travel · Uncategorized

Vienna, Austria — Meh…

New Years 2013 was our first NYE overseas.  I was slightly depressed bc it was the first Christmas we didnt spend with our families.  But then I remembered, my cousin lived in Austria where he was a professional backetball player!  So what did I do?  Immediately messaged him to see what his plans were.  He didn’t have any so we packed up the Infiniti and drove the 6 hours to Vienna.

When we arrived, I finally got to meet my cousins girlfriend (they are now married) and she is originally from Vienna.  Her mom and sister was so nice and cooked everyone a huge meal.  It was myself, Mike, my cousin, his gf, her sister, their best friend and my cousins friend who at the time played ball in another country!  Amazing people

This is myself and my cousin…

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Everyone at dinner…

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Now Vienna didn’t give me the amazing butterflies that Venice did.  While the city is incredible beautiful and my cousins gf’s family were so nice and welcoming, I can’t say the same about other individuals in the city.  We had a really bad racial bias experience that night that I haven’t forgotten about that just soured the rest of the evening.  However, overall Vienna is a nice country and the food is pretty good too.   I do wish I had taken more photos but considering we went there to party and most of us were drunk the whole time — it didn’t really happen #dontjudgeus.

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travel · Uncategorized

Venice, Italy — You will always have a piece of my heart!

The title of this post says it all.  Living overseas, after living in Washington, D.C. my entire life wasn’t easy!  There were so many things that I had to get used to.  But if there was one place that almost immediately had me smitten, it was Venice, Italy!  To start, we lived on Aviano and were only a quick 40 min train ride to the island of Venice!  So understand that we went there all the time.  The architecture, the food, the locals and oh my goodness the shopping was just amazing!

A few must do’s for anyone visiting Venice —

  • Visit Bacaro Jazz Bar!  So they play jazz via a laptop, don’t have a live band, their bar is small and there are bras all over the ceilings.  But the food is delicious, their homemade Sangria is to die for and they are loyal to their customers.  The vibe here is just amazing!
  • Do the damn Gondola ride!  Listen, you’re probably going to be in Venice only once so just do the ride!  Its fun, the tour guides are funny and entertaining and it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.  And look — if you don’t want to pay the price — just negotiate.  The Gondoliers are always open to negotiating.  You can thank me later

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Below are a few more photos from our multiple trips to Venice!  Now excuse me while I go hide in a closet and wish I could go back for one more Spritz Aperol!

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So Many Updates…

I always say I am going to keep my site updated and in the moment when I type it on here, I really truly mean it.  Reality is, it never ever happens.  LIKE EVER!  Luckily this time, instead of letting  few years go by I only let about 6 months go by.  Progress right?!

So while I have some free time while I am at work, I am going to update my blog with my adventures from living overseas from 2013-2016!  I promise I will get to my 2017 updates sometime soon HA HA.. First up — Venice, Italy!

real estate · Uncategorized

Why I will never purchase new construction again!

Ok, ya’ll!  In my last post, I had mentioned that we had closed on our first home last September.  Super exciting and we were very proud but I will NEVER…EVER…buy brand new construction again.  At least not from Ryan Homes/NVR.

I had always heard amazing things about Ryan Homes and how they are they leaders in new construction homes.  My experience just goes to show you that you shouldn’t believe everything you hear.

When we signed the build contract, it was early on in our pregnancy.  We knew when we were arriving in NJ and how long we had to get into the house. We legit had only about 30 days before we could no longer stay on base in TLF from the time we arrived.  We made it clear that we need to be moved into our house by September 15 at the latest otherwise we would be SOL.  They all but guaranteed this to us as we were signing the build agreement.  I’ve come to realize people will tell you ANYTHING to get you to sign on that dotted line.  Needless to say we didn’t close on time and needed the help of a lawyer just to ensure our asses were covered.

So we have closed and started to move in and for a brand new home a whole bunch of shit was messed up.  Let me just give you a running list:

  1. Dishwasher wasn’t flushed with the counter top.  So half the damn thing was sticking out.  How not even the project manager noticed is beyond me.
  2. The granite counter top in our bathroom was completely measured wrong and not aligned properly.
  3. We have an amazing view of the apartments behind us.  We were told that we would barely be able to see the apartments and there would be a landscape package put in.  They FAILED to mention the landscape package wasn’t going in until ALL of the houses were built (our home was the 2nd row of homes built….).
  4. They used the cheapest paint possible because it literally rubbed off on everything.
  5. They already had to fix a carpet and hardwood issue
  6. Our ceiling has started to fall out lol. Yes you read that right.
  7. The cabinets in the laundry room were filed down at an angle in order for it to fit in the space.  I mean really?  You couldn’t just measure the space to begin with???

