Saturday, December 30, 2017

17 things that 2017 taught me

2017 is coming to an end and I am starting to reflect on this year. First and foremost, I can say: I learned a lot. In 2017, I officially completed my Master's, got married, changed careers, moved from New York City to New Jersey, and hosted Thanksgiving for my parents for the first time. Honestly, this year has been one of my most difficult years of my life--from changing to careers to wedding stress to moving out of Manhattan--there were some definite lows. If anything, I see 2017 as a learning experience and growing period. Fingers crossed that 2018 is a little easier on myself and Joe!

Without further ado, here are the 17 things that 2017 taught me:
 1.  Love conquers all
2. Put yourself first, other people might not
3. Stay in your own lane
4. Although your wedding day is (hopefully) happy, it doesn't have to be the "best day ever"
5. Hard work pays off
6. Life isn't always fair
7. Invest your money and your time wisely
8. Perfection doesn't exist so start somewhere
9. Demand respect
10. It's ok to say no to things you don't want to do
11. Don't waste your time or energy on toxic people
12. People respect you more for being honest than being nice
13.  There is a lot you can learn for free
14. Don't underestimate the power of a good nap
15. Make time and set aside money for travel--it's worth every penny
16. Enjoy the little moments
17. Don't forget to laugh

What did you learn this year?

Friday, December 22, 2017

Last Minute Amazon Gift Guide

If you're anything like me and still have a little holiday shopping left to do, don't worry. Today is the last day to get FREE two-day shipping [if you're an Amazon Prime member]. If you plan to place an order over $35,  you can also get FREE one-day shipping [on most orders] with your membership. Score!

I've rounded up my top picks [sorted by price]. 

Best of luck with your last minute shopping!




What's on your Christmas list?

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Ultimate Christmas Spotify Playlist

With Christmas just days away, I'm blasting festive music every chance I get. I've created my ultimate playlist--from classics to pop hits.

I hope you enjoy! Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Top Ten Hallmark Christmas Movies

Cheesy Christmas movies are my favorite thing to watch this time of year. Last year I shared my top 10 Christmas movies on Netflix.

I've been watching far more made-for-tv movies than I'd like to admit. This year I've rounded up some of my favorites on the Hallmark channel.

1. Miss Christmas
Holly, dubbed "Miss Christmas", is in charge of finding the Chicago's Christmas tree every year. Desperate to find a tree this year, she follows up on a letter from a young boy who offers up a tree in his town.

2. The Sweetest Christmas
Struggling pastry chef, Kylie, has made it to the finals in a gingerbread competition but may be derailed by the love of her life.

3. Enchanted Christmas 
Laura, an interior designer, is sent to her hometown for a holiday project. She returns into her former love and dance partner and you can imagine what happens from there..

4. Christmas Festival of Ice
Emma is determined to keep her hometown's ice-sculpting contest going.

5. Christmas Cookies
Hannah is sent to a small town to buy a cookie company and shut down its factory. Things take a turn when she starts falling for the company's owner. 

6. The Mistletoe Promise
Out of a disdain for Christmas, two strangers make a pact to be a fake couple for the holidays to make life a little easier.

7. The Mistletoe Inn
Kim, an aspiring author, is dumped by soon-to-be novelist boyfriend and decides to go on a romance writing retreat in Vermont.

8. A Royal Christmas
When a prince wants to marry a humble seamstress, issues arise in the royal family.

9. A Christmas Detour
Two NYC bound travelers find themselves linked when a snowstorm moves their flight to an airport hotel in Buffalo.

10. Christmas Next Door
Eric, author of a bachelor lifestyle series, is left in charge of his niece and nephew for the holidays. He turns to a neighbor for help.

How many of these have you seen?! Any I should add to the list?

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Palace Hotel at Christmas

The Lotte Palace Hotel is one of my favorite spots at Christmastime. In my New York City christmas guide, I mentioned that hotel lobbies are the equivalent of house lights for New Yorkers. Their huge tree is stunning--Joe and I even took our holiday card photo there last year. 

Located just a few blocks away from the typical tourist spots, the Palace Hotel comes out of nowhere on Madison Avenue. The stunning tree and festive decorations make the Palace Hotel the most underrated destination for getting you in the Christmas spirit.

My absolute favorite view is on the stairs, behind the Christmas tree. The Palace Hotel is located across the street from the St. Patrick's Cathedral--there is a great view of the stained glass. I love to look at the Christmas trees framing the stained glass windows.

