Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pinterest and Bora Bora

Last night I came across the photo below from The Cool Hunter's post on Amazing Place to Experience Around the Globe and pinned it. My inbox then exploded with over 80 repins. Crazy huh? I continued on to pin and repin all night. It's so addicting when you have the time. If you want to follow me on Pinterest, check my sidebar for the link.

Bora Bora is definitely one place I would love to visit...when I win the lottery because right now, it's never in my budget. A girl can dream right?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fill in the Blank Friday (travel edition)

My weekend has not started off to a good start. After a full day conference, I took the GO train home only to get to the stop before mine and find out there is a pedestrian accident ahead. I am not sure how long the delay would be so I left the train and began my adventure. My super nice hubby was able to pick me up halfway on my trek home. After a some food and bubble tea, we come home to find out our credit cards have been compromised. It's almost 9 pm and I don't think anything else can go wrong tonight. So, I'm going to settle in, do some Fill in the Blanks over at Lauren's blog, turn in for the night and do some reading. Speaking of Lauren, congratulations are in order to her and Craig on the birth of their baby girl, Fern, last weekend.

1.   My favorite place I've ever traveled to is Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. It's like a second home to me.

2.    Bora Bora is somewhere I'd love to go someday.

3.  I pass the time on a plane (or bus, or car ride or train) by reading on my ereader or listening to music.

4.  My three must-haves when I travel are my iPhone, advil (I believe it cures any ailment and a large scarf (can be used as a blanket on the plane, a cover up on the beach and a scarf when cold).

5.  My favorite travel companion is
Mike, my hubby.

6.  The craziest thing that ever happened to me while traveling is
nothing so far. It's not really crazy but my hubby and I have been recognized while traveling by our twitter names or Beach Junkies blog.

7.  The most exotic food I've ever tried while traveling is nothing yet but hopefully, I will be up for a challenge one day.

8.  If I could live anywhere else, I'd live in Punta Cana. I would like to be a beach bum for the rest of my life.

9.  I have been to
five (Ohio, New York, New Jersey, California, Nevada) states in the U.S.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New York City recap

It's been almost a month since I went to New York City. I promised a post so here it is. For a more detailed report on what we ate and the hotel we stayed at, check out our travel blog, Beach Junkies.

Being my first time to New York, I honestly did not know what to expect. Everyone raved about this city so I was kinda getting annoyed and began thinking I need to expect a lot. I got nervous that what if I am that one girl who hates New York. I was getting irritated at the fact that some things were already going to cost a lot, like the hotel, the car service, food but you know what, it's how my hubby rolls when he goes to NYC and since he was paying for everything, I had to roll with the punches. Like Mike always says, never do a budget vacation.

We planned since September what we wanted to do and see, as well as where we wanted to eat (maybe I should say "I" because Mike wanted to take me to where I wanted to go) . We made all our dinner reservations and sort of planned where we wanted to eat for lunch. Mike picked the hotel since he was paying and this boutique hotel did not disappoint. Too bad without Mike's corporate rate and it being the holidays, the hotel is mad expensive. Anyway, when we arrive at Newark, our adventure began since we decided to take public transportation to get to Manhattan. When we finally arrived at Penn Station and came up to street level...I'm not gonna lie, I was a little disappointed. In my head, I was thinking..."this is New York? So not how I pictured it".

Royalton Hotel. Mike picked Royalton Hotel and as I mentioned, it did not disappoint. Best service, staff and room hands down. I loved coming back to our hotel each night. The lobby bar had excellent bartenders and delicious drinks. I have to say that we were spoiled with the huge room we got. We paid over half the price they normally charge for a king loft suite. If you want to read more about the hotel we stayed at and see photos, click here.

Midtown. Being this my first time in New York, as much as I tried to look at the map of Manhattan, I just didn't get it. Once you arrive there and get your bearings, it all makes sense. We had planned to walk around 5th Avenue one day, Times Square the next and another day in Soho but after seeing the traffic, I told Mike I just wanted to stay around Midtown/Times Square and save Soho and Meatpacking and even Union Square for the next time we come back to NYC. There is just so much to see and I rather explore bit by bit rather than an overkill. Walking around on 5th was awesome, I was in awe at all the stores. I really wanted to go to FAO Schwartz so it was the first thing we did. I was seriously a kid in a candy store! As for Times Square, my jaw dropped. One thing about me is that I love lights, especially when something is lit up at night. Mike purposely avoided Times Square until it was night time so I would get the full effect and I loved it!!!  I got that same feeling when I hit the Vegas strip for the first time. All through the trip, we walked everywhere, we didn't step into a cab at all.

