The Year of the Horse at Bloomingdale’s

Year of the Horse, San Francisco Chinese New Year 2014, Chinese New Year 2014, Bloomingdale's Chinese New Year
Westfield San Francisco Centre

Sanfranista, Year of the Horse, San Francisco Chinese New Year 2014, Chinese New Year 2014, Bloomingdale's Chinese New Year

Last Thursday, San Francisco’s Bloomingdale’s transformed into a Chinese New Year celebration to behold, complete with an undulating dragon and noodle cutting (so much tastier than ribbon cutting). The collaboration between Westfield, the Asian Art Museum, and M.Y. China celebrates the Year of the Horse in all its galloping glory. The kick-off cocktail party featured an array of products designed to get you in the spirit of the holiday, from horse-themed home decor to blazing red frocks.

There are more Year of the Horse celebrations to come at Bloomie’s , including lion dancers, tea tastings, and a contortionist. The pop-up shop pictured below is only open through February 1st, so be sure to stop by this week to check it out! The other celebrations culminate on February 15th, the date of the annual parade. It’s been a few years since I’ve attended, but I’ll definitely be there this year! If you haven’t been before, get there early with a large thermos of coffee and purely functional footwear (yes, I know, this is me saying this. Trust me).

Many thanks to Bloomingdale’s for being such a fantastic host and celebrating such an important part of San Francisco’s cultural traditions. A Happy Chinese New Year to all, and to all a good night!

Unless otherwise credited, all photos by James Winstead.

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Year of the Horse, San Francisco Chinese New Year 2014, Chinese New Year 2014, Bloomingdale's Chinese New Year

San Francisco Chinese New Year 2014, Chinese New Year 2014, Bloomingdale's Chinese New Year

San Francisco Chinese New Year 2014, Chinese New Year 2014, Bloomingdale's Chinese New Year

San Francisco Chinese New Year 2014, Chinese New Year 2014, Bloomingdale's Chinese New Year
M.Y. China

San Francisco Chinese New Year 2014, Chinese New Year 2014, Bloomingdale's Chinese New Year

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Trim the Tree

tree trimming party, tree trimming, christmas party

No shortage of square footage should ever get in the way of the Christmas spirit. At least, that’s the justification I used to validate squeezing a 6-foot tree into a 300-square-foot studio. Getting it inside was a struggle, and it took us three separate tries before it was actually standing up straight. But now that it’s decked out in twinkly lights and cheery little ornaments, our tree looks right at home.

Trimming the tree has always been my favorite holiday tradition. Back at home, we’d ward off the Minnesota chill with mugs of spiced cider and The Muppets Christmas CD. Even though we’re several thousand miles away, I keep those same traditions by hosting a tree trimming party for our friends. But this time, the cider is spiked!

My lovely mother-in-law is a fellow Christmas lover, and last year she sent us an amazing collection of ornaments that had special meaning. Throughout Jim’s life, she picked out a new ornament for him every year and dated them. Now every time we hang the ornaments on the tree, we get to experience a little chronological journey of Jim’s childhood. Down the road, I might have to take a page out of her book and do the same.

We’re so grateful to our friends for filling our home with laughter and joy. It hasn’t always been easy making our home so far away from where each of us grew up, but having good friends definitely makes it feel a lot like Christmas.

tree trimming party, tree trimming, christmas party

tree trimming party, tree trimming, christmas party

paper snowflakes, holiday decorations, christmas party

gingerbread men, gingerbread cookies, christmas party

gingerbread cookies, tree trimming party, tree trimming, christmas party

tree trimming party, tree trimming, christmas party

gingerbread ornaments, homemade ornaments, tree trimming party

tree trimming party, tree trimming, christmas party

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Holiday Gift Guide: Picks Under $100

gift guide, gift guide for women, holiday gift guide, christmas gift guide, gifts under $100

fab shades ($69) / bookish iPhone charger ($68) / pretty fragrance ($68)
dictionary iPhone wallet ($85) / measuring cup set ($70) / decorative plates ($60)
french press ($60) / cozy throw ($68 – just marked down to $40!)
gold-rimmed glasses ($54) / pave ring ($96) / clever canister with chocolate ($69)

With nine days left until Christmas, it’s time to roll out the big guns. That’s right- we’re now on to the gift guide between $50 and $100. From a funky iPhone charger to a refreshingly honest canister filled with chocolate, these are my favorite luxe picks for friends and family this year.

And as a bonus, the cozy little throw I picked from Anthropologie just went on sale this morning from $68 down to $40. Score!

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