Greece has always been on my MUST VISIT list, so my husband and I didn’t think twice on making it the destination for our honeymoon. Since we aren’t very traditional, we skipped out on engagement photos and instead decided to do a photoshoot while in Santorini, our first stop in Greece. I use Tripadvisor for all travel related questions before any of my trips, so I posted in one of the forums looking for a photographer but honestly all of the suggestions sent to me just weren’t my style. A few weeks before our honeymoon I got a message from a photographer, RAZMIK. He is based out of Lebanon but would be in Santorini, the same time we would be, shooting a wedding. I checked out his website and I booked him right away! Our day shooting around Oia with Razmik and his wife Rita was nothing short of magical. The photos captured on our honeymoon session are some of my favorite memories.

I highly recommend booking a honeymoon shoot if your budget allows, even if it’s only an hour or two.  We spent a few hours with Razmik, so we left the creativity and locations up to him but if you are short on time, discuss your vision with your photographer. Click HERE to check out RAZMIK’s website. Since he is a traveling photograper he might just be in whatever European city you are visiting.

Here are a few of our favorite shots:

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It’s been almost 5 years since I traveled to Budapest.

Back in 2013 when my boyfriend (now husband) suggested it as one of the stops for a multi city Europe vacation I was planning I was like whattttt??? Budapest? Where is that and why do we want to go? Long story short, it’s in Hungary and that is where his family is from.

What I didn’t realize is that I would be exploring one of the most underrated cities with amazing medieval architecture, cool Turkish baths and several historic bridges. OH & they have a love for goulash and paprika… 2 things I am not a fan of to be honest but if that’s your thing – go for it.

Here are 12 photos that will make you want to visit Budapest:

  1. Hungarian Parliament Building – how stunning is this structure?

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PC: @krenn_imre

2. Not too shabby at night either….

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3. Thermal Baths! While there are many around the city, The Széchenyi Bath is one of the most popular ones.

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PC: flickr

4. Gelato Rose?! YES, please.

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PC: @zohar_shushan

5. In a city filled with history, the Shoes on the Danube is one of the most moving memorials in Europe.

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PC: flickr

6. Ride in style while visiting Margaret Island.

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PC: @pearls_and_paris

7. The Fisherman’s Bastion is one of my favorite spots in Budapest. You get the absolute BEST panoramic view across the Danube, Margaret Island and Pest!

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PC: flickr

8. Hop on the Buda Castle Hill Funicular to give your feet a break and for this view.

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PC: flickr 

9. What’s better than a pedicure? A Fish pedicure.

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PC: @pearls_and_paris

10. On one of our last nights in town, we stopped into Buddha-Bar randomly for a drink. They had a private event going on and we were invited to join in on the fun! The atomsphere in this place is amazing. Stop in for delicious food, yummy drinks and great music.

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PC: @krenn_imre

11. One of my favorite phrases is “Always make sure you look up” – the Budapest Opera House is the perfect example why.

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PC: @krenn_imre

12. New York Café – The most beautiful cafe in the world. 

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PC: New York Café

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Is it me or does the winter make you want to hibernate? Well my family and I were determined to make the best of the start of the cold season and so we booked two short get aways for the end of November.

Hershey, Pennsylvania is known as The Sweetest Place On Earth!

My family & I, along with my nephew and Ryan’s best friends family headed there for an overnight stay at the Hershey Lodge for a day/night of rides, lights and…. well – chocolate of course.

The ride up is a little less than 3 hours from North Jersey and thanks to Mazda, we drove in style and comfort in a 2018 CX-9. This test drive came at the perfect time since we are in the market for a new SUV. The Mazda CX-9 is a mid-size, three-row crossover SUV that caters to families with seating for seven. The destination possibilities are endless thanks to CX-9’s all-weather capability from its optional predictive i-ACTIV all-wheel drive and class- leading fuel-ef ciency. CX-9 provides a premium driving and passenger experience, courtesy of an award-winning SKYACTIV-G 2.5T engine that delivers excellent performance in everyday driving scenarios and an interior cabin that is pleasing to the sight and touch. This SUV was one of the top safety picks and all the safety features are amazing! Another one of our favorite features is the 3rd row option which is perfect for a growing family.

