Friday, February 24, 2017

Friday Favorites #22

Happy Friday, friends!

This past week was a long one; however I am off this weekend. Saturday will be spent with the family celebrating my grandmothers birthday and Sunday I am hoping for an adventure. Will be sure to report back next week! Any fun plans this weekend on your end?

Remember, please feel free to share something that you love or something that made you smile in the comment section!



I've experienced about 15 of these restaurants. Next goal: Try them all. I will say one of my favorites is #20!

Did you know that 64% of Americans don't currently have an international passport? Well, Passion Passport would like to change that. What a cool new project!

If you are or know anyone in the Chicago area looking to adopt a dog check out PAWS. This post was heartwarming.

Now I am dreaming of a quiet weekend on Plum Island?

I graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Hotel Management. This is one of the hotels I've dreamed of working at one day, if not just visiting.

Simple advice from Gabrielle Bernstein on how to change the world with a few small actions!

What are you loving this week?

XoXo,
Tracy 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

National Margarita Day

Happy Hump Day.

Happy National Margarita Day.

Happy Wednesday.

After a long few days of early mornings I was more then ready for an early afternoon off. When I found out today was #NationalMargaritaDay I knew I had to find a bar after work to treat myself. Chili's had $5 President, Triple Berry Infused, and Tropical Sunrise Margarita's. I made a pit stop on my way home from work, grabbed a seat at the bar and ordered two Tropical Sunrise Margarita's and a side of boneless wings. After a half hour of chatting with the bartender I decided it was time to head home.




As I was driving I was thinking about some of my all-time favorite Margarita's. I thought I would share with you my top 5 list of places to get a delicious margarita!


Escondido - Drink of Choice: Frozen Tropical Margarita

Dos Caminos - Drink of Choice: Calle Fresca

Sinigual - Drink of Choice: Grilled Pineapple Margarita

Mad Dog & Beans Mexican Cantina - Drink of Choice: Coconut Margarita

Rosalita's Roadside Catina - Drink of Choice: Sparkling Margarita

The first and last are both local in New Jersey while the three others are just over the river in NYC.

What is your favorite Margarita?

XoXo,
Tracy 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Exploring Lower Manhattan

Did you get outside at all this past weekend? Most areas are having exceptionally warm weather for the middle of February, and I am one not to complain! Minus working all weekend and fighting off this sinus infection I made my way to Lower Manhattan Friday afternoon to meet two of my girlfriends from elementary school! We had been trying to get together for a while and even though I was under the weather I didn't want to cancel. 

Being outdoors, soaking up the warm weather, and seeing sights I rarely see really made for a wonderful solo afternoon before meeting up with the ladies! 

I started out by Battery Park. That view of the World Trade Center is breathless. I've seen it from midtown but never lower NYC. 


I was surprised I didn't see more locals out and about compared to the tourists visiting the area. You have a great view of Lady Liberty as well. 


When I find myself wandering in a new to me area, I like to snap shots and right in my little moleskin what I'm thinking about or how I am feeling at the moment. The one word that stuck with me throughout the walk was peace. With everything going on in the world we are far from peace but in those moments I was at peace. Remember self-care is extremely important. Take time for yourself. 

Ever on Instagram, Facebook or other social media sites and wishing you were at a location someone else was at? I remember reading Naomi's post about the Seaglass Carousel and told myself I needed to see it in person and finally I was able to see it from the outside on Friday. I will have to go back when it is open hopefully in the spring. 




Not every person is built the same. Not every building is built the same. For example this is one of my favorite spots in Lower Manhattan showing the contrast of buildings. 



Charming and quaint in front of the hustle and bustle of large city buildings. The area is mixed with Stone Street and the South Street Seaport, both places I would recommend if you are ever in the city. 

As I continued walking along I made a quick stop into FIKA on Pearl Street. I grabbed a cookie and sat and people watched for a while before meeting up with my friends for dinner and drinks. The exposed brick walls, communal seating, and delicious food was the perfect stopping place. 



As 5pm rolled around I was off to meet my friends finally! We grabbed a drink across from the building they worked at before heading to dinner at Trading Post! This classic American restaurant and bar can be found on the corner of John and South Street. With views of the Brooklyn Bridge, steps from Wall Street and the FDR overhead you are feel transported out of the hustle and bustle of midtown which makes the area very desirable for many. 



