26 Things I Know at 26

1.  Age is just a number.

2.  You should not EVER feel guilty for being happy.

3.  You will not die if you forego making your bed every once in a while.

4.  There are times you should try harder, and there are times you should just walk away.

5.  The “perfect moment” doesn’t exist.  When you want (or need) to do something, DO IT.

6.  It’s surprisingly rare to make a living doing something you love, so enjoy it.
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7.  You are not the center of the universe.  Continue to explore the world from perspectives other than your own.

8.  Pretending to be perfect does not make you perfect.  Let your flaws shine.

9.  If it’s unfit for all of the eyes of the world, don’t publish it to the Internet.

10.  Setting your expectations low will allow you the chance to be pleasantly surprised.

11.  Not much is worth fighting about.

12.  Deferring your happiness to the future is a terrible idea.  Make an honest effort to enjoy the here-and-now, even when it’s hard.
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13.  Pain may come and go, but suffering is a choice.

14.  When choosing between anything and family, the answer is always family.

15.  What you admire in others, you possess somewhere inside of you.

16.  There will always be something new to learn, whether it’s a worldly issue or just how to style your hair without looking like a wet dog.

17.  It’s okay to miss out on things. You cannot be everywhere and do everything.

18.  Your apologies won’t always be accepted. Learn how to forgive yourself when someone else won’t.

19.  Everything is not always black and white. There is not always a “right” answer.

20.  Being an introvert isn’t something to be ashamed of.

21.  Travel and adventure should always remain a priority.IMG_3773
22.  The things you are scared to do are usually the things you need to do most.

23.  If you don’t know something, don’t pretend you do.

24.  Making someone else feel special will always make you feel special in return.

25.  Relationships take work. Give them the attention and care that they deserve.

26.  All good things must come to an end.

And, with that being said –

As I embark upon my 26th year of life, the time has come to say goodbye to this (very public) chapter of my life.  You may have seen this coming, as it’s been months since I’ve posted anything of substance.  I’ve loved having this space to collect my thoughts, share my words, and connect with so many different people.  However, I think I’ve graduated from the notion that I need to share every detail of my life.  The time has come for me to shine more attention on other areas of my life.  My family.  My friends.  My job.  Myself.

Thanks for all of the love and encouragement over the past 3 1/2 years.  I’m a completely different person than I was when I first landed here, and I’m excited and ready to see what the future holds.

Until next time.  Whenever that may be.
Alyssa

 

In Case You Missed It:

24 Things I Knew at 24
25 Things I Knew at 25

17. March 2014 by Alyssa
Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 4 comments

26, A(nother) Guest Post from my Momma

“They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  I say, sometimes a picture isn’t words at all, just something that quietly wraps you in a wave of emotions, and floods you with a sea of memories.  Then, of course, I am usually the one who ends up crying…. most certainly, though, those are tears of joy.

I can’t choose a favorite picture from my pool of my children’s photos.  That’s like asking me to choose my favorite child.  Because it is Alyssa’s birthday today, I can share some of my favorites, which tell just a small part of the picture story of who Alyssa is.  I’ll try to keep it under a thousand words…

1)  Here.  I.  Am.
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2)  So overwhelmingly proud that she wanted to be just like her momma when she grew up.  Go ahead and laugh.
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3)  Blessed.  All of us.
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4)  Oh the Blankie.  That could be a long one… .all you really need to know is that it still exists.
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5)  School.  Alyssa LOVED school.  The first day outfit, the teachers, everything.  Okay, maybe not all of it.  Not college.  But she never stopped making her parents very proud.  Ever.  Especially sitting in the principal’s chair at Adamsville.
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6)  She has a whole song and dance story too.  Apparently, that was all about the money.  Or being a princess.  Or just singing her heart out, which I could listen to a million times and then some.
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7)  Christmas.  Precious.  My beautiful daughter, our favorite time of the year You don’t really know Alyssa until you know how she feels about Christmastime (late October through the end of January…).
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8)  Happy Alyssa.  This girl is her very own sunshine.  Her face lights up every room she walks into.
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9)  If I had to pick one picture to tell Alyssa’s story, this might be it.  This is Alyssa.  Beautiful. Matching headband in place.  One eyebrow up and ready for action/trouble/adventure.  And you can’t really see, but the second button down was not buttoned.  A hot mess, but pulling it off and looking fabulous.  Happy, and ready for the rest of her amazing life to happen.  This is my daughter, and I love her more.  Happy 26th birthday Alyssa Leigh Arminio.
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- Momma”

In Case You Missed It:

Guest Post: My 23rd Birthday
Guest Post: My 25th Birthday

16. March 2014 by Alyssa
Categories: Family, Guest Post | Tags: , , | 2 comments

The Secret of the Universe

“And at some point, deep in the night, when we were swinging on the jungle gym and showers of sparks were flying out of our mouths, I had the epiphany that laughter was light, and light was laughter, and that this was the secret of the universe”.

