love

The Beauty of Moving On

I try not to get too personal on here but writing is one of the best ways I know how to cope with anything in my life. I felt like writing about something that we all can relate to at one point or another in our lives, which is…heartbreak. Sometimes we are the ones suffering from it and sometimes we are the ones causing it. That is just how life works, no matter what side of the sword you’re on, simply put, it sucks. If you’re going through it now, I hope this helps make you feel a bit more optimistic, or puts things in perspective, and just overall helps you awaken from the cloud you may feel you’re under.

So when is it really over? When do you get up and walk from the table? Simply, when love is no longer being served. When respect is no longer on the menu. When your self love and self worth are all sold out. When you’re being treated as scraps when you deserve to be surf and turf. Once you finally figure out what respect tastes like, you will always always always choose it over attention.

I’m sure we have all found ourselves asking the universe for signs. We can ask all we want. But truthfully, we all already know the answer, right? If it is at the point where we have to ask for signs on if this whole thing is right and meant to be, clearly it is not. That in itself is a sign – but we see what we want to see, and when we are ready, we will see the signs we were searching for. Just be careful not to keep your eyes closed for so long.

When it’s done it is done. What is the use of picking up broken pieces off the floor? It could never look the same. It will never be the same. You hurt yourself in the process. The person who hurt you cannot be the person to fix you or save you. All of that has to come from you. I am not sitting here promising you will be healed of heartache the next day. No way. It is a journey. If love can fade, so can pain – and it will. You must grow through what you go through and learn to never settle in this life, ESPECIALLY when it comes to love. Your new life will cost you your old one, remember that. Not everyone you lose is a loss.

“Why should I be sad? I have lost someone who didn’t love me. But they lost someone who loved them.” Life doesn’t always bring you people you want to meet. Life puts you in touch with people you need to meet – to help you, to hurt you, to teach you, to love you, to leave you, to strengthen you and make you the person you were meant to be. Throughout that journey though, you must love yourself and be true to yourself. Sometimes we forget about all of that when we break up or when we are with someone for so long that they have clouded our judgement. Here are some of my tips for moving on and getting back to that place of self love. Once you love yourself, everything else falls into place.

  • Cry. This seems so obvious, but you need to cry. You need to let it out. Scream into your pillow. Go through a box of tissues. You just need to release the emotion, because when you bottle it up, it is like drinking poison, you will be the one continually suffering. My mom always said after a good cry, everyone looks prettier. Plus, I think the tears wash away all of that cloudy and dirty judgement we once had either about ourselves or the person we once loved.
  • Unplug yourself. Get off social media. Don’t post all those sad quotes or the revenge quotes. Who is it for anyways? They don’t care. They aren’t looking. Don’t post the sexy or seductive posts, you look like you’re starving for attention – and you may get it – but NOT from the type of people you want to attract into your life. Plus, the people you do want to attract, may steer clear from you as they may have a different perception. Don’t snap pictures of you out on dates or with other guys, it is immature, and makes YOU look bad once again. Lay low. Move in silence. Let them wonder what you are up to. I’d also “unplug” myself from constant reminders of them – take down the pictures, put the gifts in a big box and shove it in the back of your closet. Out of sight out of mind…
  • Keep busy to better yourself. Read a book, write a poem. Take those spin classes you always wanted. Take up painting. Go to the gym. Volunteer. Take up cooking. There is SO much you can do to preoccupy your time. Don’t spend it stalking them and seeing how they are doing or who they are with. Put. Yourself. First. Treat yourself to a manicure or a blow out and feel good.
  • Vent. Call your mom, call your best friend. Get their advice, and actually listen to it. No one wants to have the same phone call with you discussing the same thing, twenty more times. It is exhausting for them, and isn’t it exhausting for you too? The run around, the roller coaster of emotions? Get one big vent session going and really listen to those who have been in this situation before.
  • Stop overthinking. What is done is done. The more you overthink what you could have done differently, or what you maybe should have, or what they could have or should have done differently, you’re just hurting yourself. You need to focus your energy on you. Take the lessons you learned (there is always one with each relationship), and thank your lucky stars you got out of it before your world came crashing down. Yes, you will hear a song and it will remind you of them, you will see their favorite food or restaurant, you will smell their cologne or perfume, but with time, none of that will matter. Acknowledge the moment, acknowledge your feelings, but don’t succumb to those feelings and make them your permanent feelings. Take a deep breath, shoulder back, lift up that chin, put a smile on and carry on. Fake it until you make it.
  • Do not become who hurt you. I think this is the most important one. It is so easy to become bitter and hateful. It is so easy to turn into a monster, to even turn into the monster who hurt you. Never step out of character, for a character. Remain true to yourself. You are love. You are happy. That is your natural state. Everyone has their own demons, don’t let them walk through your head with their dirty feet, don’t become responsible for them. They are not yours to keep or fight.
  • Bless them. Forgive forgive forgive. Forgive your enemies, forgive everyone who hurt you. Wishing them bad is like drinking poison and expecting them to get sick. Bless them and move on. There should be no room for hate in your heart, only positive thoughts of you and what you are looking forward to accomplish and attract next.

Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know. Stay strong and focus on respecting and loving yourself, because if you don’t no one else will. You accept the love and respect you think you deserve. YOU GOT THIS! ❤ ❤ ❤ 

“Put on some lipstick darling and handle it”


 

 

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ESPANA

So my last post was April 3rd…I always tell myself I won’t allow any of these long hiatuses to occur, but here we are. A lot has gone on since April and between work and my personal life this took a back seat, but I am back – and what better way to come back with a nostalgic post about Spain?! Around this time two years ago I was travelling all over Spain, loving every second of it, even the historical heat wave we faced in Madrid (well, maybe not that part). Spain was absolutely beautiful with such an incredible culture and people, so I cannot wait to share these images and stories with you!File_003(2)


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  • Madrid

Our first stop was Madrid. Beautiful beautiful Madrid! I have never been to Spain before so I wasn’t too sure on what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. Throughout all my European adventures, I have never seen such detailed architecture before. The plazas were extremely large, much bigger than the ones I saw in Italy. The nightlife was unmatched – watch out NYC, they are the true city that never sleeps…well, aside from the whole siesta thing (yes it is real!). Literally everything shuts down during siesta time, I had extreme trouble finding even a convenience store to just grab a bottle of water!

I loved exploring everything Madrid had to offer, from the museums, to the parks, to the flamenco dancing, and of course the tapas and wine! They also have great trips available to places like Toledo (so sad we didn’t get to go!). I would definitely recomend renting a bike (we were able to do so at a gas station lol), see a flamenco show, and explore EVERYTHING. Don’t be afraid to get lost!

Oh and if you’re there in the summer be sure to order a the popular summer wine cocktail, tinto de verano. It literally translates to red wine of summer. Super light and refreshing 🙂

Let’s start with some of the sites you can’t miss!

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The Palacio Real de Madrid (The Royal Palace of Madrid) is just breathtaking. The size alone will leave you in awe! No pictures are allowed to be taken inside but surely what you see will be engraved in your memory. The rooms are so beautifully (and ornately) decorated and full of indulgence, you could only imagine a king living here! They have gardens surrounding the place, making it hard to believe this is right in the middle of Madrid! They also have an armory full with an incredible collection, some even say the best in Europe.

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Plaza Mayor is a typical plaza full of street vendors and little stores, but what makes it so unique are the murals painted on the Casa de la Panaderia (Bakery House). the building was constructed in 1619 and as assumed, has undergone many renovations. It was originally designed to house the Baker’s Guild, which was extremely powerful as they controlled grain prices. the original paintings on the walls were redone in 1992, so pretty recently! It is now home for the Madrid Tourist Information Center, so if you are looking to get any information, this is the place to stop by! Also, typical to touristy areas, I would stay away from the cafes in the plazas, you can find a much more authentic and reasonably priced place one off the beaten path.

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Statue of Felipe III in front of Plaza Mayor

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Plaza de la Villa – just a cute little square close to Plaza Mayor 🙂

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  • Marbella

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Down to Andalusia we go! Marbella was a great way to relax on beautiful beaches and drink some tropical dranks after a bunch of touristy things (and a TON of walking) in Madrid. There were a ton of British and Russians there when I was there, I am not sure if they like to vacation there or if they kind of took over. Nonetheless it was absolutely beautiful. From the little stone pathways, the winding tiny streets. It reminded me of Sorrento or Cinque Terre. They had the cutest boutiques, the most quaint little cafes. I would totally recommend just walking around and getting lost and see what you stumble upon. They have wonderful ocean front dining and clubs at night right on the beach. I have honestly never heard of it before coming here, I assume places like Ibiza overshadow it, but it seems pretty family friendly too as I saw a ton of families with young kids! We literally just ate, drank, and relaxed on the beach during our time here, we didn’t do much exploring at all.

