“PA-PA-PARA-PARA-PARADISE every time you close your eyes”

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Sorry, I couldn’t resist it! Matt and I are going to be moving to California in one year and I could not be more excited!! However, I love Pensacola, it’s been great. People refer to it as a “little big town”. We have a pretty happening downtown, pro-hockey, pro-baseball, BEAUTIFUL beaches, TONS of hidden gems, and a yummy food scene. Pensacola has given me a lot: education, the love of my life, and my first BIG GIRL job! I wanted to devote a section of my blog to hidden gems/the best things Pensacola has to offer. That way, not only will it be beneficial to anyone who reads and wants to make a little trip over, but I will be able to look back at this and feel all the feels… Oh bitter sweet nostalgia, how I love you.IMG_9566IMG_9620-2IMG_9573

Paradise Inn is probably one of my favorite places on earth, hands down! It has the charm, the quirks and the charisma. That’s right, charisma! Paradise Inn is a one stop shop! I’m all about the the little things in life and Paradise Inn is all about the details, so we are a perfect match! Everything from the art work that is painted on the cinder-block building to the hand painted tip jars. I swear the Eagles wrote a song about this place. You can eat, sleep and drink there. They have live music almost every day in the summer and even during most winter months, too. (They also give a hefty Locals Discount on Sundays, but we’ll get into that later!) It’s one of those places that where you cannot wipe the smile off your face. Palm trees everywhere, your toes are in the sand, good music, good food. Your soul is happy!

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Let’s go on THE Paradise experience, because this place is just that! (Every single thing on Pensacola Beach is in biking distance) So you pull up on your bike, park it along side about 30 other beach cruisers, grab a $ 2 dollar Rolling Rock ($2 all day everyday! hhaaayyy), trek through the white sand, as you hear the live band to the left of you, find a seat at one of the many colorful picnic tables, or beach chairs, watch the waves roll in and relax because you are in PARADISE! Literally and figuratively, lol!

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The food is great (fresh seafood) the fish sandwich is my personal fav! Don’t forget the fried green beans, or the tuna dip! So yumm!! You can hop in the water or jump off the long dock! The dock is up for grabs as well, if you have a boat or even better, a friend with a boat! lol! I like to sit in the beach chairs, watch the boats roll in, and order some food and drinks from a server who WILL come up and serve you in a beach chair! Does it get any better than that? Sometimes jump in the water, you can definitely still hear the live tunes from the ocean! IMG_9575IMG_9614IMG_9589IMG_9615

You really don’t have to EVER leave, because they have hotel rooms there! I know it’s like, “What? Is this place real?” It is! All the rooms are re-done and all have their own charm. To be honest, this is not a resort, but they are so cute to me. They all have quirky decor and furniture. It feels magical! Like you are in a bubble of relaxation, and time has slowed down. After everything winds down, if you did want to go to another bar, you’d just walk about 50 feet to the right, and there you have 3 other beach bars for the late night! Because trust me, you will not want to leave during the day.

PRO TIP: Every Sunday they give Local Discounts! During the winter, rooms are $60 for locals on Sunday! The summer, $100, still not a bad deal!

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I hope you make it out to Paradise Inn if you ever come to Pensacola. So you can relax and get a little piece of a place that is so special. It will stick with you, I promise.

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I’m going to leave you with a pic of my ADORABLE friend Katie, on her first time at Paradise Inn!IMG_1947

I love you, bye!

episode-52-1024The first time I ever heard of The Moth was on my favorite show! It’s no secret that the show Girls on HBO is probably one the the things I cherish the most in this whole world! I even embarrassingly created a FB group to connect with other girls who loved the show. lol! I know, I’m lame! (If you want in click > Girls Who Watch Girls…The TV Show) Anyways! I saw this episode where Hannah got on this stage and bared her soul, by telling a true story, in in front of a ton of people at this place called The Moth. It was so beautiful to me. So I did what everyone does when they don’t understand something, I googled it, and I was fascinated by what I found. And I knew right then and there, I HAD to go!

