I SPY: Here It Comes

Dec 19, 2016

You all set for the holidays?  CHECK.  Ready or not here it comes!

Photo Credit: www.rachelhudgins.com



What is on your kids wish list?  My lil' guy asked for a Hatchimals.  Do you know what that is?  It's the new craze, sold out, and way over priced, going at close to $200 on most sites, for a stuff toy that hatches out of an egg.  Can you see my eyes rolling backward?  Not worth it, because you know after Christmas prices will drop back down to $30!  So I'm going to write him a backorder letter from Santa!  HA.

I'll let you know how that goes when we return in the new year.  Till then...From my crew to yours have a very HAPPY HOLIDAYS!  Signing out till 2017.  We are off to the South Pole!  Cheers xx

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I SPY: Tipsy Scoop

Dec 16, 2016

You saw the gifts I got my friends with kiddos yesterday?  So now my chosen universal gift for my over 21 alcoholic friends!  Again in keeping with the food theme, because the way to a man's heart is through their stomach.



Everybody likes ice cream right?  Well Tipsy Scoop offers spiked freezer brain.  You like?  Check out their site for the different classic and holiday special flavors and make it a boozy holiday!  

I SPY: Eat, Play, Love

Dec 15, 2016

Done with your holiday shopping?  I am mentally done.  Maybe a few little odds and ends that gift cards can fix.  But yes, I'm so happy to say I'm done!  What a feeling.  AHHHH.



Did you have a gift theme this year?  Mine this year is Eat, Play, Love.  Every family on my list with kids is getting the same gift, because I am soooo not original…a family box for a night of fun.  But I did put some thought into my gift that I know makes my kids happy and is universal entertainment that makes a good time.  So this is what is inside my boxes that I found at Michael's arts and craft stores.

Jenga + a Sharpie pen - A game all ages can enjoy.  I already gave the spoiler alert on Tuesday's post.



Photo props - Great find at the dollar store the kids can color with markers and take silly pics with.



Eleni's color me cookies - Yummy cookies you can color, and leave out for Santa.



Ballsy Bites - Another fun non diet item to sweeten the soul, and discover a rainbow inside.



Wine - Because who can't use another bottle?



A little something for everyone.  An after thought though is I should add a few packets of hot cocoa mix for the kiddos?  Easy enough.  Consider it done!

I SPY: Chocolate Wasted

Dec 14, 2016

Christmas shopping is a drag isn't it?  If your shopping in the Flatiron area, in NYC, around 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue, take a break at Eataly.



Everybody could use a coffee pick me up?  Or a food break to re fuel, and Eataly is the place to go.  Double win if you love Nutella!  They have a Nutella Bar serving everything Nutella from coffee, crepes, ice cream, pastries, to waffles.



Then after your chocolate wasted go take a quick nap in the hammocks hanging from LED lit arches across the street on the island along Fifth Avenue.  It's awesome!  When else do you have the chance to gaze at the stars in NYC?  Added bonus…a view of the Empire State Building.  Now is your chance to experience this unique NYC moment from 9am to 9pm, till January 2, 2017.

I SPY: Building Blocks

Dec 13, 2016

How do you stack up?  If you've never played Jenga before then you must be living under a rock! Just like Monopoly it is a classic.  Before I had kids I had that game.  After the kids were born they started playing with them as building blocks.  Today they're old enough to play a proper game of Jenga following the rules, and even without the kids I still play Jenga at the bar or friends houses.



You do know this game right?  Over the summer I played a drinking game version of Jenga.  The bar made it.  Actions like 'take a shot', 'recite the alphabet backwards' were written on the wooden blocks.  May sound childish, but a lot of fun.  Gets everyone interacting and laughing.  Drunk Jenga is the best!



I made a DIY kids version for my kids.  They love it!  It's taken over the popularity of UNO in my house.  FINALLY we can break free of the same ole' game!




They love the new Jenga twist so much I cleaned out my neighborhood toy store of Jenga sets!  I've decided to gift everyone on my list a set of Jenga blocks + a Sharpie pen to make their own new generation Jenga.  It's an easy gift because anyone one from 0 - 100 years can play it.  Spoiler alert for anyone who knows me, but that's what your getting for Christmas…act surprized!  HA.

I SPY: Ball Is Life

Dec 12, 2016

How did my Sunday's turn into ball is life?  Literally.  I have nothing to blog about from my weekend, because I didn't do anything yesterday other then basketball.  Both my boys had games, and then at night we watched the Knicks vs. Lakers game, and ended up going to bed late AGAIN on a school night.  Complaints of a soccer mom!  But a cool one, with cool fan gear, which really blew my cover when I caved and bought myself this gem.



How can I not admit that I'm not in it is as much as the kids?  I totally am for the money and O'Quinn!  HA.  Which brings me to rewind to last week when I gifted my boys their ultimate Christmas present.



I took them to the Knicks vs. Cavaliers game.  They're all into Knicks newbie Derrick Rose and Cavs champ Lebron James.





Even though the Knicks lost so badly the boys had a blast and a great experience.  As I've told you before and continue to practice for the last two years, I believe in gifts that keep giving.  Gifts that create experiences and lasting memories.  Not material things that just end up adding more junk to my already cluttered home!  So a reminder to all…this holiday don't forget to think outside the box.

I SPY: I Got This

Dec 9, 2016

Are you figuring out what to wear to holiday parties?  It's the scramble, and the common I have nothing to wear in my closet season for me!  So I went shopping!  Bad excuse!!



Need some sequins in your life?  I got this!  I'm wearing the complete look to my parents Christmas soiree.  It's my over the top Joan Collins look, and ya'll know those cowboys love some razzle, dazzle!

