The Betches’ Holiday Gift Guide 2020

Ah, the holidays. Time to try to get gifts for every single important person in your life, despite not knowing WTF they want (and they really need nothing). Even harder is coming up with what you yourself want, since it feels like you have a million ideas of what you’d want as a holiday gift, until the moment someone asks for your wish list, when it all goes blank. Well, we’re here to help you in that department. I polled the team at Betches for their holiday must-haves. Here’s what’s on our wish list for 2020.

Sami, Co-Founder And Co-Host of Diet Starts Tomorrow

LoveShackFancy Rosa Beaux Bath Wrap, $25

Extend the length of your towel sitting sessions with a towel wrap that stays up. Also, I am a sucker for a floral design. Since I last checked, the price has gone down to $25 which gives you a better reason to buy it. 

Hillhouse December In New York Candle, $50

Since I am not leaving my house this winter, December in New York aromas will have to come to me.

Birthdate Co. Birthdate Candles, $38

Perfect for astrology lovers and people who like to think about themselves, because it comes with a whole blurb about your date of birth that describes your personality. Mine was 100% on point and no one has paid me to say that.

Double Burner Grill From Le Creuset, $99.95

For those in apartment living who want to simulate a bbq, this is the closest you’ll get this winter.

Cliff House Plaid Robe, $150

Ok, I technically bought this for myself (from the hotel on my honeymoon), but it’s the most comfortable robe I’ve ever worn and is extremely soft. I get questions about it on Insta story whenever I wear it. 

Aleen, Co-Founder & Co-Host of Diet Starts Tomorrow

M Jewelers Personalized Letter Necklace, $145

Nostalgia is so hot right now, and what could be better than a nameplate necklace that mixes throwback with self-involvement? There’s also a gothic font option if you can’t leave the 90s in the past.

My City Alocasia Cube 16, $65

Never worry about killing another plant again because these are self-watering planters. See mom, I don’t kill everything I touch!

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial™ AHA + BHA Mask, $80

I know the price tag seems scary, but this is the best at-home facial. Odds of being able to get in-person facials this winter seem slim, so it might be time to invest.

Jordana, Co-Founder & Co-Host Of U Up?

Gravity Weighted Sleep Mask, $40

My top priorities this year are soothing my anxiety and getting a good night’s sleep, so this is pretty perfect for that.  

Yeti Rambler 20 Oz Tumbler With Magslider Lid, $29.99

I need something to take on my morning walks where I don’t have to carry a cap and that won’t leak. I need to be able to take a quick sip before putting the mask back on, and I’m hoping this will do the trick. 

Ravensburger The Portal 1500 Piece Puzzle, $26.00

I”m planning on having a very inactive social life this winter, and puzzles are a great way to relax without looking at a screen. 

Ashley, Director, Content & Strategy

Simplehuman Sensor Mirror Trio Max, $350

I forgot how to do makeup over quarantine and this will help when I’m trying to cover all my maskne. 

Theragun Prime, $299

Since the only thing to do is workout from home, this will help with recovery. You probably don’t want to be getting an in-person massage right now, just saying.

Brittany, Art Director & Manager of @betchesmoms

Lunya Washable Silk Button Down Pant Set, $258

“Washable silk” sounds like an oxymoron, but I promise it isn’t. Might as well invest in fancy pajamas since we have no chance to wear fancy clothes anywhere.

Electric & Rose Neal Sweatshirt, $158

Abbot Kinney Lounge Pant, $158

Tie. Dye. Sweat. Set. The motto of 2020.

Jessie Rubin Studio Drippy Lippy Rainbow Tray, $120

Jessie makes amazing art and home decor, and it’s original art that you’re not going to see in all your friends’ houses because they got it from Target.

Sara, Editor-In-Chief

Juicy Couture Anniversary Hoodie, $149.50,

& Anniversary Velour Pant, $99

My mom never let me have one of these in middle school, and now I know why! But, I mean, look at how beautiful it is. And I’m putting it on this wish list because I obviously can’t justify spending that much money myself on a throwback piece.

Lululemon Down For It All Earwarmer, $38

I regret to inform you that quarantine has forced me to become one of those people who (*pauses for dramatic effect*) runs outside. And with the weather getting colder, keeping your ears warm is key.

Dano’s Dangerous Pineapple & Jalapeño Infused Tequila, $40

Onto things I will actually use: this pineapple and jalapeño infused tequila. As a person who likes spicy margaritas but is too lazy to invest in ingredients like Cointreau and real limes, this will make a good addition to my bar cart (that is actually just a shelf in my freezer, but whatever).

