Thursday, December 31, 2015

Wishes for a Bubbly New Year

This sign caught my eye the other day and the thought that has been going through my mind is "I want a bubbly new year." I looked up the definition of bubbly, just to make sure that I wasn't way off base in my wishes. The first definition is "containing bubbles," as in, bake until the crust is "crisp and bubbles." The second definition is exactly what I was thinking, cheerful and in high spirits.

My wish for the 2016 is that we all have a year of good cheer and may our spirits be high. I'm wishing us all good health, good times and good spirits! Have a glass of bubbly -- whether it's champagne, sparkling cider or simply, seltzer -- and raise your glass to 2016. That's exactly what I'm going to do and I will be thinking of all of you.

Here's to my dear Buttercupland friends and 2016! 

Monday, December 28, 2015

I Thought It Was a Good Idea...And It (Sort of) Was

I get laughed at, but I don't care. I start my Christmas/Chanukah shopping early. Really early. When I go on my first vacation of the new year -- blog post to come -- I make up a very preliminary list. I may buy nothing, I may buy a few things, but I start thinking about gifts. When I get chuckles I respond, "I won't be in Macy's in a down coat in December."

I forgot my rule about not being in Macy's in December -- during school vacation -- and decided I'd zip down this afternoon after my dentist appointment. After all it was only four subway stops from my dentist's office, it wasn't snowing and how bad could it be? When I saw the crowds at the subway station near Macy's I realized everyone had the same idea. I lasted about six minutes, but I did get pictures to share.

  I took this picture of Snoopy and his sister, Belle, after I escaped the crowd inside. The Empire State Building is on the right.
I'm saving the photos of the interior store decorations for Pink Saturday, but I loved the jewel colors in two of the windows, and the reflection of the traffic on West 34th Street.
Pink Saturday will be my last post of the seasonal decorations. The city has entered a post Christmas/Chanukah mode. The tree sellers have moved on until next November and wrapping paper and cards are fifty per cent off.  I've still got a few cards to write, but I inventoried what I have left and I think I literally have cards to last me until I'm ninety. I sent a lot of cards to colleagues when I was working, but I send many fewer now and I got very carried away in my card shopping. I'm keeping the snow person collection out until the weekend and enjoying the festive look.  
My prayers and wishes for safety for those in the path of storms. Take good care and have a terrific Tuesday. 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Best.Christmas.Lights.Ever Pink Saturday

On the most tropical Christmas night I've ever experienced the air was balmy and the lights were magical. I spent Christmas -- as I have for at least the last decade -- with friends in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. It's a neighborhood at the southern end of Brooklyn, which has become one of the best places to see Christmas lights in New York City. After dinner with friends we drove through the  streets of Bay Ridge looking at the lights. In a true Christmas miracle, there was no traffic and we were able to stop and park and I snapped pictures to my heart's content. It was hard to believe I was taking Christmas pictures wearing a cotton jacket in New York. Some folks will simply describe it as El Nino, but I call it a miracle.

This last house was my favorite. I was especially taken with the "diamonds" on the door.
This chocolate house was at the center of our Christmas day desserts. There were lots of delicious desserts and my New Year's resolution is to abstain from sugary treats for quite awhile. 
It's hard to imagine, but this is my last Pink Saturday post of 2015. I'll have several more posts before 2016, but I want to offer a special thanks for all of my Pink Saturday blog friends. Thank you for all the pretty-in-pink moments you've given me this year.  Here's to many more in the year ahead.
I hope you all had wonderful Christmas celebrations and your memories are bright and happy. Prayers for those in Texas and Oklahoma, please stay safe!
As ever, thanks for stopping by and have a great week. 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

My Christmas Wish

Yesterday was a dreary and rainy day. Though I was feeling better it wasn't a day to do any of the bigger excursions on my to-do list. It wasn't going to be much fun to take pictures in the rain. I stayed in the neighborhood and finished my last minute gift and grocery shopping.

But under an awning, between Marshall's and Zabar's, out of the rain, what to my wondering eyes did appear...

Beauty, joy and wonder!

Some more cynical than I will call it the local florist, but to me it's beauty, joy and wonder and it was just down the street.
My Christmas wish, dear blog friends, is to find beauty, joy and wonder just down the street, around the corner and throughout your lives, not just at Christmas, but throughout the year ahead. 
Joy, Peace and Love to you and your families! 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Please Join Me for a Holiday Treat...A Visit to the Pi Bakerie

Blogging is wonderful, but one of the things we can't do is all get together and enjoy treats in person. I'd love to invite everyone over for a cup of coffee or tea and to share some goodies. Alas, that's not possible, so I'm going to have a virtual treat party at Pi Bakerie, in Lower Manhattan, and you're all invited. During my weekend with Lonni we discovered this wonderful bakery/restaurant and shared a great afternoon. I will definitely return soon. The atmosphere was comfortable and relaxed, the prices were reasonable and the food was completely delicious. Completely!

