Bonjour, mes chéries! Can you believe it’s DECEMBER already?! I was not mentally prepared for it to be so close to the end of the year so soon. However, I’m stoked because the holiday season is finally in full force. But before we even start, I have a special announcement to make: This year, I am doing I’m doing #12DaysOfBlogmas here on Bouge & Rouge. From December 3 through December 15, I will be posting a NEW blog post each day! I’ll be alternating between regular posts and holiday-oriented posts.
You know I am always as honest as possible with you all, so I’m going to be transparent before we kick off #12DaysOfBlogmas: I want to apologize for my sporadic posting and being off-schedule lately. The last few months have been a little bit of a hurricane in my personal life. I hate making excuses, but I’m truly very overwhelmed with what life is throwing at me right now. Unfortunately, this means that my life off-screen sometimes has to take priority over my blog. I’ll get more into detail about it one day during blogmas. For now, I just wanted you all to know that if I miss a day and end up posting late, I want to apologize ahead of time and hope you understand. Thank you all for being constantly supportive no matter how inconsistent I get and for always reaching out on social media with such kind words ❤️
Without further ado, let’s hop into the very first day of blogmas!
The holiday season has transformed the city in a beautiful way. There are light fixtures around parks in the city, holiday markets, pop-up shops and exhibits with great holiday deals, and the ever interesting SantaCon approaching. If you’re in the city anytime this December, there are a few places you must check out before the holiday season is over!
There are three holiday markets and villages by Urbanspace, a company that sets up markets or food fairs in parks around New York, that you can visit till December 24th (January 2 for Bryan Park shops)! They are located in Union Square, Bryant Park, and Columbus Circle. Each market overlaps with the others in some vendors, but many are unique to their respective market. The vendors come from all over the city and boroughs. I’ve been visiting the Union Square Holiday Market every day after work and the Bryant Park village every now and then to shop for cute Christmas gifts. They sell things like Christmas ornaments, handmade jewelry, funky printed socks, all sorts of snacks, house decor, art, and more! Urbanspace even provides a food section with some of the best food vendors that often participate in food festivals or events, like Smorgasburg.
It’s been so busy that every time I visit I have not been able to snag the best photos, but I hope this photos of the holiday shops in Bryant Park gives you an idea!
Pop-Up Shops & Exhibits
There is nothing I love more than pop-up shops or exhibits. This season, multiple ones have been “popping-up” (100% pun intended) all over the city. I’ve been dutifully visiting them one by one.
Yankee Candle Candle Power Pop-Up
If you’re a candle lover, like me, you must visit the Yankee Candle pop-up shop in SoHo on Broadway. The shop is interactive and allows you to personalize your own candle. Yankee Candle built photo backdrops or sets to match specific special candles’ scents. There’s a rep at each set to help take photos for anyone who wants one. One of the sets for Chesapeake Bay, their aromatherapy line, was actually interactive! It was a small booth with a large animated projection in front of you. As your finger touched a screen, you could make something happen on the projection like flowers blossoming or drawing pictures in sand. Another set was a room tilted sideways.
One of my oldest (in terms of how long I’ve known her, not age 😉) friends, Amanda, came to visit me this weekend and allowed me to drag her to the pop-up. We snagged a bunch of adorable photos in the sets!
The pop-up store also has a scent test station. There are 8 candles in a box in front of you, and you must match the lid (with the scent name on it) to the right candle. After participating, you receive a card to personalize your candle for free (otherwise the price is $5)! You then head to the personalization station, choose the candle scent you want, choose the type of jar (two wick cylinder or one wick glass jar), and choose the photos you want on your jar. The candles were one 22oz for $27.99 or two for $36.
There are a few special candles that were created solely for this SoHo pop-up. They are City Lights, New York City at Dawn, Fall in Central Park, and Sun Drenched Apricot Rose. My favorite is one by their WoodWick line called Woodside which crackles like a fireplace!
