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Showing posts from 2013

Hello Again :)

Hello Again :)

It feels like such a long time since I blogged about anything...so here are some new updates.
Enjoy :)

After I got back from my vacation almost 3 months ago, things at work have been pretty slow...so slow to the point of going to work to play CandyCrush on my iPod for 8 hours...
Things are picking up this month, as my clients have just shared with us their directions and strategies for the coming year. I have to submit 15 media plans and recommendations by the first week of January...such a tight deadline, but it can be done.

Christmas is coming up in two weeks, well, 13 days to Christmas Eve to be exact. I love Christmas, it's my favorite holiday. I love Christmas music, decorating the tree and ofcourse, Christmas Eve dinner.

It's been almost 3 months since my last vacation....so it's time for another vacation. On Christmas Day, I will be flying out to Istanbul, Turkey for a mini winter vacation. I'm going to spend a week in the charming city of Istanbu…

Vacation... Long Version: Chapter Twelve

Chapter 12: Wednesday September 18, 2013
Our journey was coming to an end…we were leaving back home in a day. Today, we had something interesting on our agendas…watching a Broadway play, and not just any play…we were watching a play starring Orlando Bloom! Yes, you guessed it! It’s Romeo and Juliet. And the only reason we were watching it, is because it stars Orlando Bloom. We had already purchased our tickets online a few days go, and we were all set.
We decided to leave to Manhattan early this morning. So after getting ready, we followed our usual Manhattan routine…we went to South Amboy train station, bought our tickets and found out we didn't miss our train by a minute for a change, then went down to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast.
After a delicious cream cheese bagel, with orange juice and a glazed donut; we were on board the train and on our way to NYC for one last time.
The play didn't start until 2pm, so we had around 4 hours to walk around Manhattan and enjoy the sights…

Vacation... Long Version: Chapter Eleven

Chapter 11: Tuesday September 17, 2013
Today was devoted to shopping! After waking up and getting ready for the day, G dropped N and I to Jersey Shore Premium Outlets, just off exit 100 A. The outlet was big, with lots of designer stores, and all my favorite stores. We spent hours going from one store to the next, and coming out with a lot of bags...bags from Michael Kors, Nike, UGGs, Banana Republic, Bebe, Kate Spade…and the list goes on and on.
Taking a break from all the shopping, we decided to have lunch at the food court of the outlets. We looked at the different restaurants and picked South Philly Steak & Fries…the menu looked appealing. And it was a very good choice! The Philly cheese steak sandwich I had was delicious! After lunch, we continued our shopping to burn off the calories.
Around 3pm, G called us and told us she was picking us up to go Staten Island to drop off something for S. We loaded our bags into the car and set off to Staten Island.
We met S at the club/b…

Vacation... Long Version: Chapter Ten

Chapter 10: Monday September 16, 2013
Woke up around 7:30am, after a very goodnight sleep…no psycho killers broke any windows…Lol. Unfortunately, it was raining outside and very cloudy, and we were spending most of the day outdoors. But a little rain wasn't going to stop us!
After we left the hotel, we went back to Bird-In-Hand to have breakfast at Bird-In-Hand Family Restaurant & Smorgasbord. The food was amazing! Everything was so fresh, and delicious. There was a huge selection of breakfast items; from farm fresh eggs, to bacon, sausages, cereals, pastries and fresh fruits. I filled a huge plate of everything and ate it all.
After breakfast, we drove around town, passing by Amish houses and farms. The town in the morning looked different, everything was so green. We passed by several farms with different animals, mainly horses and cows, roaming around in the fields.  
Our next stop was Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse, PA. It was an outdoor shopping area, with differe…

Vacation... Long Version: Chapter Nine

Chapter 9: Sunday September 15, 2013
We woke up early to pack and get ready for the long drive back to Washington Township. Shortly after breakfast, we put our stuff in the car and were on our way to New Jersey. It was a very long drive, but for once, I managed to stay awake the whole way and enjoy the scenery! It was such a beautiful drive, passing green mountains and rivers.
After almost 7 or 8 hours, we were back in beautiful New Jersey. We rested for a while, before my uncle took us back to G’s house in South Amboy.
It was around 6 or 7pm when we arrived to South Amboy. There, we were introduced to S, one of G’s friends. They had a lovely surprise for us….another 2 or 3 hour road trip to Pennsylvania…that night! We were going to PA spending the night there and in the morning visiting Amish country.
N and I were both exhausted…but I was up for another road trip. We were given two options…either we leave right away and we’ll be in Pennsylvania by 11pm and get a good night’s sleep…o…