Uniqlo. One of the highlights of the shopping we did. This is where I did my damage. My favorite item I bought was the Heat Tech Knitted Shorts. I love wearing shorts and uggs around the house so the shorts keep my booty warm. I also bought four pairs of their easy color legging pants. These legging pants are thicker and a bit looser than leggings, basically, they are skinny pants. I purchased other stuff but I can't remember it all.

Grayline Holiday Light Tour. I am a huge fan of "hop on hop off" bus tours. Grayline has a great deal that for $59 you can peruse the all loops tour for 72 hours. This would have been a good thing for us to explore but the problem was, we were there from Dec 23-27 but they were not running on Dec 24 and 25. It would have been useless for us. Next time though, we will be exploring the city with this bus tour. Instead, on our last night, we took the holiday lights tour so we can see all the stores with window displays. We sat on the top deck of the bus for two hours and froze our butts off but it was worth it!

Here are some photos. You might remember that Mike bought me a gorgeous yellow coat for NYC and I wore it because it was pretty mild the entire time we were there but because we only brought carry on luggage, we were stuck with only one jacket. As much as I love that yellow coat, we got sick of it and I have probably only wore it once since we got back. Tip for next time, don't bring such a unique colour coat because you will get sick of it and it is not fun blending in with the cabs. And remember the Cole Haan Air Colby boots I bought, well, those were the most comfortable boots ever. I wore them during the day while we walked for over eight hours. They did not hurt my feet at all.

I love New York. It was everything people said it would be. I can't wait to go back.

Delicious drinks at Royalton bar, 44

Crumbs bakery

Gaga workshop at Barneys

Rockerfeller Center

Me and the hubs at Times Sqaure

Christmas tree at The Plaza

FAO Schwartz

Gorgeous tub at Royalton Hotel

Let me tell you a little story...
While we were in FAO Schwartz, I saw a Cabbage Patch Kid display. I walked in circles looking at all of them and then when I picked up one, I looked the the given names and it read, TYLER GINO. I freaked out a little because what a coincidence that out of all the boy CPKs, I picked up this one and my late brother's name is GINO. It was such a good feeling =)

Monday, January 23, 2012

My love and hate relationship with Mexico

Last night, my hubby told me the news about a Canadian woman who was beaten at a Mexican resort (Riu Emerald Bay in Mazatlan, MX). As much as I love, love, love Mexico, this news may have just done it for me. I am officially terrified. I have defended Mexico from the first time we heard the news of the slain couple in the Riveria Maya. When the random shootings or beatings were happening, I always blamed the cross border cities but now, it's happening at resorts. Resorts that we may have one day planned to stay at. The last two incidents (this one where the woman was found in the resort elevator bleeding to death and the one where a couple was found burnt and buried on the beach in Huatulco) have got me thinking whether or not I would ever go back to Mexico. While these two incidents happened on the West coast, who is to say that it won't start happening on the east coast - Riveria Maya and Cancun? Sure, there are hundreds of resorts but I wouldn't want to be in that one resort where something bad happens. How would I feel if I came across a bloody body just steps away from my hotel room? I would be shitting my pants (excuse my language). But then again, this could happen at a hotel in NYC, Miami, Vegas, even my hometown. What bothers me is that going to beach resorts use to be my go-to happy place, now I don't think I can be happy if I have to constantly watch over my shoulder.

I am aware that violence is around us every day and we shouldn't have to live in fear but when I take time off work and spend my hard earned money (don't even get me started on how expensive all-inclusive vacation are becoming) on a vacation, I want to enjoy myself, feel safe and be able to relax. Right now, I don't think I can find it in Mexico.

I know right now if my travel agent is reading this, she will be shaking her head. She will disagree with me. Mexico is her favorite place in the world. While I can share her sentiments - I love the food, the beach, etc - my heart belongs to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. For now, I can keep my fingers crossed and only hope that my beloved island remains a safe haven so that I can continue to go there and feel like I am at home. I may have stop my dreaming of a vacation in Mexico and just remember the times I went and how much I enjoyed it.

What are your thoughts? Have you been to Mexico? Would you return with all the violence that is going on?









Thursday, January 19, 2012

It's that time of the month...

...and no, I am not talking about getting my period. It's Glymm time!

Last month, for my birthday, the lovely Elisse got me a three month gift subscription for Glymm . If you haven't heard of Glymm, it's like Birchbox, Luxebox, you know all those types of subscriptions that will send you a couple of full-size or samples of beauty products.

