Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Fashion Under Construction!

The thing about hanging out with a bunch of fashion bloggers is...they make you wanna up your game!!  And you want ALL the clothes!!

It has been FOREVER and a day since I posted any really fashiony post on the blog!  For the longest time, I didn't feel like dressing up, or pretty even!  I hadn't bought anything new and spent much of the winter in my leggings and boots...and then spring in my leggings and rain boots!  HA!

But in Toronto, I was surrounded by fun ladies in fun clothes!  And we shopped, and shopped some more!  I can't even remember the last time I was in an actual mall before then  but guess what...the Eaton Centre has my heart!!

Then I came home and took full advantage of the Memorial Day Weekend Sales!
So this June on the blog, I'll be showcasing the things I bought, both in Toronto and here at home!!

So I hope you'll come back to take a peek.  For now though, go link up and get some fashion inspiration with the ladies of TBB!  It's the last day for our Fashion Files and we have big plans for this summer's link-ups!!

Head {here} to find out all the details!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Friday Loves!

This week wasn't too bad!  After basically being off all last week with my trips, it's been back to reality and knee deep in reorganizing, laundry, and school. ( have no idea why I thought reorganizing the library right now was a good idea)!!  I may be counting down the days til summer vacation!!  The week went fairly fast and was not without a few faves along the way, so I wanna share today!!

TBB in Toronto Recaps!!
This week on the blog I recounted my trip to Toronto with the fabulous ladies of The Blended Blog!  It was a whirlwind of fun, laughter, and shopping!!  You can read about it here and here!!  And head here to find the links to everyone's recap posts, as their words are much more eloquent than mine.  Love these ladies!!

A New Bag!
When you spend the weekend with fashion bloggers, there is shopping involved.  I was super excited when I made this last minute purchase on Sunday at the Nordstrom at the Eaton Centre.  I LOVE it.  I have yet to use it because...ya know, it's too nice (and it's been raining ALL week)!!  But am really excited to soon!!

A Splurge
Another thing you do when you spend the weekend with fashion bloggers? Covet all the clothing!! After seeing Whitney in this cute coral jacket this weekend and then seeing a link to it in one of her posts...and seeing that it was still available in my size, AND ON SALE to boot, I figured it was meant to be that I have it too.  So I picked it up and it's already on its way to me!! So mad I forget to use ebates on it...and 6% damn!!

Love Actually reboot!
Yesterday was Red Nose Day and a huge part of the big telecast, was the reboot of Love Actually.  Overall, I was underwhelmed (wish they would have just played it straight through) but I LOVED Hugh Grant dancing to Hotline Bling!! Unfortunately this is just a preview but hopefully you were able to catch it last night!!

Wonder Trailer!
I was so happy to see this come up on my Facebook feed this week!  Wonder is my favorite book and I'm really hope the movie does it the justice it deserves! I sobbed through the trailer,  so I think it's off to a great start!!

Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!
Linking up today with
The Blended Blog for Friday Loves
  Andrea and Narci for Friday Favorites
Tiff and the girls for High Five for Friday

Thursday, May 25, 2017

TBB Takes Toronto: A recap! Part 2

Yesterday I shared a Toronto Day 1 Recap.  I honestly wasn't intending it to be just day one, but then I sorta got going and couldn't stop myself. So today I'm treating you to the rest of the trip!!

When we last left off, our sweet Lana was still flying while most of us had gone to bed.  But we had a Niagara Bus Tour planned for all day Friday, so it was up and at 'em early!  When we got to breakfast Lana was there.  Lana is a really cool and funny chick, who I'm not quite sure knows she's as cool and fun as she is.

After a quick breakfast, we headed into the lobby for a photo shoot and to meet up with our bus driver and tour guide for the day.  I don't think when I got on that bus at 8:30 is the morning I had any idea what was going to happen, other than I was headed to a Winery and the Falls.
Our First Group Photo!

But the 11 of us boarded the bus. When we got on the road (an hour later) with thirty more people in tow, and already three bathroom breaks in, we stopped at the mall, did a random drive through a Catholic School, a few loops a round a traffic circle,  and got too our first destination-- hours later

Our first stop was a super cute little town, the name of which I don''t recall at the moment but I do know we were only there for a short time.  Enough for some to grab and ice cream and others to get a coffee!

This little town was also a great place to take photos of our sneaks!

When Fashion bloggers untie!

