Welcome to New York It's been Waitin' for You


New York City is easily my favorite place to travel to in the United States. It's a place I never want to leave and don't go nearly often enough. I've never visited at Christmas before so I jumped at the chance.

To Do

This post is mainly focused on things to do during Christmas time. There isn't really anywhere you can go in Manhattan that isn't decorated for Christmas! My first piece of advice to someone would be to pick a neighborhood and just walk around! This is the best way to experience the city. 


Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree - This almost goes without saying but this tree is a must see! It is a top spot to visit so go early in the morning or late at night. 

Bryant Park Christmas Market - There are 3 Christmas markets in the city and this one was a favorite with its great mix of different shops and vendors. They also have a skating rink in the center and great food vendors.  The tree here is also a stand out!



Store Window Christmas Displays - Each year some of the major retailers create the most gorgeous window displays. There are tons of displays all along the city but an abundance are on 5th avenue. I recommend Saks, Bergdorf Goodman's, Tiffany & Co and Henri Bendel. 


Dyker Park Christmas Lights - A neighborhood in South Brooklyn is famous for going all out with outdoor Christmas lights. You can easily walk around the neighborhood at your own pace and see all the lights. 


Central Park - Bundle up and explore the park! There is so much to see and you can really spend days exploring it, make sure to check out the ice rink.


Grand Central Station - A must see anytime you are in NYC but especially gorgeous with its Christmas decor. Great Christmas shopping as well!


Color Factory - This is a short term interactive art installation. It's a lot of fun with lots of great photo ops. Check out their instagram

Stay

I always struggle with where to stay in Manhattan. I love several different areas and don't want to spend too much of my time traveling throughout the city. After some research and actually cancelling our first hotel, we ended up staying in midtown at the U Hotel For a hotel in a city like New York, my requirements are location, safety, cleanliness and comfortable bed. For me, this isn't the place to have a spacious room. The location was great for our trip at Christmas because it was in between the areas we wanted to visit. 

Eat


Bread's Bakery - I will dream about the Rugelach. Everything at the bakery is carb heaven!


 Joe's Pizza - An NYC institution, so there will always be a line. My recommendation would be take a slice to go as you walk thru and explore the streets. Bonus points if its late at night!


Ippudo - Ramen at its finest! Depending on which location you go to they have several types of ramen with traditional add ins. Expect a wait, but its well worth it. 


Serra - Every Holiday season, Eataly turns the top floor of its building into a pop up holiday restaurant. The decor alone is worth going but the pasta is outstanding as well. This will really put you in the Holiday mood.


Black Tap - This place is insta famous for its over the top milkshakes. We went for brunch, which I wouldn't recommend but the burgers are supposed to be amazing. You can't leave without atleast having a shake (even if its only for the gram)!

Shake Shack - Fast food isn't typically on my travel guide lists but this place is my favorite and I fell in love with it first in NYC. I always have to go back atleast once when I'm there. 


The Smith - We went for the mac and cheese but I fell in love with the butternut squash and goat cheese salad. The have lots of great american classics and great seasonal cocktails. 


Momoya - Famous for their crispy rice roll, they also have several other unique signature rolls, cooked dishes and tempting appetizers. 


What else do you need to know about NYC? Comment below!
Kara Krittenbrink
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Sweaters and Shimmer


Sometimes you find an outfit combination that works and stick with it. Many of my favorite fall outfits consist of a skinny pant, tunic top and booties. This may seem boring when you first read it but there are endless combinations to create. Depending on the material I can create an outfit for a night out, work or just a casual day of errands. 

Another combination I'm loving is a casual sweater, midi skirt and heel. For the holiday season, I like one item in the outfit to be elevated and my favorite way is to add some shimmer! Sequins, glitter or just a little sparkle, who doesn't love some shimmer. 

I love this outfit combination for a Holiday date night or even Christmas with your family! 

Outfit 1 - one // four // seven

Outfit 2 - two // five // eight

Outfit 3 - three // six // nine

Kara Krittenbrink
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Holiday Beauty


There is something about this time of year that has me wanting to step up my beauty routine. I find myself wanting a pop of color, some extra shimmer or even a hair accessory. Whether I have a Christmas party or dinner with friends, I love adding a bit more glamour. 


