Happy New Year!

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Hello! Happy New Year to you and yours! Remember this list:
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Welp. I crossed a few things off it in 2014! Not all, but some! It was a very exciting year.
1. I did jumpstart my blog by changing the layout and design, but I didn’t post as often as I would have liked. I am not going to beat myself up about it, but hopefully I can at least post once a week in 2015. We’ll see how that goes.

2. I also found a neighborhood I love! I fell in love with Montclair, NJ. It is a sweet little town with a great community vibe. There’s a “main street” with shops & restaurants, a movie theater, art museum and an awesome quilt shop where the North Jersey Modern Quilt Guild meets! Perfect!

3. I bought a house! Montclair was a bit out of my pricerange, but the town right next to it is adorable and I happened to find and buy a house before my apartment lease expired. I can’t believe it’s mine! Here’s a peek at the outside:

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4. I did not work on my Project Life albums AT ALL. I did do a lot of quilting and stitching in 2014, but no scrapbooking. I don’t forsee any happening in 2015 either, so…

5. I didn’t quite make one trip per month to NYC but I did make regular trips into the city to see a couple of shows, sightsee, take pictures, and shop. It will be much easier to get in and out of the city now that I live down the street from a train station.

6. I did make it to Ireland with my mum. We had a great time touring the countryside and spending time in Dublin. You can see some photos from the trip here.

7. Photograph more with my Nikon – well… it’s hard to lug around a camera when the iPhone takes such great pictures. I got the iPhone 6 this year and, well, the Nikon is gathering dust on the shelf…

So it seems I did pretty well in 2014. There were tons of adventures and big life decisions. It was a good year. Looking forward to making an intentions/goals list for 2015 and seeing where the year takes me. Happy New Year everyone.

Flashback Friday: Peru 2013

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This time last year, my BFF & travel partner-in-crime were wrapping up an amazing week in Cusco & Lima Peru. Though the trip got off to a rocky start (the plane had to turn around 20 minutes into the flight due to a failed engine!) the beautiful scenery, friendly people, and excellent shopping more than made up for it. Machu Picchu was incredible and even though it felt like I couldn’t fill my lungs with oxygen for most of the day, it was an awesome experience. Check out some of my favorite photos from the trip…

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Two years ago, I promised my mom I would take her to Ireland for her 65th birthday. She wanted to wait until she retired so getting the time off to take the trip wouldn’t be a problem.

Fast forward a couple of years – and now after tons of planning and lots of excitement, she arrived to New Jersey yesterday and we leave for Dublin tonight. I opted to do a guided tour much like the one Cathy and I did for our visit to Peru last year (still need to post about that!). I thought it would be good to have other people on the tour with us to talk to. Plus it’s nice to get up and have the day planned for us already.

We’ll start in Dublin and then make our way through the countryside visiting Killarney, Galway, and Waterford. I am excited to see the cliffs and castles on our itinerary.

Here are a few pictures of my stop in Dublin a couple of years ago. I only had about 24 hours in the city since I was on a layover. This trip will be much more relaxed!

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If you’d like to follow our adventures, you can find photos of our trip on Instagram.

Flashback Friday: Bisbee, AZ

I had always heard good things about Bisbee. People who had visited said it looked like a town that time forgot. That’s no joke. The main street has a line of classic cars parked in front of vintage gas pumps. An original Greyhound bus sign swings in the warm breeze. The colors are amazing and I loved walking down the deserted street checking out all the old-timey “stuff.”

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This creepy scene was set up in a vacant lot. I hope it was just leftover from a fashion photoshoot and not something more weird.

Flashback Friday: Roadtrip to Mexico

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Before I left Phoenix for the East Coast, I made a list of all the West Coast adventures I wanted to take. High on my list was a trip to Puerto Penasco (aka Rocky Point), Mexico. Just a quick 4-hour drive from the Phoenix area, I somehow convinced one of my co-workers and fellow adventurer that this would be a great way to spend a long weekend.

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We headed down on a Friday afternoon, stopping midway at the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and the giant dinosaur sculptures for a leg stretch.

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The scenery on the drive down was gorgeous. We were practically the only ones on the road and it was cacti as far as the eye could see.

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We made it to the border without incident and promptly stopped at a package store to pick up very reasonably priced bottles of tequila for our weekend.

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After realizing our planned accommodations were not suitable for a weekend stay (long story that includes scorpions), we promptly packed up and found a resort with plenty of vacancy for us for the weekend. We ended up in a 1-bedroom condo with a full kitchen, living room, and balcony. Here’s our view of the pools from the balcony:

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We ventured into “town” to have dinner and see some of the sites, but because it was off-season, many of the shops and restaurants were closed. We did manage to find an oceanfront restaurant with beautiful views of the sunset.

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The next day, we spent some time enjoying the sun, and made it to the pool just in time for happy hour.

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On our way home we found a cute coffee shop to fuel us for the drive ahead and stopped at the Super Mercado to buy Mexican vanilla, cinnamon, and other fun food items.

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All in all, it was a (thankfully) uneventful weekend and to be honest, we probably would have enjoyed a 4-hour drive in a different direction, perhaps San Diego instead. #liveandlearn

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