Best Day EVER!!

So one week ago today was my 31st birthday aka the BEST DAY EVER.

Now you are probably wondering why I was so excited about turning 31. Well I wasn’t so much excited about that as I was about meeting my favorite singer Andrew McMahon!

Cheryl had found tickets for the Jack’s Mannequin reunion show on our birthday, so obviously we had to go. Then 2 weeks before on Instagram they announced a meet and greet. WHAT!!

Jack's Mannequin

We got there earlier than we needed to, but I was ok with that. Luckily it was warmer out.

The meet and greet started later than we thought, but it was worth it. We got to go watch sound check first.

Jack's Mannequin

I have never had a seat so close!

Jack's Mannequin

Then after sound check we got to meet Andrew and get pictures.

Jack's Mannequin

While waiting in line I realized I have been listening to Andrew (and all this bands) for 15 years!!

Jack's Mannequin

BEST DAY EVER!!

After the meet and greet we got food and then waited for the show. We had gotten VIP tickets for the show which means we had a separate section upstairs.

Jack's Mannequin

I am so glad we did. The pit was PACKED!

Jack's Mannequin

They played the whole Everything in Transit album. I was rocking out to every single song :) It was an awesome show.

Andrew even crowd surfed!

Jack's Mannequin

I am so glad we shelled out the additional money. It was definitely worth it on my birthday. I also still cannot believe I got to meet Andrew!

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It’s Turkey Lurkey Time

This past week was a short one because of Thanksgiving. We got out of work a little early, but that did not change all the traffic on the roads.

Turkey Weekend

For the past few years we have done a Friendsgiving where we have Turducken. I got to Ray’s house around 7. We didn’t eat until around 9:00 because the bird was taking a long time. As always, though, the food was delicious.

Turkey Weekend

A few of our friends have kids and their pack and play just looked so comfy after eating all that turkey.

Turkey Weekend

On Thanksgiving we helped our mom make food and then my aunt and uncle came over. We didn’t have too much food so we wouldn’t overeat, but I always do. After we ate Cheryl and I went for a run.

Cheryl convinced me to do the Runners World Run Streak. You have to run at least one mile a day, every day, from Thanksgiving to New Years. Running after dinner was not the best idea, but we did a mile.

On Friday we decided to skip Black Friday shopping. I have been working on keeping myself to a budget. Instead we helped our mom with yard work (leaves galore) and then we put up outdoor Christmas decorations since it was so nice. After that we went to our cousins house to see the new baby. Then we met up with Cindy, Ralph and Marissa for dinner.

The day didn’t even end there!

After dinner we went to Exit Strategy. It’s one of those escape from the room places. My friends have been doing a bunch of them and we wanted to try it.

Turkey Weekend

We won! It was nerve-wracking, but a lot of fun.

On Saturday we went to the last Rutgers tailgate.

Turkey Weekend

It was actually pretty warm out, but eventually started raining.

Turkey Weekend

We went to the game until half time. When we left Rutgers was winning, but they eventually lost :(

We left the game early because Mark, Jill, Cheryl and myself drove back to Philly for a concert.

Turkey Weekend

We went to see Andrew McMahon at The Fillmore. The venue was awesome. We went upstairs to the balcony section (and the bar) and got great standing area spots.

Turkey Weekend

Turkey Weekend

Andrew is my all-time favorite artist. He is always amazing in concert. I started listening to him when he was the lead singer of Something Corporate, then he started a new band called Jack’s Mannequin and now he is a solo artist.

Turkey Weekend

My life goal is to meet him one day.

Turkey Weekend

After the show we went to Bottle Bar and then headed home.

On Sunday we got up, hungover, and ran 3 miles. Then we went to lunch at The Blue Duck.

All in all a great weekend!

Now it’s Monday :( Try to pull through everyone!

This is Halloween!

Halloween is always a fun night. Some years I go all out on my costume and some years I sit at home and hand out candy.