But the nice thing is it's separates so you can break it up, and tonight I'll be doing the dressed down version when I go out with friends.  The sequin top under black overalls.  Sneakers or heels?  Still undecided, depends on my mood.

Plus, I have an office party next week and think I can make the sequin pants work with a turtle neck sweater or a white button down shirt.  Semi corporate?  It's the fashion industry, don't really need to be that buttoned up!

There you go, I'm party ready!  3 parties in 1, and possibly 4…if I'm not tired of these pieces by New Years!  All for under $100 from Zara.  If there's one thing I know how to do…it's I know how to score a steal!  

I SPY: Meet The Joneses

Dec 8, 2016

Do you decorate the outside of your home for the holidays?  I don't because I can barely manage to find time to put up a tree.  But meet the Joneses!



Do you have neighbors like this?  People in my hood don't go over the top like this.  This is a rare sighting.  But in Dyker Heights in Brooklyn between 11th avenue & 13th avenue, and from 83rd street to 86th street you will find most of the homes lit to the nines with over the top decorations.






Can you say Christmas AF?!  HA.  It's tacky, it's outrageous, but so fun, and they're famous for their annual Dyker Lights extravaganza.  This town receives so much hype during Christmas there are tour buses leaving from Union Square in the city that take you out there during the season.

I took my boys for a after dinner spin around Dyker Heights and their faces were plastered against the window!  HA.  They were in complete awe!!  Reminds me of when I was a child and we use to drive around my grandparents neighborhood in Texas to see the lights.  Something different y'all!  I enjoyed it and I think you would too.

I SPY: Hear 'Em Roar

Dec 7, 2016

Love a beautiful Christmas tree?  I do!  Even more so since I've start adulting and realize how much work goes into decorating one.  HA.  Tis' the season to feast your eyes on beautiful trees all over NYC.  Our most famous one that thousands travel to see yearly is the Rockerfeller Center Christmas tree.  It's huge, close to 100 feet, and its size does take your breath away.  But it's not the best!



You know me, I'm always looking for something unique and paying attention to small details, that usually aren't the conventional norm.  So if you ask me, this is my #1 tree.  The Origami Holiday Tree at the American Museum of Natural History.  They have been making origami themed trees annually for the last 30 years, and this year the theme is 'Dinosaurs Among Us'.  A 13 foot tree adorned with over 800 origami dinosaurs and other animals, that museum volunteers started hand folding since March.  It's pretty amazing when you consider how much time went into this tree.






Isn't it cool?  I'm inspired!  I'm going to try and do a spin off of my own for next year.  How to videos are on the museum website.  If I start now and make an ornament a day for the next year I'll have enough to populate a tree.  Long term planning here!

Go check it out or take the kids and hear 'em roar.  When there you can also play a little game of I Spy to see what you can find in the tree.  Very fun!  Up until January 8, 2017.

American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West @ 79th Street
New York, NY 10024
T: 212. 769.5100
website

I SPY: A Pow Wow

Dec 6, 2016

Is there still hope in America?  I'm feeling so.  The Indians have won!  Hip, Hip, Hooray!!  Sunday, December 4, 2016 is one for the books and going down in history.  It was a huge win for Native American rights when the Dakota Access Pipeline project was put to a stop.  I'm so happy for the natives and for us.  I was always on their side.  After all, nobody should suffer from the greed of a multi billion dollar project that would carry crude oil across four states, and potentially run the risk of it contaminating our water supply.  We ALL deserve clean water don't we?  But also happy the indigenous people get their sacred land back that is home for many generations and they can now return to peace after months of protesting which started to get ugly.



Have you ever met American Indians?  In the summer of 2012 I was in New Mexico, and was blessed to visit a pueblo Indian reservation in Taos.  This six year old boy Dylan was my guide, and he and his family invited me into their home, cooked for me and accompanied me to their Pow Wow.



The Pow Wow was the highlight of my road trip!  If you ever have a chance to attend one please do.  It's a lot of fun, between the food, dancing, and amazing costumes, and a great way to absorb the culture.






The American Indians are a simple community, practicing peace, love and warmth.  Lets hope they can continue to be left at peace when our new President elect Donald Trump comes into office.  Keep praying America!

I SPY: A Sunday Hunt

Dec 5, 2016

What did you do this weekend?  We avoided the city chaos and headed into the woods to enjoy a beautiful Sunday hunt.  Ended up coming home with a Christmas tree!



Ever been to a Christmas tree farm?  This was our first time and it was FUN.  The boys got to test their lumberjack skills with a real saw to cut down our own Douglas Fir tree.




Their testosterone must've been pumping because after they were fighting over who gets to lug it back to the car.  Nice I have young men to do the dirty work for me now.  If I had known I wouldn't of been the one to break my back carrying the cut tree I would've picked a larger tree!  HA.





We had a great experience at Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm.  Our reward after was apple cider and fresh hot donuts.  The real reason I was there!  YUM.




If you want to cut your own tree HURRY.  They opened last weekend after Thanksgiving and plan to close after this coming weekend since majority of their trees have already been cut.  Tis the season!


I SPY: The Wall

Dec 2, 2016

If Trump REALLY does build a wall across the US and Mexico border what is it going to look like?  Anything like the Berlin Wall?  Could be the largest open air gallery in the world!












This is the remains of the famous 96 mile wall in Berlin that divided the East from the West for 28 years.  Now it is known in Berlin as the Freedom Wall.  It was demolished in 1989 and what remains today is about 1km of wall.  Short in comparison to the 2,000 mile US-Mexico boarder!
i * SPY CANDY. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.