Getting back to the swing of things

It has been quite some time since I’ve written. 2020 was a mess and motivation is hard to come by these days (especially since it’s taken till April to write this lol) but I’m trying to move past it and so it’s 2020 recap time to cleanse my soul.

Last year, I started January the right way, as queen! I’m half French but this was the first year I celebrated the beginning of the new year with a la galette des rois (king cake). My family never made it a tradition in my household. The dessert is served to celebrate Epiphany (or Three Kings Day). The cake is usually a puff pastry tart and has a single charm hidden inside. The person who finds the trinket becomes king or queen for the day. Here I am proudly showing my trinket and crown.
February was filled with celebrations including my husband’s birthday and my mom’s birthday. For my husband’s birthday we ended up renting a house for a few days in the Poconos. It was a lot of fun. My parents and his parents were all about the local casinos. We enjoyed Kalahari (an indoor waterpark for kids) and went sledding. My mom is a leap year baby so every time we have a leap year I feel like I have to do something for her. I held a little birthday party for her at a Greek restaurant in Astoria called Akrotiri Seafood Tavern. They have amazing seafood and good food in general!
March is when the year turned into sh$t and Covid happened. My last meal before lockdown officially started was at Sugar Freak in Astoria. I got my drink and food on but didn’t know at the time that it would be my last restaurant experience for awhile.
Despite Covid, in April, I got to enjoy cherry blossom season. To get out of the house for awhile I would walk around my neighborhood and enjoy the local cherry blossoms. The Brooklyn Botanical Garden also did a virtual tour of their cherry blossoms so I got to watch and enjoy the lovely view from home.
I have to say last year people got really creative with ways to see each other and experience things virtually. In May, a group of my girlfriends got together to celebrate two birthdays via Zoom. We had a tarot reading experience. Each of us was able to get a reading, it was very interesting!

In June, my husband and I started a little herb garden. We started a little late in the year and a couple of months later all the herbs died but it was a fun experience.

In July, we went camping! We found an amazing abandoned zoo campsite in upstate New York through Tentrr and stayed for a few nights. I wouldn’t normally recommend camping while pregnant but our Tentrr campsite was amazing. It included all the necessary camping equipment, including a canvas tent and bed. A few highlights of the trip was actually exploring the abandoned zoo and enjoying Haines Falls (which is pictured above). The waterfall was really beautiful and has two individual sections you can enjoy. The hike to the waterfall is not bad either but there are a lot of stairs to climb and that was not fun while pregnant.
I ended August enjoying the Queens Drive-in movie theater located in the parking lot of the New York Hall of Science. I watched 2001: A Space Odyssey. The movie was a bit weird but the overall experience was pretty cool. The best part was the food vendors you can order from and it wasn’t the normal movie theater snacks, it was more like real dinner food.
In September, I made the best decision of my life. I bought crawfish from Louisiana Crawfish Co. I was in the mood for crawfish so I did a quick Google search and found this company. They sell a variety of seafood goodies!
I did all the fun fall activities in October. The top two pictures are from Terhune Orchards. I met up with my two cousins and their significant others. This was the first time we got to hang out given the pandemic. The orchard had a beautiful sunflower patch, a cute corn maze we enjoyed and most importantly a wine tasting area. I clearly enjoyed the mocktails. We originally went to this place to go apple picking but that section closed earlier than expected. At least I was able to get some apple donuts. The bottom two pictures are from the Queens County Farm. They had an amazing corn maze! It was quite impressive, it was shaped to Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and had an interactive game element that I loved.
November was a blur but one of my favorite moments was my baby shower. I planned it myself and since it was virtual I wanted to include as many people as possible. I ended up hosting a family version and a friend version. I shared all the ultrasound pictures I had, asked everyone to make guesses and predictions, and we played virtual bingo. I sent custom designed oreo cookies to prize winners. It was a good time!
In December, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. It’s been a hard year and at this time my dad was in the hospital for a hip fracture and caught Covid. My mom was in quarantine for visiting my dad but given all that, my husband and I had a lot to celebrate this holiday season. We really kept it simple this year. Just us, no tree, hardly any gifts, we just cherished our new baby girl.

I have many plans for 2021. I’m excited to see what I can make happen.

Goodbye 2019

I’m not going to lie, 2019 was a rough year for me personally and professionally but I had some really great moments with the people I care about. So here is my year in review…

January was a tough month for me but Andrew and I were still able to have a kick ass date night at Secret Summer’s Aquarius party. Here I am with the naughty wolves.

In February, Andrew and I decided to get away from NY for Valentine’s Day and his birthday and headed to The French Manor Inn and Spa in the Poconos.

Early March, I celebrated my Mom’s birthday at one of our favorite restaurants London Lennies.