One // Almay Gel Metallic Eyeliner - Change up your regular liner with a fun, festive color. This gel liner glides on so you can blend it into your lash line.


Two // Benefit Push Up Eyeliner - This eyeliner is dramatic and dark. Play up your eyes with a thick or think line on your upper lash line. 


Three // Tasha Metal Headband - This pretty metal will look great with wild curls or a big voluminous ponytail.


Four // Stila Kitten Eye Duo - One side is a soft shimmer, the other full of glitter in a very wearable soft champagne. Pack om the glitter side 


Five // Bare Minerals Gen Nude Palette - The six shades in those palette complement each other so well. I like the rose tones as a different take on a smokey eye. 


Six // Sara Happ Lip Gloss - Sometimes all you need is a glossy lip to up your makeup game.


Seven // MAC Retro Matte Lipstick - This lipstick in ruby woo is one of my all time favorite colors of all the time. It is the perfect red in the pretties matte finish. 

Eight // Lele Sadoughi Headband - The embellishment on this headband will distract from even the worst hair day. Add it as a topper to a wavy or curly look for your holiday parties.


Nine // E.L.F. Baked Highlighter - Add a couple layers of highlighter to your cheekbones, brow bone, inner corner of your eye and cupids bow. Feel free to go a little crazy for special occasions!


Ten // Benefit High Beam - Mix in this highlighter with your favorite liquid foundation for an all over glow or layer it on top.
Kara Krittenbrink
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Lady in Red


Now that you are working on getting everyone the perfect gift, (check out my gift guides here, here and here) its time to find the perfect outfit for all of your holiday parties! One of my favorite colors for any time of year, but especially Christmas, is red. It looks good on everyone and is so festive! I've put together 3 outfits with similar color palettes that showcase the daring color. Each of them is for different Christmas party situations you may have coming up!











Kara Krittenbrink
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Gift Guide: For the Home


Kara Krittenbrink
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Black Friday Sales





I'll keep this short and sweet. Below is a list of Black Friday Sales I've scouted out so far. I will keep updating this as I find more. Some are already in action, others won't start til Friday! Happy Shopping!

Sales

Ann Taylor

- 40% off everything with code SHOPEARLY (11/20- 11/21)
- 40% off everything with code THANKFUL (11/21-11/22)
- 50% off everything with code BLACKFRIDAY (Valid 11/22-11/25)
- 50% off everything with code CYBER2018 (Valid 11/25- 11/28)

Asos - Up to 60% off big brands (expires 11/21)

Banana Republic - 40% (expires 11/20)


BaubleBar - Sales on several items and gift sets. 

BeautyCounter - 15% off and free shipping om orders $50+.


Famous Footwear - BOGO half off (11/17-11/20 & 11/28-12/3)


Gap - 40% off everything with code GIFT. 50% with gap card with code CARD BF & extra 10% off with code PLUS 10.


JCrew - 40% off most items with code TOGETHER. 

Kate Spade - Up to 75% off lots of items plus free shipping to U.S. and Canada.

Loren Hope 

- 20% off with code SPARKLE20
- 25% off  a purchase of $250+ with code SPARKLE25
- 30% off purchase of $500+ with code SPARKLE30

Loft - 40% off with code BESTWEEK (11/20-11/21)



- 20% Black Friday preview with code SCORE(expires 11/20)
-20% Off Black Friday Sale with code BLKFRI (11/21-11/24)
- 20% Off Cyber Monday with code CYBER (11/25-11/26)

Madewell - 20% off with code DEALWITHIT (expires 11/25)

Nordstroms - Up to 60% off select styles (11-22-11/26)

Old Navy - 40% off everything. 

Pottery Barn - 20% off regular priced order & free shipping with code HOLIDAY.


Revolve - Extra 20% off sale (11/25-11/27)


Sam Edelman - Up to 50% off with code SAMSGIVING2018 (expires 11/25)


Sole Society 

-Up To 60% Off Select Shoes, Bags & Apparel (11/21-11/22)
- Black Friday Weekend: 30% Off All Shoes & Bags (11/23-11/25)
- Cyber Monday: 30% off site wide (1/26-11/27)

Stuart Weitzman - 40-50% off select styles (starts 11/22)

Shopbop

-15% off $200+ with code MORE18
-20% off $500+with code MORE18
25% off $800+ with code MORE18

T3 - 25% off with code FRIDAY18 

Tula - 25% off sitewide.

