That Time I Ordered Clothes from China

I know you’ve seen them too – ads for super affordable clothes from China. But are they legit? Do they ever get to you, and when they do would you wear them?

One company I see advertising cute things all the time is SheIn. Now I know these companies have a rep for horrible customer service and a lack of transparency regarding shipping and sizing. So I decided to do some digging. The company offers express shipping in 3-5 business days for US residents. They have also sizing charts for each item. It’s annoying to check each one but by combining the sizing provided and some tips I found for shopping these sites, I thought I could get a decent fit.

So with all of that in mind, I decided to take a chance and order! I chose $159 worth of items and received $30 off using a coupon code on the website home page, 6% cashback with Ebates and free express shipping. I purposefully chose a variety of items from jewelry and shoes to tops for a true picture of the quality of the items. Here is what I ordered:


Scallop Tie Top
High Neck Print Top
Lace Overlay Top


Flouncey Chiffon Top
Off the Shoulder Top
Scallop Edge Top


Black Round Hem Tee
Grey V Neck Tee
White Round Neck Tee


Camel Cutout Sandals
Delicate Gold Necklace
Black Leatherette Espadrilles

These were the prices before any coupon codes, cashback, etc. Click the links above to be taken directly to the item on the SheIn site. A couple standouts that I was extra excited for were first off, the shoes! The espadrilles are what look to inspired by the Valentino Rockstud Espadrilles and the camel colored sandals? Yes, those do look an awful lot like the sold out sandal of the season, the Hermes Oran. I was also really happy to get some quality basics and new tops for work into my collection.

The order went smoothly. I paid with PayPal and received an email confirmation right away. The next day I received a shipping confirmation with tracking from DHL.  My package arrived in 6 business days and I was so. excited.


So I started tearing into these bags and what I found was a huggggge mix of qualities and sizes. It became very clear very fast that these clothes were being sourced from many different warehouses and depending where it came from I was going to have a very different experience. This was gonna be a bumpy ride.

I started with the white blouses. The print one had a lovely pattern but the fabric was downright scratchy and it had two weird seams down the front that just looked wrong. The blouse with the tie was way too short (and I’m only 5’2″). The win in the bunch was the lace top. It was truly gorgeous but entirely too small. I may reorder it about 2 sizes bigger than the size chart recommended to me.


Moving onto the black tops. The flouncy sleeve chiffon shirt had a very cute gold zip on the back. It reminded me of super similar tops they sell at The Loft more expensively. I would consider reordering this shirt in about 2 sizes larger as well. The black scallop tee is one of the only items I’m keeping! Unlike the photo, it is a cotton blend with some stretch and adorable. But my favorite of the black items by far has to be the off the shoulder shirt and by my favorite I mean it was atrocious. The fabric felt like the raw cotton blend you buy at Joann Fabric and the little arm holes barely fit my wrist. Major eye roll on this one.

Moving into another item that gave me a laugh, the t-shirts. The grey one was super nice and I’d get it in a couple other colors (though I threw it right in with the laundry because it smells of old Pad Thai). But the black and white are that weird, reflective, scuba-esque material they used to sell at Joyce Leslie. Ugh.

And finally, the accessories. They were all good quality, honestly! The espadrilles are too narrow so I’ll be returning them but they all look like shoes you’d pick up at JC Penney or another lower end mall department store so not bad in my book. Frankly, the Hermes dupes are way better quality than the others and I will be getting tons of use out of them. They are my favorite item by far.


So what is my overall verdict? You never know what you’re going to get on sites like SheIn. There is no continuity of size or fabric. A lot of the photos make the fabrics look much higher quality than they are. There were some diamonds in the rough that definitely made the experience worthwhile but unless you have the money and time to spend, stick with Forever 21 and H&M for fast fashion, where you know what you’re in for.

All the best,


Are there any other sites like SheIn that you’re curious about? Comment below and be my next haul-spiration.


Dinner for Two… weeks of meals under $100

Meal Plan

Hi friends,

I am back with a meal prep blog for you. With the plethora of ice cream I’ll be inhaling over the next 8 weeks, it’s important to keep my eating clean when I’m home. And since the majority of my next 8 paychecks will end up in boardwalk souvenir shops, budgeting is important too.

