Monday, March 23, 2015

Our Top 10 in NYC

Last week my daughters and I went along with one of my friends and her three daughters for a few fun filled days in New York City. We did lots of walking (over 33 miles), lots of treat eating and lots of site seeing. We've compiled a list of our trip favorites that I thought I'd share.

So in no particular order, here's a look at many of the highlights from our vacation.

1. Walking through Central Park.


Okay, this might not be surprising since NYC is famous for Central Park, but it really is a fantastic place. There was some snow on the ground and it was really beautiful. There was a street performance and one of our girls got to join in which was really fun. We took lots of photos at a variety of places. Lots of fun places to pose.

2. Treats at Levian Bakery and Billy's Bakery.



If you only get one treat in NYC, it must be at Levian Bakery. Their chocolate chip walnut cookies are a true taste of heaven. They are huge and should probably be shared, but we didn't want to take any chances, so we each ordered our own cookie plus an extra just so we could snack on it throughout the day. This is pretty close to the Natural History Museum, so after a stroll through the museum, I recommend a quick walk to get a cookie.


Our second favorite treat was the banana cake at Billy's Bakery. It was a very generous slice. Bonus about Billy's is that there are two tables where we were lucky enough to sit down and warm up white we enjoyed our treat.

3. The Views from Top of the Rock. We picked up City Passes for this trip and it included trips to the top of both the Empire State Building and the Top of the Rock. We decided that we liked the Top of the Rock best because of the entertaining elevator ride up. It's a glass top elevator and you can see all the way to the top. Plus there was a laser light show and music playing on the way up. The Empire State Building had two different elevators you have to take to the top and lines at both elevators.  The views from the Top of the Rock were fabulous!


4. Visiting the Brooklyn Bridge. This iconic spot in NYC did not disappoint. Great view and a beautiful bridge. It's near Battery Park (place where you catch a ferry to Liberty Island) and the 9/11 Memorial, so it's a perfect place to visit if you are on the south end of the island.


5. Late night Greek Food Truck. There are lots of Greek food trucks in NYC, but my sister swears the one of 6th Ave between 23rd and 25th street is the best and we didn't want to take any chances. We went here about 11pm on our second night of the trip after seeing Matilda. I got the combo which was a styrofoam container filled with rice, chicken, gyro, french fries and topped with tzatziki sauce. This was probably my best meal while in NYC. This truck caters to the late night crowd and doesn't arrive until around 10pm, but stays until 4am. 


6. Strolling through Highline Park. Unused elevated railroad tracks have been converted into a park with a great walking path in the Chelsea area. It was really col when we were there, but in better weather this would be the perfect place to take a picnic and relax. There is seating all along the walking path. When we were there a few years ago, a magician street performer was there and he was really fun to watch. 


7. Everyone agreed that the BEST thing we did on this trip was to climb to the crown of the Statue of Liberty.  We purchased the tickets online a few months before our trip. They only let a very limited number of people up into the crown every hour, so if you want to go, plan ahead. The climbed up a very step and narrow spiral staircase all of the way up inside of the Statue of Liberty. Our group of seven barely fit up in the crown. We had a great city view from the crown. It was really amazing to see the inside of the statue - it's still copper color since the elements haven't oxidized it. Add this to your must do list!


8. New York City Public Library


9. Seeing Les Miserables.


10.  Riding on the subway. You've got to ride the subway when in NYC, right?  We were probably the only people posing for pictures while waiting for the train to come, but we're tourist, so why not? We bought an unlimited pass that was good for a week, but I think we could have saved some money by buying the 8-ride pass because we didn't end up using the subway as often as we thought we would. We only got on a train going in the wrong direction once, so I'd say we did pretty good navigating. Before the trip, I downloaded the Hopstop app and it was amazing for getting us to where ever we wanted to go. You just put in where you want to go and the app will tell you you options for getting there. It will tell you exactly which subway trains to take or which walking path will be best. Definitely something you'd want to have for navigating around the city.



There you have our top 10! 

We also went to the Natural History Museum, saw Matilda, walked though Chinatown and Little Italy, visited the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, ate at Shake Shack, looked around the American Girls Store, Toys R Us and FAO Swartz, went to Chelsea Market and enjoyed banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery. Yes, we squeezed a lot into three and a half days. The only two things on our list we didn't get to were ice skating in Central Park and enjoying some frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity. We'll just have to go back someday to check everything off of our list!

I'm so thankful I got to share this adventure with our daughters and friends. I'm hoping this is a trip they will always remember.


So Much Fun with Friends

I was excited to upload pictures from my camera and find photos from a photoshoot my girls and their friends had done. I printed off a few of my favorites and had to use them on a layout.


The photos were so playful and fun and I decided to carry that playful feel through the page by hand cutting some letters for the title of the page.


To finish off the page, I added little word stickers around the page to create a frame. Simple and fun!


Layout Supplies: Scrapbook Circle's March Here's the Story Kit /// Tell Me Add-on

Friday, March 6, 2015

Awesome!

