Writer’s Block

Every time I come here to write, my mind immediately goes blank.  I have so much I want to share, but I can’t seem to form coherent sentences or meaningful thoughts.  Does that ever happen to you?

Nonetheless, I apologize for my absence.  I don’t like half-assing anything in life, and this blog is no exception.

So, where have I been?  Grab a cup of coffee and let’s catch up.
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I got to go home and spend time with my family for Thanksgiving, which was wonderful and refreshing.  I spent 90% of the long weekend on my parents’ couch watching Christmas movies and eating pie; as every 25 year old with a few days off of work should.

The other 10% of my weekend was spent waiting in line with my little brother to get our picture taken with Santa at the mall.  I’m not kidding.

The following week, Frankie D turned 26!  We celebrated with some beers and a shotski of Fireball, followed by a most classy dinner out in the Village at L’Artusi where I ate enough pasta and brussel sprouts to last me until 2014.

Sidenote:  Movember is officially over, therefore Frank and I are hanging out again.  (I don’t do beards.)
I went to my first (and thankfully not last) Ugly Christmas Sweater Party of the season.  Deck the halls with… bows of grosgrain?  Don’t mind if I do.
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I even got a kiss under the mistletoe!  Great success, indeed.
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On Monday night, Kelsey had the girls over for what she dubbed an “Elevated Ramen” night… better known as a “We Are Poor and Can’t Afford Much Else” night.  For a measly $7.34, this meal fed 8 people.  And it was freaking delicious.  And I made new friends.  You can’t ask for much more than that!

We may be poor, but we are fabulous.
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Besides all of that, I’ve been BUSY both personally and professionally; trying to wrap up 2013 and lay down a solid foundation for 2014.  That sounds lame as Hell, but I mean it.  Bring on the New Year!  I’m ready for a new adventure.

(But first… Christmas.)


What’s new with you?  XOXO

11. December 2013 by Alyssa
Categories: Current Events, Family, Food, Friends, Holidays, Home, New York City | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 6 comments

Lights Will Guide You Home

There’s nothing more peaceful than falling asleep to this view.

02. December 2013 by Alyssa
Categories: Hoboken, Holidays, Home | Tags: , , , , | 2 comments

Giving Thanks

I’m thankful for my family.  First and foremost. Every single second of every single day.  And that includes family-to-be!
I’m thankful for my health.  This wasn’t always the case.  I’m quite confident that 2013 has been my healthiest year yet — both physically and mentally — and for that, I’m grateful.

I’m thankful for a job I love and the opportunity to travel.  “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Something like that, right?
I’m thankful for having more than one place to call home.

I’m thankful for great friendships, both new and old. I have met so many incredible new people this year (all over the world!) and I’ve rekindled friendships with some wonderful people that I regretfully lost touch with along the way. Never again!
I’m thankful for the people who inspire, support, ignite, and feed my wildest dreams. I’m also thankful for being able to recognize (and slowly walk away from) the people who don’t.

I’m thankful for endless possibilities.



Happy Thanksgiving, to you and yours. xx

27. November 2013 by Alyssa
Categories: Family, Friends, Holidays, Home, Quotes, Real Talk, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 4 comments

City Love

“I heart NY.  I love its gritty glamour, you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up serendipity, its adrenaline high, its 24-7 gratification, its philosopher taxi cab drivers, its come-one-come-all welcome mat.” – Holly Prubakh

23. November 2013 by Alyssa
Categories: New York City, Quotes, Scenic | Tags: , , | 2 comments

Let’s Catch Up

I tend to stop blogging when my life gets seemingly too dull and boring to write about.

The past few months, however, have been QUITE the exception.

Let’s catch up!

You may recall how much I LOVE the month of October, so it should come as no surprise to you that I made the most of it.  It started off with festive drinks and a Sunday devoted entirely to baking, continued with round TWO of pumpkin carving and several rounds of Cards Against Humanity, and ended with five pounds of fake hair and seashells securely fastened to my head.
Nothing should surprise you anymore.

