Asking Why

Well I don’t know about you, but I am an emotional wreck this week.

Sadly Sunday is the 2nd anniversary of my father’s passing. On top of that I have been dealing with a bunch of personal things so the end of May is really just a wash at this point.

I hate being sad. I know death is a fact of life, but it really fucking sucks. A lot has changed in my life over the past two years and I really wish my dad had been around to see it.

Dealing with the loss of a loved one never gets easy, but it helps to be able to talk about it. I know that I am not the only one who has ever had to deal with this difficult loss, but sometimes you just want to sit alone and cry. If you are ever feeling like that I highly recommend listening to Zac Brown Band’s new song Bittersweet. When I first heard it I bawled like a baby, it is such a beautiful song.

I figured the best way to deal with my sadness is to channel it into something positive, so I made this art print with my favorite line from the song.

Bittersweet Zac Brown Band

On Sunday my mom, sister and I are going to spend the day doing as much fun stuff as we possibly can to keep ourselves from being sad. We are also going to remember my dad and how much we loved him, just like I do every day.

The High Line

Last week I had to do a video shoot in New York City in the afternoon. Commuting into New York is easy enough, but can sometimes be a headache when you need to be somewhere at a particular time. I decided to go in a little early and take a walk on The High Line beforehand.

NYC Highline

I had read online about the High Line and had even walked a few blocks one other time when I was in New York.

The video shoot was right at the start of the High Line on Gansevoort Street and Washington Street. They had stairs leading up and rules posted.

NYC Highline

The High Line was built between 1929 and 1934 to carry meat, produce and dairy products to warehouses and factories, while eliminating train crossings in Lower Manhattan. Later trucks were used more so eventually the High Line was shut down in 1980. Eventually the tracks were overgrown with plants. In 1999 they threatened to take down the High Line, but it was advocated that the structure be preserved and renovated. In 2002 the city of New York committed to transform the High Line into a park. In 2009 the High Line opened from Gansevoort to 20th Street. In 2011 20th to 30th Street opened and the final section at the Rail yards opened in 2014.

NYC Highline

The best part about the High Line is that they kept the integrity of the tracks. I think it’s amazing how they were able to put in a walking path, while also keeping the tracks and nature that grew around it.

NYC Highline

All along the path there are places to sit and relax. I can imagine this is a very popular place at lunch time and on weekends.

NYC Highline

At 16th Street there is an area that houses some food carts, shops and a restaurant. It was really early so nothing was open yet, but I hear the one place has awesome popsicles!

NYC Highline

I also love how open the High Line is. It’s like a walking tour of the buildings of New York without having to deal with street traffic.

NYC Highline

The organization that maintains the High Line is called Friends of the High Line. I saw a lot of workers out cutting the grass or checking on the path for problems. The High Line is also very easily accessible. There are elevators at six different locations. There are also other streets that just have stairs to get there.

NYC Highline

They are adamant that you stay on the walking path. They take a lot of pride making sure the plants and trees are taken care of. They have signs all over and even some small rope barricades. There is more than enough room though for people to walk, run or sit and relax.

NYC Highline

Some of the path is completely overgrown with trees. It is so pretty. It feels like you are walking through the woods right in the middle of New York!

NYC Highline

Throughout the path there are artist installations and murals on some walls. There was so much to look at I hated leaving.

I only went about 13 blocks on the High Line before I had to turn around to get to my video shoot. One day I think I will go back and walk the whole thing! Maybe even run it.

If you are ever in New York and want a nice place to walk without worrying about traffic, make sure you check out the High Line.

Memorial Day Weekend

I hope everyone had a great (long) Memorial Day weekend!

On Thursday my aunt dropped off her dog Bubba to stay with us while she was out of town.

Bubba Visit

It was a little weird having a dog in the house after so many years of not having one. (Our dog Sabrina died a few years ago) Bubba was very scared at first, but he eventually warmed up to the place and then decided he was master of the house.

On Friday I worked my butt off to get as much done as I could before the weekend.

Empty Inbox

It’s nice starting a long weekend off with no emails! I could relax without worrying about all the stuff I had to do at work the following week.

I have summer hours on Fridays now (until Labor Day) so I get out at 1:00pm. I drove home and picked up Cheryl (who also gets out early) and we headed down to Philly. We thought there would be less traffic on the Turnpike, but we hit a lot of other people leaving work early before the long weekend. We still got down to Philly by 4:00pm.

Our friend Kierstin just moved to a different part of Philly so we went to see her new place. She is also conveniently right down the street from a little Mexican place called Taco Riendo. She insisted I needed to try this delicious corn they make.