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The Moth has been around since 1997. They have events in bigger cities, held once a month. At these open-mic-style events there is one topic which is announced 3 months in advance. The topics are usually one-to-two words, and sort of up for interpretation. They are all something that humans, by nature, experience in some capacity or another. For example the next upcoming months topics (in most locations) are, “Fresh“, “Karma“, “Cheating“. They call these events “StorySLAMS“. People come prepared with a 5 minute TRUE story on the given topic, and the hopeful story-tellers all place their names in a hat. The Moth draws from those names, and 10 people are chosen. The names drawn are the story-tellers for the night. They each get up, one by one, stand on stage and pour their heart out, with experience and truth. There are also 3 judges in the audience, picked at random. Sometimes in teams of two and sometimes just 3 separate people. Judges simply hold up a number that can be seen from the audience to the stage, and it is recorded on stage the old fashion way, hand to paper.  The judging and winning isn’t important though, it’s the  getting up and sharing. That is the real prize. Everyone in attendance can feel it too. However, after 10 StorySLAMS in a city, they have a GrandSLAM Championship, where each winner steps on a bigger stage and again bares all. The only real prize to win is human connection. It’s beautiful, in every sense of the word.IMG_2046 2-2

If you live in the Panhandle of Florida, like myself, the closest cities with The Moth are New Orleans, (3 hours Pensacola, 5 hours from Panama City Beach) or Atlanta (5 hours from Pensacola or Panama City Beach) On The Moth’s Website, is a full list of cities where you can search for events! As I said before, they are in bigger cities all over the country!IMG_3223-2IMG_4313-2IMG_9719

New Orleans is closest to me! 3 hours, not too bad! The GrandSLAM was the next event The Moth had up, so I just had to go! I bought tickets, booked a room at my favorite hotel in Nola, and convinced my mom to come with! We had a magical experience at The Joy Theater. We drank champagne, and listened to stories from people of all different ethnicities and ages, 21-87. The girl who runs The Moth Nola was soooo freaking funny!!! All the stories were so special! We laughed, teared up, and felt almost every emotion. Leaving the theater, I remember feeling buzzed off human connection. It really says something about humans in general, that although we are all so different, with different families, friends and cultures, we all experience the same range of emotions, and that somehow we are all connected. The Moth is really about The Human Experience.

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The Moth made me grateful to be alive, and I hope you make it a point to experience it. I’m thinking of entering next time! Let me know what you think about The Moth, and if you’ve seen that Girls episode I’m referring to! Or even if you watch Girls at all! I really hope you look into The Moth and if you ever want to go, I AM SO DOWN! Seriously, hit me up! Well, I love you! I’m going to leave you with some super cute New Orleans pictures of my FAVORITE hotel The Catahoula!

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Last, but not least, here’s a super cute pic of my mom!!

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Okay, I love you BBYYYEE!

 

IMG_1105Let me just start off by saying, I HATE THE GYM! I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT! For me it’s intimidating, makes me feel like an amateur, and I don’t want to see anyone while I’m jiggling around everywhere. That sounds like a nightmare! Unfortunately, none of my clothes fit me and as bad as I HATE the gym, I HATE feeling the way that I do! I have gone back and fourth my whole life between going to the gym, and being as far away from a gym as humanly possible. That is no longer an option for me at this point, it’s time for a life-style change. I hate when people say that, it’s like what does that even mean. It’s so vague, or maybe I don’t like it because it means I know it’s going to be difficult. For someone who HATES going to the gym as much as I do, I have to think of ways to get motivated! So I’m about to put these things that always work for me into effect!

  • Set Your Home Screen to a Picture of YOURSELF that You Loved the Way You Looked! A lot of people do this with celebs, but a picture of yourself is way more motivating. It’s because it’s more realistic. You’ve done it before, so you can do it again!IMG_1158
  • Cute Gym Stuff: Not just an outfit, I’m talking everything! Shoes, bag, GEAR and clothes. I HAVE to have a cute gym bag to put me in a good mood. When I look at my bag, I want to get happy! IMG_8856

(For $2 off any 2 Carefree® and $.50 off any 1 Carefree® product click here make sure to grab them at Walmart! #linerup #ad)

  • Set Alarms on Your Phone! If you have a plan to go, don’t just say, “Okay I’m going to go to the gym today.” If it’s not something that is already set in your routine, pick a time and set alarms on your phone! I know for me, if I do not have a specific time, chances are that it’s not happening!
  • Positive Reinforcement: What is something that you actually do love doing? I would try and recreate that feeling right before you walk into the gym, and right after! For example I looovvvve acai bowls! Before I head into the gym I put myself in a good mood by having one, since it’s a healthy treat that I love! Also, right after the gym I reward myself with 30 minutes of reading a good book or watching my favorite show! That way, I have something to look forward to. This helps train my brain to not think DEATH when I think gym, which is the usual response my brain gives.FullSizeRender
  • Gym Playlist: Create a gym playlist! I don’t mean slap one together. I mean create one specifically for the gym and save it for the gym only! Make it a treat you can look forward to! In the beginning especially, it should be something that you are excited to listen to!