Vacation... Long Version: Chapter Eight

Chapter 8: Saturday September 14, 2013
Woke up around 8 or 9am, N and I got ready and went down to breakfast. I've never stayed in a Hampton Inn before, so I didn't know what to expect for breakfast…but the last thing I expected was a self-service restaurant, complete with paper plates and cups. The food was good though…we made our own waffles! I got some fruit yogurt, waffles and orange juice for breakfast. My uncle and aunt met us for breakfast a while later, then after we were done, we left the hotel to go to Niagara Falls State Park.
The weather was still very cold outside, and when we arrived to the park, we walked around. The first thing I saw was a beautiful rainbow coming out of the river…I couldn't believe how beautiful the scenery was. N and I went to explore the park further, and reached an observation site where you get to see the falls up close.
That moment, I forgot all about the cold weather and all I could see and hear were the magnificent waterfalls…it wa…

Vacation... Long Version: Chapter Seven

Chapter 7: Friday September 13, 2013
Today, we were going on a very exciting road trip to somewhere I've never been before…Niagara Falls!
We woke up around 8am to get ready, then loaded the car with our bags and snacks, and were out on the road by 9am.
Our first stop was actually a surprise…my uncle and aunt took us to Rockland Bakery in Nanuet, NY. The place is unlike any bakery I have even been to; it’s more of a factory where you get to see how bread is made. For me, it was as if I had stumbled into heaven! I am a bread addict, and I'm proud! I love bread, ever since I was little, bread has always been my favorite food ever…it still is. I can practically eat bread all day and never get tired of it. I have a picture of myself when I was probably 3 years old holding onto a baguette and biting into another one. So you can imagine how excited I was to be in this bread heaven.
At the entrance of the factory part of the bakery, you get gloves and a bag, and you are free to roam…

Vacation... Long Version: Chapter Six

Chapter 6: Thursday September 12, 2013
We spent last night at my uncle’s house, and in the morning, they dropped us off to one of the big malls nearby, Bergen Town Center. N and I went from one store to the next, and coming out with several bags from each store.
At some point I turned to N and told her something I have never ever said before…I told her that I can’t look at anymore clothes…I was tired, and just had a shopping overdose...so you can imagine the amount of damage I did to my credit card that day.
Taking a break from all the shopping, we decided to go to lunch at the Mall. After getting lost in the elevator in the parking lot trying to find the restaurant…we finally found it. We went to Bobby’s Burger Palace…which is owned by one of my favorite chefs, Bobby Flay.
After lunch, to burn off the calories, we decided to do more shopping. There were a few stores we didn't check out yet.
Our last stop was Target, one of my favorite places. N and I each got a cart, and decid…

Vacation... Long Version: Chapter Five

Chapter 5: Wednesday September 11, 2013
Today we had something different on our agenda…something exciting…someplace fun…somewhere where you can either win or lose….any ideas where we went?
If you guessed Atlantic City…then you’re right!
G, N and I got in the car and drove all the way down from South Amboy to Atlantic City. Our first stop was the Borgata Hotel Casino. We stayed there for around 2 or 3 hours, trying to find our lucky machine…and we did. The slot machines are always my favorite, I just love the sound of winning!
After losing some and winning some, our next stop was Tanger Outlets for some shopping. We walked around the shops, bought a really cute pink sweater and a yellow polo from my favorite store, Ralph Lauren, and cross-body bag from Coach.
Naturally, after burning some calories with shopping, our next stop was lunch! We hit the boardwalk, one of my favorite spots in Atlantic City. We walked alongside the casinos and stores, and decided to have lunch at Johnny Rock…

