Category Archives: Beach

Kissing Seahorses!

As much as I love fall, I am still hanging on to every last drop of the end of summer 2012. In honor of all of my newlywed friends, I have new personalized prints for sale in my Etsy shop, and new products available in my Society6 shop (including iPhone 4, 4S, and new iPhone 5 cases!).

You can commemorate a special occasion with personalized names and dates.

Or maybe you just want to have some seahorses on your hoodie.

Perfect for a beach or nautical-themed wedding…..or just for someone who loves seahorses as much as I do. 😉

A Birthday Post! And The Balance Artist Links

Not only is tomorrow Coop’s Big 3-0….but today is my blogging anniversary! TBA hasn’t been around that long (since April!), but my original blog, Sam Bock Illustration & Design, began this day, last year.

(Any readers remember this?)

Happy Birthday, Coop!

This past weekend, I surprised Mr. I-Don’t-Want-a-Party-Grumpy-Gus with a room at Windrift in Avalon.

(Photo via

We fell in love with it Memorial Day weekend when we first saw the renovations, and I knew we had to stay there! Had to do something special…thirty is a big deal!

I made the two of us some veggie-filled pitas and some smoothies to get some last-minute nutrition, and we headed down to the good ol’ Jersey shore early Friday afternoon.

It was a really great weekend full of friends and surprises. Started off with discovering our sweet room view (right over the pool!) and cracking open some Malbec after hunting for a wine opener.

We ate lots of great food (wood-fired pizza, sushi, oysters, Bang Bang Shrimp, etc. from Windrift are all Sam & Coop-approved), and my sister Allie and her boyfriend Oscar came for the first night.

Shenanigans ensued.

Gosh, I love them.

Saturday was a hot one, but our friend Norty met us after the four of us had brunch on the deck and we beached it for hours until we took it to the pool.

(Photo via

(Photo via

It was so convenient having our meals at the hotel, and we actually didn’t make it out to any other bars at all in Avalon this time. We had too much fun and never left! Saturday night, a bunch of our friends from Ocean City came to surprise Coop, and we ended up hardly leaving our small suite…we had the best time!

Sunday was reggae happy hour at the Golden Inn next door, where we met the CUTEST basset hound/black lab puppy named Sadie and Coop sat in for one of our favorite reggae bands, The Raggamuffins!

My rockstar can play chill reggae, too! It was a very different “shore weekend” for us, but it was so much fun! Already can’t wait to go back to WD. If you are ever a Jersey shore-goer, definitely check it out. It is our absolute favorite!

Happy Birthday, Blog!

I also wanted to implement a new little aspect to my blog, since it IS my blogging birthday!

Called “TBA Links,” I will link up four links of possible interest at the bottom of posts. Since my posts tend to be lifestyle-related on a regular basis, I figured these links will help me stay true to my original intent for my blog…balancing my life of art, food, fitness, and fun.

One for each section of the heart and soul of TBA: Art, Food, Fitness, & Just for Fun. Here are my first TBA Links!

  • Are you a big birthday-celebrator?
  • Have you found any great links lately?

"Will Run for Beer"


Hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving weekend! Get ready for a big recap of mine.

My weekend started off Wednesday night…after a 40 minute treadmill workout including Tabata intervals, incline walking, and jogging, and all I could think about doing was lying on my couch, cuddled up with some beers and American Horror Story. And that is what we did on the biggest bar night of the year. Soooo cool, right?

Coop and I continued our beer taste-testing with these guys:

Black Sheep’s Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale

This one was a little bitter for me…I think the aroma carried over into the taste, which made it taste more bitter than it actually was, maybe? Sweet at first sip, and then that bitter aftertaste. It was totally drinkable, don’t get me wrong, but probably my least favorite of the bunch. Exhibit A of buying a product due to the label. I’m a marketer’s dream.

Blue Point’s Toasted Lager

This one was tasted right after the Holy Grail Ale, and I liked it much better. Easy to drink and smooth, I loved the flavor of this one. The description on Blue Point’s site: “Copper in color, our most popular and unique brew is made from six different malts, including English Pale, Crystal, Munich, Carapils, Wheat, and Belgian Caravienna. Toasted Lager’s balanced flavor of malt and hops makes for easy drinking and the special lager yeast we use produces an exceptional, long-lasting smooth finish.”

