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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Apple Picking Adventures with friends

It feels like forever-ago now, but in October, right before going on vacation, Baros and I got to go apple picking together for the first time.
We went with one of my best friends, Jeremy and his friend, Tyler.

We had such a good day.  It was filled with sunshine and lots of laughter at all the antics.

I love going apple picking but hadn't managed to go in a few years.
We had tried to go last year with Jeremy, but the farm we went to didn't have apple picking during the week when we tried to go.

But this year, we got lucky because Jeremy wanted to go again and we were able to coordinate for a Sunday morning when apple picking is always in full swing.

And it's even better because Baros had NEVER been apple picking before.  I was so excited to share one of my favorite fall activities with him.  Together we knocked it off our Fall Bucket List!

We went to a place in upstate New York about 45 minutes away. We spent the car ride alternating between chatting and sing-alongs so by the time we got to the crowded farm we were in high spirits.  It was lovely with green and hints of red and gold.  I was so happy to be in the foliage but it was so green still while we were there!  It feels like it took forever for the leaves to change colors this year!

It was so beautiful and colorful! I loved being out in nature for the day.

So many apples on the ground!
But a lot on the trees too!
We goofed around a lot! Jeremy and Tylor are giant goofballs as is Baros so I was so happy to be in their company.  Any experience with them is fun times!  I've known Jeremy since middle school so we definitely go back to old school references and craziness.  Some things will never change!  And Baros is my favorite goof and knows just what to do to make me laugh!  I don't know Tylor well yet, but he's adorable and silly.











I had so much fun with the boys!

We spent the morning finding the best apples left on the trees.
And Baros picked his first apple EVER!
The perfect apple!
Going for it


Got it!!!
But the best ones were at the top!  So Jeremy and Tylor did a lot of jumping.  Baros stayed firmly on the ground!
Trying to get it! 
Soooo closeee!!
Team Work
Trying to get some yummy apples!
I on the other hand got to climb!  I was really excited to get up in the trees.  Such beautiful views and so much fun getting the best apples.  I had wayyy too much fun since it's been a long time since I've done any climbing!
Waiting for me to toss down some apples!
Peeking through the branches
Chilling with the best apples

Climbing is my fun time!
 Oh man!  Such a great day.  We got so many apples and had so much camaraderie.

We may have even gotten too many apples... since the bag broke! But it cause even more laughter and fun!
About 30 seconds before the bag broke!
Broken bag and sad apples!
Make-shifting a solution
And this is how we do!
Sexy beast right there!
I can't wait till next year to go again!  Next year, I'll even grab a group photo.  I only managed a selfie with Baros and I!
Selfies with good cameras are challenging, buttt I did it!
After picking our apples, we went a chose some pumpkins and saw some other beautiful views.


We had SUCH a beautiful day!
























He picked the perfect one!
We even made friends with a beautiful puppy to play with!
Mostly green... but I see some orange and red peeking through
Pretty flowers and bumble bee! 
The perfect apple!

And then once we were ready, we headed to the Palisades Mall for some fun and quick shopping.  We even picked up some Halloween goodies to start our costume process. Which... eventually I'll post about! <3

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Catchup and Travel adventures

Wow, it's been a long time since I've written here.

The end of October and November have been crazy.

We went on our vacation to 3 incredible places: Providence, Boston and Pittsburgh and we did so much that I didn't leave myself any time to write about them!

And then we got back to Jersey and it's been busy season at work with lots of changes going on at once.

I ran out of time and couldn't motivate myself to get back on track.  But hopefully I'll be able to adjust starting from now.

There's so much to write about and share.  So these are some of the upcoming posts!


  • Apple Picking Adventures with friends 
  • Providence Adventures
    • Walking tours of the city
    • Trattoria Zooma
    • The RISD gallery 
    • Our first AirBnB experience 
    • Rooftop (ish) drinks
  • Boston Adventures
    • The best Clam Chowder
    • The Aquarium 
    • The 360 panorama view of the city
    • Historic Boat Tour
    • The best Lobster Roll and Loster Bisque 
    • The Science Museum
    • Walking the Freedom Trail (and seeing the DUCKIES) 
    • Italian in the North End 
    • Cannolis too
  • Pittsburgh Adventures
    • Catching up with family (Baros' brother lives there) 
    • Dinner and drinks on the town
    • The Duquesne Incline 
    • The Andy Warhol Museum
    • Hiking 
    • The 8 hour bus ride home
  • Halloween Adventures and Carving Baros' and Danielle's first pumpkin
  • Adventures in Brooklyn: Making Dinner with friends
  • Celebrating our Anniversary in the City
  • Broadway Adventures: Aladdin
  • Adventures in Baking: Cranberry Curd Tart
  • Thanksgiving Adventures
  • Adventures in Adulting: Organizing EVERYTHING
  • Adventures in Adulting: Changing out the drawers
  • Food Adventures
  • Fitness Adventures

And... I think that's everything!  I'll add to the list and slowly start writing again and editing photos too today!