So I humbly present to you… 2 weeks of easy meals for 2 adults. The entire 2-week plan is less than $100. (Of course, this may vary but that amount is based on shopping at my local ShopRite here in the Philly area.)

I based this budget off of the food my boyfriend and I actually eat so obviously feel free to modify it as necessary. I chose almost all dinner recipes that can be made in a crock pot (indicated with CP) and prepped in advance for my fellow young professionals. These recipes are all low in fat and there are at least 2 vegetarian meals included per week.

As far as recipes go, they are a collection of my faves from Pinterest and beyond, but I will provide links to give all these talented ladies cred. So here goes!



  • Cereal and almond milk
  • Bagels
  • Fruit


  • Pitas and rolls
  • Turkey or ham
  • Cheese
  • Pop chips
  • Fruit


Shopping List

  • Ciabatta loaf $4
  • Pita pockets $2.50
  • Fresh bagels $5
  • Hamburger rolls (2 packs) $2
  • Almond milk $2
  • NutriGrain bars $2.50
  • Chex cereal $2
  • Large can crushed pineapples $1.25
  • One can each corn, diced tomatoes, black beans $2.50
  • Deli sliced sweet pepper rings $2
  • 2 cans chicken broth, one can beef broth $3
  • 2 jars marinara $2
  • 1/4 lb. deli American cheese $1
  • 2 bags shredded mozz cheese $4
  • Turkey burgers $7
  • Cheese ravioli $1.50
  • Mini frozen meatballs $3
  • 2 Wheat pizza dough $4
  • Low-sodium turkey and ham $8.70
  • Whole grain brown rice $3
  • 8 lb watermelon, cut $6
  • 2 large carrots $2
  • Garlic $1
  • Onion $1
  • Lime $.50
  • 2 bell peppers $3
  • 2 yams $1
  • 3 bags salad mix $5
  • 2 individual snack bags of tortilla chips for chicken tortilla soup $.50
  • 2 bags Quaker Pop Chips $2
  • 3 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast $9
  • 2 lb. boneless chuck roast $11


Breakfast and lunch are pretty simple, just plan ahead. Follow the instructions linked for dinners. I recommend taking time on a Sunday morning to prep all your crock pot meals. Throw them in thick freezer bags, label, and store. If you’re interested in me doing another post on exactly how to meal prep with freezer bags, let me know. I feel like there are plenty of examples of this on Pinterest for reference.


I rounded for the most part but all told, my ShopRite at Home app says $96 total for this plan! Anticipate that you may also need to pick up some spices as needed. Anyone who has a local ShopRite, I would encourage you to try out their at-home service. Right now, they’re offering $15 off when you spend $75 and $10 off $20 in General Mills products. Plus, you can schedule a time that’s convenient t for you. Using this service alone has saved us hundreds because I have time throughout the day to slim things off the list and don’t pick up things I don’t need while perusing the aisles.

I hope you enjoy all of these recipes as much as I do, at a price point you can afford.

What do you want to see next? Challenge me to an even slimmer budget? Just MORE MEALS? Let me know in the comments below! 

Colourpop Review and first giveaway

img_0597Hi ladies!

I have been wanting to try some ColourPop lippies since I ran out of my theBalm products a month or so back and decided Black Friday would be a good time to go for it! I was attempting to add three new colors to my collection:

  1. A Kylie Jenner-esque nude
  2. An everyday nude pink to replace my Balm product (that is $18 a tube)
  3. A vampy-undertone red wine

After doing some research I decided on:

  1. Beeper
  2. Clueless
  3. Are N Be

I also purchased two self-sharpening lip liner pencils.

  1. For Beeper, I didn’t buy a pencil, instead opting to use my nude liner from Ulta
  2. For Clueless, I purchased the recommended Contempo pencil
  3. For Are N Me, I purchased the recommended LBB pencil

Swatches and Review


Beeper: This is a great dupe for Kyle Jenner Dolce K, this lippie is a perfect light nude brown for fall and winter.