 

Dylan, Assistant Editor

Ugg Blanket, $98

Now that we’re getting to the cold part of quarantine, you need to be as comfy as possible at all times. Since you can’t actually wear your Uggs in bed, this blanket is the next best thing.

Nintendo Switch Lite, $199.99 

I successfully avoided buying one of these in the spring, but nine months later, I’m still f*cking bored. Can’t hurt!

Shop Betches Candle, $3o

Obviously we’re all spending a lot of time at home right now, so why not spruce up your space with this candle that smells great, and is also topical?

Nicole, Marketing Manager & Co-Host of Betches Brides

Barefoot Dreams CozyChic Heathered Adult Robe, $180

Let’s face it—you’re not going anywhere exciting soon because of 2020, so you might as well splurge on items that make you comfortable from your couch. This Barefoot Dreams robe is a bit expensive for a robe, but I can assure you that it will change the course of your life. It’s the softest thing I’ve ever touched. There’s a reason the Kardashians are also obsessed with this brand. If you’re like me and already own 12 different robes, you could opt for a blanket instead. Get this for the ultimate lounger in your life or yourself.

Brooklinen Sheets, From $99

2020 has made me realize it’s important to invest in my bed. I can’t describe how much of a difference quality sheets on your bed make—just trust me on this. Also, they’re a good gift for couples for whom you don’t know what TF to get this year. 

Urban Stems The Dinero Plant, $60 

The money tree is symbolic of good fortune and prosperity, which we could all use more of. Get this for the person in your life who needs that extra spark of motivation, and also just wants a cool decoration to put next to their WFH station. Also, it’s a low-maintenance plant, meaning you won’t kill it as you did with all your other plants. But let me be clear—if I don’t hit the lottery after buying this, I’m returning it (JK). 

Kelsey, AE Brand Partnerships

LLB Pile Fleece Vest, $89

It just looks really cozy and is perfect for layering and outdoor activities, which are the only activities I will be doing this year!

Athleta Whisper Featherless Jacket, $199 

I’m going to need a lightweight jacket to run outside in, again, cause I’ll only be able to be outside, and this will make sure I’m seen on the roads when it’s dark at 4pm. Plus, it’s cute.

Athleta Balance Jogger, $89

Matching Sweatshirt, $119

I’ve only been wearing yoga pants, so the joggers will switch it up, plus it’s a fun, bright color which might put me in a better mood than wearing all black. Also looks cozy chic to me! 

New Balance Fresh Foam Sneakers, $149.99 

Threw in an extra—I already bought these, but it feels like stepping/running on a springboard and is the fluffiest comfiest thing ever, plus ankle support—worth the investment!

Sean, Podast Manager

American Giant Classic Full Zip Hoodie, $112 

I’ve been waiting for someone to get me this sweatshirt since I first heard about it being called “the greatest hoodie ever made.” Sadly, no one loves me enough to take the hint, so this year I finally exercised a little #selfcare and ordered one for myself. This thing is amazing. It lives up to the hype. Don’t let your loved ones go unloved this year (like I did) and get them a quality US-made hoodie.

‘Friends’: The Official Advent Calendar, $29.99 

Every holiday season has that one must-have item. Some years it’s an annoying talking Elmo doll. Other years, it’s a different annoying talking Elmo doll. Most years, it’s whatever Frozen merch my niece seems to be clamoring for. This year, it’s the Friends Advent Calendar. But one thing is guaranteed every year: I will always wait too long to order the must-have gift and be left kicking myself. If you manage to find this Friends advent calendar in stock somewhere online, please DM me and I’ll be forever grateful. Complete with 40 keepsakes, I can think of little else that would bring this much joy to my holiday season.

Playstation 5, From $399.99

Speaking of must-have items for the holiday season, look no further than the Playstation 5. This is a perfect example of “you always want what you can’t have.” Playstation has been around forever, and I haven’t bought one since they originally came out in 1996. So when I heard about the new console being released, it didn’t really excite me. Then I heard about the low supply due to COVID and I immediately had to have one. If you’re trying to find the perfect gift for that special someone (most likely someone that’s driving you crazy in quarantine and needs a new hobby) look no further than the impossible-to-get PS5. Available online only this season, there are already countless stories of people getting one into their checkout cart, only to have it go out of stock before they could even click ‘next’. I’ve tried and failed to get one several times now. If you can somehow pull it off, you will be crowned the queen of Christmas this year. Best of luck to you all.

Kristin, Sales & Brand Partnerships

Tula 24-7 Moisture Hydrating Day And Night Cream, $52

I am obsesssssed with TULA. You can’t go wrong with any of their products. Their 24/7 Moisturizer is legitimately the best thing ever. Their website also has a dedicated holiday section right now with some bundle discount gifts.

