1. Friday Night Dinner at Natural Gourmet Institute: apparently, this plant-focused cooking school has been hosting these dinners for the past 20 years, but it’s all new to me. My husband and I attended our first NGI FND last weekend and it was amazing! For $45 per person you get a three course vegetarian meal (though our Dec. 11 “Root to Sap” edition was vegan), and each course contains three discrete mini dishes. I almost never do tasting menus because 1) I don’t like meat or fish, and 2) they usually offer WAY too much food for me. But the type and amount of food served at this dinner was just right for me. NGI’s dinners are BYOB, so you can bring wine or beer for yourself or to share with your table mates. The food was beautiful and tasted great: I think my personal favorites were the beet tartare “chevre” dish and the kale chips…OMG, those kale chips. If you’re a veggie lover in NYC, I highly recommend you try Friday Night Dinner!


2. Brush Markers: I requested and received this set of 12 markers as a Hanukkah present so that I could use them in my Magic Garden coloring book. I’ve been using Crayola colored pencils, but I wanted a more intense color option as well. These markers actually feel like you’re using a delicate-tipped paintbrush!


3. Riedel Heart to Heart Riesling Wine Glasses: another Hanukkah gift request that was fulfilled! My husband and I were in the market for new wine glasses, and we both admired wine glasses of this shape when we encountered them out and about. We settled on this set of four glasses that are meant for drinking Riesling, but we don’t really subscribe to the idea of using specific glass shapes for drinking specific varietals. These will function as our all-purpose wine glasses. We haven’t had a chance to try them out yet (duh, the sticker’s still on them), but I’m sure we will soon. 🙂


4. Rent the Runway for New Year’s Eve: I’m renting this Halston Heritage Navy Ri jumpsuit for the New Year’s Eve Party I’ll be attending, and I cannot wait for it to arrive! This will be my first foray into the fancy jumpsuit arena, so fingers crossed that it works out. If you haven’t figured out what to wear to your NYE event yet, I recommend checking out New Year’s Eve looks from Rent the Runway. It’s a really fun way to try out designer clothes without having to spend a whole paycheck on an outfit!


5. Glass Ring Holder: I received this beautiful Hanukkah gift from my mom, who bought it at Tamarack, an artisan retail center in Beckley, West Virginia (about an hour southeast of Charleston). Sound random? It’s really not—my mom grew up in Charleston and one of her sisters lives in WV, so she picked this up for me during a fall visit. I’ve been to Tamarack myself while visiting family, and it’s a pretty cool place. I confess that I didn’t know what this piece was when I took it out of its box, but it turns out that it’s a ring holder; here it is holding my Stella & Dot pavé chevron ring. It’s hard to tell from the poor lighting in my photo, but the glass contains a dark purple and rose gold swirl. It’s very pretty, and makes a lovely addition to my vanity table (which, incidentally, is an heirloom from my grandparents’ home in Charleston). Thanks, Mom!