Clueless: A spot-on dupe for Kylie Jenner Candy K and a pretty everyday nude pink

Are N Be: The third Kylie dupe seemed too dark to me so I went with Are N Be instead which appeared to be a little more plum. It was a mistake for what I was looking for. I never do well with dark lipsticks and this one has too many purple undertones for me.


I am doing a giveaway for this product and the matching lip liner, LBB! Scroll to the bottom of the post to learn how to enter.


Compared to other similar mattes, I would say the finish is medium moisture. Compared to my two other favorite matte lippies:

BareMinerals Gen Nude Matte Liquid Lipcolor: BareMinerals’ product is definitely dryer on the lips and leaves my chapped winter lips looking a little sad.

theBalm Cosmetics Meet Matte: theBalm has more moisture which some people find comfy on the lips and some find overly drippy and hard to work with.

ColourPop is a happy medium. Not dripping off the brush, but hardy enough that the light and medium shades don’t show imperfections.

This product definitely has wear power and you will need a good exfoliator and makeup remover to get it off. I wouldn’t recommend putting on a shade you don’t intend to stick with once your makeup is done.

The lip liners are super nice. I immediately felt the difference between by Ulta product’s dryness and lack of precision compared to the ColourPop variety.


The reason people love ColourPop is the price. You can’t beat it! I used the $5 intro offer and caught the Black Friday special, bringing my total to $24 with shipping. I couldn’t even buy and ship one BareMinerals or theBalm product for the cost of five.

REMEMBER: Due to the “low cost nature” of the product, there are no returns except for items damaged upon arrival. So choose wisely!

Btw, check out my fabulous brows! They were done my Alexandria at the Ulta store in Deptford, NJ and she did an amazing job keeping my brows full and fleeky. Comment for more details or the products used in this look.


I am doing a giveaway for the ColourPop liquid lipstick Are N Be, a deep plum perfect for winter, and the matching lip liner, LBB! The products you will receive are the exact ones shown in the pictures which were used for swatches only.

To enter, like, share and comment on this post on Facebook:

The winner will be announced December 17!

This is my first giveaway and if it gets a good response, I have two Aurora Bands (the UK and FB hair sensation) to give away next.

Thanks and happy holidays,



5 Places You Must See on Your San Diego Vacation


In beautiful mid-October, I traded in my ankle booties for sandals (definitely do not call them flip flops) and headed to the West Coast for the first time. And though I’m not rushing to give up my East Coast home, I definitely loved the California weather and scenery. Here are (IMHO) five places you simply must see when you Go San Diego!

1. Coronado

The beautiful, tiny island is where we spent most of our time. Over the glittering bridge from the mainland sits the charming hub of culture and charm that is Coronado. You must rent a bike and take one of the paths for a spin and get a real look at the Crown City. We rode for hours and were stoked to see the unique housing stock. Coronado looks like 100 people from 100 different cities moved there… and took their houses with them. We saw Malibu bungalows next to Victorian manors and super modern structures. And did I mention everything is within a block of the ocean (and a golf course, and a yacht club if we’re being honest)?

While you’re there you absolutely have to see the Hotel del Coronado. This massive work of architecture is one of the oldest hotels on the West Coast. Nestled on a private beach, The Del brings you back to days of Hollywood splendor, when the likes of Dean Martin and Sophia Loren could be seen lounging by the pool. Just a peek inside at the ole’ lift is worth the drive. Thankfully we got to see a lot more than that since this was the site of Jake’s beautiful cousin Colleen and her now husband James’ garden ceremony and bubbling brunch reception. (We all know I LOVE brunch.)


We stayed at the Marriott Coronado Island Resort and wow. If you can’t stay there, take a walk on the boardwalk and just eat breakfast there. You’ll likely be joined by local birds who stop by for a taste of your jam. Best part of this place? The hammocks with ocean breezes. I could have stayed forever.