Every detail of the Palace Hotel is elegant. I'll continue to visit, at least once, each December. I highly recommend visiting this holiday season. 


Friday, December 8, 2017

Stocking Stuffer Gift Guide

The first week of December has come to an end. I still haven't done any Christmas shopping. I always tell myself I'll start earlier next year & it never happens. The easiest place to start is stocking stuffers

Here are my picks:

ONE // These little guys make all the difference in not dropping your phone and also, acting as a stand. I don't know what I did before I got a pop socket!

TWO // Nail polish is always the perfect little item to pop in a stocking

THREE // Literally the softest & coziest socks you'll ever own!

FOUR // Everyone loves gift cards.

FIVE // This is a great everyday winter essential to include.

SIX // These gummies are my absolute favorite. They are the perfect adult twist on candy.

SEVEN // The handy gift everyone will appreciate.

EIGHT // A little something to freshen up your car.

NINE // A classic stocking stuffer that everyone can use.

TEN // These little candles are so cute & would fit perfectly in a stocking!

What are your go-to stocking stuffers to pick up?

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Holiday Bucket List

    With the holidays upon us, it's time to maximize the fun and festive activities. I don't want to risk missing out so I've created a holiday bucket list.

    Take a peak at my holiday goals:
    • Decorate the tree
    • Bake Christmas cookies
    • Watch Hallmark Christmas Movies while sipping hot chocolate
    • Decorate my home with festive decor
    • Watch my favorite holiday movies
    • Bake cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning
    • Light winter inspired candles
    • Kiss under the mistletoe
    • Wrap presents
    • Cuddle by the fire
    • Stay in pajamas all day long
    • Send holiday cards to friends and family
    • Donate a gift to a holiday toy drive
    • Start a new tradition as a married couple
    • Make a Christmas craft
    • Drive around looking for Christmas lights
    • Check out all the festive window displays
    • Enjoy some time in the snow
    What's on your holiday bucket list?

    Monday, December 4, 2017

    The Ultimate New York City Christmas Guide

    There is no place like New York City during the holidays. 2017 marks my third Christmas season in New York. After exploring all the festive activities this city has to offer, I want to share some noteworthy spots to make your holiday season the best it can be.

    ALSO, I did a Christmas guide on YouTube last year with some of my favorites!

    Visit a winter market.

    Similar to German-style holiday markets, these are a fun way to get in the Christmas spirit in New York City. My favorite holiday market is in Union Square. They offer local goods and selections from the best eateries in town. If you visit on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday, you can also hit up the farmer's market. 

    Some other great winter markets are:
    ● Columbus Circle
    ● Bryant Park 
    ● Oculus 

    Watch a holiday show.

    Nothing is better than a Christmas show in the city. When my parents were visiting last weekend, we made it to all three of these delightful shows.

    My top recommendations are:
    ● The Nutcracker
    ● Sak's Fifth Avenue Light Show [free & spectacular!]

    Visit all of the trees. 

    All of the tree lightings have happened this season [they are usually within the week after Thanksgiving]. They are all stunning and worth visiting.

    The most notable trees:
    ● New York Stock Exchange

    Enjoy some lights.

    As a New York transplant, I've learned that hotel lobbies and window displays are the equivalent of driving around looking at Christmas lights. There are some incredible displays this year. 

    My favorite window displays:
    ● Bergdorf Goodman [windows representing different New York City organizations]
    ● Lord & Taylor 
    ● Sak's Fifth Avenue [Disney themed this year]
    ● Tiffany & Co.
    ● Cartier
     ● Macy's

    The best hotel lobbies/trees:
    ● Lotte Palace [their tree is fashion blogger's paradise for Instagram photos]
    ● The Peninsula 
    ● Waldorf Astoria
    ● The Plaza

    Indulge in holiday activities. 

    New York City has a number of different holiday-related exhibitions and activities--perfect for getting you in the Christmas spirit.

    My favorite activities:
    ● NYBG Holiday Train Show
    ● Rockefeller Center Ice Skating
    ● Bryant Park Ice Rink [free admission]
    ● Christmas display at The Met

    Feast on festive food.

    Festive restaurants are always up my alley. Take a peak at some of my favorite options.

    My favorites are:
    -Park Avenue Winter [they change up their menu each season]
    -Baita [Eataly's rooftop restaurant]

    Have a wonderful holiday season!

    What are your favorite things to do during the holidays in New York City?

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