unique gift ideas holiday

Gifts can be a hard thing for me sometimes. People probably think I’m terrible at giving them, but I have this thing against ‘stuff’ and I refuse to buy people things just for the sake of buying them something. So I usually end up overthinking holidays and birthdays because I want to give a gift that is practical, useful and something of need for the recipient and not just another coffee mug. For example, in lieu of toys and clothes, I asked family to get Parker gifts that offered her experiences - ballet classes, a trip to the train museum or tickets to The Nutcracker. Then I realized, I should do the same for people I need to get gifts for. Heck, that would make gift giving so much easier and so much more worthwhile! First up, the hardest person to shop for… your significant other! Why is that? I don’t know. One of the great mysteries of the world. But I bet every person will say their husband/wife/partner is the toughest person to buy for!

This year, with my new found love for gifts of experience, I knew exactly what to get Eric. So proud of myself… and I didn’t even wait until the last minute! We’ve been itching for solo time together since Sidney Sloane was born and when we do sneak in a date night or dinner alone, we usually end up staying in our immediate neighborhood so we aren’t paying a sitter while we sit on the subway. This was when I knew an Uber gift card was the way to go so we could easily get to/from our ideal date without worrying about subway delays or parking spots. Uber was a game changer when it launched in NYC. I remember the days of cash only taxis and drivers who would refuse to take you to Brooklyn. I was reminiscing with a friend recently about the olden days when I’d hail a cab to go home and would close the door, have my seatbelt on and ensure the car was in motion before I’d pipe up and say ‘Um… need to go to Brooklyn, please!’. This was usually met with some eye rolls and mumbles about how they wished they had never picked me up! You can bet we are avid Uber users nowadays.

 uber gift card
 uber gift card holiday 
 uber gift card holiday experience
 amy parker anderson parker etc
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 amy parker anderson parker etc

Since we do spend a lot of time with the kids in our neighborhood, we try to get out and explore other areas on our dates. One of our obvious favorites is Dumbo, as it’s close by and always a gorgeous destination. The Uber gift card was perfect to use as we were able to get there in 10 minutes, as opposed to waiting on the subway, which would’ve easily taken 30. So, maybe we’re not onto anything new here, but we’ve really been loving day dates recently and it seems to be easier with the kids schedules too. Eric decided we could go out for lunch, take a coffee break and walk around the waterfront. Really anything that gives us space and the ability to have a conversation without being interrupted by an explosive diaper, a toddler who wants to play non-stop or someone needing to work.

I’m such a fan of the cobble streets, the old warehouse buildings and the iconic views from Dumbo. We always make it a point to just wander around while we’re over there. My favorites spots include - Brooklyn Roasting, Atrium, West Elm, Vinegar Hill House, One Girl Cookies, Powerhouse Books and Modern Anthology.

 amy parker anderson parker etc
 amy parker anderson parker etc
 things to do in dumbo brooklyn
 winter fashion acne velocite jacket
 to do in dumbo brooklyn
 uber gift card new york city skyline

If you’re stuck trying to decide what to get a few people on your list this year, I’d suggest grabbing some Uber gift cards. I mean, who doesn’t use Uber these days?! You can easily purchase Uber gift cards online via Uber or Amazon or in-store at Walmart and Target.

*This post was sponsored by Uber, but opinions are always my own. As always, thanks for supporting brands that support this blog and my family*

Photos by: Steven Stauffer + Eric Ryan Anderson


 bugaboo donkey weekender mom blogger

While it appears Old Man Winter has arrived in most cities, we here in New York are still experiencing some extended fall-ish weather. The ‘ish’ meaning that we can still enjoy outside activities without our tears or snot freezing when we step outside the front door. As long as the winter bite hasn’t set in yet, it’s fair game to be outside all day before we all head into hibernation mode through April.

 bugaboo donkey weekender new york city
 bugaboo donkey weekender amy parker anderson
 flower market brooklyn

The beauty of living where we are in Brooklyn, is that most everything we could leisurely desire to do during the weekend is within walking distance for us. I’ve found this extremely beneficial since having children and your world becomes a bit smaller in scope since you can’t exactly galavant around the city from sunrise to… well, sunrise… like we did pre-children.  