December box. Elisse was adamant of making sure my first Glymm box would arrive before my trip to New York and it did! I was so excited to receive it. Now stupid me threw out the card that describes all the products included in the box (I also threw out January, so I will be sure to keep February's). Sadly, I can't remember the product names but I can tell you, I received two hand creams, some face lotion, a perfume sample, lip gloss and a little container of jelly beans (this was my favorite item-which makes me think, I would so sign up for a candy of the month subscription). The Caudalie hand and nail cream came in handy in New York since the cold weather dried my hands. This cream was scented with sweet oranges and really added the moisture my hands were craving. The Ahava hand cream has too strong of a scent for me. I used the face stuff but didn't notice anything, hence probably why I don't remember the name. I am going to give the perfume sample to my mom and I have yet to try the lip gloss.

January box. Body lotion, face lotion, cleansing cloth, eve pencil and brow gel is what filled this month's box. I'll admit I was a little disappointed to not find any candy in the box. It was the one thing I was looking forward too! I just applied the Burt's Bees Milk & Honey lotion. Although it went on smooth, my skin still feels dry and I wasn't thrilled about the scent. I can't wait to try the Kaia 100% biodegradable bamboo cleansing cloth. My favorite company, Consonant Body raved about this product (which makes me wonder if Consonant will ever come out with a cleansing cloth - get on that now!) and I was curious to try it. Now thanks to Glymm, I get the chance. I will report on it next month. I am also excited to try the Anastasia clear brow gel. I am back to trying to re-grow my brows and retain a nice shape so this gel is going to help the process.

Sorry, I didn't include links or more feedback on some of the products. I promise when I receive next month's box, I will be more thorough since it will be the last of my subscription.

Do you subscribe to any beauty boxes?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2012 Mini Goals


This year, besides trying to go to the gym, I want to set up some mini goals for myself. Goals that I hope to attain at some point throughout the year. Some are for the first few months and some might be done at the end of the year.

*Stop buying things just because they are on sale. I live in a tiny condo, there is no room to stockpile. Most of the time, the sale items are things you don't really need.
*Pick up another hobby. Last year, I took sewing classes. So it's either buy a sewing machine or take another class of some sort. Maybe knitting?
*Read 25 books this year. Last year, my Goodreads goal was 15 and I surpassed it by reading 19.
*Write more snail mail letters to family and friends.
*Instead of hoarding magazines because there is something I like in an issue, I'm going to tear out the page and paste it in the ideas journal I received from the lovely Candice.
*Use Pinterest more to get inspired.
*Try to do more craft projects.
*Go on at least two beach vacations and one city vacation. Going away is the only thing that keeps me sane.

Fitness & Health.
*Write down what I eat and what exercise I did in a journal. I want to find out what upsets my stomach but also keep track of my eating habits.
*Obviously, try to lose 8 pounds.
*No eating after 8:00 pm on weeknights.

Beauty & Fashion.
*I need to shop buying clothes for the next three months. Just in December I bought two winter coats, three pairs of boats, three silk blouses, two sweaters, four pairs of pants and a watch. I did enough damage in one month that most people do in three months.
*No more buying nail polish, bracelets, makeup or scarves.
*Limit my nail polish wear. My nails are so soft from me buffing them because they get stained too easily from the dark polish I wear.
*Try to not wear black all the time. When spring arrives, I want to switch to pastel colours. This is when I will start to shop again.

*Do once a month date night with Mike. When we were in New York, we both discovered that we love sitting in hotel bars drinking. We are going to check out different hotel bars in our own city for date night.
*Visit my mom this year.
*Make a huge effort to see or talk to my dad.
*Call at least one friend a month and see how they are doing. I will pick a different friend a month. We never make phone calls anymore and have live conversations. Or even better, Skype - yes, I am talking to you Elisse. Everything is over text, What's App or Twitter these days.

*Make more of an effort to write posts for our travel blog, Beach Junkies.
*Discover 1-2 new blogs a month and make a connection with the blogger.

*Either try to enjoy my job or get out, meaning start applying for jobs.
*Try to let things go and just do as I am told even if it's ridiculous. Trying to defend myself or point out something to my boss takes up too much energy.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Fill in the Blank Friday and some Blogger Tag Q's

Fill in the Blank Friday use to be a staple in my blog. At least I would know that I would have something to post on Fridays. This may be Lauren's last FITBF before she gives birth, so I have to participate (and also, if I didn't do this, I am not sure if I would have even posted anything today). Below this FITB are some questions from Kasey's blog. I have answered them because she was sweet enough to tag me.

Today we had a pretty bad snowfall in the morning but it has now melted away. Do you have snow where you live? Well, wherever you are, I hope you stay warm and have a lovely weekend!

