Hi there, friends! It’s been pretty quiet around here, but if you follow along on Insta, you may have seen why…Eric and I have been hard at work these last couple months on his photography website!
It definitely took some trial and error, but it has been so rewarding. I love that we’ve got a fresh space to showcase his beautiful work.
Now, that whole journey could be another post, but today I’m talking about E for a whole other reason – holiday gifting with JORD! After all his hard work this fall, I knew I wanted to treat him to a special surprise this season.
You might remember from earlier this year that I’m already a fan of JORD’s wooden watches. Unique accessories that are both practical and stylish?? Yes, please. So when they reached out to fill me in on some new styles, Christmas came early for E.
This sweet husband of mine definitely loves a good watch. He’s been gifted a couple over the years, but nothing quite like this cool timepiece from JORD’s newest collection, the Hyde series.
Each JORD watch is made from 100% natural, hand-finished woods. E’s watch in particular is minimalism at its best, featuring a striking black face, metal tipped hands, and a walnut wood band.
Aside from their sophisticated look, I love how these pieces can easily be dressed up or down. Eric can pair it with casual weekend outfits as we explore Christmastime in the city, but also dress it up for the holiday parties and family outings to come later this month!
Landing on this watch was no easy task, there was a whole special selection of men’s wood watches at JORD to choose from. They also have a killer collection of elegant woman’s watches too. With the variety of finishes and colors, there’s honestly something for everyone.
You can check out the one I had to have for myself here!
Thinking one of these unique timepieces might make the perfect gift for a special someone this season?
Or that it might be time to #treatyoself to some stylish new arm candy??
Then you’re in luck – I’m so excited to have partnered with JORD to provide you a limited time 25% off code for your holiday shopping! Simply fill out this form and your offer instantly goes to your inbox.
Last month, Eric and I visited The Big Apple to spend time with friends and explore the city for his first visit! While I had been multiple times, it was exciting to see everything through fresh eyes with E.
It’s no secret that we have a constant case of the travel bug (ex: Jamaica, San Francisco, London, Madison), so visiting some of my NYC favorites while finding new ones together was lots of fun.
Below is the guide to New York City I pulled together in hopes that it comes handy if you’ve got a trip in your future!
Times Square (Night + Day) // This famous spot is a spectacle at any time of day, but I honestly prefer it at night! We got in late and ended up walking through Times Square around 11:30 pm, when it was a little less busy than evening primetime right before and after broadway shows. Seeing all the lights and different people gathered to Oooo and Aww is truly something else!
To that point though, it’s worth seeing during the day too! Since it gets so crowded and tourist heavy, I’ve never stayed for too long at once. If you’ve gone, when’s your favorite time to see it?
PIZZA // You know how they say dolla make me holla? Well that’s true here. I was told anytime I see a sign for dollar pizza, do it – and I’ll tell you the same thing. I actually prefer NYC style pizza (large, hand tossed thin-crust) to Chicago deep dish (shhhh, don’t tell!). There’s various spots for it all around Manhattan, especially around the Times Square area.
E and I straight up walked to two $1.00 locations for dinner one night. We’re so fancy, I know. Keep in mind, quality varies of course, and for even just a few bucks you can get a slice with more toppings.
All I’m saying is tasty pizza for cheap? SOLD.
Empire State Building // Probably my favorite touristy thing on my guide to New York City! Nothing beats these views from the middle of Manhattan, giving you a breathtaking sights on all sides. In addition to the views, the history throughout the tour is fun to learn about – especially for engineers like E!
I’d recommend buying your tickets before hand and going earlier in the morning. Eric and I showed up around 9:00 am on a Friday with no major waits.
Statue of Liberty // If you’ve only got time for a couple famous attractions, this is the other I’d recommend in addition to the Empire State! You get two for one – the Statue of Liberty + Ellis Island – with your ticket and the cruise out to the islands includes spectacular views of the NYC skyline that people pay way more for elsewhere. Lady Liberty is just so iconic, it was a classic E had to see without hesitation!
Cruise time slots book up ahead of time, so I’d recommend buying tickets a few weeks out. Tip: Time on your ticket is when you arrive to go through security, not when your cruise takes off!
Thanks to my resident photographer + husband at Benavides Photography for most of the snaps you’ll see in this post!
The Shop at NBC Studios (Rockefeller Center) // If you are a major fan of any NBC shows (think Friends, Parks & Rec, The Office, SNL, etc.), then you have to stop at this store inside Rockefeller Center – another famous building and plaza to at least walk by in itself! The NBC store has memorabilia for every show out the wazoo. Did you guys hear E and I are the new Today show hosts?
Central Park // It’s huge and it’s beautiful! Give yourself a couple hours to walk around and get lost, but don’t plan on covering the whole thing. Keep a look out for some cool rocky spots where you can get great photos of the city behind you and the Imagine Mosaic in honor of John Lennon.
Levain Bakery // While your by Central Park, you have to stop by this little bakery and get the BEST COOKIES EVER! Seriously, the only explanation for these treats is magic. Just kidding, but maybe. Don’t let the line fool you, it went by fairly fast when we were there and the chocolate chips are waiting.
Brooklyn // I highly recommend carving out time in your trip to visit Brooklyn! Just walking around you’ll find lots of unique shops and restaurants (ex: Walter’s cute brunch, Bittersweet coffee). If nothing else, you should at least walk across the bridge for some beautiful views – was and still remains one of my favorite things in the city!
On the Brooklyn side of the bridge, you’ll find Le Bagel Delight in Dumbo (omg delicious at these breakfast bagel, you guys) and this famous spot at Washington and Water Streets! A photographer’s (aka E’s) heaven.
