Falling into Fall

[Pumpkin Picking]

One of my favorite things about living in the North East is that we have all 4 seasons. I really don’t think I could live without any of them. It seems that right after Labor Day weekend the weather here became suddenly brisk and I had no time to prepare. Happy fall everyone!

Here are just a few of the things I am looking forward to this Fall season:

[Leaves changing to the most beautiful colors]

[Dark Nailpolish][Sunday night football & wings][Corn Maze!][NFL games with BaDing*][Scarves]
[Halloween // Dressing up]
[Fall foods // not to mention a yummy Thanksgiving feast][Carving pumpkins]

pie image via

My Summer in Pictures

[Our annual fire island getaway]

This summer seemed to fly by, but it was undoubtably one of the best summers I’ve ever had. Here’s some memories of my summer.. in pictures, of course 🙂

[Sparklers!][Sitting on A bench that BaDing and I chiseled our initials into][Perfect views at the Beekman Beer Garden][One of the best summer time foods // Guacamole!][I love the palm tree lined streets of southern California][Poolside][Making a wish on a dandelion][Beer tastings][The amazing Cinderella’s castle at the Magic Kingdom][Bright color nail polish during a beach trip with friends] [I go to baseball games for the food and the beer!][Fourth of July Fireworks][At Grauman’s Chinese Theatre][The sun setting on summer]

Meet Me in Orlando

[The view from our villa]

I had been anticipating going back to Orlando since my childhood, and let me tell you, it didn’t disappoint.  Going to all of these parks is just as fun as an adult.  Each park is so original and has their own specialties, which made each one of them a completely different type of adventure.

For the Movie Buff // Universal Studios:For the Thrill-Seeker // Islands of Adventure:For the Children | To bring out your inner child // The Magic Kingdom:For the Animal Lover // Animal Kingdom:For the World Traveler // Epcot:For the Artist // Hollywood Studios:

Cookie Dough Brownies

What do you make someone who makes cake for a living? Not cake. For a friend’s birthday I decided to make her these cookie dough brownies that I have been drooling over since Rachel over at How Bout Some Cake started raving about them a few months ago. [I also used this eggless cookie dough recipe for these cookie dough truffles]  When she said they were one of the best things she ever made, I was just waiting for the perfect occasion to give me an excuse to make them. I made the exact recipe that she recommended, except that I naturally doubled it. Rachel, you do not disappoint. Everyone, get into your kitchen and make this!

Guest Post: My Top Five Beaches in Hawaii

Today I am happy to share with you a guest post from one of my favorite bloggers – Krystle of Pictures & Plane Tickets. She had me hooked on her blog from the first post that I read, and her travel stories and gorgeous pictures always keep me coming back for more. I know you will all love her blog as much as I do, so as soon as you finish reading this guest post about her top 5 beaches in Hawaii – I insist you go check it out! 

Hey Meet Me in Paradise followers! I’m Krystle from Pictures & Plane Tickets. Just like you, I’m a devoted reader of Meet Me in Paradise. I enjoy tuning in to read about the amazing places Jordan travels to, and I always find myself drooling over the delicious food photos! So when miss Jordan asked me to guest post on her blog, I was incredibly honored, and maybe a little nervous as I didn’t want to disappoint her, or her lovely readers.

So, keeping with the theme, Meet me in Paradise, I have decided to write about one of my favorite paradises: Hawaii.

There is something mysterious about this island chain: the history, the culture, the people, the jaw-dropping scenery, once you go to Hawaii you can’t help but fall in love with the islands, and after your visit you will find yourself day-dreaming of the warm days, the friendly people, and the palm-tree lined beaches. If you have a choice, you’ll probably be back more than once.

One day I hope that my husband and I can say that we have traveled to all of the main Hawaiian Islands, however, I can’t say that yet… Out of the four islands that we have had a chance to explore I’m going to give you my top five favorite beaches (in no particular order). Before we get started, I want to add the disclaimer that we are nowhere close to exploring every beach on every island, so these are some of my favorites.

