Tag archives for Holidays

For the Baker/Chef

One of the great things about December is that it feels like everything is on sale.  One of the not-so-great things is that it can be stressful to try to find the perfect gift for someone.  I’m almost done with my holiday shopping – just one gift to go! – so I thought it would be fun to list some of my favorite things to help out with some Holiday shopping.  Today will be focused on kitchen items, but in the future I’ll be sharing gifts for him, gifts for kids, and gifts for her.


| one | two | three | four | five |

1)  Up first is the Emily Henry Baking Stone from Crate & Barrel (on sale for $33.71).  When Joe and I were registering for our wedding, I told him that I wanted to add a pizza stone to the list.  He wasn’t 100% on board but it was added none-the-less.  Now, this is something that permanently lives in our oven and is used at least once a week for pizza – though it can be used for other items like bread.

2)  Another thing we get a lot of use out of is our mortar and pestle.  This White Marble Mortar & Pestle Sur La Table ($14.95) isn’t the exact one that Joe and I have (we have this one in a darker marble) but it’s at a great price and will get the job done.  It’s a great gift because it has so many uses but it also look really great when it’s being used to serve.

3)  Who doesn’t love the KitchenAid Artisan 5 qt. Stand Mixer  from Target (on sale for $279.99)?  Typically, this is something that’s saved for a registry but if you’re looking to get one for a friend, or just want to treat yourself, this is a great price.  There are a ton of colors available – from the staple red to yellow to the cobalt blue we have.  We use ours often, not just to mix baking items but to do things like shred chicken (Joe is constantly doing this)

4)  During the holidays, bringing a bottle of wine as a gift to a host or hostess is always a safe gift but what better to accompany the gift of a bottle of wine with a Christmas Tree Bottle Stopper from Pier1 (for $6.95)?  It’s a festive little touch that will get use over the years.

5)  I don’t personally bake pies but I did end up buying the Le Creuset Stoneware Pie Bird Funnel from Amazon  (on sale for $4.95) as a gift for my aunt who loves making pies during the holidays.  This adorable little fellow will help keep the bottom and top crust crisp while allowing steam to escape from the filling.  Everyone wins with this!

Are you almost done shopping?  Any kitchen items you would recommend for gifts?  

Posted in Christmas, Food, Gifts, Holidays | 4 Comments

It’s Christmas Time in the City

This weekend, when I posted a photo of the tree at the Rockefeller Center Plaza tree, I was asked what to see during a trip to the city during Christmas.  I thought that I would take today to go over some fun things to do during the holiday season!

Rockefeller Center Plaza
This is one of my favorite things to do during the Christmas season – I honestly can’t even remember a year when I didn’t see the tree.  Sure, it’s crowded over here but it feels like Christmas.  Be sure to notice the angel statues, the giant nutcrackers, and the skaters down below.  Bonus: If you look down Fifth Ave, you can sneak a peek at St. Patrick’s Cathedral (currently, the exterior is being restored but you can still go inside).

Ice Skating
I haven’t done this before, but I do know that skating at Rockefeller Center is not only pricey, but something you’ll have to wait (a while) for.  If you’re set on skating, be sure to check out the Citi Pond rink at Bryant Park and Wollman Rink at Central Park.  Granted, neither option is particularly cheap but they’re slightly more reasonable.

The Store Windows
What do Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, Saks, Bloomingdales, Barneys, and Bergdorf Goodman have in common?  Aside from the obvious, they all decorate their store windows!  Sometimes it’s just fabulous scenes with beautiful clothes and sometimes it’s a holiday story that will warm your heart.  Each year they’re different but they’re always worth seeing.  If you’re short on time or just don’t want to wait on line, you can always walk behind the line and peer around the crowd (hey, we’ve all done it!).  Also, even though these stores tend to be crowded with the holiday season, this is a great place to use the rest room if you’re out and about.

Holiday Shows
Right now, you could go dizzy with choices for Holiday shows and if you have the time, I would recommend trying to grab some tickets.  There are classics like The Nutcracker (my favorite) and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes or new shows like A Christmas Story and Elf: The Musical.  Of course, you could go see any show you want – it doesn’t have to be holiday themed – it’s just fun to take in a show.

The Staten Island Ferry
I know – this is clearly a biased thing to recommend when Joe and I live in Staten Island but I always recommend the Staten Island Ferry to friends coming into the city or coworkers who have recently moved to New York and everyone always loves it.  When it’s not a commute, it’s a great ride.  Not only is it relaxing, you get great views of the Statue of Liberty (which is currently closed due to Hurricane Sandy) and Ellis Island.  If you go to the other side of the boat, there are also great views of Brooklyn.