We arrived early Friday evening and were able to be seated right away. I saw a table tucked into a nook with views of the Brooklyn Bridge and asked if we might be able to sit there. We were and somehow landed up having the nook which hosted 5 table to ourselves for the entire meal! I am sure had we arrived later the room would have been filled! There wasn't one thing on the menu that I wouldn't have ordered which made my decision that much harder. My friends decided to share two dishes while I ordered an entree. 

Esposito's Sausage {Broccoli Rabe, Roasted Garlic & Parmesan}

Trading Post Black Angus Burger

Mussel Pot {Chorizo, Lemon-Thyme Broth}
It was so great to get together finally as we reminisced, spoke about life currently and what the future may hold. We even delved into my non-existent love life. They also attempted to break me out of my shell at not one but two bars following dinner. Will leave it at this, it's a work in progress. 

As we said goodbye to one myself and friend headed to the Staten Island Ferry as traveling home would take 3 modes of transportation. Call it an adventure I was more then up for it and actually found it enjoyable! 

What did you do this weekend?

XoXo,
Tracy 


Friday, February 17, 2017

Friday Favorites #21

Happy Friday, friends!

I can't believe we are half way through February already. Valentine's Day came and went like every other year. Monday is President's Day and then before you know it we will be in March.

Today is #RandomActsOfKindness day. Now I personally believe you should always be kind and do things for others, not just on one day out of the year. Yesterday I paid for the persons bagel after me. I smiled at a random stranger and also complimented a woman on her gorgeous bracelet, which she actually made. Small gestures make big impacts.

Remember, please feel free to share something that you love or something that made you smile this week in the comment section!


Are you setting yourself up for a bad week? Weekend Health Mistakes to avoid for a better life. 

What do a 31 year old guy and 89 year old lady have to do with one another....Roommates. There is still so much good in this world!

I read her blog. Now I can listen to her podcast

Looking to get involved on issues that matter. Check out this beginners guide to activism

Long Distance Friendships can be hard to maintain. I have friends in Florida, Mass, California, Arizona, and Israel. I send emails. Shoot a quick text. I make it work. 

What are you loving this week?

XoXo,
Tracy 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentines Day

Happy Valentine's Day!



Regardless of your status this Valentine's Day, take a moment to be thankful for yourself and those people in your life you hold dear. Leave a voicemail, shoot them an email or send them a text letting them know how much you love and appreciate them. I sent a few emails this morning and called my dad and sister earlier in the day. I have a few more calls and texts to make later this evening.

Dad & I at Man & Woman of the Year Party for LLS

He is my number one supporter and my biggest fan. I learned hard work and dedication are appreciated and will take you far in life. He taught me the value of a dollar. This might be hard for him to swallow, but I didn't get the love of exercise from him. Ride a bike across country? NO thank you. Run a marathon, not quite. I am lucky and blessed to have an amazing father who will go above and beyond for my sister and I. Dad, if you happen to read this "Thank you for everything and I love you."


My sister will always be my best friend. We have been through it all together. We are complete opposites, yet we still love each other. 


This family of ours is wonderful. My father's side of the family. From family vacations to holiday dinners we always know how to have a great time and I am so lucky to have them in my life!


What can I say about the crew above. This wild ride call life is one that wouldn't be complete without them. 


The Four of Us are family. We will always be family. Those trips to Disney every August are some of my favorite memories of my childhood. I miss my mother everyday. She was my rock, my best friend and my biggest supporter next to my father. I know she is watching over us from heaven. 

To my friends...I love you all! From Elementary School to College and Florida I have met made some amazing friends! 

Wishing everyone a Happy Valentine's Day!

What are you loving today?

XoXo,
Tracy 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday Favorites #20

Happy Friday, friends!

On Wednesday it was 65 and sunny and yesterday we had our first Snow Day after getting hit with blizzard like conditions. My day consisted of Netflix, reading, blogging, working on side projects and just relaxing all while keeping my wine glass filled!

View from my bed

Aftermath of cleaning off my car
Remember, please feel free to share something that you love or that you made you smile this week in the comments section of this post!

Lily Herman, is the millennial voice we all need to listen to. Ladies, thinking of running for office and need Pro-Bono help, it's out there.

