Around Here XXI

Greetings from NYC! We moved last Tuesday and have been trying to settle in as quickly as we can to be able to enjoy this time of year. I’ve always wanted to visit NYC over the holidays and while it wasn’t the most ideal time to move and we’d rather be spending this week with family rather than alone in our new apartment, we’re making the best of the situation and trying to embrace everything the city has to offer–namely the snow (which is now slush), decorations, and generally festive vibe that still exists despite the streets being much emptier than usual.

I want to write an end of year conclusion post of sorts but haven’t had the mental capacity to do so; it’s been go-go-go seemingly in all aspects of life right now and as much as purging and organizing brings me joy, it’s not fun to do when you’re surrounded by lots of other priorities and the desperate need to put things away so as to not be living among piles of belongings that don’t have a home yet :) Today features some random things from life lately, and I’ll have a simple drink recipe that’ll be up on Wednesday!

Christmas Festivities

Say hello to our little tree! We did a small one this year because of our move, and picked it up from a street vendor in our neighborhood last week right before the snow hit. We’ll be on our own for Christmas this year and are planning to make a kind of elaborate homemade breakfast and then order Chinese food for dinner. The plan is to make three types of cookies: Italian, chocolate crinkle, and sugar with royal icing for some decorating…I love any and all holiday cookies and am happy we’ll be continuing this tradition :) As an aside, the drink pictured above is a hot toddy with Stash’s Maple Apple Cider tea. They sent over some of their holiday varieties and we’ve been drinking 1-2 different types daily. 10/10 would recommend for a subtly festive twist on an everyday beverage!

Jar Goods

Something I’ve become increasingly discerning about in the past few years is my pasta sauce. After learning just how much “junk” (particularly sugar) can be packed into a seemingly simple jar of sauce, I now pore over the ingredients list before buying. I do the majority of our shopping at Trader Joe’s but actually rarely buy sauce there because Rao’s and Thrive Market have cleaner ingredients and little to no sugar. I’ve now added Jar Goods to the list after they sent over a few of their sauces to try out this fall. We love them! The ingredients are super simple and nothing is processed like most sauces you see in stores, and they’re available nationwide. We’ve tried several varieties and most recently made a pasta dish with rotini, sweet Italian sausage, some veggies, and the Classic Spicy Tomato Sauce and it was amazing. Recipe post coming in the new year but it’s the best “spicy” sauce I’ve ever had–it has a good kick but is enjoyable for those of us who can’t do super hot flavors!

Hill House Nap Dress

You may have seen buzz around the Hill House Nap Dress this year and I’m here to confirm that the hype is real! I got my first one in the fall and my second just arrived. Both of mine are the Ellie style but there are several other styles, too. I love that you can wear a normal bra, how light and comfortable they are, that they’re machine washable, and how easy they are to dress up or down. This multi-tartan one is what I wore on Thanksgiving and is what I’ll wear on Christmas, too, and a navy gingham one just arrived!

New Dog Coats

This won’t apply to all of you, but if you’re in the market for any dog coats, read on! Millie is tall and long but is very narrow, so most outerwear doesn’t fit her; most styles either fit around her body but are too short, or fit length-wise but are too baggy and deeply sag in the front. Sydney recently Instagrammed her similarly-built pup in this jacket and I ordered it immediately! SmartPak is actually an online equine store but they have a section for dogs, too. (We also recently got her this and this, if you’re in the market. They don’t have the adjustable sides like the SmartPak one but still fit well and are super budget-friendly.)

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  1. Tea wrote:

    Must be very weird moving to a new city in the middle of a pandemic, but looks like it’s Christmas is the best season for it.

    And that dress looks too comfy.

    Posted 1.4.21 Reply
    • Monica wrote:

      Definitely a weird time, but we’re making the best of it! Hope you had a nice holiday :)

      Posted 1.11.21 Reply