Vacation... Long Version: Chapter Four

Chapter 4: Tuesday September 10, 2013
Woke up early yet again…but this time with sore and aching feet from all the walking we’ve been doing the past two days. After getting ready, G dropped N and I at the train station. We developed a certain routine where we would get our tickets, then go to Dunkin Donuts to get breakfast while waiting for our train.
We arrived to NYC, and our first stop was The Metropolitan Museum of Art. We walked from 32nd and 7th, all way up to 82nd and 5th! That was over 50 blocks on foot…almost 3 miles. I remember the minute we left Madison Square Garden, N was asking me how many blocks till we get to The Met…when I told her 50, she almost fainted. She told me if she asks me again, then I should just lie to her about the distance…Lol.
After an hour walk, we arrived to our destination. The minute we arrived, we were asked if we had the city pass, and gladly showed it to the lady at the museum. She told us to wait, and went to get our tickets for us. The museu…

Vacation... Long Version: Chapter Three

Chapter 3: Monday September 9, 2013
Since we slept early the night before, I ended up waking up at…drum-roll please…5:30am. At least it’s an improvement from the day before.
Today was the day that we were going to visit the touristic attractions in NYC. We had several places listed down, and split over two days. We did a smart thing where we bought the New York city pass that allows us to visit over 80 attractions with the price of the pass only. The price of the pass depends on the number of days the pass is valid for. We bought the 2 days pass, as all the attractions we wanted to see were split over two days. The price of the pass was cheaper than the price of admission tickets to all the attractions; and we could visit as many attractions as we want and can!
So that morning we called the city pass headquarters and asked them where can we buy the pass if we didn't want to get it online. The asked us to come to their offices and we can get it from there.
Our first stop in NYC wa…

Vacation... Long Version: Chapter Two

Chapter Two: Sunday September 8, 2013
Having slept early the night before, I woke up at 4:30am. I was fully awake, and ready for our next adventure to NYC…unfortunately, it was still 4:30am…no one was awake but me. I tried to fall back to sleep but couldn’t. So by 6am I gave up on sleep and went downstairs to the living room.
There was the most beautiful sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean that morning. I took pictures and posted them online…which is how N figured out I was awake.
After getting ready and having breakfast, we went to South Amboy Train Station to catch the train to NYC. We ended up missing the train by less than 30 seconds…the train arrived as we were getting our tickets…by the time the ticket machine was done dispensing our tickets and change, the train had just left. So we called G, and told her to meet us at Dunkin Donuts for an after breakfast snack, before the next train comes.
The train came, we got on and 50 minutes later we arrived to Penn Station at Madison Square…

Vacation... Long Version: Chapter One

Hey! This is going to be a story like post, split into 12 parts, each blog post one part, detailing our vacation…enjoy reading!
Chapter One: Saturday September 7, 2013
We arrived to JFK international airport at 10:25 am… having flown all night, and taking into account the time difference; we basically had no energy to do anything. All I wanted to do was collapse on a couch somewhere. My friend, G, and her brother picked us up from the airport in New York and took us to her house in South Amboy, New Jersey where we stayed for most of the trip.
After arriving to her beach house, I immediately took a shower to get the airplane smell off of me and then we were on our way to Menlo Park mall for lunch. We went to one of my favorite restaurants, The Cheesecake Factory. After a delicious meal, we walked through the mall, and for the first time in my life I was not in the mood to shop. All I wanted was a couch to crash on…but it was too early, and with the jet lag, I was bound to wake up at m…

Hello :) :) :)

Hello :)

It's been a really really really long time since I've updated my blog! The last time I wrote was over two months ago when I was in Beirut...so from where should I start?

After I got back from my business trip/vacation, I pretty much lived at the office, working for 10-12 hours a day and during my lunch hour. This phase started back in January and lasted until the end of March. I really started hating my job, the entire advertising industry and most importantly my clients. I've been stressed out to the point where the stress started affecting my health. I started getting a rash whenever I ate anything or felt a tiny bit stressed, my eye sight worsened, thinking about work 24/7, feeling guilty about going home at the end of the day after working long hours, feeling guilty for not working during the weekends and constantly checking my work cellphone. I've been having dreams about work, media plans and requests from clients to the point where I would wake up in th…

Good Night Beirut...See You Soon...

