Fashion Friday & Friday’s Fancies – Beachy Chic.

Today’s the day, my favorite day of the week.  Yippee!  Are you wondering “why” it’s my favorite day?  Well, let me tell you…  First, it’s Friday and the weekend begins at 5:30 p.m. and that means date night with my honey.  Second, Fashion Friday with Kori at Blonde Episodes.  And third, Friday’s Fancies with {av} at {long distance loving}Yes, yes, and yes some more – my absolutely, positively, favorite day!  But, I will mention that Sunday’s are my favorite too…it’s family time (day).

Alright, my theme today is courtesy of {av} over at {long distance loving} for Friday’s Fancies and I thought I would carry it forward to Fashion Friday as well.  And I actually contributed with suggestions of themes and low and behold…one of mine was chosen however, I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t the only lovely lady to suggest this to {av}.  A special shout out to {av} and her family:  my thoughts and prayers are with all of you and remember the hugs, the laughter and the smiles.  And don’t forget to like my outfit if you like it.  Hop on over to {long distance loving} and check out all of the outfits and pick your favorite (mine).

Yes, I’ll get on with it!  Going to the beach is absolutely one of my favorite places and favorite things to do (when I’m not working that is).  I love going to the beach.  I’m actually suppose to be heading there today however, we can’t quite decide whether we are going or not going to SoCal…  You see we will be driving and I’m not quite feeling 100% just yet.  However, I will say that my little sis’ and her hubby are enjoying the beach right now.  I’ll admit it – I’m a tad bit jealous.  Truly, I am.

Anyhow, here’s some beachy chic pictures.  I think I’ve nailed the themed look…what do you think?  Your thoughts…would be greatly appreciated.  And have an absolutely wonderful Friday.  Any fun plans?

This outfit is my pick for Friday’s Fancies over at {av}’s blog {long distance loving} 
This is the epitome of beachy chic.  Don’t you agree?

Walking in the surf is one of the best feelings ever!!!
That’s Bern and “our” spot at the beach.

Feet at the beach.
 I have somewhat of an obsession with taking photos of feet at the beach – my feet that is and Bern’s too.

Me in the surf and my visor.

I’m looking for shells.
Have a wondeful Friday! 
Don’t forget to head over to Blonde Episodes for more Fashion Friday posts and head to
{long distance loving} to “like” your favorite Friday’s Fancies outfit. 
Images are via pinterest and my personal photos.

Wanderlust Wednesday.

The beach.  The beach.  The beach.  I’ve had the beach on my mind.  And not just any beach.  Well, SoCal of course because it is the closest.  And of course the fabulous individuals I would get to visit if I were there however, I’m thinking more on the lines of a beach on another continent.  Another country as well.  I’ve been thinking about Italy a lot lately.  I very much would like to go back, tomorrow (today).  However, waiting until Thanksgiving makes it seem so far away…  Really, it does.  Hmmm, maybe not.  This year has flown by, hasn’t it?

Anyhow, I’ve been thinking of the fabulous breakfast and cappuccino I could have and then hit the beach.  Yes, in Italy.  Bern and I didn’t hit the beach last year because we went to Rome and we went in November.  However, if I went now I could hit the beach, right?  I think so.

So, here goes.  Today, we are heading to Positano, Italy.  I packed a small bag.  Passport and ticket in-hand.  Are you ready to go?  Alight, let’s go...the airport please.  Let’s hurry “just a tad bit” I don’t want to miss the flight.

Enjoy the trip!

I couldn’t resist including an outfit or two… 
And this definitely fits the bill (on such short notice) and with the beach as top priority.

This is the Gucci Positano bag.  And isn’t it lovely!  I think so.  I HAD to include this and I’m “hoping” *fingers crossed* that the fashion fairy is reading this blog post and adds this to my wish list (hint, hint I have a birthday coming up).

This is my Tumi bag and what I’ll be taking for the short and sweet trip today.

{All images via}

I hope you have a wonderful day to day know that we have completed our little escape.  And one day soon I will be going to Positano, Italy.  It’s on my vision board (well will be).  I’ll blog about this another day soon.

Wanderlust Wednesday.

Today’s post is inspired by Michelle over at The Vintage Apple.  Michelle is currently “researching” destinations for her honeymoon.  And one inparticular that I’ve stayed at.  Couples {Tower Isle} in Ochos Rios, Jamaica.  I stayed at Couples about 10 years ago and it has been remodeled and looks fabulous!  I’d love to go back.  Bernie and I also spent the day in Ochos Rios about 4 years ago on a cruise and loved it too!  It’s a wonderful place to vacation, have fun, and relax.  And bring a stack of books.  There’s nothing better than laying on your beach chair watching the surf with a frosty beverage.  Complete with “little” umbrella.  A fabulous book and your honey. 

I do love Europe but, I must say there is something special about a beach vacation…

Alright, my bags are packed.  Ticket in hand.  Bern’s in the car.  We are headed to the airport.  And we’ll soon be on the white sandy beach…  Oh yes!

The Resort:  Couples – Tower Isle (they’ve remained and remodeled the resort since I’ve been there).

Romantic walks and dinners on the beach.

This is a magical island that was part of the resort.  And “yes” I spent a bunch of time there as well.

Every morning I would come to “this” beach.  Miss it!

An absolutely fabulous spread, every day. 
And each days food was themed and coordinated with the evenings entertainment.

One of the three pools.  My time was spent “entirely” at the beach or the island….

When I went this was an Italian restaurant.  A beautiful walk along the water to get there.

The staff is fantastic.
I spent plenty of breakfasts and lunches here.  And a fabluous view!

A great view front our room on the cruise ship.  Looking out to see while in the port of Ochos Rios.

