4-Year Anniversary – Ski Weekend in Vail

This past weekend I went to Vail for a little ski weekend with Kevin to celebrate our 4-year anniversary. I had been about a full year since our last ski trip in Vail. We flew to Colorado on Thursday evening and had two full days of skiing before flying back to NYC on Sunday morning. It was the perfect amount of time because we were both really sore by the end of the second day. We were also really lucky to have really nice conditions both days.
We just stayed at the Holiday Inn but it was actually one of the nicest Holiday Inns I’ve ever stayed at…probably because it was in Vail. Either way, there was conveniently three different restaurants all attached to the Holiday Inn that were pretty good, so we didn’t have to spend money on a cab to go elsewhere for dinner. Additionally, there was also a convenient shuttle bus that picked people up every half hour to drop people off at Vail Village. For lunch, since we were already on the mountain, we’d just wait to eat in the Village once we were done skiing.

Kev and I had a lot of fun together. We’re not too bad anymore either. We felt comfortabledoing pretty much any run which left us with many different runs to go on. We also had a chance to practice going down moguls more. All in all, it was a great trip. It was nice being able to ski, especially in Vail because I love Vail, and it was nice spending some alone time with Kevin for our anniversary. I’m looking forward to many more adventures and many more years together!

(p.s. that’s me skiing in the video below!)

I am the luckiest girl in the world. Not only did I get to go on an awesome ski trip for my anniversary but Kevin also had flowers sent to my office
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New Years in London – Hello 2014!

For New Years, Kevin and I pay for someone to write your essay brought in 2014 in London. I didn’t want to deal with trying to plan something but at the same time, I didn’t want to feel disappointed if we didn’t do anything, so to avoid all that, we decided to just spend New Year’s Eve in London. It was our third time to London in the past year and a half, so it was the perfect place to go for New Year’s because there was plenty for us to do yet we didn’t feel the need to be rushing around doing touristy stuff since we’ve been there before. Therefore, we did our fair share of relaxing too.

Here are some highlights from our New Years trip to London:

  • We stayed atSt. Martins Lane Hotel which is a Morgans Hotel Group hotel. It’s a youthful, eclectic hotel. Last time I stayed at the Sanderson<, which is also a Morgan Hotel Group hotel. I absolutely love the Sanderson, but I'm glad we tried something new and experienced a different location.
  • Good, inexpensive noodle dinner close to our hotel at Wagamama
  • Afternoon tea at Dean Street Townhouse
  • Afternoon tea at The Langham. It was a fancy, really wonderful afternoon tea. The Langham won the Tea Guild Award of Excellence in 2013 by the United Kingdom Tea Council
  • SawCharlie and the Chocolate Factory the musicalon West End
  • Walked around Convent Garden after the show, had tea at Laduree, and saw some cool holiday things like a Lego snow globe display
  • Kevin and I brought in the new year in a pedicab (my first pedicab ride ever actually) on a random street in London after leaving the Thames River where there was a fireworks display because it started raining. Afterward we went back to the hotel and celebrated with some champagne.
  • We spent one full day relaxing – we got massages a the spa and ordered in room service

Craziness on the Thames River across from the London Eye right before the New Year[/caption]

London was an absolute blast. I’m so glad that Kevin and I made the decision to bring in the New Year there. Cheers!

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2014 Year in Recap

2014was a great year full of adventures and self improvement. I was very fortunate to travel to some amazing places (Switzerland, Milan, Palm Springs, and Vail to name a few), stay in good health and remain active (I ran the NYC half marathon), and achieve some things I set out to accomplish (like getting better at skiing, becoming a PADI certified scuba diver, and starting a new job). Below is a recap on my year.

January
I started off the year skiing in beautiful Tahoe.

February
One day in February I went skiingat Hunter Mountain which was my first East coast ski experience. West coast skiing is definitely better but it was still fun.

