2018 | A year in review

Happy last day of the year, everyone! I can’t believe we’ve already made it this far, and it’s insane to me that I am sitting here doing a look-back at the year that is now already behind us. I feel like 2018 was one of the fastest-moving years yet, and I really am flabbergasted that tomorrow starts 2019. Really, I feel like all I did was blink. It’s insane.

I do feel like the last 365 days were a whirlwind, and it’s taken me until right now as I sit with my planner splayed in front of me to realize how much shit I actually did this year. So, if you care anything about what I’ve done this last year, buckle up, because we’re about to go back in time.

January

I kicked January off in New York City to watch the Buffalo Sabres play in the Winter Classic. It seemed insanely cold for January 1st, but it really was a fun, memorable way to kick off the year. I got off of my flight home, slept for about 45 minutes, and headed back to work the next day, my birthday. Happy new year to me, am I right? My birthday week ended with having a snow day that Friday [yes, I write everything in my planner], so turning 25 really didn’t seem so horrible. I started my last semester of grad school, and by last semester, I mean I started the journey of spending 15-weeks writing a thesis that I stressed over just about every single day. We moved my brother back to Ohio for the spring, and just like that, the month was already over.

February 

I started February off with celebrating at my cousin’s bridal shower. It was so crazy that the first one of us was getting married, and this really kicked off what was one of the best weddings I’ve been to. February was also the start of going to endless apartment viewings, trying to find the perfect home to move into in the spring. It really felt like that’s all I did for the entirety of this short month. Another highlight was mid-winter break at work because me, being as dramatic as I am, really craved a break even though I had just returned from one last month. So really, not much had changed.

March

I spent the first day of March signing a lease to my new apartment. That entire event seemed absolutely wild to me because I barely felt old enough to be an adult, let alone move out on my own. This month also brought spring break at Niagara University, and Easter break at work. Hello, laziness! This month also brought the St. Patrick’s Day parade, which if you’re from Buffalo, you know this is always a wild time. The last day of the month, the day before Easter, was spent celebrating my cousin Randy and his new bride Jenn on their wedding day!

April

The first day of April was Easter, and continued the break from both school and work. The day following Easter is another one of my favorite days of the year, Dyngus Day! Again, if you’re from the 716 you know how wild Dyngus Day gets, and being down at Central Terminal each year always seems to be a highlight. I got together with some old friends from high school which always proves to be a good time, because we don’t see each other nearly as much as we probably should. This month I also had the opportunity to see Chris Daughtry live at the Rapids Theatre in Niagara Falls, as well as Piff the Magic Dragon at the Seneca Niagara Casino. All in the same week, as a matter of fact. The month concluded with participating in an Autism Awareness walk at my place of employment.

May

I feel like the month of May is when things really started getting crazy for me. My brother turned 19, so we drove to Ohio to celebrate his birthday with him. I finished the spring semester and graduated with my Master’s Degree, something I still am in disbelief that I even accomplished, if we’re being honest. Graduate school was one of the most challenging things I’ve done, paired with working full time and trying to have somewhat of a life at 25, so to finally have it be over and to see the hard work paid off is something I’ll forever be grateful for. I also participated in my 20th dance recital, crazy. . I know. Nothing will make you feel older than that. And in the mix of all of that, I began the process of packing up my entire life into boxes, ready to begin this new chapter.

June

June was definitely the most life changing, challenging month I had this year. I became a resident of North Buffalo, leaving my home of 25 years in Lasalle. Adjusting to life outside of Niagara Falls was tricky at first, but as the month went on, it didn’t seem as different anymore.

July

Although it started off with summer break, and concluded going back to work for a new school year, July was definitely the month of concerts. I had fulfilled a lifelong dream of seeing the Foo Fightets in Toronto – a night that I truly will never forget. Then, two weeks later, I saw three concerts in one week – Macklemore and Kesha at Darien Lake, The Struts at The Rapids Theatre, and the Arctic Monkeys in Canandaigua. The month ended with our annual family picnic, and attending Wines in the Wild at the Buffalo Zoo.

August

August started off with a family dinner, wishing my brother and my cousin well as they traveled back to Ohio for their next semesters of college. It was this month that I learned my former high school would be closing its doors for good, prompting a final farewell to a school that meant so much. I started off the last week of summer session by seeing All Time Low in concert, and finished off the last week of summer session traveling to Cleveland to catch a flight to the West Coast the following morning. It was my first time going to the West Coast, and it did not disappoint. I was able to cross an item off my bucket list when I visited the Grand Canyon, and celebrated my parents’ 25th anniversary in Las Vegas. The month ended by bringing my brother back to Ohio, and having to say goodbye as he got ready for his next year of school.

