I feel so fortunate to work with some of the best companies on the planet, and HomeGoods is definitely one of them. Back in 2012, HomeGoods ran a contest on Facebook for fans of their page. I, of course, being a huge HomeGoods fan couldn’t help but enter…the prize was a $250 gift card! Visions of new accessories were running through my head as I entered. To enter, you had to take an item found in the store, and use it in a creative, non-traditional way. You entered a picture and a description of what you made and crossed your fingers. I entered a wooden jewelry box that I had turned into a container for flowers (you can still find it sitting on my coffee table today!) and promptly started checking my email every 4.5 seconds for the next week. I about fell off my chair when THE email suddenly popped up in my inbox. I had won. WHAT?! I never win anything!
The timing for me was great because at that same time they were in the process of looking for interior designers and HomeGoods enthusiasts to team up with and create a HomeGoods Pinning team. They asked if I would be interested in collaborating on the project and I jumped at the chance. Well, here, four and a half years later, I just returned from the most amazing whirlwind trip to NYC to meet all of the talented bloggers and HomeGoods pinners that I have been working with for the last few years, as well as the absolutely lovely team behind the HomeGoods social program. They are all so kind and it was truly a delight to meet them all in person!
Let’s talk about the location. You all know how I feel about NYC, I escape there every chance I get! Part of the fun for me is getting to check out new hotels and stay in different parts of the city. It was so fun to stay at The London NYC, just blocks from Times Square and with amazing city views…including peek-a-boo views of Central Park. I was in heaven! It was such a beautiful hotel and the bathroom was like a spa! Every room is a suite at this hotel, which made it super easy for Mandi and I to each have our own little room when we slept. I am a terrible sleeper, so that way I wasn’t up all night worried that I was bothering her. Yep, it’s that bad people! 😉
The views from our room were incredible!
A dinner was arranged for us the first night to give us a chance to unwind, relax and get to know each other. The HomeGoods team went above and beyond and we had a beautiful dinner at the Oceana in Rockefeller Plaza. The team had prepared a get-to-know you game for us as we ate. At first we all felt a little bit timid to introduce ourselves, but it was such a great icebreaker! By the end of the night I felt like I had really gotten to know a many of the amazingly talented bloggers that were there and made some new friends.
The next morning it was time to get down to business. We met in a beautiful conference room at The London for all day meetings. I am always striving to do everything I can to create the best content around for you all and for the companies I partner with, so it was like a dream to be sitting in a room full of top marketers, design trend predictors, and specialists flown in from Instagram and Pinterest headquarters to teach us all how to create amazing content. The day FLEW by. There was so much information I was writing everything down in a frenzy. It was SUCH a great day to learn and grow together and I can’t wait to start implementing what I learned, here on the blog. To see the design trends and predictions for 2018 already was SO incredible! Many of those upcoming trends are already available at HomeGoods!
It is truly a dream come true for me to create content for HomeGoods. It was both an honor and such a thrill to have them invite those of us that work for them to a day dedicated to helping us perfect what we already love to do.
Because I was flying in all the way from the west coast, it necessitated that I arrive a day before the conference and leave a day after, which left me with some free time in the city. Oh, darn. 😉 I was lucky enough to have my dear friend Mandi accompany me on this trip and let’s just say, when you set two mom’s free out in the city…look out! 😉 SO, I have some fun new things to do and places to try in New York City checked off of my list and ready to share with you!
Greenwich Village Food Tour
What a perfect activity for NYC! This three hour tour takes you through the village and stops at all kinds of yummy places, teaching you all about the history and architecture of the city along the way. I highly recommend spending a few hours on this tour or something similar to get a true taste of the city.
This place has been on my list for a LONG time. I first read about it in a tiny snippet in Martha Stewart Magazine years ago. I clipped it out and saved it. And now I can finally say I have been there…and it did not disappoint! We only stopped in for drinks and an appetizer, but it was delicious and darling and I can’t wait to go back for a meal.
Whoa! I know there is one in Las Vegas, and I know this one has been around for a while, but I had never been and I’m SO glad we went! If you want a uber cool NYC experience, go to TAO for dinner! The place is hopping and the food is amazing. The chicken pad thai was incredible!
In all of the times I have been to the city, I have never been to the MET. I’ve never really spent much time on the upper East Side actually. The rooftop is supposed to offer incredible views of the city, so of course I wanted to go and take pictures…but it was closed! Instead we got to walk around and see some of the beautiful Van Goh and Monet paintings that I had missed when we were in Europe, because they were on loan to the MET. We saw a few photography exhibits (my favorite) and wandered quickly through a few other exhibits. Needless to say, I need to go back because it was much more awesome than I was expecting! Well worth the price of admission…which by the way, is a donation of your choosing. 😉
Another place that had been on my list for some time…The Smith. We popped in for lunch after a stroll through the park and enjoyed a delicious meal in this cool spot. There are several locations throughout the city, so there is sure to be one near you, wherever you are staying.
Ok, I have been here before, but it’s so good it deserves another mention. 😉 I have never been there before when there isn’t a line though, so this time was a big treat! Note to self: Thursday afternoons in January are a great time to visit. 😉
Of course there was some Ray’s pizza, some cheesecake, a fun treat from the Treat House, some candied nuts from a vendor in Central Park, other yummy snacks and plenty of shopping involved on this trip too. 😉
such good candied almonds…
This cute little place in the West Village, Treat House, sells all kinds of specialty rice krispy treats. They are easy to transport too, if you need a fun treat to bring home to the kiddos.
If you like a bit of a bittersweet hot chocolate with some killer GIGANTIC homemade marshmallows, DON’T MISS city bakery. SO good!
So thankful to have my friendly navigator with me! 😉
John was pretty impressed that we rode the subway all by ourselves. Let’s just say, I don’t have the best sense of direction around, and then you put me underground and it’s all over. 😉 I had to text him this picture as proof that I did it! 😉
Overall, visiting New York City in the middle of January was quite pleasant. I was expecting freezing temps but we lucked out with 50+ degree temps instead. There was a little rain, but nothing an umbrella and proper footwear couldn’t solve! My new rain boots were SO comfy! I wore them on our food tour for the very first time, and even after walking for miles that day my feet were dry and not uncomfortable at all! I’ve been in NYC in the fall, winter and spring, with temps ranging everywhere from 85 degrees to 18 degrees and I have to say…there is never a bad time to be in the city in my opinion. Maybe I would feel differently if I ever visited in August, but rain, snow or shine, I just can’t get enough of this amazing place! It energizes me!
I hope you are feeling inspired to visit NYC and have some fun!