2. La Jolla

I know you remember that name from your middle school days of Hollister Co. sweatshirts. Everyone talks about La Jolla (pronounced la-hoy-ya), and for good reason. The town of major Hispanic influence is worth a stop. There is an awesome shop to rent gear for snorkeling and surfing. It was too cold for us to go in without wetsuits but the waves made the trip worthwhile for Jake.

Side note: There is nothing like a pier off a California beach. I felt like I was inside the dramatic scene where they jump in “Aquamarine.”

Take time to stop at Galaxy Taco when you’re done your day of adventures. The owner brings in fresh blue corn every day from Mexico for the homemade street tacos’ base. Yum!



3. Seaport Village

A few minutes Uber outside downtown is the Seaport Village, home to artisanal and souvenir shops for all of your touristy needs. Be sure to stop for a cupcake at Frost Me! They don’t have a huge selection of flavors but the Nutella centers are so rich you won’t care.

Definitely stop into Hot Licks, the most expansive hot sauce shop I’ve ever seen. The husband and wife team carries a lot of authentic Mexican sauces, as well as their own line.

Funny story: A friend asked the owner of the shop to let him try the hottest sauce he had. The man gave him a toothpick with a speck of sauce out of a bottle in the back ie. danger zone of the case. One lick and I was racing off to Starbucks to buy him two kiddie cartons of milk. His mouth went numb and he sounded like a little kid with his tongue stuck to a frozen telephone pole. (And yes, I have video proof.)


4. Balboa Park

San Diego is a fairly new city and that means it had a little more sophisticated urban planning than say, Philly. Needless to say, all the cultural centers are together in an area outside downtown called Balboa Park.

From Japanese tranquility gardens to vintage car museums, there is something for everyone at Balboa. In fact, you could spend a whole weekend there alone. My favorite part of Balboa Park deserves its own number though. The one, the only…


5. San Diego Zoo

One of the premier zoos in the world, San Diego is more of an experience. I don’t think we got through more than half of the exhibits in the day we spent there but we had a really good time. You’re admitted with a fancy, collectible ticket and board a double decker tour bus that takes you around the whole zoo.

This zoo has EVERYTHING. Sculptures, great food, an IMAX theatre, and the most amazing habitats I’ve ever seen. The animals can be viewed from so many angles and their enclosures are so open, natural and big that I can’t imagine they even know people are watching.

This post can’t even begin to scratch the surface of the amazing trip we had. From the awesome food at Harbor Breakfast where we sat at the counter with locals (and their pooches) to the mall at Westfield Horton Plaza that looks like it popped out of a Dreamworks film. To the chic Burger King with an outdoor patio and me finally buying my very own Rainbows!

The best part of the trip really was getting to spend time with amazing family and celebrating a brand new marriage. It was the trip of a lifetime and really gave me the itch to order new luggage and keep on track with Mint so I can go out and travel more.

Are you from San Diego? What awesome places didn’t make my list? Tell me in the comments below. 

Future Rich: Credit 101


So you’re in your twenties. You’re budgeting and starting to invest. You’re starting off on a strong financial foot. But you know that you should be concerned about credit. Your credit score number shows lenders you’re responsible and encourages them to give you money for the things you want like a house or car. Ready to rumble through the basics? Let’s get started.

What is credit?

Credit is a line of money given to you by an outside party to use as your own and pay back. It can come in the form of a credit card, loan or mortgage.

Your credit score is a number which banks and credit providing institutions use to see how good you are at working credit. That is obtaining it, using it, and paying it back on time.

Think of credit as a challenge. Use it, pay it. Do that enough times with enough companies and score points to improve your score. Simple, right?

What does a credit score look like?

Credit scores are numbers between 300 and 850.

300-590: needs improvement

590-640: getting there

640-720: good job!

720-850: killing the game!

How do I find out what score I have?

Many credit card companies including Wells Fargo and Discover provide scores to consumers now. See if your card provider or bank does. If not, use a free service like Credit Karma to check out your score. But BEWARE: do not frequently check your score! You shouldn’t check more than once per year. The number of inquiries on your score can negatively impact your overall number.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to get soft checks every couple months, especially if you’re looking to make a big purchase like a house where your score will come into play. A soft check does not go against your yearly inquiry number and is not 100% accurate but will tell you what range you’re in with little error.