It's no secret I love a great Twitter Chat, like #MillennialTalk. Host Chelsea Krost, has become a spokesperson for the entire Millennial Generation. She continues to inspire me everyday!

The best trips to take in your 30's. Sign me up!

36 Hours in Brooklyn.

If I could give up my phone for a day I would. These tips are great and I plan to use starting ASAP!

What is one thing you are loving most this week?

XoXo,
Tracy

Thursday, February 9, 2017

From The Oculus to Markets in NYC

If you remember last week I had dinner at Fig & Olive in the Meatpacking District with friends. I had arrived in the city early with hopes of traveling downtown. I wanted to visit "The Oculus" the centerpiece of the World Trade Center Transportation hub.

Take it all in. 

Look Up

The Hub

Each person captures a different shot! 
 From Port Authority or Penn Station you can take the A, C, E downtown. As I arrived at the subway the A arrived and I hoped on an empty train car!

Within 10 minutes I walked into this amazing structure. It's breathtaking and I found it important to stop and take a moment to remember those who lost their lives in the 9/11 Attacks before walking through the mall.

I've heard so much about Sugarfina yet have never visited one until that day. How cool is this wall in their location at the Oculus? I totally regret not buying the champagne bears, but next time!


I also checked out Kate Spade. Here is the directory of stores. There were so many people shopping and taking photos!

Next up I took the subway to 14th street with the intention to walk over to Chelsea Market. On my walk I came across, a new to me market, the Gansevoort Market. If I wasn't eating in less then an hour I totally would have ordered from a few of the purveyors. The market is open daily from 8am-8pm and you can find them on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram. Whether you are sitting at the bar or a communal table be sure to talk to the vendors and others around you. I find it fascinating to strike up a conversation with strangers as you never know who you will meet or what you can learn from them.



Bathroom Mirror 

When you are looking for quick eats I almost always head to a market. Members of your party can order whatever they want and you can share a bunch of plates. NYC is home to some delicious food markets.

Speaking of markets, after the Gansevoort, I headed to the Chelsea Market which was two blocks from the restaurant. I wanted to check out Posman Books as well as Artists & Fleas.


You know, markets are also a great place to "people watch" and not in a stalker way. Need new outfit ideas? Looking for new sneakers? All that and more inspiration for free!

Beautiful 
At this point I was starting to get hungry and still had time before meeting my friends. I decided on getting six mini doughnuts from the Doughnuttery. For six mini's I was able to choose 2 different flavors.

I didn't realize I was at Starbucks

Urban Monkey {Coffee, Banana & Coconut}

Coco Loco { Coco & Chocolate Cereal}

These small bite size doughnuts hit the spot. After literally inhaling them within a minute I decided to check out the rest of the market before heading to Fig & Olive to meet my friends! Again, order small from a bunch of different vendors. Stop in for Happy Hour. Explore the entire market and you will find something for everyone. 

What is your favorite food? Do you have a recommendation of a market I need to check out? 

XoXo,
Tracy 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Fig & Olive: Meatpacking District

Friday night I found myself in the city having my monthly dinner with friends. Not knowing at the time, we chose Fig & Olive in the Meatpacking District they were participating in Restaurant Week! Our meal from start to finish was one of the most delicious meals I've ever had. There are so many restaurants in the Meatpacking District, many of which I hope to visit. It's an area I don't frequent as much, however that will change moving forward!

Photo Source 
Upon our arrival we were seated right away even though our reservation wasn't for another few minutes. The host even joked with us about joining our table.



Have you ever ordered wine or a cocktail off a tablet? That was a new one for me. Even with my mispronunciation, which isn't hard for me, the server was amused! I started the evening with a Piscine, Sparkling Wine served on ice with fresh strawberries, while the other ladies ordered glasses of wine!

Piscine
As I mentioned we had no clue about the Restaurant Week offer, yet once we saw the menu we decided within seconds that was the way to go! Now if you go when it isn't restaurant week I would highly recommend checking out the Prix Fixe menu. When choosing from the Crostini Tasting be sure to share with your table to get the most out of all the options!


(L-R) Burrata, Goat Cheese, Shrimp
Now this was only the beginning of a 4 course meal and one that I will never forget in this lifetime and one I hope to go back for again! First, I want to try every Crostini. Next the entree's each mouthwatering in their own right.

