Friday, December 25, 2015

Favorite Pin Friday | Volume 35

Growing up I remember my mom baking for the neighbors; cranberry bread and GORP (type of trail mix) are the two items I remember most. p.s. I tried this one year...our neighbors didn't seem as excited as I remember neighbors being when I was young. Talk about disappointment! Anyway, she'd box them up with cute ribbon and gift tags. Family Christmas traditions have always intrigued me because everyone does it different. The hubs' family has an oversized coloring book they've colored in every Christmas Eve for the last 30 years (pictures below). I think it has seen better days, but dang what a fun memory to have and to look back on. This year is the last page of the book, who knows what we'll do next year...

First year, 1984

What are your Christmas time traditions? Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Decorate gingerbread houses? What about wearing matching pajamas? One day the hubs and I will start traditions for our own family, here are some that piqued my interest (thank you Pinterest).

Wrapping Christmas books and reading one each night before bed. Source 1Source 2

I really liked some of the ideas shared here. My favorite are The Annual Snowflake Cut Out Competition and The Dollar Tree Ten Minute Giving Spree. 

I hope you enjoy time with family and friends! I'm taking the rest of the year off from blogging, but will be back in 2016! Thank you for reading this year, your comments mean the world to me. I love when people tell me they've been following along and I never even knew it! Until next post...xoxo Becca

Monday, December 21, 2015

Pounding the Pavement - New York Trip Part 3

This is the last part of our New York trip, read part 1 and part 2 to catch up. We moved fast so keep up ;)

Day 3 was our last full day in NYC and we made the most of it. Starting off with a trip to Central Park. We walked around a little bit and took some pictures, but it was really warm so we ventured out of the park and made our way to 5th Avenue. The shops....oh my many gorgeous shops. Bergdorf Goodman has window displays that rivaled the Taj Mahal (Vanity Fair images 1-10)! Added perk, seeing The Tiffany Diamond in person. Goooooodnessssss that thing was huge! The picture below doesn't do it justice.

After our shopping venture we grabbed a cab to Grand Central Station and the High Line. Who was there? Oh you know, just Bradley Cooper stopping by to have some lunch. Celebrity sighting #2! We walked several blocks of the High Line before heading back to the hotel for some drinks and snacks. Then off to dinner at Cara Mia, a place recommended to us by our New York friends. It didn't disappoint! With reservations at 7:45pm we still had to wait a little. The restaurant is extremely small with tables close together. The bread and olive oil served as an appetizer was delicious. The dishes we ordered were amazing, served piping hot, and the fresh pasta was a hit! Highly recommend if you are looking for Italian food in NYC. Dessert...a New York cheesecake at Junior's.

Grand Central Station
View from the High Line
That wraps up our adventures in New York. I hope you enjoyed the recap and  pictures. Until next post...xoxo Becca

Friday, December 18, 2015

Bites of the Big Apple - New York Trip Part 2

Read Part 1 here

Late night and early mornings, that's what we experienced in NYC. It was worth it to see so much of the city. We grabbed a traditional bagel at a store next to the hotel and off we went.

We all agreed we wanted to visit the 9-11 Museum and it was recommended we purchase tickets ahead of time to avoid lines and tickets selling out for the day we wanted to go. To avoid the crowds on the subway we decided on a 10am ticket. Bagel in hand we may our way there. Before I go any further, this was one of the most humbling experiences of my life. Being a freshman in high school in 2001 doesn't lend itself to acknowledging the magnitude of the event. As an adult I understand the impact it had from a community level all the way up to a global level.

The day started with a 15 minute video developed exclusively for the museum featuring key political members; George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice, Rudy Giuliani, George Pataki etc. Their recount of the day's events was indescribable, you just need to hear it for yourself. The first part of the museum reminded me a lot of an art exhibit; soaring ceilings, dark wood floors, void of sound. Kuddos to the developers of the museum, they did a fantastic job. The second part of the museum takes you through the timeline of the day, the artifacts, and the voices of loved ones lost and those left behind. Photography was not allowed in most of the museum, but here are a few of the photos captured.

“No day shall erase you from the memory of time” - Virgil

It was a very heavy experience and we left the museum in silence. Not much was said amongst the group other than how emotional the visit had been.

To lighten the mood we headed to Chelsea Market to get lunch. There are many options to choose from, but we went with Chelsea Creamline because there wasn't a wait. I had the Griddled PB&J plus banana sandwich and it was deliciously sweet and filling. Dessert was from Doughnuttery and Bar Suzette Creperie.

After lunch we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the Radio City Rockettes. On the way, the hubs bought a hotdog from a street vendor. A New York must right?

We finished up our evening with dinner and drinks with family friends.

I hope you've enjoyed "traveling" with me. Day 3 will be posted on Monday and then it's back to Favorite Pin Friday on Christmas day. Until next post...xoxo Becca

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A Room with a View - New York Trip Part 1

We are back from a whirlwind trip to New York City! Boy am I exhausted. We accomplished so much while there. With only two and a half days in the city I'd say we hit a lot of the high points, but definitely need to go back. I'm having to break this up into a couple of posts because otherwise it would be too long. Here's day 1.

