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2018 CHRISTMAS CARDS AND HOLIDAY PARTY INVITES

The Steele Maiden: Holiday Party Invitations with Basic Invite

Can you believe the holiday season is here?!? I’m still trying to wrap my head around it honestly, but choosing to embrace it regardless. Especially holiday party season. Our old apartment was not at all conducive to having friends or family over, but now that we’re in a different space that really lends itself to entertaining, I knew I wanted to get my act together enough to host a little holiday cocktail hour this season! This time of year always sneaks up on me, so I was thrilled when Basic Invite (an online resource with over 500 Christmas card and holiday party invitation options) reached out to give me the nudge to print my invites early.

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LET’S CATCH UP 11.8.18

The Steele Maiden: Floral Skirt and Over the Knee Boots

What a week! I always forget how incredibly hectic November feels (it’s the busiest month of my year at my job) plus lots of holiday prep in this corner of the internet and some exciting home projects. All good things in the end, but busy nonetheless. Amidst the madness I wanted to pop on here and share a few things on my mind.

  1. First things first, I hope you all exercised your right to vote this past week. I for one am excited to see that there were a lot of “firsts” this mid-term (first Native American women in Congress, first openly gay man elected as Governor in Colorado, Tennessee’s first female Governor and South Dakota’s first female Senator – the list goes on here). Representation matters and this is a step in the right direction.
  2. I’ve been using Elemis skincare for a couple of years now and stand-by my opinion that they offer some of the very best moisturizers and serums on the market. Their Friends & Family sale starts tomorrow (20% off with code: FF2018 at checkout) and I’m going to be scooping up their Superfood Day Cream and Superfood Night Cream.
  3. As I mentioned, I’ve got a couple of really exciting home updates in the works (follow #steelemaidenathome to see more). I’ve been busy pinning inspiration on Pinterest and swooning over everything at Anthropologie. They’ve got a 20% off sale on their home section this weekend and I’m eyeing these: 
  4. My friend Jen of Skirt the Rules wore this same floral skirt and a similar over the knee boot situation on her blog here – but her Fall foliage totally tops mine!
  5. A couple of you asked for the Apple Cider Margarita recipe that I’ve been whipping up lately. Super easy. Shake 2 oz. of tequila, 1 oz. lime juice, 1 oz. agave syrup and 8 oz. apple cider. Serve over ice and (if you’re feeling fancy!) garnish with an apple wedge or line your glass with a cinnamon sugar rim. Cheers!
  6. The Steele Maiden: Floral Skirt and Over the Knee Boots
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A TRAVEL GUIDE TO UPSTATE, NEW YORK

The Steele Maiden: Travel Guide to Upstate New York

This October, Adam and I finally decided to go find out what New Yorkers rave about every Fall: Upstate. The results? We’re hooked. Just a 2 1/2 hour drive from our city stoop you get a much needed escape into nature (hellooo foliage) and small town charm that’s very reminiscent of New England this time of year. Plus, (thankfully) still delicious food and drink. In short, we’ll definitely be back. Below, my greatest hits from the trip and what I already can’t wait to try on our next trip.

GETTING THERE:

Most places in the Hudson Valley are about a 2-3 hour drive from New York City making it the perfect weekend (or mid-week!) escape. We hopped from town to town (Windham, Woodstock, Phoenicia, Saugerties, Germantown and Hudson) throughout our stay and most of them are about a 30 minute drive apart.

The Steele Maiden: Travel Guide to Upstate New York

WHERE TO STAY:

We stayed at Eastwind Hotel & Bar and while it was our first trip upstate, I honestly can’t imagine staying anywhere else. I’ve mentioned before that I like to stay places that feel really unique to the area and with it’s rustic, mountain charm meets cool mid-century design the Eastwind embodied how the Catskills felt to me. The common area boasted a wood-burning fireplace, vintage board games and the quaintest little bar, the property had a wooden sauna, badminton on the lawn and shared fire pit for guests at night and the rooms were swoon-worthy in every corner. We stayed in one of the King rooms, but you can also stay in a tiny A-frame cabin that offers the chance to wake up to mountain views. The whole place is honestly just gorgeous and felt really welcoming. I can’t wait to go back up when it’s all blanketed in snow this winter (ps. they’re even putting in a hot tub soon that’s going to set the whole cozy level over the top).