My son loves basketball. He's decided that this is the sport he wants to play all of the time. He's played baseball, lots of soccer, basketball and flag football since he was little. I thought it was important to let his try out a lot of things and have fun learning along the way. He just finished up a season of on a competitive YMCA league and now we are looking into club team options. I have a feeling there are many basketball games in my future!


It was fun putting this page together celebrating the most recent season. I'm sharing more details on this page over on the Scrapbook Circle blog today. I hope you'll stop by and take a look!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Plus Sign Digital Cuts

I've been having so much fun using my Silhouette to cut layout backgrounds this month. The layout I want to share today was inspired by the Scrapbook Circle Here's the Story Digital Cuts that came with the kit.


I loved the random plus sign square and enlarged it to fill a 12 X 12 page to use at the background on my layout.



At first I thought that I'd fill in each of the plus signs with different papers from behind, but it just felt like too many patterns spread randomly around the page. Instead I ended up taking all of the patterned papers that I was going to use behind the plus signs and clustered them around the photos. There were still a lot of fun patterns on the page, but it felt better all in one place rather than spread across the page.


For Valentine's Day this year, were got together with one of our close friend couples and the guys cooked the girls a fancy dinner in the quiet comfort of our backyard. It was perfect. I hardly took any pictures, but I had a couple and definitely wanted to record this memory. For the journaling, I used the sticker tabs and layered a few on the page as a journaling spot. I'm happy to have this story documented!

Layout supplies /// Here's the Story Kit ///  Tell Me Add-on /// On My Way Add-on

Sunday, March 1, 2015

You + Me >>> Happy Days

A few nights ago I was half awake during the night and a sketch for a layout came to me. It seemed a little strange since that pretty much never happens. The next morning it was still in my head, so I took that as a sign that I should scrapbook using that idea. The sketch included a couple of photos along the right side of the page with most of the left side filled with journaling and an embellishment cluster. I'm pretty happy with how the page actually turned out!


I decided to print off a couple of favorite photos of Ward and I take last fall and use them on the page along with thought about us in the journaling. I mixed in little stickers as part of the journaling just for fun and layered a cluster of sheer embellishments off to the side. 



 The Scrapbook Circle March is kit titled Here's the Story and it's inspiring me to focus on telling all sorts of stories that I want to record and remember.

Layout supplies /// Here's the Story Kit /// On My Way Add-on ///  Tell Me Add-on




Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Stitch Fix - February 2015

A couple of weeks ago I had a fun delivery from Stitch Fix. Stitch Fix is a fun service that ships you clothes that you can try on and then ship back what you don't want to keep. It's a great way to freshen up my wardrobe without needing to go out and shop in a store.

What to see what came in my box...

Shaina Stitched Detail Jean


It seems like I wear the same couple pairs of jeans over and over again and when I saw these dark denim I was excited to try them on. The stitched detailing down the side of each leg won me over and I decided to keep these.

Annalisse Anorak Jacket



I made a request for a lightweight jacket that would be nice for travel and layering and I was really happy with what they sent.  The neutral army green color looked like it would be perfect for coordinating with almost anything. It was love at first touch! This jacket is just so soft. I'm not sure how much wear I'll get out of this jacket because Audrey has already borrowed it three times in the past week. I guess it's even cool enough for teenagers!

Striped Knit Tee



This shirt was fine, but I didn't think it was anything special, so it was shipped back. 

Navy/White Polka Dress



The fit on this was just wrong on me. It was super baggy on the top and wasn't flattered at all. Back it went.

Navy Long Cardigan



I'd requested a black cardigan and my stylist said that she could find one for me, so she sent this navy cardigan instead. I do appreciate that they are reading my requests and doing their best to fulfill them. The cut on this just didn't feel flattering which it too bad because the fabric was super soft and comfortable. This went back too.

I think picking up two new pieces that can be staples in my wardrobe was a success! Both the jeans and the jacket were winners. Thanks, Stitch Fix!

If you want to take a look at some of my past Stitch Fix boxes, you can check them out HERE.

The Stitch Fix links are affiliate and if you choose to sign up for the service via my link I will receive a small credit on my next box. I'm truly just sharing here because it's something that I love!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Fast and Fun Scrapbooking @ Craftsy

Today my third Crafty class went live! I had such a great time flying to Denver in December to do the filming for this class. (You can read about my trip to Craftsy HERE.)

One thing I hear from people about not scrapbooking is that they just don't have time. Have you ever heard that or felt that way? That's why I developed this Fast and Fun Scrapbooking Class for Craftsy!

I share lots of great tips and tricks for streamlining the scrapbooking process and we also make a lot of layouts in the class. It's all about keeping the process simple while working in special and creative touches along the way.

You can check out a preview video for the class HERE.




You can checkout the class HERE. This link will give a $15 discount on the class. Sweet!

One of my favorite things about Craftsy classes is that they are video based and I can stop, rewind and watch on my own schedule. I've signed up for a few classes (card making, cupcake decorating and a food photography class) and I'm enjoying taking my time working through the classes.

I hope you'll take a minute and stop by and see what my class is all about. Enjoy the day!

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