March
-I went skiing at Vail for the first time and absolutely loved it there.
-In mid-March I ran my first half marathon (finished in the top 10% for females, top 20% overall woot woot!).
-I traveled toMilan where I did some shopping and went to the Sforzescocastle, and saw Da Vinci’s Last Supper. From Milan we made our way to Wengen, Switzerland for some skiing.

April

-I flew to Michigan to spend Easter and my birthday with my family. I got to see the whole fam and we even had a fun Easter egg hunt.
-Kevin and I drove to Washington DC for the weekend for the Cherry Blossom festival.

May
-It was our fourth year attending the Manhattan Cocktail Classic Gala at the New York Public Library.
-I went to Philly to spend some time with my friends Alison, Kelly, and Megan. It was also my first time checking out the Philly Magic Gardens.

June
I traveled to Puerto Rico and Vieques right before I started a new job and the next step in my career.

July and August
I stayed local for the most part and just enjoyedsummer in the city. It was also important for me to stay localwhile I was getting ramped up at my new job.

September
I went on vacation to Playa del Carmen, Mexico with my family. We also celebrated my mom’s birthday there. We stayed at a beautiful all-inclusive resort, Fairmont Mayakoba. Some of the activities we did included zip lining and swimming in caves at Xplor Park andKevin and I also finished our scuba certification!!

October
For Father’s Day I had bought my dad tickets to the Michigan vs. Penn State game, so I flew home to watch the game and spend some time with the fam. Since Fall is my favorite time of the year, I of course made a visit to also go to a cider mill.
November

-In mid-November I flew to Austin, Texas for the weekend. I think it was my first time holding or possiblyeven seeing a real armadillo in person. I also bought a cowgirl hat 🙂
-I spent Thanksgiving in Palm Springs with Kev’s family. They rented out a cute little Inn called Milla Rosa Inn where the large annual Thanksgiving dinner was held. While I was in Palm Springs I also got to see my best friend Ashley and I rode the Palm Springs tram which is the largest rotating aerial tramway in the world.

December
-I flew back to Michigan to spend Christmas with my family. This year I suggested that everyone wear ugly sweaters and luckily most people participated 🙂
-Kev and I spent New Years in Salt Lake City skiing at Park City.

While spending New Years Eve in Salt Lake City, I wrote a few things that I want to strive towards in 2015[/caption]

Since so much happened last year, below is a little collage with some more memories.

From left to right: apres-ski at a bar on top of a large mountain in Wengen, Switzerland, me and Kev’s new place in NoMad, beautiful sunset on the Island of Vieques in Puerto Rico, golfing with my dad and bro when I came home for Easter, seeing the Cripple of Inishmaan on Broadway starring Daniel Radcliffe, newly bought Christmas stockings for our little fam, ski tram in Wengen, Switzerland, skiing in Vail, summer day exploring shortly after de Blasio became the new NYC mayor, playing tennis at the W Hotel resort in Vieques, Kev’s 32nd birthday cake, at the Miley Cyrus concert, Kev’s very special Cartier love bracelet gift to me with an engraving that says “3 yrs K and Kay”, secluded, preserved beach in Vieques that Kev and I found after renting a Jeep and exploring the island, eating a snow cone in DC on a hot summer day, Kev by a Palm Spring tram car, me and Kev with artist Nick Gentry who did some awesome work for us for our new apt, Kev in his new apron I bought him since he got into cooking, me and Kev in our ugly Christmas sweaters, seeing Of Mice and Men on Broadway starring James Franco, at Spicer’s Cider Mill in Michigan enjoying a sugar donut, standing in front of a beautiful abandoned building with nature taking over in Vieques, Kev holding a live armadillo in Austin, TX, family Christmas pic from the roof our our NoMad apt.