- Donna Tartt, “The Goldfinch”
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08. March 2014 by Alyssa
Categories: Quotes | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

XOXO

“You know that place between sleep and awake?  That place where you still remember dreaming?  That’s where I will always love you.”
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26. January 2014 by Alyssa
Categories: Quotes, Real Talk | Tags: , | 5 comments

Wear Your Words

“I look out the window and I see the lights and the skyline and the people on the street rushing around looking for action, love, and the world’s greatest chocolate chip cookie, and my heart does a little dance.” – Nora Ephron
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[Necklace by Speakable, c/o my talented friend Gracie!]

11. January 2014 by Alyssa
Categories: Friends, Gift Ideas, New York City, Quotes | Tags: , , | 2 comments

The Good Life

“We ate well and cheaply and drank well and cheaply and slept well and warm together and loved each other.” – Ernest Hemingway
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09. January 2014 by Alyssa
Categories: Drinks, Family, Food, Friends, Quotes | Tags: , , , , | 1 comment

My Life is One Big Episode of “Wipeout”

Happy New Year, beautiful people!

To all of my friends in the Tri-State Area, I hope you’re staying warm and safe.  I, for one, wiped out four separate times while walking to work this morning.  Four!  (Relax mom, I’m fine.)  When it comes to inclement weather, I feel like Hoboken is the redheaded stepchild of the greater New York area.  The streets in the city are always plowed and salted right away and yet, somehow, I’m always climbing over mounds of snow and ice in Hoboken to get from my apartment to the path.  What gives?

I digress.  If that’s my biggest complaint of 2014, I consider myself to be very lucky.

I’ve definitely been no stranger to snow lately.  This was my home for the last four nights of 2013:
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Pretty, right?  We all joined forces and rented a log cabin in Bridgewater, Vermont in an attempt to ring in the new year as far away from NYC as possible.  Mission accomplished.  (Cover fees and stilettos in the snow are a few of my LEAST favorite things.  I much prefer flannel and fireplaces.)
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Funny side-story:  On our drive up to Vermont, we stopped for snacks at a gas station.  The woman behind the register stopped Megan, Chelsea and I and asked if she could take our picture to send to her husband.  She went on to explain that sometimes, when she asks him what he’d like for dinner, he responds:  “A buffet.  One blonde, one redhead, and one brunette.”  We got out of there real fast.

Bridgewater was absolutely beautiful.  Our house was surrounded on all sides by wide open spaces and mountains.  Quite the change of scenery for someone who spends her life inside of a concrete jungle.
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On our first full day in Vermont, we decided to go skiing in Killington.  I’m just going to go ahead and admit that this was probably NOT the smartest decision I’ve ever made.  Why?  Well, if you know me at all, you probably know that coordination has never been my strong point.  I’m sure you know where this is going…
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Why, yes.  That’s me.  In a tree.  Nothing to see here.

Here is where I extend a most sincere THANK YOU to my amazing friends who are as patient as saints.  They coached me down the slopes, helped me out of several trees/bushes/ditches, pulled me up from my (multiple) wipeouts, and didn’t let me give up — even when I threatened to take off my skis and walk down the rest of the hill.
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At the end of the day, when we were all ready to call it quits, we had to take one last ride up the mountain to get to our car.  The only way up was via a heavy-duty gondola, as opposed to the standard ski-lifts we’d been taking all day.  This should have been Red Flag #1.

After TWENTY FREAKIN’ ANXIETY-RIDDEN MINUTES on the gondola, I started to realize that we weren’t stopping.  Nope, we were headed straight for the top of the damn mountain.  Red Flag #2.

“Um, Delvec, will there be a green slope up there for me?”

“Uh, sure.”

Red Flag #3.

We finally made it to the top and, as I feared, there were only two ways down:  an intermediate slope and a black diamond slope.  I took this picture to capture what I assumed to be the final moments of my life.
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And, off we went.

