Spend 24 Hrs In New York City {Family Trip}

24 Hrs in NYC

We recently had a lovely opportunity to attend a military family weekend in Upstate New York. So, we decided to venture to New York City for the first time, and take our three kids with us. Traveling with the kids has always been a priority ever since they were younger. Getting them used to travel and flexibility from a young age is extremely important. They are tough cookies, and are along for the ride despite the long distances we walked that weekend!

Twenty-Four Hours in New York

So, where do you start when you spend just twenty-four hours in a city jam-packed with things to do and places to see? The first thing one must do is recognize that they can’t possibly see everything and really pair down your list to some of the most important things. Where you stay is also important. We chose to stay just off Times Square at the Belvedere Hotel. It was a great hotel, with great staff, decent-sized rooms, and came with parking (which was a few blocks away near the Tonight Show theater).

Military Families! Make sure to grab your military discount at both the Empire State Building and the Central Park Zoo!!

Empire State Building

Head here with a couple of hours available on your schedule! You will enter through a new, tourist-looking entrance. But never fear, you will end your visit through the lobby you see in all the movies (which I know is what many people, including myself, were hoping for) like ELF and Sleepless in Seattle. You will go through several displays with the history of the Empire State Building, including old elevators and video presentations. The kids even enjoyed most of them. Several levels include different ways to view the landscape around the building and lots of windows so that you aren’t waiting around. Covid restrictions in place include masking, but there was still a good number of people around. The timed entry tickets made the waits almost non-existent.

Times Square

It’s busy, make no mistake about that; and watching out for the designated walkways and designated places to stop and take pictures is important. It is a fast-moving area and high traffic, but there are plenty of spaces to see all the things. I would also highly recommend passing through during the day and the night so you can truly see everything. Families beware though, you will see body-painted, basically naked ladies, so it is important to be aware of that. My younger two did not notice them at all. My fifteen-year-old did, and gave me the best parenting gift ever….he completely turned around and looked the other way.

Central Park

Central Park almost deserves its own post because it is so large! There are so many things to see in Central Park that it is easy to spend several trips seeing all there is. On this trip, we visited the Central Park Zoo, which was loved by all three of my kiddos, the “Friends” fountain, and Strawberry Fields with the Imagine Mosaic. We crossed across the park from the Zoo to hit those other two landmarks, and made our way to a great pizza joint!

New York Pizza

Experiencing some New York Pizza was high on our list of things to do. We chose two places – one was a “take a slice” type New York joint and one was a sit-down restaurant. Both with amazing New York Pizza!




We squeezed in a lot! What would you add to your 24 Hr NYC Trip?

If you like it, PIN IT!!! 




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{Cool Subscription Box Alert} Military Made Box

I’m so excited to be sharing with you all the Military Made subscription boxes. Every once in a while a product comes along that I’m just so excited to share with you. We all love subscription boxes, at least I do. A box delivered to me every month with fun, new products in it. Bonus points goes to this box though, because you are also supporting (and learning about) veteran and milspouse-owned businesses.

What is Military Made?

Military Made is the brainchild of Bill Deutch, CEO and Executive Producer, of Hiring America. Hiring America is a show that highlights Veteran and Spouse employment by sharing inspiring stories of Veterans and Spouses in the civilian workforce, sharing companies dedicated to hiring veterans and spouses and so much more. Military Made is an extension of this in a really neat and interesting way.  Each month you receive product made by Spouses and Veterans, learning about them and their story.

I wanted to take that one step more and encourage everyone with a Pay it Forward Movement.  Think of a spouse, a veteran a non-military connected friend, family member or co-worker who needs a pick me up, and send them a box! Maybe it will encourage them, and then inspire them to keep paying that forward. The more hands and minds we can get these products into the better. It fills my “Supporting small businesses” and “Supporting the Troops” soul. So many service members over the decades have left the military careers and been unable to fully put that behind them. Finding meaningful employment or starting their own businesses hasn’t always been easy, especially after two decades of intense service.

As if that wasn’t enough, a portion of the sales from Military Made boxes goes to Hiring America Service, a 501(c)(3) that helps to educate veterans and spouses in finding meaningful careers. There’s so much good!

Get your own Military Made Box!

You can snag your own box by visiting their website and choosing between a quartly or annual membership. Military Made also has an option right on their website to “Pay it Forward” by choosing to the send the box as a gift.

What’s in the box right now? Well, go check out my Instagram (in the feed and on REELS) to get an up close and personal peak at it. You can also follow Military Made on Instagram for some more in-depth introduction to the current boxes’ products and the stories behind them.


What are some of your favorite military-owned (Veteran or Spouse) products?! I’d love to hear about them in the comments.


