Tuesday, 30 May 2017

MY TRIP TO NYC WITH COMFORT TOUR | Tara Berries



I love to travel but I have had few opportunities to do so. My last trip was to Punta Cana for my sister's wedding in 2014 and I loved it because I had so many people to spend time with on that trip. I was thinking about where I would like to go for another trip and I wanted to treat my mom. We had thought about somewhere tropical but I get bored easily and we wanted to see more than just a resort. So I suggested a weekend trip to New York City and my mom was all on board. A quick internet search brought up Comfort Tour and I saw that they had the perfect trip already planned and we just had to go! I picked the Victoria Day weekend in May as I knew it wasn't a holiday in New York and it was the weekend right after my birthday.


Comfort Tour is a bus tour company and they are based in Toronto. We left for the tour on Friday May 19, 2017. Comfort Tour have several pick up locations throughout the GTA starting in Scarborough and ending in Grimsby We chose the the Scarborough Town Centre pick-up because we were coming in from East of Toronto. The bus ride to the hotel is a long ride. The bus picked us up at 7:00 am and we didn't get to our hotel until 8:00pm but there were a lot of bathroom breaks and stops to eat along the way. We chatted with a lot of other travellers on the bus and got to know who we were travelling with. Our tour guide and bus driver were both extremely knowledgeable on the trip and were very experienced which was a huge relief. We crossed the border smoothly and along the drive our tour guide handed out maps of NYC as well as important information for pickup and drop-off times. The bus had Wifi which gave me something to do on the long journey.

The hotel we stayed at was the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick, New Jersey The lobby was nice but the hotel room was just okay. When we arrived at the hotel we dropped our bags off and enjoyed the evening in the college town of New Brunswick. Each morning we had a complimentary breakfast which was delicious. 

The Saturday morning the bus left at 8:00am from the hotel towards New York City. It was such a cool ride to take the Lincoln Tunnel into the city and then we picked up a local tour guide who gave us a tour of Manhattan. The tour of the city was a mix of a bus tour and a walking tour. Our guide took us throughout the city pointing out all kinds of places of interest and he was very knowledgeable on the city. We got off to walk throughout Central Park, the 9/11 memorial and train station, and the tour ended at Grand Central Station where we had lunch. Our local guide was my favourite because he knew so much and could answer any questions we had. We left Grand Central Station and ended the tour by getting off at Bryant Park which was the drop-off and pick-up point for free time. We were dropped off at Bryant Park around 3:00pm and the bus would pick us up at 8:00pm but if we wanted to stay later we could take the train from Penn Station to New Brunswick, New Jersey. 












For free time on the Saturday I knew I wanted to see Manhattan from above so I asked the tour guide which viewing deck was the best and I was told Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Centre). So we walked through Times Square and made our way to Top of the Rock which was an unbelievable experience!








After going to the Top of the Rock we grabbed some Chipotle because most sit down restaurants had long line-ups that we didn't want to stand in. Then we finished the night with window shopping on Fifth Avenue and relaxing in Bryant Park before getting on the bus to go back to our hotel

On Sunday morning the bus left early at 7:40am because we were on our way to take a cruise to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. This was so exciting because we got such good views of the NYC skyline and the Statue of Liberty. My mom and I pre-purchased tickets to Wicked so we knew we had to leave the group early to make it to the show. We got to see the Statue of Liberty but only spent a little time on Ellis Island to look at the immigration museum they have before we took the cruise to Battery Park in Manhattan. From Battery Park my mom and I took a cab to Wicked the Musical where we picked up our tickets and then grabbed lunch before the show started.










Wicked was really long so we got out of the theatre at 5:40pm and we knew we wanted to see St. Patrick's Cathedral so we walked to the church and it was beautiful! We got to go inside and walk through it and was well worth it!







From St. Patrick's Cathedral we did some window shopping on Fifth Avenue before heading to Bryant Park to pick up the bus to go back to the hotel. We managed to do and see so much in two days and it was so much fun!

The Monday of the long weekend we left at 8:00am to head back to Canada and on our way back we stopped at the Waterloo Premium Outlets to do some shopping. Then we headed home and the way home always seems faster than the way there.

We had such a great time and I would definitely go on another Comfort Tours tour.

Have you been to New York City? If so what did you see when you were there?