As we walked back to the bus I was so happy to get to know and talk to Lisa some more.  I am in awe of her.  She lives closest to  Andrea and Whitney but has been to The Parsons School in New York City and is working on her own fashion line.  I can't wait to buy one of her tops or jackets when they're available.  When she talked about Parsons, all I could think about was Project Runway...and how Lisa could totally be Heidi Klum!!

After sightseeing, we were next headed to a winery.  I liked this stop, but again, it was too short.  Not enough wine tasting IMO!  HA!

But I did get to try Canada's ice wine.  This is what I thought of it....

It wasn't for me.  More of a dessert wine...very sweet.  I did like our driver Jay's idea to throw it over some ice cream though.  How could I have forgotten to talk about Jay!!  He was our guide for the day and only actually told us his name about 7 hours in.  But boy did he give us an education on that bus!! Stories, jokes, facts and figures of his beloved Canada...he was the real deal and totally worth the trip!!

Oh wait...seeing the Falls up close from a boat was worth the trip!!!  The amount of water that flows and falls is really ridiculous but the whole thing is really freaking cool.

Things I failed to mention....our nice lunch and a trip into another little town before boarding the bus yet again for the long trek home!!
Christy and I...bus buddies!!!

Friday night we headed to dinner in The Distillery District.  I was super excited to go to this Mexican place, because I absolutely love Mexican food.  We ordered the 7 course tapas, so we all got to try a little bit of everything.

Wished I had the big purse for these glasses...hehe!!

While at dinner  we had a little baby shower for Shaunacey, whose due with baby number three in October.  It was a lot of fun!!  Great minds think and two others got her onsies with this sentiment...ha!!

Saturday was our walking tour of Toronto!  And boy did we walk, and walk and WALK some more!  But I loved it.  And was happy I got to chat some more with Lisa!  (Thanks for hanging with me Liss!)  As we walked and explored, we discussed how Toronto reminded us of a smaller scale New York City.

Why do I not have a picture with Lisa?!?  Here she is in front of her Spirit House!!

We headed to the coolest place called Graffiti Alley.  Where we took lots of photos.

And our resident professional  photographer (and blogging soulmate), Nicole took head shots of everybody!  I was really embarrassed to have my photo taken, but I actually don't think it came out half bad!!  Thanks Nicole. Seriously, all the photos she took on the trip are amazing.  I wish I could post them all!!

We also enjoyed a great lunch at Lakeview Diner where I tried poutine and had my first beer and clam!!  I am officially Canadian now!!

 Thanks for introducing me to Poutine and Beer and Clam Deena!!

After that, SHOPPING!!  The group split into two and some of us headed to the food court to rest our tired feet and get geleto!  YUM!!  Then it was off to do some shopping.  Everything thing I purchased, I got from stores I knew we didn't have here.  And Nicole and Shaunacey were great shopping guides for us!!  I don't have an pics of anything I bought yet, but you can bet that'll I finally be linking up for TBB Fashion Files to show it all off soon!!

Before heading back to the hotel on Saturday, we did dinner at a place called Pickle Barrel.  And I think this was my favorite.  Not because it was the best meal, but because we were all together.  At most of the places we went to eat, we were split into two groups.  And even when they accommodated our large group of 11 on Friday night, the table was so big, the other half of the group felt MILES AWAY!!  At Pickle Barrel it was more intimate!!  We chatted and talked about TBB and I unknowingly order a beer as big as my head.  I hear special, I say OK!
Sarah's the Queen of Selfies!!  

It was a long day that ended with us all on the rooftop for a dip in the hot tub for more chit chat and fun!

Sunday I woke up not quite believing that the weekend was coming to an end!  The group lost three of our tribe by 8:30 and the rest of us headed out to the mall for more shopping.  And Nicole's first ever trip to Nordstrom!! After more shopping we headed back to the hotel to say quick goodbyes to Shaunacey and Nicole and the rest of us headed to the airport.  I ended the trip, the way it began, with Alison and Sarah.  I was the last to leave!

While I alone in the airport on Sunday night,  I reflected on the trip and what it means to me. There are some things I wish I'd said and done, some girls I wish I had more time with but I still can't believe that I'm part of this fabulous, fun, diverse group of ladies. "The Blended Blog Squad" as Andrea's dubbed us!
How cute are these tanks?!?  Thanks Andrea!!

I am grateful!  My heart is full...and until I get to see them all again, that exactly where I will keep all of them!!  And don't be surprised if they and more about this trip pops up on the blog from time to time!!

