scenes from the weekend

hi, loves! so i don’t know about you guys, but for me, we’re halfway through the month and i can honestly say that this is totally turning out to be a wonderful, happy, memorable December for me.

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for starters, it was 65 degrees and sunny in NYC all weekend…so what i’m really saying is that it’s May. the boy and i went running both Saturday (6-7ish miles) and Sunday (5ish miles) mornings in tank tops, and i was sweating. in mid-December. and i love it.

things weren’t so amazing on the running front this weekend though, unfortunately, which really bummed me out b/c i was so looking forward to having these amazing runs on such glorious balmy days, but it just wasn’t happening. my legs were beyond tired and sore for some reason, and my calf kept screaming at me, and i just couldn’t get it together & had very little energy. i was slow and feeling pretty awful, and not sure i’d have endured 5 miles on Sunday if the boy wasn’t there to run with me.

and so it goes with running: sometimes you’re on top of the world, and sometimes you just don’t have it and everything feels hard. here’s to hoping that phase passes asap, b/c it really bums me out. on the flip side, i’m thankful i was able to cover the mileage i did even while i wasn’t feeling so hot or loving running at those moments. a crappy run is better than no run, right? and i did get in a fairly decent upper body workout at the gym on Sunday before our run as well.

workouts aside, the weekend was absolutely wonderful otherwise. we rode Citibikes and went to my friends’ holiday brunch and had a pre-dinner drink at Terroir Wine Bar in Tribeca on Saturday, which plays great music and has a really chill, almost punk-gothy sort of vibe,

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before heading to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Fig & Olive Meatpacking, which just does everything right: amazing food, amazing service, amazing atmosphere. i love this spot.

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side note: i’m the worst at taking photos of food, but somehow always manage to remember to snap the wine. i swear i eat… 😉

we also had an awesome brunch at 44 1/2 in Hell’s Kitchen. it was my first time there for brunch and i’ll certainly return, as it was charming and yummy and a new neighborhood fave for me. we dined on the covered back patio which was like a lovely little pink fairy world in the middle of the concrete jungle,

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all bubbly lanterns & pink roses & white lights. it was one of my favorite restaurant atmospheres i’ve experienced in a while, and so ideal for a Sunday afternoon in a December that’s posing as May. i really loved it.

we meandered over to Rockefeller Center after Sunday brunch to see the 78-foot-tree, which seemed like a necessary, picturesque NYC-at-Christmastime thing to do,

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…except that we were joined by everyone else who happened to be awake in NYC yesterday. holy touristville. we took one look at the crowds swarming 5th Ave and decided the window viewing was absolutely not in our immediate future and we suddenly realllllly needed some wine (is hating crowds part of growing up? i seriously cannot), so we strolled down to the Flatiron District and nestled ourselves into Punch for some nice little chill time in an atmosphere that didn’t make me want to start kicking strollers.

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much, much better.

my weekend in #s:
2 beauuuuuuteousss days
2 (so-so) runs
2 great restaurants
2 cute wine bars
2 movie nights on the couch (Hunger Games #3 & Pitch Perfect)
1 gym session
1 massive Christmas tree
=1 pretttttyyyyy perfect weekend with the man

i have no complaints. ❤

How was your weekend, friends? Highlights?
Something you’re looking forward to this week?

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December in NYC (hello, Magic)

so this December 1st post was obviously a fail — i realized as i was falling asleep last night that i’d forgotten to publish it. whoops!

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is it possible to not love December? i don’t know about you, but for me, the word just immediately conjures up all sorts of things merry-&-bright in my mind. sure, it can be really cold, and that can certainly be a bummer…but it’s all part and parcel with the Christmas season. (and anyway, it’s 50 degrees on December 1st here in NYC this year, sooooo there’s that.) i, for one, am really excited about December. i love all things Christmas spirit-y.

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so, to get us into the festive mood, my Chicago blog friend Suzy over at The Suzlyfe posted her December Chicago Bucket List today, and i decided to follow suit and post my own NYC version of a December Bucket List. December is a huge tourist month for NYC, and it’s not hard to see why: the city is absolutely transformed into a holiday haven, and you can’t help but feel festive just walking around this town.

My NYC December Bucket List

1. Bryant Park Winter Village. NYC has several of these little pop-up holiday shoppe villages, and while i enjoy them all, this one is my fave. i’m such a fan of Bryant Park. i’ve actually already hit up this annual Winter Village twice this year (as it opens Halloween weekend, because Christmas can never come to early in NYC) — once with the BFF and her baby, and once with the boy — but i’d love to go back and see it at night, and maybe ice skate or have a drink at Celsius, the modern ice castle/igloo-ish restaurant/bar. tonight is actually the Tree Lighting Skate-tacular, featuring some famous ice skaters (and obviously the lighting of the tree). i’m hoping to swing by briefly, as i have to pass the park on my walk home from seeing clients anyway.