The decorations were simple, but festive.
Yes, in an effort to fit into my clothes after Christmas, I skipped the cookies. But each one looked more delicious than the next. The Greek specialties looked especially enticing.
 I'm getting hungry just looking at these goodies.
I had a bowl of Greek yogurt, and what yogurt it was. There were sour cherries and pieces of baklava. It transcended any yogurt I've ever eaten.
The Christmas delicacies would make a wonderful gift. I'm a gingerbread fan, so I'm not sure how I left without sampling.
Chocolate and gingerbread and adorable!
I'm having a cup of coffee and a cookie (or two) at my next visit. Which treat would you choose for our sweet blogging get-together? Though for our virtual get-together I'm choosing a chocolate gingerbread house.
I hope you're having lots of sweet treats and sweet get-togethers. The weather here is almost tropical for December. I'm enjoying not having to bundle up, but in reality it's a little odd. I can't figure out how to dress for Christmas Eve, when the prediction is seventy. 
As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care! 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Pink Saturday Night at Radio City Music Hall

Beautiful Sound and Light show at Saks Fifth Avenue, first stop on our Radio City Night.
This was the year that I was going to see everything in New York at Christmas. At best it was an ambitious plan, but with bronchitis, impossible. I've cut drastically on my activity this week and am feeling better. I'm not bouncing back as quickly as I'd like, but I'm much improved. There will be a number of things I hoped to do that won't get done and I won't have all the pictures I'd like to share. Of course every year I have the same feeling -- too much that I want to do between December 1 and December 25.
I did get to share the Radio City Christmas show with Lonni, my friend of 50+ years last weekend. The weather was great and we both pronounced it our best Christmas in New York weekend ever. Not worrying about slipping on ice greatly contributed and having orchestra seats for Radio City helped, too. Our seats were terrific for seeing the show, but not great for photographs. I did get some that I'd like to share for Pink Saturday fun.
My favorite parts of the show are the Rockettes -- so wish I had the feet to take up tap dancing now -- and the living Nativity. This year the Nativity seemed unusually beautiful and the appearance of the angel was a breathtaking moment.
This week flew by and it's time to let the winner of the Minions giveaway know the happy news. It's Melinda at Country Dreaming. Melinda, I'll be in touch and will try to mail your DVD this week. I've got one more giveaway for December and it will be a book. I love to share books and give them as gifts. I'll post this last giveaway for the year the week after Christmas. 
I hope everyone had a good weekend and wishes for a blessed Christmas week! 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A Visit to the Buttercupland Fair

We've got our traditions in Buttercupland. Pepe makes his annual appearance dressed in his holly jolly finery. I take lots of pictures of New York fun and share them with you. Our other tradition here is a visit to the Buttercupland Fair. There are some very talented citizens in Buttercupland and their creations are a delight. I like to buy gifts from friends who are creative. Their work is terrific and I love encouraging gifts that are actually made by people I know. As the world grows less personal, shopping that is more personal is my small contribution to a warmer world.

Today I am featuring two long-standing blog friends. I've written about both of them before and I am happy to (re)introduce their work to Buttercupland. The first talented blogger buddy is Becky, who blogs at Hospitality Lane. She is the creator of my favorite candles anywhere, Good Neighbors Candle. I love scented candles, but I'm sensitive to too much scent and her candles work so well for me. They're made of soy and they burn very clean and each scent is more fun the one before. I've got a crème brulee candle burning now, but let me introduce you to a few others I think I need to add to my collection.

  Spiced Cranberry seems like the perfect candle for frosty winter nights. 
 I have given this Hot Chocolate candle as a gift to my hairdresser for several years. I got her something else this year. She liked the gift, but commented on how she loved the chocolate candle. I think that's what I'm choosing for next year. 
Apricot Chamomile seems to be more of a "spring" scent, but I love the aroma of apricots and it's on my list to try, too. 
It wouldn't be a shopping trip without buying books. If you're looking for a Christmas book to give or to keep, I'm strongly suggesting my blog buddy Terra's book, A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts. There are wonderful stories and great tips for enjoying all the good times that this season offers. I've never met Terra (alas!) but hope one day to share stories and book recommendations in person.
I still have a local visit to make to share some beautiful jewelry made by a friend, so we will have more fun at the Buttercupland Fair.  
I hope you've enjoyed seeing these treats. Today I made a foray to the post office. One more trip and I think I'll be all set. I always feel so good after I've gotten my packages wrapped and mailed, but I still procrastinate. Next year, timely mailing!
As ever, thanks for visiting and have a sweet week!