My favorite place to get a soft check is on my can’t-live-without budgeting app, Mint (which you already know). Mint provides a free soft check every 3 months, right in the app! Along with tips to improve your score.

So I checked my score and frankly I’m afraid… How can I make my score better?

Screenshot 2016-08-18 at 3.13.17 PM

Fear not, mere millennial. We can fix up that sad little score and get you the house (and interest rate) of your dreams yet! There are 5 major categories you can earn points in when it comes to credit. Some categories are worth more than others so I’ll rank them in order of importance:

  1. Payment history: Do you pay your bills on time? Your goal should be to always pay at or above the minimum payment on time. Late? Call your card company. They may forgive you if you don’t miss often.
  2. Credit usage: How much of your total credit do you currently owe on? Try to keep your total amount owed at less than 30% of your total limits. Under 20% is even better.
  3. Age of credit: How long have you been building credit for? It’s important to not only show that you’re good with your credit but that you have been over a significant period of time. For this reason, many banks encourage 18 years olds entering college to apply for a student card. It takes 6 years to build primo credit so start out small but start out early. And don’t close old accounts just because you pay them off!
  4. Credit inquiries: THIS is why we don’t frequently check our scores. You also are marked with an inquiry when you apply for a new line of credit.
  5. Number and types of accounts: On average, you want to maintain a few lines of credit of different types. Mix it up with credit cards and loans. Ideally, you want to have 13 lines of credit over a lifetime. Don’t go rushing to open every new store card available though. Every car and home you purchase over your lifetime will count toward that number so be conservative and stick with no more than 5 cards.

I mean is a little lower score really gonna make that big a difference?

Let me give you a “for instance” provided by my friends at Investopedia.

Say you decide you’re going to buy a home of your own. Congratulations!

You go to the bank to be approved for a mortgage and have a score of 730. You receive a 3.8% interest rate loan on your $300,000 abode and pay $1398 a month.

Your friend Mike goes to the bank too but Mike’s score is 610. He is approved too! (Woohoo neighbors!) But Mike gets an interest rate of 5.39% on the same loan. His payment? Nearly $300 more than yours every month!

Over the life of your loan, Mike will pay over $100,000 more than you. Let that set in for a second. One hundred thousand dollars. I’d say that’s a pretty big deal.

Are other people my age’s scores way better than mine?

On average, this is what scores look like by age:

Screenshot 2016-08-18 at 3.07.36 PM

In that case, the average person wouldn’t be able to afford a home with a decent interest rate until their kids were buying their own homes. Shoot to be better than the average, but use these numbers to assure yourself you are just starting out (and so is everyone else).

Ready for more? Get a look at that credit score and start making moves.

And check out these other articles for more!

How I Got an Excellent Score by 22

Credit Karma Tips for Young People

Life Lessons in Credit (with awesome infographics)

Building Credit from the Ground Up

MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Rouge Collection Review


Today I was so lucky to receive three shades from the new Artist Rouge lipstick collection from Make Up For Ever*. The collection has 45 shades total, all cremes and mattes, and will be sold at Sephora. Artist Rouge is meant to be a highly pigmented, long-wearing, comfortable product. Let’s get started!

The three shades I was sent are…


C502: Creme lilac with grey undertones

C404: Creme true red with blue undertones

C211: Creme mauve pink with purple undertones



I really like all three colors for different reasons. The lilac isn’t super weird but is definitely different. For fall, it will be super pretty with neutral and golden eye looks to dress up tights and a baggy sweater. Still, I can’t see myself wearing it daily.

The red is totally classic. The bullet style applicator is easy to use and doesn’t cause a lot of smearing which is super important in reds.

The mauve will probably be a go-to for every day for me. It is pretty neutral on my olive skin tone. It resembles a mauvey nude I used to have from the Balm back in the day.

