Behind the Scenes #4: Christmas in NYC, Food Tour, and Game Night

Hi guys!

I hope you all had a joyful and blessed Christmas (or a lovely day off if you don’t celebrate)! My family and I certainly lived it up. Our celebrations have included a lot of these three things: laughter, prayer, and FOOD.

I know that a lot of people, including me, have post-Christmas blues, but the 12 days of Christmas have just started! Go buy your loved ones two turtle doves and partridge in a pear tree today. I’m sure you’ll have no trouble finding them, right? 😉 Plus, there’s still New Year’s to look forward to!

Well the last few days have been packed with fun, so I’m going to take you behind the scenes to check out the shenanigans (and my random thoughts about them)…


Hooray for Amanda’s Thinking Out Loud link-up!

1. This year was our first Christmas in New York in about four or five years. We’ve been in either Canada or Florida for the past few years, so it is wonderful to be staying home with just the four of us this Christmas! I actually told my dad before we left for Canada, “I miss having Christmas at home in New York.” Well, I guess my wish came true! Just not quite in the way I would have expected…

2. Christmas at home meant an obligatory trip to NYC to take in the Christmas experience! We decided to go down on Christmas Eve to see the tree and do a little “food tour.” What is a food tour you may ask? You see, we went on this crazy food adventure with our family friends a few Thanksgivings ago, in which we just stopped by a bunch of restaurants (mostly dessert places) to try different things. I remember we ate at a Mongolian restaurant for dinner and then went to several places for dessert: a famous cheesecake place, Pinkberry, a chocolate cake place, and Rice to Riches (rice pudding). It’s excessive, spontaneous, and oh so fun to do once in a blue moon. We also just have a little bit at each place too, or else we would probably explode.

This year’s experience: (I’ll show you just what I ate. I’ll spare the extra pics of what everyone else ate!)


Shared yen-ta-four soup with mom at Wondee Siam for lunch

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Rockefeller Tree!

[Insert down time at Barnes and Noble]

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Cereal milk soft serve at Momofuku Milk Bar— I had always wanted to try this place! The cereal milk tastes like what it’s called. It might be meh to some, but it was totally up my alley.


Okay this is not mine. It’s Ben’s dessert at Ben Ash, which was a completely spontaneous drop-in. The biggest ($10!!!) piece of red velvet cheesecake EVER. I kept telling him not to finish it because I worried about his health. He didn’t 😉



Visit to Times Square, since we’re too wimpy to go for New Year’s. In our defense, we like to be able to move around and go to the bathroom freely, thank you very much.


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Last stop of the night: the best Halal food in the city. We always go to the most popular location, which is at 53rd and 6th. There is always a super long line! I shared a chicken and rice plate with mom. Hit the spot like no other.

At least we were walking all day, right? 😉

3. My family didn’t really do formal gifts this year, but each one of us treated the family at one of the above restaurants. We also just counted any gift given in the month of December as a Christmas gift. Some may say that’s no fun, but it worked for us this year! I also made a card with coupons for my family:


I do most of these things already, but the coupons will allow my family members to ask for the favors on demand. Uh oh.

And Ben made me this cute card:

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Lots of jokes in this card. Thanks, Penguino!

4. You’d think we would be tired of food by Christmas day…Nahhh. The second part of my gift was making lunch for the family after Mass:

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Baked French toast and a set up of all our leftovers to make brunch tacos

5. Catch Phrase is the best game ever. All four of us played it last night, and we totally got an ab workout from laughing so hard. Even though we only have the junior version, it’s still fun!


An example of what was said:

Ben: “What is this? (does robot) Domo arigato.”

Dad: “Mozart!”


But he got it right after that. 😉

6. I’m currently playing Connect Four with Ben and I could not be worse at it. I just lost the first game in about 2 minutes.

Just kidding, I just won with FIVE in a row. BOOM.

…And I just won again! I don’t think I’ve ever won this many times in my life! Seriously.

7. I made granola bars randomly yesterday, following this recipe loosely. To be honest, I really just wanted to use up a some of my salted almond butter. It’s not that I don’t like it, but I just don’t enjoy it nearly as much as my other nut/seed butters. However, they certainly made these granola bars mighty tasty.


8. I should really start my homework today. *dramatic sigh*

9. I think that’s enough from me. May your days be merry and bright, folks. You rock. ❤


“And the Word was made flesh…”  —John 1:14

So tell me: What did you do for Christmas? What is one of your favorite things you gifted to someone else? Have you ever played Catch Phrase before?


15 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes #4: Christmas in NYC, Food Tour, and Game Night

  1. The 12 days of Christmas start -after- Christmas?! I had absolutely no idea 😆 I’ve always wondered, but I thought they were either the first 12 days of December or the 12 days before Christmas. Good to know 🙂

    Christmas in NYC sounds like it would be amazing. I haven’t been to the city since I was about 4 years old, but I NEED to go back to experience it in its fullness. And cereal milk soft serve? Given my love of cereal, that honestly sounds like heaven…

  2. You know what? I’ve lived 30 minutes outside the city my entire life and I have yet to go to Times Square on New Years or anytime near then! I appreciate going to the bathroom and walking around freely too! Lol
    Looks like an awesome day and you’re right! The Christmas season has actually just begun! Good reminder whenever I feel a little of the post Christmas blues coming on
    Hope you enjoy the rest of your vacation!

  3. I love your family tradition- sounds like so much fun! Do you guys live far from the city? I had some friends who lived about an hour out and could still hear EVERYTHING on NYE!

    Those food trucks are so underrated- never had a better kebab in my life!

    • We’re about an hour drive from the city as well! I’ve never tried listening for the NYE celebrations though! But I probably wouldn’t be able to differentiate the sounds at Times Square from the sounds at the local celebrations anyway.
      I actually want to visit more food trucks! They can have some awesome, unique foods.

  4. What a fun idea to do a “food tour”. If there was a place here that we could walk around from place to place, I would love to spend one night doing so. However, i’m not quite sure that exists . I supposed I’ll just have to live vigurously through you 🙂 Ha Ha!

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  6. Holy delicious food! That chicken and rice seems like a dish right up my alley – next time we visit NYC, I need to check it out!! You and your family look so lovely in front of that magical Christmas tree. :)) Catch Phrase is one of my family’s favorite games – we get super competitive when we play it!! I’m glad that you had such a wonderful Christmas this year! 🙂

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