Enjoyed Cherry Blossom season in DC with my friends Dawn and Christie in April.

Kicked off the summer season with my girls at Jones Beach for Memorial Day Weekend. Got the weirdest tan which I still have till this day.

Andrew and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary in June. We enjoyed a beautiful boat cruise and then a few days later had dinner at our wedding venue. Here is Andrew messing around on the boat cruise.

Got to enjoy my family’s beach house in Shirley Long Island in July. I don’t go there enough. It was beautiful and peaceful.

I’ve been pretty obsessed with trying to hit all 50 states lately. After working on a small puzzle of the US for a team building exercise in August, I bought a bigger one and plotted my next adventure.

My next adventure turned out to be a road trip in South Dakota and Minnesota in September! Here is a picture of us in the Badlands.

October is a very important month because it’s BIRTHDAY month! I did a lot of celebrating but my fav was exploring the Sojo Spa in New Jersey. Multiple floors, hydrotherapy, infinity pool….I can go on and on. Here we are in the heated pool.

I kicked ass for Thanksgiving. I cooked a full menu, cooking a turkey for the first time, which included an apple pie. I really out did myself.

Here is a picture of my turkey pre-oven:

Here is my apple pie:

And lastly, December. I started the year rough and I ended the year rough but being with family this past week has been a god sent. One thing I’m really proud of this month is getting my tree. I’ve never really grown up with a tree so getting one was a big deal to me. I’m sure I’ll collect more ornaments in the future but it was the perfect first tree.

It’s been real 2019 but 2020 I’m coming for ya!

Taping of America’s Got Talent

I’m actually more of an X-Factor girl myself but when I heard about the opportunity to attend an audition for America’s Got Talent in Newark I couldn’t pass it up. I’ve been on shows before in college, I was on Total Request Live once and went to The Daily Show but never anything talent/contest related.

So the taping was at a performance art center in Newark and I was a little bit worried about transportation, turns out it was a piece of cake. Two $5 NJ Transit tickets to Newark at Penn Station and a 20 minute train ride later, boom Adrienne and I are in Newark. Adrienne’s friend Aileen picked us up from there but the center was pretty close to the NJ Transit station.

I must say getting in was pretty smooth, we were barely online for five minutes. We got our tickets, showed our bags and then headed to our seats. We unfortunately were in the third ring and probably won’t get any TV coverage but it was still fun. They had an Audience Manager/Producer that was pretty on point and kept everyone lively  practicing how to clap and cheer. One thing that I actually was pretty surprised about was how many kids were at the taping. The audience was definitely mixed but it just so happened the area that I was located in had a ton of kids, at least everyone was well behaved.

I had a great time with the girls even though there was a lot of waiting time but I must say no one really wowed me. They had about five singers, two comedians, three dancers, a psychic act and a magic show act. I really wanted to see a dog/dance act but that didn’t happen. Only a few got through to the next round….so there may or may not be a cool magician act or weird dance act going to the next round but those were my favorite ones =).

Here are some shots…

Adrienne, Me and Aileen talking a selfie

Adrienne, Me and Aileen taking a selfie

Waiting to be entertained

Waiting to be entertained

Enjoying the Golden Girls

Growing up I loved watching the Golden Girls. I mean I wasn’t the obvious target audience, being a kid and all, but I enjoyed it never the less. Blanche was my favorite, with Sophia being a close second. The friendship these women had and the story lines were heartfelt. Even as a kid I related to some aspect of it. For instance the relationship between Dorothy and Sophia reminded me of my relationship with my mother. Being that I’m an only child and my parents are separated, I always wondered how it would look like taking care of my parents and we bickered constantly. Also the crazy relationship with Dorothy and Stanley resembled my parents at times.

Anywho, I decided to go with my friend Adrienne to ‘The Unofficial Golden Girls Musical’ in early February. The plot was  absolutely ridiculous -Ricky Martin became their new neighbor and had crazy sex parties that the girls found disturbing- and the actors were in drag but it was hilarious.

Since it’s the ‘unofficial’ musical, all the names were changed. Blanche became Blanchet, Dorothy became Dorothea, Rose to Roz and Sophia to Sophie. Again the plot was absurd but they made all important ‘Golden Girl’ references and I applaud how these men got the mannerisms of these ladies down to a tee. They added a special sub plot about ‘Dorthea’ that I didn’t really enjoy but it was still fun.

The show itself was only $20 but you had to spend a minimum of $15 on drinks or food; which I didn’t mind. We sat closer to the stage and could see everything the only negative part was that I was right under their A/C system and was freezing. Don’t know why air conditioning was on in February but I had to cover myself with my coat.

Don’t have a picture to share and wouldn’t go again but it was a funny night of sh*t and giggles with Adrienne.