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DC/NoVA Adventures ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial

On September 17th, 2020, the memorial dedicated to Dwight D. Eisenhower was dedicated in Washington, DC. Located within a short walking distance of the Capitol Building in DC, the memorial is designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry. Gehry is also the architect behind such well-known buildings as the Guggenheim Building in Spain, Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris. The memorial sits on a 4-acre park and includes two large pillars, several statues, and quotes from Eisenhower. Not only does it depict scenes from his Presidency, but it also pays important attention to his childhood and the importance of Abilene, Kansas, as well as paying homage to his military service. Several artists contributed to the memorial, including Nicholas Waite Benson who was the inscription artist. Benson has also inscribed the WWII, Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorials. The large stainless steel tapestry depicts the beaches of Normandy, which connect Eisenhower’s service and the peace he maintained during the President. The two large pillars on either side of the memorial are the height of the cliffs of Normandy that American soldiers had to climb that day.






Who was Eisenhower?

I consider Eisenhower to be an interesting sort of President. While I wouldn’t consider him as unknown as say Rutherford B. Hayes or a Chester Arthur, but I WOULD consider him to be unassuming. What exactly did he do? The site location of the memorial as a whole was chosen carefully to connect parts of DC politics that are connected to Eisenhower. It is surrounded by the Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Air and Space, Voice of America, and the Federal Aviation Administration. President Eisenhower was the first president to direct federal aid to education, signed legislation to the department that preceded the Dept of Health and Human Services, lead the charge in creating the Air Force, creating the Air Force Academy, and helped create the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The list goes on and on of the small of significant parts of history that Eisenhower had an impact on.

A behind-the-scenes impact

The impact of Eisenhower rings loudly today as we think about the quiet steps that Eisenhower took to impact positive change, presiding over eight years of peace and prosperity in the United States. He sent troops down south to help enforce desegregation, pushed for the desegregation of Washington DC, and completed the desegregation of the military that had begun before his election. He also signed the Civil Rights Act of 1957. And despite all the drama surrounding the design and creation of the memorial I love its simplicity and symbolism and hope that that shines through and inspires visitors to learn more about him.


See more DC/NoVA Adventures!!

American History Museum

National Inventors Hall of Fame

Eisenhower Memorial Pinterest

National Inventors Hall of Fame

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Personalized Gifts for the Women You Love {Halloween Discount Code}

My goal in life is to find some of the best gifts that I can. It’s my love language. The smile on someones’ face gives me so much joy and if it’s a secret gift that’s even better.  And while the idea of personalized jewelry might seem weird and outdated at first, I haven’t gotten this many compliments on jewelry since I got my mini-states necklace.  Who knew I really missed out on the whole Carrie Bradshaw name necklace trend. I didn’t realize how much I LOVED it!


I was really excited to partner with JesseMade Jewelry to check out some great personalized jewelry options for Christmas gifts. What important for me to share is affordability and quality. Clearly when we think of affordability, quality isn’t the first thing that jumps to our mind. I didn’t know what to expect and I can tell you I was pleasantly surprised. Before I share anything with you I want to make sure that I establish the quality, and lucky for you your girl here has ridiculously sensitive skin. I’ve been wearing the necklace to sleep in and to shower in and haven’t had any issues. Didn’t try the pool or the beach yet, but I don’t generally like to wear any of the jewelry during any of those things activities.

Time to share 



One of the things that I loved about the bracelet is how easy it was to get on and off. The unique clasp really made it simple and I didn’t have to struggle to get it on. And the unique Oval shape of the bracelet makes it so the bracelet sits so nicely and doesn’t constantly flip around on your wrist. Very cool!


These are sweet gifts from kiddos to their mamas, boyfriends to their girlfriends, and I’ve even considered these as gifts to my mom and sister for Christmas. You can get rings, anklets, and all sorts of bracelets and necklaces that fit your unique style. Their name necklaces come in several different fonts and you can choose between silver, gold, or rose gold coloring. There truly is something for everyone!

As a side note, they also sometimes have super cute home decor items and I may or may not have purchased some Halloween stuff! I can’t help it! Look how cute this is!! All their Halloween stuff is on sale and the extra discount code applies if you want to purchase some jewelry as well! Its an excellent deal, so jump on over to JesseMade and snag your stuff today!


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Favorite Quarantine Products

Its been forever since I’ve done a favorites blog post, but I have some pretty awesome things to share with you from the last couple of months of quarantine. Nothing like filling endless hours of time at home with some serious product research!

Skincare – If you’ve been around awhile you know that I am more apt to shell out the dough for skincare products. I’ve always believed in taking care of your skin, and with a little bit of good genetics, you’ll get far in life. From as long ago as I can remember my mom stressed this aspect, from her days at Mary Kay and beyond. I have a day and a night cream I love and use religiously, but that same company doesn’t have all the other extra products I like to use, which isn’t much. Two products I have added to my regiment, and one I re-ordered after getting it in my FabFitFun box. The Skin&Co Face Toner is my favorite and I also really love the Radiant Dew which sets make-up, restores the pH balance in your skin and tightens up pores. Its a way steeper $35. It smells good and makes my skin feel awesome. And even though it is $27, it lasts forever AND its cruelty-free, they love organic farming and its free of all that paraben junk. As a side note, if you would like to try FabFitFun you can either try a starter box {just message me and I’ll get that FREE box sent out} or get $10 off your first full-size box!

