The Blog Connect: I’m A Nicheless Blogger

In the next couple of weeks I’m going to let you know all of the things I learned from my first ever blog conference. I learned so much that I wanted to dedicate some of the really important lessons separately to really magnify their significance.

In April I went to The Blog Connect in Philadelphia with my fellow blogger (and friend since elementary school ) Sweetloveandginger. She goes every year and I thought to myself why not? I’ll probably learn something and definitely meet some people so I might as well give it a try.

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I’m so happy I did too because I learned a lot about myself as a blogger including the fact that I fall in a “type” of blog. That “type” is called Nicheless. Thanks to Just Bloggers: No Explanation about giving me more insight to what Nicheless means with their amazing presentation. They explaining that nicheless just means that you have multiple topics in your blog that you feel passionate about.

Now, I obviously knew that I wrote about more than one topic but I assumed two topics – books and travel was enough. I didn’t realize that I could even expand if I really wanted to, and trust me, I do. My first blog was about everything but it wasn’t always about things I was passionate about (ie cooking) and because of that I found it difficult to keep up with those posts and felt that I was letting my readers down. That’s never something I want to feel — so I switched to two topics that I see value in, my travel and all the books I read.

But with this I stopped telling you about my life and who I am and I stopped talking about some of the other things I really like to do. I honestly thought I either couldn’t handle it or my new blog friends wouldn’t care.

So with that, I received so much inspiration on the topic from the blog conference that I plan to expand and I think with really valuable information. It might mean less posts a week but I think it’s worth it for my readers to get all the content I feel really passionate about.

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Why I want to Travel

When I was younger my family and I only had two vacations– Cape Cod and Hampton Beach and they included visiting family. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to see our family but I also wanted to see more. But with my dad being sick most of my life it was hard to go on long term vacations.

I was never invited on friend trips either until my junior year of high school, it was great up at a camp in the Adirondacks where it was quiet and peaceful but again it wasn’t what I saw of vacations that my friends went on. Then I went to college and it was still the same, I couldn’t financially afford for myself to really go anywhere so I stuck through college and just kept going to Cape Cod.

There were two things that got me really into the whole traveling experience — one was The Bahamas (Junior year of College) with my mom and the other Costa Rica with my boyfriend’s family.

With the Bahamas, I remember the relaxation of the trip and the turquoise water, I remember thinking that I couldn’t believe water was really that color. We hung out, we drank, we read, we became friends with some dolphins and just enjoyed the quietness of a vacation of our own.

After a few years of dating my boyfriend, his family invited me to go to Costa Rica with them and man was I scared. I had never been out of the country, I had never been that far away from my family, I hated flying (I definitely cried on the plane) and I most definitely had never gone on a vacation with my significant other’s family before. I was freaking out, I didn’t want to go, I questioned everything, I tried so hard to pay it all back, anything that could make it feel normal. In the end, I went and I’m happy I sucked it up and got over my fears because I think that was the start of me really wanting to travel (it also doesn’t hurt to have friends who want to travel as well).

This was back in 2014 and afterwards I decided that I could financially make vacations work.

Since then I’ve really upped my game in travelling places (Maine, Cape Cod, Florida x2, Fingerlakes, Chicago x2, D.C., Philly and with upcoming trips to Rhode Island, England and Iceland). I’ve found a way financially to be able to travel without feeling like I’m breaking the bank and the more I go the more I want to continue to do it.

It’s not even the experience that really gets me wanting to travel, I mean, of course that’s a big part but it’s also the release. You’re away from your normal life, you get to be you outside of thinking about work and it just helps make life a little less stressful. It also has helped me get over my fear of change and being away from home more too.

What I love about it is that I come home with these memories and don’t get tired of it one bit

Book Review: A Court of Frost & Starlight

Author: Sarah J Maas

Pages: 246

A Court Of Thorns & Roses Series

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Synopsis: The Night Court is trying to pick themselves up from the war that just raged their lands. With the Winter Solstice approaching, Feyre and her friends are trying to find normalcy in a time of unrest and heal wounds that aren’t always seen by each other. 

Review:

This was not what I was expecting at all. It was great to get back to these lovable characters, even though I knew it was a novella, I felt like I was missing some important connection. Seeing different perspectives was a really cool idea and understanding a bit more about the wounds they all felt was great too but I felt meh while/after reading it. Like something was missing from the writing. I’ve read plenty of novellas before and I’ve always felt satisfied with them, this one I was left wanting more (but not in a good way).

However I did love the excerpt at the end for the next full length (I think) coming out!

I’m hoping we get some new characters in the future to add some spice to the mix, and really tie up some character development.

Overall Rating: 3/5 stars

Get To Know The Blogger

It’s been awhile since I’ve truly put myself out there and I feel like it’s time to get a little personal about who I am. There’s a lot about me that I haven’t shared but I think it’s important for you to understand the person behind the blog.

As most of you know, I turned 30 in April (2018) and I truly feel like I’m an adult now. Something I haven’t always felt like (I definitely went through a I am 25yrs old and I know nothing crisis). I live in Upstate New York with my boyfriend of 6 years. He is the quiet to my never stop talking personality (opposite attract right?). We did the whole long distance thing for awhile and then moved in together 5 years ago. In that time span, we have lived in two states and 4 apartments which is super obnoxious but we finally feel settled (even starting the house hunting experience).

Why do we feel settled? Partly because of our jobs. I won’t get into specifics but we both are working in the field that we have always wanted to work in and are doing something truly meaningful in our careers.

Which has always been really important to me, when I was at a younger age I never thought about the whole I am going to get married and have kids by this age and start a family. I was the girl in the back of the classroom thinking, “I am going to have a career by 30 that I am passionate about, I am going to help people and I am going to be independent”. If I want to live by myself and not have roommates I am going to make it a goal that I can do it. That career goal felt accomplished before I hit 30 and I was really proud of it but it didn’t come easy.

