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



Tuesday, 17 January 2017

MY SKINCARE ROUTINE | Tara Berries



January is the worst time for anyone's skin as the cold, dry weather really takes a toll on one's face. Unfortunately, regardless of the current month, I always suffer from dry and sensitive skin. I have to be so careful with the products I choose for my skin as it could dry it out even worse than before I used the product. I have finally found a skin care routine that takes away my dry skin but I have to continue with it or my skin goes back to being dry very quickly.

Step 1:
Moisturize in the morning before putting on my makeup! 
We all have been in the situation where we hit the snooze button one too many times and we have to hazardly put our makeup on in a flash. It might seem logical to skip the moisturizing part of our routine as no one sees it on our faces but if I skip this step my makeup will start to clump as my skin becomes too dry to absorb it. I received the  Ole Henriksen Nurture Me Creme 1.7oz in a gift set for Christmas and I love that it is extremely moisturizing but not overly thick, it doesn't make my skin look oily, and it smells delicious. 

Step 2:
Take my makeup off every night.
Sometimes, on a late Saturday night I would come home and brush my teeth and climb into bed without taking my makeup off. The next morning I would have mascara all over my pillow case but that isn't the only thing I would have to take care of the next day. I would have the worst dry skin on my face because I didn't take my makeup off or finish my skin care routine. Now no matter how late it is that I get home, I always use a makeup wipe to remove most of my makeup and then quickly cleanse my face. I have the Neutrogena Make-Up Remover Cleansing Towelettes 7 Count (Pack of 6)which I find very convenient to take with me when staying at a friend's house and they get the job done for taking my makeup off.

Step 3: 
Exfoliate and cleanse my face.
Since I have such dry skin I only exfoliate my face once a week and I use 
St. Ives Naturally Clear Blemish and Blackhead Control Scrub, Apricot, 6 Ounce which I have used since I was a teenager. St. Ives Apricot Scrub smells great and exfoliates my skin so that I can have a fresh base to work with the for the rest of the week. I cleanse my face every night to get rid of any leftover makeup after using the wipes and to just give my face a good last clean before heading to bed. The cleanser I have been using is First Aid Beauty Milk Oil Conditioning Cleanser (5 oz) and it has lasted me almost a year. I love the consistency and simplicity of this cleanser and that there isn't a strong smell to it. This cleanser adds moisture to my face instead of stripping it of any moisture it has which some strong cleansers do to my skin.

Step 4: 
End each night with Coconut Oil.
The night seems to be the worst time for my skin because when I wake up I find my skin is the dryest. I sleep with a humidifier and I sip on water throughout the night when I wake up thirsty but still my skin is dry. I read up on all the uses of coconut oil and I purchased a huge container at Costco. I just put a little bit of it all over my face and let it moisturize my skin while I sleep and I have to say, out of all of the steps I have described, this is the most important step for me. I love coconut oil and I find putting it on at night doesn't bother me because I don't care if my skin looks oily while I am sleeping. By the next morning my skin is already softer and is ready for a little bit of moisturizer to handle the rest of the day.

So there you have it, my complicated skin care routine! If you have dry and sensitive skin please let me know some of your advice! If you have a favourite skincare product that you think I should try, let me know in the comments below.

Xo. Tara Berries

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Current Reads 2017 | Tara Berries


I remember being a child and always having a book in my hands. During math class I would read my book with it propped open inside my desk and the teacher never knew. Any vacation trips we would take as a family I would always bring a book to read and not much has changed. I always have a book on the go with a to-be-read list a mile long. I thought I would share with you what I am currently reading in 2017.

November 9: A Novel By Colleen Hoover

I have heard great things about Colleen Hoover's novels and I decided to give them a try. November 9: A Novel is about a girl named Fallon who meets an aspiring novelist, Ben before leaving the city. Each year they meet on the same day and discuss their lives until Fallon starts to wonder if the stories are meant for a novel or  if they are genuine.






Scrappy Little Nobody By Anna Kendrick

A few years ago Tina Fey wrote Bossy Pants and then Mindy Kaling came out with her novel, Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me? and I loved them. Amy Poehler wrote Yes Please and I became hooked on reading autobiographies of celebrities. You can imagine my excitement when one of my favourite actresses, Anna Kendrick, wrote an autobiography and it quickly went on my Christmas Wish List. Anna comes at her life with sarcasm and wit like no other I have read. Truth and honesty are a huge part of why I love reading Scrappy Little Nobody, she doesn't try to be the good girl and she describes being a teenager with such accuracy. Kendrick's best writing came out when she discusses being a child actor and being on the set of Camp. Scrappy Little Nobody will be on my bookshelf along with my other favourite celebrity autobiographies.



I pre-ordered this screenplay before the movie came out in November but I didn't get a chance to read it until early January. I loved the movie with Eddie Redmayne and I have to say, reading the screenplay was even better. I have a better sense of the different beasts that were shown in the movie and I have a clearer understanding of what an obscurial is. If you loved the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them then you will love the screenplay and it will look great on your bookshelf with all of your Harry Potter books.




A Little Life By Hanya Yanagihara

I have yet to read A Little Life but I have heard so many great things about the novel that it is on my To-Be-Read list for 2017. I have read that it is about four young adults who move to New York and their trials and tribulations. People have told me that it can be sad at times but that the novel is life changing so I am looking forward to reading it.





If you have read any of the books on my Current Reads list then let me know your thoughts in the comments below. If you haven't heard of any of the novels list please post a book recommendation for me to check out in 2017!

Xo. Tara Berries