March 30, 2015

Spain & Portugal Out | Iceland & Amsterdam In...

So for the past how ever many months I've been telling everyone that I'm planning on going to Spain and Portugal this year. Well, this was true up until about a week ago. I don't know exactly how it happened but while intoxicated at a little taco place with Justin, Erin and Day, I ended up agreeing to skipping out on Spain and Portugal this year and going to Iceland -- Yeah, I know... Big difference. So yeah, this Spain trip that I've been talking about for months was thrown out the window during a sangria filled evening.

The next day, once the sangria was out of my system I sat down with Justin and asked him if we were really going to Iceland instead of Spain and Portugal, and he said yes. Since he seemed so stoked about it I figured what the hell, he has never really shown an interest in traveling before and if he wants to go then we should go.

So even though I wasn't totally on board with our new trip plans I started doing some research and after spending some more time looking into Iceland and the things we could do while there I began to get more excited about the possibility of going.

Fast forward a couple of days... I get a text from Justin who has been doing crazy research on Iceland and he informs me that if you fly Icelandair you can book a stopover in Iceland on your way to another European country and the cost is only several hundred dollars more depending on where you go. So he basically figured out how he, Erin, Day and I could go to Iceland AND Amsterdam for like nothing, which totally sold me on the trip.

Fast forward to Saturday evening... Justin and I are out to dinner with Phil and Rob and we start to tell them about the trip and how we were planning on booking it the following day. After listening to everything we had to say Phil and Rob were on board too, thus totally sealing the deal on Iceland -- The fact that they wanted to go was like the cherry on top because I've been trying to get Phil to travel with me outside of the country since mine and Erin's first trip back in 2010.

So without even thinking about it for twenty-four hours Phil showed up at our apartment, along with Erin and Day, and we booked the trip Justin had been so carefully planning for the past week. We ended up booking a five day trip to Amsterdam with a four day stopover in Iceland, so a nine day in total European adventure. Both including three bedroom Airbnb apartments/houses.

So yeah, I'm going to Iceland and Amsterdam at the end of September with some of my favorite people in the world and I cannot tell you how excited I am.

If any of you have ever been to either place I'd love to hear about any tips or recommendations you have! Also, sorry for all the "so's" it's after 2:00AM and I'm tried but I'm not.

March 27, 2015

This Just Pinned: Week One Hundred & Thirty-Six...

Here are the highlights of my last week pinning...
(via: Missy Sue)
(via: Top Inspired)
As always if you want to see what else I have up on Pinterest you can check out my account here.

March 26, 2015

From The Hold Shelf (Or What I'm About To Read)...

"Food Truck Road Trip" by Kim Pham & Philip Shen
Kim, Phil and Terri traveled from state to state, visiting the best food trucks out there to get the incredible and authentic recipes that make their trucks some of the most popular in the country. This book includes delicious recipes for everything from sandwiches, soups and chilies to vegetarian dishes, classics with a twist and desserts--all straight from the cooks themselves. With the country's food truck favorites made accessible in your own kitchen, you'll deliver incredible and unique food at home you'd have to travel across the country to try.   

Outstanding dishes include Prosciutto and Grape Pizza from The Urban Oven in Los Angeles, Maker's Mark Fried Chicken from Big D's Grub Truck in New York, Santa Fe Black Bean Burgers from Mix'd Up Food Truck in Atlanta and Pad Thai Tacos from The Peached Tortilla in Austin.   

To get these recipes, the authors found and traveled to the most vibrant food truck cultures across the country, including: Southern and Northern California; New York City; Portland, Oregon; New Orleans; Raleigh, Durham and Charlotte, North Carolina; Atlanta; Minneapolis; Austin; Washington, D.C and Philadelphia.   

This cookbook includes all the recipes of your wandering road trip dreams.

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"The Doodle Revolution: Unlock the Power to Think Differently" by Sunni Brown
A fearless guide to awakening your mind using simple visual language. What do Einstein, Edison, Richard Feynman, Henry Ford, and JFK have in common? Like virtually all heavy-hitting thinkers, they looked beyond just words and numbers to get intellectual and creative insights. They actively applied a deceptively simple tool to think both smarter and faster: the doodle. And so can the rest of us-zero artistic talent required. Visual thinking expert Sunni Brown has created The Doodle Revolution as a kick-starter guide for igniting and applying simple visual language to any challenge. The instinctive and universal act of doodling need only be unleashed in order to innovate, solve problems, and elevate cognitive performance instantly.

Website: The Doodle Revolution

•   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •

The last two books I mentioned were "The Banh Mi Handbook: Recipes for Crazy-Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches" by Andrea Nguyen and "Banh Mi: 75 Banh Mi Recipes for Authentic and Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches" by Jacqueline Pham and I really enjoyed both of them. I got some excellent ideas for making my own banh mis at home and my friend's really liked them when I made them.

March 25, 2015

90's/00's The Ladies Mix | Hello Geeky's Fault...

Yet again after listening to another episode of Hello Geeky, I have random pop music stuck in my head. And seeing as it's not just one song I figured I'd make a playlist to share with all of you. So I give you all my "90's/00's The Ladies Mix • Hello Geeky's Fault" playlist...