(Excuse my horribly unlined lips above. I was so excited that I just started slapping them on. )


Just in the short time I’ve been wearing the product I can definitely tell it’s long wearing. It sticks to your skin so be careful to use liner and concealer for a clean line when applying. The formula is incredibly comfortable on the lips. It doesn’t need a thick coating to look fresh. I forgot I was wearing it because it didn’t come off on my drinking glass or feel sticky. This may be one of the most worry free formulas I’ve tried in a long time, almost having the effect of a liquid lipstick which really stays put. The one-two punch of a comfortable long-wear that doesn’t feel cakey or dry is a real winner.



My favorite section. These lipsticks feel very professional. They are encased in a black, matte, metal tubing with simple branding. They click shut so no worrying about the cap popping off in your bag. The metal is very cool to the touch and feels durable.

Final Thoughts

I will definitely be purchasing more neutral colors of this product when it arrives in my local Sephora! The formula is long wearing, doesn’t fade, crease or smear, and feels like bare lips.


*All products shown above were freely provided to me through Influenster to test. All opinions are my own.*


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Feature in “The Scoop” Industry Newsletter

Implications of Facebook Desktop Profile Update

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What is the Real Cost of a Rowan degree? (Infographic)

3 Moms Tell Us Why Their Families Chose Rowan

Transfer students are choosing Rowan. Here’s why. 


Social Listening: Seasonal Allergies

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Features / Articles

GCIT student attracts attention of White House CTO

GCIT students earn medals at Regional Marketing Competition

GCIT HOSA students place at regional health competition

News Releases / Requests for Coverage

GCIT Honors First Inductees into Career-Technical Wall of Fame

GCIT Will Graduate Inaugural Engineering Class

Bankbridge Greenhouse Spring Sale




Vacations under $500: Knoebels in Elysburg, PA


This weekend I went on a girls getaway with my high school friends. What a blast from the past it was to spend time together again, reminiscing and reconnecting.

At the persuasion of a friend who vacationed there as a child, and being Philly rats, we decided to head up the PA Turnpike and explore the beautiful hills of Elysburg, PA and its shining gem, Knoebels.

I remember being a kid and my dad talking about the amusement park where “every ride’s a dollar”. Compared to the price gouging at the Jersey Shore, that price was downright foreign. We never did make the 2.5 hour trek from the city up to Elysburg so I jumped at the chance to go as an adult.

Elysburg is nestled in the hills of upstate PA, settled around the major attraction, Knoebels. Knoebels is the self-declared “largest free-admission amusement park” in the country, and perhaps one of the oldest. This charming village feels like a less doctored up version of Busch Gardens, which I actually preferred. For families, this struck me as the spot to plan a memorable, affordable vacation.

Keep on reading for my 8 reasons why Knoebels makes for a great spot for families of all kinds (including your family of friends):

  1. Knoebels has no admission fee! You can buy a ride band or books of tickets, like a carnival. So grandma can totally come along for the memories and avoid paying just to get in. All are welcome to use the luncheon pavilions, watch the live entertainment, and take photos at the historic sites.
  2. The rides are super affordable! They may not all be a dollar a ride anymore but they average less than $2 per attraction. If you have a group, do the math and figure out if you’ll need more than $150 in tickets. You can buy them all together and receive up to 15% off! There are always special deals happening too, like 90 cent Sundays and $12 Fridays so plan your trip around the online calendar.
  3. There are over 2 dozen eateries in the park! From novelties like candy floss and apple cider slushies to pizza, grilled chicken sandwiches and walking tacos, there is something to suit every palette. Even the food was affordable with a generous burger averaging $3.75 and a large pizza at $12.
  4. If eating at the park isn’t for you (saving money, picky eaters, food allergies), that’s ok too! You can bring in a cooler and use the covered lunch pavilions just the same. Since there is no admission fee, there’s no place to check in and no rules on carrying in water, food, or lactation products.
  5. There’s way more than just rides! Live music, magicians, shops, story time and a pool round out this vacation spot. Best yet, the live entertainment is always free and a pool pass can be purchased for less than $10. There are even two free museums on the premises.
  6. Knoebels has a lot of cool, old-fashioned rides. There were so many unique, war-era coasters and attractions. The intensity level is lower than Great Adventure and was more on par with Disney so even scaredy cats like myself could get in on the fun.
  7. Knoebels offers free parking! They also have a tram car that comes around the huge lot to get you right up to the park without having to walk (also free).
  8. You can stay here too! Tent out, rent a cottage or stay in a cabin- it’s up to you! But all accommodations are connected to or within a ten minute shuttle ride of the park (and yes, the shuttle is also free).