Tory Burch - 30% orders over $250 with code THANKS. 

Urban Decay - From thanksgiving to November 25th everything is 20% off and free shipping. Starting on Sunday a select product will be 50% off each day. The product will change daily so keep checking daily!


Do you know of any other sales I need to add? Comment below!
Kara Krittenbrink
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Gift Guide: Men


Whether it's my dad, brother or a significant other, I've always found the men in my life to be the hardest to shop for. With this gift guide I've tried to mix some classic men's items with a few new ideas. 




Kara Krittenbrink
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Gift Guide: Beauty Lover


My second gift guide is for those of us that love beauty and skin care or someone that deserves to pamper themselves. As someone that is always looking to try the latest in skincare, I've tried several of these items or have been wanting to try them. 
Sephora Collection Face Mask Set - This set of masks is a great starter set to try out a bunch of different types of masks. 

Drunk Elephant babyFacial - I've heard so much about this brand. BabyFacial is supposed to be like a facial in a bottle.

Hourglass Highlighting Palette - The ultimate highlighting palette, for anyone that loves makeup. 

Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask - This mask has become really popular for its intense hydration. Great way to pamper someone!

Fresh Lip Kit - Winter always seems to give me chapped lips, this set has everything you need to take care of them. 

Slip Silk Pillowcase - For the ultimate beauty lover. A silk pillowcase is good for both your skin and hair. It is supposed to have less friction which can cause hair breakage and wrinkles.

Colleen Rothschild Intense Hydrating Mask -  Another intense hydration mask. I've talked about it in this post and use it at least once a week during the Winter. 

Beauty Counter Mini Oil Trio - The first beauty counter item I tried is their No. 1 oil (see here). I quickly fell in love and have since then tried the No. 2. This trio is a great way to try all 3! I actually bought it for myself to use when I travel!

Jo Malone Cologne Collection - A fragrance set always makes a great gift. Jo Malone fragrances are always popular and this set has something for everyone. 

Foreo Luna Play Plus - The Luna deep cleans, exfoliates and refines pores. It's the type of gift that someone may not buy for themselves but would get lots of use out of. 

Laura Mercier Highlighter - Another amazing highlighter. I use this powder everyday!
Kara Krittenbrink
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Gift Guide: Under $50


I recently asked some friends what was their favorite gift they've ever been given. The question sparked a really interesting conversation and it was great to hear what everyone thought of. The answers ranged from jewelry and purses to an American Girl doll. 

Buying gifts for someone you care about can sometimes be stressful. For the next couple weeks I'll be posting gift guides. They each have a different theme. My hope is to help you find the right gift for everyone on your list. I've started off with my under $50 gift guide. I've included gifts for men, women and the home. 

Kara Krittenbrink
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I Love Paris in the Fall


I recently spent 10 days in Europe on a Girls' trip with one of my best friends. On the trip, we visited 3 cities in Central Europe, Paris, Salzburg and Munich. Our first stop on our trip was Paris. We bookended our trip in the City of Lights with a day at the beginning of the trip and a day at the end. 




Eat- Paris is definitely a food city! Between the incredible restaurants and patisseries there is no need to go hungry. I could eat the chocolate croissants every day! 

Comptoir de la Gastronomie - This place was recommended to us and didn't disappoint. We had a long leisurely lunch here and enjoyed our french food with a few glasses of wine and champagne. We started with a meat platter and bread. I had the duck shepherds pie and my friend had the Foie Gras Ravioli and we ended our rich meal with their warm chocolate pudding. If you don't have a reservation, be prepared to wait! 


La Cochon a L'Oreille - We ate here after waiting at Gastronomie. After waiting an hour and a half, our table still wasn't ready and we were starving so we just went across the street to this restaurant. It was a wonderful intimate restaurant with great french food!