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  • Granada

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Our final stop before heading back to Madrid to go home! And WOW, what a way to end a trip of a lifetime! Granada was just breathtaking, from the 1000 year old Alhambra and the views, to the wonderful markets and vendors, to the Turkish baths, to the modern shopping and dining, Granada has it all. I will certainly be adding more pictures as I unearth them from my computer, but the views I was able to capture from the Alhambra Palace are literally nothing like I have seen before. It was totally worth the trip to see and explore the grounds here. It truly felt like I was time warped to the past. This is another city with a ton of winding little alleys and streets that you should get lost in. It also had a very Arabic feel, with Arabic restaurants, vendors, etc. Completely different vibe and energy form Marbella and Madrid and anywhere I have been really. Loved every second of it.

Also, though there are no pictures here (we weren’t allowed to take them), of the first Turkish baths in Spain, I highly recommend going. After a long trip of travelling and walking around, see and learning and being apart of this awesome history was just incredible. The baths were beautiful and clean, and we got massages after!

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View from Alhambra Palace

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Food from restaurant that overlooked Alhambra – I want to say it was the Carmen Mirador de Aixa

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Amazing work being done by hand in the palace.

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Apple of My Eye Apple Pie

So it feels like ages since I went apple picking, and I promised I would share just what I did with all of those apples. A few days after apple picking, I whipped up this recipe for everyone to enjoy – however, I’m just posting about it weeks later. It has been so hectic on my end – starting a new job, helping with my sister’s wedding & bachelorette party, it never ends!

This is a perfect dessert for Thanksgiving, especially if you’re having a more intimate, smaller gathering. A great alternative to apple pie – and you don’t have to worry about how big of a piece you take 😉


Ingredients:

  • 10 apples (this is only because I had sooo many)
  • 4 Tbsp. of butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup

Crumb Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup crushed graham crackers (this is optional)
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 6 Tbsp. butter (melted)
  • 1 roll of pre-made pie crust (optional if you don’t want to wrap the apple in dough)
  • Ice cream! Caramel sauce, whatever you’d like!

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash apples and set aside.
  3. Prepare the crumble topping by combining flour, graham crackers (if used), oats, brown sugar, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and then melted butter until mixture is combined and crumbly. Set aside.
  4. Peel and chop 4 of the apples.
  5. Add these chopped apples, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and maple syrup to a large frying pan and cook over medium heat for about ten minutes (until the apples are softened and tender!). Once cooked, remove from heat and set aside.
  6. With the remaining 6 apples, cut the tops off and use a spoon to scoop out the insides. Be careful to not go all the way down/pierce the skin of the apple! Leave a perimeter within the apple as shown below. It should resemble an “apple bowl”.
  7. Fill your “apple bowl” with the filling from the sauce pan you just made. Fill about 3/4 of the way, or halfway if you’d like to be generous with the topping.
  8. Cut the rolled dough into strips and “mummify” or wrap the apples! It can be a bit tricky to have them stick to the apple so definitely press the dough strips into one another so they don’t unravel.
  9. Place the apples into a pie pan (I had to use two) because just in case of drippings, it doesn’t overflow as it potentially could on a flat baking sheet.
  10. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
  11. Serve warm and with your favorite ice cream! I recommend Ben & Jerry’s cinnamon one.

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Lashes So Long You Can Fly Away With Them

Happy Tuesday lovelies!

So one of the perks of my job is that I get to work with a lot of brands and PR firms in a variety of verticals – so cosmetics, hair, fashion, fitness, electronics, etc. And sometimes I’m lucky enough to score some product! It’s always a good day in the office when new product arrives.

I don’t know if you’ve heard of IT Cosmetics, but if you haven’t, then I seriously recommend you check them out immediately. Like stop reading this for a second and go click on the link right above this. They constantly receive a ton of social success with top beauty influencers and makeup artists from all over the world using their products in their daily beauty/skin regiments. And you’re about to see why.

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First things first, IT stands for Innovative Technology since it is developed by plastics surgeons and dermatologists…so you know the product is going to be top notch. All of their products are 100% cruelty free, filled with skin-loving, high performance ingredients. So basically their products are cutting edge, clinically proven, safe, highly effective, and most importantly – work phenomenally! If this were a beauty class poll, they would certainly win best all-around.