I had made it halfway down the mountain without falling — a miracle! — when I was suddenly struck with fear; staring down at the steepest and bumpiest slope I’d yet to see.  Normally, I would have just closed my eyes and flung my body downhill (a real professional, I tell you) but I couldn’t run the risk of barreling full force onto the black diamond slope, inconveniently located straight ahead of me.

After a pep talk from Matt, I knew I had to go for it unless I wanted to die of hypothermia alone on a mountain in Vermont.  Tom had also promised to buy me a beer if I made it down the entire slope without falling, and I was determined.  I took a deep breath and slowly started my descent.  Welp, “slow” turned quickly into “wayyy too fast” and, before I knew it, I was going 110 MPH (I think) and headed straight for the black diamond.

Perfect.

I had only one choice:  WIPE OUT.  And you better believe I did.  Hard.  So hard, in fact, that I landed on my stomach with my face buried in the snow; one ski flying completely off and the other ski smacking me in the back of the head.  Delvec rushed to my side.

“Are you okay?!”

“Don’t tell Tom I wiped out.  I want my beer.”*

“Alyssa, it’s pretty obvious.”
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Lesson learned:  I am not a skier.  Also, from this day forward, I will always say “yes” when offered a free helmet rental.

The rest of the trip, while not nearly as eventful, was a total blast.  We made a solid effort to get out and explore; eating good food, drinking good beer, and shopping for the essentials.
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The house we stayed in was also great.  We had an outdoor hot tub, a fireplace, a griddle (that was somehow always full of sizzling bacon), and multiple kegs.IMG_0647
And did I mention the Beer Olympics?  I don’t want to brag, but Team Germany was in first place the last time I checked.
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As Dave Matthews once said, it’s “not where but who you’re with that really matters” and I couldn’t have asked for a greater group of friends to celebrate the beginning of 2014 with.  I know I’m lucky, and I remind myself of that often.
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I love my people.

Until next time, Vermont!
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How did you spend the holiday?  Do you have any embarrassing ski stories to share?

XOXO

 

*It should be noted that Tom never did buy me that beer.

03. January 2014 by Alyssa
Categories: Drinks, Friends, Holidays, Scenic, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 6 comments

2014

“What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year.” — Vern McLellan
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My Resolutions:

Spend less time behind a screen.

Spend more time out exploring the world.

Ask more questions.

Always give 110%; whether it be to friendships, to family, to work, or to taking care of myself.

Be present in every moment.

Stop future-tripping.

Make an honest effort to be less anal.

SAVE MONEY.

2011 Resolutions
2012 Resolutions
2013 Resolutions

01. January 2014 by Alyssa
Categories: Holidays, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 5 comments

2013: The Year in Review

2013.  Holy cow.  What a year it has been.

This year has had it’s trials and tribulations, as all years do.  But I must say, I feel like 2013 was a defining year in my life.  I learned a lot about myself.  I learned a lot about the world.  I feel like I’m beginning 2014 as a smarter and wiser individual — one who is more compassionate, more determined, and more patient.  (Patient?  I never thought I’d see the day!)

I know this recap is a few days premature, but I’m heading to Vermont for New Year’s Eve and am most CERTAINLY not bringing my computer with me.  (35 friends in one house for five nights.  I know.  Pray for us.)

Without further adieu, here’s a look back on the last 365 days of my wonderful life:

 

January.
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We went ice skating in beautiful Bryant Park.  Chelsea and I got a personal trainer.  (That didn’t last long.)  HOCKEY MADE A TRIUMPHANT RETURN.  We threw a “hands on” dinner party for our best friends.  I cooked for pretty much the first time ever.  I also threw a carton of Almond Milk out of our window and it hit our neighbor in the face.  I will never forget that.

February.
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We went to our first hockey game of the season.  I won another contest and flew to St. Louis for 24 hours to see Lady Gaga, up close and personal.  (I may or may not have made a fool of myself on camera.)  I escaped a blizzard by jet-setting to Miami, and then London.  We got bored and rented a car for no reason at all.  Tom had us over for one of the most epic brunches ever.  My friends Jesse and Justin launched TIE THE KNOT!  And then, Frank and I gave up social media.  Oh, the horror.

