bryan, and more.


Credit: Pinterest

10. What I'm Wearing...

Since I'm home a lot, I've been wearing lots of different lounge clothes like comfy shirts and shorts/pants.

11. What I'm Doing This Weekend...

I might be hanging out with my one of my friends and doing some planning/crafting. Aside from that, and watching Mets games, I'm not sure what else I will be doing.

12. What I'm Looking Forward To Next Month...

My nephew N's birthday, the Fourth of July, a planner meet up, and the ninth annual Auntie's Day on July 23rd!

Credit: SavvyAuntie.com

13. What Else Is New...

I think I've covered everything.

Bonus Question:

What's your favorite July 4th tradition?

As an adult, I don't really have any Fourth of July traditions aside from watching the TV special showing the fireworks in NYC. Growing up though, we always went somewhere and watched the fireworks or we had family over for a BBQ.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Go Wild 2017 Planner Conference Recap

I've been planning in a paper planner ever since I started middle school and we were given an academic planner to keep track of anything school related: assignments, tests, projects, extra-curricular activities, etc. 

^One of my previous Life Planners^

Almost nine years ago, I purchased my first Erin Condren Life Planner. I have been using an Erin Condren planner ever since. The EC planner is seriously my favorite planner. I use it to keep track of everything: work schedules (including when I substitute), birthdays/anniversaries of family & friends, medical appointments, fun events such as marking when I have a planner meet up, when library books are due, when I receive happy mail, etc. Next week, I will be making a post reviewing the 2018 Erin Condren Life Planner but today's post is going to recap the amazing experience I had earlier this year when I attended the Go Wild Planner Conference in Nashville, TN with a ton of amazing planner girls!

^Another previous Life Planner^

On, Thursday, April 20th, a few of my friends and I headed to Nashville, TN for the conference which was held this year at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. Before our hotel room was ready, we went out to lunch at an awesome place called Biscuit Love. We also spent some time taking photos at various murals in downtown Nashville. Two stores we went into were Paper Source and Reese Witherspoon's store Draper James. When we got back to the hotel, we checked in and got situated. The event registration started at 6pm and we got our first set of swag that included an amazing Go Wild tote, t-shirt, Krissy Anne Designs stickers, a water bottle, hand sanitizer, and more! The first event was the happy hour party with Stephanie Fleming, the creator of The Happy Planner. This was the only event that was off-site and not in the hotel. My friend Melissa and I didn't go to this event but we had friends that did. During this event, we received new Happy Planners delievered to our hotel room door. It was quite a fun surprise!

^On our way to Nashville, TN!^

^At some of the murals in Nashville, TN^

Friday was the big kick-off! We had many different speakers during the 2 full days of the conference. On Friday, our first two presenters were Mica May, the owner of May Designs, and the amazing & talented Cindy (aka Llama Letters). The next speaker, Shay Shull, was such a thrill for me because I've been a devoted reader/follower of her blog (Mix & Match Mama), which is my favorite blog, for a few years now. During the Question & Answer, I raised my hand to ask a question and was so surprised when they called on me. I was so nervous that I was shaking and I thought I was going to drop the microphone. After Shay answered my question, I was handed one of her cook books and it was signed too! I was so surprised. After each session, we had little breaks to get refreshments, meet with other fellow planners, and the speakers. I was so excited to meet Shay and she couldn't have been sweeter. When Shay was announced as a speaker at Go Wild back in January, I was so excited that I wrote it in my planner. The last speaker of the day on Friday was Olympian and motivational speaker, Michelle Carter! Her session was so motivating and inspiring! I took notes during all of the presentations because the speakers were so talented and inspiring and I wanted to remember their words of wisdom and advice. The last event of the day was setting a world record for the largest planner stack which we exceeded! After the events were over for the day, I chatted with my good friend Shannon (aka my second sister) and her mom aka Mama Bee (aka my second mom) for a while and then I had a very awesome night hanging out with Mama Bee, eating pizza, chatting, and bonding. Queen Bee & Mama Bee are so very special and dear to my heart and I love them so very much!

