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Festive Fun Day

Over a month ago, Alexa, Kristin and I decided we were going to have a festive fun day in December and while we chose the date, we didn't actually know what the day would entail aside from getting brunch. But then in week leading up to this event, we put together a full itinerary to explore all the Christmasy things in the city. It was such a wonderful day that made me appreciate not only all the holiday activities NYC has to offer (I feel like we only touched the surface!) but also appreciate for the hundredth time that I have such dear friends to plan stuff like this with. I keep saying this to them and I 100% mean it -- this is the start of a new annual tradition!


We started the day bright and early by meeting at Jack's Wife Freda at 9am. The place got packed very quickly so if you ever decide to check it out, going early is the way to go. It was my first time eating there and I was very happy with the experience. I got the Madame Freda which is a pressed sandwich with duck prosciutto, gruyere & a sunny side up egg (delicious!) while Alexa got the green shaksuka and Kristin the rosewater waffle. I went for something a bit heavier only because I knew I'd need the sustenance for the long day ahead.

After breakfast, we began our trek to visit all the things on our list! We walked to Washington Square Park to see their tree. It's not visible in the picture but it was actually lit up. From there we walked to the Google Hardware Store to see their Dominique Ansel gingerbread house. We ended up seeing that a whole lot more!


Google's pop-up store ended up having way more things to get out than we originally expected. We went inside the gingerbread house to take photos and play with Google home. Then went downstairs for more photo-ops and to check out the little rooms they had set up. My two favorites were by far the photography room and the tiny kitchen. From there, we headed to Dominique Ansel (which I'll tell you more in detail about in next week's Table for Two) but along the way we started a little red Chanel station in front of the store handing out free hot chocolate. Of course, we had to stop and take photos. 


Next we stopped by Kiehl's Gifting Station to take advantage of their "Merry & Bright" photo-op for Instagram. At this point, I was definitely marveling at all the ways these stores were getting into the holiday spirit (and encouraging people to their 'gram on). We made yet another quick stop at Bar Pa Tea to pick up some green tea for the road and met up with DJ for a little bit. 

Our original plan was to see the rainbow book tree at the Strand (it was gone which was so sad) and to see the holiday markets. All it took was a brisk walk through the Union Square Market to decide it wasn't for us and to remove Bryant Park from our list too. Just way too many people! But I'll admit, if it hadn't been so crowded I would've liked to see what the different vendors were. With our change of plans, we headed uptown to Barney's to check out the Alfred's Tea Pop Up. We tried their matcha in blue which was so good and we ended up sitting around (talking about The Mortal Instruments!) for longer than anticipated. 


But after that, it was time to brave the cold and crowds yet again to see how beautifully lit up all the stores were. We made our way to Tiffany's, Louis Vuitton and Cartier. We saw the giant snowflake (my photo makes it looks smaller than it actually was). And then finally we ended the day with Lotte Palace which is officially now one of my favorite trees in the city.

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I love having holiday traditions with friends and as I mentioned earlier, this festive fun day with Alexa and Kristin is one I know we'll repeat next year! 

What's a holiday tradition you have with your friends?
And what Christmasy things have you seen in the city lately?

Links + Loves

Here are some non-bookish articles I really liked this past month and my latest loves.

Links
1 / It was the headline of this article on Self that made me click on it: "Whenever My Life Feels Out of Control, I Go to Ballet Class." But it's the sub-title that perfectly expresses why it resonated with me and that is, "Find something that re-centers you, and never let it go."

2 / One of my favorite areas of IKEA is the plant department! Apartment Therapy shared 6 things I certainly didn't know about it.

3 / I am ridiculously obsessed with leopard right now so when Crystalin Marie post a list of best leopard sweaters, I immediately check it out.

4 / I own a Himalayan Salt Lamp mostly because I like how it looks and vaguely because I know there are some actual benefits to it. Luckily The EveryGirl explains exactly why you should own one.

5 / Modern Love is one of my favorite podcasts even though I'm terrible at keeping up with it. But when I saw that Sandra Oh did one, I had to listen. In other words, you should too.

