It’s really had to wrap my head around the fact that we’re already at the end of January!
The good news is that we have officially had our last sunset before 5 p.m. here in New York, and that later (and warmer) sunsets are on the horizon for awhile. There’s something about the sky turning in for the night at 4:30 p.m. that makes you want to retreat indoors (right?). I’m really looking forward to creeping back into those later summer nights where we catch ourselves still out and about at 8 p.m.
Just as predicted, the holidays really went by in a flash over here. I mentioned this in a previous post, but I intentionally took some time away from the blog and social media over the past few months because they were jam packed with events and celebrations. All good things, however, so no complaints here. This just allowed me to be fully present with my family and friends and soak in the good stuff.
Today I thought it was time to take a look back and share some the highlights. It’s impossible to note everything worth documenting, but I figured there were a handful of things that deserved to be shared here. So thanks for tuning in and sharing some of the joy with me today.
By the way, I’d love to hear from you in the comments – what’s one highlight that has made YOU smile this winter? Here we go!
Latest Friday Favorites :: Some Winter Highlights
- Officially re-certified with Precision Nutrition (L1 Certified Nutrition Coach)
This is something that happened several months ago, but it deserves a shout out here as it’s something I’m passionate about and excited to keep learning and growing with.
I’m sooo close to finishing my latest certification with Precision Nutrition, but I’m happy to share that I am now re-certified as a Level 1 Certified Nutrition Coach. Anyone who is certified to coach in the health and fitness space is required to re-certify or take continued education courses every two years, and I love learning as much as I can throughout the journey.
If you are a personal trainer who is looking to expand your knowledge in nutrition, or anyone at all who has an interest to learn more of the science behind good nutrition practices, I’d highly recommend this program. Please reach out if you have any questions at all on this!
- all the holiday activities in NYC
2023 was the year I saw *all* of the holiday things in New York City.
I have seen almost everything on the “must see” list over the last seven years, but this specific year was one where I hit all of the big bucket-list items once, if not twice thanks to my family visiting followed by a unique work opportunity.
First up, my parents came in town to visit and stay with us in early December. My mom has been here over the holidays a few times, but it was my dad’s first time seeing the magic of the NYC in December and we wanted to make it memorable.
I didn’t want to overwhelm them, but I made a loose itinerary that included one main destination per day, with a few stops here and there on the way back to Brooklyn. I included full days “off” from taking the subways, and it was a good rhythm to follow to see enough but rest enough, too.
Things on our list included:
- Macy’s windows and 34th Street store
- Bryant Park Holiday Market
- Rolf’s – we waited in line for a quick photo at the bar but it was PACKED!
- Radio City Rockettes
- Rockefeller Tree
- Saks Fifth Avenue lights show
- walking the windows on Fifth Avenue towards Central Park
- a really nice dinner near Broadway (10/10 always recommend Hunt & Fish Club)
- MJ: the Musical (just my parents went to this, as I saw it a few months ago – fantastic!)
They were here for a week, and a few days later I came right back into “holiday mode” with an opportunity to work with Dance the Magic On Broadway. A dear friend of mine reached out to see if I was in town and available to help the staff lookout for the dancers and studios, and it was an absolute blast.
We had three days of events and outings leading up to the main event, which was a showcase of routines from dance studios around the country on a real broadway stage. It was very cool!
Some of the outings I was so happy to attend included:
- ice skating at Bryant Park (pictured at the top of this post)
- Aladdin the Musical
- Rockettes private dance workshop (I just observed, but it was awesome to see things behind the scenes)
- Rockettes (Skyler and Scott came with me on this one and he was the perfect age, dancing and on the edge of the seat the whole time!)
- breakfast at Ellen’s Stardust Diner (oh my gosh so fun)
- breakfast at Hard Rock Cafe
- dinner cruise around the Statue of Liberty (they have a handful of these, I’ve been on NYC Skyline Dinner Cruise and honestly couldn’t tell you which this one was, but they were very similar)
And, of course, a few rehearsals leading up to the main event of the dance showcase at New Amsterdam Theater, home of Aladdin the Musical. It was fun to be in the dance world again, as it was such a special and big part of my life for decades.
Thanks so much for reaching out, Angela, and let’s do it again soon!
- Christmas in Brooklyn
Just like the last few Christmas celebrations, our family of three kept things low-key around our house with a cozy day at home. We don’t plan much outside of waking up at sunset to a VERY excited son ready to dig into the presents under the tree, followed by a day at home in pajamas with takeout.
We started this tradition several years ago, and I don’t see it going away any time soon, unless we end up traveling to see family. If we’re going to be home for Christmas, however, we are going to give ourselves a break from cooking and all the to-dos by truly unplugging and just existing. We spend a lot of time video chatting with family, we almost always order random Chinese food, and it’s something I think we all really look forward to.
We simply REST and enjoy spending time together as a trio. No work, no messes (except an entire floor of wrapping paper and bows – pictured above, lol) and no plans outside of playing with new toys, games and watching whatever holiday movies we want. It’s glorious.
Christmas this year had a slight agenda, however, as we needed to finish packing for an exciting week ahead. Skyler and I joined Scott on a work trip over to Paris for the week, and we all flew out together for an overnight flight overseas on Christmas night. But hey, overall that was pretty chill too!
