Packing for New York City

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, this weekend I booked myself a last minute trip to New York City.  As a child, our family used to visit every year for Thanksgiving because we have family in New Jersey. We would stay there and take a train into the city and just explore all day. I became very comfortable with the hustle and bustle of the city. I love going there, especially now that I am older. We stopped going for Thanksgiving, but my parents still have to go once a year for a work even that falls right after July Fourth weekend every year. I went with them two years ago and spent the majority of the time exploring the city on my own. 

This year I wasn't planning on going with them, but Daniel is being pulled into a work training thing that would leave me alone for the week so when I got lucky and found some cheap flights and booked one right away. I'll be there from Tuesday-Sunday and I am so happy to get the time with my parents, not to mention the great food i'll be eating, and the ultimately dangerous shopping i'll be doing. 

I thought I would share a little on how I pack for the city. I don't have all of my clothes here, which makes it a little more difficult, but I'm working with what I've got. 

First of all at this time of year, the city is so hot and humid and with about a billion people walking around in the same direction you're bound to be bumping into each other, making the heat even worse. Above is basically my perfect New York outfit, striped t-shirt, thin black jeans (avoid heavy material), comfortable boots (there is lots of walking to do!), a small backpack for things like a wallet and chapstick, sunglasses, and an umbrella. When I was there a few years ago it went from rainy to sunny and back and forth again. 

I also like to pack lots of flowy dresses and a couple pairs of shorts, as well as a few crop tops and one light jacket just to avoid getting soaked when it rains. I also plan to bring my toms, they're my most comfortable walking shoes but unfortunately don't do well in the rain. Finally, a hat works miracles in this type of climate to hide my hair when its frizzy after getting all wet from the rain. 

My final piece of advice is, don't pack too much! There is street after street of clothing stores in the city. You will end up bringing back more than you left with so you'll want to leave a little room in your bag. If I could afford it I wouldn't pack anything, I'd just go and buy a whole new wardrobe every time I went, but it's not a perfect world and therefore my own clothes will have to do. 

Have you spent any time in the city? What do you never forget to pack? 

I'm the Kind of Girl Who

Monday, June 29, 2015

Lately I've noticed a few new faces stopping by around this blog of mine, so I thought I'd do a little post to help you all get to know me a little better.

I'm the kind of girl who...plans an entire budget and then books a last minute trip to New York City all in the same day (this might not make any sense but I actually did that this weekend...oops. More on this later, but NYC i'll see you on the 7th).

I'm the kind of girl who...buys healthy foods like they're going out of style, then forgets that I have them and eat the bag of Cheetos that I was keeping in the pantry for emergencies.

I'm the kind of girl who...still needs new school clothes and supplies before the start of every school semester. I'm going into my last year of college but I still wish it was my parents responsibility to buy them for me.

I'm the kind of girl who...pours a cup of coffee only to drink a quarter of it and forget about it till it gets cold, then make another one and do the same thing.

I'm the kind of girl who...wants to adopt every single little furry creature I find. Daniel thinks I'm determined to save the world one house pet at a time. I think I get it from my mom.

I'm the kind of girl who...starts a book series, loves the first one, reads half of the second one and then gives up entirely. Except when it was Harry Potter, I absolutely read every single one of those. But I've decided I need to stick to stand alone's.

I'm the kind of girl who...says I love the rain, except when I'm driving in it, stuck walking in it, or basically anything else in the rain that doesn't involve cuddled up under in my bed under a mountain of blankets. Is that really love? I'm not so sure.

I'm the kind of girl who...doesn't openly care about any particular sports or their teams, but probably knows more about them than most of my friends. I grew up in a house where sports were on 24/7, and even if I was multitasking while my Dad was watching football I still think I picked up a few things.

I'm the kind of girl who...talks to her mom every single day. Seriously, she's my best friend. I've been watching Gilmore Girls lately and it makes me miss her like crazy. She happens to also be going on that New York trip I mentioned up there and I couldn't be more thrilled.

Happy Monday Everyone!

On the Way to School: A Documentary

Thursday, June 25, 2015

I've never been big into documentary's, until recently. I used to find them boring and difficult to watch if it wasn't on a subject I found true interest in. My mom has always been a huge documentary fan and is full of interesting facts about things she's seen or learned from this documentary or that. As I've progressed further into my college career, I've taken a greater interest in documentaries. They are a great source for learning new information and you can pretty much find one on anything. 

