Sunday, August 31, 2014

Photo Dump

Happy Labor Day weekend!!!

I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend, taking advantage of all summer has to offer because after this everyone is back to school and it seems as though summer antics will slowly come to an end. I think that's crap by the way, summer has flown by as usual. I will say though this has been an awesome summer, we had last year in Estevan and the year before in Alaska.. I couldn't have been happier to be with friends and really get outside (I have an awesome tan by the way!) and just have fun! I hate to see all of that come to an end but it is inevitable.

So as you know we are home and soo happy to be here. Summer here is by no means coming to an end as it is a nice balmy 90 degrees today with 100% humidity or something crazy like that. Poor Jason is dying, you literally go outside and drip sweat! I don't really care, I have been loving sitting on the deck and the heat is a good excuse to drink beer.. and I found my Shipyard Pumpkin Head here which makes me super excited!!

Anyways I plan to enjoy every second but I wanted to stop in and photo dump my last week in pictures for you as I do plan on talking about our first year of home ownership tomorrow or Tuesday and getting on with all my other posts, so instead of pushing it all a day back I thought I would stop in today and share, then I am off to drink strawberry margaritas outside!

I took this picture from a magazine I was reading, I really need to try these! I have tried the raspberry ones I think and didn't care much for them but I love everything apple! 

Tanya and I spent a very hot Wednesday by the pool last week with trashy magazines and it was fantastic!! Oddly there was absolutely no one there most of the time so we swam and read magazines, then Lindsey and the girls came and we played with them.. it was a great day for most likely our last chance to swim. 

I don't shop at Aeropostale really but I saw this jacket the other day and was pretty in love, I think I need it and its 50% off.. I reminded Jason I have a birthday coming. ;)

Friday we all walked to Hoboken for the day. I got up super early with the intention of being exhausted that night to go to bed early for our 2am wake up all and let me tell you the day was beautiful!

We stopped at the park, which apparently had water....

The kids loved it, naturally.

This little miss wanted to get right in there.

Girlfriend makes her own rules!

My sidekick!

Grainy picture. We went to the Goodwin's on Friday night to give Myles his birthday gift before heading out of town, as his birthday is today ( HAPPY 3RD BIRTHDAY MYLES!!) and Jason wouldn't leave, I don't know who had more fun, him or Myles!

This is happening in Raleigh.. I kid you not! We actually bought some Christmas stuff, haha!

The Halloween stuff didn't even get as big of a display as Christmas!

WE FOUND MY BEER!!! I was sooooo excited to see this!!!

We went to the Mellow Mushroom for dinner last night.. TOO.GOOD!!!

Followed by beers on the deck.. I cant get enough of being out there. A million degrees or not. 

Tried these bad boys, I like it. 

Had Moe's for lunch today, without protest for Jason. I left the restaurant barely being able to walk I was so full but it was totally worth it. I could live in burritos!

We bought a new fall wreath for the front door and we absolutely love it! Thinking of painting the front door a different color though!

So that's my scoop.. my margarita is melting, so I have to run! I'll be back tomorrow! 


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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Without My Laptop..

Alright, I've been on a blogging roll and loving it! I have a list of posts I can't wait to write and today I had every intention of talking about our first year of home ownership as we have now officially owned our first home for a year, and guess what happens when I'm on a roll with things to talk about? My laptop craps out and I have a melt down!!

I couldn't hate our laptop anymore I swear as we have had it for two years and already had to replace the mother board and a bunch of other crap!! So sadly I had to take the piece of junk to Best Buy Wednesday morning in hopes they might get it back to me before we leave for home at 2:00am Saturday morning. FYI to expedite the process they want $100!!! Highway robbery! 

I'm hoping to pick it up before we got home so I can keep up around these parts while I'm there and not have to post from my phone as I am now because I hate that!!

So for now I will wish you all a safe and happy Labor Day weekend, enjoy the last bit of summer because the rest of it sure flew by! I'm not complaining about time flying because as I've said before I CANT WAIT for this job to end so we can go home but I have so thoroughly enjoyed this summer!!