Taco Riendo

The corn was AMAZING! I also got chicken tostadas, but forgot to ask for it not spicy. I took one bite and knew if I ate any more I would be sick later so I boxed it up. I am glad I know what my stomach problem is now, but it really sucks when you can’t eat delicious foods because of it.

Friday night I went to see a play with Matt at the Bristol Riverside Theatre. The theatre is right on the river. It was so pretty and of course I forgot to take a picture! The play was called An Enemy of the People. It was a good production, but the main character really just didn’t know when to quit!

The next day we headed downtown to Franklin Square.

Franklin Square

It was such a nice day out! Then we decided to take a walk across the Ben Franklin Bridge. I didn’t even know there was a walking path!

Ben Franklin Bridge

The path is really nice. There were a lot of other people out walking or running. The bridge takes you over to Camden, but we didn’t go that far.

Then we headed down to our friend’s house to celebrate Eric and Mary’s birthday! I seriously had a birthday celebration every weekend in May.

We hung out at their house and also outside. We drank, ate and played games. It was a good time. We left around 10:00pm, but I thought it was so much later! Day drinking really gets to me.

The next day Cheryl and I headed up to Stroudsburg with Kier, Eric and his friends from college. One of our college friends was also celebrating his birthday so we tagged along. It was a weekend of adventures!

Not Your Fathers Root Beer

If you have not tried Not Your Father’s Root Beer you need to ASAP! It is delicious! I want to make a root beer float out of it soon.

My friends house is near Shawnee Mountain. He has a lot of land and even an old chicken coop!

Chicken Coop

I really wanted to sneak inside, but they told me I really shouldn’t. I guess it really didn’t look the safest.

We stayed there until later that night just hanging out and drinking and playing games. Then they had a bonfire.

Bonfire

I am more of an early Spring/Fall bonfire enthusiast, but it was still great.

Then yesterday I did absolutely nothing all day! It was amazing to just relax after a crazy weekend.

I did finish House of Cards and now I am starting Mad Men.

Hope everyone has a great (short) week!

Summer Bucket List

Happy Memorial Day!

Every year I feel like Memorial Day is the kick-off to summer. I always have big dreams for summer. It is my favorite time of year and I am going non-stop. Then September rolls around and I think about all the things I wanted to do, but sadly didn’t.

This year (after a genius recommendation) I have decided to compile a list of all the fun summer activities I want to do between now and Labor Day! I am hoping I can look back on this post in September and check every single thing off my list!

Summer Bucket List

So here are my top 10 (in no particular order) ideas. I didn’t include anything I already have planned, like our cruise.

1. Rock Out at an Outdoor Concert
In 2012 I bought the Country MegaTicket for the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden. We had a concert almost every other week that summer and I think it burned me out! I haven’t really been to many concerts the past few years, but I need to make sure I get tickets to something this year! Stacey has the MegaTicket for PNC and there are a few stadium concerts coming up. I just need to decide on one and go!

2. Spend Some Time at a Fair/Festival
I love going to state fairs. I have been to quite a few, but unfortunately we aren’t going to Wisconsin this summer. I think I want to try and find a new state fair or even local fair or festival. Then I will play dumb games for prizes I don’t want and eat funnel cake!

3. Day at the Beach
I love the beach. Not the water (Jaws ruined me for life), but definitely sitting in the sun relaxing on the beach. I barely have gone the past few years, but I am making it a point to go this year!

4. Flea Market Finds
I don’t know what it is about flea markets, but I love them. I am not a fan of garage sales (no I don’t want your old shoes for $3), but make it seem “vintage” and I am all over it. I really want to go to the Brooklyn Flea one weekend and try out Smorgasburg. I even found a new flea market in Philly called the Franklin Flea!

5. I’m On A Boat!
Yes I know a cruise is technically being on a boat, but I mean a smaller boat. I want to go boating on a lake or an inlet or something. I hate open bodies of water so I won’t go in unless you make me (or get me drunk), but I do like flying along in a boat.

6. Swim in a Pool
For years I wanted to build a pool in our backyard, but my parents always said no. Since I hate the ocean my main go-to for cooling off in the summer is a pool. I know a few people will swimming pools. I just need to convince them to let me use it.

7. Go to a Baseball Game (and tailgate)
Over the years I have really started to love baseball. I like the atmosphere, the game and definitely the tailgates. I have been to a minor league game this year, but it wasn’t technically summer yet and we didn’t tailgate.

8. Watch a Movie Under the Stars at the Drive-In
If you have never been to a drive-in movie you are missing out. My favorite is the Warwick Drive-In. I didn’t go last summer at all so this year I need to go back.