Today I had some extra down time and decided to watch this documentary called "On the Way to School". I am the first to admit that I am a complainer when it comes to my own journey to school. I have to drive in the Los Angeles traffic in an air conditioned car for sometimes 2+ hours with my Starbucks drink in the center console and music blaring, well boo hoo me. This documentary features four children in Africa, Argentina, Morocco and India who through hell and high water get themselves to school every week. One child attends school only once a week, yet her journey is 4 hours long on foot through the mountains. Another child has no use of his legs and his siblings must push him 3 miles to school in a make shift wheel chair. Another child and his sibling journey through Africa for 10 miles, with a warning from their father to watch out for Elephants and other wildlife. The final child and his sister ride a horse an hour and a half every day so that they can attend school. 

In the United States I think that children and some adults, including myself, take for granted the easy access we have to education. For me, education was never an option, it was expected. I sometimes envied the people who took time off after high school to experiences things other than college, because I was always on track for a continued education. But people all over the country face things that I couldn't fathom in the face of their education. The children in this video don't complain about anything, and are thankful for the opportunity to learn. Next time I sit down to study for my summer classes, or prepare for my CSET, I think this documentary will come to mind and I will feel a little more grateful for the opportunities that I have. 


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

You might be suffering from wanderlust if...

You have a dream about standing in an airport and buying a ticket to Thailand (or is this one just me?)

You spend hours on Groupon searching for the best travel deals that you won't actually be able to take for another year or so.

You set alerts on Kayak so you'll know when the flights for those imaginary trips might be cheapest.

You look at your Pinterest account only to see that a majority of your pins relate to travel tips, things to do in so and so place, and what to pack in your carry on.

You save your academic calendar on your desktop so you can double check your days/weeks off school just in case one of those opportunities comes up thats too great to pass on.

You think about alternate career choices that might involve someone paying you to do all the traveling you can't do now.

Obviously, I need to get away. Who's with me?

Quick and Easy Guacamole Recipe!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Yesterday Daniel and I spent the whole day cooking up some amazing taquitos. They take a really long time to make but they always come out so good and give us leftovers for days. We decided to make some guacamole to go on the side. 

We used: Avocado, onion, tomato, jalapeños, green onions, salt, pepper, garlic salt and lemon. 

Put as many avocados you want into a bowl and mash them up. Chop up your tomatoes, jalapeños and green onions and throw them in with the seasonings and lemon juice. Mix with a spoon and enjoy! 

Monday Mash-Up

Monday, June 22, 2015

Good Morning!

We're currently still enjoying the final day of our three day weekend, so I figured I'd just throw together a quick mash up of pictures from our trip to Carolina Beach yesterday. The weather was crazy hot, like in the 90's but the water was warm enough to swim in which is something I'm not used to being from California. We spent a little over an hour (getting burned) at the beach, and then headed to the Shuckin' Shack, a little oyster bar where we shared a dozen raw oysters and a lobster roll. Yum!  It was a really fun day overall, I love exploring new places and new restaurants. Today, we're cooking up some homemade taquitos and relaxing. Happy Monday everyone!

Five on Friday

Friday, June 19, 2015

Alright, alright, alright. Friday is finally here. It's amazing how each week it seems as though Friday gets a little further out of reach. This week was filled with 24 hour shifts (for Daniel) and lots of pool time (for me) to try and escape the heat. This weekend we've got a nice long three day hopefully filled with some fun activities. So let's get to this five on Friday post, shall we? 

ONE// Our air conditioning is FINALLY fixed, hallelujah. For three days we had people coming in and out of our apartment letting out whatever cool air might have been hanging around. It got up to 90 degrees and I basically melted into one big puddle on the floor. But, as of last night were officially back in business and down to a cool 72. 

TWO// If all goes well, Daniel and I will take a day trip down to Southport, NC this weekend. If you haven't heard of this place, it's an adorable little beach town where they have filmed lots of movies including some of my personal favorites by Nicholas Sparks. I love getting to be a tourist in a new place and I love anything related to the beach. 

