Day 1 | NYC

DISCLAIMER: If you don’t like New York City or, quite frankly, don’t care to hear about my most recent trip, the next few days of reading definitely won’t be for you!

I, for one, love New York City. I have always dreamt of living there and am still not totally opposed to the idea at some point in my lifetime [enter heaps of money. .  now]. So, it was no surprise that I was extremely excited to board a plane at 4:25am on the 29th of December. We landed in the city that never sleeps just past 6:00 in the morning. Once we landed, we did the typical “I just landed at the airport” things. Because it was not even 6:30 in the morning by the time we were done, and we obviously couldn’t check into our hotel, we headed right into the city.

The first thing we did was visit the tree at Rockefeller Center. My brother had never seen the tree in person before, so it didn’t come as much of a surprise that this would be one of the first things we would do. If you have never had the opportunity to see the tree in person, I highly suggest that you do. TV and pictures really do not do this thing justice. You don’t realize quite how big it actually is until you are standing underneath it looking as if you are the size of an ant.

The tree is ever so conveniently located across the street from where the Today Show was filmed and, because it was a Friday morning, filming was in progress. If you know me, you know how much I am in love with the Today Show. I am self-proclaimed obsessed and I am totally okay with that. I watch every single morning, and actually look forward to the days that I don’t have to work so that I can watch the show in its entirety, up until its’ final hour. Being right at the front of the barricade, a short distance away from Dylan Dreyer and Carson Daly was a dream come true. And if you’re wondering, I absolutely fangirled.

Because it was pretty cold outside, we then went into the basement of Rockefeller Center, also known as The Concourse at Rockefeller Center. If you haven’t been, it is filled with little shops and restaurants, basically all of which we do not have at home [minus Starbucks]. After grabbing a bite to eat for breakfast and watching people pile onto the iconic ice rink, we decided plan out the remainder of the day. Because it was just shy of 9:30am, planning out the remainder of our day was the best thing we could have done, as there were so many hours left ahead of us.

Our next venture of the day was going atop the Top of the Rock observatory. Personally, I enjoy Top of the Rock so much more than the Empire State Building observatory, as the lines are much shorter, the view is better, there is more room on the observation deck once you reach the top, and tickets are substantially cheaper. My mom had never been up before, so she was pretty excited over the fact that you can actually see the Empire State Building as opposed to actually being on it. It was extremely windy and decently cold, but the view made it all totally worth it.

After this venture, we took the subway to Katz’s Delicatessen for some lunch. Upon emerging from the subway, we found the line outside of the building, almost halfway down the block. Although it was cold, we stuck it out and waited for our turn [although we were inside much faster than we anticipated]. Going out to eat with my family, you must know that there will always be too much food that is being ordered. While I would have been completely content with my matzo ball soup and half of a salami sandwich, when all was said and done, I had also consumed some of a chocolate egg cream and part of a piece of cheesecake [it must be known, though, that this was the best piece of cheesecake I have ever eaten]. So, we left full, and totally satisfied. We then headed back to Manhattan for some shopping, and then headed back toward our hotel to finally check in.

We stayed in a hotel on Long Island, outside of the city, due to convenience to the airport and Citi Field. Another perk was the fact that it was exceptionally cheaper than staying directly in the city due to it being New Years Eve weekend. After a much needed nap, thanks to having to be at the airport at 3:00 in the morning, we headed to Target to pick up a few things [yes, I went to Target, even while on vacation], and over to the Majestic Diner for dinner. After being still somewhat full from lunch, apple pancakes and a cup of coffee is exactly what I needed.

We capped the night playing a game of Uno and turning in early, getting refreshed for the next day ahead.

Stay tuned for day two adventures tomorrow. xoxo.

What to look forward to on the blog

As most of you know, I spent last weekend in New York City. All throughout next week, I will be sharing snippets of my trip with you on this blog. It’s hard to believe that a week has already flown by since I first took off for NYC but, here we are, and time keeps moving on.

In addition to sharing parts of my trip, I am also looking forward to sharing some goals and insights that I have regarding this upcoming year, as well as a handful of recipes that I have found and am excited to try out thanks to receiving a Kitchenaid mixer for my birthday!!

Like I stated in yesterday’s post, all of the posts that I had scheduled for the remainder of this week [Wednesday through today] have disappeared. I will be completely honest when I say that, while it is not really a legitimate excuse, I feel a tad bit uninspired in regards to whipping up a new blog post for today that is of top-notch quality. It could still be the frustration, but could also be that mixed with the fact that I am still sick, and that today is a snow day and, quite frankly, I don’t feel like doing much of anything other than take this day to relax.

