Fun things I’m planning the rest of this year

New to New York City? Yeah, we are.

We’re still finding our footing. Like our puppy Minnie, who seems to sniff every crack and crevice on the sidewalk, there are new sights, and sounds (and smells) that John Michael and I are experiencing for the first time. We finally had time to escape the city for the first time since moving in at the end of August. Getting away has prompted us both to reflect on our first two months. And as much as I’ve focused on just experiencing the city and living in the moment, the planner in me is starting to come out. Last night at 2:00am, in my insomnia, I handwrote a list of things I want to do before the end of the year. Before the ball drops in Times Square on December 31, here’s everything I want to do.

Broadway is BACK, baby.

As a musical theater lover, Broadway is the single most exciting part of living in the city, for me. Now that we are NYC residents, we have a few shows lined up to see before the end of the year. The first: Hadestown (on Halloween, no less!). I’ve always wanted to sit in the box seats in a theater, but my family likes being centered with the stage. We’re going with John Michael’s sister, who will be in town. We decided to go for the box seats! I’ll have more to report back soon. After Hadestown, we got tickets to see Freestyle Love Supreme. SO, this is an incredible, improv-based show that is borne out of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s pre-Hamilton days. All of the music is rap-based, and the talent on display is incredible. JM and I saw this show right before the pandemic and I got to meet Lin-Manuel Miranda briefly. We’re going to celebrate our sixth year anniversary being together, this our first as fiancées!

Thanksgiving in Sedona.

This is our last big trip of the year and we’re celebrating Thanksgiving with John Michael’s family, and where I am currently writing this blog post from. The last time I was in Arizona I visited the Grand Canyon, so on this trip, we’re exploring the Phoenix area before celebrating the holiday together. I’m looking forward to sunset hikes in the red rocks, cooking together, and snuggling up by the fire on the chilly desert nights! Yesterday we hiked Catherdral rock – and I know I am going to be sore from that for a while.

Wedding Dress Shopping.

Growing up, I have fond memories of waking up on Sunday morning and watching “Say Yes to the Dress” with my Mom. We would laugh, cry, and dream about one day choosing my wedding dress. Yes, it’s sappy, but I loved those mornings. And now we get to do it together, in real life – a true dream come true for me. I’ve set the bridal appointments and we have a fun weekend planned in New York. I can’t wait to say “Yes” to my dress!


Christmas is my favorite holiday. Always has been, always will be. This year, we’re spending Christmas back in the south with my parents. Some of our favorite traditions will make a re-appearance this year, including the annual Christmas card we send out, baking dozens and dozens of sugar cookies to send to loved ones, dressing the dogs up in festive sweaters, singing (loudly) alongside the entire Pentatonix Christmas albums, and much, much more. I’m not sure if John Michael is quite ready for the vigor with which we celebrate December 25th, but I’ve done my best to prepare him! This is also our first Christmas with our puppy, Minnie. I can’t wait!

Date Nights in NYC.

I’m not sure where December ranks in my list of “favorite months in New York.” But it’s up there, mostly because of the holiday energy coursing through the city. I’m never afraid to be a tourist in my own city. Going to see the Rockettes, ice skating in Bryant Park, visiting the mammoth tree in Rockefeller Center – inevitably our date nights in December will center on many of these things. We’ll make a return to indoor dining (it’s starting to get chilly!) and I’m in search of the best and most intimate window-seat booth in New York City. Drop me a comment below if you have a recommendation!

Classic NYC days.

Even as the days get shorter, there’s plenty of daylight to burn exploring New York. It may be too cold for rowboats at the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park, but it’s never too chilly to catch the last of the fall foliage ambling through the Ramble. We’ll grab hot chocolate and walk ‘til our feet fall off. We’ll catch a last-minute matinee showtime, a slice of pizza late at night. I don’t mind the clichés! It’s my time to explore the city.

I’ll keep everyone updated over on Instagram about how much of this I end up following through on!

I feel a rush of energy and excitement as the year wraps up. It’s not a “sprint” to the finish line, but I use the opportunity to check some new (& old) items off my bucket list! What do you have on your bucket list for the rest of this year?

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