THREE// We are officially on the no-spend express. After moving everything this past month and getting re-settled I would be lying if I said that our spending didn't get a little lot out of control. I've drafted up a new budget and a plan to get ourselves back on track. I'd also be lying if I said I didn't enjoy creating lists and budgeting and all that good's really just the sticking to it that I have trouble with.

FOUR// How cute are these tops from The Laundry Room. I want one to wear for July fourth! Do these count as part of my new budget? 

FIVE// Shout out to my wonderful Dad this Friday before Father's Day. I'm sad I can't be there to spend it with him, but I did send him a little something in the mail to let him know I'm thinking of him. Thanks for always being there for me, I love you!

Happy Friday!

Book Review: Ruby by Cynthia Bond

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for a review.

Book synopsis - Ephram Jennings has never forgotten the beautiful girl with long braids running through the piney woods of Liberty, their small East Texas town. Young Ruby Bell, "the kind of pretty it hurt to look at," has suffered beyond imagining, so as soon as she can, she flees suffocating Liberty for the bright pull of 1950s New York. Ruby quickly winds her way into the ripe center of the city -- the darkened piano bars and hidden alleyways of the Village -- all the while hoping for a glimpse of the red hair and green eyes of her mother. When a telegram from her cousin forces her to return home, the thirty-year-old Ruby finds herself reliving the devastating violence of her girlfriend. With the terrifying realization that she might not be strong enough to fight her way back out again, Ruby struggles to survive her memories of the town's dark past. Meanwhile, Ephram must choose between loyal to the sister who raised him and a chance for a life with the woman he has loved since he was a boy.

This was the first book I chose to read from the Blogging for Books program. I did not read any reviews prior to beginning, and in all honesty chose this particular novel due to its status as an Oprah book club choice. I will not not lie, this was a hard read. The story line is dark, and filled with detailed violence in a small town setting. There is abuse, anger and voodoo. It is a book that you will likely pick up and put bak down many times before finishing it because it is much too difficult to try and read it all in one sitting. I considered abandoning on multiple occasions, but there was something about the two main characters, Ephram and Ruby, that made me continue on. There was hope between them in a story filled with despair.

The book itself was beautifully written. The imagery and descriptions bring her story to life, sometimes in a way you won't want them to. Overall, I am conflicted about my feelings of this book. I think it was too much for me, and if you're looking for a nice, easy read then skip this altogether. However, this is only my opinion. There are many other reviews out there on this story and I would encourage you to read them before beginning this book. 

Late to the Party

Oh hey there, Tuesday! Obviously I'm a little late showing up to the weekend recap party, but our weekend started on Thursday night of last week and seemed like a whirlwind of things going on until this morning. So, here's the shortened version of what happened during my past five days.

Friday Daniel and I ran a bunch of errands, found our new favorite grocery store, and had a dinner date at Bone Fish grill. We ordered ceviche for an appetizer, I ordered the salmon and Daniel ordered the Ahi Tuna, it was so good!

Saturday I went for my MRI, which came back completely normal. Obviously I didn't want anything scary to show up on there, but I do wish it had said something that would give me a path to fixing this neck problem more quickly, unfortunately were back to square one. After the doctors appointment we threw a BBQ/Pool party for some of the guys Daniel works with, it ended up being 100 degrees all weekend so pool time was definitely needed!

Sunday was a little more relaxing. We ran a few errands, got some DQ and came home to an 88 degree apartment. Our air conditioning unit would not cooperate with us, it was miserable and unfortunately to this morning is still not actually fixed. Yuck!

Monday Daniel officially signed his National Guard contract and I watched him get sworn in! He signed for six years, and will be training very close to our house back in California as a health care specialist. I am very excited and proud of him!

Today I'll be trying to survive the heat in this apartment while watching Orange is the New Black and starting my summer school semester. Wish me luck!

All The Happy Things

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

+ the feeling of warm blankets, towels and any other clothes that come fresh out of the dryer

+ looking through old photo albums, and making new ones

+ making lists and getting to cross things off of them

+ babies laughing

+ disney movies

+ polaroid cameras

+ planning a vacation

+ seafood, all kinds

+ farmers markets

+ re-watching old seasons of your favorite shows, gilmore girls, one tree hill, the list goes on

+ sunsets at the beach

+ getting birthday cards in the mail

+ new car smell

+ pretending Daniel and I are on top chef and competing in our own kitchen for the title

+ watching Halloween and Christmas movies even when its nowhere near the season

What kinds of things make you happiest? 

