Monday, January 30, 2012

New York City at Christmas Time

Wow, it's already been over a month ago since we went to NYC.  I've been meaning to do a re-cap on our trip, so here it is...finally!!  For starters, we had an absolutely amazing time in New York.  It was the first time for both Jeff and I to visit the city, and it was everything I imagined it would be...and so much more!  It was so fun to escape together and explore the city.  I already can't wait to go back as there are just so many more things to see and do.  I think we absolutely squeezed in as much as possible though!  We literally were like two kids on Christmas excited to explore the city!!

We stayed in Times Square, so right after gettting settled in at the hotel, we immediately took off to see the nearby sights.  My mom has a puzzle of Radio City Music Hall that we used to put together around the holidays, so this was a sight that held special meaning to me.
And of course, I am obsessed with the movie Home Alone, and I felt like I was in the movies when we walked up to THE TREE.  I was in awe!!

We kept walking around the theatre district until closer to showtime as we had tickets to Wicked. WOW! It was so much fun, and it was magical to actually see a performance on Broadway.  I had expected that I would love it, but I was so surprised and happy to see that Jeff really enjoyed the show as well. Such a great story and the talent is just truly amazing! 

We visited the Top of the Rock to see the views of NYC and to finally see the Empire State Building, Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty although from afar.  It still was so surreal to actually be there in person.  I'm so grateful that we got the opportunity to go on this trip (very thankful for Jeff having to work for a couple of days there! ;) )

We did a tour of the NBC studios, which was really fun. It's not too long, but it was interesting to see a glimpse of behind the scenes.  We got to see the sets of Dr.Oz, Jimmy Fallon, and SNL.  It's really fascinating of how the production of SNL takes place and how they have to time everything so precisely. 

We went for a short stroll through Central Park.  The small bridges throughout the park were so beautiful.

We did end up making it to Soho and actually caught a little Christmas parade going through the streets.  We stopped and watched for a bit to see the floats by local businesses and to watch the kids excitement.  It was super cute.  We then made our way to Chelsea Market as it became dark and got colder.  I didn't really know what to expect, but I was really impressed with the market.  The shops and stores were adorable, the whole look was a mix of inustrial and shabby chic, and I just loved it.  We were amazed at the Lobster market that had every possible type of seafood for sale or so it seemed.  Jeff and I agreed that if we lived in Manhattan, we would make it a point to come once a month to buy something nice and treat ourselves to all of the fresh food to make a nice dinner! The Italian grocery was amazing as well. (I'll have to do another post on our food in NYC! If I start talking about the amazing food....)

This was the view outside of our room!  It would be a perfect view to watch the ball drop on New Year's.  If you looked straight down you could watch all of the people walking around Times Square.  It was just as busy at all times of the day as people said.  Crazy!!

One of the highlights at Christmas time is seeing all of the store fronts with their elaborate windows.  I was impressed by many but I must say some of the window displays were quite interesting and had unexpected twists.  I guess they have to keep people's interest!
We visited the 9/11 memorial, which makes all sorts of emotions flood through you.  If you haven't been, there are two big square waterfalls built where the old towers were with the names of those lost written on the sides.  (You can see the ice in the pic below as the water fell to the next level down.)
We were glad that we were there right at dusk because as we were leaving, the new towers that are still under construction are lit up with alternating lights of red, white and blue on different floors.  Seeing the lights, with the NYPD police car and the flag flying was an amazing and heart-touching sight.

Oh and look who we ran into sporting a convertible outside of The of course we had to snap a pic with him!!
Hope you enjoyed NYC through my pictures and ramblings!  That's all till next time....


Living Room Makeover - Moodboards

Hope all of you had a wonderful weekend.  I've started shopping for the living room makeover (remember I talked about it here).  I'm really excited to get started.  Here's a peek at a couple of items...

taken at Target

from Etsy

Jessie at Mix and Chic did a post about the process we went through to come up with the new look for my living room.  She posted pictures of how my living room looked before (well back in October since that's the most up-to-date pictures I had at the time), and she talks through her ideas and my choices.  Then she reveals the final moodboards she created for me to use as I update my living room! Go check it out by clicking HERE!

Mix and Chic

I'm looking forward to sharing more with you soon!