This year for work we all decided to choose our favorite Pandora station and dress up like that.

Work Halloween Pandora

I went with Classic Country. I think everyone looked amazing!! I love how my new office goes all out on being creative.

Originally I wasn’t going to dress up for Halloween night, but then we decided to go out so Cheryl and I threw together a quick, but fun costume.

Cheryl thought it would be fun to go as Joy and Sadness from Inside Out.

Joy and Sadness

I realized a lot of people haven’t seen the movie! It comes out today so go get a copy. Even for last minute I think our comes came out great.

My friends Mark and Jill went as Carl and Ellie from Up!

Carl and Ellie

Umm they are the cutest!

My friend Eric went as David Bryne in the big suit. I never saw the movie, but the suit was awesome.

David Byrne Big Suit

And Kier went as a gumball machine.

Gumball Machine

We went to a house party and then to some local bars in Fishtown. I was surprised at how not many people were out. It was still a really fun night.

Joy and Sadness

I had to drag Cheryl from bar to bar haha.

I hope everyone had a great Halloween!

Monday Movie Night at The Trocadero

The past few weeks have been a little hectic.

I am trying to balance my new work hours of 9-6 with a social life in my new city. I have also been trying to keep busy after work. I never usually go out during the week, but I want to try and do things in the summer since the weather is nice.

Eric told us about movie night at the Trocadero in Chinatown. This week’s movie was Jaws and I thought it would be fitting since we are going to the beach this weekend and I don’t go in the water because of Jaws.

I went with Kier and Karen. I went straight from work and we met for dinner at Jones first.

After dinner we headed to the theatre. It is more of a concert venue, but the balcony has stadium seating.

The movie is only $3! The $3 goes towards your first drink and you also get a raffle ticket.

Trocadero Movie Night - Jaws

I am pretty sure this was the first time I saw Jaws on a movie screen!

I think it would be a good movie to do at a pool. Put up a giant screen and watch it in tubes in a pool. How fun!?!

Trocadero Movie Night - Jaws

After the movie they have bar quiz (10 questions) with prizes. Then they have a raffle drawing for more prizes!

It was a lot of fun. I like that they have a different movie every Monday and you can’t beat the price!

I think the next one we are going to see is Kingpin in August, but you can see the full list here.

Mumford & Sons – Gentlemen of the Road Tour

This past weekend, on a whim, my friends and I decided to get tickets to see Mumford & Sons when they stopped in Seaside Heights on their Gentlemen of the Road tour.

Mumford & Sons

Our original plan was to just listen to the show (which was on the beach) from the street. The tickets were originally $180 for the 3 day concert series which is pretty pricey. Luckily we went on StubHub that afternoon and snagged $60 tickets for the final day!

Mumford & Sons

The “tickets” were actually RFID wristbands which were pretty cool. We picked them up from the StubHub tent at a local bar and then headed to the boardwalk.

Mumford & Sons

They closed down the boardwalk area for about 8 blocks. Only people with tickets could get onto the boardwalk which was packed!

Luckily Jill’s brother had gotten to the beach earlier in the day and snagged an area near the stage.

Mumford & Sons

When we got there Jenny Lewis was playing.

Mumford & Sons

You could watch the concert from the beach or the boardwalk. It was pretty much a sea of people.

Mumford & Sons

Leaving to go to the bathroom or get beer was pretty much impossible. We toughed it out and I left a few times and had to push my way back.

Mumford & Sons

Next up was The Flaming Lips. I had heard some of their music before, but I didn’t realize how eccentric the band was. The lead singer had a mylar balloon cape (which made it’s way into the crowd), confetti cannons and at one point rolled into the crowd in a plastic bubble.

Mumford & Sons

Soon the sun went down and it was time for Mumford & Sons!

I was a little nervous they were going to play mainly their new album. The album isn’t bad, it’s just a different sound then they used to have. All their old stuff has a banjo and is very upbeat (for the most part). Their new album has some upbeat rock songs, but it’s a lot slower.

