Wednesday, January 18, 2017


From the earliest time I can remember I have always loved to travel with my family. My extended family would usually accompany us on many of our local trips to Martha's Vineyard as well as to Disney World. Now that I am older I look forward to solo travel locally as well as internationally hopefully sooner rather then later. 

I recently read this post by Amanda, a local blogger living in Philadelphia, a city I hope to visit in the next few months. I am really looking forward to 12 trips over 12 months this year. This weekend I am heading on a road trip up to Boston to see my college roommate to celebrate her baby shower. I can't believe she is going to be a mom, but I do know she will be an amazing mother. I am leaving Friday and will return Sunday and am looking forward to exploring CT, MA, and RI on this trip. That means 48 hours in 3 states. 


As I was reading Carly's post about where she wants to visit this year I knew I had to write down some places that I hope to visit this year. 

I have one large international trip planned with my aunt for my 30th birthday, Spain for 11 days


Here are some other places that I hope to visit in 2017 in no particular order. 

1) Philadelphia
2) Annapolis, MD
3) Portland, OR
4) Pittsburgh, PA
5) Phoenix, AZ

As for international travel maybe at the end of the year I will head to either London or Israel. Having friends that live in both areas make it a hard decision. 

What are your travel plans this year? 


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sundays are for Antique Shopping

The sun was shining and I woke up early after a great nights sleep. I knew today would be a great day. I started with a bagel from my all-time favorite bagel place, Bagel World and drove up the the cemetery to visit mom. If you follow me on Instagram you saw my post about "I Love You" and how important it is to share that with your loved ones before it is too late. Too many losses this past week.

I was inspired by Meg to check out local Antique shops in New Jersey. Her posts are very inspiring and full of such creative ideas. Last night I picked two great shops in different towns that were close enough I could visit both of them in the select hours they were opened on a Sunday. Check out my Insta Stories and Snapchat (TracySaysWhat) for more from today!

First up, The Summit Antiques Center located on Morris Ave, in Summit, New Jersey. Located in Northern New Jersey the center has been opened for 26 years in a 19th Century building. With two floors of vintage, country, Victorian, Mid-Century and more you are bound to find something you may not have even been searching for. I easily could have spent the entire day rummaging through the shops of different dealers. For the travel lover there were plenty of globes, maps, and other pieces. Looking for furniture, lets talk desks, credenzas, benches, and some gorgeous mirrors.

Packed and ready for an adventure

Travel the World and Explore


There were so many great treasures throughout both floors. The camera, suitcase and globe and I would be set for my next adventure.

Next up I headed to Westfield, New Jersey to visit Golden Bee Antiques. I was greeted by Rambo, a Chihuahua Pomeranian mix and then by Pat the owner. The store is filled with vintage clothing, jewelry, and other collectibles just waiting to be snatched up. Rambo, followed me around as I was the only patron in the store for about 45 minutes.

That headboard

Thank You For Your Service

There are so many other antique shops that I now want to visit in New Jersey. Do you have any recommendations?

My final stop, Anthropologie, which is not an antique shop is always filled with inspiration and I wanted to purchase everything in the photos below. Now I am on the hunt for antiques that would fit in that space once I create it.

Office Space

Travel Writer Inspiration

Be sure to do your research when it comes to antiques. Know what you are willing to spend and the value of the items you are looking at. Be strong in your negotiation and firm in your bottom line. I think that with time you are more likely to be successful.

Do you like to antique shop? How was your weekend? 


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Being Outdoors is a Total Game Changer

When the stress creeps in, the uclers show up and the acne pops I know that it's time for me to recharge. The best way I find to recharge is to get outdoors, be close to water, and just be alone with all my thoughts. I carry my camera with me everywhere these days and it's great for when I get inspired once I am outdoors.

This past week has been great in terms of reconnecting with friends; dinner on Monday night locally at Cheesecake Factory and dinner in Hoboken on Wednesday night at Las Olas Sushi Bar & Grill. Being extremely early on Wednesday I decided to stop at Liberty State Park before arriving in Hoboken. With stunning views of the Manhattan Skyline, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and One World Trade Center you want to visit this park the next time your in New Jersey. The park is also home to the Liberty Science Center, The Historical Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal, Liberty House Restaurant, Maritime Parc Restaurant and so much more.

The Historical Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal

The Tracks 

Two Cars


"The Empty Sky 9/11 Memorial is the official State of New Jersey's Memorial that honors the memory of the 749 people that lived in or had ties to New Jersey that lost their lives at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001." Walking through the memorial for the first time was surreal. The photos below are just some that I took over the hour and half I walked around. I saw other photographers, a bride and groom, runners and a family having a snack on the benches overlooking the Hudson.

