I’m a person who really likes order. Who becomes sentimental about sameness. To say I like traditions would be an understatement. And the study of happiness backs me up here – children who are raised with routine and traditions (however small or silly) are more stable humans. However, I’m also a person who will do the same thing year after year, even if it’s become inconvenient or a grind, because I simply feel like I “can’t” break said traditions. Which does not always add to my overall happiness.
This may be the first year I feel like I’m able to loosen my grip on some of that. While I made a holiday bucket list (and shared it here), it’s just that. A list of “hopes” – not “do it or else you’ve failed at the holidays”. It’s okay to cut yourself a break some years. Or simply, shake things up.
If every year drive 2 hours to pick your tree at a local farm because that’s tradition but you have a feeling everyone in your house would be happier if you just switched to a fake tree and had it up in an hour – do that instead. If you think that ordering Chinese food on Christmas is actually what you’d enjoy more than spending 8 hours in the kitchen prepping a home-cooked feast – do that instead. Sure it’s nice to be able to say that you’ve done something every year for 10 years.. but it’s also nice to be happy in the moment each of those years.
So I suggest that you keep the traditions that bring you true joy. And the rest, allow yourself to reconsider. As long as you’re surrounded by the people that bring you true joy, it’s going to be a good holiday season.
Admittedly, I’m not a super casual dresser. It’s not a coincidence that I choose to live in a place where if I want to walk down the street in heels and a fancy dress at any hour of the day or night, no one will blink an eye. But that being said – I definitely dress comfortably and practically on the weekends. And since we’re about to head into a nice long, relaxing weekend I wanted to share a few casual winter outfits I’m loving right now. The full try-on session is over on IGTV, but details are here for each outfit.
Aside from the cold – this really is the most magical time of year in New York. The city is decked out in its holiday best, there are lights everywhere and plenty of occasions to pour a glass of bubbly. I can’t get enough. Which is why I wanted to create a holiday bucket list to be sure that I make time to enjoy as much of the season as possible. Some of the things on my list are beloved traditions at this point while some are things we have still yet to experience in New York and really want to get around to doing this year. Also – a reminder that not everything has to be expensive this season – plenty of the things on my list are super budget friendly, if not free!
Ice skating Dates:
Now that Adam and I both own ice skates, we want to take advantage of all of the fun rinks in the city! My favorite is skating in Central Park – with the city in view around you – but Bryant Park and Rockefeller Rink (if you get there super early or on a weeknight) are also great. Budget tip: Bryant Park is actually free to skate at and so are locker rentals if you bring your own lock, so this is a great cheap date idea.
Lights at Dyker Heights:
Remember that one house in your town that used to go all out with lights and yard decorations for the holidays? Dyker Heights is like that.. but x100. A neighborhood in Brooklyn where for about 4 square blocks – every single house is boasting thousands of Christmas lights, and more Santas and snowmen then you have ever seen in one place. We usually pack a “car picnic” and then drive through the neighborhood while listening to holiday tunes. Festive and totally free!
Dinner at Lucien and Minetta Tavern:
There are some restaurants that just really shine in the winter. Cozy and intimate, all candlelight and linen tablecloths, they make braving the cold for date night well worth it. Lucien in the East Village and Minetta Tavern in the West Village have been on our restaurant bucket list for a long time and I’d love to finally try them both this holiday season.
Hot Toddies, Rockefeller Tree + Fifth Avenue Windows:
This has quickly become one of our favorite holiday traditions. We pick a Sunday evening in December, make a big thermos of hot toddies and then head uptown to see the Rockefeller Tree and the windows on Fifth Avenue. Notoriously crowded and often quite cold – we found that the hot toddies really raise your spirits on the trek and ultimately make the whole thing a lot more fun.
It can be easy to get swept up in all of the consumption of the holidays without pausing to think of those that are having a much tougher time. I hate to think of families that are struggling to get a few gifts under the tree for their kids – so this year, Adam and I starting the yearly tradition of picking up toys for local families. Someday, we plan to continue this with our own little ones, letting them pick out toys for kids in our community that are less fortunate than them. We’re looking into Stockings With Care or Operation Santa – or both!
Jazz Standard Holiday Show:
I love live jazz any time of year, but it feels extra festive around the holidays. Jazz Standard in Gramercy is one of our favorites for big band style jazz and last year we went on January 1st which was such a fun way to kick off the new year.
West Village Wander:
Is there any place prettier than the West Village around Christmas? I love taking a Saturday, hot chocolate in hand and just wandering through the streets and looking at everyone’s decorated doors. Grove Street is a particular favorite.
Classic Movie at the Theater:
Our local movie theater plays classics like It’s A Wonderful Life this time of year and I want to make it a point to catch one – even better if it’s one I’ve never seen!
January has been a sort of bizarre mix of both incredibly busy and incredibly quiet for me. At my full time job I’ve been absolutely swamped with three photoshoots stacking up in the span of just a couple of weeks this month. But outside of work I’ve kind of hunkered down and tried to set a tone for the year. I’ve been at the gym every single morning before work. I’ve been getting in bed early every night to allow time for reading. I’ve staved off alcohol (okay I’ve had 3 total drinks so far this month.. but still that’s a drastic cut-back in comparison to December) and haven’t done any shopping. I’ve even been popping over to the gym on my lunch breaks to walk an extra mile on the treadmill while I read. It’s felt good – but I’ve also been missing this space! Now that I’ve got 2 out of 3 photoshoots for work under my belt (and the last one today as we speak), I’ll have more regular content going forward this year. January – what a strange month right?
Aside from all of that I’ve also been trying to wear things other than a huge black parka (most days I don’t succeed in this battle) – but the weekend before last when it wasn’t quite so frigid I mixed it up with this floral puffer look instead. Almost one more month closer to Spring my friends.. not that I’m counting.
After reflecting on 2018 and setting some big goals for 2019, I figured it was time for the first outfit post of the year! Plus (if you scroll all the way down – a pretty great giveaway to get your year started on a fun note. Because honestly who couldn’t find $500 worth of things to scoop up at Target?!)
SHOP THE STORY:
I mentioned it last month as well (inthis post) but I truly never get tired of a winter whites look. These skinny ivory pants and fisherman style sweater are two of my most worn wardrobe items – they go with a million different things but I especially like them paired together and then topped off with complimenting neutrals. Simple and feels fresh for a new year.
Hope you’re all settling into the back to work groove. I’m powering through (while eagerly anticipating the weekend again).
2019 is here and we are celebrating the New Year with a Target giveaway! One lucky winner will bring in the New Year with a Target shopping spree. Woo hoo!
One lucky winner will get a $500 Target E-Gift Card. This giveaway is brought to you by the talented influencers you see above, be sure to check out their websites for some fun New Year’s posts! Enter by performing the actions listed in the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
Make sure to do the actions in the Rafflecopter before marking they are done! Marking done doesn’t automatically perform the action. Good luck! Winner will be announced in the Rafflecopter on this blog post.
One winner, giveaway runs from January 1, 2019 to January 15, 2019 (concludes at 11:59 PM on the last day). Open to the U.S. and Canada only. Void where prohibited. By entering you are agreeing that you are performing the actions in the Rafflecopter that you have marked as done. By entering you acknowledge that you are agreeing to the newsletter subscriptions and all other terms & conditions of the giveaway. More giveaway details can be read in the terms & conditions here. Winner will be announced within 14 days of the conclusion of the giveaway and entries will be verified by the hosts. Thanks for participating, I can’t wait for you to get to know you more as you follow along!