Mumford & Sons

The beach and boardwalk were PACKED!

Mumford & Sons

They started with some new songs, but eventually kept playing most of their older (banjo) stuff. The crowd went crazy every time an old song came on. It was surprising how many people didn’t know their new stuff.

Mumford & Sons

We had heard earlier in the day a rumor that Bruce Springsteen might be there. Well he wasn’t, but the last song Mumford brought out all the opening acts and they played Atlantic City so that is probably where the rumor came from.

The show itself was amazing. I am so glad we decided to get tickets because if I had only been listening from afar I wouldn’t have had the amazing experience.

I really hope the next album they put out has a mixture of their old and new sound. It was clear how most people loved their older stuff more than the newer stuff. I think they have a unique sound and I was sad they tried to steer away from it.

Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg

On Sunday I finally went to the Brooklyn Flea.

Brooklyn Flea

The flea is every Saturday and Sunday in Brooklyn. On Saturday it is located at For Green (176 Lafayette Avenue) and Sunday it is in Williamsburg (50 Kent Avenue).

Brooklyn Flea

I have to say I was pretty disappointed.

The website says there 100 vendors and 30 food vendors, but I think there were maybe 50 vendors total. I am not sure if it was because they called for rain, but I was hoping there would be more variety.

Brooklyn Flea

A lot of the flea was used items like furniture. I even found someone selling old Disney pins!

Brooklyn Flea

My favorite thing is vintage or rustic furniture, but the prices were so expensive!

Brooklyn Flea

A lot of booths really just had old crap. Toys, buttons, bottle caps. I understand that a lot of people are into that kind of stuff, but I was hoping for more hand crafted items.

Brooklyn Flea

There were also A LOT of records on sale.

Brooklyn Flea

Majority of the booths had vintage clothing. A lot of it was really great. Reminded me of Mad Men (which I am currently obsessed with) but it’s hard to buy old clothing without being able to try it on. It was also pretty pricey.

Smorgasburg

After we left the flea (we were there about an hour) we decided to head to Smorgasburg. It is also Saturday (in Queens and Williamsburg) and Sunday (at Brooklyn Bridge Park).

Smorgasburg

Smorgasburg was packed and had a ton of food vendors!

Smorgasburg

We decided to take a lap and see what kind of stuff they had. It was super hot out at this point. I was expecting rain so I wasn’t really dressed properly.

Smorgasburg

As we were walking we found a place with Mexican corn! Since Taco Riendo I have been craving it so we had to get some.

Smorgasburg

We decided to share stuff so we could try more. Next we got pesto garlic beer battered cheese curds. The dipping sauce was amazing!

Smorgasburg

After we decided to all get our own lunch. My mom got a gyro, Cheryl got a chicken burger and I got the most amazing chicken dog at Asiadog. I got the Wangding and I contemplated getting a second one it was so good.

Smorgasburg

At this point I was dripping with sweat (TMI sorry) and needed something to cool down. I saw Alchemy Creamery and decided to get a salted peanut butter push pop. It was tasty, but melted really fast.

Smorgasburg

Then we all shared some garlic pesto aioli fries from Home Frite. The dipping sauce was awesome!

We couldn’t take the heat any longer. We went and sat by the pier for a little and then decided to head home. We were stuffed!

Smorgasburg

As soon as we got into the car it started pouring! So glad we left when we did!

I will definitely be back at Smorgasburg. The food was amazing, there was a lot of variety and the prices were really reasonable (averaging $5).

If you are ever in Brooklyn on a weekend definitely check these places out. Take a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge too!

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?

If/Then Musical Review

I love Broadway. I have been a fan of musicals since high school when I was in stage crew. I was never one to think I could be on stage, but the behind the scenes aspect was always captivating to me. I also give a lot of credit to actors who can sing and dance day after day for audiences.