I mean there is other little shit but its not even worst wasting my breathe on.  But here is the kicker that really has me considering talking to a lawyer…The building next door to us is “Affordable Housing”.  Meaning that the people that bought the homes cant make over 80K(we paid close to 300K) and the houses are DRASTICALLY different than ours.  They didn’t even give them GRASS!!!  Now why is this an issue for me?  NO ONE TOLD US IT WAS GOING IN AND I WOULD BE LIVING DIRECTLY NEXT DOOR TO A CLEARLY AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNIT.  I feel like we had the right to know before we bought the house because best believe — I would never have bought the house.  Not because I am bougie and don’t want to live next to lower income individuals.  I would never have bought the house bc it drives down the value of our home.  It is going to hurt us in resale.  So most likely I will be not let this go.

Anyway, I have learned my lesson and will never buy a new construction home from Ryan Homes because the quality we received for the price we paid is ridiculous.

If you made it this far through my rant then BLESS YOU lol.  Until next time…

 

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Wow — 2 Years and Many Changes!

Holy Shit!  Has it really been two years since I logged in and did a blog??  Granted, I was not the biggest blogger but that’s neither here nor there. 🙂

Last time I checked in, I believe we were stationed overseas in Aviano, Italy and we were living the lived of early 30’s adults with no responsibilities besides our careers….well guess what?  Shit has changed and gotten really REAL!

In March of 2016 we found out we were expecting our first child.  We had decided in January to start trying but never in our wildest dreams did we except to get pregnant so fast (My husband and I secretly joke that he has super sperm LOL).

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In August of 2016 we moved from Aviano, Italy all the way back across the point to South Jersey.  Now, this was great to me because I am a city girl and Philly is just 20 minutes away AND my family is two hours away in MD.  Couldn’t get any better.

In September 2016 we closed on our first home —   We did a new construction townhome and I will NEVER do that again!!  I’ll have to do a post on the ups and downs of this first chance I get.

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And on December 1, 2016 we welcomed our first child — Daniella Jade Harrison.  Life truly hasn’t been the same since.

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Oh and in January, I started a new position with a different agency in the US Federal Governement.  Talk about a crazy fucking year, right?

I plan to really keep up on my blogging especially now that I have a little girl and I may need some input from my fellow mommy friends out there.  Oh and of course the foodies of Philadelphia!!

If you have made it this far — BLESS YOU!  I am going to start back tracking my blog with some photos of the amazing countries we visited in Europe.  I have to share that bc it is amazing.

Until Next Blog…

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Now it’s really a shock — Trials and Tribulations of Marriage Pt 2

I heard a story today that really touched my heart but at the same time made me so incredibly angry.  There is a military spouse who is going through quite a few things right now and her husband has essentially abandoned her.