When we landed at LaGuardia the hubs had arranged for a limo to pick us up. What a fun surprise! Once we checked into the hotel we made our way to the 32nd floor and had a great view of the Empire State Building.

Then we hit the ground running. Some of our plans fell through thanks to private events, but we made do. Had dinner at Sardi's and sat near Neil Patrick Harris. 1st celebrity sighting! :) The food was really good, but my favorite was the appetizer we ordered; Parma Prosciutto with Melon, Parmesan, Pine Nuts and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. YUM! 

Then we made our way to Rockefeller Center to see the tree and skating rink. Across the street is Saks where we saw a beautiful light show and all their window displays (Vanity Fair images 17-24). Truly magical! The best part was that I had no idea the tree was right behind me while I was filming the light show so when I turned around I felt like a little kid on Christmas. It was so beautiful and exactly as I had pictured it. We waited in line and had professional photos taken. Not all of them turned out good, but we bought the digital versions anyway. It was the cheapest route to go for the few we did want. 
Light show at Saks
Then I turned around and saw this! Almost cried!
The hubs bought me the red coat I've always wanted!
Then we went to Top of the Rock and saw amazing views of the city at night, made our way back to Times Square which honestly looked like daylight at midnight, visited the M&M store and the Hershey's store, had a slice of a New York pizza, and called it a night.
Top of the Rock
View from bed
That's day 1, check back Friday for the next part. Until next post...xoxo Becca

Friday, December 11, 2015

Favorite Pin Friday | Volume 34

As you're reading this the hubs and I are in NYC. I've pre-written this post so you'd have something to read while I was away. Today I'm talking cookie exchange! Does anyone have a cookie exchange party to attend this season? I've never participated in one, but they sound so fun! You bake one type of cookie and come away with a bunch of others + recipes. Here are some of the cookies I think would be the talk of the town.

This counts as a cookie right? It's technically cookie dough and candy and is brought to you by The Pioneer Woman. Make a lot, these never last long. Ree shows you variations, but my favorite is peanut butter cookie with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

What screams Christmas? Peppermint! These Peppermint Patty Sandwich Cookies from Giada De Laurentiis sound delicious. 

This is my go to recipe for the holidays. It was one of the first pins I ever made when Pinterest was first starting out. Everyone raves about these cookies and it starts with a cake mix so it's quick and easy. Find step by step instructions (with pictures) here.

Happy baking! Until next post...xoxo Becca 

Check back Monday for pictures from our trip. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas Cards

Last week while I was buying wrapping paper and gift bags for Christmas presents I also bought Christmas cards. As I picked out a card I thought, do people still send cards in the mail? Growing up we would receive cards from December 1 to January 1 (all those procrastinators heehee).

The past two years I sent out cards for free through Paperless Post (see them below). Some of their cards require you to pay a minimal fee per card sent, but I make sure to select cards that will be free. Then your card makes it family and friends' inbox right on time!

2013                                                                                          2014

For our first Christmas as a married couple we had our wedding photographer take our photo and I printed them at Walgreens. Came out cute, but took a lot of work. 2011 and 2012 I mailed traditional cards without photos. Maybe when the hubs and I have kids I'll be more interested in doing photos every year, but until then I think I'll keep sending a few cards by mail and then e-cards to everyone else.

2010 (Lexi was only 8 months old!)
What do you do for Christmas cards? Share your traditions below!

Even though I'll be out of town Friday I've pre-written something for you. Want to see what I'm up to in NYC? Follow me on Snapchat @r8d6g Until next post...xoxo Becca

Friday, December 4, 2015

Favorite Pin Friday | Volume 33

Have winter holiday celebration coming up? What about adding a fun DIY photo booth to your event? Here's some ideas I found on Pinterest.

Backdrop Ideas:

Use fun wrapping paper (Source)
Sheer curtains + lights (Source)

Prop Ideas:

Don't stress about your holiday parties, have fun with it! Until next post...xoxo Becca

Monday, November 30, 2015

Gift Guide (Under $35) and Thanksgiving Recap

What an awesome holiday weekend! Get ready for picture overload.

Tablescape courtesy of my sister-in-law

TOP: Express | JEANS: Express (old) similar, similar | BOOTS: Kohls (old) similar, similar

Lexi loves her grandpa
Congrats, you're featured on the blog when you hijack my camera and load it with silly selfies

Now to the gift guide, here are a few things I ran across online and they're all under $35. Hope something gives you the idea you've been needing. Happy shopping!

Layered Necklace | Stay Fancy Wine Glass | Texas Ceramic DishBP Scarf
Luggage Tag | Monogram Key Chain | Notepad | Holiday Workout Tea Towel

Until next post...xoxo Becca