My favorite show is Rent. I saw it multiple times on Broadway and just fell in love with the story (especially the back story of Jonathan Larson) and the actors themselves. Most of the actors in the original show have gone on to be famous on the stage as well as on the screen. One such actress was Idina Menzel. You might know her now from a little movie she did called Frozen.

Last year a new musical debuted on Broadway called If/Then starring Idina Menzel. My favorite Rent alum, Anthony Rapp, was also in the cast. At the time ticket prices were a little insane so I didn’t really think to go see it.

A few weeks ago my friend Erin sent me a coupon code for tickets since the show was closing. She wanted to see it so we made a date for Sunday, March 8th.

If Then Attempt 1

We had been in Philly on Saturday so we picked Erin up and drove her back with us. We drove into the city for the show and parked near the theatre. As we were walking to the theatre we saw a huge line of people, which is not uncommon. What we were hearing was uncommon. We heard a lot of yelling and angry voices. When we got to the theatre we were told that Idina was sick and would not be performing. Seeing as she was the only reason we wanted to see the show we were bummed.

If Then Line

When a specific actor is on a marquee you have the option to change your tickets if they are not at a performance. We waited on the very long line to see what other dates they had available.

Luckily they had seats near our original ones on the following Sunday. We took those and then wandered around the city for a little before heading home.

The following Sunday we met Erin in Secaucus and took the train into the city. We walked anxiously to the theatre, hoping Idina would be there.

If Then

She was! Happy faces!

Cheryl and I were also ecstatic to know that Anthony Rapp was still in the cast. For some reason I thought he had left, but he was there!

The show was absolutely amazing! It really made me sit and think about all the choices I have made in my life and what would be different had I chosen something else.

Synopsis
The story is about a 38-year-old woman named Elizabeth (Idina Menzel) who moves back to New York City after getting divorced. She meets up with an old college friend, Lucas (Anthony Rapp) and a new friend from her building, Kate (LaChanze) in Madison Square Park. Kate suggests she start calling herself “Liz” while Lucas suggests “Beth”. Both of them ask her to go with them. Kate wants Liz to stay in the park and watch a musician. Lucas wants Beth to go with him to a rally. Elizabeth has to choose what to do and that choice changes her life in many ways.

From this point the rest of the show is broken into two story lines.

Liz
She stayed in the park to watch a musician. She misses a phone call over the noise and also runs into a returned Army doctor Josh (James Snyder). She brushes him off, but later sees him again on the subway. Even though Kate tells her it’s fate she disregards him until she meets him one last time back in the park. Liz gets in touch with an old friend who had a position for her, but it was filled. He suggests she get a teaching job. Josh introduces Lucas to a friend David and they become a couple. Liz gets pregnant and her and Josh get married. They have two sons and then Josh is sent overseas (after deferring for a tour) and is killed. Liz  relies heavily on Kate and Lucas after to help her through the sadness. Lucas and David eventually adopt a son and in the end Stephen approaches Kate to work for City Planning….

Beth
She goes with Lucas to a rally. On the way she gets a phone call from Stephen. He offers her a job with City Planning. She gets the job and starts working closely with Stephen (who is married). She winds up kissing Stephen, but he rejects her because of his family. She winds up sleeping with Lucas and getting pregnant. She doesn’t tell Lucas until after she has an abortion. Because of that her and Lucas do not talk for two years. Beth becomes consumed by her work and rises to the top of her company. Stephen, who is now divorced, asks Beth to take a position in the state government. She turns him down. Later she meets Kate and Lucas for coffee in the park and is approached by Josh who has just returned from him third tour of duty….

The entire show really makes you step back and take a look at your life. What if I had gone to a different college, or accepted a different job. Your life could be completely different than it is now.

The music from the show is amazing and I was so fortunate to see it with Idina Menzel and Anthony Rapp. The show itself was pretty hysterical. There were a few “problems” that sent the cast into fits of laughter and an incident with a yellow bench that had me almost crying I was laughing so hard. It’s nice to see people on stage that can just go with the flow and not let issues take the whole performance down. The entire cast was amazing.