Sips By Tea Subscription, $15

For the tea lovers in your life, this gift keeps on giving for a very reasonable price. They’ll get four personalized teas a month chosen based on their preferences.

Framebridge The #1 Gift: 10×12, $75

With a name like that, how could you not get it for someone? This frame works with any iPhone or Instagram pic and is perfect for all the couples you know who just got engaged.

Abby, Graphic Designer

Shop Betches What Day Is It? Hoodie, $56

Be honest, you’re going to wear this every single day from here on out.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Instant Camera, $69.00

This nostalgic instant camera will transport you to happier times, like when you could legally be in the same room as total strangers.

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Images: freestocks / Unsplash

The Best Holiday Movies On Every Streaming Service

With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching (seriously, where did this year go), we can now finally say that holiday season is here. Some of you may have been blasting Mariah Carey for a few weeks now, but for those of you who abide by some made-up guidelines about when you’re allowed to watch Christmas movies, I hereby give you permission to begin. Every year, there are dozens of new Lifetime, Hallmark, and Netflix holiday movies, so if that’s your thing, go off—but I understand that mindless Christmas cheer isn’t for everyone. So I decided to go through all the major streaming services and choose the best holiday movies that are available this year, whether you’re trying to find something for family movie night or just getting drunk in bed by yourself.

Now, before you yell at me in the comments, let me clarify that “best” is relative, and I don’t mean these are all the highest-quality movies available. They’re all great options in different ways, just like we all have our favorite side dish at Thanksgiving dinner. If you’re about to DM me about how The Princess Switch is an objectively bad movie, I suggest you take an edible and let the spirit of Christmas take hold.

‘Knives Out’ – Prime Video

Many of the films on this list are Christmas-centric, but Knives Out feels more like a Thanksgiving movie. Okay, it’s not technically a holiday movie, but with wintry vibes and a large family all together for the first time in a while, it feels appropriate. Set at a New England mansion that will make you wish your fireplace worked, Knives Out is a thrilling murder mystery, with enough twists and turns that even your most annoying cousin at Thanksgiving won’t be able to complain that he’s bored.

‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ – Prime Video

You probably haven’t seen It’s A Wonderful Life unless your dad made you watch it every year growing up, but it’s actually pretty good. Thankfully, it’s streaming on Prime, so you won’t have to dig out the VHS tape this year—a Christmas miracle! In the movie, a guy who’s about to commit suicide on Christmas Eve is rescued by an angel who shows him how much of a difference he’s made in the world. Sounds bleak, but there’s a reason it’s been a Christmas classic for over 70 years.

‘Carol’ – Netflix

Does Carol meet the traditional definition of a holiday movie? Perhaps not, but it’s an excellent movie, and there are more than enough holiday moments for me to include it here. Cate Blanchett stars in this 1960s-set drama as a depressed housewife who has an affair with a younger woman who works at a department store, played by Rooney Mara. If you want to drink a whole bottle of wine and watch something holiday-adjacent but not like, jolly, this is a perfect choice.

‘Klaus’ – Netflix

A lot of Netflix’s holiday offerings are kind of cringe, but this animated Christmas movie from last year is adorable, creative, and was nominated for an Oscar. The voice cast includes favorites like Jason Schwartzman and Rashida Jones, and the main character is a postal worker, so we obviously stan. This is an ideal choice if you have younger kids around during the holidays, but also, you’re never too old for a good animated movie.

‘The Princess Switch’ – Netflix

Obviously, I didn’t want this list to be full of sh*tty direct-to-Netflix holiday movies, but I had to make one exception, and it’s The Princess Switch. This delightfully bad piece of cinema stars Vanessa Hudgens and Vanessa Hudgens as a regular woman and a princess who happen to look exactly alike. It’s ridiculous, and it’s perfect. And this week, Netflix is giving us a sequel! The Princess Switch: Switched Again stars Vanessa Hudgens, Vanessa Hudgens, AND Vanessa Hudgens, and as you can imagine, it looks absolutely bonkers. Sign me the f*ck up!!!

‘The Family Stone’ – HBO Max

There’s nothing like a holiday movie about a dysfunctional family to take your mind off your own dysfunctional family for a couple hours. Sarah Jessica Parker and Diane Keaton lead an all-star cast in this dramedy about spending Christmas with the in-laws. If your top holiday concern is making sure you don’t run out of alcohol at your parents’ house, you’ll definitely enjoy this one.