Bernie and I had a ton of fun on our cruise.  We really enjoyed spending the day in Ochos Rios.  We actually spent the day “window shopping” and trying on jewelry.  It was a fun day!  And a very relaxing trip.  I hope Michelle and her soon-to-be hubby enjoy it as well (if they choose it).
Have a wonderful day!  I hope you enjoy my trip down memory lane… I did.

Wanderlust Wednesday.

I’ve just added the last items to my bag.  Sunscreen, check.  Visor, check.  My bag’s packed.  My passport and ticket are in-hand.  I’m finally ready to go.  How about you? 
We’re headed somewhere unique.  Well, unique to me that is.  The Greek Isles.  More specifically Santorini.  And an island getaway.  Yes, I know I’m leaving a desert climate and going to a similar climate…the difference Santorini is an island and in the Mediterranean.  I’m going, period. 

Alright, I’m off to pick-up Bern and then headed to the airport.  I’ll meet you there.

The yacht charter is all set.  I’m very much looking forward to enjoying the island and the water.  And Bern is looking forward to “driving” us around on our little adventure.

Let’s go…

The Greek Isles {courtesy of Wikipedia}

This water will be sooo refreshing!  I cannot wait.

We will of course spend a bit of time on land.
 I’m sure a doorway like this will make it’s way in front of my camera lens.

I want to explore…

What a view!

The sunset is going to be delightful!  And then some.  It looks hypnotic, don’t you agree?

And before we head back to the States we’ll stop in Athens…and sight see.
{All photos via pinterest}
 I hope you enjoy today’s trip to Santorini.  I know we did.

 And dont’ forget to share what you did while we were on land…?

A beach photo shoot.

Back in March I had a girlfriend’s weekend and it was of course a lot of fun.  As always.  Girlfriend time.  Blogger meet-up.  Family time.  Coffee.  The beach.  Photo Shoot(s).  I wanted to share the fabulous photos from my morning photo shoot at the beach.  My girlfriend,  Kirsten, of Mia Stella Photography is the creative genius behind the shoot.  She’s in Southern California so if you are in need of a photography and live in LA she’s your gal.  That afternoon we had a boudoir shoot too.  And yes, I’ve decided to share those photos as well.

Let me provide a little background for this shoot.  Kirsten suggested that I wear a bright colored shirt and worn jeans.  I thought the jewelry was a nice touch, don’t you?  And of course I wanted to wear my shades.  It was a shoot at the beach after all.  Let me just tell you that I was hot, temperature hot.  My bright colored shirt was acrylic and I was wearing jeans and boots.  It was a bit warm.  But, you wouldn’t know it by looking at the pictures.

Let me know what you think.

I’m not sure which one I like best…  Which version do you like?  I think I need to do a collage.

The bottom 1/2 of my jeans were soaked after this photo.  And to think I only jumped once. 
Fabulous shutter speed Kirsten.

Love this one too!

Love the editing as well.  Me in color.  The background in black and white.

I love this photo.  I especially like it because its in black and white.  But, I love it in color too and then the question is which color version…  Decision, decisions.
It’s important to note that this was a totally “impromptu” photo…
I was trying to get positioned and ended up laughing because I didn’t want to fall in the water. 
And at the same time I was trying to pull my jeans up, I didn’t have a belt on. 

The water was very, very, very cold.  And I love feet at the beach. 
I always take photos of my feet and Bern’s while we are at the beach.  Kirsten took this photo though.

I was chillin’.  Listening the seals and listening to the water.

One of our props.

This is my one of my favorite photos.

Another favorite.  I love the editing Kirsten did on this photo.  Love it!

Love it!

Again, I love it.  Now, which version do you like.

Love the editing!

Which do you like black and white or color?  Hmmm…I’m undecided.

I really like my smile in this photo.

Alas, I’m done.  I hope you enjoyed my “about me” post.  Have a wonderful day.  And let me know your thoughts.  One day soon I’ll be posting a few of the boudoir photos.  Don’t forget to check out Mia Stella Photography too.

Thank you Kirsten for some wonderful photos!  I’m looking forward to our next shoot.

The New Adventure – on a Budget: Travel Update for 2011.

{Wrote email Wednesday, May 11, 2011}

This evening has been rather fun. Bern and I are having a travel “pow-wow”. Yes, I know you need me to translate: a back and forth, all over the place, discussion about upcoming potential travel plans. This is a regular occurrence and typically very random. We don’t schedule these conversations. Well, they are scheduled when a “big” trip has already been booked. Last fall we had several of these scheduled. They are extremely fun.

Tonight, we discussed the beach. My Wanderlust Wednesday post started the conversation. I always ask Bern “where do you want to go on Wednesday?” And sometimes he answers and sometimes he doesn’t. We actually have several tentative weekend trips planned this summer: Boston, Chicago, Martha’s Vineyard, and of course the beach (Southern California).

The Boston trip which was going to be over Memorial Day weekend has now been moved to later in the summer. We are going to try and dovetail the Boston trip with the Martha’s Vineyard trip. It only makes sense. Bern will actually head out earlier in the week to catch Bill in action while he’s coaching with the Boston Rox. And I’ll fly out and catch 1 game then will head to the ferry. Then my wonderful Aunt Virginia and Uncle RJ will pick us up on the island and we will have a fun weekend! And I’m hoping this will be over my birthday weekend. Wishful thinking! They have never met so this will be a fun trip.

We discussed our trip to Venice. The plan is to head back to Europe over Thanksgiving. We are contemplating staying in Venice the entire trip and/or combining it with a cruise again. However, this time we will do Eastern Mediterranean (last time we did Western). And honestly, right now it would be silly for us not to do a cruise because the prices are so low. Yes, yes, I know I need to share the details. I promise I will, in another post. In addition, I love that we are maximizing the most days off due to the holidays and my work schedule.

Paris also came up. Bern really wants to do Venice first. However, he did agree to the possibility of doing both but, separately. He does not want to combine Paris and Venice in the same trip and I don’t blame him. I will say that I am very excited that he finally agreed to Paris! Yippee. And yes, there was a “fist-pump” in the air while I was on the phone with him. Yes, Bern there really was.