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 As soon as we arrived in town we headed to Hershey Park! During the holiday season they transform the park into a Christmas dream filled with lights for their Christmas Candylane event. Theres more than 50 rides open, including 6 coasters, lights, live entertainment and even Santa and his reindeers make an appearance.
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After Hershey Park, you are going to want to head on over to Hershey’s Chocolate World where the fun continues. One of my favorite things to do while there is creating your own candy bar. It’s so awesome to see it created right in front of your eyes and you even get to create the wrapper! At Chocolate World you can also catch a 4D movie, go on a tour of the place and do chocolate tasting. By the time we were done the kids were starving so we had to skip the Hershey Sweet Lights but if visiting during the Holidays – it’s a MUST!
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We headed back to the Hershey Lodge and checked in. Our room was in the area with the pull up parking which I thought was super convenient.
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We settled in and headed to the Bears Den for some yummy comfort food. Once everyone’s bellies were filled we grabbed some board games and headed to the lobby to hang around the fireplace. During the holidays Hershey Lodge is decorated so beautifully and everyone really is in the Christmas spirit. There were a ton of people in the lobby hanging out in their pjs and just having a great time.
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The next morning before checking out we spent an hour at the indoor pool complex. All of the kids had the best time and I loved that there was something to do for all of them considering the difference in all their ages (2-14 years old)
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Hershey was the perfect destination for a short one night staycation for the kids (& adults). Everyone had the best time and I’m already looking forward to our next visit. When the weather warms up we will be able to take advantage of their outdoor pool complex, mini golf and the basketball/tennis courts.

download1. Spivo 360 Stick – My first time using this product was at the Blue Lagoon in Iceland and it was awesome! I loved that I could capture my surroundings but then with a simple click of a button have my camera facing me. Perfect for capturing all angles and works with both your GoPro and cell phone!

2. Travel Cord RollUncommonGoods is one of my favorite online shops for travel goodies. This Cord Roll is perfect for keeping your electronic cords tangle free and organized at the palm of your hand.

3. BESTEK USB Wall Charger  – This is currently one of my favorite travel accessories. With this set you no longer need multiple adapters and outlets. You can charge 4 electronic devices at one time without the worry of a slow charge and best of all – this set will work anywhere in the world since it includes all plugs!

4. mophie powerstation –  This 6,000mAh universal battery is packed with more power than ever! Two USB ports let you charge multiple devices while on the go. Best of all a portion of the proceeds from every (PRODUCT)RED™ purchase will go to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa

5. Serengetee Scratch off Map – If you have never heard of Serengetee, click HERE! Their mission to support artisans and causes around the world is amazing and very inspiring – plus… they have some really awesome products! Their scratch off map is a super unique gift for the globetrotter in your life.

6. Genius Pack Aerial Hardside Carry-On Spinner – This has been my go to carry on for my last few trips. It’s a maximum size carry on with minimalist design with durable 360-degree spinner wheels, a secluded laundry compartment, interior category compartments for a think-free packing experience, integrated packing checklist, and oh it’s extremely light, just 6.2 lbs.

7. Travel Contact Case – When I spotted these on the Charming Charlie website, I knew I had to buy one. I am the queen of throwing my contact case in my bag and when it comes time to remove for an overnight flight – no where to be found. This little case keeps everything together and guarantees that I will no longer spend 30 minutes digging to find what I need.

8. Passport Cover – I am obsessed with the VinylPassportCovers shop on Etsy. They have the best designs for passport covers and at affordable prices. This one is my new favorite and I plan to pick it up soon – I mean, afterall, you can never have too many passport covers 😉 Check them out!

9. TRESemme Volumizing Dry Shampoo – Yes, this made my travel gift guide! Dry Shampoo is the travel girls best friend. This particular one from TRESemme is the perfect travel size for when on the go and brings so much life to your hair.

What do you think about my picks? If you love them – head on over to my Instagram page (click HERE) to check out my giveaway featuring THREE of these products!!!! 🙂 Good Luck + Happy Holidays xo

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As much as I love traveling abroad there is nothing like discovering local gems and that is why I love the concept of staycations. I personally am not one to take time off from work to stay home and so the idea of being able to take a short car ride for one or two nights away is perfect. I’ve been wanting to start a staycation series for some time now and hope my tristate readers [NJ, NY, PA + CT]  find it useful.

I want to begin this series with an overnight trip my family and I took last month.

Pocono Manor Resort & Spa

Pocono Manor is located in Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania – about 1.5 hours from North Jersey and less than 2 hours from NYC. I’m not sure why it took us so long to venture up to the Poconos. This may have been out first visit but it won’t be our last.

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Pocono Manor is a historic hotel which opened in the 1900’s. There are a total of 240 guest rooms and a ton of amenities onsite – three restaurants, indoor and outdoor pool, golf course, spa and various recreational activities. They offer live music on the weekends and a ton of seasonal activities such as horseback riding, hiking, tennis and snowmobiling.

We were in town for the Lantern Festival so didn’t have much time to take advantage of all their amenities but were really happy with the accommodations. The room was very spacious with a pretty view, the game room was a great addition to the property and every staff member we spoke with were not only friendly but super helpful. At the end of the night we were able to grab a drink by the bar to bring up to our room and then enjoy a family breakfast (which was delicious!) before heading back home. It was the perfect little night away! A big thank you to Pocono Manor for hosting us and we look forward to another stay in the near future.

Here are some photos from our stay as well as some pictures of the property and their amenities/activities courtesy of the Pocono Manor website.

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