‘Home Alone’ – Disney+

I don’t think I need to explain what Home Alone is about, but I wanted to make everyone aware that all three movies in the series are available to stream on Disney+. Considering Macaulay Culkin turned 40 this year (still not over it), this is the perfect holiday season to revisit this classic and think about how f*cking old you are. Too real? Sorry. If you’re going to watch all three movies, just make sure to fast-forward through Donald Trump’s cameo in the second one; no one needs to see that.

‘The Santa Clause’ – Disney+

The Santa Clause happens to be my family’s yearly Christmas movie rewatch of choice, so I have seen this more times than I can count. Tim Allen stars in this family comedy about a not-very-jolly guy who, through some wild circumstances, inherits the position of Santa Claus. If you haven’t seen it, I totally recommend—it’s one of those family movies that actually has a lot of adult humor, so you won’t feel like you’re watching something for people half your age. Also, the kid is super cute.

‘Last Christmas’ – Hulu

Last Christmas

This 2019 rom-com stars Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding, so if for no other reason, you can watch it for the hotness factor. Emilia plays Kate, a 26-year-old hot mess who works as an elf in a year-round Christmas shop (bleak). She meets Tom (Henry Golding), who is (obviously, just look at him) a handsome charmer, and as the two fall in love, things start turning around for her. UNTIL the ~dramatic twist~ happens, which I won’t go into so I don’t spoil it. I’ll say that it’s very on-the-nose given the title, and you might hate it. That’s all I’ll say!

Images: Courtesy of Netflix; Giphy (4)

5 Hilariously Bad Tips For Having Sex When You’re Home For The Holidays

It’s that time of year again, friends. With the holidays approaching, you’re poised to buy gifts, head home, and barely tolerate spend time with loved ones for several days. If you’re bringing a significant other home with you, it can be challenging to find some alone time. And it definitely presents a dilemma. Do you get it on in your childhood bed? How many future holidays will you ruin if your parents happen to hear? Fortunately, our fellow publications have once again come through with some truly batsh*t sex advice, this time with a home for the holidays theme. Prepare to be bewildered.

 1. Have A Holly Jolly Playlist

The close quarters and proximity to relatives already makes home for the holidays sex a bit of a buzzkill (unless you’re an exhibitionist, I don’t know your kinks). But the good people of POPSUGAR managed to find a way to make things even more awkward by suggesting “you crank those holiday tunes a little bit louder” to drown out any suspicious, um, noise. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not personally a huge fan of sex playlists, but I understand that with a non-tool playing DJ under the right circumstances it can work. What I can’t abide is the thought of getting it on to songs like “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Little Drummer Boy.” Not only am I drying up at the thought, this idea makes absolutely no sense. You mean to tell me that two people in a romantic relationship who have left the larger group to hang out behind a closed door blasting Christmas tunes will evoke no suspicion whatsoever? If anything, you’re pretty much guaranteed to hear an unwanted pa rum pum pum pum at said door.

2. Baby, It’s F*cking Cold Outside

For those who don’t want to risk scarring disturbing their family, there’s always the option of taking things outside the bedroom you grew up in. I would have suggested maybe the shower, but the authors at Life by LaserAway advise readers to “try having sex in a car or some bushes outside.” The car suggestion isn’t my favorite, but I’ll leave it alone because at least that’s an enclosed space. What I’m really baffled by is the casual suggestion of “some bushes outside.” Unless you live in a fairly warm climate year-round, it’s likely to be cold as Santa’s balls during the holidays. Even if you’re cool with vaginal frostbite, there’s the issue of a potential bush-induced rash or other irritation. Call me neurotic, but I don’t think this is what Musique meant when they sang “Push, push in the bush.”

3. Carol Of The Basement

If, like me, you’d prefer to keep your bush away from an actual bush this holiday season, you’ll need to get a little creative in terms of locale. Our friends at Today have the following suggestion: “Basements were made for make-outs and even though you haven’t used one for that reason in decades, there’s no reason not to start now.” I wouldn’t say no reason. There’s no place less sexy in a house to bone in than a dank basement. It’s an assault on the senses: the musty smells, the endless eyesores consisting of your boyfriend’s middle school soccer trophies and his mom’s workout equipment from the 80s, and the rug burn you’re sure to get from trying to maneuver on moldy carpet that was put down when Jimmy Carter was in office. Just me?

 4. Rockin’ Around The Pantry

Rounding out the list of sh*tty places to bang when you’re desperate is this gem from the folks at Elite Daily: “This might sound crazy, but making out in the pantry is honestly really cute.” Cute isn’t quite the word I’d use, but sure. Unless you’re, I don’t know, Logan Roy, a pantry is barely going to fit a 4-year-old playing hide and seek, let alone two people f*cking. If we really want to get cute, we might as well add laundry hamper to the list! So adorable. I’m all for proximity to snacks, but the idea of a pantry pounding is just bonkers. Again, may I humbly suggest the shower?