From left to right: Moment with Kev on the rooftop of the New York Athletic Club overlooking Central Park, running in the New York Half Marathon through Times Square, family pic with our ugly Christmas sweaters, selfie in front of the White House, dressed up forthe Manhattan Cocktail Classic Gala at the New York Public Library, got to see Becca at the Michigan vs. Penn State nighttime football game, I chopped about 11 inches of hair off, got to see Ash when I was in Palm Springs over Thanksgiving, fam football game after Thanksgiving.]]>

Bang Bang I got another tattoo

It may shock some, but if you really know me then you know that I love tattoos. I think tattoos often have a bad rap but probably because there are a lot of bad tattoos out there. While I’ve liked tattoos since my teenage years, social media really opened the door in helping me to easily discover several really cool tattoos artists such as Sasha Unisex with her watercolor style, Mr. K who does single needle micro designs, David Cote who does colorful psychedelic designs, and Dr. Woo who is a famous LA tattoo artist who does geometric and fine line tattoos. These tattoo artists are just that, artists. They’ve had to master their work and their specific style just like any other artist specializing in another area.

The artist who I’ve been following for about two years and whose work I admire most though is Balazs Bercsenyi. When I first stumbled upon his work he wasliving in his native country, Hungary. I followed him on Instagram and enjoyed seeing all of his work. I also follow Bang Bang on Instagram which is one of the best–if not the best–tattoo parlor in NYC. Tattoo artist Keith McCurdy opened the parlor and employs only the top talent. I saw Bang Bang post about how they’ve added Balazs to the team and I was ecstatic. I had honestly contemplated going to Hungry to get tattooed by Balazs because I enjoy traveling anyway, but when I saw that he came to New York I knew it was a sign.

After reaching out to Bang Bang via email with very delayedresponse, I dropped by in person for a free consultation one day after work. I got to meet Balazs in person and told him what I had in mind for the tattoo. He seemed excited about the idea and he sat with me and the receptionist to find a time for me to come in. The earliest he was able to get me in was in two months and even then it seemed like they were doing the best they could to squeeze me in as soon as possible, so I jumped at the earliest available appointment. Balazs also gave me a heads up on what the tattoo would likely cost. It is as much as a nice designer purse, but considering how good his work is and how hard it was to get an appointment, I didn’t care. No matter the artist, thetattoos at Bang Bangare not cheap, but after seeing some of the work that comes out of thestudio compared to others you realize you get what you pay for. If you’re going to have something inked on your body for the rest of your life, you want it to be quality. After all, you wouldn’t want to hang a shitty piece of art on your wall at home, so why would you want a mediocre tattoo permanently inked on your body?

So after two months of anxiously waiting and pinning tattoo ideas to my Pinterest board, my appointment day finally arrive in early May. Balazs was prompt in seeing me as soon as I checked in. We sat down together, I told him what I had in mind, and gave him my phone to scroll through my Pinterest board. The only thing I was adamant about was that the scuba diver needed to be a woman and therefore have a feminine form. He said he had a good idea of what to do so he went in the back room to draw something out. I’m a big fan of double exposure and I loveAndreas Lie’s photographs of images within the shape of wildlife animals, so the original idea for my tattoo that Balazs tried was a scuba diver swimming within the shape of a sea turtle. He came back after about 30-45 minutes though and said it wasn’t coming out how he wanted, so then he suggested doing the reverse and having the shape of a diver with the turtle in the body and I said that would be fine. After another 30-45 minutes or so he came out again and showed me the design and I loved it. He added a bit of his own flare including two fish and bubbles. The one thing I asked him to add were his signature geometric shapes. He suggested squares but I told him that I prefer circles and triangles. I also didn’t want the square to mistakenly represent a caged animal. Balazs ended up adding some circles which completed the piece and complemented the circular clock tattoo on my right forearm.

The main thing that changed from what I originally had in mind for my tattoo was the location. Iknew the tattoo would be larger than any of my other tattoos, so I wanted it on my back. I thought it would be cool if it looked like the diver was swimming down my back along my shoulder blade. However, Balasz was able to convince me otherwise. He seemed genuinely excited about the tattoo and suggested putting it in on my left inner arm where it isn’t easily visible with my arms down but would still be seen more often than my back, and he also informed me that theskin on one’s arms is apparently a lot better for tattoos. I figured that a tattoo artist wouldknow best and I also reminded myself how bad I wanted the tattoo so it did make sense to have it in a place where more people could see it. The main thing I was concerned about is my work colleagues seeing it, but I always keep a blazer in my office now if I need to cover up for a more formal meeting.