Recently, when I find myself needing some fresh air, space and some exploring options for Parker, we head straight for Prospect Park. I have a whole route and system to our park dates. If my husband is reading this, he is likely rolling his eyes as I have a routine and system for most things that he finds a) adorable/funny or b) likely frustrating.

 bugaboo donkey weekender review
 bugaboo donkey weekender amy parker anderson
 brooklyn farmers market amy parker anderson

First… coffee. Always. Then, it’s no park date without snacks on snacks, so we swing by our local grocery store and grab our favorite bites. We stock up on everything from hummus, crackers, cheese, grapes, pretzels, salami… snacky things. Since I have zero self control when it comes to flowers, I always do a drive by just to see what they have available for the weekend… I probably just bought fresh flowers yesterday, but ya know, just in case!

On our latest visit over the weekend, we ran into the farmer’s market that pops up at Grand Army Plaza. It’s really one of the best I’ve seen in the city, aside from Union Square (obvi), and always has a vast selection of meats, cheese, baked goods, flowers, dried lavender, veggies… all the things. What usually happens is when I’m not looking, Eric sneaks Parker over to the bakery stand and they snag a donut to share. I know this because Parker is terrible at keeping secrets and equally terrible at wiping the evidence away from her mouth.

 bugaboo donkey weekender review
 bugaboo donkey weekender review
 bugaboo donkey weekender review

If you haven’t noticed by now, we are test driving the newest Bugaboo Donkey Weekender and I’m quite smitten. Since we live in a city where your stroller is like your minivan, I geek out over stroller talk like some guys would over car talk. For starters, just look at that cognac faux leather trim and handle bar. Gah! The blue-grey denim style fabric gives it a refreshing and super stylish look. I’ve never had so many people stare or stop and ask me what stroller I’m using before. Quite the conversation starter! Want to meet new mom friends? Get this stroller!

She drives like a dream and easily maneuvers through the tiny shop doors and aisles of stores here. Which is a big deal since you don’t want to be that mom who’s ramming into door frames and clogging up the shopping aisles. I’ve been guilty of that before. But in my opinion, the best part is the sidecar style bag. I’m an options girl. I like to have them. With this setup, you have the option to store things in the under basket or you literally have the storage equivalent of a carry on item in the side luggage bag. Maybe to some that isn’t important, but for those of us who need the space of a cargo van in our stroller, this is super helpful when it comes to packing up everything we need for a whole day out and about. Plus, it’s easily accessible to grab things on the go and I don’t have to bend down and dig through my bag to find keys/phone/wallet/snacks/water/sunglasses… you name it. 

 bugaboo donkey weekender review
 bugaboo donkey weekender review

So how did our picnic go? Well, once we got to the park, we scored the perfect spot under the brightest tree and Parker was in awe. It was pretty cute! Sidney Sloane finally woke up, so she got to play in the leaves and do other ridiculously cute baby things. I have a feeling this was our last outing to the park this season before it gets super cold and uncomfortable. I'm glad we were able to do it as a family! 



 thanksgiving table decor easy

If you’re anything like me, then you’ve got no time for all the frills of a fancy Thanksgiving tablescape. There were years (read: prior to having kids) that I could easily whip together an over-the-top, in-your-face, spectacularly show-stopping table decor. Where did those days go? Well, out the window once babies entered the mix… along with my Beyonce hair and the ability to have personal space to recover from a hangover. But we’ve got to make do with what we’ve got and the time we have. So, I present to you….. ‘The Two-Minute Thanksgiving Tablescape!’

 easy thanksgiving table decor
 easy thanksgiving table decoration 

It is to be noted that I derived inspiration for this from my mama friend Anna of In Honor Of Design. So, don’t throw me any extra credit as I merely just mixed up the elements and loved it so much that I just felt it necessary to share so others can benefit from this chic table decor.

It’s beyond simple! Just feel free to mix and match different sized pumpkins, move things around and keeping adding in eucalyptus until it fits your mood. In my opinion, more is more is more! So really, you can’t go wrong with how large or small you want this piece to be. It’s very customizable to your particular table. Do note, I couldn’t find any medium sized pumpkins that weren’t just straight up orange, so I did paint mine that grey/slate color you see in the photos. You could keep yours orange if you feel, but I wanted mine to be a bit more muted.

I suggest starting with the pumpkins placement, then add in the artichokes and finalize it all with your floral pieces. You can use eucalyptus like I did or even another green option like sage or olive branches. 

 thanksgiving table decoration easy