Life Lately: Christmas, Liberty State Park and the New Year

We're one week into the 2019! The latter half of December is always so crazy busy with holiday dinners, preparing for Christmas and then relaxing (or trying to) during those days leading up to New Year's Eve and last year was no exception. As much as I love that period of time, I always look forward to the calm the first week of the new year usually brings for me. And I've been taking full advantage of that these last few days. 

So here's what I've been up to!

The week before Christmas was spent having holiday dinners and exchanging presents with friends. I kicked off the festivities with Alexa at Le Parisien followed by ice cream at Kaylee's Creamery. The next day, we got dinner with DJ at Big Daddy's. Then it was Junior's with Estelle and finally, Cafe Matisse with Carina (we've decided to just go here every year!). 

My cousins and I have created our own traditions for Christmas, namely our Secret Santa exchange and having a theme for our family get together. Since we decided our theme would simply be wearing red, I suggested that we tell our parents to dress up too and I'm so glad we did! I know it sounds silly but seeing all of us dressed up made me really happy. And I think they enjoyed it too. As usual we had a ton of food and dessert (I bought two Christmas cakes plus made cupcakes). Then I was especially happy with my Secret Santa gifts because my cousin-in-law got me and totally spoiled me by getting a good chunk of what was on my wishlist. Christmas day is always fun but I have to say, it was extra fun this time around. 

Liberty State Park
One of my cousins happened to be off the same days I was so we decided to go shoot photos twice – both times at Liberty State Park. Neither of us had been before but we both loved it. The views are incredible! We couldn't believe we hadn't visited sooner and we want to go back since we didn't get to explore everything. But I just love discovering new places that are so close by. Plus it felt good to pick up my camera again, even though I felt super rusty. I didn't love as many of my photos as I had hoped but the two I included above were the ones I thought turned out well. On our second trip to there, we brought our younger cousin with us and rode the ferry that stops at Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Another first of us! I enjoy riding boats so I was content to just ride the ferry, take photos and drink my coffee. 

New Year's Week
I spent New Year's Eve the way I always do - at my parents' house, surrounded by family and food. There were times when I was younger that I wished I had gone out more but honestly, I can't imagine anything but a low-key evening. Then since moving into my apartment I've spent New Year's Day taking down my Christmas tree, writing goals and reflecting on what I want from the year to come and being a couch potato. Going back to work after that was not fun but luckily the week was calm and even though my original plans for this past Saturday got canceled the day before, I decided to just take myself out. I went to a brunch spot I'd been wanting to eat at (Bonjour Montclair Cafe; the food was good but not a fan of the space at all), stopped by Watchung Booksellers which is officially my favorite indie bookstore by me, got a manicure, shopped at Target and finished a 1000 piece puzzle. It was the perfect weekend to kick off the new year. 

What have you been up to lately?


  1. It sounds like you had an amazing holiday season! I love the photos you took at Liberty Park and I love how cute everyone looks all dressed up in red!

  2. So many excellent Christmas celebrations included in this post! I can't wait to do it all again (in a new way, of course) next month <3


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