there are some things you do and don’t need in life. for example, some things you don’t need are: piles of random puppy poo on your front lawn {none of which came from your own puppy}; for random youtube court videos chock full of vulgarities to accidentally turn on while your boyfriend is on a work phone call; and leftover desserts/temptations when you’re trying to lose weight.


some things you do need are: a photo album full of super-filtered silly-face pictures of you and your family + friends; a pair of ridiculously painful/fun shoes that you can only wear for 10 minutes at a time {sitting down, of course}; and an overall fun-filled weekend getaway with the girls.

how do i know? from the movies, duh! 😉

i kid – i know from experience!  let’s recap, shall we?


we – as in myself, dema, tina + christina – made our way to atlantic city. we checked in at our hotel room at the tropicana hotel and ate at a little place called chef volas. never heard of it? well, neither had i. i’m still not sure if i’ve heard of it, it’s that much of a mystery. i’m not entirely sure how we booked reservations, seeing as though it is a bit top secret, but we managed to do it. and, i have to tell you, that it was quite the lovely experience. the “restaurant” is actually located in the basement of a house, at the end of a tiny residential street of atlantic city. the entrance is through the side, which most normal-heighted people would have to actually duck to get into. {myself not included.} as for the food: it was authentic –  authentically delicious. 🙂 i can’t remember the exact deliciousness that was shared, but it was a medley of pasta in a blush sauce, chicken parmigiana, a chicken/spinach dish and crab cakes. for dessert, we had a bit of hazelnut gelato and some sort of ricotta cheese cake thing. it was all yums – and very much recommended for anyone looking for a lovely offbeat dining experience in atlantic city. 🙂

food at chef volas.

the rest of the evening was mostly spent at a karaoke bar at the tropicana hotel {planet rose}, which was actually – fun. i do have to admit that singing at a karaoke bar is on that unwritten bucket list of mine, but i just didn’t have it in me to do it during this stay at atlantic city. i have to practice – and uh, get over that ridiculous stage fright thing i have. but, when the day comes, i am thinking of doing a rendition of salt-n-pepa’s “shoop.” stay tuned for that one. 😉


we packed up and made our way to the chelsea hotel, which was where we had reservations for that night. i’m not all that familiar with atlantic city and all of its accomodations – but i must say, this was a super cute hotel to stay at.

christina, tina, me + dema @ the chelsea.

after exploring the hotel, we made our way to the infamous tanger shopping outlets. being the big spender that i am, i bought $20ish whole dollars of uselessness {because i needed another pair of bangles and all that other jazz. ;)} after a good amount of time walking around, we went back to the hotel to meet up with two of tina’s other friends to continue the festivities. {did i mention that we were all there celebrating tina’s pre-birthday? did i also mention that we have been friends since we were in the 7th grade? that’s many a years of celebrating! :)}

we ate dinner at the hotel and got ready for a girls’ night out and about. remember those shoes that i mentioned earlier – the ones that you can only wear 10 minutes at a time? yeah, well i happened to be wearing a pair this particular night. needless to say, after 10 minutes at the boogie nights club, i headed back to the hotel room to change into some flats.

the shoes

not much else to say, besides that we roamed around between clubs + the casino – and had a blast doing so. {i won a whole $5 gambling; big spender and big winner!}


after checking out, we made our way to breakfast – which was ::ahem:: a buffet. i know, i know – mediocre food, but it was slightly better than mediocre this time. 😉 it was a beautiful day, so we took advantage of it by walking the boardwalk for a bit and even spreading our toes in the sand + ocean. we were debating how to end off our “weekend” adventure, and ultimately decided to partake in a winery tour. it was my first time – and it was certainly good times had. 🙂 for $3 we got to taste a few of renault winerys wines…and we even got to keep the wine glass! free-ish stuff is always exciting.

me + my free glass @ the renault winery.

a few hours and many songs later and we were all back home. i had an amazing time with the girls – but i was also ecstatic to be back home with my boys. 🙂

and to conclude –


{happy belated mother’s day to all of you amazing women! <3, one of your biggest fans. :)}

we hosted a little sunday mother’s day lunch with my parents and al’s mom, sister and niece. surprisingly enough, i did most of the cooking – and i wasn’t too ashamed of it. i baked some paprika chicken, salmon topped with mayo with a tomato/mango “salsa” {thank you to my friend valerie who taught me the recipe!}, rice, beans, and brussel sprouts. {that’s right – brussel sprouts.} i sprinkled the table with a handful of appetizers and desserts and voila – a mother’s day lunch. 🙂

and that was my weekend – a lovely few days spent celebrating friendships and mamas. i hope your weekend was full of new adventures with your girlfriends, moms – or whomever! 🙂

<3 always,

ana patricia

p.s. tomorrow my blog post won’t be so 3rd grade “this summer i…” essay-ish. i am going to open my doors to you and show you the “before” and “where i’m at now” of one of the rooms in my house. looking forward to sharing that “revamp-in-progess” space.

p.s.s. in response to my previous blog post about my weight loss goal, i received recommendations for: and “the dukan diet” by dr. pierre dukan. just wanted to share that with anyone else who would be interested! {thanks paula and ana! :)}

what kind of “girls just want to have fun” adventures have you had – or plan to have?

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