Holiday Checklist Begins

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23 presents and counting … Sometimes being the older one in the family makes me feel like Santa. Wrapping gifts used to be one of my favorite things to do – I’d even volunteer my time with New York Cares to wrap gifts at Barnes and Noble.  I still love to do it, but wish the shopping part was a bit easier! When you don’t know what the people want, it makes it ten times harder! 

I started my shopping a few weeks ago, and one of my first stops was the Union Square Holiday Market.  I’ve always wanted to go but somehow never did!  They have some beautiful things that I adore, but then there are these little trinkets that you kind of wonder what you’re going to do with after you buy them…  the trip didn’t wind up to be successful with shopping, but I did enjoy the time spent looking at some of the talent out there and the unique handmade items. Plus, who can resist the view of the Empire State Building right behind!?  

One of the two “cute” vendors that popped out at me – how cute are these handmade planes and animals?? 

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Some vendors offer samples, some are just attractive to look at based on packaging and a friendly face. I met Mary here from Lebkuchen who offered some delicious Gingerbread cookie like no other!  It’s made the European way – baked with a wafer on the bottom, with the sticky dough on top. Her company packaging was adorable! 

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There are lots of shops to choose from, and even if you’re not shopping, it’s good to stop by for a nice sample, viewing, and good holiday cheer. It’s almost as if you’re in the Christmas markets of Europe… except without the mulled wine and bratwursts!  (Ohhh Germany, how I’ve missed you…) 

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Sad that December is already half gone, but excited that the Christmas countdown has begun. Union Square market down, Rockefeller next!  What’s on YOUR holiday to-do list? 

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Happy 2 Years to Lilspirations!

I’m gonna need some twins for this one! 😉  I can’t believe it has been 2 years!  It has been such a joy to have this blog since my husband slash web designer created this as my way of sharing my joys with all of you.  A HUGE THANK YOU to YOU – for reading, for sharing, for just listening to me share (and sometimes vent!) about all the little things in life, especially here in New York City. The blog has come a long way, from a simple entry about how all it takes is one idea to being an entrepreneur to interviews with some incredible talents out there such as my friend Christina Seid from the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory.  I can’t wait to see how much the third year will grow as I recently renewed this domain.  Just thank you thank you for all of it! 

Wish I had time this week to create a little collage for you, but here are 5 of some memorable posts from the last 2 years!

Easter Egg Hunt of NYC 

My Australian Animals Adventure

Foodies Love Hudson Eats 

Behind the Scenes at the DonorsChoose Office

My Visit to a Fashion Designers Ruben & Isabel Toledos’ Home

Please do send an email and tell me what you’d love to read about or what your favorite entries were! 🙂  As always, thanks for reading! xox

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A New Angle (literally) on Thanksgiving

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A whole week after Thanksgiving weekend, I’m finally here to share all the fun and yum! I got to spend a laugh-till-your-stomach-hurts Thanksgiving with both my family and my in-laws, and it was just a huge blessing.  A family-oriented weekend indeed, and that’s really what I believe the holidays should be if we have the opportunity to.

As always, I’m looking for new insights and things to learn even in the midst of the ordinary. During our Thanksgiving dinner, I broke out my Nikon camera with our new 35mm 1/1.8G lens and started clicking away. Thanks to the tips from my professional food photographer uncle (Thanks, King!), I was able to capture some new angles of food photos (family photos can’t be posted, sorry!). Here’s what I took, with the exception of the last and above photos.

Starting with the star of the dinner…

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Today’s a day of appreciation in the States – for me, I am entirely grateful for all of you! Thank you so much for visiting my blog and sending me lovely comments. Wish you and your families a wonderful holiday!

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‘France is our home’: Watch a dad comfort his son over Paris’s ‘bad guys’

‘France is our home’: Watch a dad comfort his son over Paris’s ‘bad guys’

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Cheers to the 30s!

Imagine celebrating something special in a place like this, surrounded by vineyards and a beautiful scenery…

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It wasn’t here per se, but special would be the word to describe a heartfelt 3 day weekend to San Francisco. A huge thanks to my husband for going with me and to my brother for flying me over for a very memorable birthday this year. San Francisco has a huge place in my heart (especially with him there) and I would love to live there one day. On our visit this time, we spent a day up at Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley for some wine tasting, scenic drive, and time with one another. I read the reviews of many places before I visited, and I can confirm the ones that say “EVERY winery and vineyard is very different” so hop around to see what you like! That’s exactly what we did, and these were my favorite two.

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And so it continues :)

HOORAY!  Lilspirations.com has just been renewed for another two years! I couldn’t let the blog end, despite my recent sporadic posts since the incredible run of interviews. I started it because I wanted to share what aspired and inspired me, and I’m not about to let that end. It has almost been two years since I officially launched – what a walk down memory lane as I re-visited my very post on December 1st!

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Reflection

It has been a few interesting weeks since September started, but it has also been quite fun in between the roller coaster bumps. Turning 30 for one thing is the beginning of a whole new decade. One of my best friends and I always joked about feeling like Joey Tribbiani from the show, “Friends,” where he begins to wail “Whyyy, God, why me! Why are you doing this to me!” when he turned 30. It’s not like we imagined it to be a great big difference or a depressing turn in life. It’s just that the number puts a shock sometimes. In our case, we’ve already started a new “30s bucket list!” Here we gooooo.

The 20s ended really well. I’m incredibly grateful for my brother who flew me all the way to San Francisco just for the weekend, and my husband, who jokes that my birthday lasts a whole three weeks. I’m so thankful for my friends and family who sent messages and good wishes even when they’re not around, cook delicious meals, and spend time catching up through meals. Their giant hearts and loving intentions are the reasons why I started this blog in the first place – because they inspire me.

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A Little Laugh

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqMxsYOFo3c

I can’t believe it’s August! Mid-August to say the least.  All the years of talking about this trip (Australia mostly) and in the blink of an eye, I am back to the hustle and bustle of New York City. It was a dang good trip though, and a successful one. I’m really grateful for the experience! For now, here are ten of my favorite panoramas that I’ve taken in Australia while I get those other photos together. Thanks for stopping by (and see you on Wednesday as I’ll have my next post up by then!)

Photos in order from top to bottom: Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylon, Shipwreck coast, Victoria Parliament, Degrave Street, Royal Botanic Gardens, Three Sisters, Twelve Apostles, Yarra Valley Chandon Winery, Sydney Harbour area

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