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2. Rockefeller Center. this is an iconic NYC Christmas must-see, so although i doubt i’ll swing by tomorrow night for the tree-lighting ceremony (thousands of eager people packed into one square holds zero appeal for me at the moment), i’ll definitely go see the tree & the skaters & all the holiday fun at some point. i prefer to visit at night — it’s just the prettiest. i actually saw the tree the weekend it went up in November — this year it’s a 78-foot, 10 ton tree from Gardiner, NY — but it clearly was still in the packaging and hadn’t been cut or decorated or anything. it was kind of neat to see it like that and then be able to juxtapose that with the final product in all its glory! i personally really like the angels they put up each year as well. reminds me of what Christmas is really all about. #jesus

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3. Snowboard. okay, so this won’t actually take place in NYC, but it’s definitely on my December list so i’m counting it. my inner snowbunny is so annoyed to have to admit she didn’t make it onto the slopes once last year (i don’t think, at least). not proud of that fact, considering i used to ride several days a week when i was living in Colorado and absolutely love to snowboard. granted, i have to make a real effort to get myself to the slopes living in NYC, but i have no excuses for my weekends home upstate, and this year i’m going to make sure i go as often as possible. the boy’s winter goal is to learn to board (and judging by his athletic ability, i foresee him being Olympic caliber in like 2 days…ugh some people! :)), so hopefully we’ll get on the slopes fairly frequently this year.IMG_0322
4. Make festive cocktails. it’s no secret that i’m a wine chick, but i enjoy a good cocktail now and then, and ever since i read Sarah’s post about an almond “nog”/milk holiday drink, i’ve had it on the brain. i think a good holiday cocktail making sesh is in order at some point and i’ll have to make an effort to find some low-cal/healthier options — something cinnamon-y or gingerbread-y or vanilla-y. mmmm.no clue what this dream of a concoction might be but i’m determined to make a healthy version of it!

5. Walk 5th Ave/ See the Window Displays. this is another iconic NY at Christmastime experience that i don’t want to miss. there’s even a map laying out the stores that are known for their fabulous holiday window scenes! my favorite is always Bergdorf’s — consistently intricate & extravagant & just such a “WOW” factor. i walked by in early November and saw the windows all boarded up, which heightened my excitement for this year’s reveal. i’ve yet to see it in person, but the photos of this year’s dazzling partnership with Swarovski are breathtaking and i’m stoked to see them up close.

here’s a glimpse of one:

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i love it, in all its chaotic, colorful glory. there’s just something so timeless New York about walking up 5th Ave on a December evening and taking all of this splendor in, and i’m looking forward to doing this soon.

Happy December, friends! hope this month starts out wonderfully for you and brings all sorts of holiday goodness & all the warm feelings your way.

What’s on your December bucket list for your city?
What do you love most about this month?
Any good holiday cocktail recipes?

Decemburrrrr fun.

oh yeah, so maybe i’m two days late, buuuuuttttt…

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nice of you to drop by again, you pretty little thing, you. i’m always happy to see your return, and the way you bring me things like snow angels and twinkling lights and magical window displays. you sure know how to win a girl over.

NYC can truly be a magical place during the holiday season. here are some things i love about NYC in December; things that i see as being sort of “larger than life” in the sense that the expectation and emotionality we subscribe to them elevates them to a heightened status of beauty & bliss & all that we save for our best memories and our favorite loves.

  • Central Park blanked with snow. lamp-post lit paths; scarved-and-mittened couples braving the cold for the sake of winterwhite beauty; the knowledge that this city creates itself anew each year during this time, and the very air in which we see our frosty breaths seems pregnant with the expectation of a fairytale. we believe NYC is magic at Christmas time, and therefore, it is — it becomes a sort of fantastical Narnia, a charmed land.

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  • the holiday shops in Bryant Park and Union Square. whether you’re on the hunt for sweet little Christmas gifts for your fave people or just in the mood to stroll, these little winter villages are darling seasonal pop-ups through which to browse around or grab a cub of hot cider or cocoa. some of the vendors can be great, and the Bryant Park village also offers a skating rink and an igloo-inspired ice bar/restaurant. perfect little winter experience, with friends or a date.
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Winter Village at Bryant Park

Union Square holiday market

Union Square holiday market

  • the department store window displays. i’m not going to post any pics of past years’ — waiting til i go this year to see what they come up with. i love love love strolling along Fifth Ave on a December evening and ooohing and ahhhing over the novelty window displays. some of them are really quite fantastical and breathtaking. i can’t recall any specifics from last year’s, but Bergdorf’s 2011 Carnival of the Animals displays were astounding. i’m excited for this year’s!
  • ice skating. this year, i’m determined to make it to one of the many rinks: Central Park, Rock Center, Bryant Park, or even the little baby rink outside the Standard Hotel — i just have to make this experience happen. i’ve yet to go ice skating in NYC (gasp) and i don’t want another winter to pass without it finally transpiring. to me, it’s perfectly symbolic of the essence of NYC winter magic.

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i should probably stop here and keep my list short-n-sweet before i get ahead of myself and have to look back disappointed that i didn’t get to everything i wanted to in this one short month.

Question: What are you looking forward to in your city in December? (and if the answer isn’t too exciting, you’re welcome to come play in NYC!)

goodbye, November. hello, magic.

happy December eve, blogfriends.

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this is when it really starts to begin to feel “holiday-ish” to me, when December sweeps in with her grand entrance to deliver the year’s pièce de résistance (ya i’m fancy sometimes…good thing a literature major had some lasting magical charms) and we’re hit with that inexplicable, year-end feeling: something akin to nostalgia, influenced by the warmth of the Christmas season, laced with the emotionality of self-introspection and our blessing-counting that just seems so much more prevalent at this time of year.

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i am in love with the word December, it seems to me today. was a more magical word ever invented? not only how it rolls off the tongue like a sugar-coated dream, but also for the fairy dust that flies around us every time the word takes flight. so much crammed into three little syllables, tied up neatly with a bow of glitter & fantasy. in December, it seems, everything is a bit more electric; a bit more dazzling.

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so here’s to ending out a holiday of thankfulness with the expectation of a season of joy and winter charms, where for one short month, suspended in time, we see beauty in the way sunlight glitters across a snowy field and feel the spark when reaching for others’ fingertips when ours grow cold. i don’t know about you, but this year, i am welcoming December with open arms — and looking forward to everything winter white.

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have a great end to November!

Question: What are you most looking forward to as December descends?