Off to Peru!

Today I leave for Lima, Peru – to spend a long weekend in celebration of my brother and our favorite Peruvian gal, Priscila, for their big wedding!

MikePriscilaPeruYou can read a bit about Michael & Priscila’s love story here, and you can see the fun travel-themed bridal shower my mother and I threw for Priscila here, here and here!

I’ll be back next week – hopefully with some great pictures and some brushed up Español!

Adiós!

Cape YAY.

Cape May, New Jersey: a beautiful shore retreat filled with stunning Victorian-era homes and B&Bs, fantastic restaurants, beautiful beaches & lovely people! We had an amazing vacation in our rental home on Madison Avenue on the beautiful, southern-most tip of New Jersey. Here are some highlights of our summer vacation through the lens of my iPhone + Instagram!

All packed and ready to go! Emma sits in a doggie seat that gives her a great view out the window. We learned when she was a puppy that she travels in the car very well- as long as she can see out the window! (And if she can’t… watch out for a car-sick pup!)

  The exterior of our lovely rental home!

Cheers! A toast among great friends, over a great meal!

My happy place.

I tried to do a cool “reflection” shot. I reflected my hand holding my iPhone. Still dig the shades, though!

The Cape May Lighthouse.

My dream home- we passed it walking into town every evening. When I win the lottery, I will buy this house.

Watching the sunset at Sunset Beach.

And we all know it is impossible to go on vacation without a little shopping, right? Here are my two purchases of the week. (We also made a wedding related purchase… cake topper? Check!)

An attraction at Sunset Beach in Cape May is the search for Cape May “Diamonds” – small white stones tossed & tumbled by the surf until they are smooth and nearly clear. Once polished, they sparkle and shine enough to resemble diamonds!

I’ve been wishing for a fish-shaped “Gurgle Pot” for a while now, so I happily snagged this little guy during a shopping excursion to Stone Harbor. He’s cheery & silly, and I love him!

We cleaned & packed up early this morning, and sadly left beautiful Cape May to return home. It was a rainy morning, which made it slightly easier to leave, although I’d still take a rainy day down the shore over a rainy day anywhere else! All in all, we are sunburned yet refreshed, and Emma is so tired from all of the extra walking and excitement that she will surely sleep for days!

Where did you vacation to this summer- or is yours still yet to come? Share your favorite trips & spots!

What’s Your Reset Button?

Every once and a while, my iPhone will start to act sluggish, crash randomly, or behave in an erratic manner for no apparent reason. The fail-safe fix to this problem is the “hard reset” advised by those smarty-pants Apple employees at the “genius bar”. I hold down the top and bottom buttons at the same time for a few seconds, and restart my phone to return it to it’s natural state of awesome.

Every once and a while, I start to act sluggish, crash randomly, or behave in an erratic manner for no apparent reason. My fail-safe fix to this problem, my “hard reset”, is the simultaneous feeling of sand between my toes, ocean spray upon my face, and UV rays soaking into my skin. The beach is my reset button. It never fails to bring me back to MY natural state (of awesome).

 

I had the opportunity to spend this past weekend with family and old friends in my favorite place on this earth- Surf City, LBI. I returned to reality yesterday with sunburned knees and shoulders, car seats covered in sand, a hemp & seashell ankle bracelet, and an overwhelming sense of satisfaction and completion. Sunday and Monday were beautiful beach days. I spent time with my amazing, one-year old nephew, my brothers and sisters-in-law, my parents and many extended family members and friends. My best friend and I also drove to Pittsburgh and back in a 24 hour time period (through the middle of the night both ways) to attend a high school friend’s wedding, but that is a story for another day. (Or a story that best remains untold on the internet due to the overall insanity of the entire trip).

I witnessed a beautiful sunset over the bay:

 

I made a super-fun wedding related purchase that I will reveal later this week, and I attempted to teach my nephew to fist pump, Jersey style. Let me just say that babies at the beach are a totally amazing thing.