The Steele Maiden: Travel Guide to Upstate New York The Steele Maiden: Travel Guide to Upstate New York The Steele Maiden: Travel Guide to Upstate New York The Steele Maiden: Travel Guide to Upstate New York

WHAT TO DO:

The joy of escaping the city and surrounding yourself with nature is that you can really just slow down. So if you want to simply sit and play games in front of a fire at the Eastwind with mountain views out the window, you should do just that. But if you want to do some exploring, there’s plenty to keep you entertained.

Go Leaf Peeping – There’s plenty of paths throughout the Catskills that are going to offer sweeping views and great hikes – but if you want to take a little shortcut, Hudson Mountain uses their ski lifts in the off season to take you on a leaf peeping ride straight to the top (runs weekend’s only through mid-October). Or simply take a scenic drive – we loved the Five State Overlook in East Windham.

The Steele Maiden: Travel Guide to Upstate New York

Shop Small – Hudson, Woodstock and Saugerties all have endlessly cute little main streets (although Woodstock’s comes with a predictable amount of tie-dye t-shirt shops). I loved the selection of mid-century housewares at Vintage Modern on Tinker Street in Woodstock.

Saugerties Lighthouse – A short little hike out to this lighthouse for pretty views on the Hudson. Don’t forget to check the tides though, you won’t want to get stuck out there with rising waters.

The Steele Maiden: Travel Guide to Upstate New York

Buy a Book – You all know I love a good independent book shop and when we travel I almost always seek one out so I can pick up a book as a souvenir. There was not one but two great shops on this trip: Spotty Dog in Hudson which is magically both a bar and a bookstore and truly like the place of my dreams. And Inquiring Minds in Saugerties which also has a cute little cafe in the back, areas for reading and a record section.

Visit a Local Farm – We didn’t have time to make any stops but I’ve heard good things about Fishkill or Greig Farms.

The Steele Maiden: Travel Guide to Upstate New York

WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK:

The joy of eating and drinking in Hudson is that many places were started by New Yorkers – meaning the food and drink holds up to our impossibly high standards of deliciousness here in the city. So you get to escape into nature.. but still eat like you’re in the city. Win, win.

Cucina Woodstock – Set in a beautiful old manor house with a sweeping wrap around porch, dinner here feels instantly romantic.

Suarez Family Brewery – Between Hudson and Germantown this small craft beer brewery is a great little stop off with a few beers on tap and plenty of tables for hanging out. Give a pat to the cute shop dog for me if you go, we were fast friends.

Phoenicia Diner – Kind of iconic at this point, it’s basically like if the East Village went upstate. A hipster-haven/old school diner that served up solid food (the potatoes and pancakes were our favorite).

The Steele Maiden: Travel Guide to Upstate New York

Shindig – Great little lunch spot in Woodstock on Tinker Street.

Miss Lucy’s Kitchen – Maybe our favorite meal of the trip this tiny little spot in Saugerties feels like home cooking.. but elevated. Make a reservation or come early – on a Friday night we got lucky and squeezed in as the last seats available.

Fish & Game in Hudson and Gaskins in Germantown were both highly recommended to us by friends and Eastwind Hotel as well and on our next trip I hope to try them both!

Don’t forget to pick up an apple cider (or 6) from one of the many farm stands or mom and pop shops for the car ride home! Until next time!

The Steele Maiden: Travel Guide to Upstate New York

 

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BEST OF: SWEATER DRESSES

The Steele Maiden: Best of Sweater Dresses

I wore this turtleneck sweater dress on three separate occasions last week. Which led me to the swift realization that perhaps it’s time I picked up another one for the season ahead because the sweater dress might just be the unsung hero of my wardrobe. They’re super comfortable yet still chic, you can wear them with ankle boots and a moto jacket (like I did last weekend) or you can dress them up with over the knee boots and statement earrings for date night. I argue there’s next to nowhere a sweater dress can’t take you. So in that spirit, I’ve rounded up a few below I’m eyeing.

SHOP THE STORY:

 

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UPSTATE NEW YORK: SIMPLE FALL STYLE

The Steele Maiden: Simple Fall Style Upstate New York

I want to pretend like I’m too cool to get this excited over a pile of colorful leaves.. but honestly I’m not. And you shouldn’t be either. There’s a real joy to living in a place that has seasons, and after that year and a half stint I did out in LA I don’t think I’ll ever take it for granted again.

SHOP THE STORY:

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The Steele Maiden © 2012

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle. Based in NYC.