The discussion of also came up. This is the website that I found via twitter regarding places to stay. We used to find our bed and breakfast for Rome. And I will say we loved where we stayed. I can honestly say that I don’t think we will stay anywhere else when we go back to Rome. The location was fabulous and the breakfast was delicious! Anyhow, lists apartments for rent. And I will say that I found a fabulous place for London, check out that post here. I’m still a bit shocked from that one because most of you were unsure if I was really going or not. I don’t have a final place picked for Paris yet…about 27 places are in the maybe list. It’s time consuming to find a place you really, really like. Bern and I have a lot of experience with this. We went back and forth for several weeks regarding hotel, apartment, bed and breakfast AND location of each place. At one point it wasn’t very much fun to discuss. But, now we have a system down as to “how” we do it (another post on this later). I will say this that both of us have searched for Venice and we like what we’ve found.

Tomorrow, I’m hoping a few minutes of time will open for both, my boss and I, so that I am able to discuss and “outline” my vacation plans for the remainder of the year. It may seem a tad bit overwhelming reading this but its not. Because I am in accounting there are certain days of the month that I can’t be off and need to be present at work. So, its important to discuss my potential time off and make sure it works. And at this point I’m 99.9% sure it will fine but Bern and I want to be sure before “buy” the tickets.

And an important update. Since, the initial “pow-wow” we’ve had a second one – while I was typing this post and Bern’s figured out my Chicago trip and he’s agreed to go with me! YIPEE! You see my girlfriend is getting married on July 2nd and July 3rd is our 6-year anniversary. And Bern isn’t a die-hard Chicago fan like myself but, he’s agree to partake and we’ve already “outlined” the trip. Yep, we have. We are quick planners. And yes, I’ll include all of the snazzy details in another post. Speaking of which — I need to find a champagne or wine colored dress for this wedding…mental note to self “HAP get on it: dress for Dana’s wedding”. Oh, the point of the Chicago trip was to tell you Bern’s booking our tickets as we speak. And hopefully they’ll be no issues with my 1-1/2 days off for June 30th and July 1st. Wish me luck. Excuse me here but, I need to send a “shout out” to Bern: **virtual HUGS** to you for deciding to come with me to Chicago, sweetie you’ll love it AND it will be so much fun!!!

Any who, I hope I’ve brought you up to speed on my upcoming adventures.

Tuesday’s Trip Tips. {Post 1}

My absolutely wonderful and talented graphic artist, Wendy, is heading to Europe in a few days.  She’s taking a 7-day cruise in the Eastern Mediterranean followed by 4-days in Rome.  Hmmm, doesn’t this sound a bit familiar…?  I thought so too!  Last November, Bernie and I took a 7-day cruise of the Western Mediterranean and 5-days in Rome. And I sooo wish I was there now.  Yes, I truly do.  I think I’m in need of a vacation.  On a side note, I’d also like hit the beach complete with frosty beverages served beach side…sounds nice, doesn’t it?  Are you feeling it?  My vacation fever that is.  I seriously need to do something about this “feeling”…  I was so excited last week to hear this fabulous news from Wendy.  It’s also a first time trip to Europe for them.  So, of course, I just “had” to share some “tips” that Bern and I learned from our trip.  Especially, the things we won’t repeat and the things we will.  And “yes” I do realize there has been no posts – as of yet!
I’ve already sent my “tip” email to Wendy and I thought I’d share on …this & that… what I wrote, here goes:
  • Make a list on 1 sheet of 8-1/2×11 papers of all your numbers and/or important information.  Basically make an itinerary for your use and include important numbers as well.  Example: cruise line information in case of emergency and contact numbers for back home and bank credit card company international numbers (for cards that you are using).
  • I’m sure by now you’ve already gotten euros from the bank here in the States; most places won’t take US money, cash.
  • On a “cheat sheet” list a few “key” phrases in case of emergency for each country you are going to. For example: where is the bathroom? hospital? police? AND most importantly do you speak English (I always asked this first)? I used google translator.
  • Review your clothing one last time and remove anything that “really” isn’t needed. You really don’t want to check a 62 pound bag (I did and never again). Trust me and where things twice. Comfy shoes are a must: I brought and wore flats but my feet still hurt – I would recommend gym shoes (especially because of the marble everywhere).
  • Make 2 or 3 copies of yours and your hubby’s passports; place each in 2 different places in your bags, separately. Leave a set at home with someone in case of an emergency. And your itinerary (I emailed mine to my girlfriend in the FBI; I knew she would NOW what to do if I didn’t return, just in case). The cruise ship will “hold” your passport the entire trip and you won’t have it with you — I didn’t like this but, we had to do it. Good to have a copy with you and of course picture ID, driver’s license.
  • For your 4-days in Rome definitely bring your translation book. It was very helpful to us.
  • You want to buy the “Roma Pass” when in Rome. Look up online — there are places everywhere to buy it. You basically get in for free to 2 museums if memory serves me correctly and you get discounts at other places.
  • Take the tour bus that is red. I can’t think of the name nor can I find it in my notes (if I do I’ll email you). They have in “English” a recorded tour along the 3 different routes you can take (and we did all three). Every day we hopped on this bus. We did NOT take the public transportation. And we walked basically everywhere.
  • Reserve in advance your visit to the Vatican. We spent the entire day there and didn’t have enough time.
  • The Borghese Gallery is a must see and you are allotted a 2 hour time slot to visit the gallery. And a beautiful walk through the “gardens” to get there. You need reservations and have to book in-advance.
  • Go to the TOP of the Vittorio Emanuele Monument We didn’t know you could go to the top and there is an absolutely killer view from the top. The funny part about this monument is we waited for the bus every day there and never went it or on top of it. By the way, we joked the entire time about having “dinner” in the horse like they did a very long time ago (and I wrote a blog post about this).
  • If it rains in Rome head to the Pantheon. It’s very cool to see the rain come through the hole.
  • Any restaurant you go to order the house wine. Fabulous and inexpensive. We did order a few nice bottles as well.
  • BUY a compass before you go!!!! I was sooo glad that someone recommended this. It saved us one time in particular.
  • Have pizza (very different from the US).
  • Have cappuccino (I was on a quest for the best and found it: will email the name later and location).
  • Watch Angels & Demons before you go or bring it with you and watch night before you go to Rome. We did and my guy was in “awww”… I was extremely overwhelmed with what to do in our 5-days of Rome and I sort of followed all of the places they went in the movie and some of the churches as well (we went into a lot of churches and they ARE amazing).
  • There are 2 squares or “piazzas” that you need to go to at night that are uber

