About Monica

I’m Monica—truly a planner at heart! On this website, I’ll be bringing you along for the ride.  Whether it’s my Frugal Fannie life, family activities in my region, family road trips, couples getaways, or timeshare traveling, I’ll be sharing my plans with ya’ll!   Feel free to reach out at [email protected]. I promise I don’t bite, and I love to hear from readers. No question or too small or silly! 

I’m a Tri-State area transplant (Virginia Native & Rutgers Alumni now living in New Jersey). I’m always amazed at the endless amount of things to do in this region. While new things get built in our area all the time, there are still so many “old” activities I discover that are “new” to me even though I’ve lived in New Jersey now for 15 years! 

Here at Planner At Heart, I’ll bring my planning love for both local adventures around the New Jersey/New York/Pennsylvania region and to fellow timeshare owners wherever you may be! I’m a lover of travel and vacations whether it’s in our region or across the world.  It all started when I spent 8 weeks in high school traveling Europe singing American songs with my best friend in the American Music Abroad program.  I babysat every Saturday night for a year to help pay for the trip, and it was totally worth it! Now’s that a teenager’s lesson in personal finance!  

The Inspiration for this Blog

Fifteen years ago, we bought a timeshare in The Catskills – –  a mostly undeveloped mountain and forest area rich with hiking,  skiing, and This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is hunter-walk-767x1024.jpghistory close to several major cities in the Northeast. If you’ve watched “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” you know what I’m talking about.  We’ve enjoyed almost 50 trips to The Catskills skiing, hiking, and eating with our friends over the years. However, once we added our little kids to the mix, it was surprisingly difficult to locate little kids’ activities in The Catskills. The amount of time it took to pull together vacation activity ideas for them from various family sources’ was pretty shocking! Four years ago, I proclaimed I should write a blog to make this easier for others, but alas, better late than never, right?

About 4 years ago, we rejoined the leading Timeshare Exchange network to exchange weeks from our Catskills timeshare for vacations at other timeshare resorts. Holy moly, was there a super steep learning curve to get your head around this world! The information one needs to be successful is spaced out ALL over the place –  Facebook groups, forums, YouTube, etc. One of the key pieces I learned was Timeshare Exchanging favors those who plan in advance! A natural match was made for Planner at Heart!

What do you guys do there?

If I had a dollar for every time I got asked this question about our trips and adventures, I’d have a private chef! We tend to go on trips to places less traveled or take a slightly different approach to popular destinations, so I get why people ask. Maybe it’s something about living in a densely populated area with two young (screaming) kids, but we do favor quiet couple’s getaways at smaller resorts and vacations with a twist.

Plans From the Heart

Here at Planner at Heart, you’ll get my trip plans (STAY, DO, EAT) because not everyone likes to plan or has the time to! Or maybe you’re looking for everyday activities to fill school breaks that don’t break the bank so you can go on the awesome vaca!  I used to shop at a store called Frugal Fannie’s in Virginia, and now it’s one of my nicknames because I love me some deals and free activities.

You’ll also see two special sections on the blog devoted to Timeshare Vacations with all its beauty and quirks! If you’re not a timeshare owner, I’ll teach you tips, tricks, and places to score epic travel deals with timeshare rentals. As a timeshare owner of 15 years, I’ve created a section giving owner-to-owner free tutorials on using the leading timeshare trading exchange network PLUS my tips, tricks, and secrets to do this successfully! I’m like your ‘Timeshare Fairy Godmother.’  Here you’ll also find  Timeshare Vacation inspiration via free exclusive guides such as “See 70% of U.S. National Parks at RCI Properties.”

I’m been asked if I am employed by the companies I talk about in my articles.  I’m just a regular person with a blog sharing things from my own life, trying to help others!  That’s it 😉  I’ve shared a lot of these plans, ideas and advice with my family, friends and neighbors and I’m excited to share them with all of you here and on Google Web Stories. I look forward to hearing from you and the adventures you love! Leave a comment, question or challenge you’re having below.⇓


2 thoughts on “About Monica”

  1. Hello!!!! Me and my husband bought a time share with Westgate Smoky Mountains, and u need some help on how to get stared. Could you help?

    • Skyler,
      That’s exactly what I’m here for! Do you want help using your home resort or trading it via a exchange company? Either way, I’d start at my Timeshare 101 Tutorial, which has a template email of questions to ask your members ownership representative at your resort to get all the information to get started. It can be found here: Timeshare 101Timeshare 101 Second, I would recommend joining an online group of owners at your resort to understand your resort, as they are each different. I found one for yours and it looks like they discuss tips and info to maximize your ownership. Here’s the link Hope this helps get ya started! PS – Can’t wait to bring my family to The Smoky Mountains. I went on a trip to Gatlinburg in High School!

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