See – Two days is a far cry from the amount of time you need to see Paris. Instead of exhausting ourselves and trying to see too many sights in such a short amount of time we picked a few highlights and took our time. This way we had a better time and got to really experience the city and the culture. This is my travel strategy anywhere I go. I would rather see a few things and really enjoy them than rush myself to see all the sites. 

Our first night there we stayed near the Arch de Triomphe and! Champs de Elysee so those were easy to see. We walked along the shopping street and had a great time window shopping. Naturally, we had to see the Eiffel Tower. We went to the Palais de Chaillot which is a spot famous for its view of the Eiffel tower. We took lots of pics and then wandered on. We ended finding another area that was less crowded and took more pics of the Eiffel Tower. These ended up being my favorite pics. 






One of my favorite ways to see a city is at night. Our last night of the trip was also in Paris and after resting for a bit in the afternoon, I decided to take a walk around. I went to Notre Dame Cathedral, walked along the Siene river and then went to see the Louvre at night. After wandering for a bit I finished my night with a drink at a small restaurant by our hotel. These moments are my favorite and the reason I love to travel so much.






Stay - Paris is a huge city with sites all over. There is no one area that is best to stay in. It is divided into 20 arrondissements, which our districts.  I suggest looking on a map at the places you most want to see and then see what area is closest to the majority of the sites. Our first night we stayed in an air bnb a few blocks off of the Champs de Alysses in the 8th arrondissement. It was a small apartment but exactly what we needed. It had an amazing balcony with the best view. 



Hotel Victoria Chatelet - Our second night in Paris, which was the last night of our trip, we stayed at the Hotel Victoria Chatelet in the 1st arrondissement. I loved the location! The Louvre, Siene River and Notre Dame are all within very close walking distance. The hotel is a little quirky with rooms that are shaped kind of odd. But it was nice and the bed was very comfortable. I would definitely stay here again when I go back to Paris.





Kara Krittenbrink
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The Big Winter Coat Guide: Look for Less


The weather is almost to the point that a coat will be a daily staple to any outfit. It may be the last thing you put on but your coat is an important element to an outfit. From classic to statement maker I love to add a new topper to my wardrobe. I've been looking at a wide variety of coats and narrowed it down to 4 styles I particularly love this season. I found the coats at different price points as well. 

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A classic dress coat never goes out of style. If you are going to invest in a coat, this would be my pick. I got this coat in black as a birthday gift a few years ago and wear it all the time each winter! It goes equally well with work clothes and nice dresses. It's perfect for any winter weddings or nice events you have. As a bonus, the double-cloth wool is warm enough even for your coolest days!
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Nothing is cozier than fur when it is cold out. What I love most about fur is how it cam be both casual and dressy. These coats are a bit of a statement maker and can be the focus of your outfit. This two-tone coat would look great with distressed jeans, a simple black sweater and black booties. 

 I've been really drawn to a leopard coat and it is high on my wishlist! I'm ready to wrap up in it all Winter long. 


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Plaid is synonymous with Fall and Winter. I love plaid flannels and scarves as my go to casual look when the leaves change. A plaid coat is great mix on the classic wool coat. This menswear inspired plaid in a lady like cut is my favorite. I love the masculine and feminine mixture!

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For more casual days, a parka keeps you warm and still stylish. The little details keep a parka from lookinng frumpy. Faux fur adds a touch of glamour to the coat. A nipped in waist on this coat keeps a flattering shape when you layer anything bulky under it. Most puffer jackets are warm but not known to be flattering. This one has banding in the back that gives you a waist!
Kara Krittenbrink
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Fall Wish List


It seems like every conversation about Fall revolves around the weather. It's true I love how the temps cool down and even love the dreary day but what I love most is Fall fashion. Some of my favorite items, leather, sweaters, boots and scarves, all get pulled out this time of year. As with any new season I come up with a few things I want to add to my wardrobe to mix in with the favorite items I already have. This Fall i have it down to 4 items: Leopard booties, black bodysuit, crimson boots and corduroy skirt. 


Leopard Booties
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Black Bodysuit

 1 - 2 - 3


Crimson Boots

 1 - 2 - 3


Corduroy Skirt

 1 - 2 - 3
Kara Krittenbrink
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