- New Year’s in Paris
I’m planning on covering more of our trip to Paris soon, but here’s a look into our final full day there as we got ready to ring in the New Year in Europe with a five-year-old, Parisian style.
Before we left, we looked into a few options for New Year’s Eve as a family, but we didn’t find anything that we really wanted to do that didn’t cost an obscene amount of money. We thought about doing a dinner cruise, but didn’t plan that in hopes of maybe scoring last-minute tickets to Disneyland Paris. Sadly, that didn’t happen either, so we decided to just go with the flow and see where the day took us.
We kept plans open, layered up, and got out to sight see a bit before meeting up with friends that also happened to be traveling through Paris with their family that day. (Isn’t it awesome when this happens?!)
We took a quick train ride over to The Louvre Museum and explored the outside courtyards before walking over to the Christmas market (Marche Gourmand) for a quick stroll through the shops and rides. This was our third time stopping through the area (oops), but we knew the kids would enjoy the carnival activities, slides and adventures included. So, we grabbed a glass of vin chaud (hot/mulled wine — something you’ll find everywhere around there this time of year) and enjoyed our brief hang together before they needed to get back to their hotel.
Knowing the day would turn into a late night, we took that as a sign to head back to our hotel for a break and family nap to recharge for the night ahead. We said goodbye to traditional bedtimes for Skyler on this trip, and it actually worked out wonderfully for this night and also transitioning him back to New York time on the return home. But more on that on the next post.
We didn’t know where the night would take us, but we trained in to the area we were earlier and ended up in a security bag check to enter the New Year’s Eve celebration on Champs-Élysées.
It was free to enter, and very mellow according to Scott and his previous experience there twelve years ago. We were just one of many families gathered to watch a big screen of live performances followed by a countdown and fireworks over the avenue, and we even ran into another family visiting from Long Island!
Unlike our Times Square Ball Drop here in NY, this event cleared out quickly after and the streets and subways re-opened for regular use after that. Skyler got to stay up WAY later than we planned, but it was well worth the memories. You only live once.
We got back to the hotel, got some sleep and packed our stuff up to check out and head to the airport for a direct flight back to New York the next afternoon.
It was a fantastic way to cap off the trip and say au revoir to Paris. For now.
- first real snowfall in 700+ days!
This may seem like a random one, but it holds importance in our household as Skyler has been asking when he can play in the snow, go sledding and build a snowman again for over two years. Before a few weeks ago, New York City hit a record of 700 consecutive days without an inch of snowfall, as we have had two very mild winters in a row.
I know, I couldn’t believe it either.
The snow finally fell on and off for a few days in a row, and Skyler was ENAMORED.
I tried to let him take his time and explore on our walks to things like school, gymnastics and taekwondo as much as I could … but the boy stopped at every single stoop and tree we saw to “do his job” which is picking off icicles and clearing the way. It totally reminded me of the days I would take Roadie for a walk, and sometimes he just had to stop at every. single. building. (Aw, Roadie *sad face, miss him!*)
Besides those few days followed by a week of temperatures in the teens, we have still had a relatively mild winter so far. And let me tell you, after four consecutive years of record-breaking snowfall and low temperature winters while living in Michigan (2012-2015), I will happily take it.
Skyler is now asking when it will snow again every day, so hopefully it’s not so long next time!
- three super-easy wellness tips for 2024
Did you catch this reel on Instagram? If not, I wanted to make sure you got these here because they include simple things that make an impact towards healthy habits long-term. Let’s adapt a few super-easy tips into your routine for a happier and healthier 2024 … today.
- Try to drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water every day. (Example: aim for 75 ounces if you weigh 150 pounds). Staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining optimal health and could also help improve digestion, support joint health, clear your skin and more. (It’s like my favorite *free* superpower!)
- Aim to move intentionally for at least 30 mins. every day. I’m not saying hit the gym, as every day would be too much, but it is ideal to move your body, get your steps in and include active recovery like stretching, low-intensity cardio, yoga and more.
- Keep an eye on your protein + fiber intake. Generally, most women need at least 100g protein + 25g fiber every day, usually more if you’re looking to change your body composition. Think about ways you can include lean meats, legumes, whole grains, eggs and dark leafy greens into your meals and snacks.
Try to reach for whole foods first, but supplements like protein and fiber powders can be added into things like smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt and more to fill in the gaps. (You know my favorite brand for this is NOW Foods – pictured here snd in the video. Use the code LIFEINLEGGINGS for 20% any order at nowfoods.com.
Remember, small steps lead to big changes! Incorporate these tips into your day, and watch as they naturally transform your routine while boosting your mood, energy level and well-being.
Cheers to a simple and healthy year ahead!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.*
All right, I think we’re a little more caught up now. I’m going to cut things off here for today, but I’ll be back with a full recap of our Paris trip (yay!) and more healthy living content soon.
In the mean time, see ya over on Instagram. 😉
What’s one highlight that has made you smile this winter?
(Share below in the comments!)
*Disclaimer: The wellness tips portion of this post is sponsored by NOW Foods. As always, all opinions remain my own, and I will only promote products and brands that fully align with the Life In Leggings mission of sharing simple and trusted healthy living advice.