Cooking and Community


Recently, I was lucky enough to partake in a cooking class at a local shop within West Palm Beach. I was truly excited to finally be going to this store because Shoppe 561 is a pretty impressive establishment. Everything that is sold within Shoppe 561 is created by Florida artisans, many of them being within the local area. Proceeds from items purchased help support Hope House Florida which is a safe house for minor girls rescued from human trafficking. They desire to spread the thoughts of hope to the community and I admire any efforts such as this. Personally, I find bringing a sense of community to be of high importance, especially with everything that has been happening in our world today. Small steps of coming together can start to develop larger movements of positivism. Whether its giving back to the community itself or helping others, you can’t help but want to be apart of such a positive environment.

The store has recently been having cooking classes and my friend Lucy has been asking me to go. We all decided to make a couples night out and enjoy a night learning some Asian inspired snacks. These classes have been taught by Chef Clayton Charles Carnes. We have a lot of impressive chefs within the Palm Beach area, but none have impressed me as much as Chef Clay has. I didn’t even realize how predominate he was in the area winning many awards, showcasing at local Food and Wine events, but he is also now known through TV, after competing in Cutthroat Kitchen on The Food Network! He recently won his third victory on this show, but has appeared on there four times! There is so much tore than impressed me about this fine Chef but I will save that for a little later in this post.

Chef Clay conducted the actual cooking for us in the class, but we were able to take notes and observe as he performed his craft. On our menu that evening were a few Asian inspired snacks:

  • Crispy vegetable and teriyaki chicken lettuce wraps
  • Sesame – ginger shrimp skewers
  • Green papaya and peanut salad with fresh chili
  • Yummy pool side tropical white sangria
  • Sparkling passion fruit fizz

img_7292It was lovely because after a long day, having a nice sangria ready and made was an added perk! Chef Clay was so fun to listen to and he made everything seem so easy, but trust me when I say that was the point of the classes;  to show you that it can be easy! Everything was so fresh and insanely delicious. He showed us little tips to keep you vegetables fresh and crisp, and what was big for me was the less is more aspect. You don’t need to drag out every utensil, mixing bowl, so on and so forth to do your cooking. He didn’t use many items to create these amazing snacks, and I for one like the idea of not having a messy kitchen to clean up after having guests over. I am always loving to entertain and being able to have these new recipes to try excited me to no end.



Crispy vegetable and teriyaki chicken lettuce wraps


sesame-ginger shrimp skewers

Besides being insanely fresh, you can’t help but become sucked in by the vibrate colors and succulent scents ( I apologize they don’t have a scent aspect to a blog). He even told us that he was able to get those shrimp skewers for $1 a piece! Sometimes you just never know what you are able to get at your local store for a fresh cooked meal. The class was light hearted, easy going and extremely entertaining. I am slightly disappointed that I didn’t attend the other classes that have been done thus far. I am going to have to sneak into Lucy’s notes to grab the other ones.

Chef Clay will be opening a new restaurant this summer in West Palm Beach called Cholo Soy Cocina. Listening to him talk about his new restaurant continually built up my admiration for him. Cholo Soy Cocina will be a street taco joint. It won’t be a large place, which I have to agree less can be SO much more. He explained that his prices will be affordable because he hopes that anyone that sets foot in his restaurant, no matter their financial situation should be able to have a good meal. I was almost in admiration shock when he said this. You don’t hear many statements made that way these days, especially when it comes to businesses. Lately, there have been many restaurants coming into West Palm Beach and so many of them I feel are pretty expensive. We may be near Palm Beach Island, but that doesn’t mean that all of us live the Palm Beach lifestyle financially. Being able to have a good night out as a family, friends night and/or a date night should be within anyone’s reach. He also admitted to the class that he has been building the restaurant himself. The building has all new plumbing, electricity, you name it. I just can’t help but find it insanely impressive.

All I kept thinking was that there needs to be more people in the world like this man. Someone to bring about such a sense of community and businesses such as Shoppe 561 to help with the process. There has been so much negativity lately that it has become sometimes to much to handle. It was refreshing to listen to positive thoughts and hope for even a glimpse of some change. I went for a cooking class but came out with so much more perspective. I know that I for one will be going to the restaurant as soon as it opens and be spending some more time at Shoppe 561!


Book Review: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

13538873I was pleasantly surprised recently when a regular patron of mine recommended a book for me to read. As a reader, I was becoming frustrated with myself because I haven’t been able to get into a good fictional read in quite a while. For example, I started reading the Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard. I enjoyed the first book in this installment, the Red Queen greatly. However, I felt I needed to re-read the first one before starting Glass Sword because my mind was completely drawing a blank on all of the different characters. I just couldn’t envelop myself back into the story. This is certainly not saying the second book is bad by any means, but something wasn’t grasping me and I wasn’t about to sit down for a refresher on the story-line. I could tell that I needed something new, something outside of my norm so it was refreshing to have a patron recommend Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Book Store by Robin Sloan to me. The patron drew me into wanting to read it with three words; secret book society.

Our main character Clay Jannon is dealing with the hardships of the most recent economic recession. He goes from being a successful web designer to finding himself stumbling into Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore where he begins working the late night shift. I personally find the character of Clay very likable and he sounded like someone I would get along with; quite possibly sounded like some of my own friends. His personal narration had be hooked instantly but it was also his curiosity with Penumbra’s bookstore itself that kept me engaged. I mean I for one have never witnessed a 24 hour bookstore (this honestly would be quite magical personally), but who allows their patrons to come in and grab books without paying? Books that specifically come from a special section within the store and that Clay is specifically told not to look at but to retrieve for these special patrons. Clay has to make sure to write down every little detail about each of his patrons that come in, from what they are wearing, their personality that evening, so on and so forth. But why?

Sloan’s work of fiction is truly a page turner mystery. As a reader, I had to know what was going on and the adventure of figuring out the story behind Penumbra’s bookstore was highly entertaining. Some of the character development lacked slightly, however, as I stated previously many of the characters read to me as if they were personal friends of mine. After reading some of the other reviews, many found the ending of the story to be rather lack-luster. I can understand their thoughts because there was a lot built up within the story and it wasn’t necessarily the huge ending that many would expect. Nevertheless, if you have a love of reading, I feel the ending will leave you with heartfelt feelings and appreciation.

I am definitely not disappointed with this read and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. I mean, the book glows in the dark! How can you wrong? For an exciting mystery take a moment to read this book and definitely let me know what you think!

Adventures at ALA


Last weekend I was lucky enough to attend the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando Florida. If you are not apart of the library world, ALA is the American Library Association and every year this is an annual conference. This conference allows all libraries from across the country to come together to mingle, learn, explore and experience so much more.image This was only my second conference and I haven’t been to ALA since I went five years ago to New Orleans. I was still in grad school and went with some amazing friends of mine that I was in school with. What was amazing about this conference was being able to go again with these lovely ladies. It’s amazing to see how we have grown in our fields and also with our lives.

What I love most about these conferences is that it becomes a wonderful refresher. You are among others who are passionate about a lot of the same things and it almost revitalizes you. Lately, I have been needing that revitalization.

Many of us are dealing with particular struggles in the library field. This can be interacting with interesting patrons ( I am sure many of us have some stories that are sad, crazy or possibly both), depleting budgets, trying times in our world and so much more. At the beginning of every conference there is an opening session where an author is usually invited to discuss their feelings on libraries and the discussion usually leads to the necessity for having them. This year the ALA Task Force on Equity wanted 1000288author Michael Eric Dyson to speak at the opening session and it was absolutely moving! I was cheering, I was excited and he just spoke of so many things that resonated with everything that is going on in our world today. It was at times an awkward discussion, but more on the basis that these are tough subjects that we are discussing, especially with everything that has happened recently in Orlando, and unfortunately around our world. If you have a moment, please read the amazing article that was written in the American Libraries Magazine. At the end of the article it gives you two videos that showcase his speech. I mean, the man was rapping at some points of his speech and it was just absolutely amazing! It was definitely a positive beginning to the conference, and a discussion that was needed to be talked about.

Normally, I would attend sessions at the conference. The conference allows us to continue with educating ourselves, share things that we may have learned and also share amazing programs that we may be doing at our libraries. ALA is for all libraries, so there are sessions for academics, public, health sciences, you name it! It can become such an eye opening, but also an overwhelming experience. This year however, I stuck around the exhibits. This was not my original intention as there were many sessions that I wanted to attend to. However, the most amazing thing happened this weekend, that I am still in shock and in complete amazement that it happened. I met MO WILLEMS! Lord almighty, when I saw that he was going to be at the conference I legit started to cry. This has been a dream of mine to meet this man for so long. I know this is probably the dream of many children’s librarians so it must seem a bit repetitive when people discuss him but I can’t express how much I love this man. Anthony already knows that he is my legit man crush but I have such immense respect for him on so many levels. His books allow me to be crazy silly. I get to continue with some of my acting and be theatrical but also express stories on a whole other level when I read them aloud. They bring about a whole new love of reading for children and I am sure with adults as well because his books become an experience.

So Saturday morning, I got to the exhibit doors at 8:30am (it didn’t open till 9am). I ran to the Disney booth to get in line once the doors opened and waited until 9:30am! I was not about to miss this opportunity. When 9:30 came around, out of no where Mo Willems comes running down the line, high fiving everyone that was in line. I legit stood there in complete shock and insanely excited. I honestly texted Anthony and my mom going crazy that I just got a high five from this man! It was a great author signing because not only was I able to get Mo Willems autograph but I was also able to get Dan Santat’s and Laurie Keller’s. Guys, it was worth every moment! imageimage

Anthony asked me afterwards what I said to him and what happened but it honestly all happened in a blur of excitement. All I remember is Mo turning to me and asking if we should smile or make a monster face. I COULDN’T DECIDE! I asked if we could do both and he laughed saying “No, life is all about choices!” So I decided on a monster face because that is what I love about his books. I can be as silly as I want to be and here I am having the ability to be silly with him. Then the publishing company said smile for a second one and I was able to get two amazing pictures. I now have my own Piggie drawn out on both of my books! Plus, what is awesome, is being able to receive copies of books that have not even been published yet!image

Words again cannot express the amount of respect that I have for him and of course many of the authors that attended the conference. I was able to meet many of them at this exhibit. I got to meet Raina Telgemeier:


I couldn’t wait to tell her how much I loved reading Drama. It was a book that resonated a lot for me because I was a theater person growing up. She explained to me that it surprises her still today how many people tell her that because that was not her intentions when she wrote the book. That is why it is so important for these authors to write these pieces. They may not think they are having that particular impact, but they really are giving kids something to relate to and know that they are not alone.image

Kevin Henkes


Adam Gidwitz


Pam Muñoz Ryan


This was another one of my favorite opportunities. I love all of her books, however I loved Echo, which I have discussed many a times here on the blog. Music is very much apart of my life still and it is very much a beautiful part of this story. She’s a wonderful storyteller but to be able to talk about our love of music was truly a memorable experience.image

There were honestly many more authors that I was able to meet just unfortunately no pictures Being able to do these meet and greets has reminded me so much about how passionate I am about books, especially books for kids. As adults, we tend to know what we like to read and we are not forced to do it on a daily basis. Books written by these authors are well loved and that is certainly difficult in our world today when technology takes the reigns in many of our children’s lives. Their dedication to getting children to read astounds me and I hope that they understand how much it means to have them create such wonderful stories for our young readers.

The exhibit is such a fun part of the conference. It allows librarians to get a sneak peak at books that are to be published in the near future, look at new technologies being developed, furniture specially designed for libraries, meet artists, have discussions, meet new people, but the big deal is the FREE STUFF. A lot of the free materials are pre-release copies of books which are really helpful for librarians that focus on collection development.  I do a lot of the ordering for my children’s department, so this allowed me to gather new books, fall catalogs, free bags to giveaway to my kiddos and  a lot of awesome bookmarks. image

This wasn’t even all the bags that I collected! I had three more to add to this bunch! A lot of these books are going to be given to the kids at my library, and that is such a rewarding feeling. A lot of the bags will be given as prizes for my summer reading program and a lot of them have their favorite characters on the front which will be sure to bring a lot of excitement.

All I can say is, I had a blast! It can be an exhausting experience but there is so much to see and explore at ALA. I got to meet new people, meet friends that I know simply from Instagram and a few other friendly characters along the way.image


I feel a little rejuvenated after this conference. I am still up in the air on where my career will go after I leave my current position, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to stay on top of everything that is going on within the field. My hopes is that I will attend the next conference in Chicago next year. I want to be able to attend the whole conference and actually sit in on some sessions so that I can continue to educate myself. If anyone within the library field hasn’t attended a conference it really is highly recommended. It is a great learning experience, networking experience and so much more. It can be expensive of course, but some of the experiences you partake in become priceless. I for one definitely have found this conference to be a memorable one in the books!


Favorite Basic Tee


Everyone has basic items in their closet. For many of us, that item is your everyday tee shirt. I had to purchase some new ones this year for the summer because so many of mine just didn’t fit anymore. I personally fell in love with this Malibu v-neck from Banana Republic Factory! As you can see I love to get a lot of my clothes from the outlets. I personally find better deals there for myself and with brands that I feel fit my body. Banana Republic has been on a roll with me and I can’t tell you how much I love this tee. Course, as you can see from the picture, I have probably every color that you can imagine. I am personally that shopper that when I find something that I love and it fits me well, I will purchase it in multiple colors and/or patterns.


This tee is very light weight which is fantastic for Florida. Sometimes that can make them a little sheer so I do tend to wear a tank top underneath for layers. I love that it is not form fitting but that its a little more flowy on my body. I also love the way it has a scoop on the bottom of the tee. I feel that this is very flattering to my figure and compliments my curves nicely! And what about those colors? The colors are wonderful for fun, bright summer outfits.

A basic tee can be worn so many different ways which is why it is such a staple for ones wardrobe. As you can see I simply paired it with my favorite jeans, a cute necklace and my sandals. So easy, and of course comfortable. I tend to dress down a little during the summer as we are crazy busy here at the library! But I also want to make sure I look put together. You know me, comfort + chic. Happy Fashion Friday everyone!

Secret Hideaway: Cafe Delamar


Have you ever found one of your favorite places by accident? Sometimes when you peruse new areas where you live, you may just happen to fall upon a new place to explore. What I love about Worth Ave on Palm Beach Island is that there seems to be so many secret passage ways leading to little shops and restaurants. They are not of course a secret but apart of the shopping district. However, they give you the illusion that you have just come across something special and it’s tucked away for you to come and explore. That is how we found one of our favorite lunch getaways. One day Anthony and I were strolling around Worth Ave and wanted to have lunch. Now if you have ever been there this is not necessarily an easy task because many of the places around the area are quite pricey. Consider Worth Ave to be the Rodeo Drive of South Florida. We were honestly looking for one of their pizza restaurants to try that is tucked away as well, but we accidentally went down through this particular path one day and that is how we found Cafe Delamar.


Cafe Delamar is hidden down this quaint little court yard just off of Worth Ave. As you stroll down the path there is a beautiful lion head fountain with a stunning arrangement of cascading white orchids and different styles of palms. The sidewalks are paved in lovely red Spanish tile, and along the walkway you will find little stairways that will take owners away to their hidden apartments above. To me this whole experience is like a little hidden oasis and it comes off as your own little secret. However, it is certainly no secret as I know that it is fairly popular among the locals. But that is what makes this place so special. You get the feelings and sensations of a secret getaway or a private lunch location just for you. Sometimes it’s all about the ambiance with any location that you go.IMG_6873

The Cafe is run by the sweetest French Canadian couple. They now know us fairly well, and they always have a good premonition of what we will order. Currently, they have entered their summer hours and are open Monday through Friday from 9am-3pm. We are currently in the off-season for Palm Beach, so business hours tend to change due to low numbers of visitors to the area.

IMG_6640It’s a small location, with only a few tables and chairs, and only one small table inside. It can be hot inside, so personally I enjoy sitting outside and taking in the fresh air. Many of the patrons to this cafe simply take their food to-go or they have it delivered. Their delivery person takes everything to you on his bicycle. I don’t know why but I find this to be the most adorable thing because it is an older gentleman who delivers their delicious items. These little details are what helps create that quaint ambiance that I can’t get enough of. You can sit outside and enjoy your lunch, while listening to some jazz music provided by one of our local radio stations. The music is very relaxing and it gives me the sensation that I have found this special little cafe tucked away somewhere on the streets of Paris.


Their food consists mostly of salads and sandwiches with a few items to choose from for breakfast. I recently told Anthony that I would love to come for a small bite to eat for breakfast and possibly take it to the beach because it is only a few blocks away! They have daily specials that are simply delectable. However, I tend to get their chicken salad.


Their salad is very light and I personally find it to be quite flavorful. After having my gallbladder removed, mayonnaise tends to not sit well with me. Nevertheless their salad really is nice and light and is never bothersome.Probably a little too much information, but let’s be honest it’s nice when you are able to find a location that creates some of your favorite foods but creates them in a lighter way and is still delectable. The salad normally comes with a Dijon dressing but I always ask for their balsamic vinaigrette. It’s delicious and instead of dousing my salad completely with it, I simply dip my salad into the dressing. I find that this helps to not use as much of the dressing; cutting down on the calories. Anthony tends to get his chicken salad on a sandwich if you happen to enjoy your chicken salad in that manner.

I love finding little places such as this. What I love most about this area are the numerous mom and pop places that you are able to find but are also run by some of the nicest people. If you are ever visiting the Palm Beach area, Cafe Delamar is certainly a must for a perfect lunchtime treat.

Summer Reading Suggestions

summer-reading-africa-studios-shuttersthock-e1436293933664It’s hard to imagine that summer is here! Here in Florida the kids are off from school and we are getting read to launch our summer reading program. I always feel this is the greatest time of year for reading. Librarians may not necessarily have more time for reading because of how busy we are, but we are busy because that is one of the big to do lists for many while the kids are out of school. But I feel parents really get the reading bug during the summer as well. I don’t know about you, but I greatly enjoy laying out by the pool with a good read. I recently had someone on Instagram reach out for book recommendations so I thought it would be wonderful to put some suggestions here on the blog, but there are also some great resources out there to find some good reads whether for the kiddos or for us grown-ups.

There are always going to be summer reading lists for kids. Many of our kiddos come in with reading lists from school and sometimes I look at them and go oh dear. As a librarian, I do wish schools would reach out to us more in regards to these lists because a lot of the times we never have enough copies for them or many of the titles are out of print! downloadWhat I do order a lot more of are Sunshine State Readers List books. Sunshine State Readers books are chosen by school librarians across the state of Florida. This organization specifically is called FAME (Florida Association for Media in Education). They have two separate lists; one for grades 3-5 and another for grades 6-8. There are a lot of great reading lists out there, but I personally love this list because they tend to choose books that I feel kids react more to. I am not bashing the classics by any means, but a lot of the times they tend to be a hard sell. There is something for everyone on this list and I tend to read a lot of the ones that are presented each year. When I was completing my masters, I read many titles from that current year for many of my assignments and I loved every one that was on the list. Two of my favorite titles that are on the 6th through 8th grade list are Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan and The Cross Over by Kwame Alexander. Both are fantastic choices for anyone to read, and I am meaning that adults would find them entertaining as well. This is especially true for Echo which I personally found to be the most beautiful story.

Another great resource for summer reading titles is through ALSC (Association for Library Services to Children). They have also been putting together fantastic lists for summer reading recommendations. They just recently released a lovely list for children birth to preschool! I personally make sure that I add titles to the library from these lists because I trust my colleagues to select quality and entertaining titles for families.One of my favorite titles from the birth to preschool list is Tree: A Peek-Through Picture Book by Britta Teckentrup. Beautiful, beautiful book that displays a tree through all the seasons. There are cut out holes that reveal cute animals hidden within the tree as you turn the pages. I absolutely just adored this sweet picture book.

Adults can be a whole other ball game. We all have our personally preferences when it comes to reading. Some of us like quick little reads, and some of us get into extensive novels. Lately, I have had a tough time with fiction reads and have been wanting to read shorter books that don’t require much mental effort on my part. With everything that is going I have been finding it hard to concentrate. I was talking with one of my regular moms and she told me about a fellow blogger who has an abundance of reading recommendations. Modern Mrs. Darcy is going to be my new go-to for reading inspirations. First, let me say what a beautiful blog! I was so impressed with everything from the look of it, to how it flowed and just the abundance of information she has. Her summer reading list is so unique and she has read every title in order to give proper recommendations. She is truly upfront with all of the titles and explains how some of them may not be right for some readers and great for others. Under book series she recommends the Cinder Series by Marissa Meyer, which if you haven’t read this wonderful YA series I would highly recommend it. Other than that there many titles that I was unfamiliar with and it peaked my interest to possibly try them all out!