Magic Hat’s hI.P.A (Fall I.P.A on Tour)

I like MH’s Encore (the Winter I.P.A on Tour) better, probably because it is a wheat I.P.A (and I LOVE wheat beers), but this one is great, too. Coop loves I.P.A’s and especially loved this one. Hoppy hopperoo. Love the artwork.

Thanksgiving in Baltimore was a great one, as usual. The food was out of this world, the wine was delicious, and the company was the best. Only picture I have of the food? My sister’s Oreo mousse that she stuffed her chocolate cupcakes with. Um, I imagine this is what a crack addiction is like. Oscar and I were eating this stuff by the spoon-and bowl?-ful, every time we opened the fridge and saw the huge container of it staring at us. Thanks for making a humungo batch of the mousse, little sister.

(Those may or may not be finger-dips you see in there…)

On Friday, my dad and I went to the Flyers game to watch another amazing game. I have officially decided I want a Giroux Winter Classic jersey. I love lace-top jerseys!


He was the Player of the Game….aaaand glad to see his Movember ‘stache is still in full force.

We went up to the Cadillac Grille during the first intermission/second period with my dad’s best friend, and Dad and I each enjoyed a Victory HopDevil while listening to live jazz and checking out great views of the city.

I have never been to the Grille during the day, and while I love the classy atmosphere mixed with the gorgeous city lights at night, it was cool to see it in daylight. Gorgeous day for November…I fear that this is the calm before the storm (aka East Coast Winter Hell).

One thing I love about Philly is how their sports complex houses three major stadiums…the Lincoln Financial Field (Eagles), Citizen’s Bank Park (Phillies), and the Wells Fargo Center (Flyers and Sixers) are all right there.

We enjoyed gazing at all the cars we will never be able to own, obviously the players’ parking lot.

While I avoided the crowds and took a much-needed yoga class with one of my favorite instructors and went to the hockey game on Black Friday, I did take advantage of the online sales….I got a sparkly dress for New Year’s Eve, a new Lululemon tank (no sale, but free shipping as always), and I have been eyeing a few cameras for some time now. I wanted something pretty compact; smaller than my DSLR, but better than my sand-riddled Nikon point-and-shoot. Since I am no professional and don’t remember much from my college photography class days, I settled on a Sony Nex-5. I had heard, and seen, good things, and decided it was a better value, and probably better camera, than the super-cute Nikon1 I had been lusting over. So Best Buy, thanks for the sweeeet deal on my new Nex-5 (with two lenses, a memory card, an external flash, AND a case).

Still learning the ins and outs of it, but I took it for a couple test runs this weekend, and I was pleased!

Saturday morning, I woke up and headed to the gym for another 2+ hour BodyCombat/BodyPump challenge. And the instructors put us to work! It got to the point where they had to open the gym doors and were taking bets on who would throw up first, including them, ha! It was super intense and I loved it, but I knew I would be sore after. And….I am. Hi, delayed onset muscle soreness.

Coop’s band had a show that night, so after picking up my new camera in Delaware (no tax….waddup!!!) I headed up to Philly. We got there early, posted at the bar, ordered the Crab Cheddar Mac and Cheese, and I had a local Yards Brawler (can you tell lots of beer was consumed this weekend? Sheesh…those “Will run for beer” shirts may be made for me) while we watched Stevie Wonder and Simon & Garfunkel live concerts on the TVs.

Biggest chunks of crab EVER! And lots of Old Bay

The show was over pretty early, so we were able to go out to meet up with some people from the shore house afterwards. Jolly’s Piano Bar and Locust Rendezvous, not sure you were quite ready for the House House. < the 2011 Avalon house nickname

Address blacked out…safety first!

We haven’t seen most of the crew since the summer, so it was great to see everyone! And we missed everyone that wasn’t there. It ended up being a later night than planned, but we had a great time, obviously. (Thanks for the pics, Mur!)

Oh, summer. <3

Started off the day with the best Buffalo Chicken ‘za in the world (since we got there too late last night and were still craving it in the morning). Breakfast of champions. I’m obsessed with Soho Pizza (another go-to spot of ours), and it was even nice enough to sit outside!

And my little surprise I mentioned last week?

Merry early Christmas, Coop.