There are so many things I can tell you and recommend but, these are just a few that stand out and some of these are things we would do differently. I hope this helps. And I will email you the 3 additional pieces of the “missing” info from above.

Oh, and there are a few “helpful” links to Rome that I put on the absolute bottom of my blog for Rome. Actually I think they are moved now to the lower right. They definitely assist you while on the cruise ship and/or when in Rome. Also, check one of the link’s as it is Rome’s tourism website in english.
Have an absolutely wonderful time and take a lot of pictures.
PS – Take an umbrella just in case.
My 2nd email to Wendy — with the follow-up information.
The cappuccino that you “have-to” have is called Sant Eustachio check this blog post for a little background info or google it I was on the search for the “perfect” cappuccino — it is an old coffee shop and known for the smooth taste of the cappuccino because of the water (comes from the ancient Roman viaducts, at least this is what I’ve read and been told). And it was well worth it. Also, I included a picture of the front to this email. **Plus, its a fun journey to find this coffee shop — we went into a lot of churches along the way and this is when the “compass” came in handy.** I highly recommend a “night” time visit to the Piazza Navona. There is a huge fountain by Bernini in the middle of the piazza and its breathtaking. And little cafes/restaurants line the piazza. And visit the church in the square as well. Great places to eat in and “around” the square. Side note, I became obsessed with Bernini sculptures while in Rome.
Don’t forget to toss a coin (backwards) into the Trevi Fountain to “ensure” your return to Rome.
Anyhow, is there any tips I neglected to mention?  After your first trip to Europe what did you “make a mental note of” to do or not do for your next trip…?
Have a wonderful evening.

…this & that…Thursday.

Sorry it’s late…the scheduling feature on Blogger didn’t work right, anyhow…On to …this & that… Thursday!

As always, today is one of my favorite posts.  I really like sharing with you things I like and great, fun findsYes, yes, I know I did that yesterday with my Let’s go shopping! post.  However, I just can’t keep all the fabulous finds to myself, it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t share, right?  So, I’m going to sharing a bunch of a little of …this and a little of that… with you this evening.

Oh, and before I forget I need to clear a little something up:  I guess my post yesterday for Wanderlust Wednesday was a little to good to be true…  Some of you thought I was really going to London and the Royal Wedding.  Ummm, no.  I WISH!  But, I’m not.  Now, let me go further and clarify that my intention was not to deceive you but merely make you believe that “WE”, yes we meaning “you and me” were really going on a trip to London.  And I guess I absolutely, positively nailed it!!!!  Wouldn’t you agree?  Again, I apologize for any confusion.  I am really trying for perfection with Wanderlust Wednesday’s and the escape I want to provide for myself and to you the readers.  Anyhow, I hope you liked it.  And in case you missed it you can read it here.

Don’t forget to stop by Friday morning and see my outfit that I am virtually wearing to the wedding.  I’m linking the outfit up for Fashion Fridays over at Blonde Episodes and Friday’s Fancies over at {long distance loving}.  And I guarantee you there will be some fabulous outfits!  Just fabulous, mine included of course.

And for some awesome “real” coverage of the Royal Wedding stop by Simply Colette who really IS in London for the wedding.  And might I add she’s had some very Royal encounters…

If your interested in more of the wedding you might want to hop over to Danielle from Breakfast for Toast‘s wedding week blog crawl in honor of William and Kate’s upcoming nuptials.  She has some very fun posts, all wedding themed of course. 
Liesl put together a Look 4 Less of an outfit Miss Kate Middleton wore and it looks fabulous for less!  And let me just say that Liesl is pretty talented with creating these Looks for Less, oh yes she is!  Check her out.
I found this fabulous virtual shop!  Oh yes I did.  How about a handcrafted bag or clutch from Cory Renee‘s etsy shop!  This Mad Men inspired clutch grabbed my attention.  And don’t worry if you like the style but not the color “choose” the custom option and create your own.  I absolutely love that the inside of the clutch is a fabulous contrasty pattern or color.  My favorite is this black and white clutch however, I’m really tempted to create my own…  Which one is your favorite?
This clutch is mine.  All mine.  I’ll already have bought it by the time you read this.  It SCREAMS my name, seriously it is.  Don’t tell me you can’t hear it.  This is such a fun, fun, and fun some more purse.
 I can so see this clutch being in my next photo shoot with Mia Stella Photography!

Make a clutch all your one…custom.
I think I need this one too!

I think Leeann from Join the Gossip would like this yellow number but, then again so do I…


Doesn’t this “pop” of pink just scream your name?  It screams mine. 
And I think it screams Kori’s name from Blonde Episodes, too…

I’d love to hear which clutch you want.  Or what your custom creation would consist of…
What are your thoughts on a beach tote? An airplane friendly one that is.  One that can double as my purse for my getaway weekends to the beach.  Check out the ones I found…
From Elaine Turner Kris Beach Grasscloth tote
From Magid Large Milan Straw Drawstring tote

In black…?