After about two hours of consulting about the design, drawing it out, and making edits, we were ready for the actual tattoo. The tattoo itself took another two hours with a few breaks in between. It didn’t hurt much until the end when it started getting more red and sensitive. I actually like the fact that he spent almost as much time drawing out the design as it took him to do the actual tattoo because he spent time and cared that the design look cool, and it is also a one-of-a-kind piece–you can’t rush art and it was cool being a part of the process.

I had a great experience at Bang Bang. I liked the fact that they played loud music, primarily Drake, most of the time I was there, and the other artists–though a little intimidating–seemed cool. Being there for four hours, I spent time looking at other people getting their tattoos and while I was getting mine done a few of the other artists came by to check out Balasz’s work which was cool. They all seem supportive of each other’s work.

I couldn’t be happier with how my tattoo turned out and the experience itself was pretty cool. I haven’t given a second thought to the cost of it because it’s an original piece that I think is super cool and representative of me and my passions, and you can clearly tell that it was done by a professional. The shading and detail is unreal. I don’t know if I’m going to be getting any other tattoos in the near future but now I know that if I do want another one, no matter how small, I will only go to a top tattoo artist for the best work.

Movie Review: An Education

When I rented the film An Education, I expected it to kind of be like a moderner day version of Pride and Prejudice from the 1960s. Although it ended up being nothing like my favorite classic, it definitely touched on several important issues throughout the movie. It served as a reminder that you are your most important thing. People will come and go but you always have to live with yourself, so it's important, especially as women, to be self-supporting and create our own successes.
The movie is about Jenny, a mature and intelligent 16-year-old schoolgirl, who falls in love with an older man, David. As they continue to see each other, Jenny becomes enthralled with his world full of art, music, gambling, traveling and culture. As a young woman who was focused and adamant on going to Oxford to study English, she begins to doubt the point of her education as she thinks of a prospective life with David full of fun and leisure.

Unfortunately, all that glitters ain't gold, and Jenny shortly discovers after dropping out of school upon accepting David's marriage proposal that David is in fact already legally married to another woman. Jenny's attraction to the (seemingly) glamorous life and belief that she could take the easy way out by marrying David instead of constantly challenging herself at Oxford quickly comes back to slap her on the behind. After persuading her schoolmaster to allow her to come back to school, Jenny bulldozes through another year with regained unyielding focus and ends up being accepted into Oxford after all.

After the truth about David unfolds, he vanishes from her life as quickly as he entered it, and after having questioned the whole purpose of getting a higher education, the importance is reinstated in Jenny with a higher reverence. A defeated-feeling and heartbroken Jenny says,
“”I feel old, but not wise.”” While I understand why she feels like a fool for not being able to see through David's facade, I do believe that the experience ended up molding her in a positive way.

She is such a bright girl, and I think in a sense this traumatic experience was necessary for her to
come back with a new sense of determination, purpose and self-worth. She undoubtedly learned from her experience running with an adult crowd living on lies. It also goes to show that, even though one may be intellectually equal or superior to another who is older age wise, it's one's experiences and life lessons that are just as important in getting on in the world as unscathed as possible.

I actually really enjoyed this movie. It wasn't corny or unimaginable; it is realistic even by today's standards. Originally I pitied Jenny for losing her virginity to a man who was a liar and cheater, but then I realized that Jenny's biggest mistake was throwing away her previous desire to go to Oxford when she thought she could live an easy life off David. Luckily, Jenny's pride didn't get in the way of her seeking the help of her former English teacher to assist in persuading the schoolmaster to grant her permission to come back and finish high school. It was refreshing to see her own up to her mistake and bounce back from it. I also found it admirable that Jenny surprisingly handled everything with grace. Instead of giving up or sinking into depression, she truly acted as an adult and took responsibility for her actions.

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars