Thursday, May 30, 2013

Madison Square Park Eats!

There is no question that I love NYC.

It's also quite obvious I love my job!

Not only do I enjoy what I do, I happen to work in a pretty awesome area of NYC.  My office is about a block away from Madison Square Park.  A very cute like park oasis in the middle of a plethora of office skyscrapers.

Twice a year for about a month, the park puts together "Madison Square Park Eats."  It's when a bunch of delicious vendors come together and provide tasty food to the people.  They block off a corner of the park where people can gather, eat their food, drink and be merry!  I usually just swoop in during my lunch break and take my food to-go!

I typically bring my lunch to work because I find it way to expensive to eat out all the time, but every once in a while I splurge and eat food from different places around where I work.  With the spring opening of Madison Square Park Eats ending tomorrow, I decided to run over and grab lunch.  I've already done so twice this month.  After looking at all the different food available, I thought I would give "Seoul Lee Korean Barbeque" a try.  My thought process...oh, my soldier is in Korea, I love all food, and the line is pretty, it has to be good!

It was oh so good!

I was overcome with food euphoria - and I didn't want it to end.  I was so upset to find out that they actually don't have a brick and mortar restaurant open yet!  There is NO way for me to get more yummy Korean tacos....

According to their Facebook page, they are working on opening up a restaurant - and for my sake, I hope it's sooner than later!  They will be back in the Fall opening of Madison Square Park Eats, but I don't know if I can wait that long!!

I was able to try out food from two other vendors: AsiaDog and Red Hook Lobster Pound.  AsiaDog takes the traditional American hotdog and adds Asian condiments to it.  I'm loving all these adaptations to Asian cuisine!  Seoul Lee Korean Barbeque takes Korean dishes and adds some Mexican influence. 

I'll keep my fingers crossed that Seoul Lee opens their restaurant soon - or else, I'll have to wait till the fall to have my delicious Korean tacos!

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cruise Attire

I had a lot of time to myself this past weekend.  I would have typically spent Memorial Day with the soldier, but because he's overseas, I thought I would spoil myself a bit.  I needed formal attire for the two formal dinner nights on our cruise.  Sadly, I don't have anything that would fit the bill, unless I refer to old prom dresses.  So, I needed to get something that would work...and for cheap!  Evening wear can get pricey!  After shopping around in store and online, I found a couple of outfits that I'm believe are formal enough.

My steal of a deal happened with my amazing Rachel Roy dress from Macy's!  It was originally priced at $119 - and I paid only $47.60 - not bad for a designer dress.  I saved more than $70 on the retail cost  because of all the sales and the "Got Your Six" coupon I got for donating to the charity!  Now, I bought this dress "just because!"


I'm looking forward to actually wearing all my new stuff in a month or so!  I might actually wear my Rachel Roy dress sometime soon's too cute!

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day Deals/Discounts

Tomorrow, I'll be thinking about those men and women that have sacrificed their lives for the benefit of our country.  It's nice that we get a national holiday to reflect and to also spend the day with our friends and family to celebrate life (or on our own).

So far, I've spent this weekend by myself.  I met up with a friend to go to Zumba, but besides that, I pretty much walked around the city shopping.  I thought because I have this time to myself, I would check out some stores to get ready for my upcoming cruise.  I need to get a couple of evening dresses - and just some other summer-y stuff that I could wear on the ship.

I found out that Forever 21 is offering 15% off to military members - really anyone that has a military ID issued to them.  I actually bought a whole bunch of stuff at the store yesterday and when I went online, I saw a note at the top left that mentioned the discount.  Nobody told me about the sale at the store, so I called and asked if I could get it applied to my purchase.  Forever 21 doesn't offer any money back - only store credit.  I took it anyway because I shop at the store all the time.   I actually used the store credit today and got another cute top.  The sale ends tomorrow!

Also, Macy's is having lots of amazing sales.  If you are feeling adventurous, check out the store for some awesome deals.  When I went in to shop, I found out about the Macy's + Got You 6 program. 
From the website: "To honor & empower American veterans, Macy’s has teamed up with Got Your 6 in the hopes of raising up to $3 million for veterans and military families throughout the American Icons campaign. Got Your 6 will be present in almost every Macy’s store across the nation, as well as online and in their mail catalogs, spreading the Got Your 6 message and changing the conversation."
I thought it was pretty cool, so I donated!

I'm sure there are a whole bunch more sales/discounts going on this weekend!  How are you spending Memorial Day?

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Guest Post: Top 10 Reasons to Vote Troop ID as the Most Veteran Friendly Business in America

Hi everyone!  I wanted to share a great guest post from the Troop ID folks.  Vote now for this fabulous organization that helps find deals and discounts for military members and their families!

The search is on for the most Veteran Friendly small business in America. U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Hiring our Heroes program is hosting a Small Business Tournament of Champions, a battle royale to bring awareness to companies dedicated to employing veterans and helping the military community. After a tough round of competition, Troop ID has made it to the Final Four! They are just one step away from named the most Veteran-friendly small business in America!

In a nod to our democratic system, the Chamber of Commerce is awarding the title based on votes: whichever company has the most votes by May 30th takes it all. You can vote up to once a day until May 30th, and it only takes a moment to cast your ballot.

Troop ID is in it to win it: Here are the top 10 reasons why Troop ID deserves YOUR vote: 

1) Troop ID is Veteran Owned: Founded by two former Army Rangers, Blake Hall and Matt Thompson, Troop ID has a unique understanding of the military community because its leaders have worn the uniform and faced the same stuggles as many men and women of the Armed Forces. 

2) They Don't Believe in Chairs: At the Troop ID headquarters in McLean, VA, chairs are quarantined to the conference room and reserved for sit-down meetings with guests. At their desks, Troop ID and TroopSwap employees stand tall or balance skillfully on exercise balls. If you can stand, why sit? That's just lazy talk!

3) Troop ID is Committed to Hiring Veterans: Hiring veterans is not only the right thing to do, it's also the smart thing to do from a business perspective. Veterans make great employees. And Troop ID should know: more than 35% of the employees at Troop ID today are Veterans.

4) Troop ID is Committed to Hiring Military Spouses: With frequent moves and a demanding lifestyle, military spouses are true homefront heroes. Troop ID hires these Household 6 specialists because they're great at multi-tasking, cool under pressure, and are on the front lines of what military families want and need. In fact, the entire Troop ID/TroopSwap local sales team is composed of Military Spouses, and headed by a Military Spouse!

5) They're Not Too Proud for Pushups: Everyone makes mistakes sometimes, and on the rare occasions when Troop ID employees run late for a meeting, miss a typo, or forget a co-workers birthday, they're ready to hit the deck and give 'em 20!

6) Troop ID Exists to Help Veterans Everyday: Troop ID was created with Veterans in mind. Unlike active duty service members, many Veterans don't have an ID card that proves their military affiliation. Moreover, no Veterans have an online credential that proves their service to businesses or organizations that want offer benefits as a Thank You. Troop ID was created to solve this problem! Troop ID is an online ID card for the military that allows members to easily get great deals and military discounts online, access employment and educational opportunities just for veterans and service members, tap into VA benefits, and get assistance with financial resources. Your Troop ID allows businesses to recognize your service, and grant you access to exclusive perks.

7) Troop ID is About Helping the Entire Military Community: Some purveyors of military discounts acknowledge active duty service members, but not the military spouses who support them and soldier on in their absence. Some don't recognize veterans or military dependents. But Troop ID is not just for Veterans: we are on a mission to help the entire military community. So Veterans, retirees, active duty, military spouses, and family members can all benefit from signing up for a Troop ID.

8) Troop ID Supports Wounded Warriors: Troop ID and TroopSwap are proud to host events like last weekend's Jumping for a Purpose that not only raised funds for Wounded Warriors, but also raised awareness of the sacrifices these brave men and women have made for our country.

9) Troop ID Gives Back with Mentoring: Troop ID employees serve as mentors to both veterans and military spouses, doling out advice on everything from how to create a lean start-up, to how to best prepare a family for the struggles of deployment through MilSpouse and Veteran eMentor Programs. In addition to these year-round efforts, the executive team serves as volunteer mentors at the annual TechStars Patriot Boot Camp, helping military entrepreneurs make their dreams a reality.

10) Troop ID is Always Free for Members of the Military Community: Paying a fee to access military discounts seems backwards: you've already earned the reward, why should you have to pay to access it? Troop ID and TroopSwap membership is always free for members of the military community.

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Cruise Booked!
After much deliberation and your help (thanks y'all!), the soldier and I have decided to go for the longer cruise on Celebrity Cruises!!


I'm beyond excited!  I haven't been on a "real" vacation since 2011, when I went on another cruise with fabulous friends of mine.  Last year, my vacation was a PCS from NYC to Arizona.  Although, I did take the time off work, etc. - it was really a military reason to why I went cross country.  Granted, the soldier and I did have a really good time along the way!

I was in charge of finding, evaluating and inevitably booking the cruise.  There was a lot of pressure coordinating with the soldier's schedule and mine too!  Anyway, the folks at Celebrity have been great - and my experience so far has been pretty good!  We got a really good deal for an ocean view room, so I decided to opt for that.  I typically just get an interior room for the price, but because of the awesome "happy hour" deal they had - we got an ocean view room for less than an interior room!

If you're considering a cruise sometime soon, Celebrity is doing this cool promotion called "Celebrating Local Heroes."  You better hurry though because the deal ends this month!!  It gives $100 onboard credit to teachers/professors, military members and police/firefighters/EMTs.

Cruise lines in general offer military rates too!  If another cruise line tickles your fancy, it's worth checking out if they have any special rates for your family.  Check out these rates for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line - a favorite of mine!  In addition to reduced rates for your stateroom, there might be some opportunities for onboard credit as well!

Anyway, as you can probably tell, I'm pretty pumped that the vacay is full steam ahead (no pun intended...actually, the pun was very intended...)!!

In about a month, the soldier and I will be cruising to BERMUDA!

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Eight Months Till We Say "I Do" - Again!

About eight months from now, my soldier and I will get married again in my childhood church in front of our family and friends.  I'm SO excited.

When we got married last December, it was sort of planned quickly and it was pretty impossible to wrangle up all the people that I want to witness it in such a short amount of time.  Because I moved from Texas to New York, I've met so many special people along the way.  Also, my family is scattered all over.  I'm just looking forward to actually celebrate our marriage too!

I've been really bad about planning it though.  With my soldier on the other side of the world, he hasn't been able to really give me much help.  I need to just take the reigns and get things into gear.  Luckily, we've already set a date and reserved the church and reception site.

I LOVE pinterest.  Before I got engaged (and now married), I used the platform to keep recipes, fashion styles, ideas, etc. that I thought would be beneficial to me.  Now, I'm using it to put together a concept board for my dream wedding.

I'm not looking to go overboard.  The hubs and I are keeping the guest list under 100 - and it will all be DIY.  Overall, it's going to be relatively casual for a wedding.  I'm from Texas, so my maids will be wearing cowboy boots for the ceremony and whatever green dress their heart desires.  I guess I'm really envisioning a delicate, rustic, fun and colorful wedding.

Here are some of my top pins so far:

Check out more of my pins here:!  Thanks!

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Speedy Magiti Tringali #tbt

When we moved to Texas, my family knew we were going to stay awhile.  I was a military child and also an only child.  I often got lonely, so my parents decided to adopt a furry friend...his name was Speedy.

I got him when he was under a year old and I was around 7 years old.  He became my best friend.  I used to joke that Speedy was tied with my dad on being the number one man in my life.  He was protective, loving, adorable and the best darn cat anybody could ever have.

There was an irony to his name because when you looked at him, you wouldn't think he was fast.  He weighed nearly 20 pounds.  Sometimes I wonder how his health lasted so long with him being so heavy!  I like to think it's because he was surrounding by lots of love.

This week's throw back Thursday is dedicated to my awesome childhood cat Speedy Magiti Tringali!

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Monday, May 13, 2013

A very special weekend in Austin, Texas

I am SO unbelievably happy!  On Saturday, I had the honor of standing next to my near and dear childhood friend as she said, "I do" to her sweetheart.

It was such a whirlwind trip.  I flew in late Thursday night and went straight to bed.  Before I left for Texas, I went to the doctor and got antibiotics prescribed for my sinus infection.  I could barely speak Thursday because my throat was so scratchy!  Luckily, I didn't have to do much talking on Friday.  During the wedding rehearsal, I just had to practice my part and walk down the aisle!

It was such a happy and emotional time, especially for me because I've known her for so long!  I was there at the beginning of her relationship with her now husband almost 10 years ago!!

My parents attended the wedding as well as some other childhood friends of ours.  Also, I met some fantastic people that are now a part of my life!  I just had the time of my life at my friend's wedding!  I can't wait to see all the professional pictures!!  I wish I would have taken more, but I was busy running around!
Old high school friends!
I left Sunday afternoon, so I was able to have a special Mother's Day brunch with my mom.  I wanted to make sure I left on the latest possible flight.  Despite my sinus infection, this weekend was one of the best that I've had in a long while!  This month has been fabulous so far!  I'm not going to let a little congestion get in my way!!
My amazing mom and I!
 I've also done everything in my power to celebrate my mom through the interwebs!  Check out a quote from me on a bloggy friend's Mother's Day feature on Her and Nicole.  Also, the awesome website Next Gen MilSpouse let me share my thoughts on my rock star mom.  Have you seen it?!

Here's some bonus pictures that proves my mom is a rock star (circa early-1980s)!

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

When allergies attack!

Hi y'all!  I've been quiet the last several days because: 1. it was my birthday on Friday, 2. I also went to Atlantic City to celebrate with a handful of my dearest friends, and 3. I got sick Saturday night and have been nursing a really serious case of sinus congestion!

On Monday and Tuesday, I've been living life as a zombie unable to really deal with anything.  Tuesday morning, I went to the doctor and got antibiotics prescribed because it was evident that my hardcore allergy attack evolved into a sinus infection.  I didn't go into the office because I could barely leave my apartment.  It was a bit of a challenge today to make it out of the house, but I had to make it back to work!  Tomorrow night I fly back home for a close friend's wedding - and this one is muy importante!!!

I'm really hoping that after this week I'll be back at 100% - and everyone can be expecting more of me!  I certainly welcomed 27 with a bang...hopefully this won't be a precursor to how the rest of the year will be!

The Atlantic City Crew!
Guess who's the silly short one?

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Tasty Lightened Bowtie with Vodka Sauce

I LOVE to cook.  I'm always looking for quick tasty recipes to whip up on the weekdays!  During the work week, my room mate and I alternate days cooking dinner for each other.  It's awesome to live with my friend while the hubs is away.  We've been room mates since we graduated college in 2008!!  She's been my huge support system along with my other amazing friends in the area!!

Anyway, I don't count points myself, but I like to test out weight watchers recipes anyway to keep things on the healthy side.  A couple nights ago, I was really craving Penne alla Vodka!  I searched on the interwebs and found the weight watchers recipe and thought I would made it and pair it with a nice caesar salad.

Here is the delicious recipe with my minor modifications.  I wanted the sauce to be more tomato-y, doubled the vodka amount (it was a rough workday!) and used bowtie pasta instead of penne!

  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 medium-sized shallots (1/2 cup)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt (or normal salt)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons canned tomato paste
  • 4 ounces of vodka
  • 12 ounces of uncooked bowtie pasta (or whatever comparable pasta like penne)
  • 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 20 leaves of basil cut into ribbons
How to:

Use a large skillet and keep it on medium-low heat.  Once it's warm, add butter, shallots and garlic. Mix until the shallots start to caramelize, about 5 minutes.  After, add parsley, sea salt, tomato paste and mix together thoroughly to paste the ingredients together.  Cook the paste and stir for 5 more minutes.  Then, add vodka and use a wooden spoon, if you have it, to scrap everything off the base of the pan.  Cook 5 more minutes.

As you're making the sauce, bring a medium pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to package instructions.  Once it's done, drain and set aside for the sauce to complete.

When you finish cooking the paste, add the cream and reduce the heat to low.  Simmer the sauce for 3 minutes and stir at the same time.  Make sure the paste and cream dissolve into each other.  Finally, add pasta to the skillet and mix to coat.  Once the pasta is coated with sauce, top everything with basil.

And voilĂ !  Time to eat!

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Happy May Day!

May is my favorite month!

I'm so excited for everything this month!  My birthday is on Friday - and I'm going to Atlantic City with my girlfriends.  I'm flying to Texas for a best friend's wedding!  I'm also going to hit 1/3 of this yearlong tour soon!  Also, I'm closer to the hubs' leave time and awesome Bermuda vacation (crossing my fingers for his leave to get approved!!)!!

It's been so beautiful in the courtyard of my apartment complex.  The trees are budding and have vibrant flowers on them.  I stopped to take a few pictures.  These don't do the actual view any justice!

Happy May Day!!

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