Christmas in New York

Christmas in New York City
This past weekend I paid a visit to my former stomping grounds: New York City. Christmas is my favorite time of year in New York. The city really does it up right. Festive window displays, ice skating rinks practically on every corner, the giant tree at Rockefeller Center, and my favorite: hot roasted nuts. The sticky sweet smell of the street cart vendors triggers waves of nostalgia every time. Although they’re not actually as good as they smell…

I try to visit the city every few years. This year I was able to squeeze in a combination of classic Christmas activities along with some new adventures. For part of the time I stayed in Brooklyn with my good friend Veronica and her fiancé Alex. Veronica and I met in Teach for America and actually co-taught our first year. They recently bought an apartment in Prospect Heights, so it was fun exploring their neighborhood. The rest of the time I spent in the city with my friend Nuni, whom I met in college while studying abroad in Turkey (so many stories there).
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The weather was freakishly warm this year. It was nice being able to stroll the streets without fear of frostbite, but at the same time it was a little weird to see the city without its usual layer of December snow.
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Christmas in New York City

I spent a lot of time in the lower portion of the city. I stumbled on the Christmas tree in Madison Square Park on my way to one of my favorite bookstores: Rizzoli.

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Christmas in New York City at New York Library

I’ve always loved the New York City Public Library. At Christmas the signature lions are all decked out for the season.

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Christmas in New York City

Nuni humored me and spent a day strolling the city visiting all the lights and storefronts. There is something magical about Christmas lights!

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Saks 5th Avenue New York City at Christmas

Saks 5th Avenue’s Winter Palace themed windows were stunning, but not as stunning as the light show they’re doing this year. Cops were blocking off the street to control the crowds. It felt like Disneyland.

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Christmas in New York City at Bryant Park

There are so many skating rinks in the city, but Bryant Park is still my favorite. The cute shops that surround it are fun to browse and it’s not nearly as crowded as Rockefeller Center.

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Whitney Museum Christmas in New York Frank Stella

Beyond the standard holiday activities, I also explored a couple new-to-me destinations. Since I left New York, the Whitney Museum has relocated to Chelsea in a gorgeous new building by the water. I stopped by to check out their Frank Stella exhibit which was incredible.

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Whitney Museum New York City at Christmas

The Whitney’s new building is also a work of art in itself. Everything from the outdoor vistas to the staircase were intentionally designed and just beautiful.

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Highline Park New York City Christmas Chelsea Market

I walked the expanded section of the High Line after grabbing a coffee from a new-to-me coffee roaster: Blue Bottle. Smiling in spite of the blisters on my feet. I should have known better than to bring new boots.

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brooklynlibrary

Veronica and I stopped by the Brooklyn Library for a quick visit. The entryway is majestic with its gold columns. I’m jealous this is where she checks out her books every week.

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Brooklyn Botanical Garden at Christmas

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden are nestled right on the edge of Prospect Park, one of Brooklyn’s most loved public parks. The gardens are free to visit on Saturdays before noon, so we took advantage of the weather and went for a stroll.

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Brooklyn Botanical Garden

The greenhouses at the gardens were great. I particularly enjoyed the display of bonsai trees. They’re so little and cute!

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Brooklyn Bridge New York City at Christmas

Of course I had to walk the Brooklyn Bridge before I left. Classic bridge shot.

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Mil and I will be taking the week between Christmas and New Year’s off, so this is our last post before 2016! Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you and your families. See you in the new year!
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XOXO,
Jules

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Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers

Only four days left until Christmas! I’m looking forward to a short work week, mainly because it will give me time to wrap up my holiday shopping (and finally put up my Christmas tree). Do you have everything checked off your list already? It’s especially easy to forget about stocking stuffers until the eleventh hour, so if you need a few last minute gift ideas, I’ve got your back.

Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers

1. This chocolate passport from Trader Joe’s is a no-brainer for anyone with a sweet tooth.

2. These faux fur earmuffs are an excellent gift for the person who cares equally about comfort and style.

3. This fabulous hot pink gem speaker would add a pop of color and whimsy to a desk or bookshelf.

4. Every girl on the go needs a pretty compact in her purse!

5. Earbuds are a practical gift for anyone, and these come in a rainbow of fun colors.

6. A carry-on cocktail kit instantly makes any plane ride a million times more bearable.

7. This brass squirrel has got to be the cutest bottle opener ever.

8. A minimalist handmade ring holder will be appreciated by anybody with a surplus of jewelry.

9. This fanciful trinket tray would look adorable on any bedside table.

10. NUXE’s famous dry oil is an everyday luxury, and their fancy limited edition is perfect for gifting.

11. A plaid hanging jewelry holder is a great pick for the trendy traveler.

12. This retro key tag is such a random gift, but that’s what stocking stuffers are for! (Bonus: it only costs $9.)

13. A duo of truffle salts is the perfect treat for your favorite foodie.

What are you hoping to find in your stocking this year?

♥ Mil

 

For more gift giving ideas, please peruse our other holiday gift guides:

Stationery Roundup: Funny Christmas Cards

So, it has been brought to my attention that Christmas is next week. How did that sneak up on me so quickly?! I honestly thought I had at least a couple of weeks left to prepare. This oversight means that I have not yet sent out my Christmas cards, which is a non-negotiable holiday tradition for me. If you’re as behind as I am, well, it’s your lucky day! I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite funny Christmas cards, perfect to break up the flow of monotonous nativity scenes (sorry, Jesus) and generic “Happy Holidays!” fare.

Elf Christmas Card

This one is an instant download! (via Pencils and Pallets)

 

Emily McDowell Christmas Card

The true joys of Christmas (via Emily McDowell Studio)

 

The Walking Dead Christmas Card

The perfect card for the Walking Dead fan (via Seas and Peas)

 

Need a few more ideas? I’ve got something for everyone, from the cat lover to the tv junkie to the liquor connoisseur.

Christmas Card Roundup

 

one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight / nine / ten / eleven / twelve

 
Do you send out holiday cards? Or am I the only one who’s still obsessed with snail mail?

♥ Mil

Holiday Gift Guide: the Baby Mama

Mil and I have reached that tipping point in life when it seems like all of your friends either have kids, are knocked up, or are trying to get knocked up. This year I have several young moms and moms-to-be to shop for. Since I’m already investing time into researching the perfect gifts, I thought I would share my efforts so others can reap the rewards.
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While my friends certainly don’t let their motherhood define them, I’ve found that their mindset about what they “need” and want has shifted to accommodate for their new role. These gifts are practical with enough flair to make her feel special (no diaper rash cream here).
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for the baby mama

1. Buluchu’s stylish and small crossbody bags are just big enough for a wallet, phone, and chapstick. While it won’t replace a tote or diaper bag, it’ll keep the essentials easily accessible and is hands-free.
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2. Delicious small batch cold brew is perfect for getting any mom through the late nights of round the clock feedings.
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3. Rifle’s beautifully illustrated children’s classics will not only stand the test of time, they’re guaranteed to dress up any bookshelf. She’ll feel good about pulling out these books at bedtime.
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4. These gold moccasins are a great gift for the pregnant mom (or any mom, or me…). They’re comforting to tired and swollen feet, but will bring some flare to her weekend wardrobe.
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5. I love Sonnet James’ dresses. They’re designed to be stylish but practical. They’re long enough for crawling on the floor with kiddos and can be tossed in the washing machine along with your t-shirts and jeans.
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6. A collar necklace is the perfect accessory for anyone with young kiddos at home. Nothing dangling to grab or get tangled up while on the go.
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7. When I’m an expecting mom, I hope someone buys me this book.
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8. Balancing taking care of yourself and your family can be tough. Blue Apron is a no fail gift for any mom. It makes putting a healthy dinner on the table a total breeze. No gift is better than the gift of feeling like you can do it all.
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9. My sister-in-law is pregnant and I want to send her a set of these specialty gelati, themed to satisfy the cravings of new and expecting moms.
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XOXO,
Jules
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For more gift giving ideas, please peruse our other holiday gift guides:

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