Please note: No products were received for these comments. The opinions are all mine.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Merry Monkee and Minions Giveaway

It wouldn't be December without a Buttercupland visit from Pepe LeMonkee and friends. This year Pepe is visiting with penguins and Snowman and having a merry time.

We love Minions!

I know there are lots of Minions fans in Buttercupland and as promised, here's our Minions giveaway. Thanks to our friends at Universal Pictures Home Entertainment I'm delighted to share a DVD copy of Minions: 3 New Mini Movies. Starring Kevin, Stuart and Bob, there's lots of fun viewing. I can't promise a pre-Christmas arrival for the winning friend of Buttercupland, but definitely a treat for the December school vacation. Entries close on Saturday, December 19 and I plan to post the winner on Sunday, December 20. Please be a friend of Buttercupland on Google Friend, Google + or Bloglovin, and leave a comment with your favorite movie of the season. Buttercup's choice -- "Miracle on 34th Street" or the original "A Christmas Carol."  

I hoped to do this post yesterday and make it a Merry Monkee and Minion Monday, but I've not been feeling my most perky self. Thankful to the folks at the Walk-In Clinic across the street for a quick diagnosis. I am hoping a quick dose of antibiotics will bring me back to full perkiness.

I hope you're enjoying this fun week and are feeling perky. As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care!

Please note: I was given a copy of "Minions - 3 Mini Movies" by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment for review purposes, but the opinions are all mine.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

How Much Is that Doggie in the Window Pink Saturday

 I was walking along Broadway on one of the perfect spring-like days this week and passed the window of a pet grooming shop. It's not a big store, but the windows are clever and enjoyable, and this one caught my eye for some Pink Saturday fun.

I've been taking lots of window pictures. Some are glittery and glamorous, like the ones in Bergdorf Goodman's windows...

Some at Anthropologie are sweet and festive...

Some are completely fabulous, like this glass wall and stars at the Time Warner Center, which overlook Columbus Circle and Central Park. This is one of my favorite places to visit all year round.

I'm a day late, but I'm happy to let Laura at LJDogsmom know that her name was chosen to receive the ornament from the Metropolitan Museum. Laura, I'll be in touch to get your address, so I can get your ornament to you in time for Christmas. I enjoyed visiting Laura's blog and know I'll be stopping by often for the book reviews and blog hops. I wish I had many more ornaments to go around and appreciate everyone who stopped by to visit and leave comments. Please stop by later this week for another giveaway post.
The weather elves have been very kind this weekend. It was practically summer in New York. I wore a t-shirt and light jacket and I'm not sure I've ever enjoyed a weekend before Christmas so much. My friend, Lonni, visited and we had our annual weekend celebrating all the fun festivities of the season -- Radio City, Rockefeller Center and Fifth Avenue -- and yes, there will be pictures. We spent today shopping in Soho and drinking iced cappuccino at a fabulous Greek bakery on Broome Street. It was the only weekend I didn't worry about falling on sleety sidewalks. What a gift!
I hope your weekend was as much fun as mine and your week is filled with good times with those you love. As ever, thanks for visiting and enjoy!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Fifteen Seconds of Fame on Broadway

I don't get down to Times Square very much. I know that it may be the number one destination for visitors to New York, but the crowds and noise are intense for a regular destination. I made an exception yesterday to see one of my all-time favorite actors, Mark Strong, in a fabulous production of Arthur Miller's "A View from the Bridge." New Yorkers, if you enjoy serious drama, this is definitely worth seeing.

There are no particular seasonal decorations in Times Square, but there are lots and lots of lights and yesterday at twilight was no exception.

In two weeks this is where the New Year's ball will drop.
On my two block walk to the subway from the theater I encountered the Revlon #Loveison camera, which takes pictures of the crowds of Times Square.
I couldn't resist stopping and luckily was wearing my red jacket. I am easy to find in the crowd.
I'm on the far left in the red jacket and my phone is in front of my face. My fifteen seconds of fame on Broadway.  
My fifteen seconds of fame came and went in a flash, but it was very enjoyable. Thanks, Revlon, for a fun experience.
I'm shocked that Chanukah is more than half gone and Christmas is two weeks -- actually not quite -- away. I've got cards to do and presents to mail, but when the weather is sunny and warm and there's fun to be had, I'm outside. I hope you're enjoying these weeks as much as I am.
As ever, thanks for visiting and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Chanukah Wishes, Chanukah Dreams

Tonight is the third night of Chanukah, a holiday of dedication and light. Pictured above is a display of Chanukah menorahs that hold the candles that are lit for the eight days of the holiday. Chanukah commemorates the rededication of the Temple after occupation by Syrian-Greek soldiers over 2200 years ago. A small vat of oil for the holy lamp was found that should have lasted one day, but miraculously the oil lasted eight days. Centuries later we commemorate this miracle of light.