So whether you enjoy reading by the pool, or listening to a great book in the car, there are so many great opportunities this summer to get in a great read. This goes for all ages and I hope that a lot of these resources will help you find your next great read!

Life Changes and Adventures


This quote has become my motivation recently. I had posted it not too long ago on my Instagram and my Facebook page because it truly described what was happening to me that day. The day that I posted this quote was actually the day that I put my notice in with my current position. This is going to be my last summer working at my library and words cannot express the amount of mixed emotions that I have currently. But first I should probably give an explanation for everything.

Anthony and at the beginning of the year started to have serious discussions about moving back to Orlando. My parents have moved to that area, my sister and brother-in-law live there, and his parents live there as well. Now, I have lived ten years away from my parents, and even though we are currently a three hour drive from Orlando, it wasn’t enough. It didn’t feel right to not be closer and be together as a family. My sister and I will eventually have kids of our own and I know that I want a similar upbringing that we had when we were kids. That three hour drive also does a number on my back and being able to just go down the road rather then across the state sounds way more appealing and a much easier experience. It was a no brainer that  we wanted to be closer to everyone. I am also proud to say that Anthony’s business is growing and they need to lay down their roots and hire more people. When it came down to it, Orlando was the better choice for them to continue to grow. Because of this, it has allowed me to resign from my position a month before our wedding and take the time to enjoy it and not be as frazzled as I have been. I am not ashamed to admit that I don’t handle stress very well.

As I said there are so many mixed emotions going on in my head. These are all exciting ventures but it’s all scary too. Anthony and I took adulting to an extreme these past few months with planning a wedding, getting financial stuff in order, and also starting the process to building our new house! That is why I have been stressed out and feeling completely overwhelmed. I tend to tack on a lot of stuff in my life, always wanting to do more and I end up going overboard. However, these are all positive things and it will all be worth it in the end.


Our lot and our awesome realtor!

We actually just recently signed our contracts for our new home and the process has officially begun. It’s so exciting because our new home will be so close to everyone and in such an ideal location. I will now have a yard for Henry to play in, and a house big enough that I know I will never see Misty again. That’s the joke of it at least; there will be poop in her litter, and her food will be eaten, but we will never see her. It’s all of course a joke, shes my baby girl and will always be my shadow. Sometimes we feel we are getting this house for them, which in all honesty there is nothing wrong with that. But here we are, getting married and getting a house! This is the next chapter in our lives and I am over the moon happy to be going on this adventure with Anthony. I have lived in apartments for ten years and it’s refreshing to finally be able to set down some roots and start the rest of our lives together in our brand new house.

Many of you are probably wondering about my job. I am certainly sad to leave but I am needing the mental break as well. It’s been such a whirlwind experience with its highs and its lows, but that is with any job. I have grown so much as a children’s librarian and have met some amazing people along the way. It was the first job I landed after getting my masters degree and I am truly blessed for gaining this experience. What’s next for me is currently up in the air. Is that a scary thought? Of course it is, but it is exciting all at the same time. I am not 100% sure if I am going to work in another library again or whether to try a whole new adventure. That is the beauty of it. For many that may seem like an alarming thought but to me it isn’t. We have one life to live and I want to experience as much as I possibly can in this short life that we live. The number one thing that I want to do is to travel and it is one of our biggest goals currently. We will be traveling for a month for a honeymoon and I can’t express the excitement that is building as that day gets closer.

Now my position will be available to apply for soon, so if anyone is interested and you want to live in the sunshine state you should totally apply! There is such a freedom of creativity with my library and there are so many opportunities to work on any unique ideas that you may have!

