Coffee Talk & Our NYC Visit

Greetings, friends! I hope the weekend is treating you well. Ours has been busy, but we’ve had some downtime too. It’s pretty much been the perfect ratio of festive, fun, and relaxing.

I picked up my son from college on Friday afternoon and brought him home for Christmas break. I made him some chocolate chip cookies and a healthy salmon dinner before we all went our separate ways for the evening.

I attended a LOFT holiday shopping event, while D went out with friends and C hosted a small party here at the house. Paul and R survived that by watching the Sixers game together. With our son gone at college much of the time, it’s nice that one of the girls also shares that interest with Paul.

Yesterday morning, we puttered around the house a bit before it was time for me to take the girls for haircuts, and then we came home and made peanut butter kiss cookies.

I hardly ever bake anymore because I don’t want the gluten or the calories, but I guess I haven’t lost my touch! Both recipes turned out perfectly and were definitely appreciated by the rest of the family.

If you’re looking for a good peanut butter kiss cookie recipe, this Pillsbury recipe is my go-to. I think it’s the Crisco that keeps them nice and soft and chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside.

The key with these, as with most cookies, is not to over-bake. I watched them with the oven light on as they slowly started to crack around the edges, and took them out before they started to brown on top. If you measure accurately and use fresh ingredients (make sure the brown sugar is nice and soft so it doesn’t create lumps in the batter) then this recipe is practically foolproof. Also, don’t ever use natural peanut butter.

Last night, we went out to dinner with friends, and then R and I spent the rest of the evening wrapping presents and listening to Christmas music.

This afternoon we have a holiday concert to attend, and next weekend we’re going to see the Nutcracker, so I feel like I’m checking off all my Christmassy boxes this year. Cookies, check! Gift wrapping, check! Live tree, check! Christmas concert, check! Holiday shopping, check! Nutcracker, check!

Oh, and then there was our little jaunt to NYC on Wednesday.

I guess I promised to recap the trip for you. For anyone just tuning in, this was my older daughter’s Sweet 16 present. She didn’t want a party — she wanted to go to NYC at Christmastime and visit Tiffany’s and see a Broadway show, so that’s what we did.

We debated buying Amtrak tickets, but in the end decided to brave NJ Transit — which really is no big deal. It’s just more of a drive, and you don’t have reserved seats so boarding can feel a bit chaotic, but we managed to get seats both ways, which was nice.

The picture above was our selfie by the tracks as we waited for our train to arrive.

We arrived at Penn Station around 10:30AM and wasted no time stopping at a Starbucks to tank up for the morning. Our Broadway tickets were for a 2PM show, so we had some time to kill. We both wanted to see the famous shop windows so we decided to hoof it instead of taking an Uber. We walked past Macy’s and then turned on 5th Avenue and walked the mile or so to Rockefeller Center.

We managed to get a picture in front of the famous Christmas tree, although it was crowded and there was some interference.

C is a big Audrey Hepburn fan and loves the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s, so visiting Tiffany’s was a high priority for this trip, but we took a short detour at Saks and walked through the luxury handbag departments and did a lot of drooling before heading up the street to the Tiffany’s Flagship Store.

In anticipation of this event, my mom sent C an early birthday present — Tiffany & Co. gift card, so we spent some time looking for the perfect gift.

It was busy, but the gentleman who helped us was really sweet and gave C the royal treatment. She selected a small silver knot necklace that we agreed is the perfect commemoration of her Sweet 16.

After that, we had about an hour or so before our show, and we grabbed some lunch. It was nice to sit and relax, as we’d done a fair amount of standing and walking.

The timing worked out perfectly, and we arrived at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre just when the doors were opening.

Our seats were front and center in the first row of the balcony, and it was a fantastic view. We both enjoyed the show, although the storyline is a little risqué at times. I didn’t know the story or the songs, but C did — she’s quite the theater junkie.