With that being said, I hope everyone is staying inside bundled up and away from this bitter cold. And also, GO BILLS! xoxo.

Technical difficulties?!

After two days of being unable to access this blog and nonstop chatting with support to fix the issue, I am back! One thing nobody tells you about running a blog is that sometimes these technical difficulties will happen; luckily it was well over a year before I experienced my first!

After all was said and done and I finally got myself logged into my site, about 15 minutes ago – to be exact, I found my scheduled blog posts to have disappeared which is both extremely frustrating and upsetting, as all the work I had done was gone in a flash. With that being said, today’s post, as I am sure you can tell, is basically my own major bitch fest about how technology sucks and I wish sometimes we didn’t live a life that is so technology-dependent.

Tomorrow is a new day, so make sure you check back for your regularly scheduled blog post! xoxo.

P.S. Did I mention tomorrow is a SNOW DAY?! No? Well, now I did!

25 things I’ve learned in 25 years.

Guys, I’ve made it to quarter life.

I’ve officially been plopped down onto this Earth for 25 years now and, quite frankly, I still feel as if I should be awaiting my “monumental” 21st birthday. I don’t really know where all these years have gone, but I know they’ve happened because, obviously, today is my birthday!

Last year, I posted 24 things I wanted to accomplish and focus on. While I didn’t accomplish all of these things, I did accomplish some – I’d like to think the important ones! So, in honor of my 25th birthday, I am compiling a list of 25 things that I have learned throughout this [crazy] thing called life.

  1. There is no better drink than a fresh cup of coffee.
  2. Family is the most important thing in your life. Don’t let them go unappreciated.
  3. There are friends who will come and go. You shouldn’t get caught up on these friends; you should appreciate the constant friends who have stuck by your side through it all.
  4. Travel as much as you can, especially while you have the time.
  5. It is totally not worth looking “cute” in the winter. Bundle yourself up and keep warm. The only ones who will judge you looking like a marshmallow are the ones who are freezing cold.
  6. Mental health is important. Take a step back and a deep breath when you need it.
  7. College [whether going for an associates, bachelor’s or master’s degree] is one of the hardest paths you will ever walk upon. But in the end, to say you made it is all worth it.
  8. And speaking of college, you totally don’t need to pay full price for textbooks. Rent those suckers!
  9. It’s totally okay to eat donuts for breakfast.
  10. You can never have too many lipsticks.
  11. Or pairs of shoes.
  12. Knowing when to say “no” is the greatest strength you can have.
  13. Cut off all of your hair. Even if you don’t like it, it always grows back.
  14. Never compare yourself to anyone else. You are you for a reason. Embrace it.
  15. Seafood is definitely disgusting.
  16. Go ahead and binge watch shows on Netflix. It’s absolutely socially acceptable.
  17. Guinea pigs make for the best pets.
  18. And it’s totally okay to stalk puppy instagrams.
  19. 90’s alternative music is meant to be sung at the top of your lungs.
  20. Have a dance party in your kitchen. You will feel totally liberated.
  21. Pinterest saves lives. You will find everything you need on one website.
  22. Your one true love is out there. Don’t settle for less than you deserve.
  23. Always order dessert.
  24. Budget the heck out of your money.
  25. Your happiness is, and always be, the thing that matters the most.

Here’s to being another year older! Can’t wait to see what this year brings. xoxo.

2017: A year in review.

Hello 2018! Here’s to the next few months of continuing to write 2017 on every document that needs to be signed and dated!

I don’t know about you, but for me, 2017 was one of my craziest, life-changing, challenging years yet. So many things have happened this year that when I look back on it as a whole, it’s hard to believe that all of these things happened in a short 365 day span. I feel like the entirety of this year felt as if it lasted about 3 months, and I am in disbelief that an entire year has ended and we are now inching ourselves into this new chapter of our lives.

This year, I started a new job in my field that has proven to be challenging, but even more rewarding than I could have ever imagined, solidifying the fact that I have found my passion and purpose in life. I completed my Master’s degree, a feat that I am proud of for having the courage to change my path and find my happiness, regardless of the opinions of others. I watched my brother win a state championship for hockey and then graduate from high school and move out of state for college, something that makes me prouder than I have ever felt in my entire life. I fell more in love with my best friend, proving that I am lucky every single day of my life to have someone that supports me through everything and anything I wish to achieve, and spoils me more than I even deserve. My family remains happy, healthy, and tightly knit, something that I continue to be thankful for with each passing day. I experienced a devastating loss of a friend to suicide, shaking me to my core, yet pushing me to be stronger and to continue to advocate for the well-being of all those suffering with mental health. I watched my best friend get into dental school, solidifying a future so deserved to the person that is my constant rock and support through this crazy thing called life. Also in the mix can be outings at concerts and sporting events, spending time with family and friends, travel experiences, good meals, deep conversations, dancing without a care, singing at the top of my lungs, decorating a home, purchasing a new car, bettering myself, and experiencing all life has to offer while trying to live it to the fullest.