According to a few different sources who happen to be mutual friends of mine, the spouse suffers from severe depression.  No one knows because she is able to really keep it hidden for the most part.  Her husband has never been truly seen the negative affects of it.  However, he saw it a few days ago when she felt so unloved that she threatened to kill herself.  Understandably, he was very angry with her.  I would be too.  That is a serious and selfish thing to do.  However, he took it to a whole new level and just completely told her he couldn’t support her and needed time to get over his anger before he could do anything.
So what did he do?  He left her in TLF for days alone so she can sit and blame herself even more for her thoughts that she had, even though she didn’t go through with them.  He went out to dinner with classmates and friends and never once asked her if she needed food or was hungry.  Her final night in TLF she asked him to bring her something to eat because she was starving and he did.  Great for him (notice my sarcasm).  He refused to let her come to his graduation for a military accomplishment because as he put it “she was an embarrassment”.  So what did she do?  She waited in the lobby of TLF for FOUR HOURS all by herself until her husband decided to come get her and head home.
I dont condone her feeling the way she felt but I could definitely see how his actions could have potentially made things worse.  He up and abandoned her when she needed his support the most.  As I said in my last post, I take marriage vows very seriously.  Our vows say “for better or for worse — through thick and thin”.  I guess he just forgot all about those vows.  And to further more aggravate me come to find out years before they met he contemplated the same thing and a friend of his had to stop him from shoving a gun down his throat!!  So what makes him any different that he has to punish her for feelings THAT HE FELT YEARS PRIOR!!!!  He is no better and clearly shouldn’t be judging and making things worse by abandoning her.
You don’t up and walk away when things get hard.  You stay and find it within yourself to support someone.  If my husband ever came to me and said he felt like he would do something like that, I would be so angry but I would work with him to show him he has no reason to make a selfish decision like that.  I wouldn’t leave him in a hotel room, with no food, no car, and no one to lean on.
Shame on this husband for being so callous, evil and mean.  If she is reading this blog ever I want you to know something — no matter what you’re going through in life don’t ever feel like you have to leave the earth to because you have no other way out.  There are tons of people who are willing to be your support system and lift you up — me being one of them.
Until next time…..
Uncategorized

Is it really a shock? The trials and tribulations of marriage…

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Why is it such a shock to people when someone finally puts things in perspective.  I never understood that.  For example, when you tell someone “If you keep doing that then I am going to leave”  Well they continue to do it over and over for god knows how long and when you finally say “ok you either need to change or I am going to leave” all of a sudden they are shocked flabbergasted and hurt that things have come to that…..AM I MISSING SOMETHING?  I have a friend who was married three years ago to her husband (they have been together for 5 or 6 years)and while they seemingly have a good marriage they also have so many issues as well.

When they met about 6 years ago, they had a great attraction it seemed and she was about 30 lbs less than what she weighs now.  She gained that weight because she had a few health issues and unfortunately hasn’t been able to lose the weight it.  Although he has mentioned over the past few years that he has had some dislike with her weight gain, he has always said it has never been that much of an issue — enter in their sex life.  It’s pretty much non existent.  She LOVES sex and thinks its an important part of a relationship.  He thinks not and has stated on numerous occasions that he could go months without it.  However, he ALWAYS tells her that he will change and try more often but it NEVER happens.  She questions him all the time if it has to do with her weight gain and he always says no thats not the issue.  But he is notorious for telling her what she wants to her versus the truth.  He says its because he doesn’t want to hurt her, but what I don’t think he understands is that it hurts her more when he is not honest.  If he has an issue with her how can she ever fix it if he isn’t honest.  So after 3-4 years of him saying he is going to change and try more often and also years of him telling her what she wants to hear (aka lip service), she told him in February that if he doesn’t change she is going to consider a separation or divorce.  Now do I think she really wants to divorce him?  Absolutely not!  she loves him with everything in her, but she just wants him to change his ways.
Enter the dramatics that happened a few days ago.  So they haven’t seen each other for a little bit of time due to her travel for work so they were finally reuniting.  He once again promised her all these things and he completely didn’t follow through with them. So what did she do?  She finally had enough and said if he doesn’t change then she’s leaving and filling for divorce.  What is his response you ask?  His response is “I don’t like ultimatums so I refuse to change” LOL.  Yes you are reading that correctly.  Then he comes back with “I am so hurt that you were willing to walk away from the marriage”  So after she gave in and didn’t keep her word of leaving he is now telling her he doesn’t know if he wants to stay marriage.
I don’t quite understand this.  She has warned him over and over and over that this could potentially happen and when it does he turns it on her.  As you can imagine, they are having a ton of issues right now and don’t really know where they are going to go from here.
My heart breaks for her because she just wants to be happy with her husband, but some people just can’t be changed. It just baffles me that her husband still doesn’t take any accountability for his actions which caused her to want to give him the ultimatum.  Instead he wants to act super shocked and hurt that she would try and leave.  Is this what marriages these days have come to?  When you get married you take vows to one another — and if someone is unhappy or hurting you do your best to fix the issue even if it means altering your normal way of doing things.  Why get married and take those vows if your not willing to do that? Bottom line is– she is going to have to hold him accountable one day and deal with the aftermath or she is just going to stay in a marriage that is sexless and doesn’t 100% fulfill her.  What do you think she is going to do?  My vote is on the later…
Until next time..