November started off with a bang when Alex and I struck GOLD (once again) by winning tickets to the inaugural YouTube Music Awards, headlined by Lady Gaga.

Did you know I love Lady Gaga?

I have issues.
The award show was billed as a 90-minute, anything-goes concert made up of a series of music videos, all shot in sequence.  LIVE.  In one room.

Are you confused?  I was there and I’m STILL confused.

It was one of the weirder days of my life.  Not only were we forced to stand outside in the freezing cold for hours upon hours while being herded like cattle back and forth from the venue, we were also “recruited” to be in one of the live music videos…

And told that we needed to wear these.
Yes, that is a full body white jumpsuit.  With a hood.

I think my parents worry about me and my life choices.

It was all worth it when we got to stand front row for Lady Gaga’s performance.  Weird, yes.  But her vocals still gave me chills.  You can watch her performance of “Dope” HERE!
That same week, my cute little roommate LIZ turned 26!  We celebrated with an at-home, do-it-yourself Mimosa Bar. So “Pinterest” of us, I know.
When I was home a few weeks ago, I found this adorably sweet picture of Liz blowing out the candles on her 16th birthday cake.  I can’t believe that was TEN years ago.  Time flies, and it freaks me out.
Old friends are just the BEST friends, aren’t they?

Perhaps the most exciting life update I have for you came in the form of a lime-flavored Ring Pop:
I’ve never said “YES” so fast in my life.  Prepare yourself for a million wedding related posts from now until September 27th, 2014.


Your turn!  Tell me things!  What have I missed? 

19. November 2013 by Alyssa
Categories: Current Events, Drinks, Family, Friends, Hoboken, Holidays, Home, Lady Gaga, Music, New York City | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 comments


Today is my blog’s THIRD birthday.

(Let’s pretend I haven’t been neglecting it terribly lately.)

Thank you so much for reading and for keeping this thing alive.  It means the world to me.

Let’s celebrate with cronuts, shall we?

17. November 2013 by Alyssa
Categories: Food, Holidays | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 comments

Nick + Anna

This weekend, I had the great honor of shooting a most special set of engagement photos.
What made them so special?

Meet:  Nick + Anna, my big brother and new sister-to-be!
A couple of weeks ago, I received a strangely abrupt text from my mom that just said “call me.”  She had been feeling under the weather all week, so I immediately panicked and assumed that something was wrong.

I called her right away, asking her if she was okay.

“Alyssa, your big brother bought a ring.”
I stopped in my tracks, right outside of the Christopher Street Path station, and promptly screamed my head off.  I’m pretty sure that several residents of the West Village filed a noise complaint against me that night.

But I didn’t care, because NICKY WAS GETTING MARRIED!

And I was FINALLY going to have a SISTER!
To say that I was excited would have been an extreme understatement.
When it comes to family, all we ever want in life is to see each other truly happy.  Well, the joy that Anna has brought into my brother’s life has been enormous, and I couldn’t have dreamt up a more perfect girl for him.

She has been a blessing in all of our lives.
And, maybe I’m biased because we share blood, but Nick is quite a catch.  He sets the bar very high for my future husband.  I am proud to call him my brother.
Nick and Anna support each other, encourage each other, and bring out the best in each other.
My only selfish complaint about them is that they live too far away.
To the happy couple, CONGRATULATIONS!  I couldn’t be happier for two people if I tried.

Here’s to new beginnings, fall weddings, and what is bound to be the celebration of the century.  (As discussed, please be sure I’m seated at the table closest to the open bar.  Thank you.)
“Unless it’s mad, passionate, extraordinary love, it’s a waste of your time.  There are too many mediocre things in life.  Love shouldn’t be one of them.”
Is it September yet?!

For more photos » click here!




In Case You Missed It:

Lacey + Sean’s Engagement Photos

Lindsey + PJ’s Engagement Photos

Stacy + Jake’s Engagement Photos

Lindsey + Charlie’s Engagement Photos

12. November 2013 by Alyssa
Categories: Family, Quotes, Scenic | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 comments

Home Is Where the Heart Is

“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere.  That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”
— Miriam Adeney
[Photo taken in São Paolo, Brazil.]