5. Santa Claus Is Coming WHERE?!

And now, ladies and gentlemen, we have the jewel in the crown and the inspiration for this hard-hitting piece of journalism. Of course it comes from Cosmo, where sex tips are notorious for stretching the definition of “advice”: “If you are staying at someone’s house over the holidays and need to avoid certain seminal evidence, make the easiest masturbator ever by filling a plastic sandwich bag with lube. Put a sock around it for a better grip and stroke up and down your partner’s penis while they rub you. Afterward, seal it up then hide the living hell out of that baggie.” There are so many layers to this “tip,” and I mean literal layers. A plastic sandwich bag and a sock? What kind of f*cked up MacGyver sh*t is this? And if we’re gonna be this extra when it comes to the raw materials needed for this “masturbator,” where are the explicit instructions for disposal of this literal scumbag? Isn’t hiding it way riskier than throwing it out, because someone could find your cum-filled sock and sandwich bag? And you’re meant to hide it where, exactly—under the tree? This gives a whole new meaning to a gift from Santa’s sack.

Home for the holidays sex can be complicated, but there’s no need to be extra about it, unless frozen limbs and makeshift condoms are your thing. If so, godspeed. If not, just wait until everyone is asleep and keep quiet so as not to wake an unsuspecting relative. With that in mind, may your days be merry and your nights silent.

Images: Ian Schneider / Unsplash; Giphy (5)

How To Ask For Money Instead of Gifts This Holiday Season

If you’ve ever read a story by yours truly, you know that the holidays give me all the life I’ll ever need. Even now, as a 26-year-old jaded New Yorker who is impressed by nothing, I tear open a perfectly-wrapped gift with the same energy that most people save for fighting strangers at Target on Black Friday. However, sometimes I’ll rip off the wrapping paper, lift the cardboard lid, and find a disappointing gift. Honestly, the last time I got excited over a gift that came in a box was in 2004, and guess what was in the box? A puppy.

Unless you’re gifting someone the eternal happiness that comes with a dog, wrapped gifts just aren’t as exciting as they used to be. Maybe it’s just a downside of being an adult, but my favorite kind of gift is a monetary one. Like, want to give me a gift I’ll truly cherish? Pay for my gym membership for a month! Just kidding, but like, not really. If all you and your loved ones want for Christmas is some cheddar, listen up, because etiquette expert Elaine Swann will clue you in how to give money as a gift seeming like you put zero thought into your present, and on the flip side, how to ask for money without looking like an entitled douchecanoe.

The only time I’ve ever witnessed people asking for money instead of presents was at my brother and his wife’s wedding. Yes, you read that right. These two asked their guests to donate to a honeymoon fund instead of losing their sanity on a wedding registry. At first, I thought it was the tackiest thing I’d ever heard, but then I saw the photos of them gallivanting around the Ritz in Paris and realized they didn’t drop a damn cent on this. And that’s when I realized that asking for money in lieu of gifts is, honestly, the move.

So if you’re just looking to give cash this holiday season, Swann suggests, “Make sure you personalize this gift. Give some thought to how this person may use the money. Then, in the note, you can add in a line about something that is a hobby of theirs or something they may enjoy doing with the money.” So, for example, if you’re giving me money, tell me a little tale about a thirsty girl who’s strapped for cash and loves white wine. Cute, right?

If you’ve been raised to exhibit classiness in your day-to-day life and don’t want to stop now by asking for money, worry not because there are ways to do it without looking like Mona Lisa Saperstein.

Swann says, “Be honest! Let them know that you have your heart set on a ski trip, a spa treatment, paying off your student loans, or any other kind of experience you’re interested in. By stating this, you can encourage them to give the gift of money that can go toward this experience.” For an added bonus, she advises, “Keep it towards an experience that people can see and feel a part of when you share stories or photos through social media.” Because the only thing better than seeing the look on someone’s face when they open a gift is being publicly thanked (and tagged) on Instagram stories once they actually use your gift.

Look, if anyone is actually giving you a holiday gift, chances are they know you pretty well, so they’re not going to judge you for asking for money (they probably know you well enough to judge you for your choice in exes/Seamless orders/generally destructive life choices instead). 