Ideally the tote needs to work for 2 people.  Yes, that means I carry Bern’s stuff too.  Normally when we hit the beach we each have are own bag but, its good to have room for other extra items too.  So, the bag needs to be big enough to hold the following:  towel, book, magazine, suntan lotion, sunscreen, chapstick, bottle of water, IPOD, cell phone (preferable a pocket or 2),  camera.  Hmmm, did I forget anything?  And most importantly the bag “must” be beach friendly.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Have a fabulous Thursday and I hope you enjoyed today’s …this & that… post.

Wanderlust Wednesday.


I’ve removed my jewels from the safety deposit box.  My bags are packed.  My passport and tickets are in my tote bag.  Went to the bank yesterday and converted some US dollars into Pounds.  Reading material, check.  Labtop, check.  IPOD, check.  Blackberry, check.  Ok, I’m ready, are you?  Let’s go.

I’m heading to Sky Harbor Airport and hopping on a flight to London.  You see I’m attending my good friends, Wills and Kate’s , wedding Friday morning and I’m so excited.  Not just because there getting married or that I get wear my fabulous new outfit and new hat but, because I’m traveling to London.  Its a first for me.  And I’m excited to be see it. 

I’m staying at an apartment rental that I found at roomorama.  I’m staying in Kensington at this snazzy little studio apartment:  Apartment 29.  And to think this studio is 110 euros a night.  I’m staying four nights and fly back on Sunday.  I’m mainly going for the wedding but of course I’ll do a little sightseeing.

And I am hoping to meet up with Colette of Simply Colette for some tea before the “big” day.  Colette is already in London covering the preparation for the upcoming nuptials.  Don’t forget to stop by and follow her week of coverage.

So let me share the photos of Apartment 29.

Pretty snazzy right?  I thought so.  Its a great place for just me however, it would be fabulous for Bern to join me to!  **hint, hint**  Check out roomorama’s other London rentals and blog.  On a side note roomorama has worldwide international rentals.  So, check them out for your next getaway weekend or vacation.  I’ll be staying in a roomorama rental for my upcoming Paris trip in September and Venice trip in November.  Stay tuned for more about this trips.

Once, I arrive in London I’m going to head straight for the apartment for some much needed sleep.  And need I forget I’ll need to hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate some more.  Hydration is key with international flights.  And adjusting immediately to the time zone you enter.  This is easy for me and hard for Bern.

Here’s some of the sights I plan to see…

And of course I’m going to ride the double-decker bus! Bern wouldn’t miss it for the world.
{the London sightseeing photos are courtesy of}

I hope you enjoyed our “virtual” trip to London in honor of Will and Kate’s big day!  Yes, I know it seemed a “bit” real like we were really there didn’t it?  And that was the plan.  Thanks for stopping by today.  And don’t forget to stop back Friday morning to see what I’m wearing to the wedding (as a guest).  And check out roomorama.  Until next time.


Wanderlust Wednesday. **Missing post from 4/6/11 found**

Well, today April 19, 2011 I discovered what happened to my “missing” post.  Yours truly scheduled the “post” date as 4/6/2001.  Yes, and I just happened to find it tonight.  Anyhow, here is another version of April 6th, 2011 post.  Enjoy!

Pack your bags.  We are headed to Rome.  And we are going to the Vittoriano Monument. 

On Sunday morning I emailed this tweet to Bernie: 

@TravelDesigned: RT @ARoadRetraveled The area on top of the Vittoriano. 7Euros for the elevator ticket for best panoramic view of Rome

{via @ARoadRetraveled}

And he responds via email with:  Can we have dinner inside the horse??

You see during our 5-days in Rome we did not once go inside this building or on top of it to see the wonderful view.  Every morning we waited to the very right of the entrance to hop on our double-decker bus.  We had no idea about this view.  None whatsoever.  Well, we do now.  Unfortunately, when you travel to a foreign country and you do a ton of research it simply just isn’t possible to see everything in one trip.  It just isn’t.  So, that means it is even more reason for us to go back.

And a side note about the “horse” we would like to have dinner in it but, somehow I don’t think its possible.  And PB&J’s would suffice with bottled water.  We just want to say that we’ve been in it and had dinner.  Too funny, I know.  But, it would be cool wouldn’t it be?  Bern and I think so.

Here’s a pictures we took of the Vittoriano Monument.  For a little history about this monument click here.

It was raining this morning and cold.
Another day…and it was sunny and windy.
We were a little cold can’t you tell? 
And we were also prepared for rain, hence the rain coat.
Hope you enjoyed our trip to Rome. 
I know I did.  And I can’t wait until this Thanksgiving when I head to Venice.

Wanderlust Wednesday.

I’m packed, I’m ready, let’s go.  Ready?
Today, we are off to Martha’s Vineyard.  I haven’t been in a few years and I’m looking forward to it.  My last visit to the island was quite memorable because I was there over New Year’s and was able to spend some quality time with family:  Uncle RJ, Aunt Va, Uncle Patrick, and Grandma.  I especially enjoy it because this is part of my family that I don’t see a whole lot but, I absolutely love spending time with them.  And my Aunt’s cooking is delicious.  Fun talks with both my Uncle Patrick and Uncle RJ.  Time with my Grandma is precious, and especially so this time because she past away several months later. 
I miss her dearly but, I know she watches over me (as do my other grandparents).
So, we are off to hop on the big jet and then change planes in Boston to the itty, bitty, little plane. 
Or the bus from Boston to the ferry point and then the ferry.  Oh, wait the train too.  Hmmm… 
Well, we have several hours to decide on our flight.  Let’s enjoy it!

Lighthouse view (just before sunset)

What a beautiful sunset

A view of the trail during a walk with my Uncle and Una

Grandma Munro and me (and short hair)

Aunt Va, Uncle RJ, and Una

Thanks for joining me today!  Until next time…

Weekend Recap & A Blogger Meet-Up.

