Allison Acquaviva

Public Relations Major. Junior.

Writing Center Tutor. Circle K Member.

I'm a 20 year old Junior in the field of Public Relations. When I'm not blogging or on campus, I enjoy hanging out with family and friends, listening to music, watching Duck Dynasty & volunteering at the local animal shelters in & around the area. Animals are my biggest passion & someday I hope to make a difference in their lives.

Happiness Tip #2: Forgiveness

May 16, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

One of the hardest things to do in life is to forgive someone who hurt you. It doesn’t matter if it’s a family member, friend, co-worker, enemy….and so on.

That old saying “sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you” isn’t exactly the truth. Words hurt, and unfortunately can stick with you for a long time. The key is, to let whatever they said, go. Easier said than done, I know.


In order to live a happy, peaceful and successful life, we must forgive those who do us harm. It can be extremely difficult, but so freeing.

Instead of cursing those who hurt us, bless them instead. It takes a strong person to forgive and just move on. But, it is so necessary for our own health and well being.

When we forgive others, we are giving them absolutely no power over us. By holding on to anger, we only hurt ourselves. Life is too short for that.



One of the best days of my life was when I learned to move on from all of the people who did me wrong. With the help of some great people, I came to my senses and realized that harboring bitterness was only ruining me, not them.

Moral of the story: do you want to travel the road to happiness? Learn to forgive and make peace with people and your past. You’ll be surprised how much better you will feel.

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Bloom Where You are Planted!

May 14, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.” - Walt Disney (Mulan)


That quote speaks so much to me. In fact, it’s one of my favorites. Why do I love it? Well, I think this phrase fits so many people out there today, me included.

I used this as my senior yearbook quote back in high school, and several people were confused by what it meant. It’s pretty simple, to me anyway.

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all”….well, I look at that as the flower that dares to be different from the rest, is unique. So, let’s liken that to people.

I’ve always been different from the rest of the crowd. I was never one to follow what others were doing, and I sure am not about to start now! I do my thing, what makes me happy…and, if that means reading a Nicholas Sparks novel rather than going out to a party, so be it. That’s where I was “planted” so to speak.


Which brings me to my next point, bloom where you’re planted.

In my opinion, it is so beautiful to see somebody be themselves…and be content with that. Bloom where you are planted. If you’re different than the rest of the people you know…who cares? So what? That makes you unique. Congrats…you’re a fruit loop in a world filled with cheerios!

Never, I repeat, never let anyone tell you who you have to be or what you have to do. Give up the thought that you must fit in with the crowd because you don’t. It sounds so cliche, but it’s true. Why fit in, when you were born to stand out?

My point for this: I see so many people trying to change who they really are just to please other people or to look cool. I’m sorry, but that’s crazy. It took me a few years (and some lovingly advice from my parents) to figure out that by changing who I am OR by choosing to disassociate myself from something I loved was only harming me….not helping me.

I’ve loved country music since high school and so many people laughed at me because of that (and funny, they are the ones who love it now..;)) so, I did what I thought was best: gave it up. I tried listening to everything that was “cool”, but it was totally the wrong move. Eventually, I outgrew the need to care what everyone thought about it and just did me.

*Okay, I know that seems like a corny example, but I think it makes my point!*

So, bloom where you’re planted. Grow where you are meant to grow. Don’t worry about what anyone else has to say, or what anyone else does for that matter. Remember: the flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful.


Confidence: The Key Component to Success

May 8, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

As a young woman in today’s society, it seems that everyone puts labels on us. If we’re curvy, we’re too fat. If we’re skinny, we’re unhealthy. All of the constant criticism weighs down on our confidence & self esteem. That, ladies, is just wrong.

I’ve struggled with confidence issues since high school. I used to care what everyone thought of me & tried to change myself to please them. That, by far, is the biggest mistake anyone could make.


I know now that I totally wasted my time worrying about the opinions of others. I’m finally at that point where I know who loves and appreciates me for who I am & those who don’t? Well they don’t matter. I make my own sunshine!

