HAPPY NEW YEAR’S EVE and goodbye 2016!!! I think most of us are in agreement that 2016 wasn’t the best year we’ve had. Maybe for some of you it was, but from the beginning, for me, 2016 pretty much sucked. My dad passed away on January 15th, 2016 and that cast a pretty dark shadow on the rest of the year. It’s been a year of “firsts” without him – first Father’s Day without a father, first birthday he wasn’t here to celebrate, first Christmas without seeing his smile as we opened gifts… Every holiday and special event was marked with a grim reminder that he wasn’t here with us. We have also been in a legal battle over his estate that will hopefully be over next week but dealing with that has also been extremely difficult and put significant strain on some of my relationships with people that I deeply love.
With the court case hopefully behind me soon and the ringing in of the New Year, I have hope that 2017 is going to bring me peace, joy, and a lot of love. For starters, we have a lot of weddings coming up! Two of my very best girlfriends since the first grade are getting married and my little sister just got engaged a few weeks ago and will be getting married in 2017 also! Our family also has a lot of travel planned including South America, DisneyWorld (Shh! Its a surprise for the girls’ birthdays!), and Canada. I’m also really excited to see this space grow. I can’t believe there are over eleven thousand of you guys following me and my journey on Instagram! It’s been amazing to connect with so many of you there and I look forward to sharing and growing alongside all of you.
To say goodbye to 2016, I wanted to share a few of my favorite photos and moments from the past year as a way to remember some of the really incredible things that we had the opportunity to experience….
Hi! Gosh, it’s been awhile! Sorry about that. December kind of flew by for us. It was the first year we didn’t travel to see family and we hosted our own Christmas and Hannukah and I was busy playing elf – running around getting presents, throwing a last minute holiday party, and keeping the kids occupied this whole week they have off of school.
One of the things I had planned was a trip to the ice skating rink at Brookfield Place. It’s downtown, smaller, and less crowded than some of the other rinks in the city (plus I had to exchange a few “Santa” items at the mall so it was a win-win). Both of the girls were so excited to give get out on the ice and watched the other skaters from inside the mall for a good 30 minutes.
I think I was maybe even more nervous than the kids. After all, I have further to fall if I fell down and I think it had been a good 10 years since I was last on the ice. Luckily we started out with this huge plastic seal that helped me get my balance while Lilah sat and got used to the idea of the ice.
They mostly just wanted Aaron to push them. He would go super fast and whip around the corners. I think everyone, including myself, thought he was crazy but they sure do love doing crazy things with their Daddy. Hearing their laughter warmed my heart.
My proudest moment was watching Edith try and skate all by herself. She had never been before and did really well! She kept saying, “I’m brave like Moana!”. I think next year I’ll definitely invest in a season pass just to take her every weekend and have her build up her balance and confidence.
So if you’re looking for something fun to do this winter with your kids in NYC, I definitely recommend checking out The Rink at Brookfield Place. We had a really fun time and hope to make it back a few more times this season.
When Framebridge asked me to share something important to me in a single frame for the #HolidayinFrame campaign, I knew right away what I wanted. Everything I need this holiday season is captured in this frame. This little family of mine is by no means “picture perfect”. There are fights, messy rooms, tempers lost and many mistakes made. But there is love. So much love and forgiveness and understanding. They are my greatest gifts.
I’ve made a point each year to frame our a picture from our holiday card photos as most of the other pictures stay buried in a hard drive somewhere. Just last week Aaron and I were going over the gallery and realized Lilah is wearing exactly what Edith wore two years ago when we first moved to Brooklyn. Seeing them grow, side by side, on frames in a wall in our bedroom gives me such joy. I hope to one day have an entire wall in the hallway of our forever house covered in our framed family photos.
Family photos or a special piece of art make an excellent gift for anyone on your list. Framebridge makes framing photos or artwork especially easy with just a few clicks. You can chose from countless matting and frame options (I used their new Rosemont rose gold frame here). Ordering for the first time? Use the code LUCKYPENNY15 for 15% off your order.
I’d love to know what is important to you this holiday season? Do you have a treasured ornament? A favorite holiday recipe? A song? Share in the comments below or use #holidayinframe on Instagram!
The girls are lucky enough to have THREE sets of grandparents, all very different, so I spend a lot of time thinking about the perfect gift for each family and what might bring them joy. Below are my top 12 choices for fun and practical presents for the grandparents:
If they don’t have a Kindle, they should! This one also has wi-fi and a single charge can last you up to a month!
Wine pearls to go along with a nice bottle of Pinot Grigio.
Frame a family photo with Framebridge. It’s as easy as uploading your photo, choosing a frame, and shipping it directly to the grandparents. (BONUS: use the code LUCKYPENNY10 for 10% off your first order!)
I always feel like shopping for my husband is the most difficult out of all of the gifts on my list. However, this year, I think I’ve got it in the bag! I kept notes of everything he ever said he liked all year long and think I may very well have the perfect gift. So I’ll cross my fingers and let you know how it goes. Untill then, here are a few other sure to be “winners” for your brothers, husbands, or best friends…I’ve got you covered!
A fancy french press. Or even better, book a sitter for a Sunday morning and take your man out to a coffee and a walk around downtown for a little alone time.
A Hero Session – For the guy who wants to capture every moment.
Brighten up his rainy day with this upgrade from his drug store umbrella that always ends up breaking.
Smart, functional, and beautiful new luggage for his next trip – wether its for business or pleasure.
A cozy sweater that’s so soft you’ll probably end up stealing it.
Rain boots (I think it must have been raining while I put this gift guide together, ha!) that are stylish enough to wear to work.
Tech gloves so he can keep commenting on that Reddit thread he keeps talking to you about even in freezing temps.
Some version of this is always on my list. It’s the perfect luxury for men they wouldn’t think to buy for themselves but will thank you later for it, trust me.
I just bought these for Aaron after my sister told me she got these for her boyfriend and it was a hit all around. 2 thumbs up.