Laduree // This macaroon shop that originated in Paris is the real deal and has two locations in NYC. We swung by the Soho location to sample a tasty treat! You can also sit in their beautiful garden patio for some champagne. Perfect if you’ve been walking around all day and need a boost!
Broadway // You can’t go to NYC for the first time (or anytime in my book) without seeing a show on Broadway! From timeless classics (Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, or Lion King) to more recent hits (Hamilton, Book of Mormon, Dear Evan Hansen), I feel like there’s something for everyone.
E and I love Broadway shows and wanted to see something new for us both. We ended up at Cats, which was veryyy interesting. The costumes and dancing were amazing, and while it’s a classic, we did both find it a little odd, so it wouldn’t be my first recommendation haha. I would, without a doubt, suggest one of those I mentioned above!
Tip: If you aren’t set on one show, save money by showing up at one of TKTS booths around the city (we always go to the Times Square location) and purchasing discounted same-day theatre tickets!
Other Spots To Consider:
Grand Central Station // This is such a pretty New York spot. From details like the starry ceiling to the antique feeling departure counters, it’s worth checking out if you’ve got a thing for buildings with character.
It feels like fall is finally in full swing up in Chicago, but it’s no surprise that recently our family back in Texas has still been hitting those higher temps! Needless to say, when we went home last weekend for the rivalry football game between Texas and Oklahoma, our suitcase consisted strictly of summer clothing.
So while I’m bundled up in the coziest cardigan right now, I still had to share this game day denim that was perfect for tailgating and fun at the Texas State Fair!
When I’m looking for an affordable wardrobe classic, my first attempt is usually at Forever 21. They somehow offer various versions of the same piece, letting my indecisive self know I explored my options.
Thankfully, I had quick luck with a denim skirt! While I couldn’t find my exact piece online, similar F21 styles are here (buttons half-way), here (bottom with fringe), and here (lighter denim).
Is anyone super pumped denim skirts are back?? Fun fact, I vividly remember my first real shopping trip in the woman’s section was at Old Navy. I bought one of these babies and thought I was the coolest chick around. Ha!
Seeing as it was 91 degrees this day, I aimed to keep things as light as possible with a white, flowy off-the-shoulder top from one of my favorite Austin boutiques, Longhorn Fashions. The boots are also a game day tradition, so how could I not?
I had to get the burnt orange touch in there with my Kendra Scott Goldstone Elle earrings. While I had my fair share of burnt orange clothes in Austin, it’s a harder color to track down in the midwest! That being said, I’m always a fan of neutrals for game day – I’ve just gotta add these beauties and I’m ready.
The next item I’ll be hunting for are some cute tights and booties so that I can transition this game day denim into the cooler weather!
Eric and I spent so much of this weekend watching college football (eek, it was a sad loss for UT) and Houston baseball (Astros headed to the World Series, yay!) – I love this time of year, you guys.
Where your favorite spots to shop for game day staples?
P.S. Thanks to E for the photos – being married to an awesome photographer has it’s perks! // Benavides Photography
Neither of us had ever attended a murder mystery show before, so I have to admit, I was a bit hesitant when the Murder Mystery Co. reached out with the opportunity to attend since I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. That being said, you know E and I are always down adventure and we figured this would be fun to check out!
We were totally right.
At The Murder Mystery Co., the theatre troupe serves up a three course meal, along with two hours of interactive, Clue style mystery and intrigue. From the moment we arrived, there was mixing and mingling with interesting characters and fellow attendees turned suspects.
Our show was titled ‘Til Death Do Us Part – focused on a wedding day nightmare in which a member of the wedding party was murdered. With a bridezilla, unenthused groom, and slew of mix matched wedding guests (some of which were selected audience members), the plot unfolded as the search began to discover the killer.
We enjoyed a delicious pasta dinner at Salvatore’s in Lincoln Park, where the show took place. This real-life wedding venue turned murder mystery setting for the night has an antique feel, complete with pretty chandeliers, huge mirrors, and a wooden bar with character.
As we enjoyed our food, the actors engaged audience members in brief interrogations, including E! I thought he might get arrested for sneaking in some poison and I’d be headed home without him. Thankfully, he was cleared.
Throughout the show, audience members have opportunities to engage with suspects, gather clues, and work with our dinner table of team members to crack the case. In the end, the killer was revealed and awards were given to the night’s best audience actors.
If you are outgoing, engaging, and down to go with the flow, then an experience with the Murder Mystery Company is one you’d enjoy! It also seems like a popular choice for larger parties celebrating birthdays. Couples who are down to try something new and have a fun loving, easy going attitude will also have a great time.
Thanks again to the wonderful cast for having us! If you’re interested in a show by The Murder Mystery Company, learn more here!
My heart has been heavy this past week. Watching family, friends, the rest of the Houston community, and neighboring areas suffer from Chicago has been difficult.
My heart has also swelled with Texas pride as I’ve watched people and organizations across the state stand strong and rush to help each other. Seeing the country rally together to provide support and relief has also been a sweet note of hope.
Those who know me know as much as I love traveling, home is always near and dear to my heart. Granted, there are of course some things about Texas that need changing, but I’ve learned that’s the case with most places. The love for my home state will never fade. It’s home.
As we’ve watched the devestation Hurricane Harvey has brought unfold in the media, we are feeling especially far. Eric and I, along with our fellow Houstonians up north, have been hurting for our communities and looking for opportunities to help.
How to Help After Harvey
That being said, I’ve rounded up a list of goods that give back 100% of their proceeds to Harvey relief efforts, as well as organizations that you can donate to and help after Harvey.
NPR put together this awesome, comprehensive list of organizations you can contribute to. I’ve pulled out a handful below I was interested in when researching, and have linked directly to the Harvey efforts on their site.