Friday, October 12, 2018

Autumn BucketList

I finally feel autumn in the air.  It's cooler and crisper and I'm so happy about it... And yes I know, there have been some days this week that were in the 80s and therefore felt more like summer... but I'm going to ignore it because I'm ready for FALL. 

Fall is my absolute favorite season. I love the cooler temperatures and changing leaf color. And I especially love all the things you and do in the fall. 
As a result I think we need a whole new bucket list just for this Fall.
I would love to get everything checked off by the end of November!
Hopefully, Baros and I will be ticking things off together (unfortunately he had to miss the Renn Faire this year though).
BUT his schedule is free again and come Monday we're travelling to Providence and Boston and Pittsburgh!  3 cities in one week!

Autumn To Do:
  • Walk in the crisp, fall air
Walks along the river are a must
hiking last year with Baros and Mamma bear
  • Go to Renaissance Faire (Part I and Part II
  • Organize my fall/winter wardrobe
  • Clean out the junk drawers 
  • Organize the kitchen cabinets
  • Bake
    • Cupcakes
    • Cookies 
    • Apple Pie
    • Pumpkin Pie 
    • Pumpkin Bread
    • Cranberry Curd Tart
  • Go apple/pumpkin picking (ON SUNDAY!!!)
  • Carve a pumpkin
  • Go hiking
  • Play in the leaves
  • Play in NYC (on so many occasions)
  • Take pictures with the leaves changing colors 
    fall colors
  • Have a photo-shoot 
    • As the photographer (looking for a subject <3 ) 
    • As the subject 
  • Read as many books as possible (I'm on my way!! Just finished "Girl on the Train" and will start a new one soon!)
  • Borrow books from the library
  • Study with my Turkish Book 
  • Craft
    • Finish started projects 
    • Make a birdhouse/feeder out of bottle caps and wine corks
    • Try arm knitting (again)
  • Cider nights with Baros
  • Go on a mini vacation with Baros in October 
    • Travel
      • Providence
      • Boston
      • Pittsburg
    • Have a spa day
    • Eat delicious food 
    • See historic sites
  • Celebrate Oktoberfest with beer and sausage at home
  • Cook together
    • lots of soup
      • Tomato
      • Squash
      • more...
    • roasted veggies 
    • Squash
    • pizza from scratch
  • Have Hot Pot with friends         
Hot Pot with my girls last year
  • Sit outside and admire the view with hot cider/hot cocoa
  • Halloween Parties
  • Watch a scary movie: 
    • The Shining (I read the book... now, I just need to watch the movie)
  • Go to a Haunted House
  • Host a small Friendsgiving 
  • Help mom make Thanksgiving Dinner
  • Photos for Holiday Cards
  • Company holiday party
  • Go to a holiday market in NYC
  • Start Christmas shopping
  • Decorate the tree
I've already started some of this fall bucket list so I'm putting those in red!

Are you ready for fall?  Do you have any ideas for your fall bucket list? 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Birthday Adventures: A week of celebrations

So I'm finally done celebrating my birthday!  This is my recap of all of the crazy activities we did!!

I had some weeklong mini adventures.  I'm not one for organizing big parties (unless they involve costumes!) because I find it challenging to coordinate my friends who live all over the tri-state and have crazy different schedules.  Some people are only free on weekends, some have rotating schedules, some are never free on weekends.  Some live out of state or not near enough for a convenient trip.  So I tend to celebrate in small outings with different groupings of people so I can hang out and enjoy with everyone I love.

When I turn 35 I think I'll try to organize a big party... with some kind of book character theme, like for my 28th when I got everyone to dress up from Alice in Wonderland.   But I have plenty of time to plan for that since I only turned 32 this week.  3 more years till that craziness!!

So on the 22nd I went to my second ever Paint Night!  I met up with my friend Danielle who brought us a bottle of wine to share and we painted to our hearts content.  We had a blast and made some beautiful paintings to put on our walls. Go here to read more about it!