When I graduated high school, I headed to Springfield College for Physical Therapy. After 4 years and a Bachelor’s degree under my belt, I quit that schooling and decided to go to school for a Master of Science in Healthcare Administration. It was tough, changing degrees and losing contact with friends from your class was hard, really hard and there isn’t anyone to blame it’s just the cycle of life. But at 22 it wasn’t any easier. Did I make the right choice? of course I did but at the time it still made me feel like a failure especially when social media doesn’t help show you what everyone else is doing and feeling.

But I got over that and now I’m pretty happy and content on where I am with my life.

Some odd facts about me: I played the clarinet for about 15 years, my favorite color is turquoise but I’ll take blue any day, I love reading and trying to see as many places I can but I also like to just hang out at home with friends and family (my mom and grandma live in NY so we are close by). I’m pretty money concious, sure I want to see and do everything but I’m not about to go bankrupt because of it. Which I think is really important and I hope to share more on that with you guys later on.

That’s all I have for right now. I’ll do some of these posts here and there, there’s so much more I could tell you but I don’t want this post to get too large!

Cheers 😊

Favorite Restaurants In & Around Saratoga

Oh Saratoga. There is nothing better than walking Broadway and people watching, catching a drink or going to a rooftop bar. But one of my favorite things to do is the food.

There are so many options, and while I might not be a foodie, I am always looking for new restaurants to take people to when they’re visiting. Here’s my favorite places. I’m attaching $ to indicate affordability.

My Favorites in Saratoga

Druthers Brewing Company $$

Relatively new, this is our favorite hot spot. The only downfall is that once we bring our friends there they never want to go anywhere else. Why you ask? Because of their Mac and Cheese.

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Not only is it super affordable, it’s also huge! But don’t forget to try their homemade beer and split a beer and cheese appetizer (My favorite from any place I’ve tried).

Boca Bistro $$$

Looking for something a little different than American? Try Boca Bistro where you can get some serious tapas including some back wrapped dates that are out of this world. It is pricey however so I would use this for a fancier dinner or special occasion.

Wheatfields $$

Italian at its finest (sorry Chianti!) Wheatfields has a bunch of options, a ridiculously good happy hour and a relaxed feel even though it’s not a pub style.

The Stadium $

If you’re looking for a quick bite and a place to watch every sporting event at once, The Stadium is for you. There are two, we prefer Westside Stadium with less people but either are fantastic.

Around Saratoga

Longfellows $$$

Another like Boca Bistro, Longfellows is the perfect spot for special occasions (they even host weddings, Thanksgiving & Easter buffets). We went there for my 30th birthday, not only was it a surprise, it was a delicious surprise. There are so many nooks and a homey feel to the place. The food is definitely hand crafted food too.

Harvest and Hearth $

Right next to a creek where you can go kayaking, Harvest and Hearth has the best artisan pizza in the area. I still haven’t brought my friends here yet but I know once I do they will love it. The other fantastic thing about this place is the alcohol options. They carry local/New York wine and beer and it makes me happy every time I go. If you’re there get the natural with goat cheese yummm!

The Whistling Kettle $$

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For a late breakfast/early lunch with the feel of the U.K. the Whistling Kettle offers a variety of fun menus ideas and tea. SO MUCH TEA! All different flavors and all delicious! You can get crepes, sandwiches, quiches and scones here. What’s even better is you can get all three in their tier menu. Where you pick the the three things you want. Don’t forget to get tea, it will come in its own pot for you.

If you come to the area I am begging you to try one of these. They are definitely my favorite and I know my friends will vouch for it! Have you already been to Saratoga and dined at one of these? If so, which? Did you love it?

Favorite Quotes of April 2018 Books

I read alot of books in April. I honestly didn’t think it was going to happen but I surprised myself. Here’s a list of my favorite quotes from each book read. Hopefully it will give you a reason to pick up the book!
Remember this Ren. Sadness alone can’t harm anyone. It’s what you do when you’re sad that can hurt you and those around you.” – Rainbirds

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“I understand that forgiveness is utilitarian, that it is likely even the missing piece in my life, the keystone that will allow me to balance and stabilize and keep the bricks of my life from tumbling down. But I can’t do it. To me it feels false” – The Girl Who Smiled Beads

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“I cannot tell you what to decide, what is best,” he stated. “That is for your heart to choose, Brienna. But I will say this: no matter which path you choose, I will follow you, even unto darkness.”- The Queen’s Rising

“In the silence, Leni wondered if one person could ever really save another, or if it was the kind of thing you had to do for yourself.” – The Great Alone

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“That’s what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you to another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It’s geometrically progressive – all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment.”- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

April 2018 Roundup

April has come and gone. It was a whirlwind weather wise. Started out snowy, then plain cold, then sunny and rain. By the end of the month it officially felt like Spring in Upstate New York.

What’s new:

  • Refer to my blog post from last Friday for all the cool new things happening!

Current obsessions:

  • I’m currently making my boyfriend watch White Collar with me. He hasn’t seen it, I have and I’ll take Matt Bomer on screen any day

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  • The Royals is another obsession right now as well as New Girl — they’re back!

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Oh! and dierks has a new song out you guys

The Adventures

We spent April celebrating my 30 birthday and my mom’s birthday as well as traveling to Vermont for Easter.

Thanks to some friends coming to visit me, I thought of the perfect post on my favorite things to do in the area in the springtime.

Visiting Philly for the first time was an adventure, look out for some information on it early this month.

Books Read in April :

Now that the weather is getting better I’ve been outside more which means the book reviews will probably slow down a bit