So now that I have you all, “Oh my gosh, we need to plan a trip here. How much does this fabulous place cost?!” here is the price breakdown for a four person trip for a weekend (2 days, one night):


  •  250 miles round trip
  • $20 in gas and tolls


  • Average of $1.75 per ride
  • Average 15 rides completed in 2 day period
  • $105 in tickets


  • Pack simple breakfast food, snacks and water
  • Lunch: Adult meals average $9, kids average $7
  • Dinner: Pizza, $12
  • Snack: Ice cream, $4 per cone
  • Total: $92


  • Tent site with water, electric and shared bathhouse: $48 per night
  • Cabin for 6 with water, electric and shared bathhouse: $140 per night
  • Cabin for 6 with water, electric, private bath and kitchenette: $235 per night

Leave money for souvenirs at the gift shop and to take home some fresh fudge or caramel corn and you can make this trip happen for about $450 for a family of 4 (in the highest priced cabin)!


Happy Glamping,


PS: Is Knoebels your family vay-kay of choice? Tell me your favorite Knoebels memory in the comments below.

10 Things Retail Workers Wish You Knew


1) Stores have people counters that measure how many people walk in and make a purchase. So when you come into the store with your three children and husband and sister’s cousin’s friend (who leaves to use the bathroom twice), your measly scarf purchase cost me at least 7 bodies.

2) We have to greet you when you walk in the store. You know it, we know it. Just don’t be a jerk- smile or say hi back.

3) If you find yourself needing a shirt at the bottom of a freshly stacked pile, PLEASE ask for help. (Folding chiffon is no joke.)

4) When you ask where you can find our outfit and we reply that it’s “from last season”, that’s retail worker code for, “I don’t make enough money to actually shop here and this shirt is from Old Navy.” 6101649

5) Your 52 month old is totally adorable but she’s ripping down all the pearl necklaces with a vengeance and climbing under that mannequin doesn’t seem safe… Keep an eye on your little darlings. We are associates, not babysitters.

6) When heading to the fitting room, you really only need to bring back one color of that shirt. I promise the navy will fit the same as the sage and the magenta. The more you try, the more I have to hang back up. #GobacksForDays

7) Don’t share a fitting room. There’s no way for me to know if you’re siblings, friends or partners and I’d rather avoid a… sticky situation. Public indecency, anyone?

8) Leave your unwanted garments in the fitting room or on the rack provided. I know you think you’re being helpful by putting them away but you end up hiding items in plain site, leaving a lot more clean up at the end of the night.

9) Every retail worker’s FAVORITE thing to hear is, “This doesn’t have a tag. It must be free!” Ha ha…….ha. giphy

10) Retail workers have families and lives outside of the four thin walls of their store. Be mindful and don’t start to shop ten minutes before close. If you’re in a pinch and need something specific, locate an associate and let them help you. It’ll make your whole experience more positive for all.


Royal Caribbean “Anthem of the Seas”

I recently returned from this summer’s vacation to the stunning island of Bermuda via RCCL’s Anthem of the Seas. This post has been weeks in the making so I hope you enjoy and can better decide if a cruise vacation is right for you!


Anthem is the second largest cruise ship in the world and one of the most luxurious. This floating city includes nearly a dozen restaurants and bars, a grande theatre, casino, skydiving simulation tube, and even a full indoor sports arena for roller skating, bumper cars and a circus school. The huge deck has multiple pools and jacuzzis, along with an indoor solarium, a natatorium which is always available despite the weather. Here I will answer your FAQs on cruising and the Anthem experience.


What did you do all day while at sea?