We built sand castles:

 

and played in the waves. (My nephew was born into a family of part human-part fishes, and therefore proceeds to make a direct beeline for the ocean whenever he comes to the beach).

 

I had an absolutely amazing time soaking up the rays, and brought home a little taste of the Jersey shore (fresh fluke from the fish market) to make for dinner Monday night. It is back to my regular work schedule now, but everything just seems better today- despite the fact that I cannot wear a regular bra because it cuts too deeply into my sunburn… (TMI? Sorry.)

We all have our own reset button- our own place, activity, person or thing that helps bring us back to home base when things get out of control. Don’t forget to figure out what yours is, and treat yourself to a good, long, hard reset.

 

 

Disappointment & A Staycation

Remember on Sunday when I gloated to the world wide webs that I was packed up & ready to go on a 7 day Caribbean cruise with my best friend?

Well. Unfortunately, things did not work out. The short version of the story is that I was to board the ship as the guest of an employee (my boo is one of the stars of the b’way production of Chicago on board). Unfortunately, the ship was grossly overbooked for the week of my planned passage, and myself along with several dozen other employee friends and family members were turned away.

It was a sad day for all. Mostly for Eric and me.

The plus side was that while we were deprived of our week of best-friend-dino-loving, we at least got to spend a few hours together in Ft. Lauderdale- hanging out at Pride, and driving around in tropical storm Debbie.

I was so certain we would be spending a week together in the beautiful sunshiny-Caribbean, I did not even snap any photos of us together. Here we are together last summer.

After being turned away from the ship, returning to the airport and taking a flight home that night, I came home to a week with no plans (since I told the world I’d be away), and the perfect excuse to push all responsibilities aside and enjoy a little staycation for myself.

My week consisted of morning walks with my Emma bear, regular trips to Michael’s for crafting supplies, lunch and poolside lounging with friends, and plenty of time for projects, trying out new recipes, and reading (I am well into book three of the Game of Thrones/Song of Fire and Ice series). I also watched the entire two episodes of the HBO series Game of Thrones through On Demand.

Next week I go back to a regular schedule, working, reading, crafting & grilling my way through the month of July. I’m so excited as time continues to tick closer to our wedding, and I’ve already been working on some fun projects that I can’t show you until after the big day!

I hope you are enjoying the beginning of your summer, and while I am still a bit bitter that I’m not tanned and sea-legged, I still enjoyed a relaxing week and look forward to lots of exciting things to come.

My Bags Are Packed

I’m SO ready to go! Leaving tomorrow for a seven day cruise in the Caribbean with my very bestest bestest dinosaur friend!

Bring on the tan lines, pina coladas, flip flops & laughter! I also just submitted my very last assignment for my master’s degree program… one more step to world domination. Emma will now address me as “master” treat-giver. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the completion of this 2 year program than some fun in the sun. I’ll miss my blog & my readers- but will come back rejuvenated!

My Apologies

Hello lovely readers! Monday Motivation, Wedding Wednesday, and the rest of my random regularly scheduled posts and musings will return in a week and a half. This week is the first of my break between regular school and July’s summer camp. Next week, I will be blissfully unconnected & cruising around the Caribbean.

In the meantime, here’s a little glimpse at what I’ve been up to during this lovely break:

Catching Up

On my pile of unread magazines, and enjoying delicious, home brewed iced coffee.

Reading

I love nothing more than to lose myself in a book ~ and in the summer it feels completely guilt-free as there are less demands on my time! Right now I’m digging the Game of Thrones series, by George R. R. Martin. I just finished the first, and am now beginning book 2- A Clash of Kings.

 

Strengthening

I’m easing myself into the practice of Yoga- something that was once a part of my life and I hope will be again.

(P.S- that is not me. Duh.)

Juicing

This light & fresh concoction contains the juice of summer fruits like strawberries, pineapple, melon & mango. Yum.

Planning

With the wedding just over four months away (wow!), my wedding binder & planning tools are in full force.

Breaks like this are simply amazing times to recharge & reboot. I hope you all get a few days to do the same this summer. ❤