Thursday, August 31, 2017

Sweet vs Savory

If you ask me "Sweet vs Savory," sweet will win every time. Last night I attend my first Yelp event in Red Bank, New Jersey, as part of the Central Jersey group. The group was hosted at Waxing in the City, and we were treated to complimentary eye brow waxing and choice of chair massage or reiki. Thanks to Binta my eyebrows looked great and I really enjoyed my 10 minute chair massage, from A Kneaded Vacation Therapeutic Massage, followed by a glass of wine. If you are looking for great service I would highly recommend checking them out in Red Bank!

Check out this cool photo from the photo booth provided from The Main Event. I thoroughly enjoyed sipping wine and munching on mini cupcakes from the Cupcake Magician. It was so nice to connect with new people and #treatmyself at the same time.




After the event some of us headed a few doors down to Whipped. Having heard such amazing reviews I knew I was in for a treat. You can smell the deliciousness from the street, and as you walk in you are greeted by even more sensational smells. The staff was super friendly and the menu, well that is just so overwhelming.

My friend and I decided to share one sweet crepe and one savory. S'mores, please all day every day. How can you go wrong with graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate? The filling was so creamy and the crepe was the perfect size for two.



As for the savory one we decided to go with the Bistro Salad, filled with roasted red beets, goat cheese, walnuts, arugula and balsamic drizzle. I never had a beet before, but  I will say I would eat it again paired with goat cheese and walnuts. My only wish was there would have been more goat cheese, and I am sure had I asked they would have added some.


We arrived with 15 minutes before closing, however the staff didn't seem to mind, as customer filled in way after closing time. Whether you go for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert there is something for everyone. Just make sure you go on an empty stomach with a full appetite.

Do you like crepes? If so, what is your favorite?

XoXo,
Tracy 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Ways to Support Hurricane Harvey Victims

Unless you are living under a rock, you have watched the news and heard of the devastation that has hit Houston and the surrounding area from Hurricane Harvey. According to, Patrick Blood, a National Weather Service Meteorologist, this is the worst flood Houston has ever experienced. What will be the new normal for Houston? What is going to happen to the city? There are so many unanswered questions, yet so much we can do as outsiders. We have the ability to give back, make a difference, and show support.

Photo Source

Here are ways for those across the country to give back. Share this with your friends and family. Let's send our love and thoughts to help fellow citizens recover from this horrible devastation. A few funds will do along way.

The Texas Diaper Bank, based out of San Antonio, is putting together relief kits for families with very small children who need clean diapers. For some organizations they have to choose between bringing food or diapers to affected areas. The Texas Diaper Bank fills the need and allows other organizations to bring necessary items.

Global Giving, a site I recently read about, is a fundraising platform that has put together a campaign to support local nonprofits and community organizations. "All donations to this fund will exclusively support relief and recovery efforts from this storm." Donate here. I personally made a donation earlier today.

Personally, I am not a pet owner, yet know many people who own dogs, cats, and other animals. Animals just like humans deserve a home, even after the storm. The SPCA of Texas is taking in many hundreds of animals uprooted from their homes. Whether you can donate to defray the cost or even foster an animal until united with their owners you are making a huge difference.

Trusted World needs money and supplies. You can donate here or see what can be dropped off in Dallas here.

You can also support any of the following, which I highly recommend:




Do your part today and make a difference in the lives affected by Hurricane Harvey. 

XoXo,
Tracy 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Where to Eat: Marina Grille Review

The Jersey Shore is home to amazing restaurants from Seafood to Mexican and everything in between. With price ranges from super cheap to expensive there is an option for everyone!

If I could eat seafood and sushi everyday for the rest of my life, I would have no problem. When a friend recommended we try Marina Grille, in Belmar I was sold. Let's just say on the weekend, the normal wait time for outside seating is 2 hours and inside is at least 1.5 hours. The good thing, is they have three, yes you read that correctly, 3 different bars! One on the inside, a tiki one outside and another smaller bar on the opposite side of the restaurant. Grab a drink and sit by the fire pit!

For two people, arriving at 6:45pm on a Saturday night in the summer, they estimated a 1.5 hour wait time for first available. I put my name down, met my friend and headed towards the tiki bar, as it was the least crowded of the three.

With views like the one below, waiting for a table wasn't bad at all.



We landed up running into a friend, who mentioned the fire pit. As this was my first time here I didn't know they had one. We grabbed our drinks and headed downstairs to the fire pit. I had to pour my beer from a bottle into a plastic cup and I was ready to go! My only wish, there was a S'mores bar, lol. The foodie in me is always looking for something sweet! Overall it was so much fun and kept us warm, as the night got colder.