Wow!  I had quite the weekend.  It started with a half-day of work on Friday.  And somewhat of a cluster trying to get on an earlier flight.  You see US Airways wanted to charge $50 to go on the earlier flight.  Yes, you read that correctly.  A new “change” to the rules (earlier this year).  However, I’ve been a Silver Preferred member since 2002…and it should have been at no charge, “a perk”.  But, I didn’t realize my card expired on 2/28/11.  Uh-Oh!  It was a cluster.  Seriously, it was.  And to top it off I forgot to get the GPS from Bern.  Well, Bern parked his car and came inside to give me the GPS (thank goodness for this).  Super sweet isn’t he?  I think so.  Then he tried to work some magic as a Chairman’s member.  You see Bern’s a bit special with regard to how much he flies.  But, he’s special too – to me!  The chairman’s distinction is given to those who fly 100,000 a year and to boot he’s flown over 1 million with US Airways as well, a special certificate for that.

I stayed with my girlfriend, Kirsten and her two daughters, age 2 and 11.  We ate pizza and watched For Love & Other Drugs.  Neither one of us cared for the movie.  A little too much nakedness.  And I wasn’t expecting that from Princess Mia.  Anyhow, it was fun regardless.

I got up early on Saturday morning for my photo shoot.  And it was sooo much fun!  My girlfriend, Kirsten, has just launched her new business – Mia Stella Photography.  And I want to do all that I can to help.  So, of course, I was more than happy to do a photo shoot or two with her.  We decided on 2 shoots.  The beach and a boudior session.  I was a little bit reluctant at first for the boudoir session however, I am very pleased with the results and think they look fabulous.  So, Saturday morning we headed to the beach for roughly 40 minutes.  Again, the results are fabulous.  Really, they are.

After the first, photo shoot I met my step-sister, Kat, for coffee at The Coffee Bean and had the most delicious iced coffee.  And to think I’m a Starbucks girl.  I had plain regular iced coffee, added half and half, and added 2 packets of splenda.  Delicious!  On a side note, there is a Coffee Bean right by my office and it is closer than Starbucks.  Hmmm…  Anyhow, it was a lot of fun to catch-up with Kat in-person.  I always make it a point to see her when I come into town.

After coffee with Kat I headed to meet my lunch dates.  My very first blogger meet-up!  I was pretty excited and part of the main reason for my trip to California.  My lunch dates were Kori from Blonde Episodes and Leeann from Join the Gossip.  It was really great to meet these two lovely ladies in person!  And I can’t wait to see them again.  Here’s a picture of us and I must say that my hair was seriously out-of-control.  You see “my” hair is used to the dry heat of Arizona and not the humidity of Southern California.  I already know that my hair has a mind of its own but, in California it is in over-drive and super curly (of which I don’t mind unless, I want it straight).

Kori, Leeann, and Me (with the crazy hair)

I headed back to Kirsten’s for my second photo shoot.  The boudoir shoot.  I was skeptical of “how” they would look and “if” I would let her post them on her website and blog.  Really, it was how “I” was going to look in them.  I very much want Kirsten to have a full portfolio so I asked her what she needed…and here we are.  I will say that I am very pleasantly surprised with the boudoir shots.  I’m going to do another post on this and provide pictures so I don’t want to spoil it.  Needless, to say they turned out great and they are not too revealing either.  The photos turned out fabulous!  Kirsten really knows what she is doing with her Nikon.  And I must say for being a “natural” light photography all of my photos rock.  You can visit her blog for sneak peaks of the beach shoot and the boudoir shoot.  Also, I plan on doing a separate post for both with the pictures.  And a lot of details for how “you” can do your own boudoir shoot.  And to think the shoot was roughly about 45 minutes and a ton of fun.  A lot of laughter too.

On Saturday evening we had a yummy dinner of salmon, butternut squash, rice, and salad.  Dinner was delicious.  Oh, and after dinner we had a little vino.  We watched several episodes of Blues Clues and I had no idea Blue was a girl — thought it was a boy.  It was amazing to me to see how mesmerized Kirsten’s youngest daughter was by Blue.  Absolutely, positively mesmerized.  And another awesome milestone was this was night #2 with no binky!!!  Kirsten was extremely excited.  On a side note tonight the binky is till “not” being used.  Yay!  After the 27th episode of Blues Clues we watched the movie Takers.  A pretty good movie.  It was an action flick and definitely kept our attention, more so than the night before.

It was a leisurely Sunday morning with Kirsten and the girls.  It’s always fun to see them and relaxing.  You see we don’t do anything wild, we just hang out.  To round out my trip I had lunch with my Aunt and Uncle at the Long Beach Airport before I got on my flight.  Who knew there was a restaurant on the second floor?  Well, I must say it was pretty good.  And it is always a fun visit with my Aunt and Uncle and full of laughs too.  I’m looking forward to seeing them next time I’m in Cali.

I also forgot to mention an absolutely, amazing part of my trip:  the GPS!!!  Yes, I’m serious.  This was my first time completely relying on GPS and Bernie’s worked fabulous.  I seriously do not understand “why” Bern waited so long to purchase it.  Well, I must say it is a “must-have” for anyone who drives a car and especially those who live in California and/or those that are visiting.  It was super easy to use and extremely clear on my directions.  No confusion whatsoever.  Sorry, I had to share my excitement.  I told Bern several times I thrilled I was that he let me borrow it.  Kirsten thought my excitement was a bit funny too.  But, hey that’s me!  Too funny, I know.  My point is this:  GPS rocks and I’m glad I had it and I’ll never leave home again without it, period.