Hair Care –  I recently shared Finesse shampoo on my Instagram and got a ton of good feedback, and comments from other users. I’ve been working really hard at taking care of my hair since I began to see stress-related hairless over the last three years. There was a lot that happened and it caused a lot of stress with negative consequences on my body in several ways. Never discount what stress can do to your body – but that’s for another blog post. So I did my research and was actually gifted shampoo and conditioner that was part of the Restore+strength collection. They have a moisturizing, normal hair, and color-treated hair option. I noticed increased softness and healthiness from my hair and I’ve been using it for a while. I would 100% recommend it to those looking for an affordable option for healthy hair and softness. Go check out my Instagram post about it to see what a few others are saying as well.


However, there was more I needed to do to help grow my hair, so I did more research. I read reviews, read magazine lists for best hair growth shampoos, and finally settled on one that was a midpoint price range, I could get on Amazon and had moderately good reviews. I would say this shampoo is worth a try. I’m a terrible blogger, and probably a bit self-conscious about what I perceived as huge empty spots on my head that I happened to hide well. It has very specific directions, and I would listen to them. I believe it is working, and it isn’t too much of a wallet buster that it wouldn’t be worth a try for you. Purebiology is right around $28 for a 8oz bottle. I know..its a lot, but comparatively speaking its closer to a steal. A shampoo and conditioner with biotin, Keratin, vitamin B and what is the more important part for hair regrowth (which I learned after all my research) DhT blockers. I also use Navy HairCare scalp scrub, and I’m doing a little bit more research and going to add a scalp scrubber because I am also prone to a very dry scalp…all my life. I will keep you updated on my hair journey!

Billie Razors – I feel like I’m the last person to jump on the Billie train, but I couldn’t be happier. I’ve been using Billie for about a month and its not like any razor I’ve used before. Its crazy and I really love it for my sensitive skin. This will also be Ami’s first Razor, no question. Delivery of my blades right when I need them is a huge selling point. I don’t have to store a bunch, forget where I stored them and then go buy any! Plus, the awesome set up for clipping it to my shower wall is an added bonus. Super affordable, ergonomic handle and their products are either verified or certified green on the Environmental Working Group list, which basically means that’s good for you! Plus, they believe in fighting that pink tax! Why should we pay more for razors? Quit overpaying for Razors! Use my link to sign up and then get your own link to share more about Billie razors and fight the pink tax!


Detangler – If you have a daughter with hair that gets tangled easy (or maybe you do) you know the value of a detangler. I have searched high and low, we’ve tried tons of conditioners, leave-in sprays, expensive and cheap and we have a new favorite. Although I will say that the type of brush you use is such important in the detangling process. But, we are here to talk about leave-in sprays. We want one that will do the job and not leave everyone’s hair feeling greasy…or worse yet, not even do its job. This spray seems to be daughter-approved. Infusium Leave-In has avocado and olive oil, it keeps hair feeling soft and healthy – doing its job over time and not just for the ten minutes you spend brushing your kid’s hair. its a relatively affordable option, and believe me I’ve tried not affordable ones too. I feel like we’ll always be searching for that amazing leave-in spray and it will always be a thing as she learns to navigate having real hair that is thick and needs washing and conditioner and having to do that herself. The price of wanting your hair long is deep ya’ll!

Nails – I, like so many, made the switch to do it yourself nails. While I did often paint my nails at home I just used regular polish and they would inevitably fall apart, chip, squish, and get marks on it. So I made the switch over to gel and I’ve never looked back. Yes, there was a learning curve, yes there are a lot of supplies, but so worth it. As I realized I needed stuff and learned what to do I bought more stuff. You can find everything in my Amazon Storefront, but these are some of my favorites.

Beetles Gel Polish is my favorite of the two different kinds I own. However, I use Makartt top and bottom coat that I got in my original session. I’m going to be totally honest and tell you it took about five times to get the hang of it and get a polish that does chip or peel off. There’s definitely a talent to you that I will never fully accomplish without going to school or working in a nail salon for years. However, I am pretty impressed with myself. Unless you are super talented (which I am not) you’re going to need some accessories in your arsenal.

Besides the UV light, I also use latex nail art paint that I put around the edges. This is super important to avoid peeling later, and it’s crazy how well it works. The set that it comes with has the cuticle stick thing (yes, that’s the technical term) and oil that I absolutely love. I totally believe that with practice you get a pretty decent at-home gel manicure…AND it doesn’t rip of up nails when I take it off. That’s win guys.

what are some of your favorite quarantine finds?


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