Friday, January 27, 2012

GOLD on the brain

Speaking of GOLD, here is some gold jewelry that I've been loving, and you know wouldn't mind wearing... I mean if I had to! :)


Happy Friday!!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Touches of Gold

I have some really REALLY fun news to share...I won a giveaway right before Christmas from Jessie at Mix and Chic for an e-design.  Super exciting, right?! I chose to get help with my living room, so I've been working with Jessie to come up with ways to add more color, patterns and style to the room.  She's been wonderful to work with, and it's been so fun!  She has completed her final moodboards for the area, and of course I'll be sharing all of the changes and additions to the room right here on my blog!  I'm ready to get started on the room as soon as I can.  Thanks again to Jessie for this awesome experience!!! 

When Jessie was putting the final touches and accessories on the moodboards, she suggested that adding gold would be the perfect way to finish off the room and add some sophistication.  I could not agree more.

On that note, here are some great rooms that have the perfect touches of gold in my opinion (all pictures found through pinterest).

If you would love adding your own touches of gold to your home decor, you HAVE to go check out this fabulous mirror from Peru at A DOSE OF PRETTY and enter for your chance to win it. 

I think it's absolutely gorgeous, and it's so generous of her to want to share it with one of us.

Looking forward to sharing more of my living room makeover with all of you very soon!


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Camera Bag

I finally got an amazing camera for my birthday in August, and it's already been so much fun to use!!  I however have the standard black camera bag, but it would be fun instead to carry my camera in something more like this.....

Isn't it a fantastic bag??  CLICK HERE to go to the COLOR ISSUE to enter a giveaway for a chance to win this beauty!!!


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Christmas Recap

Yes, yes I know Christmas was two weeks ago, but seriously until yesterday it still looked like we just had Christmas morning at our house.  There were still presents and unwrapped boxes stacked around the living room, and all of our Christmas decorations are still up.  I'm starting to go through the presents and clean up in general, but I'm not going to lie, I'm okay with our decorations being up for a bit.  It seems like there's always a rush before the holidays and then it's all over too quickly, so I'm kind of liking being home this weekend and getting to enjoy the tree still lit and just taking it all in!

We did have a wonderful Christmas this year!  We hosted my sister and her family and my mom and step-dad at our house.  It was so much fun getting excited with the kiddos that Santa would be visiting our house! Here's a recap through pictures (yes, get ready there are quite a few).

To prepare for the little ones being at our house for Christmas, I used the space inside our armoire to make a s'mores station, along with Christmas books and coloring books to keep the kids busy when needed.  ;)

I also added a couple of touches of Christmas in our master bathroom to make it fun for bubble baths!
Our Visit to the Galleria on Christmas Eve Day:
Ice Skating around the big tree.
She was starting to get the hang of it!! :)

       Me with my mom and one of my beautiful nieces.     
The pretty girls in front of the beautiful decorations!

My oldest niece helped me set the table for our dinner.  We made shrimp and crab gumbo, which is a staple for our Christmas Eve Dinner. 

We baked cookies for Santa and some just for us to decorate and eat of course!

Me with my sweet husband.

and one of my favorite pictures....the youngest fell asleep on the top of a couch cushion after too much fun!

It really truly is the most wonderful time of the year, and I'm already looking forward to next year.


Christmas Traditions

Jeff and I started our own Christmas traditions while we were dating.  For our first Christmas together, I still lived in an apartment but always had to have a Christmas tree - and a big one at that - no skimping on trees allowed!  So Jeff went with me to pick one out and help me carry it back to my apartment.  We made dinner together, which was his mom's recipe for Chicken and Dumplings and are so delicious.  Then we listened to Christmas music and decorated the tree.  Four years later and that's what we still do every year!  Here's our Christmas tree this year:

and this is how I wrapped our presents this year from pictures inspired by pinterest of course!

Another tradition that we started was collecting ornaments from each place that we traveled to so that when we decorate the tree, we can look back on the wonderful memories of our vacations together.  It's so fun to have a tree with ornaments that hold such special meaning to us!

New Orleans & Ouray, Colorado

Las Vegas & Jeffersonville (went to Louisville too on that trip!)

On our honeymoon in Zihuatenejo, Mexico, we picked up this cross at the market since I couldn't find an ornament, and I just put a ribbon through the hole to hang it.  It's one of my favorites!  The palm tree is from Belize.

We are also going to pretend like there is one from Chicago right here, deal?  I never got one on our trip, and I need to find one that I love so I can order it. 

...and our newest addition!!  New York City!!

I love that we already have our own special traditions to celebrate Christmas!!

Merry  Belated Christmas to all of you!!