^Meeting Shay Shull! I could barely contain my excitement!^

^Asking my question to Shay during the Q&A session! Thank you to the photographer for capturing this awesome moment. By the way, I have no idea what I'm doing with my hand. I tend to talk with my hands a lot. I think it's an Italian thing?^

Saturday was the second (and final) full day! We had another round of speakers. First up was the admin panel (the admins of the Planners Gone Wild Facebook group and other planner related Facebook groups), which consisted of Amanda, Jen, Betsy, Lameka, & Claudia. Then we had the Kit Life girls (Jessica, Liz, & Jen). Our third speaker of the day was Christy Tomlinson (owner/creator) of The Planner Society. The fourth speaker was Whitney English who is the owner of The Day Designer. Our key-note speaker for Saturday was the one and only Erin Condren! It was so inspiring to hear speak and listen to what she had to say. After the keynote, I stood in line to meet Erin Condren. I also met her the day before but I wanted to meet her again. She is so supportive, positive, bright, charismatic and passionate. She is such a huge inspiration and role model to me!

^Erin Condren & I. She complimented me on my shirt and I said "my shirt. Your outfit is amazing. I wish I could rock an outfit like you do!"^

^It was so amazing to meet Erin Condren. Without her planners, I never would have found the planner community and I wouldn't have the amazing friends I now have.^

After Erin's key note speech and meeting people, we had the rest of the afternoon to do whatever we wanted before the Planjama party that night. My friend, Lisa, her husband, and I did the gondola tour in the hotel, checked out a few of the gift shops, and ate amazing burgers at the burger place before heading back to our rooms to get ready for the party.

The Planjama party was so much fun. We had the best time talking, dancing, and having fun with our planner friends! It was such a wonderful time!

^Watching the water show before the party started.^

Sunday morning we checked out. We stopped and got doughnuts at Five Daughter's Bakery and then had lunch at The Flipside before getting on the road to head home.

^Eating lunch at The Flipside. I asked our waiter Tony for a photo! He was so awesome.^

Planning started as a hobby of mine when I was younger because it was something I didn't need friends for, something I could do alone. Having so much fun with it by myself, I always thought "I wish there were other people out there who loved planners, stickers, pens, etc. and decorating their planners/etc." Fast forward to my late 20's and I find this amazing community full of planner addicts just like me. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever meet so many amazing woman who enjoyed and liked the same things I do. Also, never in my wildest dreams, did I think I could attend an event with over 700+ people and not be nervous and anxious the entire time. This experience proved to me that I could conquer and overcome any challenge that I set my mind to.

Credit: Pinterest

Go Wild 2017 was an amazing experience. It was honestly one of the best experiences of my life and I'm so glad that I got over my anxiety and went. I had the best time ever, met so many amazing people, and gained so much confidence in knowing that I didn't let my anxiety get to me. All of the admins, the event people, the speakers, the planner ladies that attended, all were so very sweet and kind. When I talked to people about my anxiety, they were all so helpful, supportive, and understand. A lot of people told me that if I was feeling anxious to seek them out and they would help me. These were people who I knew through the planner community online, some of whom I had met previously, but the majority of him, I was meeting for the first time. For these ladies to be so sweet, supportive, comforting, kind, and caring just reiterated to me how amazing and wonderful the planner community is. Yes, we received tons of swag and amazing goodies but my favorite part about the conference was meeting these amazing, inspiring, encouraging, talented, devoted, dedicated and amazing woman who make up the amazing planner community! I'm being 100% honest when I say that before I found the planner community and started attending planner meet ups, I didn't have true friends (outside of my family).  After the past few years and the Go Wild 2017 Planner Conference, I can say with 100% confidence, that I've met so many amazing ladies that have become true friends of mine. Without the planner community, I wouldn't be able to say that.

^I took this photo right before we checked out of hotel on Sunday.^