Wednesday, August 27, 2014

How to Get More Music for Less Money

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

In The Kitchen With FunSized Returns!

Giada De Laurentiis has her recipe for grilled chicken with apple-mango chutney in November's Glamour magazine, so I decided to try it out while changing it up a bit!

Here's the recipe from the Food Network's website, Glamour didn't have their version online.

First of all, I must say the dish was absolutely delicious! It wasn't too heavy or over-bearing with all the different flavors, it was absolutely perfect... just look!

Now, what I did different was...

- Instead of frozen apple juice concentrate, I used frozen cranberry juice concentrate.
- Instead of apricot preserves, I used orange marmalade.
- Instead of dry mustard, I used dijon mustard (which she specifies in the Glamour Mag recipe).
- No use of jalapeño chile pepper or hot sauce. (I don't like my meals too spicy!)

With these minor changes, it was still absolutely scrumptious.

Have you made any of Giada's other dishes recently? Which ones?


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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Tribeca Sailing

The season may be coming to an end, but it is never too early to start planning for next year! Take a look at the video my production company (FunSized Productions) created for Tribeca Sailing.

Be sure to check out Tribeca Sailing's website and Facebook page as well!

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Friday, May 3, 2013

FunSized Frolicking: NJ Edition Video

Happy FunSized Friday! 

Take a look at my FunSized Frolicking NJ Edition, where I take you to Round Valley Reservoir in Lebanon, New Jersey!

Please make sure to subscribe to my channel, so you can stay up-to-date for future
 FunSized Frolicking Videos!

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

FunSized Frolicking: Paris Edition

Along with spending some time living in Arizona, I was also fortunate enough to live in Paris, France. It was absolutely the best five months of my life. I wish I could relive that time over and over again. Paris is my one of my favorite cities in the entire world; from the food, to the architecture, to the music and everything in between, the city exudes romance.

These are my top frolicking spots from when I was living in the City of Lights.

1- Rue Mouffetard 
    It took me four trips and finally living there to discover this hidden gem, in the old streets of the 5th (5eme) arrondissement, also known as the Latin Quarter in Paris and I lived right alongside it. Rue Mouffetard is the perfect example of what living in Paris means to me. The one thing that I really took advantage of, when I was living there, was the way the Parisians do their grocery shopping and cooking. I found it to be such an interesting process. I love the idea of going to speciality stores for each of the items that you need to buy for each day. On Rue Mouffetard, there are small open-air markets filled with fresh vegetables and fruits. Along with meat shops, fish shops, cheese shops and even chocolate shops! What I would usually do is start at the bottom of the rue and I would go up the narrow cobble stone street, walking back and forth from shop to shop, enjoying the different aromas, chatting up with the locals all while trying to plan my meal for the evening. At the top of Rue Mouffetard, you will reach Place de la Contrescarpe which is a fountain surrounded by small cafes, it's so French. So many of the young, hip, and local Parisians go there to have a glass of wine, while people watching. This is a wonderful area to spend the day if you really want to take in some French culture. Get off the metro at the Place Monge stop, if you plan it right, on certain days they have a market right there on the square above the metro for you to spend some time frolicking.

(Parisian Bread & Pastry Shop)

2- Latin Quarter & The Pantheon
     I had a new found love for the Latin Quarter, the moment I moved into my apartment and opened my bedroom's French Windows to see a stunning view of the dome of the Pantheon. When you're in the Latin Quarter, you can feel the history laying in the streets, it's all around you, more than in any other arrondissements in Paris (in my opinion). Just frolicking and getting lost in the small cobble stone streets was one of my favorite things to do, and if you do it right you may just end up starring at The Pantheon! Not to be confused with the Pantheon in Rome, both completely different in their purpose and architecture. There is so much to see and learn about when visiting the Pantheon, the art work and architecture is amazing. Throughout the Pantheon's history, it has undergone many changes in regards to its purpose. Originally a church, and then a mausoleum; it now is the final resting place to some of France's most prominent people. If you go on a nice day, you can even tour the top of the dome! I never had the chance to do that so I hope you can and report back to me on how it was!

(View of Pantheon from my Apartment Window)

3- Le Tour Eiffel
    I can't make a list of the top things to do in Paris without putting the Eiffel Tower on it, however I'm going to change it up for you a bit. Definitely wait in what will be the longest line of your life to take the elevator to the top. At least there is an elevator to take you up, unlike the L'Arc de Triomphe where you have to walk up hundreds of steps. But afterwards, have a picnic on the Champ de Mars, which is the park directly behind the Eiffel Tower. This is obviously a weather permitted frolic, but there's nothing like Paris in the springtime! Grab yourself a baguette, some fabulous French cheeses, and maybe a bottle of wine and enjoy an afternoon snack while starring up at the one of the most iconic structures in the world.