One of the few steps to happiness is finding your confidence & learning to love who you are, regardless of what people say about you. In my last post about surrounding yourself with positive people, I mention how they can help build up your confidence. That’s 100% true.

But, you also need to be able to build up your own confidence.

And how do you do this? Well….it’s quite the journey, but by having a persistent, positive attitude, you will succeed.


The first step to finding your confidence is: Stop comparing yourself to others. 

This is so hard to do, but it is absolutely crucial. I know. Easier said than done. We wish we looked like that, we wish we could dress like that, we wish we had that talent…..and the list goes on.

Why do we do this? Each one of us is a gift. Our bodies, minds and hearts are all unique. We are imperfectly perfect in our own way. So, stay focused on yourself. Run your own race. Just because someone does something better than you, or before you, doesn’t mean that you have no talent. It doesn’t mean that you can’t do it too. Everybody’s different, everyone learns and grows at different rates. Confidence, confidence, confidence!

The second step? Relax & go with the flow!

Seriously, listen to what you are saying about yourself. If you had a friend that talked to you, the way you talk about yourself, would they even be your friend? Think about it. So, take a breather. Find an outlet that you can channel your talents to (and yes, everyone has a talent).

Never lose your confidence over a mistake. It’s not worth it! Remember – it’s all about perspective. You can gain your confidence from your experiences, rather than losing it from your experiences.


The third (and perhaps the most important) step: LOVE YOURSELF.

Listen, it’s not easy. There’s always something that we wish we could change about ourselves. But, once you come to that place of love and acceptance, you’ll be so much happier. When you have low confidence or self esteem, loving yourself can be a challenge. However, it is NOT impossible.

Put it into perspective. Life just would not be the same if you didn’t exist, or if you changed yourself for others. You were created the way you are for a reason. That means, you have a special gift & talent that can be used to put some good into the world, that maybe no one else has. Embrace it. Embrace everything you have to offer. *with dignity, of course*

Fourth: Be Positive.

Look for the good in any situation. Talking from experience, this can be hard too, but not impossible. Once you make up your mind that you want to be happy, the rest comes naturally.

Breathing in positivity and exhaling negativity, eventually becomes a habit. Sure, we all have our down moments. That will happen. The key is…don’t get stuck there. Sometimes, we are the prisoner’s of our own thoughts.


The fifth step to confidence: Do what you love & love what you do.

People shine the most whenever they are doing something they love. That’s when your true confidence shows because you want to be the best you can be.

Life isn’t all about making money, doing something because it’s in the family…..granted, having a good job, making money, those are pretty important. But, of course, they aren’t everything. You have to be happy in what you’re doing. If not, change it. You don’t like your major? Change it!

It has taken me 3 major changes to find my happiness….and I’m so not ashamed of that fact. I’m loving what I’m studying & I love all of the opportunities that are presented in front of me. I have big dreams, and I needed to find a major that complemented them. I finally did, and never felt better about it.

Long story short: Confidence is essential in everything you do, whether it’s at school, work, whatever! Build yourself up. Stop tearing yourself down. Ladies, stop thinking of yourselves as objects, or someone’s possession. Know who you are, and know your worth.

7 Signs it’s the End of the Semester

May 6, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva


1) Perfect Attendance: Ah, the last week/day of classes….the time you meet people in your class you never knew existed! The time where you look around the room and spot those lovely faces you haven’t seen since syllabus day. It’s quite humorous, awkward, yet reassuring. Now, you know the end of the semester is near. Thank you, our wayward classmates…we salute you.

2) Skipping class becomes a strong temptation: Yes, completely contrary to everything I said in the first point. You also know that the end of the semester is near when you see your class size dwindling. The struggle between sleep and responsibility is real here, people.

3) Dress code? What dress code? Ok, I get it. There’s no real dress code in college. But, from my three years of experience here, I’ve seen it all. The semester usually goes like this: Beginning of Semester - dress to impress. Middle of Semester - casual is cute. End of Semester - PJ’s…all day, every day. The struggle between sleep and appearance is also real.

4) Coffee becomes your lifestyle: I have yet to go to a class where coffee isn’t present during the end of the semester (or really, any morning class for that matter.) Now if you’re like me and hate that mud in a cup, you don’t understand the need for it. Sleep and a chocolate bar give me all the energy I need to get me through the last week of classes & finals week.