September

September didn’t really bring much excitement to the year. I participated in my second Out of the Darkness Walk to raise awareness for mental heath and suicide prevention, a cause that is close to my heart. I also spent a weekend in Cleveland for a Red Sox game. Being able to see a team that would later go on to win the World Series was pretty great!

October

I started off the month of October by traveling to Akron for family weekend at my brother’s university. The following weekend, I saw Andy Grammer in concert at a new local concert venue in downtown Buffalo. As if that wasn’t enough, I saw the Goo Goo Dolls at Shea’s the following weekend as part of their 20th anniversary tour. Halloween came and went, and suddenly the month was already over, and we were into the final stretch of the year.

November

November always tends to be one of my favorite months of the year, because fall is in full force, and my favorite holiday is just around the corner. We celebrated my mom’s birthday at the beginning of the month by hiking a state park in Ohio, seeing some of the most beautiful fall foliage I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Suddenly, it was Thanksgiving, and I was in my happy place. It’s one of my favorite meals of the year, followed by hours of endless, discounted shopping. Pie and retail therapy. . what more could you ask for?

December

December seemed to arrive at the blink of an eye. It didn’t seem possible that Christmas was already around the corner, most likely because there was absolutely no snow falling from the sky whatsoever. I attended the Kerfuffle Before Christmas show at Buffalo RiverWorks, where I had the opportunity to see Alice Merton and Blue October. Suddenly, it was Christmas Eve. . my favorite day of the year. The traditional Italian meal on Christmas Eve is something that I prepare myself for all year, as it is one of my favorites. Christmas Day was also another great day spent with family, and I was sad to see it end. One of my Christmas gifts was tickets to see Tom Cotter, one of my favorite acts from America’s Got Talent at Helium Comedy Club.

It was this weekend that life took some unexpected turns and the year didn’t end the way that I originally had planned, hence the extreme delay in this year-end recap. I was in the middle of sitting down and writing this post when real-life became more important than talking about myself on the internet.

Now that things have gotten a little less-crazy and I feel more back to normal, I am excited to get back into taking time for myself and writing again. This blog, although run extremely inconsistently this past year, has proven to be a great outlet for me to just vent and get things out there.

For those of you that have stuck with me thus far, thank you for listening and thank you for being a part of this journey. I am more than excited to see what’s to come in the year ahead. 2019 is our year!

xoxo.

Where I’ve been

It’s no surprise I took a hiatus from blogging over the last few months. I mean, hell, the last post I made, other than my yearly music recap, dates all the way back to October 2018!

I feel like it’s a long standing joke that the days between Christmas and New Years are all a blur – nobody really knows what day it is, where they are, or what the hell is even going on. For me, I feel like this time extends way before Christmas, to Thanksgiving. I feel like once Turkey Day hits, life is shifted into top gear and we’re flying until suddenly the year is over and a new one is beginning with no warning.

I tend to like to take the time during this never-ending holiday season to spend time with family, more so now that my brother lives in Ohio and isn’t home all the time, and especially now that I moved out of the house and don’t see my family nearly as much anymore.

I wish I had some crazy story to tell you about where I’ve been, but really, I’ve just been here. I didn’t go anywhere, didn’t really even do much other than take the time to appreciate those around me.

One thing that I really did enjoy during my time off was being able to decorate my own space for the holidays. Holiday decorating has always been a favorite activity of mine, but having a home of your own really let my creativity flow [and money flow out of my wallet, if we’re being honest here]. I didn’t realize how crazy I went until today when I set time aside to take everything down and box it up until next year. I hate that now my home looks so empty and boring, but it’s ready for some new memories to be made into the new year.

What are some of your favorite memories made throughout this holiday season? xoxo.

The sounds of 2018

Happy Sunday, everyone! 

I am so excited to be back to blogging again. Life has gotten a little crazy over the past couple of months and, while I still remained active on as told by gab’s Instagram, I unfortunately put taking the time to sit and write on the back burner. 

Within the remaining weeks of 2018, I will have a ton of things to share like music I’ve been listening to, things I’ve been loving, and a recap of the months [and the year] behind us. There’s a lot that’s been housed in my brain these past few months, and I can’t wait to share it all with you in the weeks ahead. 

So, on this Sunday morning, I share with you the end of the year playlist that Spotify has created for me, including all of my most-listened-to songs of the year. I look forward to this every year, as it is always a good way to look back and see how my interests in music have changed or stayed the same over the past twelve months. Plus, it’s a great playlist to listen to when finishing up Christmas shopping or wrapping gifts. 

