Monday, January 14, 2019

Happy New Year: Catching Up on Lived in NYC Moments

Happy New Year! Lmao, I know I'm a bit late but I think you can still say this till the end of January right? I'm finally resurfacing from some much needed unplugged time away as we overcame what seemed like never ending coughs and colds and got into the holiday spirit later than usual. We all know December can be a whirlwind time of year, and it's typically tough for me to sit down and update you all here on the blog between the Christmas shows at the kid's schools, the holiday parties and major purging we do to make space and de-clutter.  

I'll usually just hop on Instagram and share quick posts, so we hope you're following our day to day over there at Dellahsjubilation and at lilmonstersinnycHubby was sweet enough to gift me with a chromebook after my laptop crashed but I'd spent so much time away from writing because of my frustration with working from a tablet, soon the draft posts just started to pile up. For 2019 I promise to get a bit more personal on this space like I used to when I first started and loved to tap away at the keyboard just for the sake of sharing. But Before I could dive into all the exciting new happenings I always like to wrap up our last adventures, so here's a look at our December 2018 moments:

If you didn't already know, the most beautiful {and our fave} Santa spends his down time chatting it up and snapping pics with local NYC families and tourists at the ABC Carpet and Home. Two years ago while in the pursuit of magic I remember standing on line for nearly 3 hours to see him when there was buzz that he was "retiring".  Lucky for all of us he's decided to keep up with is annual visits a little while longer and we couldn't pass on the rare opportunity to get a family pic seeing as there was no line! 

Can you believe on a random Saturday there was only one family ahead of us? Mike was so confused because typically it's tradition to wear matching outfits, but I was totally willing to forego it so not to have to trek into the city on the weekend again. Do you see our cheeseball smiles in that above pic? I think the spontaneity of it all made for the perfect photo and stress free weekend afternoon.

 Our teen CJ either still believes in the magic of Santa or thinks he thinks he's pretty slick by playing along because he knows good ole' Saint Nick will bring him and his brother anything they want despite Mom and Dad dismissing his wish for a third dog. The boys were completely smitten with two pups they spotted in an adoption truck parked down the block from the home decor store and swore they'd convince me to bring one home..... sike!

 I can't believe they even had the nerve to ask for another dog seeing as CJ isn't a fan of taking Sonic {our fox terrier} out on his morning walks. Thankfully Santa shut that foolery down ever so nicely and explained to the boys that it was against his policy to gift pets since parents usually do most of the work! Don't you just love Santa? 

We spend a good chunk of the year checking out and playing with the latest, trendiest toys before they even hit store shelves. Mike and I remind the boys that they are very lucky to have access to a lot of the things that are sent to our home for them to review. It's important to us that they understand that this isn't the norm and that they learn the importance of giving back to kids and families less fortunate then we are. 

This year, in collaboration with the brands that sponsored our 4th annual Holiday Gift Guide we donated all of the toys and books pictured above to two local NYC churches, a shelter for women formerly incarcerated and a community school. Ultimately our goal for 2019 and going forward with our blog and social media we want something positive to come out of our partnerships because blogging has brought a lot of Joy to our family in some really low moments. Next year I'm hoping to arrange that the boys be able to personally gift other families. 

Late start to putting up the tree meant pouring myself a glass of my mother in laws festive sorrel and  playing Elf the movie while trying to decorate the apartment in one evening. This Christmas we decided the theme would be our favorite movie and television characters with multi-color ornaments and candy canes. By far my favorite tree because we'll be able to add on to the Disney, Star Wars and Nintendo characters each year.

Sometimes slowing down and indulging in a bit of self care before the holidays is so necessary,  so I was certainly thankful and looking forward to an entire day surrounded by friends.  My blogger boo Valerie of Mommy R and R  and I were beyond excited for a kids free morning with Bustle Magazine & bareMinerals for their #aCleanerDay wellness crawl and had the most amazing massage among other goodies.

I'm not sure how one leaves an afternoon experience of wellness and relaxation to only end up with a soar throat and spiking a fever by dinner time. Celebrating my bestie Marta's birthday is always a treat, some how on her own birthday she manages to be the hostess with the mostess with a gift of making all of her guests feel special. Hanging at her house is usually the best low key house party ever. As you can tell from these group shots, I was totally overcome by cooties and passed out on her couch by 10pm. 

In a search for out of the box stocking stuffers and gifts for our two monsters we popped into the new Camp store which is the coolest new toy shop for kids of all ages NY has ever seen. Our mini foodies scored a new cookbook and we have to go back for the Ramen post it notes for CJ.

CJ's Xbox crashed recently {I'm telling you the universe really wanted my family to take a break from the gadgets} and he'd been pretty dang bummed about it. I knew heading to the Microsoft store for their #MyXbox party would be a cool way for the boys to get in some game time with other dedicated gamers like Trey Smith {yes actor Will Smith's son}. Before heading back out into the cold we couldn't resist grabbing a few cups of hot cocoa that were personalized with our faces.

There's nothing like the glow of the city at night with twinkling festive lights at every corner. It's truly not Christmas in New York till you manage to walk down 5th avenue smooshed together among tourists and locals alike, just to catch a glimpse of the always gorgeous tree at Rockefeller Center. 

Bryant Park is one of the ultimate locations and now one of our favorite places to visit during the holiday season. The annual winter village has over 170 shops with the yummiest varieties of food and unique finds for gifting. For the first time at the park Santa made an appearance and visitors could snap FREE photos with their own cameras, while searching for his corner we had the perfect excuse to stop for pastries and truffle fries. 

This year we were pretty laid back about decorating and stuff, Mikes at a new restaurant and gets home at nearly 2am everyday and we were both pretty spent.  I'll be honest we were tempted to just throw each kids presents into one big wrapped box and call it day, but we had already bought a ton of character themed wrapping paper back in October while shopping for Halloween Candy. We thought we were ahead of the game, at least we tried. 

Nutella, our mini pitbull clearly felt that out of all the toys received her plush, monkey pull toy from Zippy Paws was the best.  

Dyker Heights is the place to be if you're obsessed with over the top holiday decor and light shows that have passerby's completely mesmerized by all of the creativity and intricate details: from dancing neon lights to talking snowmen and inflatables. Honestly I'm way more curious about what their electrical bills look like by the end of the year.  We've only toured this neighborhood once before, so I was definitely the biggest kid when we finally had the chance to check out all of the homes with the colossal nutcrackers that we hadn't seen on our walk. 

How did you wrap up the end of the year? We'd love to know what the must see's are in your city!

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