After the show, we slipped into the Italian restaurant next door and managed to get two seats at the bar for dinner. I had made reservations elsewhere, but she was in the mood for Italian, and it was right there, so we popped in and were happy to be seated right away. Everything was decorated for Christmas, it was cozy and warm, and basically a great way to end the day.

We relaxed, ate, and chatted over our day before heading back towards Penn Station. Again, we opted to walk so we could enjoy the sites, and fortunately the weather wasn’t terribly cold.

On our way back, we found ourselves in Times Square, so of course we had to take a picture!

We made sure to walk back by Macy’s, since it was nighttime and the windows were all lit. C wasn’t quite ready to end the day, so we stepped inside and walked around a bit before heading back to Penn Station to catch our train home.

That’s the other benefit of doing NJ Transit as opposed to Amtrak — with Amtrak, you’re committed to a particular train, but we were able to wander back at our leisure and catch whichever train was the next one leaving and not worry about making it at a certain time.

It was definitely a more relaxing trip than our last time visiting NYC at Christmastime. That was a weekend trip, and going on a weekday was much more enjoyable. It was still crowded but not crazy.

All in all, it was a great trip, and I’m so glad we did it. It definitely beats hosting a birthday party any day!

I guess I need to wrap this up and get ready for church.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend, and have a blessed Sunday!

Join The Conversation

45 Responses

  1. What a fun day in NYC! Caroline will always remember her Tiffany’s purchase, for her 16th birthday treat. That is special ❤️

  2. Loved your pictures of your day in NYC. I too took my daughter to NY back in April for her birthday but it was her 40th.   Had a lovely time just the two of us and we also saw Waitress.  Making memories. 😍

  3. What a wonderful birthday treat for both of you. As Oprah said recently…”you’re making dreams abs memories.” ❤️🎁

  4. Good morning and merry Christmas. You definitely had a busy but good week. I loved reading about your trip to NYC. Your daughter is a beautiful girl this is a birthday she will always remember. I’m with you on going to do something rather than throwing a birthday party. Have a great week.

  5. What a perfect way to celebrate a special birthday! Can I just say how jealous I am that you live close enough to NYC to go for a day trip!? Shopping, a Broadway show, and Italian food—nice! Seriously, that sounds great to me. I’m glad your daughter had a terrific day. 

    1. It is definitely convenient, but honestly, I like Philly better. Much smaller and more doable, and so pretty as well. But that’s me. I don’t like big and massive places — cities, grocery stores, anything. I always prefer smaller and well curated. Haha!

  6. What a perfect day to enjoy with your daughter! She is beautiful and will be gone in a flash so each moment counts! Memories made to cherish❤️

  7. Sounds like a wonderful day in NYC. As I’m in Seattle, a bit jealous you can hop a train for the day to NYC. But reading about your tour reminded me of my own walking tour while there on business during the holidays. Loved the city all lit up! Merry Christmas! 

  8. What a very special sweet 16 birthday for Caroline! I love the Tiffany pics of her! This will be a birthday both Caroline and you will remember for always! Your’e an awesome Mom (remember that Caroline)!

  9. Oh I’m so glad you gals got to go to NYC at Christmas! I’ve done that several times and it is so magical and fun!! That sounds just like the day my daughter and I would plan. 

  10. What a wonderful Sweet 16 birthday for your daughter!! We absolutely LOVE NY! Go as often as we can. We always have trouble figuring out where to eat when we are there though! lol We stay at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square and eat a Junior’s alot! Yummy yummy Cheescake!! Where did you eat lunch and dinner while you were there? Where had you made reservations?

    1. I don’t remember where we ate for lunch. It was a woman’s name. Maggies? It was right near Saks, I think. For dinner, we slipped into Trattoria Trecolori next door to the theater. Neither was fabulous, but they were fine. I usually use Trip Advisor and plan better, but both times we were more interested in fast seating than a fabulous place. 🙂 My reservations were for the Mean Fiddler. I was more in the mood for a good burger, but C likes Italian.

