Merry Christmas!

12-08-2015_CHRISTMASDINNER_rsp-9711
Photo by Rebekah Senter Photography, Styling by Stephanie Scholl Events

Merry, merry Christmas!!

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” – Luke 2:10-14

Thanksgiving + Christmas in NYC

nyc27

This post is a little late, since Christmas is almost here, but I had to share anyway! My family and I spent a week in New York City for Thanksgiving, and we had the very best time there together!! Bridgette and Rob, my sister & brother in law, live there, my parents and I flew into town to spend Thanksgiving week together. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen my sister so excited, which was really cute – and I know we were all very much looking forward to the trip!

Some of the trip highlights were:

Bridgette & Rob hosting an amazing Thanksgiving in their home (we even used their wedding china!)

Grand Central + dinner at UrbanSpace

tons and tons of walking around the city – with the most gorgeous weather almost the entire week!

macarons at Laduree on the UES

exploring the holiday shops + ice skating rink at Bryant Park

so many delicious home-cooked meals, accompanied by plenty of wine

seeing all of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons inflated the night before the parade

beautiful sunsets over the city from their apartment

manicures + wine date with Mom and Bridgette for Mom’s birthday

strolls through Central Park

Christmas decorations everywhere!

NYC bagels with cream cheese

having so much to be thankful for on Thanksgiving (and every day!)

spending part of Thanksgiving afternoon with some friends of Bridgette & Rob’s (one of which I met at the Making Things Happen conference, which made it even more fun!!)

such a fun day exploring the Upper West Side: the Museum of Natural History, an amazing Shake Shack lunch, re-living the moving You’ve Got Mail, checking out beautiful Riverside Park, the most perfect weather, seeing Cafe Lalo

nyc25

Christmas trees everywhere!

German beer + food at the Standard Biergarten

strolling the High Line

popping into shops at the Chelsea Market

seeing NYU, where Bridgette is in grad school

church with the family

strolling along 5th Avenue to take in all of the Christmas decorations and amazing window displays of the major shops

popping into the Plaza to see the painting of Eloise and the Plaza Christmas tree (my all time favorite!)

nyc41

nyc34

such a fun (and supremely delicious!) birthday dinner on the Upper East Side for my mom!

It was a truly wonderful week in NYC with my family, and we were so grateful to spend all of that time together. We had SUCH a good time!!! There’s really nothing like New York during the holidays, and it’s such a magical, beautiful, and fun place to be!

Thanks again for hosting us, Bridgette & Rob!!

Holiday Dinner Party | The School of Styling

12-08-2015_CHRISTMASDINNER_rsp-0048

Dinner parties + Christmastime are essentially my love languages, so a holiday dinner party is right up my alley! The sweet ladies at The School of Styling asked me to share my essentials for throwing a holiday dinner party with friends, and the feature is published over on The School of Styling blog!

You’ll have to check out the entire article on The School of Styling to see what my five essentials are for hosting an amazing holiday dinner party!

Here’s a little snippet…

“Before you put too much pressure on yourself, especially during the holiday season, to throw a perfect and over-the-top dinner party, be sure to remember that true hospitality comes down to the heart behind it. I absolutely love the beautifully curated details, the amazing meal, a well-stocked bar cart, and a gorgeous tabletop, but I deeply believe that all of this is for nothing if your guests don’t feel welcomed and loved! Ultimately, be sure that you’re creating an atmosphere where your home is warm, welcoming, relaxed, and fun. If you’re stressed, worried, or harried, chances are, your guests are going to feel it, too. Embrace the fact that something may go wrong! Allow ample time for socializing, mixing, and mingling in a relaxed, comfortable, joyful atmosphere – this is key to a successful, memorable dinner party. Fully enjoy that loved ones are gathered together at your table and be thankful for that. And if all else fails, pop the champagne and cheers to that!”

“Even in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s necessary to gather friends together to celebrate life and celebrate friendships, and what better way to do that than across the table from one another?”

Photography: Rebekah Senter Photography

Styling & design: Stephanie Scholl Events

Cake: Simply Cakes

Models: Hannah Smith Design and Raleigh Design House

12-08-2015_CHRISTMASDINNER_rsp-9711