I was sad to leave California because I always have so much fun.  And I love, love, love the ability to go to the beach.  The Saturday morning beach shoot made part of the trip.  Anyhow, Bern picked me up and we headed to dinner.  And then we headed back to my place and viewed the photo shoot pictures.  Bern loves all but one (don’t worry I’ll let you know which one, in another post).  We hung out and watched tv together for a few hours and Bern went home.  On a side note, we completely forgot to go to my office and pick up my car.  You see, that’s where I left it on Friday afternoon…  I didn’t realize until Monday morning that my car was “at work” already.  Nice, huh…?!

It was a perfect weekend.  The trip was fabulous as always and I can’t wait until next time.  In a month or two I’ll head back.  I hope you had a great weekend.

Sassy Stylin’ Sunday.

{via weheartit}

Late this afternoon I headed back to Phoenix  I had a fun-filled weekend with family and friends. 
Blogger still hasn’t fixed the “html” feature so, I can’t “post” my outfit for today… 
Hopefully, its fixed soon.  Hope you had a fabulous weekend.

Wanderlust Wednesday.

I’m ready, let’s go.  How about “you” decide where we go today…? 
A few suggestions – Paris, London, Madrid… 
 Or I’d even settle for the beach but, then I’d need to re-pack. 
 Hmmm, I can handle that – so, just let me know if I need to my beach “gear”!

Wanderlust Wednesday.

It all started Sunday morning at 11:16 a.m. when I forwarded the following tweet to Bern:

@TravelDesigned: RT @ARoadRetraveled The area on top of the Vittoriano. 7Euros for the elevator ticket for best panoramic view of Rome

{twitpic from link listed above}
Bern responded with:  “Can we have dinner inside the horse??”

I respond with:  “LOL! Seriously, I laughed out loud with that one. I thought it take you back and remind of our trip. And we will go inside that building next time we are there and the museum. ;)”

You see Bern and I have a little inside joke about having dinner “inside” the horse.  On our trip last November (2010) during our 5-days in Rome Bern informed during his “history lesson” from our bus tour that they had dinner in the horse.  And I was like “no way, your full of it” and you know how the rest of the conversation went.  Click here for the history of the monument.  Part of the joke is that we “would” really like to have dinner in the horse “just to say we actually did it”.  Peanut butter sandwiches and water would be sufficient.  It just has to be dinner, nothing spectacular, it would be nostalgic for us.  And yes, quirky too.

The interesting part of our trip is that we never went inside or on top.  Honestly, we didn’t have a clue that there was this phenomenal view of Rome from the top or that we could even go up there.  Don’t worry it’s been added to our list, in addition to finding out if we can have dinner in the horse.  We already know that you can’t really have dinner in the horse but, if in any way, shape or form its possible we will be doing it next time we are in Rome.  Also, we will be going to the museum that is housed as well in the monument.

Alright, the really funny part about this Vittoriano Monument is that we went by it every day at least twice.  Yes, twice.  Our bus stop right next to it.  I leaned up against the marble wall waiting for our bus.  Too funny, I know and we had no idea we could on the roof.  Unfortunately, I don’t think I read my guide books as clearly as I needed to for this particular monument.  But, with all due respect we couldn’t fit everything in AND there are places we want to go back to and see again, for sure.  Rome was an absolutely fabulous city to visit and we are looking forward to going back one day soon.  Italy was divine and we both loved  it.

Bern and I did however take photos of the monument and of us on a very cold day in Rome.  Well, we were cold anyway being from Arizona.  So let’s visit the “outside” of the Vittoriano Monument.

You’ll notice from the street level there is no way whatsoever to see that there is a viewing deck or people up there.  Honestly, we had no clue.  Bern and I definitely wish we would have known…next time.

Here’s the horse that “we” will one day have dinner in.

I enjoyed our trip to the Vittoriano Monument in Rome today.  I hope you did too.  Until next time.

Wednesday Wanderlust.

Let’s do something different today.  I am going to put this outfit on. 
And I’m loving the aviator sunglasses.  Loving them!


Head to Starbucks an pick up my usual.
Iced Treinta Green Tea with 3 pumps of classic syrup.
{via weheartit}

A little relaxation is in order.  So, I’m heading to the beach.  The surf has quite a calming effect.
And of course I’ll be working on research for future “trips”.
{via weheartit}
A great outfit, my tea, the beach, and trip research — all while listening to the surf. 
Sounds like a great day to me.

The New Adventure – on a Budget: A Trip to Paris! {Post #2}

First, if you need to play catch-up visit {Post #1} here.

Wow, wow and wow some more!  I have some absolutely e-x-c-i-t-i-n-g news!  Oh, yes I do. 

On the way home from the Suns game tonight…

I, of course, was in the process of updating my twitter account and saw this tweet: 
@FrommersTravel Frommer’s
Deals & News: Four Nights in Paris, from $1,097 with Air  #traveldeals
I screamed in the car “oh my gosh!” and Bern rolls his eyes and was like “what’s the problem?”.  I of course read the tweet and he immediately asks “what airline and what are the dates of availability?”  The airfare is round trip from NYC it’s not PHX (Phoenix) but, that’s ok…  I can buy a ticket from PHX to NYC or convince Bern to use miles. *hint, hint*  What a killer deal?  Seriously.  Oh, and I did apologize to Bern for screaming in the car.  It was a momentary lapse in good judgment – screaming while in a moving car on the highway is not a good idea.  Sorry Bern.
So, I went to the and can you say WWWWOOOOWWW!  I searched for 5-minutes and immediately added it to my favorite bar.  Holy-moly, how can I not have known about this site.  I solemnly swear to “check” on a regular basis all travel sites for “killer deals”.  And yes, I will share them on my blog.  Ok, wow.  I need to move on from this.  It’s really a shame that my travel savings account hasn’t reached it goal number as of yet.  A major bummer.  But, anyhow check out the site and I highly recommend bookmarking it for future use.
Anyhow I did a little research last week after I posted {Post #1}
On Wednesday, March 23rd I tweeted this: 
_thisandthat_ Heather Pranitis
Any suggestions for a chic, inexpensive place to say in #Paris? I’m planning a short & sweet trip on a budget. 🙂
And I received these fabulous responses, with a lot of good information.  Alot.
MyMelange Robin Locker Lacey
@_thisandthat_ Chic and inexpensive are a tough combo 🙂 What is your budget?
_thisandthat_ Heather Pranitis
@MyMelange The budget is $1000-$1500. Using frequent flyer miles unless I find a killer fare. Its looking like 3 nites in paris w/budget
MyMelange Robin Locker Lacey
@_thisandthat_ I’m off to bed now, but just chat me back your nightly budget and I’ll see what I can reco tomorrow for you! 🙂
MyMelange Robin Locker Lacey
@_thisandthat_ So, is that your entire budget for the trip? What is your budget per night for a hotel?
_thisandthat_ Heather Pranitis
Can anyone suggest a #chic inexpensive place #b&b #hotel #apartment to stay in #paris on a #budget? Clean warm & comfy very important.
_thisandthat_ Heather Pranitis
@ohmygola no dates yet. Research 1st. solo or +1. I wnt clean warm comfy place2sleep (chic=bonus). Budget 4 entire $1000-$1500 Using miles.
26 Mar