If you do want money, don’t wring out your generous friends by asking for a fortune. That’s actually why putting this money towards something specific, like a trip or a facial, is the way to go, and it will actually give them an idea of how much they should give you without you having to awkwardly name a number. At the end of the day, everyone loves getting money as a present! I’ve never heard any of my rich friends who work in finance or advertising open an envelope of cash and be like, “Ugh, I wish it was bath salts!” So, if you love your friends and family, get them something they really want, like a crisp Benjamin. 

Images: NBC; Giphy (2)

The Most Festive NYC Bars To Drink At This Holiday Season

I’ve lived in this city for so long that truly nothing phases me anymore, and that’s a personal achievement of which I’m very proud. However, there is one exception to my inability to experience awe, and that is when Gingerbread Lane comes to town, when Bloomingdale’s is decked in twinkly lights and, of course, when drinking spiked eggnog and hot chocolate is not only acceptable, but encouraged. I’m talking about the most wonderful time of the year, people! The motherf*ckin’ holidays! Am I getting too excited? Whatever. One more thing this New Yorker loves about the holidays in this godforsaken city is the festive decor that takes over my favorite watering holes, hotels, and restaurants. If you, too, have no shame in your game and want to sip spiked eggnog under mistletoe, but don’t know where to go, I got you. These are the most festive holiday spots that you don’t already know about.

Dream Downtown

This is the type of place I usually avoid because lots of people and staying out past 10pm aren’t really my vibe, but I think I may just move in here between the months of December and March for the holiday themed pop-up. The Lobby Bar will be transforming into what the Dream is calling The Winter Rose Garden and what I call What Dreams Are Made Of. This particular pop-up is exciting because it’s the downtown hotel’s first foray into holiday festivities, and rest assured, they’re pulling out all the damn stops. I’m talking oversized rose walls (made with 15,000 red roses), red furniture, and more candles than Anthropologie. And obviously, they have a special menu of holiday-inspired cocktails. The Primrose Cider is my personal fave because it’s made with classics like sparkling rosé, Barking Irons Applejack, cinnamon syrup, lemon juice, and a rose ice cube. I mean, yum?

PHD Terrace

This is the only place in Midtown I’ll go without complaining about all the finance bros Juuling everywhere I look. For this holiday pop-up, which they’re calling Midwinter Nights’ Dream, they are seriously going all out, and I’m not mad about it. As much as I love holiday-themed alcohol, the actual reason I love this time of year is because of the genuinely cheerful atmosphere, and this place understands that. Obviously, they’re doing the red and gold ribbons, the hanging lights, and the gorgeous garland, but most importantly, they’re having a tunnel of light, because if you go to a holiday pop-up and didn’t post an Instagram of it, did you even go? As for the holiday menu, def opt for a Peppermint Mojito, which is a normal mojito, but served in an ornament! Is that festive af or what?

Magic Hour

If you don’t remember from my last article where Magic Hour got a mention re: where to drink enormous drinks, let me just say that I love this place. For the holidays this year, it will turn into what I can only imagine is Nicki Minaj’s wet dream. It’s called Pink Holiday Playground and will boast ceilings covered in hot pink twinkly lights, oversized disco balls, and human-sized festive bears. Oh, and there’s also a carousel, because why not? Not that it’s a competition, but Magic Hour is playing to win and they got my vote. Also, my general policy at bars is to not eat the food, but I’ll make an exception for the Pink Dough Pie, which is not only meant for 12 people, but it’s also a delish boozy apple cider doughnut-pie hybrid (sold) filled with Honeycrisp apples and drizzled with a maple bourbon glaze, topped with pink sprinkles and pink chocolate balls. My love language is officially sweet pizza that will get me drunk. How do people even come up with this stuff? 

Club Wyndham Midtown 45

Though technically neither a bar nor a restaurant, Club Wyndham earned its spot on this list because it is committed to spreading holiday cheer, like, for real. Don’t believe me? Check out the aggressively Instagrammable holiday suite inspired by, you guessed it, Buddy the f*ckin’ Elf. By the way, that movie was released in 2003, so if you don’t already feel old af, how about now? Just from looking at the photos of this suite, I can say with confidence that there were no cotton-headed ninny-muggins on this hotel’s design team, and that I am blown away. Because you are absolutely playing yourself if you think you aren’t already dead-set on booking this suite, I’ll let you know what’s included, starting with the full kitchen that’s stocked with the ingredients to recreate Buddy’s famous spaghetti and syrup dish. Honestly, I don’t really know if that’s a selling point, but I do love a hotel suite with a full kitchen. My personal favorite element of this suite, though, is the enormous living room that’s fully decked out in holiday garb (including an oversized Christmas tree). If that’s not festive, tell me what is. I’ll wait.