March.
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We all participated in Cycle for Survival in honor of our beautiful friend Kristen.  (Disclaimer:  Four hours of spinning while hungover is one of the LEAST pleasant experiences one can ever have in life.)  I shot engagement photos for my friends in Central Park.  We saw SHM at MSG.  (We also saw Patrik Elias at the Short Hills Mall.  I’m not sure which was more exciting.)  WE POSTED VOLUME 1 OF FRIDAYS WITH FRANKIE D.  My eyes just welled up with tears.  I turned 25, and paid my very first visit to Drybar with all my gal pals.  I also think I went to Canada for a day?  Yes, I definitely went to Canada for a day.

April.
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April was a crazy month.  I flew to Los Angeles.  Then to Beijing.  Then back to Los Angeles.  Then to Portland.  Then?  ITALY – where we ended up spending more time in a car (driving from coast to coast) than we did at our actual hotel.  Frank continued to cook in my absence.  Later in the month, he launched his website!  Our best friends from high school came to visit us in the big city.  We paid Yankee Stadium a much overdue visit.

May.
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The madness continued.  I went to  São Paulo, Brazil and never wanted to come home.  Shortly after, I went to Manila!  It was one of the most incredible cities I’ve ever been to.  My friends got engaged, and I was in on the surprise!  Frank started his roof garden, and we made a few enemies.  I went to the Hamptons for the first time and had a wonderful (and chilly) Memorial Day Weekend with KP.

June.
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My little brother graduated college!  I celebrated my three year anniversary of living in Hoboken… with boys.  We played on our roof.  A lot.  The summer started on a good night with a visit from K-Smooth and a trip to the theater.

July.
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I fulfilled my lifelong dream of singing at an Open Mic Night.  We made our first trip down to Ocean Grove, where we drank way too much beer at The Parker House and invented blanking.  Frank started doing crazy things, like waking up at 5:00am to make pizza dough.  I got slapped in the face.  I shot engagement photos for two of the most wonderful people I know.  I went to Cincinnati, Ohio and ate WAY too much Skyline Chili (above).  We headed back to Ocean Grove for one of the most fun weekends of my entire life.

August.
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I went to Newport and had an absolute blast celebrating Lindsey and Charlie’s wedding with all of my old co-workers.  I went to my first country concert, and explored Brooklyn with my mom and dad.  The girls invited me to see Donovan Frankenreiter at the Brooklyn Bowl.  Holly and I saw “Wicked” in Boston.  Oh, and FRANK AND I WENT TO THE VMA’S.

September.
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I MOVED!  And ate a lot of grilled cheese.  I learned the true meaning of the phrase “all good things must come to an end.”

October.
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We ate at Toro and it exceeded our expectations.  I carved pumpkins, more than once.  We went through the TOUCH TUNNEL at the Liberty Science Center.  I saw an original Banksy on the streets of NYC.  MY BIG BROTHER GOT ENGAGED TO THE MOST WONDERFUL GIRL ON THE PLANET!!!  And, once again, Halloween ended up being the perfect opportunity for me to show the world that I AM MY HAIR.

November.
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Alex and I went to the first annual YouTube Music Awards, and they were bizarre.  I finally got to try a CRONUT.  My cute roommate turned 26, and we celebrated with karaoke and a mimosa bar.  I had the great honor of shooting Nick and Anna’s engagement photos, and I got asked to be a bridesmaid!  We went to see Macklemore at MSG.  My mom and I spent a lovely day together in the Big Apple.  I spent Thanksgiving at home with the people I love most.

December.
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We donned our ugly sweaters.  More than once.  I got to go home for my momma’s annual Christmas Cookie Baking Day.  (And then I gained 5 pounds.)  Kelsey threw a Ramen Noodle party, and it was a hit.  Hayley and I went to see The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center!  My dearest friend Catherine came to town for a long overdue reunion.  Christmas Day was magical, as always.

 

Though there have been times I’ve been tempted to stop blogging for good, I’m glad I haven’t given up on this little space.  It’s so wonderful to reflect upon all that’s happened in the past year, and how much I’ve grown.

Here’s to the next 365 days.  Let’s make them our best yet, okay?

Thank you for reading!

XOXO

26. December 2013 by Alyssa
Categories: Family, Food, Friends, Holidays, Home, New York City, Travel | Tags: , , , | 7 comments

Merry Christmas to All

And to all a good night.IMG_0404
Hoping your holiday was full of magic and surprises.
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XOXO

25. December 2013 by Alyssa
Categories: Family, Holidays, Home | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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