Sunday, December 25, 2016

Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas in New York

Earlier this month, we took Mary Tilman to New York City. I say that but really visiting NYC at Christmas has always been a bucket list item of mine. While it was cold and it was crazy, it was magical! Definitely an exhausting weekend, but I would do it again! The memories make it all worth it.

I wanted to provide a travel breakdown since I couldn't find any great resources when planning our trip.

We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott in East Midtown. This was largely due to the outrageous prices for hotel rooms during this particular weekend. The location was actually really convenient and the room was huge for New York standards. While not a suite, the pull-out sofa was a nice-to-have. I much prefer to stay in Tribeca or Soho but with a little one, this location was great for easy access to the spots in Midtown.

Grand Central Station | After an early room check-in, we walked over to Grand Central for a quick bite to eat. If you have never been, there are plenty of places to grab a bite although the fight for seats was the struggle. If you have a longer time to spare, eat at the Oyster Bar for some great fresh options. This is also a great spot to hop-on or off the subway.
Rock Center Cafe | The view could not be beat. We weren't rinkside but could see the ice skaters, lights and holiday decor from our table. The menu and environment were extremely kid-friendly which made me feel much better. The best part was we were already at Rockefeller to pop up and see the tree.

The Plaza Hotel Food Hall | We had a late breakfast so grabbed a flatbread to share. The food court was packed but had plenty of options to choose from...everything from sushi to seafood to pizza and sandwiches. The Eloise store is also located in the back corner, complete with her pink piano.

Landmarc at Columbus Circle | This was another great kid-friendly option without having to forgo a nice meal in the city. The restaurant is on the top floor of the Columbus Circle shopping plaza so you can shop if there is a wait.

One World Trade Center | We ventured downtown our first afternoon and the worst part was the cold. Being right by the water, it was frigid and the wind was brutal. (Tip for families - if there is a wait, get one parent to wait in line, while the other passes the time across the street at the new mall). The process to get to the top is a little drawn out in my opinion but the view is incredible. Next trip (sans kiddo), I would love to visit the memorial museum.

Breakfast with Santa | This was hands-down my favorite part. The Santa was phenomenal and really spent time with the children. He was the actual Santa from the Macy's parade (or his twin). Mary Tilman was mesmerized and looked at him longingly which was a first for our Santa pictures. The food was pre-fixe but actually really good. The view was also incredible with a look out over Broadway and the Empire State Building.

Rockefeller Center & Fifth Avenue | Of course we saw the tree but so did the rest of Manhattan. The tree was incredible but it was packed! (Tip - I would not recommend a stroller). Mary Tilman loved the light show at Saks so make sure you stick around to watch that which plays every few minutes. I would also venture down Fifth Avenue at your own risk. There were way too many people for my liking.

Sightseeing | We did the usual haunts and the little one loved them. Go to the Natural History Museum early to bet the crowds and don't try to visit every exhibit. We also attempted to visit The Plaza Hotel but they closed the lobby for guests only. If you really want to see the decor, book a reservation at their sit-down restaurants for access inside. Central Park was also on our list but it was a swift walk to beat the cold. We chose a carriage ride for our little princess who proceeded to take a nap. If you can pass, I would as it is quite steep.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Three on Friday

- Three is really all I have got today -

Holiday Baking | This weekend is one of our only ones with no plans (although we have two neighborhood get-togethers) and baking is on the top of my to-do list. But...I am coming up empty with ideas and initiative. Oh to have extra time or an extra set of hands. Southern Living is my go-to and here are a few options:

Christmas Cards | I typically design our cards but chose to go the easy route with Tiny Prints. Well, that will never happen again! There was an 137 minute wait to speak with a rep yesterday which makes me feel slightly better that I am not the only one with issues. They are promised to be here on Monday so fingers crossed there are no more issues.

Baby Boy Nursery | I have known all things girl for 2+ years so shifting to a boy mindset is taking a hot minute. However, I am making a case for this amazing wallpaper. Just one wall isn't asking too much.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Number 2

Yep, we are expecting Baby Boy Williams in June 2017! 

How did you find out?
One week in late September, I was having awful cramps and just didn't feel right. A few days passed and things slightly subsided but I decided to take a test anyways. I need to also note my husband was traveling for work this week so I was exhausted but again chalked that up to my toddler. Well I took a test again and it was positive. Shocked in an understatement!

How did you tell your husband?
They say your second pregnancy is different and that is not a lie. The husband found out because he saw the test box in the trash. I know romantic right :)

What makes this pregnancy different?
This time around we now have a busy toddler to prevent taking it easy or resting. Exhausted is an understatement those first few weeks. Coupled with back pain and nausea, I am glad to finally be on the uphill swing.

How is Mary Tilman handling the news?
She was in denial at first and still calls him a baby girl but is much more loving these days. Her thing now is to give my belly kisses whenever I don't feel good. I have had to cut back on picking her up due to an issue spotted at my last appointment but other than that, she is soaking in this only child thing. The dogs however are going to have a rude awakening with two littles chasing after them.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Gift Guide | Stocking Stuffers

I love picking out stocking stuffers and since that is what the hubs and I are sticking to this year, why not provide some hints :) Other great stores are World Market, Target and Home Goods!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Gift Guide | Home Decor

Home decor is pretty subjective to your recipient but that doesn't make it any less fun to buy. I think staple pieces are are a great gift, whether that is decor or something for entertaining.