I ended up purchasing two 22oz candles with photos of my dog on it. Needless to say, I miss my dog terribly. To be honest, for $36 these are a steal! A regular priced 22oz candle in stores are already nearly $30 after taxes. Why not personalize it and get two for the cost of a little more than one?
Armani Box Pop-Up
If you’re a lover of all things Giorgio Armani beauty, this pop-up store is a must visit before its last day on December 31st! The entire store is covered in red lacquer and beautiful displays of their products. You can even personalize your lipstick or powder purchases! They also have a large display in the back for their colognes and perfumes in large leather cases and shelves on the wall. But the best part is the giant gorilla in the front of the store! Uri, the gorilla’s name, greets visitors and is surrounded with larger-than-human-sized Armani beauty products. I am not a big user of Giorgio Armani beauty, but I had to visit for the red lacquer room!
Nordstrom x Byrdie Beauty Lab Pop-Up
If you’re a lover of all things beauty, this lab is a must-see! I am actually making my way there sometime this week. At this pop-up, you can test almost 200 products curated by Byrdie and take master classes to learn more about makeup application or skincare benefits. Get this – you can even meet Jen Atkin, the founder of Ouai hair product brand, and Carisa Janes, the creator of Hourglass!
Since I am not going to the store until next weekend, I’ve found some photos on Google of what it looks like and will update this post with my own photos after I visit. The pop-up is only here from December 1 – December 15, so hop on the nearest subway and visit ASAP!
Louis Vuitton VVV Exhibit
I wouldn’t be living up to my blog name if I didn’t pay a visit to the Louis Vuitton Volez, Voguez, Voyagez NYC Exhibition in FiDi. This exhibit is open until January 7, 2018 and free to the public! All you have to do is reserve your ticket online. This exhibit takes you through the history of Louis Vuitton, specifically in travel bags, luggages, trunks, and storage units. They show you how the leather is bound for their products too!
The exhibit walks you through rooms built for each type of travel. For example, one room is built to look like you’re on a boat with displays of LV vintage cruise line bags and clothes. The next room looks like the Orient Express train with a moving screen to mimic a train moving through the American countryside, and so forth. Towards the end of the exhibit, you see the more modern lines LV has released, such as their collaboration with Supreme, ending with a room full of pink graffiti and pieces from their fashion shows.
This exhibit is definitely for the fashion and history lover! It was so interesting to see how LV has grown over so much time yet stayed so true to their very classic styles. I definitely recommend taking the time to slowly make your way through, reading as much information on the walls as you can! One warning though: the lighting is not ideal for photos 😞
Christmas Lights: Rockefeller Tree & Dyker Heights
You can’t enjoy Christmas in the city without enjoying hundreds of Christmas lights! There are two iconic places you must visit if you’re a lover of all things festive: the Rockefeller Center Tree and Dyker Heights in Brooklyn.
The Rockefeller Center Tree is a no-brainer. Since the plaza opened in 1933, an enormous tree was placed to boost the city’s mood during the holidays. The first tree was 20ft tall, but this year’s is about 94ft tall and dripping in 50,000 colored LED lights and topped with a Swarovski star topper. You can enjoy it in all of its beauty and glory as you skate on the rink right underneath too or pass by the Christmas storefront displays on Fifth Avenue right by it.
Dyker Heights is a neighborhood in the southern most tip of Brooklyn. It’s a residential area that is known for its festive celebration of Christmas via house decor. Nearly every house in the neighborhood is decked out to the nines with lights, blow up Santas, and everything in-between. It’s not a competition per se, but you can certainly see how each house is competing for the most glorious Christmas decor. Hundreds of thousands of people go each year to walk through streets and enjoy the lights. I’ll be paying a visit myself mid-December and cannot be more excited! Here are some of the best decors throughout the years:
Well mes chéries, that’s all I have today. Get excited for the start of Blogmas on Bouge & Rouge! I can’t wait for you all to see what else is in store. Until tomorrow, bisou bisou…