Thanks ladies for your kindness, and a weekend I'll never forget!

And thanks too, for sharing your photos! :)

Whew....that was fun to relive!!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

TBB Takes Toronto: a recap!

/PART 1/

There are clothes still in my suitcase, some more in the washer and I have yet to get my life back in order since returning home, but all the Toronto recaps are rolling in and I am just loving them!  So I'm jumping on the bandwagon too.

{Side note: Sorry Ma for no Florida recap this time around!!  If you wanna see the beauty that is The Villages, read this.  Not much changed this year, except maybe that it rained! After 103 days of no poured monsoon rain!  Oh and Mom still loves to dance in the square...but this year her new favorite is DJ Scooter and The Wobble!  That was an experience!}

I don't know why but the theme of the Real World was in my head all week leading up to the trip.  It was MTV's original reality show.  Ya know the whole, "seven strangers picked to live in a house and have their lives taped to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real...The Real World...

So when I thought about why, it was probably because this is how I was feeling about the trip... 11 strangers (14 really) picked to start a blog and travel to Toronto, to find out what happens when they come out from behind their computers and step into the real world!  TBB...Toronto!!  Or something like that.  

Months and months ago when I started telling people, I was taking a trip to Toronto and they asked why...I'd tell them it was to meet friends.  But when they probed me for further info and found out I didn't actually know these women "in real life", I got more than a few weird looks and lots of concerning questions. And then I became all defensive like, "BUT I DO KNOW THEM...FOR LIKE THREE YEARS NOW!!  We're The Blended Blog after all!!

When last Thursday arrived and my trip became a reality...I had ALL the emotions!!  I was a nervous wreck heading to the airport, thinking I'd never get there, thanks to an accident and ton of traffic! But of course I did.  After checking in, I settled myself with a little glass of prosecco and thought about the weekend ahead.  Getting texts from friends with wishes of safe travels and witty jokes about staying safe among people I didn't even know, I got on the plane with nothing but excitement for the weekend that was ahead of me...and I couldn't wait.  

I read this on the flight, hoping that after the weekend I could write my own Love Letter to Canada! (future blog post, maybe?!?)

The plane ride wasn't the best. Here are some notes I had on my phone from the ride:

Pros and Cons of this Flight to Toronto:
Pro: Cute guy sitting by the window, and no one in between us!  Score!
Con: He just took out his barf bag...if he throws up, so will I!  Another con: He's married (of course he is!)

Pro: We are finally up in the air
Con: it only took us an hour!

Pro: this flight is an hour and three minutes gate to gate.
Con:  The pilot obviously did not get the memo that it's record breaking temps in the city today! It's hot as hell in here!  Another con, I might smell when I meet my TBB friends for the first time!!

Pro: Good Tunes!  Helping me to disregard this turbulence!
The lyrics kinda went along with my emotions too!  "Feels like I'll burst an explode any minute now!"Kinda {All is Beauty- Jamie Lawson}

Con: My seatmate asked me to hold his water and then proceeded to puke! While I confidently held his water, I also frantically looked in my bag for my bottles of peppermint and purification essential oils.  I knew if I didn't, I'd throw up too!  I totally became the crazy oil lady!!  But they saved me!
Pro: He was a super quiet puker!  LOL

I was never so happy to get off a plane in my life! When I did I headed straight to the restroom, obviously.  

At the airport,  I met up with Sarah and Alison, who had arrived around the same time as me, so we were heading to the hotel together.   Sarah was as bubbly and smiley and every bit as kind as I had imagined her to be.  Alison, was more quiet and reserved like I knew she would be.  But I felt an instant connection with them.

This train is NO LIRR people!  It was so pleasant and fabulous!!

We took a train from the airport into Union Station, 25 minutes away, then headed by subway and taxi to The Grand, with a quick stop in between. Getting to our beautiful hotel and walking in to meet the wonderful ladies I knew who were waiting for us, the butterflies returned.  But after hugging, smiling and laughing with Andrea, Lisa, Nicole and Shaunacey, I knew the weekend was off to a great start.  Myself, Lisa, Andrea and Nicole were new to everyone, not having gone to the first TBB Meet-up in Vegas last year!  So we were all pretty much in the same boat!

The ladies were drinking (well except Shaunacey, who's waiting on baby number three to arrive!) and had ordered burgers when we arrived, so the three of us followed suit!  The burger really hit the spot. I couldn't even tell you the last time I had a big juicy burger, but it was beyond delicious!!