Change can be a scary thing for many, but I am ready for this new step in my life. It feels good to finally be able to share it with everyone because it truly is an amazing time in our life. I may not know what is next, but with Anthony by my side, and knowing that I will be closer to my family, I will take whatever comes my way ❤




Yoga: Slowly Learning


So as many of you know, I have been trying to do Yoga to help with my back but also in order to have different work-out routine. I wouldn’t necessarily call me a yoga novice at all, but it has been an enjoyable process as I learn. However, that is exactly it, I am still learning. I have to be honest that from time to time I do get frustrated when I am not able to do a particular move or position. Yoga, and I will be honest sometimes Pure barre, has been a HUGE learning curve for me. Zumba for example came very natural to me. I love to dance and I pick up on the dance moves rather quickly. It was never necessarily hard for me, whereas now it’s a completely different experience. I am having fights with myself currently because I tend to get jealous of others capabilities in their workout routines. I don’t feel as strong as I used to and I wish that I was able to do more than just yoga. Lately even Pure Barre has seemed difficult and I tend to be very uncomfortable afterwards because of my back.I can’t compare myself to others and I have to learn to just focus on my own capabilities. It is better to be doing something than nothing at all. I am hoping as I continue to do yoga that I will gain more strength, flexibility, but also some inner peace.

I am very lucky to have a friend who has let me borrow his P90X3 yoga DVD. There are so many other outlets to do yoga; especially at the library I work at where we have classes given by an amazing instructor. Nevertheless, I have enjoyed doing this particular yoga workout because its thirty minutes, but it gives me the feeling like I have done a genuine workout afterwards. There are other P90x dvds to follow that are longer than thirty minutes, however, I tried one of them and was not able to do it just yet. It was bothersome on my back so I hope that with time it will become much easier for me to do. When I started this venture I didn’t have any yoga materials, so I had to go out and get myself a yoga mat and a yoga block. I wasn’t about to do yoga with a simple mat, I had to have a little pizzazz  because it’s part of my personality. I love that Gaiam has so many different options with their yoga mat designs.


I also purchased a yoga block. They mentioned it in the video and at first I didn’t know what the heck you would use it for. Many of us don’t have that flexibility and I especially don’t have the ability to reach all the way to the ground for many of the poses. So the yoga block helps me do the poses without straining myself. I got one that matched my mat. Yes, I am that person.


Balance is what I enjoy the most. I am not the greatest at it but I tend to feel the most stretch when I do the poses; especially with Ted’s Chair which is the pose that you see above. Now in the video, the man goes from ted’s chair all the way into a basic, or honestly a funky handstand. I don’t think I will ever be able to do that, however, just this simple pose stretches out my thighs and hips which tends to be one of my difficult areas.

What I love most about the P90X3 yoga is how fast it goes! It’s over before you realize it and it really is a fantastic work out. The first time that I did the full workout I couldn’t get over how much I worked a sweat. It made me feel like I was actually doing something. I feel sometimes we get misconstrued about yoga being an actual work out. Some of the poses look easy enough but once we get into it, it is a completely different story.

I am also hoping that yoga will help teach me to relax. There is a lot of focus that comes with yoga, and it really let’s you escape from everything that may have happened within your day. One of my favorite places to do yoga thus far has been on the roof of my complex. This was extremely relaxing and made the workout that much more fun. I had the breeze, the sunshine and the roof to myself which is definitely nice. Kind of sad that not many people go up there because it is one of the nicest amenities that we have. Nevertheless, bonus for me!

Thinking about trying yoga for yourself? You certainly don’t have to do P90x to get your yoga fix. You may be able to find some Youtube videos, dvd’s from your local library or hey, it could be like my library and actually have yoga as an activity! I know my next venture is going to be yoga by the waterfront. One of our local vegan restaurants downtown also does yoga. The Bee has yoga sessions and one of their classes is along the waterfront. I am hoping to go next week! Let me know if you try it? I would love to know what you think and what your experiences are like. Namaste!



Fashion Friday: Weekend Style


I don’t like to do my hair on the weekends. I feel my hair gets enough damage during the week from my blow drying and straightening. So the weekend I give it a rest, and I’ll be honest that I just personally don’t feel like doing it. I tend to try to do a lot on the weekends and I tend to just want to get up and go! So my go to accessory is a stylish hat. I don’t necessarily want to look like I am completely bumming it on the weekends, so when I wear a hat, I feel it really creates a cute, fun style.