Xo. Tara Berries

Sunday, 12 February 2017

PLAN WITH ME | TARA BERRIES


As an occasional teacher (substitute teacher) and a supply staff for the YMCA I often have a different schedule every week. In order to keep track of where I am each day, whether it was a full day, two-thirds day, or half a day, and whether I worked for the school board or the YMCA I use a planner. My planner is a ban.do planner which I cannot find for the life of me online but I purchased it at Chapters in August.

I start my week by writing any pre-booked days I already have as well as any appointments for the week. I then add stickers for any blog posts or photos I want to publish or take. Here is a picture of this coming week that I have listed. As you can see, I am still waiting to be booked for Thursday and Friday and I have plans to take photos on Saturday and publish a blog post for next Sunday.

The planner stickers that I purchased were from an Etsy Shop called Love Your Planners. I liked that they shipped quickly and the size of their stickers. Here is a picture of all the stickers that I have purchased from them:


So that is how I plan weekly for a job that is very unpredictable. Let me know of any planners that you recommend in the comments below because I probably won't repurchase the one I have.

Xo. Tara Berries

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Teaching Physical Education to School-Age Students


Since graduating from teacher's college in 2013 I have had many experiences teaching physical education both in a traditional school setting as well as in after school programs. I have my CATCH training which means I learned how to create games in which children are actively participating throughout the whole game. I worked for the Boys and Girls Club of Durham as well as the YMCA of Greater Toronto where I ran programs for school-age children to promote physical activity. Not only did I have my students up and moving for at least 45 minutes of the program time but they began to enjoy it as well.

Now I am an occasional teacher for a school board and I am frequently asked to do Daily Physical Activity with the students either in the classroom or outside. I also have to cover Phys. Ed. class for a variety of grades from Kindergarten to Grade 8. While I can run a game off the top of my head with various equipment and in a variety of settings (classroom, gym, outside etc...) I know not everyone has had the experience I have had. So if you are in need of a resource that gives you a list of warm-up activities, cooperative activities, tag games, and cool down activities, I created a resource for you!

Just click here to download the free Primary Physical Education Activities document from my Teachers Pay Teachers site. It would be great if you could review the product as well and let me know what you think of it. This is the first product I have created for Teachers Pay Teachers and I would appreciate your feedback. 

Thank-you so much for check it out. If you are a teacher, ECE, EA, or CYW let me know in the comments which games you have played with the children you work with.

Don't forget to be awesome,
Tara Berries

Monday, 23 January 2017

IS LIPSENSE REALLY WORTH THE PRICE? | Tara Berries


Recently, a friend of mine started selling a product called LipSense by the company Senegence and she added me to her Facebook group. I saw the videos she posted of ladies putting on a liquid lip colour and topping it off with a gloss and showing that the colour stayed. They would smudge their lips with their hands or take a drink and the colour would stay put. 

I have very thin and cracked lips and most of the time my makeup routine does not include lip colours because they never stayed on. So I was very interested in LipSense products. I ordered from my friend two LipSense colours: Mulled Wine and Apple Cider. I also purchased a LipSense Glossy Gloss which you need as a top coat to keep the colour on your lips all day long. The product is a steep purchase ($30 CAD per lip colour and $25 per lip gloss) so I thought I would share with you my thoughts on whether LipSense is really worth the price.


Things I liked about LipSense:
The colours are pigmented
The product does not dry out my lips because Glossy Gloss moisturizes my lips.
LipSense stays on my lips all day! I just reapply the Glossy Gloss every 4 hours or so and the colour stays on all day.
I can eat and drink without worrying my lip colour will come off.
Things I didn't like about LipSense:
The price for the liquid lip colour is expensive.
You have to buy both the colour and a glossy gloss which makes the cost even more.
You have to use an oil (I use coconut oil) or an oil-based makeup remover or their own Ooops! Remover to get it off. A simple makeup wipe does not do the trick.
Overall I am happy with the product. When I want colour on my lips I know it is worth it to put on the LipSense as it will last all day and give me great colour. While I don't sell the product I will definitely purchase more LipSense from my friend. If you liked this post be sure to like it and follow me on Bloglovin'! Let me know in the comments below what your favourite lip product is and why! 


Xo. Tara Berries