Monday, December 31, 2012

Aruba: Day Three, Four, & Five

Here are days numero tres, cuatro, y cinco!

Day Three:
MERRY CHRISTMAS from Aruba! We went to mass at 10am at a local Catholic Church. They didn't speak English (nor Spanish) so we really didn't understand half of the mass. They did play some Christmas songs in English. The rest of the day we had a relaxing day at the beach and pool. Best way to spend Christmas if you ask me :). Nick and my Dad golfed in the afternoon. 

Day Four:
If you were wondering about the weather, just the first two days weren't the best, but the rest of the week was gorgeous. Sunny with some clouds and windy like it is every day. On Wednesday morning, we went to the far west side of the Island where there is a lighthouse called California Lighthouse. It's inactive now. There was a beautiful view of the coast from the lighthouse, so I took plenty of pictures. After, we went to the pool the rest of the day. Lots of good tanning for sure! That night, my parents went out to eat together. Nick, Chris, and I went to an Italian restaurant. The pizza was delicious! We shopped around a little bit too that night.  
California Lighthouse

Golf Course
By the lighthouse. Awesome views!
Day Five: 
That morning we went for a tour of the local Brewery: Balashi Beer. We arrived and they said we needed to have tennis shoes, which my Mom and I both weren't wearing, so we couldn't get in. Boo! We turned around and went to the beach the rest of the day. Another relaxing and sun-filled day! 

The rest of the trip is next!

Aruba: Day One & Two

My family and I arrived back from Aruba late last night. It was an awesome vacation and I would definitely like to visit Aruba again. I'm going to separate my posts because I have lots to share about each day. 

View from our Condo

Day One:

We left at the crack of dawn to catch our flight out of JFK. It was a straight flight to Oranjestad, Aruba which was a little over 4 hours. Let me tell you, there were some very rude and annoying people on our flight. Lots of plastic guidos and their kids. We were keeping our fingers crossed that they weren't at our resort. We arrived in Aruba in the afternoon. It was warm, but it rained on us the first day. Since it was freezing on our way down our pictures looked like we didn't belong in Aruba. That night we went out to dinner, went grocery shopping, and checked out our resort and condo. There were three pools and an ocean view. Absolutely beautiful! 

After dinner the first night 

Day Two:

The weather wasn't the best, but at least it didn't rain on our second day. We went on a fun Safari Jeep ride for four hours in the afternoon. Since there was only one tour guide/driver and several tourists, my Dad drove us in our own Jeep. It was interesting to learn about the country and explore areas that weren't "just for tourists." We saw the Natural Pool at their state park, saw several Natural Bridges, rock formations, and a gold mine from the early 1800's. Driving in the countryside was SUPER SUPER bumpy! At some points we thought our Jeep was going to flip over! It was fun. Nick drove some and it scared me a bit! Ha! That night we went to a Soprano Piano Bar, which was cool! The piano guy wasn't that great but it was entertaining. Here are some facts I learned about the Island:
1. Aruba is only 16 miles wide
2. 75% of in their industry is tourism
3. Motto is "One Happy Island"
4. They learn 4 different language: Spanish, English, Dutch, and Papiamento (mostly used)
5. 120,000 live in Aruba

Dad driving the Jeep through the State Park 
At the Natural Pool

Nick driving us
Baby Bridge, next to the Natural Bridge that collapsed in 2005
Tallest point on the island
Coming up... review of the next few days!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Preview of Aruba

Hello from Aruba! Hope everyone had a good Christmas. I sure did! Here are some preview images of Aruba so far.

I will write more about our vacation once I arrive home.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Silver Linings Playbook

I went to see Silver Linings Playbook with my Mom this morning. I really didn't have a clear idea about the plot of the movie. But since it received high ratings (90% on wow!) and my mom said it would be good, I went. I have to say it exceeded my expectations and it was really good! I would definitely recommend it. A little bit on the chick flick side, but I think anybody would like it. I thought both Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper did a phenomenal job! 

Here is a synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes:

Life doesn't always go according to plan. Pat Solatano (Bradley Cooper) has lost everything -- his house, his job, and his wife. He now finds himself living back with his mother (Jacki Weaver) and father (Robert DeNiro) after spending eight months is a state institution on a plea bargain. Pat is determined to rebuild his life, remain positive and reunite with his wife, despite the challenging circumstances of their separation. All Pat's parents want is for him to get back on his feet-and to share their family's obsession with the Philadelphia Eagles football team. When Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a mysterious girl with problems of her own, things get complicated. Tiffany offers to help Pat reconnect with his wife, but only if he'll do something very important for her in return. As their deal plays out, an unexpected bond begins to form between them, and silver linings appear in both of their lives. -- (C) Weinstein


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Praying for Newtown

It is so hard to talk about that tragedy that happened on Friday morning. It's even more unreal that it happened only 7 miles away from my house. (I live in Southbury and Newtown is the neighboring town). The community around here has been really quiet and depressing. It seems so unreal because all the places they have been showing on the news, especially St. Rose Catholic Church is familiar to my family. Chris attended 8th grade there, it truly is close to home. Thankfully we didn't know anybody that was immediately affected. I have been saying many prayers to those children and families. My heart truly goes out to them. I don't think I've seen so much news in my whole life, than I have these past few days. It just makes me sick to keep listening about it. 