Never Forget 
The Manhattan Skyline

I am looking forward to more days of getting outdoors while exploring State Parks and Beaches. There will be plenty of writing and photography in my future as well. 

How do you recharge? Do you have a favorite Park? Hike Recommendations?


Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday Favorites #16

Happy Friday, friends.

It has been an awesome week here filled with work, a Clemson win, meeting friends for dinner and plenty of writing and photography. I knew going into 2017 I would need to keep to a schedule and stay organized to keep from procrastinating and thanks to my Kate Spade Planner I have been killing it in the organization department!

Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal located in Liberty State Park, Jersey City

I'm off this weekend and other then taking my father and his fiance to the airport at 4am on Saturday morning I have nothing planned.

Let's jump right into what I am loving this week and as always please drop a comment or answer on Instagram!

My new commute to work driving is about 35 minutes and lately I have been listening to podcasts. There are so many great ones out there, and I would agree with Lexi from Cup of Jo about "Call Your Girlfriend." Adding the others to my ongoing list of podcasts.

How many times can President Barak Obama make us cry, during his final week in office? (Please don't go) From his Farewell Speech to awarding VP Joe Biden with the highest medal of honor, The Medal of Freedom he is one class act and a hard act to follow.

I love visiting friends in Hoboken and Jersey City so these 4 Speakeasy-Style Cocktail Bars have been added to my list for my next trips up there!

200 buses have applied for city parking on Inauguration Day. 1,200 have applied for the Women's March. This article speaks for itself.

I don't like having a scale in the house. I am not a numbers person. Yet I have been sticking to more healthy eating and this Kale Caesar Salad is being added to my lunch rotation ASAP. I can tell I am losing weight by how my pants fit. One day at a time. Small steps.

What is your favorite podcast? Or do you have a favorite salad recipe I should try? 


Thursday, January 12, 2017

NJ Travel Towns, Hoboken

When I graduated college back in 2009 kids were coming home for a few months before locating to the city or this town called, Hoboken. Under my circumstances with the passing of my mother I decided to move the Manhattan and chose the first apartment I saw. During that time I visited friends for the first time in Hoboken and fell in love with the small town feel just minutes from the bustling city. Every now and then I would visit friends for Brunch, Dinner, or a night out on the town. My friend invited me to try LasOlas Sushi Bar & Grill last night and it was great timing as I was off yesterday. Wednesday's are 2-for-1 on any classic rolls which was seriously such a great deal. We ordered a bottle of wine, shared one signature roll and each ordered our own two rolls.

Ocean Roll

Eel Roll & Spider Roll
Why should you visit Hoboken? That's easy from the many restaurants and shops to the beautiful waterfront the small town charm will draw you in. Hop on the Path and you can be in NYC in 25 minutes. There is also Liberty State Park, The Liberty Science Center, and Jersey City right in the area.

Located on the waterfront with views of lower NYC the W Hoboken is great place to stay for the weekend or when you are in town. As it may be on pricier side the accommodations are 5* and the convenience makes it worth it. I would also highly recommend checking out AirBnB for a great deal. Get the feel of living in Hoboken at the fraction of the price. Live like a local, walk the streets, stop into the cafes and people watch is something I love doing, especially in a new town or city.

Shopping is a hobby for me. From window shopping to just trying things on and sometimes actually buying something there are so many cute boutiques in Hoboken. I am quite the consignment shopper and love spending hours browsing the racks, which is why I love Mint Market. I am always looking for cute stationary, or interesting jewelry pieces and Dear Hannah & Town House Shops are usually my first two stops! 

Before walking the town and doing some shopping I am sure to stop in to bwe kafe or Black Rail Coffee for a tea or cup of coffee. Its no secret I love avocado and therefore I am a huge fan of Black Rail's Avocado Toast with a Latte. 

My favorite time of the day, Happy Hour. For all things related to Happy Hour I first check out Hoboken Happy Hours on Twitter. Their website is also very helpful when looking for something last minute or planning in advance with a big group of friends. I can honestly say I love the summer at Ainsworth and during the winter I am more of a Maxwell Tavern girl. Be sure to check the specials online for many of the bars in town. Jen from HobokenGirl is another wonderful blog filled with so much information. 

Finding yourself hungry after Happy Hour, sure you can stay at the bar and order food or try any of the delicious restaurants located throughout Washington St (The Main Street in Town) or on the side streets. I am all for finding hidden gems on the side streets, like Sri Thai or Cucharamama. My friend also introduced me to Margherita's Restaurant which is BYOB. 

I will be sharing my photos form Liberty State Park in a separate post, so be sure to check them out as well. 

What is your favorite small town?