(View of Eiffel Tower from the Champ de Mars)

4- Pont Neuf    
     Something that was "Oh so French," that I really embraced doing was spending time along the banks of the Seine River. Every time my French friends wanted to meet up, we always either grabbed a bite to eat or brought a drink down to the river, watching the boats go by while enjoying the Parisian air. As you can probably tell by now most activities for me while I lived in Paris involved eating and/or drinking! (ha!- it was just too good to resist!) My favorite location along the river bank was under Pont Neuf. Pont Neuf is the first bridge to go through Île de la Cité, which is the island where you can find Notre Dame. On Pont Neuf there is a statue of Henry IV, along side of the statue are stairs that lead down to the tip of the island. If you're lucky enough to go there when there aren't many other people sitting there, sit at the very edge of the island and you can see all of Paris! If you go at night, it's even more spectacular because you can see Paris all lit up.. it is the City of Lights for a reason!

(The Seine & Top of Eiffel Tower)

5- Jardin du Luxembourg
    Continuing on the theme of the Latin Quarter, the Jardin du Luxembourg was my favorite park to frolic in while living in Paris. Whether it was soaking up some sun, catching up with friends or just studying for an exam I was able to accomplish it all in these gardens of the French Senate. There are so many different hidden gems to find in what is the second largest park in Paris. The park flourishes with beautiful flowers and statues all while the Luxembourg Palace rests in the foreground.

(Luxembourg Palace at the Jardin du Luxembourg)

These frolicking locations are very special to me because I did not discover them until I was living in Paris. I really did my best to embrace the French culture and really tried to live like a Parisian, and I believe that these locations helped me do just that! I hope you find as much joy out of these locations as I did, while finding some of your own frolicking spots!

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

FunSized Frolicking: Phoenix, Arizona Edition

I spent four years of my life living in Tempe, Arizona while attending Arizona State University. I tried my hardest to take advantage of everything the Valley had to offer while I was living there, in between getting an education, of course!

So here are my top 5 frolicking spots to check out when visiting the Phoenix area!

1. The Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
     Located in Northern Scottsdale, the Willow Stream Spa is the perfect escape for some R&R. I just went back there in February (after being away for almost a year) and they've gone under some major changes, which I can't say I've completed adjusted to yet, but it is still the best place to be. With a gym, a rooftop pool, amazing services and a bunch of other hidden gems, you'll just have to find out for yourself, why this is one of the best spas in the country! Make sure to check out their website before going to look into deals and Spa Week Specials!

 (The rooftop pool at the Willow Stream)

2. Fort McDowell Adventures Horseback RidingFort McDowell Casino All You Can Eat Buffet
    After a day of R&R, you'll be in need for some activity and I have just the place for you to go, Fort McDowell Adventures for their Horseback Riding trail. I have to say that this was one of the best trails I have been on. I originally found out about them through a friend who saw a deal on Groupon, and when I called them to confirm the price, they told me I didn't even need to use Groupon, they would honor the price. The next best thing is that it ended up being a private tour, just me, my guest and the guide! We rode through the desert, gorgeous landscapes, right under an eagle's nest, and then alongside a river and then IN THE RIVER (so cool!), and the ride was completed with seeing actual wild horses! It was so interesting seeing the horses stare at each other. It was such a magical ride! Nothing but positive things to say about this tour, two thumbs way, way up!
    Once the ride is over, you'll probably be hungry. Well, less than five minutes down the road from Fort McDowell Adventures is the Fort McDowell Casino and they have a variety of fantastic all you can eat buffets, but my favorite is the snow crab leg buffet! If you join their player's club you get a discount on the meal, and during the week  it's only $10 with your Fortune Club Card! Such a great deal especially if you love crab legs the way I do!