I digress. Ok, so I was first introduced to this cosmetic line a few months back, after one of my coworkers attended a beauty conference and brought back a ton of product. Since I’ve been using them ever since, I am pretty well-versed in their makeup and skincare lines. I’ll save the review of all of those products for another week 😉

Since I am always open to trying new products (especially makeup!), when I received their new Superhero mascara, I couldn’t wait to try it out. Now I normally have very long lashes and people often ask me what falsies I wear (none!), so I was definitely interested in seeing if this would accentuate them even more. Spoiler alert: it did.

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Here are my three very basic steps for mascara application. I am in NO way, shape, or form a beauty know-it-all or MUA. I practically just got contouring down.

  1. Curl eyelashes (about 5 seconds on each lash – and don’t clench the curler too tight! Love your lashes hahah!)
  2. Use primer! I use the Estee Lauder Lash Primer Plus and have been using it for over a year now. It is dermatologist and ophthalmologist-tested.
  3. Mascara time! I usually just do one application, but two would not do any harm (just try to avoid many applications because you definitely get that clumpy look – I like a more wispy, fuller look).

So when I first put this first application I was like WOAH. Do you know how hard it is to find a mascara that thickens, lengthens, and still get mega volume all at once?! Some people use multiple mascaras to achieve this, and for those of you who do – look no further! This will be your saving grace.

This is just one application:

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Double Stuffed, Cookie Dough Fried Oreos w/ Nutella

Yes. You read that title correctly. Luckily summer is over and it’s okay to indulge a bit (thank goodness for sweater season!). If you still want to reminisce on the summer feels, like carnivals and festivals, what other way to do so than fried oreos?! These are incredibly easy to make, and I must admit I make them more often than I should. I like to add cookie dough, because well cookie dough is everything and I personally believe it to be it’s own essential food group. And of course the Nutella drizzle just speaks for itself. Enjoy!


 

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Oreo’s (I usually get the mega-stuffed, or whichever new flavor they have at the time)
  • 1 Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookie dough roll
  • Aunt Jemima pancake mix (I use this because you just need to add water to the mix)
  • Vegetable oil (enough to fry the Oreo’s in)
  • Confection sugar
  • Nutella

Directions:

First, prepare the pancake mix in a medium sized bowl. If using Aunt Jemima, it is 2 cups dry mix and 1 1/2 cup water.

Begin to heat up the oil in a deep frying skillet, or a fryer if you have one.

Next, take your Oreo’s and twist the top off of each (gently, so the cream stays on one of the cookies). Take a heaping teaspoon of cookie dough and press onto the cream to flatten so it looks like it is just another disc of cream. Put the cookie that you just took off back on.

I recommend doing this to all of the cookies first, and then once that is done, begin dipping them into the pancake batter, as it is more efficient.

Once all the cookies are done and the oil is heated (you can test by flicking a few drops of water in it – you’ll hear it sizzle and see it bubble), begin to dip the cookies into the pancake batter. Using a spoon, gently place them into the oil.

As they begin to cook, line a plate with paper towels to absorb the oil for when you remove them.

You’ll notice the Oreo turning golden brown. If the oil isn’t high enough, simply use the spoon to turn the Oreo to fry the other side as well.

Once a nice, bronzed, golden brown color, remove the Oreo from the oil and let cool on the paper-towel lined plate. Continue doing this until all Oreos are done.

Once cooled, sprinkle confection sugar and drizzle Nutella all over those bad boys! This is where you can really go to town, use as much as your heart desires 🙂

 

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Sorrento

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Oh Sorrento, I absolutely adore you. Sorrento is definitely in my top five favorite cities of all time and I recommend if you ever go to Italy to make it a priority to spend a day/night here. With charming little alleyways lined with shops, incredible restaurants, and views like no other, it is also the limoncello capital of the world (all the more reason to visit!).

When I first arrived in Sorrento, I’ll never forget how breathtaking the views were, especially since it is like a city carved into and atop the cliffs. Overlooking the sea, our hotel room (see the video below) was like a dream.

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My sister and I immediately went to the beach and went swimming – the water was freezing since it was September, but we figured we were in Italy so we just had to do it. Later in the day we were able to rejoin our group and went to a local pizzeria where we were able to have a pizza demonstration and of course eat our body weights in pizza (when in Sorrento, right? 😉 ). Afterwards, my sister and I went strolling around, shopping at the boutiques and emptying our wallets. We strolled around Piazza Tasso, a square lined with little cafes.

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I think my favorite part was when we went to Limonoro, a candy/sweet shop that revolves around everything limoncello. I’m talking limoncello filled cookies, limoncello gummies, the list goes on. They offered us free samples of literally anything we wanted to try! I had these cookies, and honestly my taste buds have never been the same. I am seriously placing an order as soon as I finish writing this post.