In terms of this journey owning and operating as told by gab? As most of you know, I started this blog last year as a New Year’s resolution to myself. While I had “started” this page earlier than January, I vowed to religiously keep up with this blog, post frequently, and build a name for myself. Running a blog was something that I had always wanted to do, but never had the courage or the drive to actually complete it. I didn’t think anyone would care about anything I had to say, but I felt like there was so much in me that needed to be expressed and needed to be shared. I was going through a rough patch and honestly, I needed a hobby. Did I do a hell of a job at running this site? Absolutely not. Some months were harder than others, and I found myself uninspired and struggling to come up with things to write. There were times that I didn’t see the fun in running this page and I didn’t care if days went by without any activity. But, although I wasn’t religious with my posting and I didn’t quite make a name for myself in the blogging community [yet], I still kept with it and eventually circled back to becoming more inspired and finding more fun in doing this. I feel like I ended 2017 on a high with my site and I can’t wait to push forward into the next year – especially now that I won’t have the guilt of “ignoring” school or any impending assignments hanging over my head!

So from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank all of you who have stuck around on this crazy ride with me. Here’s to making more memories. . together! xoxo.

Fly away with me?!

Truth be told, I didn’t know what the heck to title this post, so you’ll have to settle with the corny one liner that I landed upon.

However, by the time you are reading this I will have already been onto and off of a plane and landed in New York City for a few hours now! I have never spent New Years Eve in New York City, so I am excited to be here with my family for this new adventure! I am closing off my 24th year of life at the Winter Classic on January 1st, followed by a flight home a few hours later, only to wake up the following day to begin my 25th year of life and the second half of the school year for my kiddos.

I can’t wait to share this trip with you all when I come back! xoxo.

Revisiting my first blog post?!

No shocker here that 2017 was the year I launched this site. It was something I’d always wanted to do, so I decided to take the plunge. And let me tell you, I’m so glad I did. 

My very first post was titled The Power of Putting Your Happiness Above All Else. If you remember this post from way back when, I thank you for sticking with me through this journey. If you don’t remember, need a refresher, or have never in your life seen this post, all you have to do is simply click the link to check it out!

Looking back, I feel like this was somewhat of a super ballsy post to write to kick start this blog. But, it was full of things I knew had to be said. Most of the words included in this post are ones that had been sitting inside of me for quite some time so, honestly, they exploded out of me all at once, and came to fight.

I now love that this post was my very first because I am looking back at it with an entirely new perspective. Things have changed so much in such a short year and I have moved ahead by leaps and bounds from where I was those short days ago. If you would have told me that my life would be [somewhat] completely different at this exact second than they were at this time last year, I would not believe you. I would not believe that I would accomplish so much in a short amount of time. I would not believe the experiences that I would have during this timeframe. I would not believe that the girl I thought was the best version of myself all those days ago, turned out even better, and even happier than she was 365 days past.

With that being said, I encourage everyone to keep pushing forward. To not only get back up if you’ve fallen down, but to get back up throwing punches. A lot can happen in a year, live it to your fullest potential. I promise you won’t regret it. xoxo.

Quarter life crisis?!

Yesterday, the above “meme” came up on my Facebook feed as I was aimlessly scrolling through while cozied up on my couch. It was weird to see this because, I kid you not, a couple hours earlier it hit me that *holy shit, I’m gonna be 25 in a week*, and I texted by boyfriend something along the lines of *why the heck am I so old?* wondering when my 21st birthday ever escaped me.

I feel like every young person, or maybe it was just me, feels like 25 is the age in which you should have your entire life laid out and put together and not feel like you’re sitting in a burning room wondering where the hell you go from here. Dramatic? Yes. But for real. . 17-18 year old me really, really, thought that by 25 I’d be sitting in my own house cozied on the couch with my husband, with my children and my dogs running around frantically, making a shit ton of money and loving every single second of my perfect life. I can remember thinking to myself that I wanted at least one kid by 25 so “I’m not an old mom.” [Really, someone go back in time and knock some sense into me]. So, when the realization of *holy shit, I’m gonna be 25 in a week* hit me, I did one of those nervous laughs where I didn’t know if I actually thought it was funny that I thought I’d have it all together, or I was trying to mask the fact that I was about to cry at the fact I don’t have any of these things.

