Thursday, August 25, 2016

Summer Getaway: Pez Factory

Summer is the perfect time for a fun little road trip.  To close out July this year, Chris and I ventured up to Vermont for a long weekend. Along the way, we made a pit stop in Orange, Connecticut - to visit the Pez Factory!

While small in size, the factory was both educational and interactive. We had a great time checking out all the historic Pez dispensers and watching a video about how the candy is produced. There was also a fun scavenger hunt game that we both really enjoyed. We both selected Pez dispensers to take home since the price of admission for two adults gave us a $4 credit in the gift shop.  I selected a Christmas themed penguin while Chris opted for a Yankees dispenser.

Overall, the place was simply packed full of fun.  It is definitely worth the $5 price of admission if you ever find yourself in Orange, CT with nothing to do for the afternoon!

Andrea :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Fun Home

One of my birthday presents from my wonderful husband was tickets to see Fun Home.  Since it won Best Musical in 2015, I had been interested in seeing it.  I knew the content might be a bit dark, but I wanted to give it a shot.

It definitely proved to be quite the dramedy, but I really enjoyed the perspective from child to young adult to grown woman that the story followed.  There were a couple of really fun songs along the way as well.  Overall, I enjoyed the performance.  I wish it had gone just a few ticks deeper into the father's story though I know the focus was intended to be on Alison.  While it didn't blow me away in the musical category, I thought it would have made a really intriguing play.

Do you enjoy the dramedy genre?

Andrea :)

Friday, August 19, 2016

The End of An Era

Around nine years ago, I began my professional career with my first full-time job at the League Office in New York City.  As I've recounted in the last five years on this blog, there have been some amazing adventures and experiences over that time.  A multitude of memories made and people met that I will cherish forever.  Definitely an exciting and unpredictable ride!  Today, I say goodbye.

Andrea :)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Our July Date Nights

And just like that it is the middle of August!  I've been a bit preoccupied, but I did want to share our July date nights with you before any more time slips away from me. We shared lots of laughs during a comedy night at Caroline's and enjoyed a high energy history lesson during Shuffle Along.

Chris discovered the Asperger's Are Us comedy troupe through a friend that knows one of the members.  All four members of the group have Asperger's Syndrome. Their style of comedy is unique and went over my head a few times, but Chris and I certainly enjoyed the show.  It was fantastic to see these individuals doing exactly what they love successfully!  The group is touring the US currently and even had a documentary film about them released at Austin's SXSW Film Festival in March - definitely worth checking them out!

Shuffle Along was my date night pick this month. Actually, it became a bit of a group date when the alumni coordinator at my alma mater reached out to NYC area alumni to get a group together to go see this star studded show since one of our own - JC Montgomery - was part of the cast!  Chris really loved the story and finding out more about the historical elements portrayed in this true Broadway tale.  I enjoyed the tap dancing and comical scenes, but had a bit of trouble following the story line at various points throughout.  It would have helped me to know a tad more about the show before we saw it, but the cast was amazing.  I was SO impressed that Audra McDonald was moving and shaking and tapping so well while visibly pregnant - truly phenomenal!

What has been your most fun summer date this year?

Andrea :)

Sunday, July 31, 2016

ABC Reads: July Review

Today is the day to link up your ABC Reads!!   

Here's a refresher on the terms of the challenge in case you missed it previously:

What does the challenge entail?  Well, I'm glad you asked.  There are 26 letters of the alphabet and Mia and I challenge you, during the course of 2016, to read a book that starts with each letter.  For example, Atonement (A), The Bell Jar (B), Catching Fire (C), and so on.  Makes sense, right? You don't need to go in order - if you want to start with S, go for it.  On the last day of each month, we'll host a link-up for you to share your ABC Reads.  We will award one point for each letter you review AND a bonus point for linking up with us!  At the end of the year (or when the first participant reviews a book beginning with each of the 26 letters), the winner will be awarded a $30 Amazon gift card. Congrats to challenge winner, Jessica from Frikken Duckie!

Reading took a back seat to life this month. A way back seat, but more on that another time. I didn't even come close to meeting my goal of completing at least four books this month.  Fortunately, the one I did manage to finish was a great one!  I'm hopeful I can step up the pace next month.  I only have nine books left for the challenge so I really need to read at least two next month to stay on track.  This month, I completed the following letter: N.  Here are my thoughts...

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

I found myself completely consumed with Vianne and Isabelle's story.  I really enjoy historical fiction and this book proved fantastic.  I loved the way it combined historical drama (the German occupation of France) with family drama.  There were a number of moving pieces throughout the story that kept me guessing until the end.  I don't want to say much about the story because I highly encourage you to read it.  I left the story with a lot to think about in regard to not only family and loyalty to country, but also about friendship and what it means to be free.  I can't even begin to fathom what life was like during the World Wars and Nazi occupation in particular.  What a horrifying and scary time!

What have you been reading lately?

Andrea :)

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Birthday Treats

Given the insane heat wave that made its appearance over the past couple of weeks, my birthday plans shifted a tad.  I had been pretty flexible about plans this year anyway especially since I knew we would be semi-celebrating with the ice cream cake at the game night we hosted just a few days prior to my birthday.  Since the actual day fell on a Sunday this year, I knew we'd spend most of the morning at church, but it took a bit of creative thinking to sort out the rest of the day. I remembered we still had a couple of gift cards from my bridal shower that we hadn't been able to use yet so a plan was set!  We would have brunch at Sarabeth's followed by spending a few hours checking out the Guggenheim Museum.  Two great beat the heat ideas.

I only managed to snag a photo of the basket of muffins we ordered at Sarabeth's.  I really enjoyed trying the different types.  Banana and pumpkin were my favorite!  Overall, the food was great!

The Guggenheim was an interesting place. The layout is in a circular pattern with a number of exhibits lining the walls while others are displayed in rooms off to the side.  Chris and I took turns finding our favorite piece in the smaller rooms and just enjoying a leisurely stroll through the exhibits.  The museum hosts several really neat and unique pieces.  The most interesting to me was a couscous castle in the middle eastern art exhibit area.

After roaming around the museum, we stopped by Two Little Red Hens bakery to pick up a small cake.  I indulged in a mini cupcake there, too.  Calories don't count on your birthday, right?

I spent the evening opening a few gifts from Chris and my parents along with a stack of birthday cards. It was a nice day.  A lot calmer that some of my previous celebrations, but just what I needed this year!

How do you like to celebrate your birthday?

Andrea :)

Sunday, July 24, 2016

It's Ice Cream Cake Time!!!

It's July 24th - my favorite day of the year!!

I certainly wasted no time requesting an ice cream birthday cake this year - especially since the temps are hovering right around 100 degrees these days.  I'll be over here trying to stay hydrated while I blow out all 33 of these candles.  No big deal.  Seriously though, Happy Birthday to ME!!

Andrea :)