Around 8:30 I decided to check with the hostess how much longer we had before being seated. The line to check was longer then the line at the bar. At first, I was shocked, how could they not find our name? As organized as the hostess was the inside host stand didn't seem to know what was happening. A manager happened to walk over and after speaking with him, we were seated rather quickly at an outside table. They apologized and the rest of the evening was wonderful. I can understand the confusion and it was great that they were prepared!

Seafood, being one of my favorite foods, I decided to get a dual seafood dish! I ordered the Crab Stuffed Salmon. My friend went with the Flounder Sandwich which looked delicious. Our hostess gave his opinion on our options and I love asking the staff for their favorite entrees, since they are in the know about what is hot and not!



The salmon was cooked perfectly with a nice size of crab meat stuffed in the middle. I could have gone for a tiny bit bigger piece of salmon, but overall the dish was fresh and delicious. I substituted the mashed potatoes for french fries and dipped them in the sauce! After we paid the bill we said our good-byes and I hit the road. A live-band was just about to go on, and if I hadn't worked two back to back long shifts I would have stayed a while, but was exhausted. Another time, I will be back!

Our meal arrived rather quickly, to my shock as it was still super crowded at 9pm. The friendly staff, the funny bartenders, and the quick thinking managers make this restaurant a place I will visit again!

With ample bars, plenty of seating, and the views you can't go wrong. If you visit the Jersey Shore anytime soon, be sure to check out Marina Grille!

What is your favorite seafood dish? 

XoXo,
Tracy 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Friday Favorites #45

Happy Friday, friends!

Next week is September. How is that even possible? I am/will be going through both personal and professional changes over the next few months. To be honest, I am nervous and excited at the same time.

As I mentioned last weekend we attended a wedding in PA, at Monterre Vineyards. The venue was gorgeous and very cute and romantic. I am working this weekend!


This rechargeable scalloped clutch was perfect for the wedding. It held everything from my phone to socks, lip-gloss and even the card!



Did you know restaurants are becoming more Instagrammable? Share you instagram handle!

Turning 30 this past April really has opened my eyes, changed my perception of "life timeline" and this article written so eloquently by Danielle is a perfect reflection. It's OK things didn't work out as planned.

I lose sunglasses, therefore I never treat myself to expensive ones. These $12 sunnies are my all-time favorite and live in the center console of my car!

I can attest that one to five minutes of stillness can change your life. Everyone needs to try some of these one-minute meditation practice from Gabby Bernstein!

As always be sure to share in the comments what you are loving or what is making you smile this week!

Disclaimer, this post is not sponsored, yet has some links of my favorite things. With that said there are a few affiliate links as it takes time and money and maintain a blog. Thank you for you support!

XoXo,
Tracy

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Top 10 Trips in 30 Years

For as long as I can remember travel has played a huge role in my life. I recently turned 30 and decided I want to take a trip down memory lane about all my travel, and my top 10 favorite trips/moments. 

Photo by Dariusz Sankowski on Unsplash
My father, a photographer always had the camera out on our trips and I have 100% followed in his footsteps always carrying my camera with me to capture those special moments. As for travel journals those started in college, during New England road-trips. 

10- San Francisco


Two trips in a 14 month period. One full of solo exploring. One spent with the family for a wedding and marathon. I am not sure what moment it was when I fell in love with the Bay area, but I was stopped in my tracks right before this photo and thought, you are lucky to be experiencing this. Don't take it for granted. 

9- Chicago


Chicago, was my first ever work trip. I was meeting up with two other colleagues and none of us had ever been. We worked hard and played just as hard. Deep dish pizza, shopping on Magnificent Mile, and taking photos at the Bean. I took a solo walk the night before we were leaving and I couldn't believe at that moment this was my life. At 22 life looked so different then today; however I wouldn't change it because I have grown so much. 

8- Syracuse


After what became an 8 hour road trip to visit my friend at Syracuse, the only thing I wanted was food. Somehow we landed up on a Carousel. How does one go to Cuse and land up at a carousel. That's the point. No plans make for an adventure. 

7- Disney World 


One of my girlfriends from early childhood joined me at the beginning of my work trip to Orlando. We decided to visit Universal Studios, especially for Harry Potter World. We walked aimlessly for hours, laughing, drinking butter beer, and just having fun! Make sure you are both on the same page when traveling with friends. 

6- Boston


Four freshman at Johnson & Wales University, in Providence, RI hit the streets of Boston for the night. The view from our hotel room made the weekend! We ate, explored, and got into some non serious trouble. Jumping on beds, streaking through the hotel hallway, and running through Boston Commons are just some of the wonderful memories from the weekend. *I DID NOT streak*

5- Martha's Vineyard


My family spent many summers on Martha's Vineyard. From Oak Bluffs to Menemsha there are so many memories. I miss my mom everyday but I am so happy to have this photo as the memories flood back. She was my best friend, my role model and I hope to one day be half as strong as the woman she was. Bill & Hillary Clinton were our neighbors at this house. 