Whitney arrived shortly after us and like me, went for the wine and burger. We were both at the table together, so I was happy to chat and get to know her better. She would later become my roomie (and bed buddy) for the weekend, along with Alison!

As everyone talked and got to know each other, Andrea surprised us all with TBB goodie bags she put together for us!!  I especially love the TBB Magnet and personalized TBB M&Ms (that I'm eating as I type this)!  And of course, our awesome TBB tanks!  
Andrea is just the sweetest, kindest soul with the most infectious laugh!  She a calming force!! And she most certainly is the is the epitome of a pineapple (one of her favorite things!)...stands tall and is sweet on the inside!! 

A little while later, real life BFF's Deena and Christy arrived!!  I was really excited to see Deena again.  She's actually the only TBBer I had met in real life.  Last fall she made a quick trip to visit me in my hometown. and I instantly loved her.   She was the planner and the driving force to making all this happen!!  

Christy and I hit it right off.  When she ordered a Coors Light I laughed but thought to myself, let's be besties!

We all talked, ate, laughed and got to know each other over yummy sweet treats from Shaunacey and Nicole and were sad we were missing Lana!  She was due to meet up with Christy and Deena and travel with them from Calgary but missed their connecting flight.  So it was Saturday morning before I got to meet her!  Boo!!!  

But I think that's all from me for now too!  I really didn't intend on going on and on!!  

Tomorrow you'll meet Lana, hear my thoughts on ice wine, see the most fashionable girls at The Falls (US!), attend a baby shower, see a few sights from our walk around the city and shopping... because there was shopping!  Woo Hoo!!

Until then...thanks for sticking with me!!

And since I'm pretty sure, many of you will be reading this tomorrow, head on over to The Blended Blog for Wednesday Fashion Files and link up with us!  Spending the Weekend with these beautiful ladies has inspired me to post more fashion posts....soon!!

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Blended Blog does Toronto!

Good Monday Morning!  I am still recovering from my back to back trips last week and an amazing weekend in Toronto with the lovely ladies of The Blended Blog! Getting home after 11 last night, look for my recap later this week. But sweet Andrea from Living on Cloud Nine has her recap up TODAY!! Read about our fabulous weekend through her eyes {here}!  I may have teared up a bit!

And curator of AWESOME, Deena, has a fun recap up too.  Traveling the globe and still has time for a Toronto recap?!?  I wish I aspire to be as motivated as her!! See what she has to say about our meet up {here}.  You are guaranteed to laugh...even though I got choked up reading this one too!!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Hooray for Friday!!

We made it to Friday!!!  Finally!!  I'm really excited for this day to be here, but looking back on the week it was rather stressful. I'm off to visit my mom for Mother's Day, so I'm taking off work.  Leaving plans for the sub is just too much...and a lot of work!

They say that teaching is the only profession where it takes more effort to be out than it does to be there (or something like that!)...but this is so true! Times five for me!  LOL  But more on that later!  On to the things I really loved this week...

A Funny
A co-worker friend shared this article from Real Simple magazine with me!  And I thought it was just hilarious!  Being petite, I was never really a pencil skirt girl myself but I always envy Rachel from Suits when I see them on every single episode!

A Fun Tee
I'm more of a t-shirt and jeans girl myself!  I received this custom made Long Island shirt this week. And I'm fairly certain that it was hand-delivered to my house.  It was under my mat in an unmarked package.  I am not sure if I should be flattered at the customer service or a little weirded out!  HA!!  I can't wait to wear this next week when I take a trip to Canada to meet my TBB Buddies!

A Little Pick Me Up
These sweet letters from two students after what I thought was a totally teacher fail made my day!

An Upgrade
Finally upgrading to a new cell phone after 3 "completely dead for hours even plugged in" situations, I realized that I couldn't be traveling, turning my phone of during flights and fear that it would never turn on again!  I didn't go for the 7 tho, only the 6s, but I sure am loving it.

Favorite New Jam of the Week

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!  Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there!  Thanks for reading the blog!  I am going to take a bit of a blog break!  Like I mentioned above I'm off to visit my mom this weekend into next week, will be home for about 18 hours before heading North to meet my Blended Blog Buddies for the first time in Toronto.  EEEEEEKKKKK...I am both excited and a bit scared!  So I may be taking a blog break but when I return, get ready for blog overload!!  If you want to follow our adventures follow me on Insta @solitarylife101 and The Blended Blog @tbblog!