90's/00's The Ladies Mix • Hello Geeky's Fault by Misfit Librarian on Grooveshark

Here is the episode of Hello Geeky that inspired this playlist...

News For All My Disney Lovers...

Seeing as I married into a family of Disney freaks fanatics (I'm not kidding... They go to Disney World almost every year and every year I have to make up an excuse not to go because I can only Disney so much. I haven't been to a Disney theme park since they got me to go to Disneyland in 2008) and this is the kind of tidbit that they'd love to know, I thought that I'd share it with all of you just in case...

This Saturday the Disney Store is celebrating its 28th anniversary and with said celebration comes a bunch of special one-day savings. Each store will be hosting a special opening ceremony, and the first twenty-eight guests to make a purchase in each store that day will receive a free gift. Guests can also participate in fun, engaging activities throughout the day, as well as dance and sing during the Cast Member JAMboree, taking place the 28th minute of every hour.
So if you love Disney and need an excuse to head over to your local Disney Store, I think this sounds like it could be a cute reason to do so and I think the kiddies would love it. If you can't head into a store they are also offering special savings online.

If you do stop by lemme know how it was. I'm curious to know.
* I did not receive anything for writing this post. I was asked to mention it, so I did as an FYI for you guys.

March 20, 2015

This Just Pinned: Week One Hundred & Thirty-Five...

Here are the highlights of my last week pinning...
(via: Pinterest)
(via: Refinery 29)
(via: Polyvore)

As always if you want to see what else I have up on Pinterest you can check out my account here.

March 18, 2015

Unfriended Trailer...

Oh my, I was just sent the trailer for the upcoming movie Unfriended (2015) and I'm super all about it and I wanted to do a quick post about it because, as those of you that have been reading for awhile know, I absolutely love love love horror films and this one looks so up my alley it isn't even funny -- Yes, I know... Holy run on sentence Batman but I don't care. I literately watched this trailer and was like "Yes! I need to watch this movie when it hits theaters" and now thinking about it, I totally have to talk my mother into seeing it with me because I think she'd enjoy it too.

But yeah, sorry for rambling. Here is the trailer for those of you interested in it...

So what do you think? Does it seem like something you'd watch or am I just a horror movie freak? Lemme know!

Stuck In My Head: Can't Get You Out Of My Head | Thanks Hello Geeky...

On my commute to work this morning I was listening to Hello Geeky and they started talking about various songs from the year 2002 and now I have Kylie Minogue's "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" stuck in my head. So here it is so you can have it stuck in your head...

Can't Get You Out of My Head by Kylie Mongue on Grooveshark

If you wanna hear exactly what they were talking about here is the episode I was listening to...

March 17, 2015

Buying A New Used Car...

As I mentioned in my birthday post, I bought a new used car and here is how that all went down...

Back in December my 1998 Saturn SL2 started giving me a lot of trouble. It wasn't starting, it needed to be jump constantly, etc. So I finally decided that after almost twelve years of owning her that it was time to get rid of her because she wasn't worth all of the time and money I was pouring into her -- Yes, the Saturn was a she and she could be a fickle bitch. So that's when I started looking into different cars, loan options, etc.

After milling over my options I decided that the best course for me was to buy used and borrow some money against my retirement because it was already my money and I didn't have to insure the car a certain way because it was a bank's money. So after applying to borrow my own money and eventually receiving it, I started really looking for cars.

Initially I was looking for a 2012 or newer car, mainly a Honda Civic, with decent mileage (Mainly because I was terrified of getting a car that may or may not have been flooded during Hurricane Sandy) but the ones from the Honda dealerships were ridiculous priced and the dealer I dealt with at the one Honda I went to came off as an evil shady bitch -- Yes, I realize that most people who work in car dealerships are slime balls but still.

Eventually I decided to listen to my father who had been urging me to look at cars a few model years earlier than 2012 and we both searched online and car magazines until we found some acceptable options at Atlantic Volkswagen. So on my birthday my father and I went to the dealership to test drive some of the cars we had seen throughout our searches.
We greeted in a much nicer fashion than at the evil Honda dealership that I shall not name. And started dealing with a sales woman named Nadia who was extremely nice and helpful.

I went over exactly what I was looking for with her (Which to be honest with you wasn't much considering I was used to driving a 1998 Saturn with crank windows, a cassette deck and no AC), my budget and that I intended on paying for a car in cash.

She looked at what she had in stock in my price range (Which we knew about because we had done our research) and started looking at the cars in the lot.

I looked at a handful of cars that were just okay and then I started looking at a 2008 Volkswagen Jetta, which wasn't exactly what I had in mind but it was pretty nice looking so I took it for a test drive.
Unfortunately I didn't really care for the way it drove, so it was on to the next...

After deciding that the Jetta wasn't for me Nadia showed my father and I at 2008 Hyundai Elantra and since I liked the way it looked I took it for a spin.
I was much happier with the way that the Elantra drove and decided that it was the car for me. So we went back inside and begun the paperwork.