9. Hiking Adventure
I love being outdoors in the summer and one of the best ways to explore is to go hiking. We have gone a few times in the Catskills, but maybe I will try somewhere new.

10. See Fireworks
I don’t know what it is about fireworks, but they fascinate me. I love the finale the best. I guess I just don’t understand how they are made so watching them is mesmerizing. I need to make sure I see a fireworks show this year! Preferably on the 4th of July.

Well that’s my list! I couldn’t include camping because we are already going in July, but I am definitely looking forward to that too! I am realizing that every activity I mentioned involves being outside. What better way to enjoy the weather!

What’s your favorite summer activity?

Project Life 2015 – Week 19

Last week was a great week because it was the first week of half day Fridays!

Project Life Page 44-45

Project Life Page 44

Project Life Page 45

Cheryl went to San Diego and I went to two different trade shows. On Tuesday I was at NYSCC (free cookies) and then had dinner in Philly. On Wednesday I was at LuxePack in NY. Two days away from the office was rough when I got back on Thursday. Luckily it was soon Friday and I got out at 1pm! That night we went to see Pitch Perfect 2 and then on Saturday we went to Stroudsburg to celebrate Lauren’s birthday! Finally on Sunday afternoon I got to relax in the hammock in the backyard for a little.

Happy Friday!

Running at Ramapo Reservation

Now that it is nice out, I try to run outside as much as possible. It’s not always the easiest endeavor though. I should run before work, but getting up early has been difficult lately. I have a second job some nights so after work is also tough. That usually leaves me with my lunch break.

I usually run along the main road that my gym is on. I change and walk out the door. It’s a nice road, but sometimes it can be frustrating with traffic lights and cars. Recently my coworker told me about a local reservation she thought I might enjoy running at. Last week I decided to check it out!

Ramapo Reservation

The area is the Ramapo Reservation. It’s about a 10 minute drive from my work, but it was worth it.

I changed at work and headed there around 1:00pm. It was pretty hot out so I made sure to put on sunscreen. Luckily most of the trail is shaded by trees.

01

I wasn’t really sure how far the distance was around the lake so I started my run right out of the parking lot.

There is a short trail and then you cross over a bridge.

Ramapo Reservation

On the other side is the lake. You can either go straight (left) or to the right. I chose to go straight since most people were walking in that direction.

Ramapo Reservation

The path is made of dirt and gravel, but it was firm enough to run on.

The whole path runs around the edge of a beautiful lake.

Ramapo Reservation

Of course the direction I chose to run had me go up a pretty steep hill.

Ramapo Reservation

The trail continued to the right, but you could keep going up the hill to hike if you wanted to. A lot of the area had hiking trails off the main trail round the lake.

Ramapo Reservation

I loved running through the trees and having a break from the sun. It is a really pretty path.

There were a bunch of people out walking (even a few coworkers), but not overwhelming.

Ramapo Reservation

There is a lot to look at when you are running. There is even a small creek/river on the opposite side of the lake!

The path around was a little less than a mile, which meant I had to run around the lake 3 times to get 3 miles in. I also had to do a little back and forth near the parking lot.

Ramapo Reservation

I really liked the area and the scenery while running. I probably can’t do 3 miles at lunch again though. Between the drive there and then back to my gym to shower I was late getting back to work. I will definitely try to go there even to walk if I have nothing to do at lunch. I can even bring a blanket there and read outside when it is nice.

I can’t wait to go back again!

You’re my Wonderwall

Friday officially started summer for me! I work for a publishing company and there seems to be some unwritten rule that in the publishing world you get half days on Fridays in the summer. Not sure why, but I don’t complain!

So on Friday at 1:00pm I walked ran out the door to freedom. What did I do with all this free time in the afternoon? I napped! After my nap I felt like I needed to do something so I went to crossfit and then ran outside. I can’t believe I napped away such a beautiful day! I can give myself the first week, but from now on I need to take advantage of my Friday freedom.

Friday night Cheryl, Kristen, Stacey and I went to see Pitch Perfect 2. They had an ad in the lobby for Jurassic World!

Jurassic World

I seriously cannot wait until June 12! I have it marked on my calendar.

Pitch Perfect 2 was aca-awesome! The plot wasn’t as good as the first movie, but it was very funny.

Saturday morning I went to crossfit again and then ran some errands with my mama. After Cheryl and I headed up to Stroudsburg to celebrate Lauren’s 30th birthday.

Laurens Birthday

She had the party at her parent’s house in the backyard. I saw some people I have not seen in a long time!