18. October 2013 by Alyssa
Categories: Home, Quotes, Scenic, Travel | Tags: , , , | 3 comments

TTT: Banksy in NYC

Today, I stumbled across THIS in TriBeCa:
An original Banksy, right here on the streets of Manhattan.  How incredible is that?  It was definitely one of the coolest “NYC moments” I’ve experienced thus far — and it made me miss LONDON!
Time to dust off the ol’ Bucket List.  We’re back.

15. October 2013 by Alyssa
Categories: Current Events, New York City, Scenic | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 comments

I’m a 5-Year-Old Trapped in a 25-Year-Old’s Body

For the past few weeks, I’ve been begging my friends to partake in fun fall activities with me.  Literally.  BEGGING.  Apple picking.  Hayrides.  Haunted houses.  ANYTHING.

Hi.  I’m five.

Needless to say, you can only imagine my excitement at the bar on Friday night when I heard Bull mention that he had plans to carve pumpkins the next day.  You heard me.  PUMPKIN.  CARVING.  If you’re thinking “I bet she screamed out loud and then immediately invited herself to join him” you’d be entirely accurate.

(I also texted him immediately to confirm that he wouldn’t forget about me the next morning.  That’s how serious I am about pumpkin carving.)
(Please note that this was also the first time I have ever called Bull “Alex” and, looking back, it makes me uncomfortable.)

There are a few components that every successful pumpkin carving party must have and, since I’m feeling generous, I’m going to share them with you.

1.  Whiskey.  And lots of it.
2.  Halloween cups, adorned with fall garnishes.
3.  Cinnamon sugar rims.
4.  Pumpkin beer.
Starting to notice a theme?

There are also a few things that should be avoided at all costs to ensure that your pumpkin carving party does not land you in the hospital and/or in jail.

1.  Avoid carving your pumpkin on the balcony ledge if you are on the 21st floor of a New York City apartment building.
1.5.  Especially when it’s pretty much the windiest day of the year.
2.  Avoid using extremely sharp knives, especially when copious amounts of alcohol are involved.  (Yes, that is blood.)
I don’t want to brag, but we absolutely killed it.*

*Not ourselves or someone else, miraculously.
The “fall fun” didn’t end there.  On Sunday, we decided we wanted to go on an adventure… TO THE LIBERTY SCIENCE CENTER.

Again.  I’m five.

Back story:  When we were kids, our field trip to the Liberty Science Center was always the COOLEST part of the school year.  Hickey seems to recall that they let us spend the night there, but I think that she is either A) mistaken or B) should probably report her little “sleepover” to the police.
For those of you who may not know, the Liberty Science Center is an interactive science museum and learning center located in Jersey City, New Jersey.

I think it’s mainly geared towards kids considering the exhibit of the month is BOB THE BUILDER, but I feel like we fit right in.

(Some of us more than others.)
The “main attraction” at the LSC is the TOUCH TUNNEL.  (I thought calling it the “LSC” would make it sound less nerdy, but I was definitely wrong.)   The touch tunnel is a maze that you crawl through on your hands and knees in complete darkness.
Um, how the Hell did I ever do this as a child? I’m 25 and this is still scary as sh!t.
IMG_8403I’m just going to go ahead and skim over the part where we almost got kicked out for taking pictures.  Whoops.
Other highlights of the LSC included a room full of BUGS, a graffiti wall, a video booth where we learned how to speak Spanish, and a giant nose that SNEEZED on DiNardo when he went to pick it.  LEARNING IS FUN.

All in all, a great weekend spent with great friends doing great things.  (I should be a professional writer.)

How was your weekend?  What’s your favorite “fall” activity?  What should I be for Halloween?

15. October 2013 by Alyssa
Categories: Drinks, Friends, Holidays, New York City | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 comments

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