6 / I don't often post political pieces but this editorial Monica Lewinsky wrote for Vanity Fair is so well done.

7 / Refinery29 has a new "Money series" and their most recent one follows a woman who earns more than $300,00 a year. It's mind-boggling to think of a 22 year old earning that much. Also, what am I doing wrong?!

8 / Every once in a while, Twitter will do something great like reunite two childhood best friends.

9 / Dame Traveler's list of "12 Films That Will Inspire Any Woman to Travel" includes Roman Holiday, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Before Sunrise aka three of my favorite movies. There a few here that I haven't seen yet and now I'm planning to!

10 / I love creating holiday traditions and while I do have them with my family, I also have them with friends. The EveryGirl talks about why it's important to do so and I couldn't agree more.


Loves

1 / This fluffy fleece jacket from Uniqlo is so warm and cozy while still looking cute and feminine.

2 / During the summer I talked about how much I loved Fresh's rose face cream but shortly after I started experiencing stress-induced eczema for the first time and that wasn't cutting it anymore. The only moisturizer that has worked on my sensitive skin since (and especially with winter) is Avene's XeraCalm cream. Now I won't use anything else!

3 / I've been watching the price for the Instax Share Printer for over a year now. Even though I really wanted one, I also didn't want to pay close to $200 for it. Then during Black Friday the price dropped to $97.95 and I immediately bought it. If you're interested in getting one, the price hasn't gone back up yet.


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Do you have any links or loves to share?
Would love to hear about them!

Bookshelf Tour


Currently all my books are scattered across my apartment, albeit in an organized fashion. I have four bookshelves in total: my YA one (which I'll be talking about today), two which are a mix of multiple genres (fiction, romance, classics, children's and boxed series sets) and lastly, my Anne of Green Gables vertical bookcase. And let's not forget a poetry stack on my coffee table, inspirational type books on the side table and my entire TBR pile in my bedroom. Like I said, they're everywhere! But I'm not complaining. 

The white bookcase featured above is my newest one and a project I did earlier in the year. I used to have a really dark wood Billy bookcase from IKEA that I bought when I first moved in. It was great at the time but as I evolved the look of my living room, it stuck out and not in a good way. Then I saw the FJÄLKINGE shelf unit through a bookstagrammer and immediately knew it would be perfect for my space. I will say that it did require me to cull a lot of books because it was smaller than my original but it was worth it. It gave me a chance to more strictly curate my library and I just loved how it looked – light and airy while beautifully showcasing my books without making the room feel smaller.

I used to organized these books in alphabetical order by author and would put one too many trinkets on the shelves. I recently decided to change it up and I am so happy with the results! 



First shelf: Overall, I decided to organize books by height and/or category. The first one are all my paperbacks which are around the same height. But I purposely put tge Jennifer L. Armentrout books together, plus a photo and a Daemon Black candle that I don't ever want to burn. 

Second shelf: The books on the left are grouped together by height and happen to be all fantasy. The books in the "center" didn't quite fit in anywhere but they're also some of my favorites so it worked out that they're a bit separate. Then the rest of the shelf is dedicated to Sarah J. Maas. It's all her books, plus Throne of Glass related merch and a photo with her.


Third shelf: I absolutely love how rainbow shelves look but I have to admit, it drives me crazy not knowing exactly where everything is. Which is why having a single rainbow shelf of all my contemporary hardcovers was perfect. 

Fourth shelf: All fantasy books! Plus two photos with dear friends. It's no accident that both of these photos are bookish in nature. One is from a To All the Boys I've Loved Before party and the other from BookCon and since we all love mermaids, the Ariel Funko fit right in. 


Fifth and last shelf: Basically everything else but they are still categories. The first four columns are are paranormal, sci-fi and fantasy while the last is contemporary. I also showcase my collection of magnetic bookmarks (I used to be obsessed with these!), my two wands (Hermione and Luna) and one of my favorite prints of Rowan and Aelin. 

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That's my latest shelf! 
How do you decorate your shelves? 

If you'd like to see more bookshelf tours, let me know!