  11. Your daughter might enjoy the memoir “Summer at Tiffany” by Marjorie Hart. It’s a short, sweet story of a young woman who was one of the first female floor clerks at Tiffany in the mid ‘40s. The author is still alive and sharp as a tack, per my husband who met her at a conference recently.

  12. Looks like a fabulous trip. Thanks for the pictures. Have Caroline model her necklace for us one day. Sounds like a perfect gift for sweet 16.

  13. Sounds like such a fun day!  And what special memories!  And that Tiffany necklace will be such a cherished gift from your mom.  Such fun photos from the day.  Thanks for sharing with us!


  15. Jo-Lynne, your daughter is so beautiful!!! It is wonderful to see a young girl look and be on all levels so beautiful! You are blessed!

  16. What a memorable trip with your daughter. My sister took her granddaughter for her college graduation with a couple of cousins.  It probably 8 years later and they still talk about all the fun they had. 
    I had a question about the cookies. I just wonder why you said not to ever use natural peanut butter, I just wondered if you knew some reason we shouldn’t be eating the peanut butter. 

  17. What a wonderful memory you made with your daughter!  She’s as adorable as her Mom!  Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas and Blessed New Year!  I love your blog, you are just so down to earth. 

  18. What a fun NYC trip with your girl! Great pictures! I have never been to the Tiffany flagship store in NYC…..it’s on my list for the next time I’m there! 

  19. What a great day and way to spend a birthday:) how special to have the gift from Tiffany ‘s as a memory too. We’ve been in twice to NYC and I love it. Both times during the week. We’ve checked pretty much all of our list… but I do need to go back for the Rockets Christmas show… we missed it by one day last visit:( never disappointed with our visits.. we stay all day and walk our legs off… love your pic by the tree.

    1. Oh yeah we make those cookies every year… they are my daughters speciality. We call them peanut butter blossoms and use peanut butter. 

  20. Thanks for sharing pics from your trip to NYC. Looks like you and your daughter had fun. Hoping to plan a trip with my daughter soon. 🙂

  21. We went to NYC for Thanksgiving.  We’ve been before,but never has it been so cold.  Prime spot for parade (5.5 hours) and not a single complaint from my teen children. I had all the winter gear packed. My daughter and I did the window viewing and we thought Saks won the prize. Walked around store and also drooled over handbags. I bought a few ornaments on 3rd floor.  Tiffany’s another stop and 2 shows (my daughter loves theatre) plus holiday Rockettes with rest of family.  What a great gift for your 16yr old. 

  22. What a great mother/daughter day in NYC!  Thanks for sharing your pics, I really enjoyed your recap.  I’ll also have to try the cookie recipe.  I agree with you on Crisco, I have pretty much quit using hydrogenated oils in the kitchen, but I make an exception with cookies.  Good to know about natural peanut butter too – I hadn’t tried that yet, but wondered if it would bake up as nicely as the spread type peanut butter.    We did the Nutcracker yesterday – hope you enjoy it as much as we did.  Also, my Fairisle Sweater finally arrived from Loft.  It is gorgeous! 🙂 

  23. Wow!  It sounds like you and Caroline had a fabulous day in NYC!  I have not been there since 7th grade back in the late 60’s.  You will never guess what most of my pictures were of – hippies!  My parents had never taken me to downtown Atlanta, so I had no idea hippies were in every city.  After that, they took us to the city.  All of you had a great weekend!

  24. My daughter is also Caroline.  We did a backstage tour of Radio City before our show,  It was very interesting.  The Rockettes perform 6 shows per day during an 8 week holiday run. They must be in tip top shape.  Custume room was amazing.  The soldier routine was a favorite.  

  25. I am recently gluten free and I made those same peanut butter cookies with the kiss – gluten free – delicious I have to say!! Christmas has to be the hardest so far being gluten free!!!
    Merry Merry Christmas.

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