What are some of your most-listened-to songs of 2018? xoxo. 

Tighten up | October playlist

Another month ending, another playlist to be shared!

It’s like clockwork that I write posts like this at the end of each month. But, really, I don’t mind at all because there is nothing that I love more than sharing music that I’ve been listening to throughout the month. I know, personally, some of my best music has been found thanks to recommendations from friends or family. So, it’s my hope that someone out there is getting at least one new song into their ears at the end of each month!

Again, I found myself enjoying a mix of old and new. What can I say? I am a 90’s baby at its’ finest. I can’t get enough of these older songs and I find myself appreciating them more and more the older g

What are some songs you couldn’t get enough of this month? xoxo.


October favorites!

Does anyone else feel like we totally just skipped right over fall and went right toward the hell-hole that is Buffalo winter? I was not excited to have to grab my winter coat a few days last week. Add in some weird thunder/hail storms and gusts of wind that could do so much as topple over a small child, and we have what some may consider to be the worst fall ever!

Contrary to popular belief, though, fall is actually here. What better way to celebrate everyone’s favorite season than by touching on some of my October favorites!? While I feel some of these may be repetitive from some of my favorites in the past, they still hold high and mighty on my love list!

Starbucks’ Maple Pecan Latte 

Does this drink not scream fall? It’s no secret that I am not the world’s biggest fan of anything pumpkin spice, so I never really felt connected to the fall season in terms of my form of caffeination. I am almost glad that I don’t live along a specific route where there are Starbucks’ on every corner because, boy, would I be broke faster than I could even spell fall. The maple pecan latte is so good

Dr. Martens 1460 Greasy Boot

I got these boots somewhere around two years ago and they still remain a staple in my fall wardrobe to this day. What I like the most about this specific style of the 1460s is that the leather is matte black. I am not the biggest fan of the shinier-leather Dr. Martens, so when I tried these on I was immediately hooked. They run for about $145 a pair which, coming from someone who gets hooked on $8 shoes from the Target clearance rack, that seems absolutely insane. But you really do get what you pay for. I’ve worn these to what seems like absolute death and they look exactly as they did fresh out of the box all those years ago! 

Chapstick Green Tea Mint 100% Natural Lip Butter

It’s no surprise that I struggle in terms of healthy, moisturized lips. I’ve talked about it quite frequently on the blog, and every time I think I’ve found something that works wonders I either 1) end up being wrong or, 2) lose the product somewhere between my purse and my car and never see it again. The extreme temperature change from the hot and humid summer to the aforementioned “fall” has been hell for my skin, but extreme hell for my lips. Thanks to Target’s Cartwheel app, I saw there was a coupon for this product and I decided, after reading some reviews, to give it a try. So far, it has been my go-to for this month and has kept my lips super hydrated without any overbearing smells or glitters added. Plus, it comes in a two pack, so I am prepared for the dreaded day where I lose it. 

Tropical Fields Crispy Coconut Rolls with Sesame Seeds

Walking through Wegmans, you’re always bound to find something that you 100% don’t need. I didn’t let the price tag of $8.99 stop me from trying these out because who doesn’t love coconut, am I right?! It has gotten to the point that these are so

What are some things you’ve been loving this month? 

September 2018 | An overview

September was the month of getting back into routines. Summer came to an end and, even though the summer temperatures stayed, it was time to get back to the swing of things. School started up again which meant, back to work I went. I feel like a weird mix of being so hard, yet so exciting, to go back to work for the start of a new school year. I really enjoy having time off, but after a while, I get to the point where I’m really just ready to go back. 

I participated in the Out of the Darkness walk in Buffalo, in memory of my friend who committed suicide about a year and a half ago. As a whole, we raised over $15,000 – a number that is still continuing to grow – for the support of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Being a part of something so big and meaningful is remarkable, but all that aside, I’d rather have life back to the way it was before this tragedy. 

I was unexpectedly out of work for a couple days which made me feel extremely thankful that I have a job. I couldn’t stand not working, even if only for 48 hours. Did I get a lot done in those couple of days? Yes. But I couldn’t imagine being unemployed or staying home for long periods of time. 

The following weekend, I traveled to Cleveland to see the Boston Red Sox play the Cleveland Indians, and to spend some time with my brother. This was the first time I had seen him since I moved him back to college at the end of August, so it was amazing to spend time with him and have the family all back together again for the weekend. 

Other than also starting back to dance class for the fall, my month was pretty much boring and about the same as every other month of the year. With that being said, welcome, October! I can’t believe there’s only a couple more months left of 2018! 