These are tips from someone what hates the gym with a fiery passion from the depths of my soul! haha I wish I were joking! I hate the way gyms look, smell, feel, EVERYTHING! Every time I put these into effect, it sucks less and less. Eventually it starts to not suck, and then I wake up looking forward to it. If you have any tips PLEASE leave me a comment down below! Getting back in shape is going to take time, patience and discipline, but I hope this can help motivate you! Wish me luck mine starts on Monday, and I’m going to need it!

Your Friend

Torri!

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So I’m going to get a little deep, I hope that’s okay. This is a topic near and dear to my heart! With International Women’s Day, MY OWN AMAZING BFFs, and because I’M OBSESSED with the show GIRLS (it’s on HBO, SERIOUSLY GO WATCH!), I feel inspired to talk about this. Girl friendships are complex, but can be one of the most beautiful and rewarding gifts we have in this world. They enrich, inspire and empower you! They can mold you, shape you and influence you into the person you become. How extraordinary is it to have someone to order a large cheese pizza with and sit on the couch, with no pants and no judgement? To drag to a lame party they REALLY aren’t excited about, just so you can talk to the boy you’ve been obsessing over? Someone to talk about the Illuminati with and debate other dumb conspiracies that don’t even really matter? Who has received numerous pictures of all your shoe-to-outfit combinations because you just need a second opinion? Someone to answer your call at 3 AM when you’re crying over an unworthy boy? Someone to biotch about your job, your boss, your boyfriend, your family? Someone who knows the name of all of your co-workers and all the things that bother you about them, even though they’ve never met anyone you work with? A companion who understands your silence and your words. I feel lucky that as girls, we get to have these unapologetic, deep, soul-touching friendships.

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The hard part comes just like anything else, with age. You move, get jobs, start relationships, life happens. Sometimes, you can feel the once constant everyday presence of your BFF fade and slip away, like sand through your fingers. It’s heart breaking, but life doesn’t come with an instruction manual, and try as you might, things still change. When this happens you can either become bitter and resentful, or understanding and loving. It’s your choice. I, unfortunately, have been both. Resentful of new friends and new lives, and let me tell you, that only furthers the gap. Although it’s immature, we are all human and all anyone can do is try to be better. Here’s the thing, there is only one you! Let your BFF grow and expand into new friends. No one can take away your past and just because things are different, it does not mean that they love you any less or that you are no longer best friends. I said I was lucky before, because surprisingly, I still talk to most of my best friends from high school on a daily, weekly, or bi-weekly basis. It takes work to maintain these friendships as you get older, and to find a new normal. But I have some tips to stay in the know, and to stay connected to your BFF!

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  •  Be INTENTIONAL: This is probably the most important thing. When you make plans, follow through. When you say you’re going to call in an hour, call in an hour! You have to be intentional, because things WILL get in the way! With that being said, it brings me to my next point.
  • Be UNDERSTANDING: You love your BFF and you want her to be the very best version of herself. Sometimes that means letting her grow and understanding life gets in the way. Instead of being passive aggressive (guilty), if she doesn’t call you back when she said, meet her with understanding and love. Life happens, remember that.
  • Turn their Instagram Notifications On: Social media is perfect for staying in touch! For instance, I have my best friend’s Instagram posts set to alert me! So every time they post, I get a reminder. This helps me tremendously! It keeps me in the know and always makes me smile to see what they’re up to! Personally, I always leave a comment too!
  • SCHEDULE Phone Dates: Time Zones are the enemy of long distance relationships. With work and significant others, you have to find your sweet spots. For instance, a few of my BFFs and I have a 2 hour time difference. This makes things a little difficult when I go to call her at 9 AM my time! Find a time that matches both of you! Last, but not least:
  • Be mindful of their Schedule: I’m not going to call my BFF with a 9-5 in the middle of her work day! Be respectful of the lives that they are building!