Pocono Duo

In college we loved heading to any bar where the Pocono Duo was playing. They are great musicians and very nice guys. Luckily they got them to play at her party!

Laurens Birthday

I think Lauren had a fun time celebrating!

Laurens Birthday

It made me a little nostalgic for my college years.

Pocono Duo

The duo played from 5-8 which was good because at almost exactly 8:00pm it started pouring! We helped them pack up and then we headed inside the garage to keep the party going.

Laurens Birthday

Later in the night we decided to head to the bars downtown. I had sadly accidentally eaten horseradish dip (which I thought was French Onion) so my tummy was not in the best of shape. I stopped drinking so I drove down and we met up with Matt and Diane. We hung out at the bar, danced and went a few other places. Eventually it was time to head home. Drinking all day takes it’s toll on you and I knew a few of my friends were definitely going to be hurting the next day!

The next day we went to Perkins for brunch and then headed home. I spent the rest of the afternoon napping in the hammock in the backyard.

Lazy Sunday

I really wish my weekends were longer. Luckily this upcoming weekend is Memorial Day so we get a 3 day weekend!

Project Life 2015 – Week 18

It has been hot, hot, hot out!

Project Life Page 42-43

Project Life Page 42

Project Life Page 43

I have been in the freelance zone this week! Cutting lots of programs, menus and place cards for a wedding. It’s also super hot out, but that hasn’t stopped me from running at lunch. I found a new spot, Ramapo Reservation, that is shady and around a lake! We pranked a coworker on friday (I videotaped his reaction Monday) and at night went to Morristown to celebrate Rory’s birthday. Beer, meatballs and pizza! Saturday morning we ran the Wes Point 10K. I had my fastest run time in quite a while. Then we went home and got ready for a day of fun in Hoboken at Aaron and Christine’s housewarming. I saw a bunch of people I haven’t seen in a while! Later we went to Pier 13 where there are food trucks and then after went to the beer garden. I spent Sunday at Philly’s Wizard World Comic Con with Matt and then got cheesesteaks for my mama for Mother’s Day (her wish is my command). All in all a great week!

Philadelphia Wizard World Comic Con

So last weekend I went down to Philadelphia to check out the Wizard World Comic Con.

Comic Con

I have always wanted to go to the San Diego Comic Con, but that is not happening any time soon. I figured with it so close by I might as well see what all the fuss is about!

Comic Con

The show itself was actually a lot larger than I thought it was going to be. It took up the entire convention center!

We started on the right side of the hall. It reminded me of all the trade shows I have to go to, but a lot more fun.

Comic Con

They had replicas of cars, but you had to pay to take pictures in them.

A lot of the booths on the right side of the hall were merchandise. They were selling comics (obviously), action figures, books, memorabilia and vintage toys. They also had some interesting booths to buy large ticket items like swords and light sabers. The price tags on some of the stuff was crazy!

There were also a decent amount of people cosplaying. I can’t believe I didn’t take any pictures!

I knew that you could pay to meet actors. It was one price for autographs and another for photos. Autographs were between $30 and $50 depending on the actor. Photos were between $40 and $100. Then they had VIP experience pricing for $200 or more!

I didn’t realize the actors were out on the show floor signing autographs. A lot of people had long lines (Stephen Amell from Arrow and Ben McKenzie from Gotham)

Comic Con

Then there were sad people like Penn Badgley who had no lines.

Comic Con

The one person I really tried to get a glimpse of was David Tennant. Sadly his booth was pulled really far back and his line was out of control!

Comic Con

After all the merchandise booths was the best part, the artist area.

I don’t read comics, but I am a graphic designer so I have an appreciation for art. The one thing I cannot do (that I really wish I could) is draw freehand. I can draw on a computer, but give me a pencil and it’s stick figures!

I didn’t buy anything, but I saw a few artists who’s work I was obsessed with!

Dave Perillo
He was my absolute favorite artist! I love when people can take something and make it unique. I almost bought a few things, but stopped myself thinking I could get stuff online. Sadly most of his stuff isn’t online so I will have to go to another Comic Con again! Aren’t the colors he uses amazing!?!

Dave Perillo Disney

Dave Perillo Firefly WhoAndrew Heath
Andrew and Dave’s work use the same general technique, but this stuff is a lot simpler.

Andrew Heath Who

Andrew Heath Minion Camera

Angela McKendrick
I saw a lot of this modern, simplistic pieces all over the show. I really like the boldness of the fonts and the illustrations.

Angela McKendrick GOT Firefly

I really enjoyed Comic Con and I can definitely see myself going again!

Have you ever been to Comic Con?