I had also stated previously that I am not feeling comfortable in shorts. I do have a few pairs, but I have been enjoying putting outfits together with my skirts. This particular outfit today happens to be my favorite look. I get tons of compliments on the look and it’s so easy and effortless to put together. More importantly, I am comfortable.


Top: Banana Republic (similar)


Skirt: Banana Republic Factory (similar styles)



Purse: Kate Spade (TJMaxx) Hat: The Loft Outlet (similar) Earrings: Target (similar)                 Shoes: Palm Beach Sandals


Such an adorable look, that doesn’t take much effort! It is definitely getting hot here in Florida, so I like to be as comfortable as I can, but still look as put together as I can be! Do you have a go to style for the weekend? Or do you have a weekend style staple? Let me know! Happy Friday everyone!

100 Days


Well, we have officially reached 100 days until our big day! This time has completely flown by and I can’t believe the day is almost here.  I am not nervous about the day itself, as Anthony and I have known each other a long time, so making this commitment to each other is just finalizing the relationship we already have. I am more nervous about getting everything done!

I have been a very good bride and have tried to get things done before the summer months commence. As a children’s librarian, my summer months get pretty hectic and I wanted to make sure a lot of the bigger items were finished; however, now as we get closer to the day, I worry about getting the little things done. I have relied heavily on The Knot Ultimate Wedding Book to help me stay on track with a lot my planning. I use the timeline like it is my bible.51UA7gxsnaL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner & Organizer [binder edition]: Worksheets, Checklists, Etiquette, Calendars, and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Seriously, if you are getting married this is the best investment for yourself. This allows me to keep track of everything. I even put a folder inside so that I can put in all my receipts and invoices. It makes it a whole lot easier to keep everything in one spot.

We recently received our invitations and are working as we speak to get them out. There are so many wonderful online resources to order your invitations. I will be honest it can be overwhelming because there are so many beautiful designs to choose from. I noticed that I learned towards the shinny, gold foil styles which are to die for. So elegant and sophisticated but added a little fun. Untitled

We ordered our invitations from a Invitations by Dawn! I would highly recommend this website for multiple reasons. One, as you can see from the giant 30% off sign, is that they do sales on their invitations. We were able to use this discount on our set and whenever you can save when it comes to planning a wedding is fantastic! On top of the discount, you can order free samples!Untitled

This is their current special where you are able to receive three free samples! This does change as I was able to do five of them. The samples normally range from $.99-$3.99, when in actuality is totally worth it to see what the product will be like! I even went with ordering samples from another website called Minted. This allowed me to have a variety to choose from. Anthony and I literally laid out all the invitations on our bed and started to choose our preferences. Seeing them all spread out really helped us choose which invitation we wanted because it popped out to us the most and fit our theme perfectly. I of course want to keep the invitation a surprise for our guests so you will just have to wait until later to see our final results! The process was so easy and the quality amazing! I am still mesmerized at how gorgeous ours came out.

I also got my wedding band recently too. I was starting to panic because there were so many styles that I was trying on and I felt that it didn’t look good with my ring.1D8A9976 Because of the shape of my ring, I felt that the bands didn’t match or look right at all. However after visiting multiple stores, I found one and I was on the verge of tears as to how perfect it was. It honestly looks as if the band was specially made for my wedding ring. We were even able to get it engraved for free which was an added bonus.

We have just now started planning our wedding favors, figuring out our guest book and trying to get all his arrangements in order. Time to make the men look good now! I am so excited about our wedding favors and I even prouder that Anthony came up with the idea. Again, no spoilers as of yet but know that I am very excited to give them. I recommend that any planning really be done together. I know this may be hard for some men out there, however, I am a firm believer that this is not just MY day. This is our day. Doing everything together has made this more about us and not just about what I like or what he likes. It’ been a teamwork effort putting this together and words cannot express how blessed I feel that he has been just so amazing throughout the entire process. Now if I can just get him to go ahead and get his tux and wedding band we will be all set!

It still blows my mind that in 100 days we will be getting married. We are so excited to be celebrating this day with our friends and family. So many of our guests are traveling out of state and we are very blessed to know that many of these guests are coming. It means the world to us to celebrate this special day with everyone. I know this will be an amazing treat and party for everyone to attend. We hope that our guests will have an amazing time and hopefully have made this into a lovely vacation.

So here we go, it’s the final countdown!