(The river on the trail ride; taken while on horseback) 

3. Hiking
    Despite the heat that Phoenix is known for, they also have a great reputation for hiking! Regardless of what your level of hiking expertise may be, there is a mountain for you. The first place most people hear about is Camelback Mountain, and that is because at a distance the peaks of the mountains give the illusion of a camel's back! However, if you are not an avid hiker nor do you enjoy rock climbing, this is not the mountain for you. Stunning views and a work out is what you will get from Camelback. Some other options you can choose from are South Mountain, Squaw Peak, 'A' Mountain and many others, these are just the few I've tried out. I recently hiked Squaw Peak and really enjoyed it, not too difficult, plenty of rest stops and great views. There are different parts you can hike on South Mountain and there's even horseback riding there as well. 'A' Mountain is right by Arizona State's Tempe Campus and the famous Mill Ave District. A very easy hike and a great place to go to watch the sunset.

(View from a point on Squaw Peak)

4. Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright Home
     Back in 1937, Frank Lloyd Wright began building his home in Arizona and today you can go there and tour his masterpiece. If you are a fan of architecture, history, or art this is a must-see place for you! This house is absolutely incredible and a definite tour to take! They even have tours that go beyond the house as well, so check out the website prior to going and you can choose which one suits you the best. This was one of the first places I visited when I moved to Arizona, definitely a tourist thing to do but sometimes it's mandatory to mix the native with the tourist!

(Taliesin West)
5. Lake Powell
    Lake Powell is a wonderful and scenic place to spend the day or a few days while visiting the Valley. It is a bit of a drive north from the main attractions in Phoenix but totally worth it. There's hiking, boating (if you don't have your own boat, you can rent one), fishing, the activities are endless. A great place to camp out if that's your thing! There's wildlife all around you to see... including some creatures to see in their gift shop. Depending on which area of the lake you go to will help determine which activities are at your disposal. It is just a wonderful place to spend the day frolicking outdoors and enjoying Mother Nature.

(Lake Powell)

Depending on what the goal of your vacation to Phoenix, Arizona is, whether that'd be just getting some R&R, very active, or a mixture of the two, I hope my frolicking tips help you in planning your trip! Let me know how you ended up frolicking around one of the many places I call home, the Valley of the Sun.

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

FunSized Frolicking: NYC Edition

Tourist or not, these are my five 5 favorite spots to frolic in New York City.

            Since the park opened in 2009, it has continued to gain major recognition for its individuality and the uniqueness that comes with it. The High Line isn't like any other park in Manhattan and that is because it hovers above the crowded streets on what used to be freight train tracks. 
          It now extends from the Meatpacking District on Gansevoort Street all the way up to West 30th. Not only is each section of the High Line different, but with each step, you get an even more captivating view of New York and its surrounding area. 
         If you're looking for somewhere to relax, people-watch or just enjoy the sights of Manhattan the High Line is the perfect frolicking escape. 

(10th Avenue Square Viewpoint on the High Line)

        If you're looking for a great place to go shopping while in NYC, Soho is the place to go. All the newest and hippest stores are together in one place! My one recommendation is that the earlier you start, the better you are. Soho becomes extremely crowded; weekday or weekend, there's always a crowd. 
        After a long day of shopping, you'll probably need to sit down for a great meal. Good thing Chinatown is only steps away from Soho... just head east and cross over Canal Street and you're there. There's nothing like New York City Chinese food, so go ahead... indulge! Order a bunch of different platters; because you know what's even better than Chinese food... the left overs! 

(NYC Chinese Meal from HK Wonton Garden on Mulberry St)

        This is a great place to go during the warm weather months. Just hop on the FREE ferry ride from Battery Park and in minutes you're on the island. There are tours you can take, grab a bite to eat, go on the swings, or rent a bike! There are endless opportunities for things to do here while taking in the stunning views of Lower Manhattan, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Last summer, a friend and I rented bikes for the first time and it was a great way to spend an afternoon!

(View from Governor's Island of the Freedom Tower & Lower Manhattan)

       I love art and I enjoy it even more when it is free! Friday afternoons from 4 to 8 pm tickets to the MoMA are absolutely free. It is a little extra crowded at this time, but you can always frolic out to their courtyard, grab a snack and enjoy the statues and outdoor art that is on display. 

(A Must See: Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh)

          I saved the best frolic for last! My absolute favorite place to frolic is Washington Square Park! This is a great place to go to collect your thoughts, relax, catch up with old friends, or people watch. There is always something going on at WSP; street performers putting on a show, musicians trying to make a buck, a television show or movie being filmed, people having a picnic or catching some rays on a summers day... the activities are limitless. This is what makes this park my favorite in New York City!

(Washington Square Park's Famous Arch)

      There are so many things you can do while frolicking around New York City but these were just a few of my favorites! If you end up taking my advice, I hope you enjoy yourself! Let me know how you like to spend your time frolicking around NYC!

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