It's difficult for me to feel very festive these days. The world seems to grow darker and darker and rays of light seem faint and difficult to discern. But I am sure to those Jews 2200 years ago, the world seemed dark and it must have been very easy to despair. And yet, light came through, even in the darkest time. My Chanukah wish is for hope and my Chanukah dream is for peace. If there is no light my deeds must kindle the light.

I know I've been very serious, but I've been reflecting on what a holiday dedicated to light means. It's not my usual post, but one that reflects my thoughts now.

For a lighter finale to this post, please meet the cutest Menorah I've seen in a long time. If you're eager to get one, it's from West Side Judaica, a local store that has a wonderful assortment of books, cards, gifts and items for holidays and Sabbath observance. 

I may have to add this menorah to my collection. A more traditional style is on the left.
Wishes for peace, light, love and hope!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Pink Saturday with Eloise

One of my favorite books when I was growing up was Eloise. First published in 1955, it's the story of a little girl who lives at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Eloise's elegant and unusual life was the polar opposite of my staid and very normal life in Hartford. I loved all of Eloise's hijinks and wished I could live in a fancy hotel in New York.

Now as I look back I wouldn't trade my very normal growing up with my parents for life in a hotel, but I still enjoy Eloise. I stopped at the Plaza Hotel after my dental appointment on Friday to look at the decorations and discovered the Eloise at the Plaza shop. I felt as though I'd unexpectedly found a friend I hadn't seen in decades and was so, so happy to see.

  Eloise and her pug, Weenie
I forgot exploring the hotel decorations and spent my visit exploring all the Eloise items. There were clothes for little, little ones. 
 I found these pretty in pink baby clothes irresistible. One may have gone home with me for a sweet little one we're waiting for.
And clothes for older girls...
Pretty in pink and tutu skirts. What a perfect gift for ballet fans. 
The tea room is a lovely place for a birthday party. I'm sorry my friends and I wouldn't be comfortable in the little chairs. Perhaps the Plaza could get us larger chairs and tables. I'd hold my birthday party here!
There was even a very pretty in pink Christmas tree for Eloise.

When I found my friend, Eloise, again I knew she was going to be the star this week for Pink Saturday.  I hope you've enjoyed this visit with Eloise, too. I think I may return to see Eloise's Valentine celebration.
It's a beautiful Sunday in New York and I'm off in a little while for an adventure. There will be pictures later in the week. 
As ever, thanks for visiting and wishes for a wonderful day.  

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Around the (Neapolitan) Christmas Tree Giveaway

From time to time I worry that I am a blogging repeater, and no more so than at Christmas. There are sights and places in New York that I enjoy visiting every year and I so enjoy writing about them, too. I know that's called having traditions, but I am concerned that long-time blog visitors will shake their heads and think, "There she goes with the Metropolitan Museum or Macy's or Rockefeller Center again, and again and again." In an effort to put this concern aside I looked at my posts about the Metropolitan Museum Christmas tree and realized I'd only written about it a few times. So fresh from my annual visit yesterday, one of the most beautifully decorated Christmas trees anywhere.

The magnificent tree stands in the center of the gallery of Medieval sculpture. It's a beautiful and serene space all year, but it glows in this season. The crèche surrounding the tree was created in Naples in the Eighteenth Century. Below are photographs with details of the crèche.
The tree is decorated with tiny lights and fifty large and magnificent angels.
This beautiful angel presents information about the crèche.
It's difficult to choose my favorite place in New York this season, but the Metropolitan Museum is definitely in my top three. I am sure that I will make at least one more visit during the season and will be sad to see the tree and its decorations retired after Christmas. 
First giveaway of the season! 
Since all of you can't join me in New York this season -- wouldn't that be a wonderful time! -- I'm sharing a little New York with Buttercupland. I'm planning three giveaways in December -- anyone a minion fan? -- and my first is this fan ornament from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Please leave a comment about a favorite activity at this time of year, be a friend of Buttercupland on Google Friend or Google+ or Bloglovin. Please leave your comment by Friday, December 11 at 11:59 and I will announce a name on Saturday, December 12. Easy, peasy December fun. This picture doesn't do justice the color and design of this ornament. 
We've got another beautiful late autumn day in New York. Warm enough for just a jacket and no gloves and a bright, bright sky. I hope the day is bright and blessed where you are, too.   
As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care!