1.   The last thing I ate was a fried egg sandwich. It took me about an hour to eat because I kept on getting interrupted.

2.   The last song I listened to was
Crew Love by Drake. My iPhone was on shuffle, this was the first time I heard the song.

3.  Using the letters in my name I can spell
{Leesh-not comfortable using my real name} see, heel, she, he, heels, eel, eels

4.  If I had to dress in one color for the rest of my life I would pick black just because everything I own is black.

5.  If you were to look in my bag right now you'd find
a wallet, bottle of water, ereader, notebook, iPhone, coin purse, GO train pass, lotions, hand sanitizer, meds, makeup, chocolate, and a whole bunch of other crap.

6.  When I finish filling in the blanks I'm going to
go and check my Twitter feed.

7.  My all time favorite song to dance to is Calabria by Enur.

Questions from Kasey Lynne's blog

if you could suggest ONE book for someone to read, what would it be? 
Divergent. It was the last book I read and I loved it.

name one song that would get you out on the dance floor.
Any song really. I do feel though that the first song played after a dinner is the most important. If you pick the wrong one and don't get people on the dance floor, the party will suck for the rest of the night.

what is your favorite dessert? (please share a recipe)
Toblerone Creme Brûlée - this is the easiest recipe and it's so delicious.

what is one item you MUST have in your purse at all times?
Wallet or maybe iPhone

if you could meet one person from your favorite sports team, who would it be?
I don't watch sports so I don't have a favorite team but I'd want to meet Kobe Bryant.

if you could pick two actors/actresses to be in a movie together, who would you choose?
I would say Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bollock  but they already made The Proposal. Even though he is not technically an actor, I would say Justin Timberlake with Jessica Alba (just for the hotness factor).

if you could take cooking lessons from one well known chef, who would it be?  what would you choose to learn how to cook?
Paula Deen and I want to learn how to cook some southern food (with a pound of butter).

create your own cupcake flavor.

Vanilla cupcake with chocolate icing and bacon crumbled on top. Sweet and salty!

what is your favorite item of clothing?
Black skinny pants. It's a staple in my wardrobe.

are you a coffee person or hot chocolate person?
Coffee but consider myself more of a tea person.

what would be your favorite thing to do on a date?
Dinner and a movie - a good old fashion kind of date.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

It's okay to... devastated that Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel are engaged. Anyone but her. Just not her. a shower head that has flashing disco lights. Justin Bieber. How can you not after watching this video of him on the Ellen Show.

...not want to read any other book after reading Divergent. Yes, I liked it that much. jealous of Jessica Alba's post-baby body even though you know she has the time and money to get her body into awesome shape.

...get all choked up and teary-eyed each time you see the Titanic 3D trailer. It's that damn song, My Heart Will Go On that gets to me. I have seen the trailer in the theatre twice and both times I bawled.

...have Take Care by Rihanna and Drake on repeat every single day.

... love Justin's singing on T.I.'s track, Dead and Gone. sick for the entire weekend and do nothing but rest.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Welcome 2012 and welcome me back to blogging

This is my first post of 2012 and you know what I realized...I haven't blogged in almost two weeks and I really miss receiving comments from my readers. I guess you have to blog in order to get comments <-- stupid me!

I took an unintentional blogging break. I had planned to do a post about my first ever trip to NYC, a year in review for 2011, my goals for 2012 but instead, I got lazy when I returned home from my trip. And then I got sick. I honestly did not go on my laptop for almost two weeks. Any blog comments I made was through a new app I am testing out, Byline, I checked in Pinterest through the app and of course, I still managed to be in the loop through Twitter. I still have a bunch more blogs to comment on but honestly, I hate being on a computer after I come home from work. Which leads me to believe that blogging is easier at work. I will do my next post at work as soon as I get to my desk.

So, I am going to scrap all the posts I wanted to do...well, I still want to tell you about some of my goals and I still want to post some photos from NYC (I hope you enjoyed that little video I posted). I will just do it when I am ready. Please bear with me while I get my bearings. I will start off tomorrow with the first "It's okay" post for 2012 and then go from there. Also, please help me find the motivation and strength to keep blogging because I miss you readers. Maybe make my day and leave me a comment with one of your goals for 2012.

For now, allow me to greet you a Happy New Year! I hope Santa was good to you and that you rang in the new year with loved ones, good food and an enormous amount of alcohol (I know I did). I look forward to another year of blogging and commenting with everyone out there. May 2012 bring you everything you wanted and more....

Tango Julep - the drink I made for New Years Eve

New Years Eve nail art (butterLONDON Cream Tea and OPI Rainow Connection)

Me and the hubby with our new favorite - Honey Jack Daniels