Poipu Beach, Kauai

This south shore Kauai beach is palm tree lined, semi-protected by the reef, and filled with sea life. While you are snorkeling you may get the opportunity to swim with sea turtles, sea lions, and be prepared to see a lot of beautiful fish. After you wear yourself out from an afternoon of swimming, be sure to stop by Aloha Hour at Keoki’s Paradise for a lava flow or mai tai and a bite to eat.

Wai’anapapa State Park—Black Sand Beach, Maui

Who doesn’t dream of lounging on a black sand beach? The Wai’anapapa State Park on Maui is a must see if you travel to the Magic Isle. The day that my husband I arrived the waves were too rough to do any swimming but the scenery alone is worth an afternoon at this amazing location. Lounge on the western side of the beach where the sand is finer and much softer; hike around the area to see the amazing views from the cliffs above; explore the underwater caves; or have a picnic before continuing the drive to Hana. There is so much to do at this State Park that you could easily spend an entire day.

Shipwreck Beach, Lanai

Located on the remote northern end of Lanai, a four-wheel drive vehicle is needed to reach this beach—which is the very reason this beach made the list. The 8-mile stretch of beach has numerous shipwrecks located on its sandy shores and the legends about the curse surrounding this beach will leave you with a mysterious feeling. This beach is not the prettiest beach, it’s actually pretty barren, however, if you’re looking for your own private beach for the afternoon pack some snacks and take the 30 minute drive from Lanai City. Once you arrive, find your spot along the empty shoreline and enjoy the serenity.

Big Beach, Maui

You may also know this beach as the Makena Beach State Park. My family calls me a fish because you’ll always find me swimming in the water rather than laying out on the beach. However, when we went to Big Beach during the summer of 2011 there was a storm off the southern coast and the waves were so big that I did not dare go into the water. It was an amazing opportunity to see nature at its finest—raw, unrestricted, and powerful.

Grab a snack at one of the local Taco Trucks before heading down the tree-lined path to the beach. The wide stretch of soft sand appears to extend forever and the dramatic cliffs and numerous trees provide a beautiful backdrop. If you spend the afternoon on this beach, you will have unobstructed views of the Molokini crater as well as Kaho’olawe.

The island of Kaho’olawe is off to the left and the Molokini Crater can be seen in the center of the photo above.

Tunnels Beach, Kauai

We began this list in Kauai, so it’s only appropriate to end the list in Kauai—after all, Kauai is probably my favorite island of the four. The mountains behind Tunnels beach provide a spectacular backdrop as you enjoy an afternoon on the white-sand beach. My favorite part about Tunnels is the excellent snorkeling. The name “Tunnels” came from the coral formations off-shore. Grab a shave ice, relax, and read a good book, or swim with sea turtles and fish and take in the underwater landscape that will leave you wanting to explore more.

Didn’t see your favorite beach on this list? Please share your favorite Hawaiian beaches so I can check it out on our next Hawaiian Adventure.

Okay – I need to go to Hawaii!! How have I never been there? This just shot up to the top of my to do list! Thanks again Krystle – you never disappoint!

Orlando : Day 5 – Hollywood Studios

For me, Hollywood Studios was the park I was anticipating the most. Hollywood Studios is all about the art and animation of Disney movies. With museums about the “Man Behind the Mouse” (Walt Disney), and rides about the Magic of Disney Animation, it’s a behind the scenes look at how your favorite Disney movies were made.  This was definitely one of the highlights of my trip – I just wished there were more museums! It truly makes you appreciate the hard work and dedication that goes into animation and I could have looked at this stuff for days! It made me want to pick up my pencil and start drawing again.

My favorite rides: Tower of Terror and the Magic of Disney Animation // BaDing’s favorites: Toy Story Mania

Beer & Cupcakes

The past month has been a complete whirlwind. I have gone from New York, to California, came back to New York [not to mention went straight from the red-eye to work], worked for a few days, and then headed to Orlando where I walked for 13 hours a day every day that I was there. Not that I’m complaining what-so-ever… I’m just exhausted! This past weekend my only goal was to relax.. and what better way to relax then to eat cupcakes on the couch? BaDing’s cousin came over who is a professional baker and owns her own business. After a lot of begging, I convinced her to make me her famous Corona Cupcakes. I can’t reveal the recipe, but man oh man… This cupcake is perfect. Beer & cupcakes are an amazing combo! Who knew!