Most activities onboard are included in your set price so we took advantage of all the ship has to offer including:

  • Ripcord by iFly skydiving simulation tube
  • Surfing wave pool
  • North Star observation vessel which raises passengers 300 ft above top deck for 360 degree views of the Atlantic
  • Outdoor jacuzzi and pools and indoor solarium
  • Full spa for massages, hair, nails and makeup
  • Indoor sports center with elevated track, arcade/Xbox lounge and multipurpose space
  • Social events like jewelry classes, art auctions and wine tastings

What is the food like?

The ship has many restaurants. No main dining room is offered as the ship offers a dynamic dining program. The Windjammer marketplace is a station style buffet open nearly 24/7. Along with regular self-serve buffet options, there are made-to-order stations. There, a chef could make you a customized quesadilla, stir-fry, panini or omelette. There were also themed stations on different days. One day featured an Italian speciality station of meats and cheeses, another a chocolate fountain with all the fixings (yum!).

Along with the Windjammer is a pizza parlour and two cafes, along with the dinner specific restaurants. No main dining room is offered as the ship offers a dynamic dining program.This means all guests have four complimentary restaurants to choose from each evening. Each restaurant has its own unique theme, decor and menu:

  • Silk: Features dishes from various Asian countries
    • Favorite dishes: Pulled pork tacos, mochi (a scoop of fruit ice cream inside a gummy shell)
  • American Icon: Traditional fare
    • Favorite dishes: Sirloin burger, mahi mahi
  • Chic: Modern fare alla a NYC lounge
    • I can’t say I had a favorite here 😦
  • Grande: French
    • Favorite dishes: filet mignon, lobster tails, nougat pastry, escargot (if you’re adventurous)
    • Special note: Grande is the only semi-formal restaurant of those mentioned. Men need to bring a suit jacket and women cocktail attire for this restaurant only.

At night, check out various venues for parties and live music:

  • Music Hall has live cover bands in the evening and a DJ for the younger crowd after midnight
  • Bolero’s tequila bar offers the sounds of salsa
  • The 270 Room’s RED nightclub experience includes live action performances by the ship’s entertainers along with Latin music and special effects for the crowd to join in on
  • Music Hall’s silent party was the coolest event of the trip! Every party goer receives a pair of headphones playing two different DJs’ music so you can listen to different musical styles but still dance as one.
  • Poolside movies include new releases and favorites
  • There are currently three shows on rotation:
    • We Will Rock You, a high energy broadway show inspired by the music of Queen
    • The Gift, a short whimsical musical piece with special effects
    • Spectra’s Cabaret, featuring singing and dancing acts by RCCL’s incredibly talented entertainers

Overall, this ship has more to do than you can imagine. The service was top-notch and the staff were truly diverse. So what are my tips now that I’m officially a cruiser?

  1. Return your towels! You are charged for towels you borrow by the pool and don’t return.
  2. Buy a WOW band. These can be purchased at any time and work as an alternative to your SeaPass. That means this little Armstrong-style bracelet can be your room key, your ID and your payment for food and drinks. It’s super convenient not to need a wallet in the pool or nightclub.
  3. Travel locally. We were able to board our ship an hour away from home in NJ. From the moment we stepped onboard there was champagne flowing. The party started an hour away from home and continued for 8 full days. We wouldn’t have had that experience if we had to fly to Florida, Texas, etc. so if a cruise line leaves from within driving distance of your home SERIOUSLY consider it.
  4. Mind when you book. We booked on Black Friday and were able to earn extra perks such as free wifi and onboard credit.
  5. Make friends with your crew. On our ship, there were less than 50 people between the ages of 18 and 28. But almost the entire crew was our age! They were our closest comrades and showed us places on the island we never would have experienced otherwise.

But if there is one tip you have to know it is this one: plan, plan, plan. Reserve your restaurants, activities and excursions in advance! These open up online 90 days before sailing so get on and get the itinerary you want. You don’t want to be that person stuck on standby at the wave pool hoping someone cancels.

If you do, I promise you’ll have the time of your life! Comment with questions or to share your RCCL experience.

Happy cruisin’,