I will keep you posted on the laptop and be around next week regardless!! 

Have a fabulous weekend! 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Book Review: Winners by Danielle Steel

My computer is acting extremely wonky so I am really hoping I can get this done without it kicking me out of deleting everything I have written! Wouldn't that be nice?

I have been doing a ton of reading lately, I go through bouts of reading book after book after book and then I wont read anything for a couple of weeks. I suppose part of my reading lately is that I didn't realize there were so many Danielle Steel books out that I haven't read and I love them so I figured why not. So bare with me this is the last Danielle Steel book review for awhile and then we will move on to others.

 So as I said I have been on a Danielle Steel book tear and I will say this one was a little bit different the what I am use to reading from her. If you would like to read an synopsis of the book you can do so HERE at, I can't promise that I won't give something away in my review so if you have not read the book and would like to do so I may suggest you stop reading and come back when you have finished. 

As I began this book I almost felt that there was so much tragedy and depression that I wasn't sure there was anything that could make my feelings of this book recover. I am a firm believer that we have to experience the bad in order to truly appreciate the good but this book took that a little far. I suppose in essence they are real life tragedies that people face everyday but reading them all at once left me a little overwhelmed to say the least. 

Due to the circumstances of the beginning of the novel your feelings for each character were almost fierce and the idea that they would change and develop throughout the read seemed extremely unlikely. However you felt the need to read and find out how the developments at the beginning of the book would affect their lives throughout. 

Its interesting how people deal with tragedy and unexpected life events, throughout my reading I almost wished I could have spoke to some (mostly one) of the characters and understand their point of view and unwillingness to adjust, find common ground and be reasonable. 

This book had many characters who were so involved that they all appeared to be main characters which I enjoy, I like being able to follow one main story but little side stories that make it all the more enticing! Most of the smaller stories that only tied into the major plot were heart warming, exciting and left me with a smile on my face, that in the face a tragedy good things happen, good things come that if even for a second makes you forget the bad and cherish the good. Sometimes in the thick of things its really hard to the positive possibilities. 

I really enjoyed this book start to finish, I have great admiration for Lily one of the main characters and her perseverance through a terrible situation. She fought, she fought hard and in such a short time she learned a lesson that some of us never learn, no matter what cards you are dealt in life, no matter how awful it is your job to play it out the best you can, find the good and cope with the bad. She never gave up and adapted her dreams before the accident to fit her new life. She set goals, she worked hard and accomplished things she may have never thought possible regardless of her circumstances. Nothing short of admirable. 

I will say the events that arose at the end of the book shocked me just a little, maybe I was oblivious to the build up or maybe I was too busy enthralled with the rest of the story but it was nice to end with a surprise, a good surprise. Although I suppose in a way it was a typical Danielle Steel happy ending, there was a little shock, a little twist and I appreciated it. 

So I am going to toss Danielle Steel aside for awhile and have already moved on to other books. Stay tuned for some more book reviews, by other authors but inevitably, down the road mostly likely some more Danielle Steel. 

I hope all is well with all of you, I know I haven't been updating much about life lately but truly there isn't much to talk about, therefore instead of just not posting at all I figured I would fill in with some other exciting stuff. I hope you are enjoying reading it as much as I am enjoying writing it. 

I have also noticed that I have some new followers recently and I just want to say thank you so much for stopping by, I am always excited for new readers and I really hope you'll stick around as I have a lot of great things planned for this place of mine! 

Hopefully you are all enjoying the last bit of summer, can you believe this upcoming weekend is Labor Day? Where did August go?

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Etsy Finds

I love Etsy but I go in spurts as to when I will sign on and actually look around. I always think that it would be the best place to find unique gifts but I generally leave my shopping so late that I either don't have the time to sit down and actually peruse to find the best, most appropriate gifts and then wait for shipping. I suck, I know. In my defense though I still manage to get pretty good gifts.

When I haven't been on Etsy for awhile I sign back on and instantly wonder why I haven't made the effort to be on there more. So this year I think I will utilize Etsy a little more and start my Christmas shopping early. In the meantime I thought I would stop by here and share some of my favorite Etsy finds as they might appeal to you as well .