After dealing with all of the insurance, license plates and payment stuff I was the proud owner of a new used car that I couldn't take home just yet because it needed to be detailed -- Which I was cool with.

So two days later my car was detailed and I was able to pick it up.
And now I am the happy owner of a 2008 Hyundai Elantra, whose windshield I cracked driving on the LIE the day after I got the car and have since had fixed by Safelite. If anyone is interested about dealing with Safelite I can totally write a blog post about it.

March 15, 2015

Sunday Steal...

One Thing...

That Makes You Smile: Justin's stupid humor

That Makes You Cry: The song "Unforgettable" by Natalie & Nat King Cole

Unforgettable (Duet With Nat King Cole) by Natalie Cole on Grooveshark

That You Love To Do On The Weekends: Go on random adventures

That You Do For Only Yourself: Hmm...

That You Have In Your Underwear Drawer That's NOT Underwear: Bandanas

That You Do Before Going To Sleep: Set my alarm for the next day

That You Do Within The First 15 Minutes After Waking: Turn on the TV to CBS News

That's In Your Purse: iPhone 6

That You Actually LIKE To Clean: Nothing

That You DETEST Cleaning: The tile floor in my kitchen

That Other People Would Find Odd About You: Oh, there are lots of things...

That You Would Buy If I Handed You A $100 Bill: Makeup from Sephora  

That You Feel You HAVE To Do Before You Die: Travel as much as I can

March 13, 2015

This Just Pinned: Week One Hundred & Thirty-Four...

Here are the highlights of my last week pinning...
(via: Pinterest)
(via: Mega Silvita)

 (via: RedBubble)

As always if you want to see what else I have up on Pinterest you can check out my account here.

March 12, 2015

The Brooklyn Flea, Cat Sitting In Hell's Kitchen, Surprise Parties & Not So Boozy Brunch...

I know you're all probably like "Holy long blog post title Batman!" but I didn't know what else to call this post because I went from having nothing to do last weekend to being totally busy and doing a crap ton of things in a twenty-four hour span -- Which includes all of the things mentioned in the title plus some more. So lets start from the beginning of last Saturday...

Since I really didn't have anything planned for my thirtieth I had mentioned to my sister and Phil that I would like to head into Brooklyn and spend the afternoon wandering around the indoor Brooklyn Flea Market. Seeing as it wasn't a crazy request they obliged. So my sister and her boyfriend stopped by my apartment, jumped into my new used car and we drove out to where Phil lives to pick him up.

On the drive there my sister and I were singing, car dancing and kinda being made fun of by her boyfriend. And in the middle of rapping "Shoop" by Salt 'n' Pepa a rock hits the windshield of my new used car and cracks it. We all bug out for a second and got over it because it could have happened to any of us. Then we picked Phil up and drove into Brooklyn.

Shoop by Salt-N-Pepa on Grooveshark

Once we got there we wandered around the shopping part of the flea for a bit before we all realized we were hungry and really needed to eat something. So we walked over to the part of the building where the food is, checked out all of the options and decided that we (We being my sister and I) wanted to split grilled cheeses from the Milk Truck -- Which FYI were awesome and I highly recommend.
After chowing down we went back to looking around and I picked up a few things, which included a safety pin keychain (My Tia has one and it reminded me of her), a 1970's globe and an old illustrated French children's cookbook. Then we decided to head back.

I had my sister's boyfriend drive my car back to Long Island and had him drop me off at the train station by Phil's apartment because Day invited me to apartment and cat sit with her in Hell's Kitchen (She was watching her coworker & his boyfriend's apartment while they were off at a film festival. She did the same for them in January while they were at the Sundance Film Festival because the boyfriend of her coworker had a short film called "One Year Lease" being shown, which I recommend watching and you can watch it here). So I hopped on the LIRR and headed into New York City to meet up with Day and Erin at the apartment.
They were kinda sleepy when I got in but I got them to rally because my friend Paul had decided on Friday that he and I were having a joint 60th (Because we both turned 30... Get it?) birthday party at Jimmy's No. 43, but what Paul didn't know was that his friend had planned him a surprise party at the same bar. It was craziness.
So we headed over to Jimmy's had some drinks, they decided they were super tired after a few hours and they left me at the bar with my college friends. I hung out with them until like 1:00am when they decided that they were all going to home and I caught a cab back up to Hell's Kitchen where Erin was waiting to let me back into the apartment.

On Sunday we all woke up relatively early and started to look for a spot to have boozy brunch. We ended up picking HK's Hells Kitchen and made our way over. Once we were seated we were disappointed to find out that despite what their menu said, boozy brunch didn't start until after 12:00pm. We stayed because we were already there and the food ended up being very good.
After stuffing our faces  we checked out a little street flea market and headed back to the apartment  to grab our bags, say goodbye to Casper (The cat) and catch a cab to Penn Station to go back to Long Island.
When we got back we decided to go get pedicures and crepes -- Which were both great decisions. Then Day's husband drove me to my parents' house where I hung out with my parents and Nella until Justin came to get me.

Overall it was a very full, very awesome weekend.