Until next time...

Linking up with Erika and the girls today for Friday Favorites and Tiff and the girls for High five for Friday!

Monday, May 8, 2017 sentence at a time!

Hey all!  Monday has come around again....ugh! Today I'm switching things up!  Last Monday was an April numbers!  Today I'm summing up April with just one sentence a day.  My blog friends did this last week so I'm a lil' late to this party, but better late than never I suppose!  And this is always fun, so I didn't want to let it go! sentence at a time!

1- That was a cute one!  (I said this to myself after watching a Hallmark movie! Because, yes, I was home on a Saturday night watching a Hallmark movie...HA!)
Hallmark Channel

2- A Sunny Sunday!?!?  YES PLEASE!!

3- Mondays are rough, but rainy Mondays are THE WORST!!

4- Woo Hoo!  I got a fan deck!!

5- I love my bed!

6- It's amazing how much time I spend just scrolling!

7- You get a 5 if you can tell me how many Wednesdays and Fridays I have left with this class....

8- These meals are really good, but it always takes me longer to make than they say!

9- Love me a Sunday with a little sun, a yummy lunch, wine and a good friend!!

10- Faculty field trip!! (I saw Beauty and the Beast for the second time!)

11- Vacation Begins!

12- I loved it!!

13- I'm not sure this is the best place for lunch on Holy Thursday!

14- It is finished.

15- Well I just eat what I want and worry about it later.

16- This Easter feels more like the 4th of July!

17- They saw something in

18- How have a never seen Sing?

19- Why not?

20- At least we laugh a lot Ker!

21- The Patchogue Princess...WHAT?!?!

22- Lauren's too cool for us, Amy!

23- It never comes out as good as they do it at the salon!

24- No WAY!!  UGH!! (Finding out the school year is one more day then you thought it was going to be! #thumbsdown)

25- Oh my goodness!  Thank you so much for thinking of me friend!

26- 2 days down!  2 days to go!

27- I really wanna win this!  (I didn't win it!!)

28- She couldn't hang with us, Cath!!

29- You know you're my favorite!

30- Happy Shower Day...YAY!!!!  What I really should write is "You can't walk in to the shower with your own gift!!" (she did....)
The Beautiful bride-to-be and Me

Enjoy Monday!  Here's hoping you're coffee's strong and the day's not long....

Friday, May 5, 2017

Five Friday Favorites for Cinco de Mayo!

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!!

{ONE}  It's Cinco de Mayo, the fifth of May! You all know I love to celebrate EVERYTHING!! And today is one of my favorite days because I love all things Mexican!!  I love me some quesadillas, salsa, tacos, burritos...and of course the margaritas! Excited to be heading out tonight with my friend for our annual Cinco de Mayo fun!  Today's the perfect day to be sharing my five favorite things from the week that was!

{TWO}  Week Night Shenanigans with this one are always a great time. It's not often we get together just the two of us, and it's always for a short while, but it's never without a ton of laughs and fun (and sunglass selfies!)

{THREE}  When we returned from break last week we discovered that our old decrepit water fountains in the school had been replaced with awesome new filtered ones.  They're water fountains and they also have a water bottle fill up, so they calculate the number of plastic water bottles you save!  So far as a school we've save almost 2000 water bottles!  For only nine days, I'd say we're doing great! I've saved 20 so far alone!  HA! The water fountains are a definite new favorite.

{FOUR}  One of my favorite things in town this week was the Grand Opening of a new boutique.  My town is filled with a ton of restaurants and bars, so when something other then them come to town, it's a big deal.  I thought the shop was super cute and had great clothes, jewelry and accessories!  I like shopping small and supporting local.

{FIVE}  May is here!  After putting my April Numbers post together, I realized I needed to make some changes this month.  I'm drinking more water, cut back to one cup of coffee a day, am not drinking anymore during the week (a random Monday with friends is an exception!), and will walk to work when I can.  I gained a bit over the last couple of months thanks to all the beer, wine and Thin Mints I've consumed, and I need to get that off quick.  In one week I need to look okay in a bathing suit...EEEEEKKKKKK!

Thanks for stopping by the blog today!!  If you missed anything, you can find this week's posts here and here!

Have a great weekend!  Hope you have the chance to enjoy a little bit of Cinco de Mayo!

Linking up with Erika and the girls today for Friday Favorites and Tiff and the girls for High five for Friday!