1. Arrow Blouse

This beaut is from the feather4arrow shop and I am swooning over it! I am really into the arrow tee's as they seem to be appearing everywhere. This shirt is unique and looks super comfy to sport with jeans or even a cute pair of black sweat pants. I love summer, but as the end nears I am thinking of fall approaching and the outfits that will ensue and printed tee's will be making an appearance in my wardrobe without a doubt, maybe this one in particular. 

I am sure you see these all over Instagram, Etsy and Pinterest all the time but I have never seen the personalized ones and Swirl Studio Designs has upped its game! You all know how much I love North Carolina and representing it on my neck only seems right. I love these necklaces but truth be told finding one that doesn't look 'cheap' (sorry!!) is hard to do! This one however looks nothing of the sort which is probably why it runs you $55.00. You get what you pay for don't ya! Check them out, rep your state! 

I seriously need this bad boy in my life. Jason is a little more for the traditional adirondak chairs but I couldn't be more in love with this! The gentlemen who owns the 2DWoodcraft shop is a genius craftsman! These are original which makes me want them all the more, they are no less comfortable than a regular adirondak chair and they will hold my wine glass! You know whats also great.. Tanya is reading this right now thinking she needs one too. I kid you not we have been looking for chairs for our front porch and back deck, place your vote.. these are it right? If you guys take my side what choice will Jason have?

I own one clutch, its a travesty I know. I mean I have a lot of purses but not a lot of clutches so I was thinking if I was going to add to my pathetic "collection" if you even want to call it that than this is where I would start. First of all I am IN LOVE with the material, IN LOVE! Second of all its super adorable and classic all at the same time, you really cant beat that. This little beauty is pretty and would make me happy, what else do you need?

I actually think this is too nice to go outside and it would match the floors in our downstairs PERFECTLY! UniquePrimtiques shop has created a real gem here! We are always looking for unique pieces for the house and although I really don't have anywhere to put it I would really like to have it! You know how I feel about handmade things that tell a story and I am so grateful we have been able to find those kind of items for our home and I think this would be a great piece for anyone's home. I feel the bench is extremely reasonably priced and let me tell you that's based on a lot of bench shopping. Check out their shop!

I love this, it makes me sappy! Not only would I love to have this in my home because I love it but I think it would make a fantastic gift for a wedding or even an anniversary. When we think about the things we hang on our walls at home our first priority is that it represents us, although we don't have any trinkets really (we both hate clutter) we do have quite a few pictures of us around the house and I love that. Our pictures tell a story, our love story (mushy I know) and every time I go up or down the stairs I look at our wedding pictures, when I walk by the table behind the couch I see us in Hawaii, in our living room here we have a wedding picture and a picture of us from when we were first dating at a football game. If you had this hanging in your house your guests would know just a little more about your story. 

Listen JOD Clothing, you out did yourself but man do you want a lot of money for this baby. I really want this jacket, I have wanted a leather jacket for a really long time and if I wasn't cheap this would be the one that I would have. Finding the perfect leather jacket is hard, and you cant order one online because you absolutely have to try them and they are expensive. I wanted to go to Danier Leather at home because they have a great selection and an outlet near my parents house but I never made it there. I think I will watch and see if these guys ever have a 50% off sale. 

I don't like plants and no I don't grow herbs but if I did I think these are the cutest things ever, so because I don't I think they would also make a great gift. I don't even know how I came across the Spiffing Jewelry Shop but they have the cutest little things. I use a lot of herbs but I tend to just buy them and they are really crappy here to be honest so really what I should be doing is growing my own.. but I don't know if I dare, I cant say I have a green thumb, maybe these babies would be a good omen! 

So there are my recent Etsy finds! I highly recommend starting your Christmas shopping early and exploring all the wonderful shops Etsy offers! Sometimes receiving a unique thought out gift is the absolute best kind, why not be the giver of that gift! 