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To end our stay in Sorrento, we had a feast with our Contiki group for those who wanted to participate, and the views were just breathtaking from the restaurant, Circolo dei Forestieri. The decor was beautiful, the food was unmatched. When I get married, I’d consider having destination wedding with the reception here – everything about it was above and beyond. After my meal, I was sitting there with my sister and this older gentleman came up and asked me dance! I’m normally very shy, ESPECIALLY dancing in front of other people to Italian songs doing Italian moves I have no idea how to do. I kept saying no, but that doesn’t work too well with Italians – especially the men haha! So he pulled me up and whisked me away for a solid two songs. I let him lead the way…and of course I had him dance with my sister as well. We go down we go down together, sisters are forever haha!

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Before we left for the night we stopped at a limoncello store I Giardini Di Cataldo, and stocked up on bottles on bottles on bottles of limoncello. It also made for the perfect favor. Good thing we didn’t drink too much of it since we had a boat ride to Capri the next morning.

Stay tuned for the lovely Capri!

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ROMA E POMPEII

img_4052Buongiorno a tutti! So, growing up Italian (well only half  😉 ), it has always been a life-long dream to visit the motherland. Since I was practically raised by my Nonna, the Italian culture and way of life has always been something that has resonated deeply with me, and something I have always cherished. I also believe that when my dad (an Irish/British gent) married my mom (a hot-headed Italian), the Italian culture just kind of took over. Although, she does give my dad’s side of the family some recognition by making corned beef and cabbage on St. Patty’s Day hahah.

ANYWAYS – I finally was able to make this dream a reality with my sister. We went on a Contiki tour (a travel agency catering to 18-35 year olds), which took us ALL over Italy, starting at Rome. Since I have over 4,000 images from this trip and notebooks of memories, I decided to break down the blog posts in sections, by cities.

Let’s talk about getting there first. I don’t know about you, but I always have the biggest anxiety before overseas trips. Irrational, I know. From all of my experience travelling overseas (okay 3 times), the planes have been equipped with WiFi, televisions, charger ports, the whole nine yards. Well, let me tell you, stepping onto that plane was like stepping into a time warp that transported me to 1492. I minds as well have just sailed with Columbus. The phone (shockingly equipped with one), still had a cord attached to it…I didn’t even know they made those anymore! And so, a panic attack ensued.

Luckily we made it safe and sound, we had our meals (best part of the flight to be honest), and landed in Rome bright and early. With all the stress from the flight, thanks to me, my sister and I were completely worn out. Once we got through customs, we went outside and were greeted by a line of taxis. We got into a “taxi”and were on our way to our hotel where we would meet with our Contiki group later that evening.

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The cab ride was great, the guy was super friendly, giving us recommendations, I was even speaking with him in Italian! Then…we got to our hotel and he wanted 200 euros…normally a 50 euro trip. He became a little angry and us being scared and in an area we knew NOTHING about (it didn’t help it was so early and no one was around), we had no choice but to give him the euros. I should note it was all of our euros we had initially exchanged to get us by the first few days of our trips. So we were robbed in Rome within the first twenty minutes of being there. At least now as I type this I can laugh, not cry.

I immediately started looking at flights home while my sister sobbed in the bathroom. Our parents were able to calm us down and things actually started looking up. We went to a little restaurant La Gattabuia, where we had a few aperitivo. Seriously the food in Italy had the power to turn our entire mood around. We ate until we were in a food coma and went straight to bed since we were off to Pompeii in the morning!

Pompeii was so historic and the Italians did an incredible job of preserving this history, but am even better job telling of the history. On a side note, I learned that Mt. Vesuvius erupted on my birthday, to which my dad said “explains a lot”. I learned so much about the culture there at the time, let’s just say it wasn’t too PG-13. They even had a prostitute row, I guess it was the OG Red Light District. The beds were made of stone, because they wanted everyone to do their business and then leave immediately and not get comfortable so the next person can come in. There’s also a really interesting background to puttanesca sauce. Puttanesca comes from the Italian word “puttana”, which basically means whore. Legend has it that at these brothels, the puttanas would make this “quick and easy” sauce and serve it to customers who were waiting their turn. All in all, Pompeii is an absolute tourist trap, I would just recommend going on a walking tour and leaving.

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Stay tuned for Sorrento – one of my most favorite places in the world!