Sunday in Brooklyn

I am a Manhattan snob and generally don’t acknowledge the other boroughs, but Sunday in Brooklyn is the one exception. Running through the end of December, this beautiful restaurant that makes a case for minimalist design is doing SNOWday in Brooklyn. Yes, their holiday pop-up has arrived and I’m already on the L. I’ll get to the menu in a minute, but first I want to talk about the vibe of the place during this magical time. Some of these pop-ups go a little overboard (do a bar crawl one weekend and lmk which ones you think those are), but Sunday in Brooklyn is classy af. It’s how I imagine Aidan and Carrie would decorate his Suffern house for the holidays if they had stayed together. The place generally has kind of a rustic feel, but with the garlands hanging from the wooden beams on the ceiling and the wreaths in every window, it’s hard to stay away. I ordered the Scroogin’ For A Bruisin’ because I love a good Grease reference, but also because it’s delicious with scotch, baijiu, China-China Amer, pineapple, cinnamon, sesame oil, and brown rice. Those last two ingredients threw me too, but they’re only there to give the drink a little bit of texture, not to give it a salad dressing flavor. 

The NoMad Bar

Before this past Sunday, the only time I’ve ever been to The NoMad Bar was on a horrible date that ended with him telling me how much he misses his ex girlfriend. Awesome. Anyway, after hearing about this place’s new Holiday Spectacular cocktail popup, I decided to start positively associating it with two things I love: Christmas and alcohol. Honestly, they didn’t have to do much beyond the bar’s typical decor because it’s already pretty festive in a very chic way. Dark leather tufted booths, glossy wooden tables, the kind of lighting that only seems to exist in Woody Allen movies…etc. The one thing they’re doing differently for their Holiday Spectacular is the charming cocktail menu that’s separated by Naughty and Nice cocktails. Lol. I had one from each column and let my reaction determine which I am and, to everyone’s surprise, I’m nice! The Winter Wonderland, which is a milky punch—that tastes like pumpkin pie in cocktail form—is served in a snow globe. I can’t resist a snow globe. This is also a fun bar to hit up because the NoMad Hotel is a cool place to walk around afterwards, especially when you’re a little tipsy.

Images: Winter Rose photo by Edward Menashy; Midwinter Nights’ Dream photo Courtesy of Michael Kleinberg; Magic Hour photo by Sarah Kelley; Club Wyndham photo courtesy of Club Wyndham; Sunday in Brooklyn photo by Eric Medsker; The NoMad Bar photo courtesy of The NoMad Bar

How to Talk to You Family Members About Impeachment

Technically Thanksgiving is about “giving thanks,” but if we’re being real, it’s also about surviving spending time with your family. Family members say the darndest things, especially when it comes to politics (looking at you and your lizard people conspiracy theories, Uncle Jared).

But this Thanksgiving is special: In addition to your run-of-the-mill debates about identity politics and what’s really causing near-daily mass shootings (guns. it’s because there are too many guns.), this holiday season also presents us with a thriving impeachment inquiry. 

With Americans quite literally split down the middle when it comes to whether the president should be impeached and removed from office, this holiday season is likely to be even more tense than usual.

In order to avoid messy drama at the Thanksgiving table this year, we have laid out some responses to typical conservative talking points about Trump’s potential impeachment that might come up this year. Looks like we are what you can be thankful for this year. You’re welcome!

Cute Comment: Presidents trade things with other governments all the time. That’s foreign policy.

Fire Response: Sure, but typically that’s to gain something of value to the United States. What Trump did was try to dig up dirt on a political opponent. With zero evidence that Joe Biden or his son engaged in wrongdoing related to Hunter Biden’s position on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma, this “dirt” had no value to the U.S, just to Trump’s personal political goals. Ensuring Ukraine got military aid, however, did benefit us.

It’s kind of like when you gave me money to order pizza for all the little cousins when I was babysitting them and I pocketed it to buy frosting flavored lip gloss from Claire’s. Remember how mad at me you got for that? Okay, not a perfect metaphor, but the bottom line is Trump used his office and position of power to benefit himself, not help his own people, and in fact put our national security in jeopardy while he was at it. So.

Ignorant Insight: This is just how the government works, sweetie.

Fire Response: It sure seems to be how government is working rn, but it shouldn’t be! What Trump did is blatantly corrupt…he withheld military aid in an attempt to help his own political campaign. If any Clinton ever did this, you would be losing your mind…and you’d be right! It’d be corrupt. Sure, our government does some shady sh*t, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t call them out when they do. Welcome to the resistance, Uncle Ted.

Silly Solution: Why not just let the people decide whether to remove Trump in 2020?