5) Your Tolerance and patience are slim: That’s no secret. Everyone’s patience are running practically slim to none. With the weather getting nicer, we are all anxious to just get out of that classroom. The last thing we want to do is walk (or drive) to class anymore. Plus, the stress from finals and other last minute assignments are weighing heavily on our minds.

6) The bookstore is unusually mobbed: it’s filled with tons of students eagerly waiting to return those heavy, expensive textbooks that may or may not have been used. Honestly, there’s no greater feeling than returning those things.

7) Your tiredness is mistaken for laziness: You just had 12-15 weeks of busy, homework and study filled days & nights. You’re tired of it. I know, we’ve all been there. Unfortunately, now is not the time to throw in the towel, with exams coming up.

Basically, the end of the semester is finally here & it came quick. I’m so looking forward to much needed rest & relaxation this summer. Yes, we’re all tired, but like I said, now is probably the worst time to call it quits. Finish the semester with a bang. Simply put: focus & study.

How to Live a Happy Life: Tip #1 – Surround Yourself with Positive People

May 1, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

Everybody always talks about happiness, and how they’re longing to achieve it. First of all, happiness is not a destination, but a way of life. The question is: how can we start living a positive life? How can we grow and eventually inspire others to do the same? First off: we can start by surrounding ourselves with good, healthy, positive people.


Now I know it’s difficult to do. You’re going to be surrounded by negative people all the time. But, that doesn’t mean you need to listen to them or pay them ANY mind. Instead, look at the people who empower you, encourage you, and see the greatness in you that sometimes, you can’t see for yourself.


I have plenty of experience with negative, toxic people….and believe me, life becomes SO MUCH BETTER when you distance yourself from them.

The key is (like I said above), find people, or heck, even one person who encourages you & inspires you. You’ll be surprised how much better your life is.


Now, I’m not exactly talking about looking to celebrities for encouragement (I mean you can, but ya know….) Look toward people who are closest to you, whether that’d be your family or friends. It really is easy!

Me? I’m fortunate enough to have extremely positive people & influences in my family and friends!

For the last few years, I have been lucky enough to know someone who consistently inspires me & has given me so much encouragement & support. She inspires me to believe in myself, be positive, and she is a genuine friend – which, unfortunately is hard to find nowadays. I’ll always be thankful to her for that! Because of her positive influence, I’ve been able to change my way of thinking & that is a great thing!

So, take it from me. Let go of those people who do nothing for you. Let go of the ones who are constantly putting you down. Let go of the ones who can’t accept you for who you are. Start finding and focusing on those who do. You’ll notice how much happier & confident you’ll be.



The Top 10 Tracks That Get Me Through Finals Week

Apr 27, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

With finals week fast approaching, (have you looked at the calendar??) I always find music as a motivator to help me study and keep my confidence level up!

So, without further ado, here is my top 10 list of songs that keep me going!

1) So Small – Carrie Underwood

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So Small has always been a favorite song of mine. It has gotten me through some challenging times in the past, and still remains to do so today. This song is a reminder to stop worrying so much about little things that don’t matter and to start focusing on the things and people you have in your life that are important. This song also helps me to realize that my problems really aren’t as big as they seem. Hence the title….

2) Roar – Katy Perry

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This song is such a fun, upbeat, kick – butt song! It’s the perfect motivation to tackle finals. This song helps to give confidence and lets me know that I can handle any exam (or anything) that comes my way, no matter how challenging, and that I will come out a champion!

3) Unstoppable – Rascal Flatts

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Rascal Flatts know how to motivate! Unstoppable encourages anyone who is going through a rough time. It says no matter what circumstances, you are unstoppable. You are not easily defeated. Since tests make some people (and me) a bit nervous, and a bad grade can make us feel defeated, this song is amazing to remember.

4) Letter to Me – Brad Paisley

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In this song, Brad is talking about how what he thought was a big deal, what he thought was major problems at the age of 20/21, really wasn’t. He looks back on his life now – as an adult – and puts things into perspective. It’s just a really cool song to listen to…it makes a lot of sense.