Strong Bonds Retreat

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Over the weekend Daniel and I attended a military couples retreat. It has become surprisingly difficult for me to share all of the things that we learned without getting too personal into our relationship, but I still wanted to try to share a few things. We started the weekend with something called the "Relationship Attachment Model". This model had six sections: know, trust, rely, commit, and touch. We began the weekend by rating our own relationships on the scale of each section. After we did so, we used each individual course to discuss the different sections in more detail.

For example, the "know" section was plain and simple, how well you know your spouse. In other words, are you truly friends? We learned a not so surprising fact that the average couple spends less then four minutes a day talking to each other with no distractions including from technology, friends or children. The "trust" section focused on our attitudes towards one another. How much we trust the other person to do the things we ask them, etc. It is much easier in any relationship to focus on the negative things that your significant other does. In doing so, however, you are overlooking all of the positive things. We discussed the importance of understanding our own shortcomings, reminding ourselves of the accomplishments of our significant others, and then matching our attitudes to those positive thoughts. The "rely" section was the section that I personally struggle with the most. Relying on one another is something that should come naturally, but with a military relationship that forces us to spend so much time apart, it becomes essential that we can rely on ourselves as individuals as well. I have always been a more independent person and I am working hard to rely on my spouse, as I know he will always be there to support me. The next sections we discussed was "commit". In my own relationship, commitment to each other is something we never have, and never will struggle with. However, we do have commitments outside of our relationship that can put stress on us such as school and work. Finally, the last section we talked about was "touch" which should be pretty self-explanatory. The rest of the weekend we were allowed to take to just spend time together. At the Great Wolf Lodge we spent time in the lazy river, in the jacuzzi and in the wave pools.

The weekend as a whole was very eye opening. We learned things about ourselves and about each other, and things that will help us to grow together. I went into the weekend with a somewhat negative attitude about how things would go, but was pleasantly surprise by everything we learned. I would suggest to anyone who has the opportunity to attend to take full advantage of an event like this, it was really beneficial.

Colonial Williamsburg

Monday, June 08, 2015

Last night we got home from our couples retreat. This morning I am so exhausted! After we were released from the retreat yesterday we decided to go check out the Colonial Williamsburg area. We toured one of the houses, saw the local jail and walked through some of the shops. Then we stopped for one of the best lunches I've ever had at The Cheese Shop and also found a couple bottles of wine to bring back home with us. Everything was so much fun to see, if you find yourself in the area I definitely recommend going to see it!

Have a good Monday! 

Five on Friday

Friday, June 05, 2015

Happy Friday everyone! I'm rushing around and packing a bag this morning so Daniel and I can hit the road, but today I'm linking up for another Five on Friday post. I hope you'll join in too!


This morning Daniel and I are packing up the car and heading off for a little road trip to the Great Wolf Lodge in Virginia. We're going to participate in a military couples retreat meant to work on marriage strengthening. I am definitely excited to take advantage of any chance to spend three days in a new place with my man.

Yesterday I finally got into an appointment with a general doctor about my neck. She's ordered an MRI and we are officially one step closer to figuring out what the problem really is, and hopefully solving it. Although this weekend is going to be a little draining, I've got a little more hope then I had before. 


No week is wasted if you're doing something you love. So the fact that I stayed in bed and watched all of the Harry Potter movies this week is really like an accomplishment, not something I should be ashamed of, right? Good. 


After doing a little research on Hawaiian vacations this week, I came across this hotel in Honolulu. It's a hotel strictly for military members and their families, and offers discounted prices on the rooms. It's also right on the beach and has amazing reviews. If we can get good prices on flights I'm thinking this would be an excellent way to spend part of our holiday season this year! 


We just purchased our tickets for the Rascal Flatts concert this Summer! We now have three concerts to look forward to in the month of July. Check back here soon for some concert outfit ideas perfect for any Summer night. 