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Lists For Miles and Miles

I am terribly forgetful, beyond actually! I hate to admit it but if you know me well you are aware of this fact anyways. Sometimes I scare myself, like recently Jason went into the washroom not long after I was in there and was like.. "Ummm.. Nicole!" I went in to see what was going on and apparently I forgot to turn the water off after I washed my hands, I suppose this was a little drastic because I don't generally do things like that but most likely if you tell me something or ask me to do something and I don't write it down or do it right away I will not remember.. without a doubt. Last week we walked through the Hoboken train station and we go there at least once or twice a week and for the first time I noticed these big lit up screens with all the arrival and departure times, I don't know how I missed it all these times.

See here's the thing though, there is a good thing about being forgetful, things that I've already seen and done can be new again! HA! I'll often go somewhere and then go back and most often little parts seem familiar but overall its like going for the first time all over again. That is in part due to my bad sense of direction but mostly because I am extremely forgetful. I will go into the bedroom for lets just say, my watch and my purse.. odds are I will come out and have forgotten my watch, or my purse.

So naturally because it gets annoying for others around me I try to do whatever I can so that I will remember, lists, sticky notes, phone memos, emails, reminders set on my phone. Jason is really good about it, I can imagine it can get irritating when he asks me to lets say (because this happened recently) to charge the tablet, then he would get in bed the next night and go to use it and it was dead and he would look at me. Sadly it wouldn't have even crossed my mind but when he looked at me I remembered. I asked him to leave it out then next day thinking if I saw it I would remember to charge it, he didn't and therefore I didn't.. oops! After about a week of this, I kid you not.. he just charged it himself. I swear its not intentional.

I make such an effort that I generally have a million lists on the fridge and every morning I take out the ones that are relevant to my day. Sadly memo's on my phone don't really work because they just aren't in my face so writing things down works a lot better. I always have grocery lists on the go, one for each store I need to get things from so I can take it with me when I go. Currently I have these lists on the fridge:

  • Things to take back when we go home. 
  • Things to bring back to New Jersey when we leave the house. 
  • BJ's grocery list
  • Shop Rite grocery list
  • Target list
  • Songs to download
  • Books to read
  • Places to try in Hoboken (restaurants I walk by and think I would like to try)
  • Places to try in Jersey City (same as above)
  • Blog Ideas (I have a book dedicated to this but I have been trying to plan my posts for the week and therefore I go through my book and make a list of posts I plan for that week and cross them out of the book.)
Lots of lists right? But whatever works right!! The good thing about needing paper for reminders is all the fun little note pads and stuff I get to purchase and Jason wont object because naturally it benefits him too! So although I am not going back to school (sadly) I love this time of year because all the sticky notes and such are on sale. 

$3.99 at Target, 5 pads of sticky notes.. go and get em'! Who doesn't need sticky notes?

As I am looking at Target I am wondering why I don't save a tree and just buy a white board, good lord why have I never thought of that before?

These things are my holy grail! We buy the magnetic ones so they are always stuck to the fridge that way when I am going somewhere I can just grab my list and go, and that way they are on the fridge and in my face all the time making it a little harder to forget things. Plus then I can rip a sheet off, make a 'to do' list for the day and leave it on the counter to check off. Generally I work better with a to do list, one because then I at least remember what I need to do and I feel more motivated as I check things off! 

I use actual notebooks for the things I don't need daily, like songs to download on my iPod. I don't generally download songs daily or even weekly but I like to write songs down when I hear them so I don't forget when I want to put them on my iPod. I also tend to use Shazam a decent amount and every once in awhile will add the songs I have tagged on there to the list as well so they are all in one place when I go to download, otherwise I will forget haha! 

I keep one of these bad boys in my purse! No I am not kidding, I have to. When we take trips that are longer then a day or two I have to write things down each night if I at all plan on sharing what we did. When we went to Hawaii every night I would get in bed and write the date down and where we went and what we did, what we learned, etc when we came back from our trip and I sat down to blog I went back through my little notebook and that's how I did it. I go through a ton of these note books because when I'm out I don't have access to a sticky note, haha. 

My point in this is not for you to think I am a candidate for early onset dementia but that although you may be forgetful there are fun ways to stay organized and on task. Now is the time to get your fun forms of reminders while everything is on sale for back to school, stock up for your kids and for yourself! 