Then the morning after, I headed to Queens to head over to the Renaissance Fair in Tuxedo, NY. We spent a few hours running around admiring costumes and eating delicious food.
Then afterwards we headed back to NYC and got to go to Little Italy for the last day of San Gennaro.  I love adventures in Little Italy!  We ran around trying different foods and seeing some lovely booths before I headed back to NJ for some rest before my work week.

On Tuesday night, hubby and I got to celebrate.  We ate and then headed to The Color Factory (sadly now closed... but there should be a new exhibition soon so if you missed the Color Factory, there should be something equally fun coming your way!!) We had such a wonderful night.

On my actual birthday, I went to work.  And my coworkers threw me a surprise party at the end of the day!  They managed to really surprise me since they waited till the very end of the day so I thought they may have forgotten!

It was so cute.  They gave me flowers, a teddy bear and a balloon and cake, lots of cake.  I'm so happy to be a part of my team!!  I love them so much!
Afterwards, I caught a ride home (yayyy! no train for the birthday girl!) and then I crashed.  Well, first, I found flowers on my doorstep from one of my besties.  Grace sent me some beautiful fall inspired flowers!   Then I got inside and crashed.  I was so tired.  Eventually, Baros got home and he surprised me with flowers too!  He got me beautiful red roses and lilies!  I was such a happy birthday girl.  We ate a little dinner and I took my first online Spanish lesson (I didn't think he'd make it home till late so I scheduled poorly).
I got such a cute message from my brother-in-law, Burak (later on in the week he even sent me a picture of a beer and a toast in my honor!) and then I got a wonderful call from one of my favorite Californians and we caught up and talked about life and her upcoming nuptials.  Alex is awesome and I can't wait to see her soon.
Then we fell asleep.  Baros fell asleep while I was talking, but I made him move from the end of the bed to where he belonged, next to me.  He was so exhausted and adorable in his exhaustion. He fell right back asleep and then I followed shortly after.  We had wanted to eat the ice cream in our freezer... but it never happened.  We were just too pooped.  It was a "we're asleep by 9:45 kind of night" and that's so rare for me that I'm okay with it!!  It was a relaxing way to spend my evening so I was really happy. 

Then the following Saturday I got to go back to the Renaissance fair for Adventure Part II.  I went with Danielle, Jeremy and his group of friends and it was so much fun. It was an all day affair that ended with pancakes and breakfast food at Brownstone Pancakes.  So delicious.
It was a lovely full and busy day.






One of my last birthday celebrations actually came as a surprise to me exactly one week after my birthday.  One of my best friends, Endira, came in from Chicago for work so I met up with her.  She treated me to birthday dinner and drinks.  We went to an outdoor happy hour and got some wine and some dumplings.  And then we walked over to delicious sushi at Asuka on 8th Ave and 23rd St. We got edamame and rolls to share.  If you're looking for good sushi this is a great place to go. Plus, we had some delicious cocktails.
We had a wonderful few hours of catching up and hanging out. It was a lovely celebration with one of my favorite people who I don't get to see as much as I'd like to!
Life and distance! But no worries, Chicago is on my horizons.


Then on Saturday night I had one last surprise.
Baros and I went to Brooklyn to see our friends Bihter and Ernesto for the first time in a long while.
We had a raki night with yummy food and even better company. And once we were finished eating, out came the surprise cheesecake and birthday song.  It was so fun celebrating with them, even though I wasn't quick enough to get a picture of all of us together.
fried liver, yummy yogurt sauce called haydari made by Bihter, cucumber and tomato salad and feta. 
All the food... just a little blurry... 
About to cut the cheesecake!
The desserts, baklava, cheesecake and a jammy cookie


On the subway home!

With that birthday surprise, my birthday celebrations have dragged on for two weeks so now I must declare the celebrations over!

I'm so lucky to have so many amazing people in my life.  I didn't get to celebrate with everyone, but I felt so loved between the messages and celebrations!
I didn't even get to celebrate with Mom and Paul, but Paul sent me a beautiful color changing butterfly mug and I got to have a great conversation with the mamma bear on the morning of my birthday.

Hopefully in a couple of weeks, I'll get down to visit them too and we can have some other adventures... Maybe even Mom's first tattoo adventure since she wanted to get a mother/daughter tattoo for my birthday.

Let's see where this year takes us!! 32 is going to be a good one!