On Saturday night, my home parish, Sacred Heart Church hosted a inter-faith prayer vigil for the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy. There were over 400 people. After a few songs, reflection, and prayer, we had a luminary vigil outside the church and we laid the candles out into the word HOPE. It was beautiful and a great sign to show our support for all those suffering. The community has really come together to aid those in need and it is great to hear positive stories. 

Luminary Vigil at night
Luminary Vigil at night (people in front afterwards)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Onto Winter Break

Last fall semester as an undergrad, COMPLETE! This semester flew by, just like all the others. It was a good semester. Definitely different than all the other ones and more stressful, I think? This semester I've put into practice what I've been learning for the past couple of years, and started my first clinical experience. It has been a great learning experience and I'm looking forward to doing it again next semester. Here is a previous post about it. Knowing that I had to prepare things every week for therapy was a lot harder and stressful than just reading a textbook and showing up for a lecture. I thoroughly enjoyed it though. This semester has been different too because I lived off campus in apartment, so I see less people I know, graduate school applications, more ESL and Hilltoppers for Life involvement, visit to Kevin's, and I'm sure some other things I can't think of! 

Let's just say I am so ready for a break and relax! What will I be doing this break, you ask?

Big Highlights:
1. I'll be going to Aruba with my family for the week of Christmas. I'm super excited! 
2. January 8th I will going to LIVE! with Kelly and Michael in NYC! I can't wait :)

Other this and that:
1. Lots of scrapbooking
2. Apply to graduate school
3. Lots of reading
4. Blogging
5. Starting to train for a mini-marathon?
....I think I'm forgetting some other things, I will probably add some more later. 

I'm currently waiting the airport to catch my flight home! See you in CT! 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My New Garmin Watch

I'm excited that I got a Garmin Watch!! My boyfriend, Kevin gave it to me for Christmas (because that's what I requested)! I tried it out yesterday morning and it's so cool! It amazes me how a little watch can detect where you are aka distance, your time, pace, and calories. I've been wanting  one of these for awhile and now I can't wait to go running and be able to KNOW how far I've gone instead of guessing! 

It is called Garmin Forerunner 10 of course made by Garmin. 
Here is a description from Amazon...

Every mile matters. And now there’s a stylishly simple way to capture each one. Forerunner 10 is a GPS running watch that tracks your distance, speed/pace and calories. It also identifies your personal records and provides motivation along the way.

Ready to Run

Forerunner 10 is so easy to use, you can start your run with the press of 1 button. As you run, you can see your time and distance clearly displayed on 1 screen and calories and pace on another. You can also customize the settings to show pace and distance on the same screen.

It Fits

It’s our lightest, most comfortable watch yet and is available in sporty green, pink, or black with red accents. The black and red model has a slightly larger watch face and wider wristband. All models can be worn as a regular watch, so your running partner is always on hand.

Motivating Feedback

As you run, Forerunner 10 automatically alerts you when you complete each mile, giving you a friendly beep and a screen that flashes your time for that mile. When you complete your run and save it, you’ll see a summary of how you did, including your total time, distance, average pace and calories. The watch even lets you know when you achieve a personal record, like your fastest mile or longest run to date.

Training Tools

For runners who want a little more, Forerunner 10 has a couple of simple training features like Virtual Pacer™, which compares your current running pace to your target. It also has a run/walk feature that’s helpful if you’re just starting out or your running plan includes walk breaks.

Store and Share

With a simple connection to your Mac or PC, you can upload your runs to Garmin Connect™ to see your run on a map, get more detail on each mile and share it with friends — all for free. You’ll be even more motivated when you see your miles add up in Garmin Connect and can go back and see how you’ve improved from last week, last month or last year.
I set my account up on the Garmin Connect and let me just tell you, it's SO COOL! It shows a map of where I ran, my exact pace throughout each mile, the incline, etc. I can also share goals and my training plans. I'm so impressed and I'm ready to take advantage of this awesome resource. 
SO....overall I would say this was a good pick!

Not too big for my wrist!

I love the pink!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pizza Quesadilla (aka Pizzadilla)

Check out this awesomely delicious recipe! Pizzadillas! Hannah and I decided that we were in cooking mood and wanted to try a new recipe. One of the blogs I follow Closet Cooking had this recipe so I thought I'd try it. It seemed easy and didn't take too many ingredients (which I like!). 
I modified the original recipe a little bit and made ours vegetarian, but any pizza topping will work. 