With all joking aside, though, maybe you do have the “perfect life” you dreamed of at 17 by age 25. And if you do, I am in awe of you for getting your shit together and doing the damn thing. But the reality of it is, or at least for me, I am no where near where I want to be. And although I am not there, I am still happy.

Do I have my own house? Absolutely not.

Am I married? Girl, I’m not even engaged.

Do I have kids? Hell no, why did I ever think I’d want kids at this age.

Do I have a dog? Nope, but I have a fat little guinea pig. 

Am I rich, bathing in a tub full of money while my butler hands me glasses of champagne? No, but I am financially stable. 

Although the answers to these questions are totally not what I expected them to be one week out of 25 years old, they are the answers that I am happy with at this stage in my life. I am blessed with the life that I have and I am happy knowing that the path that I am creating is one that will lead me to achieving all of the above goals, just not right now. I don’t know why I continue to think 25 is old because, well, I have a good 70+ years ahead of me. I have time to figure it out. We all have time to figure it out. Just keep moving down your “perfect” path.

We’ll get there, together. xoxo.

The calm after the storm. | Holiday 2017

First and foremost, I want to start off this blog post by saying that I hope everyone had an absolutely wonderful Christmas.

The last 48-hours seem like they came and went in the blink of an eye, and I am finding myself in slight disbelief that today is actually December 26th and Christmas is actually over and won’t be back until next year.

As the work day pushed forward on Friday, I could feel myself getting sicker and sicker, and I ended my day with a trip to immediate care on my way home to ensure I didn’t have strep throat, or any other illness that would prevent me from enjoying this weekend – #teacherprobs, am I right? While I did miss out on an ugly sweater party that I had been looking forward to with friends on Friday night, I did not miss any celebration or preparation with my family in regards to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Little victories, right?

All in all, this weekend was a great one. For the first time in years, it was a white Christmas. I am filled to the brim with way too much food and way too many goodies. I spent time with every single person in my life that I love and adore. I gave away all of the gifts that I have been staring at under the tree for the past month, and received so many generous and thoughtful gifts in return. I am thankful and I am blessed to have the life I do. And now, I am looking at my trees wishing it didn’t all end and that they weren’t going to have to come down sometime this week.

With that being said, here’s to the last week of 2017. . and the last week of being 24! Let’s end it with a bang! xoxo.

‘Tis the season for Christmas parties! | Holiday 2017

Today is my last day of work until January 2nd aka hello Christmas break!

Between pajama day with the kiddos, a holiday party at school with my team, and an ugly sweater party tonight with friends, kicking off Christmas break could not get any more Christmas-y, and I could not be any more full of copious amounts of sugar.

When packing up all of my gifts and goodies today to bring into work for my team and my kiddos, I realized just how much my mom and I have been baking this year. This could be thanks to a lack of hockey, as my brother is now away at college, or just an extra burst of energy, but holy cow, my bag this morning felt like it weighed 20 pounds with just treats alone.

The other day, I posted an easy, no bake recipe for you out there, like me, that are crunched on time and quite frankly don’t have the patience to bake for hours on end. Today, you’re in for another treat, because I have another no-bake recipe for you folks to whip up this weekend before Christmas is suddenly upon us. So, without further ado, here is a recipe for Christmas Buckeye Balls!

Christmas Buckeye Balls

Ingredients

  • 3 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup butter at room temperature
  • 7 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 16 ounces of chocolate chips or candy melts [any variety of your choice – I used milk chocolate]
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • Holiday sprinkles

*** DISCLAIMER: I doubled this recipe! So if you don’t want to make as large of an amount, simply cut it in half!

Directions

  1. Place the peanut butter, butter, and powdered sugar into a large bowl. Mix until the ingredients are incorporated, then knead with your hands until a smooth dough forms.
  2. Shape the dough into tablespoon sized balls and place on a sheet pan that’s been lined with parchment paper.
  3. Refrigerate the peanut butter balls for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Place the chocolate chips and shortening in a medium bowl. If using two types of chocolate, place 4 ounces of each chocolate with 1 tablespoon shortening into two bowls.
  5. Microwave the chocolate in 30 second intervals or until melted. Stir until smooth and thoroughly combined.
  6. Remove the buckeye balls from the fridge. Use a toothpick to pick up each ball and dip it into the melted chocolate. Quickly roll the ball in sprinkles. Repeat with each ball. Use your finger to smooth over the top of each ball to remove the mark from the toothpick.
  7. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set, then serve.