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    I hope you got some useful information out of this and if you live near your BFFs, don’t take it for granted!

    I love you, and go call your best friend!

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(*Sorry it’s been a while! I got a BRAND NEW computer. My old one just wasn’t cutting it, so it took me a while to switch everything over! Thanks for your patience!)

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Vegas BABY!  I recently went to Las Vegas with my BFFs! And let me tell you, of course we ate at the CUTEST places and saw the BEST shows and did all the things we could possibly fit in! (I told you I’m a fun crammer!) Las Vegas, SIN CITY, or as I like to call it CHANDELIER CITY, is basically a play ground for adults. But for real about the chandelier.. I feel like they have a law that there must be a chandelier per every 50 feet! Lol! To me, almost everything looks similar or has the same Vegas vibe. Think flashy, shiny, big! Sensory overload! The air in Vegas buzzes with electricity and excitement at ALL HOURS! It’s funny, because I know they call NYC the city that never sleeps, but I beg to differ! That title most definitely belongs to Las Vegas!  We tried to do a little bit of everything! This is my second time in Vegas, so I have my bearings enough to show you a great time! You CAN’T miss some of these gems! Ah! I’m getting a food coma, and a hangover just thinking about it!

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  1. Whist: If you want to ease into Vegas, or if you just need a break from the strip and want to do some shopping, Whist is the place for you! This place was a DREAM! I’ve also discovered I’m super into loungey places. (Also, not sure if loungey is a word.) We sat outside and the aesthetic portion of my soul was in heaven! Whimsical, charming and just everything you want in a brunch spot! We stayed for HOURS catching up, drinking all the bubbles and pretty drinks! This is the PERFECT brunch spot! It’s located in Henderson, about a 5 minute drive from the strip. Whist is surrounded by great shopping too! The food was FABULOUS! I’m not normally into sweet potato fries, but trust me, ORDER THEM!!!

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2. GAMBLE: Okay, so you’re in Las Vegas. You HAVE to gamble. You just have to do it, right?! DO NOT waste time and money on penny slots, they are confusing and you will be throwing ‘Dolla Bills Yo’ in the trash can! If you are a beginner like me, Roulette is the way to go! Also go to “Old Vegas” to gamble! (It’s the only place I will gamble.) The table “buy-in” is way cheap, like 5 dollars, as opposed to $50-$100!! I normally limit myself to $50 max, but start with $20! I LOVE roulette because it’s super easy!!!! Pick a number, pick a color and BAM, there you have it! Also, free drinks while you’re gambling which is super cool! Good luck tracking down a waitress though! Haha! (The pics below are from my phone sorrryyyy)

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3. The STRIP: Obviously, you have to go down the strip and sight see. This is where you can just feel the excitement in your bones! Seriously, the air buzzes! You should spend a whole day walking in and out of all the hotel/casinos. All of them are different, but with the same Vegas vibe. Everything is so… extra, lol! That’s a good way to describe it. Grab a frozen drink and walk around!

PRO-TIP: Open containers are allowed everywhere! You know what that means! Go to the liquor store, pick your poison and have it with you. Put it in your purse or flask up! Everything on the strip is super, super expensive!!!

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4. The Chandelier Bar: Have you ever wondered what it would be like to hang out IN a chandelier? This place is an experience! The Chandelier Bar is one of my favorite bars I’ve ever been to! It’s so freaking beautiful, and it’s like 3 stories! (I think, don’t quote me on that!) Get a yummy drink, relax and enjoy the aesthetic! They even have a mouth-numbing drink! (I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s on my list for next time!!!) This place is just superrrr dreamy!!! (It’s located in The Cosmopolitan. You can’t miss it!)

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5. Paris: Anther must-stop spot is Paris! Run in, grab a drink, lounge out! Comfy chairs and yummy drinks! The ceiling is painted like the sky, it’s weirdly calming. Such a cool spot though! We sat here for a few hours, had some yummy drinks and talked our heads off. It’s super relaxing. One of those places that makes you forget where you are for a little while. This has probably become one of my most favorite things to do in Vegas.