I'm going to Target this week (I go every week) but this week specifically for these goods!! 

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Book Review: A Perfect Life By Danielle Steel

Say what you want but I love Danielle Steel novels and have since I was a kid. Growing up both my parents were readers and so I too was always looking to get my hands on something and therefore started reading Danielle Steel at an early age. Most people would argue that her books have no substance and maybe that is true, but she has published almost 100 books so that has to say something right? They are not biographies or factual books but they are epic in their own right. Truth be told one of my all time favorite books ever is her book Lone Eagle, I've read it a million times and thinking about it now I want to read it again.

I look forward to Danielle Steel putting out new books, because let me tell you my Mom has them pre-ordered and ALWAYS shares! Can I just say although I prefer an actual book there are huge benefits to e-readers when it comes to distance, sharing books is so fantastic and cost efficient. I know that as soon as I get it I will start it and not be able to put it down, its how it always goes down. I don't know what it is about her writing style that sucks you right in and leaves you wondering what will happen next, so much so that you cant imagine putting it down. Jason says its a waste for me to buy them because I read them in one day or two at max.. oh the words of a non-reader!

As I have said I read a variety of books on a regular basis but hers are always something I can know I will love, breeze right through it and be happy with it when I am done.. I like that her books are reliable and always worthy of my time, without a doubt.

So should we dive into A Perfect Life?

If you are interested in reading this book you can view an synopsis HERE on or put it on your list of books to read. 

I will say this book was a little different than her usual writing style. Without giving anything away the beginning of the book begins in tragedy and you believe at that point those specific characters will have great relevance in the book and this tragedy is the beginning of the story line, that isn't exactly how the book plays out which I believe kept you wanting to read to find out who was going to lead the story line and how the grand opening played into their life.

Reading along certain parts of the story line came as a surprise, characters set a precedence as to who they would portray and as the book went on aspects of their lives were revealed that really changed your perception of who they would play through the book and almost of the purpose of their character was meant to teach you.

The novel is centered around the main character Blaise McCarthy, strong successful woman middle aged woman whose life is centered around her job as a prominent News Anchor who travels extensively for all the important worldly stories and interviews. Her life seems to have one face, career driven and nothing more... but as you read on aspects of Blaise's life are revealed that lead you to wonder why she has made the choices she has and how her life has ended up so one track and seemingly lonely.

You can guarantee a happy ending from Danielle Steel which you can call cliche but truthfully I appreciate it, although I love to read pretty much anything sometimes you want that happy ending. Maybe its a woman's prerogative but reading of hardships and real life tribulations being able to count on a happy ending is comforting. Danielle Steel novels provide that, comfort and reliability.

Each character in this novel is unique and carries a great relevance throughout, you find yourself somehow relating to them all in a different way and liking them, wishing them the best. I have to say being able to relate to a character, like them and be sad the book is over because you are attached to the character and want to know how their life plays out and a staple in a good book for me and Danielle Steel always delivers.

This book was fantastic, not what I would have necessarily expected when I read the title (and with her books I never read the synopsis prior to reading the book) and therefore I kept wanting to read more. I highly recommend this book, it was a little different then her usual style but none the less still a fantastic read!

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Canadian Restaurants I Miss

Sure nothing compares to southern BBQ other than Mexican burritos but sometimes I miss the restaurants I grew up with that aren't just around the corner anymore. Most often its a certain thing about each restaurant I miss and when we go for a visit I try to get to at least one of these restaurants to fix my cravings. You're curious now aren't you? If you don't live in Canada I suggest you just stop reading.. you don't want to not be able to have what I'm about to share when it looks sooooo good!

Consider yourself warned.

1. Swiss Chalet

What do I miss most about Swiss Chalet? Probably the chicken, maybe the hand cut fries, definitely the chalet sauce. I probably miss the gravy for the fries (you American's don't know what you are missing on the fries and gravy front), although it could be the chicken spring rolls. I pretty much miss it all, I absolutely love this place and so does my Mom so luckily I pretty much get here every single time I visit. If you are ever in Canada I highly recommend this place, they have a nutritional menu as well so you can healthy options which is always a plus, but trust me.. GET THE CHICKEN! Quarter chicken white. Enough said. 

