Defining Lifestyle with Becca!

We all have that question we are just DYING to answer, but it doesn't ever seem to come. Defining Lifestyle is a series that allows bloggers to submit their own set of questions AND answers in effort to get some stuff out there that they normally aren't asked. If this doesn't define the lifestyle blogger, I don't know what does. So sit back, relax, and expect some fun over the next few weeks!

Today I am welcoming Becca who blogs over at Becoming Adorrable. Becca shares my love for makeup and always has some fun stories about her cats. You should run over to her blog right meow! (I think I'm funny.. lol)

1. What's your favorite youtube channel?  
Becca: Batalash, easily. The skill level of those ladies is superior.

2. Do you miss your job in daycare?
Becca: Some days. I miss the kids. But for the most part, I don't miss standing outside in the summer for several hours. Nor do I miss parents yelling at me for random things that weren't my fault.
3. What was one big turning point in your life?
Becca: When it almost ended. Being stuck in the hospital for weeks and having a long recovery gave me time to realize who was really important in my life and what direction I wanted my life to head in. Also, I'd say my relationship with Tim became much more serious during my recovery.
4. Crunchy Cheetos or Cheeto Puffs?
Becca: PUFFS. All the way.
5. What cheers you up?
Becca: Good music. Like James Morrison. All it takes is a few minutes of his voice and lyrics and I feel comforted and positive.
Thanks for the great Q & A Becca! I really loved them! So what do ya say folks? Head on over and visit Becca today!
Make it a great Monday!

Ithaca is Gorges: A Gem in the Finger Lakes

Planning a trip to New York? No I don't mean New York City. I mean the rest of the state. New York is a very large state that is packed with more cities than just NYC. Take for instance, Ithaca. Ithaca is located in central New York. It is tucked away in some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever experienced. During the time when glaciers graced the land, the Finger Lakes were created, along with many beautiful gorges. Ithaca is located on the southern tip of Cayuga Lake.

Because of the lake, Ithaca offers tons of activity options. Boating, kayaking, sailing, and swimming are just a few of them. There are trails and paths that hug the lake for hikers, walkers, and runners.  These trails also offer great photo opportunities if you are into photography. For me, I love waiting until the sun is setting over the lake for the perfect photo op.

A beautiful view of a wind surfer on Cayuga Lake
Now onto my favorite part about this area. Ithaca is home to dozens of waterfalls. One in fact is right in town, and its is quite massive! Ithaca Falls is a must see if you are in the area. Moving outside of Ithaca you can take in another breathtaking waterfall at Taughannock Falls State Park. It is a gorgeous waterfall and requires only a small walk to view them.

A Fall view of Taughannock Falls
Ithaca Falls right in downtown! Beautiful! (Source)

Moving away from the lake, the Finger Lake region is also home to dozens of wineries. You can pick any direction and you will most likely fall upon one. Each winery is unique in itself and often host events unique to them. One of my new favorites is Americana Vineyards which also has a cafe. They have excellent brunch!


Not into wine? Ithaca is also home to a few breweries for the beer lovers. One of my favorite places to sample local beers is at the Ithaca Ale House in downtown on Aurora street in downtown Ithaca. They have great beers on tap and a menu to pair your beers with! And they have blueberry beer! With real blueberries in it! Sweet!

Ithaca Ale House and Blueberry Beer!

Speaking of drinks, visit the Ithaca Commons to find cute little shops as well as bars and restaurants. Although under construction at the moment, it is a great place to come to people watch, shop, and eat. During the school year you can find that area very busy with all of the college students in town. Ithaca is home to 2 colleges you may have heard of: Cornell University and Ithaca College. The college kids really bring the city to life with all of the diversity.

Ithaca Commons at night (Source)
This really is a great little area to visit. There is so much to do and see, so make sure you have a car! And why pay lots of money to rent a car when you can save up to 40% on a rental car by using a carsharing service like RelayRides.  This service is kind of like renting a room from someone, but add in a car instead. It includes everything a rental company would. The car is insured and has road side assistance. You can rent a car for days or just a few hours. Its pretty sweet for both the renter and the rentee!

 *This post was written in collaboration with Relay Rides. I was not compensated for this post and I enjoyed sharing a beautiful town with you in the process! All information is of my own knowledge and opinion.

So what do you say? Come visit New York! And see more than just the city! Visit the Finger lakes. You won't be disappointed!

Wellness Wednesday: GYM!

I FINALLY got myself back in the gym this week! It has been 2 long months that I neglected to make time to go and sweat away the stress. My body was starting to feel the effects of letting the gym slip and me putting more unhealthy foods into my mouth. I only have 2 days under my belt now, but I will start to hold myself accountable when I make excuses.

When trying to get healthy, it will be a mind over matter effect. If we do not fully commit to the gym, eating better, or quitting a bad habit, we will fail. I have learned you cannot force it until you are fully ready to make the change. For years I said I was going to FINALLY get healthy. I WAS going to eat healthy. I WAS going to the gym. For years I failed.