5) It Happens – Sugarland

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Can you tell I love country music yet? Ha! ;) This is a funky, feel-good song that is so easy to relate too. Got a bad grade on a test? It happens. Didn’t get the job you were hoping for? It happens. Running late because you overslept?….Well, you see what I’m getting at. The point of this song is to not take life so seriously. To not get so emotionally involved in every little thing. To learn to let go and realize things aren’t always going to go your way. Love it.

6) Jesus Take The Wheel – Carrie Underwood

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Those who know me, know I have no trouble admitting my Faith. I’m definitely not ashamed of it…I was raised that way! This song has been so inspirational to me over the years. It reminds me to slow down, Pray, relax, and just let myself be at peace with whatever is bothering me (during this time….finals week!)

7) Catch My Breath – Kelly Clarkson

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This really has nothing to do with finals, or college in general, but this is an amazing song. Give it a listen. It’s empowering!

8) Settlin’ – Sugarland


Such a motivating song! I know I’ve been saying that a lot, but it’s true! This one talks about never settling for anything less than the BEST! That’s some really sound advice that we all should take!

9) One Day You Will – Lady Antebellum

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Lady A sure knows how to tug on the heart strings! Seriously, this song fills me up with so much encouragement. This definitely targets us college students. It just basically sends the message that you’ll be okay, no matter what happens. Any trial only makes us stronger.

10) Today is Your Day – Shania Twain

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The perfect song to wake up to! Kind of sets the tone for the day. This song really stresses to have a positive attitude and to choose happy every single day. Make up your mind that no matter what annoyances happen throughout the day, nothing can break you down!

Mother’s Day

Apr 24, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, you may be asking yourself “what can I do for my mom to make her feel special?” I have a few ideas that may help you out :)

Okay, in my world, I think you should make your mom (or really, both of your parents) feel special every day, but hey, that’s just me. Anyway….


What can you do for your mom to let her know how much she means to you?

1) Give her something straight from the heart: I’m not talking about the generic coffee cups, flowers, perfume, jewelry, etc. Sure, those things are great, but seriously, put some time & thought into getting her something that shows true appreciation for everything she has done for you. After all, that woman has gone through a lot to give you a good life!

2) Dedicate something to her: Whether that is a song, or poem, whatever. My mom loves music & every year for her birthday and/or mother’s day, I typically put in a request and dedicate a song like this one below for her.


Mama’s Song – Carrie Underwood

It makes her happy, and that’s all that matters to me.

3) Spend time with her: I’m extremely blessed to not only have a good relationship with my mom, but I get to see her every day since I commute here; therefore, we spend a decent amount of quality time together. ( A lot of people don’t get it, but, that’s their problem) Anyway, for those that live on campus, the time you spend home is precious. It’s important to divide your time wisely between your friends and family, and give your mom the thing she’s been missing most: your love & attention.

Remember: our mom’s are our very first friends in life. They are the only ones that will always be here for us, supporting us, guiding us, and most importantly, loving us. So, do something nice for your mom; respect her. Show her that you truly care. No matter what anyone says, I am so thankful for mom, to be able to spend time with her, to ask her advice, and to go to her whenever I have a problem. She’s been my rock throughout my life, and chances are, your mom has been yours too.


How Animals Can Help, Heal and De-Stress You

Apr 24, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

When thinking of ways to de-stress and unwind, what usually comes to mind is doing yoga, meditating, going out with friends, and so forth. But, have you ever thought about spending  time with some furry friends?

Research shows that people who have animals and love animals tend to be happier and less stressed in their lives. As an animal owner myself, I can definitely see why!


It is no secret to anyone that I love animals. They make me happy in so many ways and I could not imagine a life without them! So far, I’ve had 3 beautiful, little fur blessings that I thank God for every day. They fill my days with so much sunshine!

Here’s exactly how animals can reduce your stress and improve your health!

1) Pets Are Mood Lifters!