In 90% of the dishes I either make or order I find a way to incorporate mushrooms, one of my absolute favorite( Fruits, still weird). When I saw the Truffle Mushroom Croquette I was sold. There are so many ways to eat mushrooms and one of my favorites is Stuffed Mushrooms. Well lets just say, these were fried to perfection, crispy and and overall creamy and amazing!

Truffle Mushroom Croquette
I shared with my friend, and as much as this pains me to admit there was a half of one left when the server removed the dish before placing the entree down. Sticking with the mushroom theme I ordered the Truffle Risotto. With just the right amount of cream and Parmesan the risotto melted in your mouth. Savoring every bite I could have had another portion but I still needed to save room for the decadent dessert that would be headed my way soon enough.

Truffle Risotto
 I was in need of another glass of wine at this point and ordered Cinsault/Grenache Rose. We had done really well pacing ourselves as the conversation flowed about family, friends and what my 30th Birthday plans would be ( Still undecided if I am celebrating).

Give me all the chocolate and I would be a happy camper. I could only wish I lived in a world of Willy Wonka! Chocolate Pot De Creme was the way to go! One may have been enough that night but let me tell you I would go back just for that dessert. Who am I kidding, I would go back for the entire meal again.

Chocolate Pot De Creme
As the drinks were poured and the conversation flowed I found myself not wanting the night to end; however I had to be at work at 9am the next morning and still had an hour bus ride ahead of me! We capped off the night with coffee, said our goodbyes and headed home. There is nothing better then eating fantastic food and laughing with great friends!

Where did you have one of your most memorable or favorite meals?

XoXo,
Tracy 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Friday Favorites #19

Happy Friday, friends!

How we arrived in February is still bringing me to a loss of words. I am looking forward to Skiing with my dad, sister, and her boyfriend next week! We still don't know which mountain we are heading too, but either way I am more then ready to hit the slopes!

Before I share some of my favorites from around the web I want to make one point. I am over seeing all the hatred and nastiness on Facebook and Twitter. I actually took the app off my phone. This post is exactly how I feel!

With that said there is still good in the world. As always drop a comment or share on Instagram what you are loving this week.

Photo via Unsplash

From B&B's to luxurious lodges and city hotels check out the 100 Best Hotels in the World!

Another dating app? This one I can get behind since they raised $50,000 for Planned Parenthood!

There are still good people in this world. #Unity

Hallie has been an inspiration and someone that I truly enjoy "following." This post couldn't have been easy but needs to be read. Well done, Hallie.

I had the honor of meeting Kelly Lewis, of Go! Girl Guides at The New York Times Travel Show this past weekend. I wish I could attend Women's Travel Fest but since I am unable too, I have made a donation as well to ACLU.

ICYMI:
Weekend Recap

New York Times Travel Show

Local Expeditions

February

Do you have any fun plans for the weekend? 

XoXo,
Tracy 









Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February

Photo via Unsplash

It's so bone-chilling, nose-numbing cold here that I am always daydreaming of a warm-weather vacation. Attending the New York Times Travel Show this past weekend only enhanced my desire for a warm-weather vacation.

I can't believe today is February 1st. The first month of 2017 flew by and with so many positive and negatives I am more then ready for February. I have a few goals that I want to accomplish this month and with hard work and dedication I am hopeful that I will achieve them.



Up first, this month I need to choose my next adventure for my 12 trips in 12 months. There are so many local places that I want to visit. Reading Terminal Market is on the top of my list. Philadelphia is a great city as well and I would love to visit for an overnight trip!

Volunteering/Giving Back is something I am extremely passionate about. I was a fundraiser both personally and professionally, volunteered for many local organizations, and used my voice to for positive change. In the last year, I had more personal challenges that just didn't allow for myself to give 100% so I took a small hiatus. Especially now, with what is going on in our country it's more important to give back not just monetary but skills as well. I am not sure where I will start but once I figure it out I will share it with you. I have called and sent letters to my senators but I know there is more for me too do.

Writing has been my outlet and I have thoroughly enjoyed it, along with photography. I want to get better at both. I am thinking about signing up for a travel writing course. Do you have any recommendations?

What are you looking forward to most in February?

XoXo,
Tracy