What are some of your favorite memories from September? xoxo.

Shake me down | September playlist

Even though we are a couple weeks into the new month, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad time to reflect back on what was running through my eardrums throughout the entire month of September. I feel like somehow, I always find a decent mix of old and new, mostly thanks to Sirius Radio having a plethora of songs on the daily.

I feel like there are some songs that instantly put you in the mood for the changing seasons, fall being no different. There are certain songs that will always bring me back to the falls of the past, so I of course have to listen to them every September/October. 

What are some songs you couldn’t get enough of this September? xoxo

Reflecting back | Vegas

No better time than the end of summer to reflect on summer vacation, am I right?

previously mentioned when reflecting back on the month of August that my family and I ventured to the West Coast for this year’s family vacation. It’s been exactly one month since I boarded my flight to Nevada and it seems absolutely insane that that much time has already passed. For someone who hadn’t ever ventured further than Chicago, Illinois, it was mind-blowing to me to think that going to the West Coast was actually a thing that was happening. I mean, hell, the only places I had ever flown to were New York City and Florida, so this plane ride, while nerve-wrecking, was essentially a first for me in the sense that I would be confined to this small air tube for a significant amount of time.

For someone who hates flying, I will say that the flight wasn’t as bad as I expected [don’t get me wrong, it still totally sucked]. And for someone who refuses to look out the window of any aircraft, it was shocking to me that I wasn’t afraid to look out the window and see the desert below me. The view of the Rocky Mountains and just the desert in general is something that, no joke, I will never, ever forget. I truly don’t care if I ever see grass again in my lifetime – I would be totally okay with desert living – because it’s a beauty that really cannot be described unless you see it for yourself.

Those five days on the West Coast provided me with some of the greatest memories I have in my lifetime. I mean, it’s not an exaggeration to say I waited my entire 25-years of life to get myself to the Grand Canyon, and that happened within those five days. It’s something I will forever be grateful for. And Las Vegas? I can confidently say that it’s a place you must go at least once in your lifetime. While the Vegas strip is entirely polar opposite of the Grand Canyon, it’s similar in the sense that you cannot describe it unless you see it for yourself. Pictures that you see scrolling through your Instagram feed really do not do either of these places any justice.

So this week, what will we do? We will reflect back on some more detail on my trip to the West Coast. Am I feeling super nostalgic? Oh, without a doubt. But buckle up, because you’re coming on this ride with me.

xoxo.

Prevention.

This past weekend, I had the honor of walking in the Out of the Darkness walk though Delaware Park in Buffalo. I walked in memory of one of my closest friends who ended his life on earth just over a year and a half ago. Together, our team raised more than $13,000 to help raise awareness to mental health and help save just one more life from suicide.

Walking in the Out of the Darkness walk means that you join the effort with hundreds of thousands of people to raise awareness and funds that allow the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to invest in new research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support survivors of suicide loss. Through the efforts of walkers and donors, the AFSP has been able to set a goal to reduce the annual suicide rate 20% by 2025, something that I believe they are totally capable of doing.

Today on World Suicide Prevention Day, make it your mission, not just today, but every day to take action and support a person who is struggling or in crisis. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death, and we all know someone affected by it, myself included. While this is a cause that I have always supported, I never in a million years would have thought I would be able to relate to people surviving suicide loss. This is something none of us could ever be prepared for, but with the proper education and the normalization of mental health, it is something that we should never have to go through.

Start the conversation.

You can make a difference.

xoxo.

If you are thinking about harming yourself or attempting suicide, tell someone who can help right away. Call your doctor’s office. Call 911 for emergency services. Go to the nearest hospital or emergency room. Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK to be connected to a trained counselor at a suicide crisis center nearest you.

 

 

So, I did a thing

“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk in my garden forever.”- Alfred Lord Tennyson

Last Tuesday, I got my fifth tattoo. This one is something I had been pondering for quite some time, and after years of contemplation and waiting, I stopped enjoying my morning coffee on Elmwood Avenue and walked across the street to my tattoo shop. Each flower on the back of my arm represents the birth flower of my mother, my father, my brother, and myself, and are all intertwined together to make an unbreakable wreath.

Did I ever think I would get a tattoo on my arm? Other than the miniscule semi-colon tattoo that I have on my outer right wrist, no I really didn’t think I would ever be the one to do this. But the placement felt so right – when you know, you know, right?

Cheers to family. It’s forever. xoxo.

To anyone in the Buffalo, New York area: I would 100% recommend Hand of Doom tattoo parlor on Elmwood Avenue in the city of Buffalo!