Have a bad day? Go cuddle with your pet. Some of my best memories are spent with my pets. It’s so amazing how intuitive they are. Whenever I’m sad or upset, my dog does the sweetest thing: he comes over to me, puts his paw on my lap & starts licking my face. It really is too adorable and lifts my spirits instantly!

2) Pets Remind Us to Live in the Present

What do I mean? Well, take dogs for example. They don’t live in the future or past with fear and regret. They take each moment as it comes & revel in it! Of course, it’s hard for us humans to do, but trying to stay grounded & focused on the here & now helps reduce our anxiety and stresses, which obviously improves our health!

3) Pets Can Get You Fit!

What better exercise is there than to play with your pet? I know my dog constantly keeps me active! One of his favorite activities is to play ball. He plays fetch so well & is relentless once he gets going! Pets (well, mainly pups) love to go for walks, & that is definitely not a bad thing! It keeps them in shape & us in shape!

4) Pets Give Unconditional Love

…And therefore, the fend off loneliness. It sounds ridiculous, but sometimes, pets are so much better company than people. For one, no matter what you do, or what your mood is, they will ALWAYS love you. Secondly, they will never EVER judge you, or turn their backs on you. They are the best little companions. Bonus!

5) Pets Make You Appreciate The Little Things 

Think about it, pets never take anything for granted. They totally depend on you to love them, take care of them, etc., all the while soaking up every ounce of life they possibly can. They (figuratively & literally) stop to smell the roses. I think that’s something we can all learn from, especially with our busy schedules.

Moral of the story: Stressed? Upset? Anxious? Go spend some time with your fur babies. And if you don’t have any, there’s nothing like a good trip to your local animal shelter….volunteer, give your time, allow yourselves to feel what they feel. I guarantee they will make your heart smile!

10 Things To Remember The Next Time You Feel Discouraged From a Mistake

Apr 22, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

Everyone makes mistakes; things that discourage them, and ultimately end up weighing on their minds. I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve made mistakes and just kept re-playing them over and over and over again. It gets so frustrating & it leaves you feeling stressed and upset. So, here’s 10 things to remember the next time you feel discouraged, or feel like you’ve messed up!


1) Everyone makes mistakes: Yep, it’s true. You’re not the only one. It’s hard to remember, but when you finally realize that you’re not the only one that has made a mess of a situation, you’ll find that comforting.

2) Let it go: Move on, stop beating yourself up about a mistake. For instance, you got a bad mark on a test you studied really hard for. Don’t sweat it. Let it go. Focus on doing better the next time. You can’t change it, so why stress?

3) Learn from your mistakes: Remember you don’t know it all. No one expects you to. Mistakes are stepping stones into a much greater learning experience. Sometimes we need mistakes in order to figure out who we are, and who we are to become.

4) Remember things could be worse: There’s always a silver lining in any situation. We may not see it at first, but we soon realize that what we think is so bad, really isn’t. It’s all about perspective.

5) Overreacting is normal: In fact it’s a habit. The first thing we do whenever we feel discouraged or embarrassed is to jump to conclusions, freak out and allow negative thoughts to consume our mind. Not cool.

6) Forgive yourself: The first step in the healing process is to forgive. Beating yourself up over things that didn’t go right, is exhausting and pathetic. Do you want to be pathetic? No you don’t. Kick that attitude out & realize that accidents happen….just deal.

7) Don’t sweat the small stuff: Okay, so ever hear that saying “Don’t sweat the petty things, and don’t pet the sweaty things”? No? Well now you have thanks to Steven Tyler from Aerosmith :D But, really, do not make a fuss over the little things. It’s just not worth it. Plus, if you can’t handle the little things, how are you going to be when the really big stuff comes?

8) Laugh: Laughter really is the best medicine. When I’m feeling blue, I put on one of my favorite shows & get my humor back! You should always go through life with three things: A wishbone, backbone & funny bone. (Thanks Reba McIntyre for that tidbit of wisdom)

9) If you can fix it, fix it: Sometimes our mistakes can’t be undone. That’s where the whole letting go & moving on thing comes in. However; on those rare occasions that they can be changed, do it. Don’t ignore it. If you can fix it, it will set you free…trust me. For example: said something wrong to a friend? Apologize. Fix it, don’t let that go & ruin something over nothing.