That is what I miss... right there above, that picture that is making your mouth water.. THAT IS WHAT I MISS! Jack Astors Garlic pan bread, I would get mine with cheese because I mean go big or go home but I would take what I could get. That stuff is worth being fat for, it will change your life! This might just be my favorite Canadian restaurant, there isn't anything that I have tried that I don't love! The drinks are FANTASTIC, the food is always fresh and mouth watering. Try their hand battered chicken strips, pad thai, they are known for their burgers, try it all! I really want to go there, like now. 

I absolutely love Italian food, not just pizza but all of it. I feel like Italian food is comfort food, the restaurants are always so cozy and inviting. When we eat out Italian tends to be a go to if we aren't going out to watch a game. A glass of wine with warm breads and a fresh pasta dinner, does anything sound better than that? I really love Alice Fazooli's, the restaurants are always super nice, the food is delicious! I love their appetizers and that there is something for everyone on the menu, children included. This would be a top recommendation for a nice meal, give it a whirl.. you won't be sorry. 

What doesn't look good about that right? Montana's Cookhouse has a rustic feel and rustic good food, all the drinks come in mason jars and let me tell you they are GOOD! The food is reliable, you know every time you go there its going to taste good, if you've been there more than once most likely you know what you are getting before you even arrive. When we lived in Canada Jason and I ate out here quite a bit, they have a great bar and tons of TVs for game day but the dining room is a lot of fun and the staff are always friendly and quick about things! If you are looking for some good home cooking while on a trip to Canada or because you live there I would highly recommend Montana's! 

Never in my life have I had better Chinese food.. EVER! Its a little pricey but if you can really eat than I think its worth every penny, actually I think regardless the food is soooo darn good its worth every penny! The fresh fruit bar, extensive salad bar, Chinese food, American food, breads, seafood, desserts.. my mouths watering. When we were in Canada last summer I was dying for Mandarin, so we decided to order some but the one closest to my parents was under renovation so it didn't happen.. I was beyond disappointed! You honestly cannot beat this food, there is something for everyone without a doubt and the food is always fresh, it never sits out long because its gone or they replace it with hot fresh stuff. I cant say enough good things about this place, I would go back today just to eat here. Thinking about it this much next time we are in Canada I am absolutely going here. Period. 

Ha.. funny side story. Last time we actually went into a Mandarin restaurant was with my parents and Jason was sooo hung over from the night before. He spent most of the meal in the bathroom, and let me tell you Jason never misses out on a good buffet so you know he was sick. But I specifically remember he was basically laying on the front of the truck when we were leaving and ended asking my Dad to drive home because he just couldn't do it. HAHA! Good times!

OK this technically isn't a restaurant, I know this.. but none the less its a place in Canada to buy food that I miss so I included it anyways. Jason and I are addicted to Booster Juice, I can honestly say that we have never tried any of their actual food we only get the smoothies but they are sooo good! Me being the creature of habit I am I get the same thing every time.. the Pineapple Freeze I believe! It is seriously amazing, all fresh fruit, low fat yogurt and you can add boosters. If you are wondering what the heck a booster is let me explain, you can get vitamins, proteins, etc put into your smoothie! I get the 'Go Girl' booster.. because its a combination of all of the above. If you are looking for something tasty after a work out, or maybe a meal replacement on the go, this is your go to! They are often in gyms or close to them... how clever are they? They sadly don't have drive thru's but are worth the wait. Jamba Juice in the States sadly just doesn't compare. 

Who doesn't want some part of that picture above? I swear I know they have other food but I have only ever had their fries! Their amazing hand cut cooked in front of you french fries.. they are good enough to eat on your own but why would you when you can get them all dressed up? I am really not a lover of poutine but New York Fries poutine is in a league of their own and recently I have been told they have added pulled pork poutines to their repertoire! TO. DIE. FOR. If you are not sure what poutine is, top left. French fries with cheese curds (traditionally) and gravy.. gooey, cheesy, goodness! Stop reading and go, I won't hold it against you. 