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76C1DFDF-0643-4206-81B3-10CC2F810890 (Cellphone pic, sorry! ^)IMG_82775. Mon Ami Gabi: This is a restaurant that looks like something straight out of a fairy tale! The inside-outside court yards are super dreamy! It’s moderately priced for being on the strip. Everything is so YUM! And it’s French inspired food. We had so much yum cheese, and their fresh bread, OMG! I can still smell it as I’m writing this! Aaahhh, sssooo ggooooddd! Also, I am NOT a Sangria person. (Thanks to 19 year old Torri and those stupid, huge $8 Carlo Rossi Sangria jugs.. Wine pong, don’t ask.) But I gave their’s a try anyway. It was a good move, for sure!IMG_8300IMG_8305IMG_8312IMG_8299IMG_8273

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6. Go see a Cirque Du Soleil O Show! Samantha and I managed to get a steal off of Craigslist actually, lol! I don’t know if I would recommend doing it, but it worked out awesome for us! We saw O and it was freaking GOOD!!! We were OOOO-ING and AAAAHHH-ING the whole time! Lol! But it’s amazing what the super humans in this show can do. And even what humans are capable of doing, in pulling a show like this off. My mind was completely BLOWN AWAY! I’ve heard every Cirque Show is amazing. This was my first one and it was probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen!

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(^^^Cell phone pic of our best ‘O’ faces! Lollll)

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7. Old Vegas: Old Vegas, hands down, is totally my vibe. You should definitely spend a day down there day-drinking. And then gamble at The Cortez at night! (I knowww, same name as AHS Hotel! Love that season!) There are so many awesome restaurants/bars. Container Park is down there as well. It’s a cute area made out of shipping containers, with shops and restaurants all throughout. All the bars in Old Vegas are super cute, tons of art everywhere you look! One restaurant worth mentioning: Park on Fremont. We had a Mac and Cheese Philly Cheese Steak! I am not even joking! And YES, it was sooooo freaking goooddd!

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8. Bottiglia: OH MY GORGEOUS! THIS PLLAACCEEE! This place had my favorite meal of the trip! We got the full experience! Also, I think it takes winner in ‘The Cutest Place in Las Vegas’. Bottiglia is about a 10 min drive from the strip and sssoooo worth it! IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL AND LOUNGEY! Want to talk about dreamy aesthetics? Ugh, I though I died and went to heaven, lol! And allllll the pastaaaa!! Yuummm! Super cute Italian fine dining, it was amazing!! I am so mad at myself that I did not bring my camera! So these cell phone pics will have to do. Just know this place was it!!! Also, we didn’t come for brunch but we did see they have $10 bottomless ROSE! Next time I’m in Vegas I will be here with some Rose! That is a fact! You should too!! UGH, I just wish I had more pictures to show you, but these are all I got!!!IMG_1486

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9. Bachi: So this is only in Vegas and it is a true GEM! I’m not usually a huge burger person. I mean every now and again, but this place.. I am DROOLING again! Like, legitimately swallowing my saliva so I don’t get it on my keyboard! They do Asian-Style burgers? I know seems like a weird concept, but just please trust me on this one! This is a game changer! Bachi Burger was on one of those shows that features unique, yummy foods. They have toppings like apple vinegar, pineapple ketchup, and miso butter! I’m so upset right now because all I want is one of these burgers, but I’m in Florida and there is nothing I can do about it!!! (First world problems.) PLEASE try this party in your mouth. They have 3 locations, all in Las Vegas, but none on the strip. MAKE IT HAPPEN! GO!

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(Bachi Brussel Sprouts, yumm!)

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10.  SOHO SUSHI BURRITO: This is a real thing! It’s exactly what it sounds like, too! Think one GIANT sushi roll FILLED with whatever your heart desires!!! They have some prepared options too, because it can be a bit overwhelming with sssooo many choices!! I will tell you mine was sssoooo gooodddd! Haha! They put it in front of me, I took some pics, then I BLACKED OUT AND IT WAS GONE!!! lol! The good thing about being in Vegas, is that there are sushi burrito places everywhere, haha! Think Subway, but with all your favorite sushi ingredients!

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In hind sight, this was kinda almost all about food! LOL! I’m a little embarrassed, I’m not going to lie. But hey, isn’t that what a vaycay is for though? Right, lollll. Anyways! When you’re in Las Vegas next time, I hope this helps you out! It was such a blast getting to see my best friends and exploring together. Since I had so much to say about food in this post, lol, let me know what food place you’d like to try the most in the comments below! Hope you’re having an awesome day! I love you bye!

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