I would recommend anyone who is interested to see it if it comes through your area!

Do you wonder “what if”?

Aladdin on Broadway

“You ain’t never had a friend like me.”

So a few weeks ago I finally saw Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway.

Genie

I have been wanting to see the show since I saw them perform at the Tony’s. The actor who plays the genie (James Monroe Iglehart) was amazing and won a Tony award for his performance.

We tried for a few months to coordinate schedules with my family. I finally just picked a date and hoped everyone could make it.

We went on a Wednesday evening performance.

I picked up my mom and aunt and drove into New York. I would usually take the train or bus, but the weather has been so crazy lately who knew how long it would take.

Aladdin on Broadway

Since Cheryl works in the city, she met us in Times Square.

We decided to get dinner near the theater. Cheryl found a place online called the Hourglass Tavern.

Aladdin on Broadway

It’s a relatively small place, but the food was AMAZING. Their house dressing I wanted to lick off the plate.

After dinner we headed to the theater.

Aladdin on Broadway

We got there a little before the doors opened. Usually there is a line outside, but they let everyone wait in the lobby which was great since it was cold out.

We got tickets in the orchestra and they were perfect.

When I sat down I opened my Playbill to see the saddest sight ever. The genie in that night’s performance was the understudy :( I was super bummed since he was the reason I wanted to see the show, but it’s Broadway and they rarely have horrible performers.

Aladdin on Broadway

Since we were there early I got some wine. It came in my very own Aladdin sippy cup!

Aladdin on Broadway

The show itself was amazing. The actor that played Jafar in the Disney movie (Jonathan Freeman) is Jafar on Broadway! I suggest seeing it soon while he is in it. It’s so cool!

The actor that played the genie was excellent. For someone to be able to dance and sing for A Friend Like Me was unbelievable.

The story line was a little different. Instead of Abu and Raja, both Aladdin and Jasmine have a trio of friends. I found out later that in the original story they were supposed to have friends, but it was later cut from the movie.

All the actors were amazing. The only person I wasn’t impressed with was the actress playing Jasmine. She sounded too much like a “Valley Girl” when she talked. Let’s be honest though, I could NEVER do what she does, so she was still amazing.

If you want to see a great version of a Disney classic, go see Aladdin on Broadway soon!

Have you seen Aladdin?

This Night’s A Perfect Shade of Dark Blue

So last Friday after work I headed up to Stroudsburg, PA (my college town) with some friends to see my favorite singer Andrew McMahon.

Andrew was the lead singer of Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin and is now on the road as a solo artist.

We got to Stroudsburg around 7pm and headed to my favorite bar Flood’s for dinner and drinks. The show started at 8pm, but there were two opening acts so we didn’t rush.

Andrew McMahon Concert

Andrew McMahon Concert

The concert was at the Sherman Theater. It’s a nice venue and I was surprised to see they had seats out (removable ones) and there were a lot of people sitting down.

Andrew McMahon Concert

We even relaxed for a little bit before Andrew came on.

It was crowded, but not at the same time, which was nice. We found a nice spot down near the stage, but I didn’t feel like I was being squished. Andrew came on and was flawless. I seriously love his ability to rock out on a piano.

Andrew McMahon Concert

He did a lot of songs from his new solo album In The Wilderness, but also a bunch of stuff from Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin which made me so happy.

At one point he even jumped down into the crowd to sing and dance. That turned into chaos. I tried to get close to him, but I am short and I couldn’t get anywhere near him.

Andrew McMahon Concert

Andrew is an amazing performer. He just loves to perform and makes you love it too. Back in the days of Something Corporate he would always stand on his piano and even though he is using a different one now he ended the show perfectly.

Andrew McMahon Concert

I hope he comes back around to the area soon! My goal is still to meet him one day. A girl can dream!