4- South Florida


I have lived in Boca Raton & Coral Springs. I have visited Miami, West Palm Beach, Stuart, and the Florida Keys. South Florida is home base for our extended family. We have cruised from Fort Lauderdale with 20+ family members. When you can live where you vacation you are very lucky or some would say blessed. I am a pool girl over the beach everyday. What about you? 

3- Las Vegas


From work trips to bachelorette parties I had visited Las Vegas 7 times in 2 years. I don't gamble, so for me it was all about the hotels, shopping and dining. I stayed in everything from Circus Circus to the Cosmopolitan. Sin City can suck you in, only if you let it. You can have fun without losing money and drinking the night away. Watch a show, have a nice dinner, explore the hotels and all the different exteriors they offer. Favorite hotel is the Wynn and favorite dinner was Julian Serrano inside Aria! 

2- Israel 


When 40 strangers meet at Newark International Airport for an 11 day trip to Israel you never know what will happen. Two strangers will meet and marry. 5 of us will go one to become great friends. We will attend weddings, see each other when visiting the states we all live in. This trip was all about Israel, but really it's also about the friendships made. I have a 32 page travel journal, a broken camera, a black & blue bruise, and so many other memories! 

1- Barcelona


For my 30th birthday, the main reason for this post, I was given a 10 day European trip to Spain by my aunt. She is more like a mother figure since the passing of my mom. She has always accompanied our family our trips when we were younger. Her love for travel has rubbed off on me. This was a trip of a lifetime. Seeing the town through locals, through her eyes, it was special. 

I look forward to many more trips in the next 60 years. I look forward to the photos, the memories, and the people I meet along the way. Travel and learn like a local! 

So what would you say has been your favorite trip ever? Can you name just one? 

XoXo,
Tracy 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Friday Favorites #44

Happy Friday, friends!

This week was a mix of work, spending time on the farm, creating an editorial calendar for this little corner of the internet and spending time with family. I, like many, am disgusted with what is going on here in the United States but will not stop spreading love and light. As an individual I can do my part in making a difference everyday by spreading love. I hope you will as well.

This weekend I will be attending a wedding in Pennsylvania! Unfortunately I will only be going to the wedding, no time to explore. Wedding on a vineyard equals plenty of wine!

LOVE 

It's no secret that I love ice cream. I use to want to drive the local ice cream truck and eat all the ice cream. I loved the Klondike Bar. What about you? 

Working out "isn't" for me, I have said over and over again. Yet I incorporated two of these routines to my day and I already am noticing a difference. Do you have a favorite exercise? 

You are given vacation time. You should always take it. See how forced vacation is really good for employees! When or where is your next vacation?

My summer drink of choice! What has been your summer drink?

Check out Amanda's newly updated website and hire her as your next adventure coach! Who is one one of your favorite bloggers? 

As always be sure to share in the comments what you are loving this week or what is making you smile? 

XoXo,
Tracy

Monday, August 14, 2017

Farm animals and some outdoor photography

I've made so many to-do lists over the past few weeks. Checking off the items one by one ( OK so I added items already completed just to check them off, sue me). As the day went on I found myself lacking inspiration. The creative drive just wasn't there and I was feeling like I needed to change my scenery. I got in my car with absolutely no plan and just drove. I found myself driving to a local park, Historic Longstreet Farm in Holmdel, NJ. The farm sits on Holmdel Park, a 566 acre site. The park offers hiking trails, tennis courts, two playgrounds and so much more all year round!

Entrance 

Once I parked my car I put in my headphones, blasted some Backstreet Boys and just started to walk. My camera, a Canon Rebel xTi came out and I am so glad I brought it. There is something about being outdoors that inspires me, motivates me, and excites me while breathing in the fresh air! Too often we sit behind our computer, hours on end letting the days pass us by.

Here are some of my favorite shots from today. Professional photographer I am not, but behind the lens I can show off my own creativity. I get the shots I want. The ones that excite me, and maybe you, but if they don't that's OK because they are for me!


















The colors, the animals, and being outdoors was exactly what my soul needed today to recharge.

What do you do to recharge? 

XoXo,
Tracy 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Friday Favorites #43

Happy Friday, friends!

Really, August I am not ready for you. You are flying by and that means the last few weeks of summer and beach days. I haven't even spent that much time down, my beloved Jersey Shore. This week has been a mix of feelings. Big things in the pipeline and plenty of uncertainty down the road.

I am working this weekend and I have my cousin's birthday party! Any fun plans on your calendar this weekend?

As always be sure the share in the comments what you are loving this week or what is making you smile?

SeaChangeAP 
I tried a new shampoo last weekend and was surprised how healthy my hair felt after. You can see the product here. Looking for samples?

