Hi my friends! I hope you had a good week out there.
I didn’t get to pop into the blog as much as I planned to, so let’s roll into this week’s Friday Favorites with an old fashioned catch-up recap. We’ve been surprisingly busy around here, and I don’t see things slowing down any time soon. But I guess that is a great problem to have!
Since we last chatted, we had a friend from Michigan visit, and we spent four days (post negative COVID-19 tests) exploring our neighborhood and Manhattan as safely as possible.
Fun fact, Hannah is a former room mate of mine and had never been to New York City before this trip. She planned it several months ago, and all of us assumed that the City would be up and running by the time she got here … but we all know that is not the case. Well, she decided to pursue the trip, and we only got out when and where it felt safe to do so.
Below is a recap (and a lot of photos) of some of my favorite stops throughout her trip. And there’s so much more to share, too. I guess we’ll pick up on the Brooklyn highlights next week.
Thank you so much for checking in today!
Here we go …
FRIDAY FAVORITES: WEEK OF 12/11
There’s no way that I could cover everything in this post, so I’ll break it up into sections that make sense and highlight as much as I can.
Please note that while we chose to get out for a full day and a half of exploring, we also took extreme precautions with every stop along the way. We wore face masks (outside of a quick photo opp or if I note a specific reason), we kept our distance far from others, and we all tested negative before leaving our apartment together for the first time.
That said, we spent most of our time walking around and seeing the outdoor sights that are truly unique to the City. We ate inside of a few restaurants, but all were spaced out with plexiglass dividers and extreme protocols in place. Scott and I seriously do not mess around here! I just wanted to include that, in case some of you wonder what the heck we are thinking. If we felt unsafe, we didn’t go. It’s that simple.
- Holiday Sights in NYC — little to no wait and safety protocols
First and foremost, I have to highlight the handful of Holidays in NYC must-sees that we were able to experience with little to no wait at all, which is very opposite of what happened last year. (<- my Holiday To-Dos in New York City list, pre-COVID.)
Typically, the streets of NYC are flooded with tourists, locals with visitors, and everyone in between around this time of year while trying to catch a peek at famous and nostalgic landmarks like Radio City Music Hall, The Rockefeller Tree, 5th Avenue Shopping Windows, Saks Holiday Window Light Show, Macy’s Holiday Window Display, Central Park, and more.
We had three different groups of visitors come into town over the holidays last year to see all of these things listed above and more, so to say that Scott and I have had our fair share of holiday experiences is an understatement. We are grateful to live so close to these amazing outings and have played tourists over and over. But, sometimes it can be a lot! The streets were very crowded last year, it seemed like everyone was outside at once, and it just wasn’t as pleasant as something you might experience outside of Midtown. (I explain this to visitors every time!)
Anyways, as we predicted, this year was very different from the previous ones. Not only were there barely any people out, but also you could tell that most were local (a lot of them brought their dogs), and we barely waited in a line for anything at all.
And, when we did, it was spaced at least six feet a part from other people, like this bubble we stood in to get pictures close up with the Rockefeller Tree.
There is no way that we could have gotten this close last year … everyone was packed in like sardines and it was not a low-key thing!
That said, if you’re around the Rockefeller Tree, you have to walk over to Fifth Avenue to see the Light Show at Sak’s. It runs every ten minutes (even this year!) and takes my breath away every time I see it.
Between our two nights out in the City, we strolled down the shops of Fifth Avenue to see the window displays, and while they weren’t as done up as usual, they were still cool to see.
Skyler absolutely loved the Christmas lights and decorations!
Scott and I do not usually repeat a restaurant visit in Manhattan very often, since there are so many unique and new spots to try. But, it was our third time eating at Macao Trading Company, and it did not disappoint.
We have a special place in our hearts for Macao (China), since that was the first official trip Scott and I took together while working for the Orlando Magic. We actually ate at Macao the restaurant with another friend of ours (who was also on the trip with us) who lives in the City back before we moved to NYC!
We revisited shortly after moving to Brooklyn, and we took Hannah to experience the delicious Asian Fusion last weekend. We were able to reserve a table indoors, and all tables were spaced out with plexiglass hanging between each table setting. We also had temperature checks upon entering, and masks were worn by everyone when they weren’t eating.
It was a limited menu, but they still had some great options to order from.
If you ever eat here, do yourself a favor and order the Drunken Dragon’s Milk cocktail, Hoissin Hakka Noodles, Dumplings, and/or the Grilled Skirt Steak. Everything was incredibly tasty and the noodles were out of this world. So good!
- 230 Fifth Rooftop Igloos
Longtime readers already know that one of my favorite places to take visitors is to 230 Fifth — a rooftop restaurant and bar. (Check out some of the recaps here, here, here, and here.) It goes from a casual, more family-friendly atmosphere in the daytime to an exclusive nightclub feel in the nighttime, so I’d recommend that you pay a visit at a time that is in line with what you’re looking for.
Just know that if you choose anything after dinner, you will most likely have to pay a cover to enter, you will need a reservation for a table, and you might not get an igloo.
With Skyler in tow, we planned to visit right before the sunset and lucked out with an igloo to ourselves! (They are doing one igloo per household right now, obviously.) It was the perfect break to take our masks off, as all ordering was done through our phones and brought to our igloos through a zipper. It was warm with a heated fireplace ambiance and was so, so cozy!
And the views! Well, they don’t get much better.
Pre-COVID, you had to share igloos with other people, and in the Fall, you were given snuggies to wear outside in the chilly weather. I guess we will see how it all unfolds with the seasons in 2021. This place is one of my favorites for sure.
- Beautycounter Store — Prince Street
One of our must-see stops during our days in the City included a quick subway ride over to Soho to take Hannah to see the Beautycounter store.
She’s a consultant on my team, so I knew that she would enjoy this outing as much as I do. Understandably, the store has been closed since March, and only recently re-opened with strict protocols in place. It’s recommended to call the store before you arrive, and there is a limit of three guests at a time. There is a no-touch policy, so basically you can seen everything in person, but aren’t able to sample or try shades out like normal. Masks are required, and while it was a different experience, it was still neat to see.
I always love being able to see the newest products in person, since I don’t have every single thing at home for myself. I was pleasantly surprised to see how BIG some of the holiday sets are, much bigger than they look online.
We took a few pictures and then moved on, but I had to include this one in my week of highlights and also encourage you to check out ALL of the fun deals and giveaways that are happening on the Life In Leggings – Beautycounter page right now.
SO. MANY. THINGS. including a special offer and giveaway opportunity every day from me to you (here is today’s) …
If you’ve never tried Beautycounter before and want to dive in to a few products, please reach out to me (if you need help) and use the promo code CHANGEBEAUTY10 here to receive 10% off your order this month.
And, I can’t close this section without saying a big THANK YOU to everyone who purchased from me recently and in November. I am blown away and appreciate you so much!
- favorite LIL posts
This black bean and vegetable soup is vegetarian and vegan-friendly with a Mexican flare. It’s chunky and loaded with healthy ingredients. Enjoy as a liquid base or thicken it up with instructions here!
I really love total body workouts, but it’s nice to take a break from that focus and train the upper and lower body separately sometimes. Today we’re concentrating on the upper body, and this circuit will get ya!
Okay, I could keep typing but I better leave the rest for next time. Thanks again for clicking over and reading the blog today!
I hope you all have a great weekend ahead, and that you do at least one thing that makes you smile during this weird season. Talk soon!
*Disclaimer: Friday Favorites posts may contain affiliate links. Also, I am a Beautycounter consultant and love what I do with the company. By using the links provided in this post to order products, you are supporting my business. I always appreciate you!