10) Never make the same mistake twice: Why? Because the next time you make it, it’s no longer a mistake…it’s a choice.

Easter: How Utica Makes Our Traditions Unique!

Apr 20, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

Tomorrow marks my favorite day of the year (no, not my birthday): Easter.

Even as a child, Easter has always meant more to me than just about the Easter bunny, chocolate, or candy. Don’t get me wrong: I always made sure I had fun, but I was raised to know that the holiday was about so much more.

I come from a wonderful family that have taught me so many special traditions during this time of year. To us, Easter is not just a day. It’s a season. Starting on Ash Wednesday and lasting until Easter Sunday, my family and I do various activities that showcase the true meaning of Easter.

Every Friday during Lent our Church holds Stations of the Cross.


My mom and I have gone for years and continue to go. This is something that I cherish greatly, and at times, have taken it for granted. Doing this together creates a special bond that only my mom and I can understand. I will always hold this close in my heart, and, when the time comes, will carry on with my children.

Once we enter Holy Week, our traditions are in full bloom. We begin by attending mass on Holy Thursday. Then on Good Friday, the cooking and baking begin. Since I come from an Italian and Polish heritage, the food is beyond delicious to say the least.

First my mom will begin making sausage pie. That’s an Italian tradition (my dad loves it!) Then, my mom will bake another Italian food, Easter Dolls. 


And, boy are they delicious! They are quite time consuming, but so fun to make. Each year, I watch my mom make them & attempt to help out as much as possible :)

After Good Friday liturgy, my family and color our eggs. (Hint: Forget the store bought stuff, food coloring works amazingly!)


Ever since I can remember, my grandparents always came back to our house to color eggs. Recently, my grandma taught me how to use beeswax to paint the eggs. That is totally a Polish custom, and trust me, they look beautiful when they’re completed! I’ll always thank my grandma for passing that on to me :)

Holy Saturday is by far my favorite day of Holy Week! My parents, grandparents and I all take our food to be blessed. That too, is a Polish custom. We head to Holy Trinity Church which is a beautiful, cathedral church in Utica.


Each year, we gather in the gymnasium at the school next door to the church to get the food blessed. People line up their baskets filled with various special foods and the Priest says a Prayer and blesses them with Holy Water.



After the blessing is done, we head inside the Church to sit in Prayer for a bit. Holy Trinity is truly unique – not only in its looks, but in its customs as well. Starting immediately after the Body of Christ is placed in the tomb, St. Michael’s Lancer’s stand guard until Easter Sunday morning when Christ is Resurrected. It truly is a beautiful and awe-inspiring sight.



After we say a few Prayers, my mom and I head to Chester’s Flower Shop in Utica. Now, this is neither a Polish or Italian custom, but it is so fun to do. If you’ve never been to Chester’s before, you must go – especially at Easter. They have the most beautiful flowers (my favorites being lilies and tulips!)  They also have some precious little duckies that are worth checking out too :)


We end the day with Holy Saturday Mass, which is so amazing. The blessing of the Holy Water, the blessing of the fire, it all is just so peaceful.

On Sunday, of course we start the morning with Easter Sunday Mass at our Church, St. Marks.



Starting Easter morning with mass, celebrating Jesus’ Resurrection is a great start to the day. There’s something about it that signifies new birth, new life and gives such a sense of hope. How can you not be happy and rejoice??

Of course, we end our holiday with a big, family dinner filled with foods of all sorts.



As I said, the sausage pie and Easter dolls are part of my Italian heritage. Kielbasa, the butter lamb, potato salad, rye bread, babka and beet soup are all part of the Polish heritage. Everything is so yummy. It’s like a second Thanksgiving for us!

I posted this to simply give you all an insight into some of the wonderful traditions that Utica has. I also posted this because I am so thankful for my family, and for the strong traditions that we hold. These things will always mean more to me than any material item and I will always follow them as I get older and eventually have my own family. Some people don’t hold onto traditions, and I honestly don’t know why. I think they really bring a family closer together.

So, what do you do to make your holiday special?