After pizza, we took the subway to Broad Street for some tailgate action. My Philadelphia-living cohort is actually from New Hampshire and is a Patriots fan (the horror!!). I thought it would be a fun thing for us to do since the Pats don’t come here often and he had only seen them in action during a preseason game a few years ago. A little healthy competition, Him vs. Her….and yet of course, knowing my Eagles, I didn’t expect a big win (good thing…we didn’t get one). It was still a really fun game to go to, our seats were amazing, and I even enjoyed watching my fellow Arizona alum Gronk continue to kick ass and take names with Tom Brady.

We also got to meet up with a couple other Avalon friends at the game! Missed you guys!!!

Anyone partaking in Cyber Monday today? Seems like all the sites started Black Friday early this year and run sales through today. I did get a couple BIC Bands today. I have been wanting to try them forEVER and finally bought the Gunmetal and Teal sparkly bands…one may be for a gift.  😉

They apparently stay in place through everything, and my crazy floppy hair needs that for Combat, Zumba, yoga, running, etc. AND they are cute, AND they donate proceeds to a different charity every month. They are offering free shipping today and a special gift with a $50+ purchase, so if you are already a fan or have been wanting to try these babies like me, get ’em now! Looks like a bunch of colors are back in stock.

Tonight I will be ordering my first round of Christmas cards and gift tags (did you notice the one up above?) and I will post the image of the 2011 card I have finished soon.

WOO, that was another loooong post. I give you props if you’re still with me here.

Have a good week! xoxox

Give Me Everything Tonight


I was excited for BodyCombat 48 release yesterday. The sixth track was alllllll kicks. Oh my goodness. And the core and pushups conditioning at the end was absolutely killer. I did BodyFlow after and had a tough time through the ab track after doing Combat’s. Here is the tracklist for Release 48:

1a: In My Head (Kris McTwain Remix Edit) – Henry Blank
1b: Airplanes (Kris McTwain Remix Edit) – Groove Chasers
2: Smooth Criminal – Badlands Inc
3: We Dance On – Subz Project
4: Come In Hard (Don’t Like Rock ‘N’ Roll) – Hardknox
5: If I Were You – Breeze & Ritmen
6: Drummer Boy (MoDrums Remix) – Alesha Dixon
7: The Last Fight – Bullet For My Valentine
8: Everywhere (Breeze & UFO Remix) – Master Blaster
9: The Time (Dirty Bit) – Red Beans & Rice
10: The Silence (New Single Mix) – Alexandra Burke

Sad I am missing the new BodyFlow launch tomorrow…but the plans I have instead pretty much make up for it. 

A night in Philly and the Flyers game? Worth it. So happy hockey season is BACK (well, preseason)! And hopefully my boys will look better than they did last Wednesday when I went…yeesh. At least Chickie’s and Pete’s crab fries and beer made the loss a little more tolerable. 


We lost the core of our team and it’ll be interesting to watch all the newbies get used to playing together. Although I gotta say….new goalie? Did not look so hot on Wednesday. Hope you were worth it all, Bryz.


So uh…finally ready for a new drawing??

Still putting some little touches on the sand and the background in general, but here you have it. Some things bug me about it here and there, but it is just a drawing for fun, so I am not going to do much more to it.

Avalon seagulls (they are snack thieves), inspired by my beachy East Coast summer.

Thanks to this guy, I made lots of awesome new friends during the summer of 2011. Thanks, guys, for letting me be a part of your beach house (cough, cough, freeload, cough). Love you all!

It was definitely a summer to remember….perhaps my best yet.

Rehobeth dates with my Boston BFF
And South Jerz dates
My 24th birthday
And celebrating Grandma’s 75th
One of my very best friends got married!!!
So we danced….
…a LOT.
Avalon Sunday Fundays
Dewey Beach nights
Reading The Help while drinking Bloody Marys
Becoming friends with our regular waitress at Tonio’s
My very first White Brier Happy Hour (please ignore the atrocious state of my hair here)
And my first Tour de Shore at Golden Inn!

So many great times.

And these two songs will forever have Summer 2011 emblazoned in my mind:

Long live shufflin’.

So long, sweet summer. 

Already counting the days until spring. Until then, I will be freezing my tuchus off and reminiscing about my days in Arizona and Nevada and California. 
(Although I will see you in MARCH, Vegas!!!!)

BodyPump again tonight, first time doing it twice in a week. Yikes! (Perhaps I just want to hear that Tiesto song again.)