Hello again!

 I'm still in Beirut :), but unfortunately, I'm leaving tomorrow....

Today was a great day, I woke up around 10am, and after having a light breakfast at the hotel, I went out shopping.....again. I came to the realization that I should not be left alone or unattended with a credit card...I could really do some damage to my bank account Lol.

I walked around, got some coffee and continued my window & actual shopping...I really love the stores in Beirut...so many places, so many fashionable items.

A few hours later, I returned to my hotel room to relax from all the walking, before meeting my friends.

I finally got to see my friends...I haven't seen them since September and I've missed them sooooo much!

We went out for dinner to Lord of the Wings, then we went to a desserts place called 'Nutellisimo'...which serves delicious desserts all made out of Nutella! We had an amazing time, laughed so hard, and just had fun. I really needed a night like toni…

Hello From Beirut

Good evening everyone...It's 8pm in Beirut, and I'm sitting in one of the coffee shops close to my hotel, having dinner...

I woke up at 10am this morning after a good night's sleep, and took my time getting ready for my first official vacation day in 2013. Around 11am, I went to one of my favorite breakfast spots in Beirut, Ristretto Cafe. I ordered the 'Hungry Pete', which is basically scrambled eggs, hash browns, toast (and a side order of bacon), and pancakes. I also had orange juice alongside the 'Hungry Pete'.
After finishing breakfast, I decided to go to the most beautiful place on Earth, my university...the American University of Beirut. The moment I stepped through the gate, I felt at home. AUB was my home for 4 years, ever since I entered as a freshman 9 years ago... I went to the bookstore and got myself the latest issue of InStyle magazine, to keep me entertained, and walked all over campus.  I found a bench overlooking the Mediterranean sea, and…

Good Night Beirut

Hello again from Beirut!

It's been such a loooong day, especially since I haven't slept well (or at all) last night...

So, I went to my meeting, which turned out to be at 12pm, and by the time I arrived back to the hotel it was almost 7pm..but I didn't get to relax immediately :(
In the meeting they requested some changes to be made on certain plans and stuff, so not wanting to work during my 'vacation', I went back to the hotel, got on my laptop, did what was required and sent it back immediately, with my client sitting next to me inn hotel lobby...Lol.

There was also an assessment between us and the client to talk about what problems we're facing...and my mind went blank. There were so many things I wanted to say, but the head of the department was heading out and only had a few minutes...and I didn't get to say everything :( ... I seriously think my boss will kill me when I get back to the office next week....I should probably quit my job now and stay in…

Good Morning From Beirut :)

Good Morning from Beirut! It's a lovely sunny morning and I'm awake before it's 9am!
Yes I'm awake...because I couldn't sleep...I'm supposed to have a meeting with a client today, and ever since I landed at the airport yesterday, I've been trying to contact my client to find out what time the meeting is...but with no such luck. My texts were not getting through...

So I woke up at every single hour during the night, until I finally gave up and got out of bed at 7am.
An hour later, my client texts me that the meeting is at 11am...so here I am, dressed, sitting in a cafe across the street from my hotel, enjoying a hot mocha and a delicious piece of raspberry cheesecake.

Stay tuned for more updates from Beirut!


Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Concert

Ever since I was little, every single New Year's Day we have the same tradition...wake up late after celebrating New Year's Eve the night before and have lunch while watching Vienna's New Year's Concert on TV.

This is a classical music concert that takes place every year in Vienna on January 1st, since 1939. The concert always features music composed by the Strauss family (Johann I, Johann II, Joseph and Eduard Strauss), and occasionally some other famous Austrian composers such as Mozart.

Every time I used to watch this concert, I always wished I was watching it at the Vienna Philharmonic. But of course, securing tickets to such an event is difficult. You simply cannot buy a ticket to attend this concert...some seats are actually reserved to some Austrian families and are passed down from one generation to the next.

So how do people attend this concert? Let me tell you...

One year before the concert takes place, you register to enter a draw to win the chance to purcha…