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Long Distance Love

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Daniel and I have had an unconventional marriage to say the least. We’ve been married for over two years now, but all together have only gotten to spend give or take seven months of that time together, with an extra weekend here or there thrown in. Now that we’re together again for the summer, it makes me question how we ever got through the separation. I would be lying if I said it was easy. We sometimes fought over the smallest details, but both of us were always humble enough to remind ourselves that we were fighting for our situation, and it was not a reflection of our marriage.  I would never recommend a long distance marriage to anyone, because honestly who wouldn't want to be with their spouse as much as possible? but on the off chance you ever find yourself in the same situation, here are some tips to help make sure your marriage still thrives.

Always support each other. I support the fact that right now, Daniel’s place is in the army. Sometimes this means coming second to his job, which is a hard adjustment to make. At the same time, he supports the fact that I need to be home to finish my schooling, which sometimes means that our marriage comes second to my school schedule. No matter what, we support each other and understand that we're ultimately doing something that will benefit our future together.

Never stop dating. Even if this means setting aside time to Facetime on a Sunday afternoon. Daniel and I tried to video chat at least once a week around our busy schedules. We also chose a book to read together. Every week we read a chapter and then discussed it at the end of the week sharing our thoughts on what we read.

Make time for each other. For us, this meant visiting each other at least once a month. Although my school schedule was busy, I was able to find at least one three day weekend a month that would allow me to fly out to see Daniel. We even chose to take this time to explore new places like New Orleans.

Don’t forget to still make time for yourself. This one might sound a little weird. You might be thinking, you’re living separately; don’t you have plenty of time to yourself? But what I mean by this is that it’s easy to get caught up in feeling the need to stay home and talk with each other at all hours of the day. But it’s still important to get together with friends and family and to do stuff that you enjoy separately.

If you have a problem, talk it through. What else can you do when all you can do is talk? When I have a problem I usually try to separate myself from the issue altogether rather than deal with it head on. This is something I work on every day. When you are apart, it’s easy to hang up a phone and pretend a problem doesn’t exist. But force yourself to talk about it so you can get past it.

Never stop trying. No one is going to work on your marriage for you. It’s up to you to work as a team. Don’t forget the love, and don’t forget the fact that eventually the separation will be through and you two will finally be together for good.

Don't take things too seriously. It's easy to turn something small into something big. Try not to. Keep a sense of silliness in your marriage and in your attitude. Being married is, and should be, fun! 

These are all tips that are beneficial in all relationships, not just long distance. Daniel and I are attending a military couples retreat in Virginia this weekend, which is meant to help strengthen our marriage. No matter how strong your relationship may be, I believe there is always room for growth. I can’t wait to share what I learn with you all!

Happy Thursday!

A Little Me Time

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

This was my view for the majority all of yesterday. Daniel had to stay at work most of the day and night because he had to do a jump. He's a paratrooper and every couple of months he jumps out of an airplane. I prefer not to think about it while its happening because it makes me nervous. Anyway, he wasn't supposed to be getting home till around 2am or so, and it was raining almost all day so I decided to boycott my Tuesday and stay in bed. I never feel bad about lounging around when it's raining outside because I know there's nothing I'd want to be doing out there! It's supposed to rain all week too so I see lots of TV time in my future. I stayed in sweats all day and watched Netflix, took a bubble bath and even splurged and ordered myself pizza with half pepperoni and jalapeño, yum. I started watching the West Wing after my mom suggested it, but eventually ended up switching over to a Harry Potter marathon. Sometimes you have to just take a day to yourself and embrace it. The only thing missing from my afternoon was my little kitty cuddle buddy! I am missing her face like crazy. 

June Goals

Monday, June 01, 2015

Hello June! And hello everyone! I hope you all had wonderful sunny weekends. I spent most of my weekend moving more furniture into our apartment and then spending time at the apartment pool to catch up on some reading. Now that I'm finally getting settled back into my life in Fayetteville, I thought I'd share some goals for the month. 

1. Finish pulling the apartment together. Now that all of the big furniture is in, it's time to get all the small stuff organized. 
2. Stretch every day. My neck pain has been a little out of control lately. I need to start working for myself, not against myself. I think a little yoga just might help to make that happen.
3. Plan a vacation for our end of summer leave.
4. Get outside more! More pool time equals more vitamin D and more vitamin D equals more happiness. 
5. Blog a little more often. I've got some ideas floating around in this head of mine and I'm going to work harder to share them with all of you. 

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