Twitter is irritating me tonight.  I need to point out that I cannot locate @ohmygola’s great response and another hotel listing, ugh!

And my Dad responded as well with a “tweet” and told me to talk to my Uncle Lee.  He goes to Paris a lot and really enjoys going there!  I really love all these suggestions and the assistance.  And to top it off it’s all free!
I spent some time researching the trip over the past week in addition to the tweets and I’m still compiling the info for {Post #3}.  I still don’t have “set” dates as of yet.  But, I will say that we won’t be going in May – it will be hot there and the airfare prices are out of control.  I am thinking over Labor Day weekend in September.  Maybe… 
Until next time.

The New Adventure – on a Budget: A Trip to Paris! {Post #1}

Here it is!  A new series.  The very first post. 

Last Saturday I had a brilliant idea…here goes:

As you know I love going on vacation.  Love it.  Really, seriously I do.  Who doesn’t, right?  Anyhow, I would love to go back to Europe.  Rome, Barcelona, and Marseilles.  Wait, how about Paris…  Yes!  I haven’t been there yet! And the best part Bernie agreed that he would love to go as well.  However, …  Yes, “however…”  We have a teeny, tiny, itty, bitty, small problem:  money.  Yes, money.  Going on vacation by any means is not cheap.  Especially, going to Europe.  Ah-hem.  However, I am determined to say that it can AND will be done on a budget!  Oh yes it will.  I’ll show you how.

You see, that is the whole purpose of this series.  To kick-it off I’m planning a trip to Paris.  Yes, truly a real, honest-to-goodness trip.  But, at this point it is “hypothetical” because it doesn’t simple fit in the budget.  The budget for this trip is $1,000-$1,500, period.  I also have it on good authority that if I stay within the budget I’ll be going to Paris!  YES!

I think you have a pretty good idea of what to expect from this series.  I’m looking forward to the adventure on a budget, aren’t you?

Have a great day!  Until next time.

Wednesday Wanderlust.

Pack your bags we are heading to France!  Marseilles to be specific.  I truly enjoyed the day (well hours) that Bernie and I spent there.  I am ready to go back. 
Also, its a port town so its pretty windy.  And don’t forget to stop by and get your “fresh” pastries.  Bern and I went twice (to the same place).  And “yes” to Bordeaux in the middle of the day, 2 glasses, thank you.  Oh, and the soup I had was delicious!!!
The Cathedral of Notre Dame in the background.  And now we didn’t go.  
We walked around the town the entire day.  It was cold but, fun.

I was shocked to see this.  I had no idea a new book was coming out!!!  And I still have yet to read it.

We stopped “here” twice.

This was the center of a busy street and square.  There was so many people around and it was lunch time as well.  And to think Bern and I do not speak any French.  We had quite the day. 
{Check back for the future post of …A day in Marseilles…} 

Sorry but, I can’t get the photo the right side up.  We walked to and from this monument. 
And Bern’s knee was killing him – he still won’t admit it (to this day) but, I could tell by his face. 

Another great picture!  This is the point we decided we were not going to make it to the Cathedral. 

The fresh flowers were everywhere.  The floral shops were to die for.  Seriously, they were.

Enjoy!  Until next time.  Thanks for stopping by …this & that…

Wanderlust Wednesday.

Where are we going today?  The beach.  Alaska to Seattle?  The North Pole in Alaska.  Yes, there is a city in Alaska called the North Pole.  And I should know because I used to live there.  I can’t decide where to go…  Russia, maybe?  Vienna.  Budapest.  Greek Island hopping.  Lake Como, Italy.  Dubrovnik, Croatia.  Tuscany.  A journey down an ancient highway “The Amber Road”:  St. Petersburg across eastern and central Europe to Venice. 

I still can’t decide…

I did come up with something.  To think that Bern and I have been together for almost 6-years and we have yet to have a romantic dinner on the beach.  Seriously.  We have never done this.  So, due to my ever overwhelming sense of desire for the beach (especially right now) and Italy.  We are heading to a romantic dinner for two on the beach.

A romantic table for 2 on the beach.  The sunset.  Drinking a nice glass of red Italian wine.  Preferably the fabulous house wine we had on our last night in Italy (this past November, 2011).  And a scrumptious dinner.  Dessert by candlelight.  A fabulous piece of red velvet cake.

Let’s enjoy the visual.  We are heading to the Maldives.

An uber romantic sunset dinner — beachside.

And there will be dancing.  Yes, Bern, dancing!
This is actually a picture for somewhere in Mexico but, it shows “romance”.  Just pretend its the Maldives.
I’d love to stay here.

Almost forgot – the cake.

{All pictures via}

What about you what’s your idea of a romantic evening on vacation?