Dinner with one of my closest friends turned into Dating 101 for me, since she is married. This article was about questions on the first date are perfect!

You need to listen to some of the 50 podcasts listed. I can't tell you the last time I logged into Pandora now that I am constantly listening to podcasts!

Let me tell you, NEW JERSEY isn't Boring! Check them out on Instagram or Twitter!

Are you an adventurous traveler? These are exciting!

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored, yet has some links of my favorite things. With that said there are a few affiliate links as it takes time and money to maintain a blog. Thank you for your support. 



XoXo,
Tracy 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

California Dreamin

I'll never forget one of my first solo trips. I was leaving a work convention in Las Vegas and heading to San Francisco for a few days. I would be staying with family in Oakland, however would be on my own during the day. I spent time studying the Bart, which is there metro. I used google to find areas that I would be interested in visiting. I was sure I wanted to hit some of the major sites as well.

Post that trip I returned just a few more times and each time drew me in more and more that I even contemplated moving there a few years back. It's not off the table completely, so who knows, there still could be a chance one day!

Here are just some of my favorite photos from different trips out to California! 

China Town
Every major city from New York, to Chicago and San Francisco have a China Town. Each one is home to different restaurants, shops, and people. I try to visit each when I am visiting a new city.


Golden Gate Bridge
You can't visit San Francisco and not check out the Golden Gate Bridge. Every time I have visited I would take a shot from a different place or angle. I love this photo with the fog in the background as it is true San Francisco.


The Ferry Building on The Embarcadero at Market Street
My cousin was married on the rooftop of Hotel Vitale a few years back. The shot above was from right before the ceremony started. It was a hot afternoon but the surrounding views and the love from the couple made for a special afternoon and evening of partying!


How can I yacht like you?
 While visiting for my cousins wedding we spent one afternoon on Sausalito. A small city in Marin County, across the Golden Gate Strait from San Francisco lies this very cute town. Filled with charm and character you surely don't want to miss it!
Trolley, anyone?
 Well that is one way to see a city. Another is walking close to 13 miles in a day! Which would you prefer?
Can I move in?
Lombard Street, the iconic steep street with 8 hairpin turns is one of my top sites for San Francisco and not for the street but for the gorgeous houses and flowers! I mean can the photo get any more colorful? The whole city if you ask me is colorful, filled with amazingly creative people! It's a city I can only hope to one day maybe call home for a while. 

I will continue to California Dream.....What about you? Where is one place you have been and would love to live?

XoXo,
Tracy 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Friday Favorites #42

Happy Friday, friends!

First, how are we in August and second holy moly back to school sales already. Working in the retail world, uniforms and backpacks are flying off the shelves. Oh summer, you always go way to quick. Anyway this weekend we are having a family dinner and I am working Sunday.

As always be sure to share in the comments what you are loving this week or what is making you smile!

Big Kid Chipwich on #NationalIceCreamSandwichDay! 
Can eating lettuce really be a new lifestyle? Hope to check this place out!

I have been on the search for the perfect Trench Coat and new that JCrew would come through like they have in the past!

Have you ever quit sugar for a week or extended period of time? I am thinking I may take this challenge on at the end of August. Thoughts?

Career advice from the top women in food!

It's time you embrace solo travel. I loved Hallie's post and I hope you will!

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored, yet has some links of my favorite things. With that said there are a few affiliate links as it takes time and money to maintain a blog. Thank you for your support. 

What are you loving this week?

XoXo,
Tracy 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Sunday's Sunset

Sunday was a great day!

Sunday started off with family and ended with a gorgeous sunset on the beach! In between all of that I did some writing, a big summer cleaning and enjoyed a slice of Oreo Cheesecake in honor of #NatioalCheesecakeDay.

Let's get back to the sunset though. This may sound crazy and even as the words came out of my mouth and as I write this it seems silly. I live maybe 30 minutes from the beach, yet have never seen a sunrise or sunset. Am I too lazy to get up early or drive down there at night? It was during the conversation with a friend that I realized I wasn't taking full advantage of my surroundings and life in general. I love the beach. Give me a good book, some great playlists and I can be content for hours. However, I had never once been there for a sunrise or sunset.

That changed Sunday and I am so glad we took out the convertible, which by the way was my first time in one, at age 30. Roof down, blasting country tunes and taking in the fresh air just made me happy and smile!

We parked the car, took out the camera and decided to spend the last few minutes of the sunset on the beach! Thankful for a mini photography teaching as well since I got some amazing shots! See them below!

Miles away from the water

Hello friends, no I don't have any food for you!

Waves goodbye to seagulls


The colors

Cotton Candy Sky


The house across the road.

Lifeguard OFF DUTY
Join #SundaySunsets on Twitter!

Where is your favorite place to watch the sunset? 

XoXo,
Tracy