Take a Walk
Manhattan is filled with so many interesting neighborhoods that it’s fun to just walk around!  Each area has its own personality with different shops and restaurants.  Thanks to the Health Grades being posted in the window (typically next to the menu), it makes it easy for you to pick a place to eat on a whim.  Some of the best restaurants that Joe and I have been to with friends have been the ones we just decide to stop into.

So, those are a few of my favorite things to do and see in Manhattan during the holiday season.  Do you guys have recommendations for other holiday activities in Manhattan?  Is there something that you love to do each year?  Maybe something fun you just discovered?  

Posted in Christmas, Details, Fun, New York, Travel, Winter | 5 Comments

Disco Balls

Today is Monday and seeing as it’s now December, I thought it would be nice to introduce something new:


‘Merry Mondays’ will be when I share a fun project that you can DIY.  After all, crafting makes us merry, right?

Up first are these disco balls made from CDs.  This is my response to when my Uncle gave me four boxes filled with old CDs.  The photo below is only showing 25% of the CDs we have… there are even 2 more boxes still in the trunk of our car!  I can’t remember why he had so many but he and my Aunt assumed that I would come up with something creative.  As Barney Stinson would say, “Challenge accepted!”.


What you’ll need are some old CDs, some styrofoam balls (I picked up a bag of 6 from Michaels for around $4.00), and a hot glue gun.

You could also grab some ball ornaments – either new or old – because they could make fun gifts.


While my hot glue gun was warming up, I started cutting up the CDs.  I used a pair of scissors to do this step but since there was no padding, it started to hurt my hand.  I would recommend using some type of shears because it would probably be easier on your hands, plus a longer blade will give you more control in the shapes you cut.


Once you’ve got a whole lot of pieces of varying sizes, you can start hot gluing them to one of your styrofoam balls.  It’s best to start off with the larger CD pieces and then fill in those awkward spaces with the smaller ones.  You really can’t mess this step up, though.


And you keep going…

As you can see, I didn’t have the pieces touching each other.  Instead, I gave them about a centimeter or so apart so because I liked the way it looked.  You can glue the pieces as far or as close as you want them to.


And soon you’ll have a finished ball!  Wipe off any stray strands of hot glue and you’ll be ready to display them wherever you want.

CD Disco Ball Craft

Happy with how well these turned out, I’ve been finding different places for them.  For the Autumn months, I tucked two of the balls in our apothecary jar with some faux leaves and putka pods.  You’ll have to wait until my Christmas decor reveal (which I promise I started this weekend!) to see where they ended up next!


Are you doing anything that’s making you merry?  Perhaps crafting or finishing up shopping??

PS - I’m sharing this at the Dare to DIY party hosted by Decor and the DogMaybe MatildaNewly Woodwards, and Two Twenty One!

Posted in Christmas, Crafts, Fun, MerryMondays, Winter | 13 Comments


I’m embarrassed to say that I haven’t really started decorating for Christmas yet.


Typically, I decorate when I get home from Black Friday shopping, but this year Joe and I met up with some friends for some drinks (and some late night eats at a local diner).  Saturday was the day we got internet back so I was pretty much rendered useless seeing as I was trying to catch up with your blogs and the tv shows I missed.  Sunday was spent cleaning and typing up blog posts.

The worst part is that I still have the Fall decor out, just waiting to be put back into boxes.  At least everything is sitting on a bookshelf and I took the mice off of walls.  That counts for something, right?

Last night, I got the itch to start decorating.  This probably has to do with Christmas carols playing in stores, seeing everyone’s Christmas themed instagram shots (mantle shots make me very jealous!), and the fact that November is over.  That meant out with the orange candles and in with the gold.  We’ve had them for a year and I never used them so to help me feel more seasonal, I finally lit them.

You can’t see in this photo, but they’re on silver bases (these two from IKEA, naturally)… so you know, it’s silver and gold.  I apologize if you now have have the song stuck in your head.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CirrRY_6aaU]

The plan is to start decorating for Christmas this weekend and work on our Christmas cards (which should arrive tomorrow).  Then I’ll continually ask Joe when we can go pick out our tree :)

Have you started decorating for the holidays yet?  Maybe just Winter?  Are you done already?  

Posted in Christmas, Decor, Details, Holidays, Home, Winter | 7 Comments

Labor Day

Happy Labor Day to you all!  We’ve finally made it to September and while today may be the last day for you to wear white shoes for the year or your last bit of freedom before classes start, Joe and I will be using our day off to do some odds and ends around the apartment and enjoy not being at work.  After all, we already declared Summer to be over about two weeks ago.  :)

That means, I’ll be MIA today, but I do have a fun craft to share with you all tomorrow.  Here’s a clue:

Any guesses??

Posted in Holidays | 1 Comment
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