This week something clicked in my head and I WANT to feel better. I NEED to exercise. My 4'11" frame is begging me to lose some weight. My clothes are uncomfortable and I refuse to buy new clothes just because I got lazy and gained the extra weight. I want to feel good about myself. I want to feel comfortable in my clothes. I finally feel ready to do this right.

Last week I posted a smoothie recipe. I have kept up making these every morning for breakfast. They have kept me feeling full until lunch and they are packed with all kinds of vitamins. I hope you give it a try! It is a nice treat every morning without having to feel guilty. I am also only eating lean proteins and lots of veggies. I am starting to feel better about myself again. Now lets see if I can commit to this and keep gyming it up for the rest of the week! Updates next week. 

So what do guys think? Is being healthy easy? How long did it take for you to form the good habit of wellness?

It's FALL! + Defining Lifestlye with Ash

Today is the first official day of Fall! I don't know what else could make a Monday be awesome! I have been looking forward to Fall and this weekend we just had definitely did a good job with the Summer to Fall transition. We had nice temperatures in the high 70's and low 80's and then it rained and got a little windy Sunday night. I think mother nature got it right for once! (At least here in central NY).


We all have that question we are just DYING to answer, but it doesn't ever seem to come. My new series allows bloggers to submitted their own set of questions AND answers in effort to get some stuff out there that they normally aren't asked. If this doesn't define the lifestyle blogger, I don't know what does. So sit back, relax, and expect some fun over the next few weeks!

 Today I am welcoming Ash who blogs over at The Grits Blog. I love Ash because she comes up with some pretty fun topics and her design skills are AH-MAZING! Make sure you stop by and check her out. You won't be disappointed! 

(1) How did you come up with the name for your blog? 
Ash: I am from the south - specifically, Texas, Georgia, and Florida. For the record, my blog's name, The Grits Blog, doesn't stand for Girls Raised in the South.

Anyways, I picked grits to represent my blog because it's the first thing that comes to mind when I think of home, other than my family of course. It's what I think of when I think of the south - and it's one way to let people know something quickly about me. Clever right?? #notreally 

(2) What is the one thing you didn't expect to happen when you started blogging?
Ash: My obsession for designs! Since January I have changed my design about five times - FIVE TIMES! Crazy. Just crazy. I just finished a new one that I installed a few months ago - and I am already looking at designing another one. That being said, I will NOT install it until January - I am making myself live with this one for at least a few months.

(3) How did you get started with blog designing? 
Ash: Another designer burned me, not only on my design but money-wise too. After that I decided that I would never let someone else be in control of my blog design - and truth be told, I like it to change it wayyyy to much - i.e. see whiplash here. So I decided to learn how to do it on my own - this meant countless, painful hours of googling and figuring out photoshop.That being said, it was worth it. It's become one of my favorite things to do and my creative outlet!

(4) How did you gain traffic/followers? 
Ash: I think my biggest source of new readers has been due to two things: (1) advertisements and (2) decent content. I conducted a survey a few months ago and most of the people that found me were through my button being on someone else's sidebar or via guest post, then they stuck around because they like my blog. 

(5)  you could offer one piece of must-have advice to an aspiring blogger, what would it be? 
Ash: Don't worry about the stats. Build it and they will come! Meaning, focus on your content and focus on getting your name out there so that people can find you.

Image Map

There are no words for how I feel

I live 2 1/2 hours away from my family. I live 2 1/2 hours away from my closest friends. I am 2 1/2 hours away from a small community that I call home and today it has been approximately 144 hours that they have been living in fear.

Today I am angry. I am angry that a person decided to take someone else's life into his hands, not thinking about the consequences he was facing. I will not mention his name because quite frankly he does not deserve the limelight. He does not deserve people to be speaking about him in any way, except that he is a criminal. In case you aren't familiar with the story, last Friday night a man decided to take the life of a Pennsylvania state trooper and has left another in critical condition. He is believed to be armed and dangerous and has left a small community in shock and fear. This is not okay.

The world we live in today is a rough one. Many people know this. Systems are broken. Programs are being taken away, money is hard to come by. We may have to work a hell of a lot harder than anyone had to 20 years ago just to make ends meat, but that doesn't give any person the right to take another life because he is angry at the world. Violence does not solve problems. It makes them worse. Because of this act there are children afraid to go to school or go out and play with their friends. What are we teaching our youth with this? To live their lives in fear? Not cool.

Please say a prayer today for me. Please pray for the families who are suffering the loss of a loved one. Pray for the man who is in a hospital fighting for his life. Pray for the law enforcement who are out there day and night trying to make this community safe again. Pray for the folks who are living in fear because this man might be hiding in their neighborhood, like a coward.

I hope Friday is coming on a little bit nicer for you than it has for me today. Hope its a good one.