Right there.. those potatoes wedges are why I love Boston Pizza so much! They put this awesome BBQ sauce on them and this white sauce that is similar to ranch.. AMAZING! I won't lie I once had a bad experience at Boston Pizza where they served cold pizza and a pitcher of flat beer.. totally unacceptable! But they have really awesome food and some of it totally innovative. The pizza burger (click link and see picture on the left) who clever is that? Their spicy perogy pizza, pulled pork pizza, the kung pow chicken pizza.. need I go on? The desserts are pretty good too! When we lived in Estevan this was basically the only restaurant there and therefore we went there a decent amount and tried a bunch of different things.. I would recommend their pasta as well. 

So that's it.. I am officially starving and craving all things I cant have, gotta love when that happens! If you are planning a trip to Canada I highly recommend trying one of these spots, I honestly don't think you would leave disappointed, if you live in Canada.. well lucky you! 

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Weekend Recap - Brantley Gilbert & NYC

Oh guys, I actually wrote this post on Sunday because basically I couldn't help myself! I was so good last week about having posts ready to go that I didn't both to just insert on Sunday but I had to write it then because I had the best Saturday and was still on a high Sunday.. what better time to tell you about it.

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE our weekends? I feel like every Monday rolls around lately and I am telling everyone that we had THE BEST WEEKEND EVER.. but they all are, in completely different ways. I am still in love with our weekend in Pennsylvania, kayaking and all but this weekend was completely different and equally as fantastic in a completely different way!

For years (since before we went to Alaska) I have loved Brantley Gilbert and basically worn his CD out, for the most part if I have been out in the truck alone Jason can bet when he gets in it the next time that will be what is on the radio so when Jason mentioned last week that he would be in town this weekend we jumped on the chance to go. God love Jason, he had to work 12 hours the next day but loves me and does things that make me happy got tickets knowing we would be out really late. I suppose he wanted to see him too but I swear if it wasn't for my dying to see him I doubt he would have went.. how lucky am I?

So we had a really lazy early Saturday morning and then Jason went to the gym while I laid around and read and got ready. We didn't head into New York until later on in the day, we caught the PATH station outside the apartment to 23rd Street and just decided to walk around. We have only been into the city once since we have been here and I know that seems weird seeings how when we lived there I loved it more than anything but now I honestly cant be bothered. Anyways we got into the city grabbed a Starbucks and toured around for awhile before heading to Blue Smoke for lunch. The guys at work had raved to Jason about this place being the best BBQ and I'm not going to lie I was skeptical but thought we would try it anyways. Let me tell you I think those guys have been in South America too long because honestly it sucked!! Maybe the other location is better, we went to the one on East 27th Street in the Flatiron district and it wasn't good, the portions were SO SMALL and it was WAY over priced, but I expect that in the city. My pulled pork was dry and had no smoke flavor at all, I felt like fries for a change and only 5 came.. I kid you not. Jason said his sandwich wasn't bad but for 2 sandwiches with barely a side and a beer each I almost died when the check came.. I miss the south, oh how I miss the south. I was honestly disappointed that we had wasted out lunch outing on that place.. because it truly was a waste.

However they did have cool coasters, that's something right?

So we left there ready to tour around before heading to the Pier for the concert.

The Flatiron Building. 

Art work in Bryant Park. 

The Empire State Building. 

This guy was at Rockefeller Center put on my Jeff Koons referred to as the Split Rock. Jeff Koons also has an exhibit opening at the Whitney Museum of American Art. This piece is over 37 feet high and has over 50,000 flower plantings, it has previously been on display in Paris as well as Maryland. It was really beautiful and naturally getting lots of attention from tourist. 

Believe it or not the entire time we lived in New York I never got one picture of this sign that I can remember. Its nearly impossible to get a picture without someone posing with it, there was a line up of people waiting which I didn't care to do, so you got this girl! 