  • 2 (10 inch) tortilla
  • 1 1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 1/2 cup of onions
  • 1/2 cup of chopped green pepper
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives

  • Directions:
  1. Heat a large pan over medium heat.
  2. Place one tortilla in the pan, add half of of the pizza sauce, followed by half of the shredded cheese, half of the olives, half of onions and peppers.  
  3. Cook until the quesadilla is golden brown on both sides and the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes per side.
  4. Spread the pizza sauce over the top of the quesadilla followed by the remaining cheese, onions, peppers, and olives.
  5. Bake in a preheated 400F oven until the cheese has melted, about 15 minutes.
  6. ENJOY!

12 Days of Christmas- Weim style!

As many of you know, I have a dog named Bailey who is a weimaraner. Weimarner's have gained some fame from William Wegman, an artist that uses weimaraners in his photographs. They are pretty awesome! (I may be biased considering I have a weim :) ). I follow him on Facebook and every year he uploads the 12 Days of Christmas with Fay, one of his dogs. I think they are so funny, because Bailey acts like a human just like them! Above is Day One. ENJOY!

Video from YouTube

Monday, December 10, 2012

Immaculate Conception

Saturday the Catholic Church celebrated the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is a holy day of obligation on December 8th every year. In 1854, Pope Pius IX pronounced and defined that the Blessed Virgin Mary "in the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin."
From New Advent

A lot of people may be confused as to what we are celebrating. Every year I would go to mass on this day, but a lot of times not fully aware of what is being celebrated. Below is from and explains it all very clearly :)

The Immaculate Conception
It’s important to understand what the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is and what it is not. Some people think the term refers to Christ’s conception in Mary’s womb without the intervention of a human father; but that is the Virgin Birth. Others think the Immaculate Conception means Mary was conceived "by the power of the Holy Spirit," in the way Jesus was, but that, too, is incorrect. The Immaculate Conception means that Mary, whose conception was brought about the normal way, was conceived without original sin or its stain—that’s what "immaculate" means: without stain. The essence of original sin consists in the deprivation of sanctifying grace, and its stain is a corrupt nature. Mary was preserved from these defects by God’s grace; from the first instant of her existence she was in the state of sanctifying grace and was free from the corrupt nature original sin brings. 
When discussing the Immaculate Conception, an implicit reference may be found in the angel’s greeting to Mary. The angel Gabriel said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you" (Luke 1:28). The phrase "full of grace" is a translation of the Greek word kecharitomene. It therefore expresses a characteristic quality of Mary. 
The traditional translation, "full of grace," is better than the one found in many recent versions of the New Testament, which give something along the lines of "highly favored daughter." Mary was indeed a highly favored daughter of God, but the Greek implies more than that (and it never mentions the word for "daughter"). The grace given to Mary is at once permanent and of a unique kind. Kecharitomene is a perfect passive participle of charitoo, meaning "to fill or endow with grace." Since this term is in the perfect tense, it indicates that Mary was graced in the past but with continuing effects in the present. So, the grace Mary enjoyed was not a result of the angel’s visit. In fact, Catholics hold, it extended over the whole of her life, from conception onward. She was in a state of sanctifying grace from the first moment of her existence. 
For the mass on Saturday, I went to the 75th anniversary mass of the Diocese of Owensboro, KY. There were hundreds of people there to celebrate including all the priests and nuns in the Diocese. What I thought was cool too, was the bishop spoke in Spanish to the Catholic Hispanics. Seeing a bunch of Catholics in one place makes me happy! I'm glad I went! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dave Matthews Band Concert

I finally got to see Dave Matthews Band last night!! It was an AMAZING concert! Here's a recap of the night...

Kevin and I 
Maggie and Zach 
Kevin plus two other friends, Zach and Maggie, and I headed up to Louisville in the early afternoon. We went to Impellizeri's for dinner which serves delicious pizza! I also met up with my friend Maura. I was excited to see her, because it had been months and it was great to catch up. Two other pluses about the restaurant besides the delicious food were they played DMB music the whole night and it was a 2 minute walk from the Yum! Center where there concert was held. YES!

After dinner we headed to the arena. The opening was some reggae guy (is it bad that I don't remember his name?). He was good, but not my type of music. Finally after waiting for an hour, it was Dave time!! We were pretty high up, but at a good angle so I thought our seats were not too bad. Kevin is a DMB expert and this was his 9th concert I think? And he said he was a great concert as well!

Here was his setlist: 
1. Don't Drink the Water (Fav)
2. Eh Hee
3. Rooftop
4. Seven
5. #41
6. Mercy
7. Grey Street (Fav)
8. Belly Belly Nice
9 You & Me (Fav)
10. The Riff 
11. Spaceman
12. Jimi Thing
13. Digging a Ditch
14. Drunken Soldier
15. Everyday
16. Two Step
17. Christmas Song
18. Country Blues Improv
19. Halloween
20. Tripping Billies (Fav)

I shared my favorites in case you were wondering :) 

I think this post fulfilled the Music Monday I missed the other day!