It’s now been two weeks since the hubs and I jet setted into the snow-covered concrete jungle for a weekend Valentine’s getaway — take me back! We go to New York about once a year to visit family and such but until now, we’d never been in the winter together — and it was so. much. fun. (Fair warning before you read on: This is a lengthy post and I was terrible about taking photos on our trip, but there are a few to share!)

We decided to take this trip just for us. No friends, no family. Just us. And it was so, so nice. We stayed at 70 Park Ave. We had previously stayed at Ink48 in Hell’s Kitchen and absolutely loved it, so we figured we’d stick with Kimpton for this trip too. 70 Park was fine for our stay but we weren’t nearly as impressed. If you are looking for a boutique hotel, opt for Ink48 instead. The location of 70 Park was perfection though, the biggest perk of all. As they say… location, location, location!

Our first day was spent window shopping, people watching in Grand Central and naturally, eating pizza and cheesecake. Dinner that evening was at our favorite Chinatown spot — Peking Duck House. This place is a gem and trust me on this one, it’s the real deal. We never make our annual trip to NYC without dinner at Peking Duck. I dream about it all year long! A must try. Oh, and be sure to pick up some wine on the way. :)

Day two was spent enjoying the famous bagels and lox at Russ & Daughters (holy yum) followed by the 9/11 Museum and Memorial. We opted for the one-hour guided tour, which I highly recommend if you want to get the full experience. We stayed for a few hours afterward — there’s so much to see — and while somber and sad, I felt incredibly proud to be an American that day. I think this picture says it all. We spent the rest of the day bopping around Chelsea Market.

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Dinner was Le Cirque — need I say more?

Our third day in the city was Valentine’s Day and we had plans to head to Brooklyn to see our great aunt who we hadn’t seen in 5-6 years. We had breakfast with her and brought her fresh tulips — it was a delightful morning. This also marked my first time in Brooklyn, so we spent some time after breakfast wandering the streets and seeing some of the historic spots where our family grew up. It was special (and freezing).

Next up, Bloomingdales! You didn’t think I could go to NYC without shopping, did you? OMG, that place is a dream. Let’s just say I didn’t walk away empty handed. ;)

On our way back to the hotel, we stopped for wine and charcuterie, watching the snow fall outside the window. That evening we indulged in a delicious dinner at Striphouse, which now holds the prize for best steak I’ve ever eaten. Yes, it’s really that good.

I will never forget the cab ride home from Striphouse. We were dolled up in our fur and fancies and the snow was falling all around us. It was a gorgeous winter night in New York City — just what we had wanted our weekend to be.

Our final day in the city was full of more exploring, a trip to Laduree for macaroons and coffee (the perfect breakfast, if you ask me) and a big surprise. It was a gorgeous day without a cloud in the sky and temps in the teens (!!!) and I miss it more than words can say. You know, I’ve never had that moment of “gosh, I want to live in New York City” but this trip really did that for me. Whoever said stay away from New York in the winter has it all wrong.

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Rose Signature

There are numerous resources out there for top baby products – everything from the best pacifiers to soothe your infant to bottles that are so high-tech they almost guarantee a gas-free baby. (No, not kidding!)

However, it seems that so much focus is placed on the baby and infant needs (perhaps because it’s all so new and exciting) that when your baby inevitably turns into a teetering, talking toddler (and believe me, it will happen) even seasoned moms can feel left in the dark when it comes to finding just the right products for a this tricky transition stage of their little lives.

So I wanted to share with you my top five favorite toddler products I use for my little guy each and every day – and what a difference they make whether we’re at home or on-the-go! Do you have a favorite that you find yourself always using for your toddlering person? I’d love to know!

Toddler Products Final

Clockwise from top right:

Lovie // Sippy Cups // Shoes // Toddler Backpack // Umbrella Stroller

Ruthie Signature

Last week was just all-around crazy. After a whirlwind of a travel day back from NYC (more to come on the trip, I promise!) followed by three days on the road for work then a day trip to Dallas yesterday, I’m overly tired but looking forward to getting my life in order this week.

I always have a lot of trouble eating healthy when I’m out of town and struggle with making smart meal choices… But after coming home last night to the first of many homecooked, healthy meals that we’ll enjoy this week, I’m ready to give myself a good kick in the butt and get back on track.

Rotisserie chickens are a godsend in my house — we eat probably one a week — and they are such versatile choices for quick, tasty meals. When meal planning for dinner last night, we decided to make a healthier take on a Mexican-style chicken wrap with homemade slaw. I don’t have a go-to recipe on hand for coleslaw so did a little searching, nixing recipe after recipe that called for mayo. Then I found this fresh, sweet and spicy option from Virtually Homemade and OMG you guys, this one is a keeper.

Easy Sweet and Spicy Mexican Cole slaw 2

I tweaked it a bit to my taste buds, so here’s the recipe for no-mayo, sweet and spicy slaw:

– 1 bag of fresh deli coleslaw
– Handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
– 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
– 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
– 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
– 2 tablespoons honey
– 1/2 tablespoon hot sauce (I used Frank’s RedHot)
– 1/2 teaspoon cumin
– 1/2 teaspoon salt

The directions are simple — combine everything in a big bowl and serve. :)

I put mine on top of rotisserie chicken breast with some salsa and the hubs wrapped his in a healthy tortilla (we like these whole wheat low-carb tortillas). It was filling, fresh and there’s plenty of slaw leftover for meals throughout the week! Definitely a dinner winner.

Rose Signature