After touring around the city we had some time to kill before we needed to get in line for the concert, the city was super busy with some kind of cultural fair going on, I mean busier than usual so we were anxious to find a quiet spot. What are the odds that the first place we would land on would be PJ Clarks! This is one place in the city I actually LOVED and had really wanted to go back to if we had the chance, so I was glad we stumbled upon it. We weren't thrilled with the $9.00 beers (quite a jump from the $3.00 ones we get at home) so we had one and made our way down to the pier. 

The concert was all general admission and for some reason when we arrived I wasn't expecting a line but there was one, we still managed to get an AMAZING spot though. We waited in line for 45 minutes to an hour and then went in. Beers were even more expensive there, $13.00 a pop so I opted out but Jason later found $16.00 on the ground so got one.. haha! 

We met some people in the crowd who were up from Georgia and chatted with them, no one was really away whether or not there would be an opening act as it didn't say when we purchased the tickets. Turns out there was and her name was Sonia Leigh! I had never heard of her before but apparently she is something to see down in Nashville. I thought she was really great, her band was fun and she had a really raspy voice that reminded me a lot of Janis Joplin. If you get a chance check her out on iTunes or Youtube, her song 'Put it in your pocket' is really good. 

Sonia Leigh

Seriously perfect night.

After her it was time.. it was time for BRANTLEY GILBERT!! Seriously I was so excited, I was excited to see him to begin with but then we were so close to the stage and it was a GORGEOUS night that I was practically over the moon before he even came out! Guys I am warning your right now, I am going to over share pictures.. I took like 300, I couldn't help myself I knew they wouldn't all come out anyways. 

We go to a decent amount of concerts and honestly as much as you may like someone it doesn't mean they are going to be all that great live, some just aren't, you get a bad seat, sound sucks, venue sucks.. you never know! Jason had read that the sound at BG concerts weren't always that great but let me tell you whoever said that was so wrong! He put on an awesome show, his band was absolutely amazing.. we had a blast!! 

The crowd here was super interesting, I didn't really know what to expect because he is country with a rock edge which can draw a variety. The crowd beside us was young and from Virginia they smoked pot and spit on each other (far enough away that I didn't want to yell at them but close enough them I could see what was going on), the group on the other side of us was older ladies in shirts that said "workin, spittin, huntin' & fishin... stone cold country but the grace of god" haha song lyrics, did I mention the shirts were camo? Then the group a little ways behind us were all significantly older, extremely intoxicated and yelling the F word while asking everyone around them to join them in selfies which they proceeded to take with a disposable camera! HA! There were a lot of people are age as well, a ton of single women as BG is single and well nice to look at! 

Sorry for the grainy iPhone pictures but I truly think in this case something is better than nothing. 

This guy with him was AMAZING! He put on an awesome show as well!

I hated to see the show end but due to people complaining about noise from the Pier concerts everything has to be shut down by 10pm.. SUCKS! Getting out of there wasn't bad, there were only 6,000 people there which is a lot but not really if you consider how much more a lot of venues can hold. We headed out of there and straight for a pizza place as we hadn't eaten anything since lunch and Jason was about ready to faint! The good thing about NYC is there is pizza joints on every corner so we found the first one and grabbed a slice (or in Jason's case two slices a pop and a cannoli). After that we headed to the subway at 57th & 7th... it was too late to hit up Argo tea but man do I love that place! We switched to a PATH train at 33rd St. which I get you have to take a different train back to New Jersey but the fact that you have to pay again is crap! (Oh and did I mention the first time we went into the city we got new Metro cards and put $20.00 on each, I used my to go there and back and haven't used it since and now it wont work?) So we got on the PATH train which on the weekend is extra long because it goes through Hoboken (pain in the ass) by the time we got home we were tired and poor Jason's feet were so sore. He had a super busy and long week at work where he spends most of his time on his feet and then we walked around the city all day and stood for the entire concert and then all the way back! 

Jason was up and out before 6:00am Sunday morning which I felt really bad about but honestly I think he thinks it was worth it! He agreed that the concert was AWESOME! 

If you get the chance get tickets and see Brantley Gilbert, he is AWESOME and like I said.. nice to look at! 

I hope you all had a great weekend, I certainly did! 

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