Fire Response: Impeachment is important because it’s the people’s way of showing that we aren’t going to allow a president to get away with breaking the rules. Some behavior is just too fucked up to wait for a performance review. Unchecked power leads to horrific things, and impeachment allows us to stop that from happening, as well as make a historical record that we, as a country, object to this behavior. 

If we don’t put our feet down and let the record show that this sh*t doesn’t fly, future presidents will be able to do the same thing. Also, Trump tried to extort the Ukrainian president literally one day after Robert Mueller’s testimony failed to full implicate him in obstruction of justice. One day! What do you think he’d do the day after he wasn’t actually impeached?  

President Trump clearly thinks he should be able to get away with things that the Constitution says he shouldn’t. If we don’t stand up to that, our democracy could begin to crumble. Idk about you, but I like my democracy fully intact tyvm. (Never gonna happen because Russia is already f*cking with us again, but worth a try.)

Fiona Hill GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

Fake News: There was no quid pro quo.

Fire Response: Mmm, there literally was though. The definition of a quid pro quo is: a favor or advantage granted or expected in return for something. Trump expected Ukraine to announce an investigation into the Bidens, and in return, he would give them military aid. Quid. Pro. Quo. 

But given that most people first encounter the phrase “quid pro quo” in sexual harassment training, it suddenly makes sense why Trump doesn’t seem to know it. 

Also, two people with direct contact with Trump — EU ambassador Gordon Sondland and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney — both admitted on live television that there was a quid pro quo. *Sips wine*

Stupid Suggestion: Idk, I think we need to hear from the whistleblower. 

Fire response: I don’t really see why that is necessary, seeing as everything the whistleblower said has already been confirmed. Trump himself released the call transcript in which he replies to a foreign government’s ask for support with “I’d like you to do us a favor though” and mention investigations into the Bidens by name. 

People who were on the call have confirmed the whistleblower’s concerns, saying even the damning version of the rough transcript released by the White House was altered to hide more explicit references

But in any event, whistleblowers need to be protected by anonymity for their literal safety. Revealing their identity would put that at risk — and if something awful happened to a whistleblower, you think people would still speak up about dangerous government corruption? Would you? Could that be exactly Trump’s hope by publicly threatening the whistleblower? *Sips more wine*

Misinformer Misdirection: But Trump never had anything to do with it directly.

Fire Response: Sorry hennie, but Gordon Sondland squashed that theory (a good time to ask for someone to pass the squash). 

Sondland said that Trump repeatedly asked people to work with Giuliani, and digging up dirt on the Bidens was Giuliani’s mission. Also, a U.S. official based in Kiev, David Holmes, testified last week that he overheard Trump on the phone with Sondland talking about “the investigations,” and Sondland told him directly that Trump only cares about “big stuff” in Ukraine, like “the Biden investigation.”

And I think we all know this sounds legit, because Trump speaking loud enough on the phone for everyone in the building to hear it is the least shocking thing I’ve ever heard.

 

Nope: Ukraine ultimately got the aid, so what’s it matter?

Fire Response: Do you hear yourself? 

Attempting a crime is still…a crime! Ever heard of attempted murder? If you fail at murdering your victim it’s not just a no-harm-no-foul sitch, you still have to answer to the law. Same thing applies here. ALSO, most importantly, Trump only released the aid to after the whistleblower’s report was filed AND after he was notified of it. So like, once Trump had been caught. Coincidence, I THINK NOT AUNT BECKY.

But Ukraine does have a history of corruption. And we give out too much foreign aid anyway!

Measured reaction: True, Cousin Karen. But this new progressive-minded president, Volodymyr Zelensky, had already enacted reforms to combat the country’s issues with corruption. Trump was asking him to behave corruptly! As for foreign aid, if Trump thinks the bill is too high, he has other ways of bringing that to Congress’s attention.

This Ukraine aid packaged had already been approved by Congress because helping Ukraine protect itself against Russian aggression — a reminder, the country is very much at war with Russia — helps U.S. strategic interests and national security.

Cold Take: Okay, so maybe the White House meeting was conditioned upon aid, but none of the witnesses were sure that the military aid was. I think that’s more serious — Ukraine can’t protect itself against Russia without it.

Fire Response: Exactly! But also, sorry. You’re forgetting that White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said on live television during a press conference that aid was withheld. He straight-up admitted to a quid pro quo and said the words, “That’s why we held up the money,” and then I believe used the phrase, “Get over it.” So. Oopsies!

 

I Can’t:  But her emails…

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By popular demand. Let your beanie speak for you this chilly impeachment season. Buy at the link in bio ☝️ (@shopbetches @kayyorkcity)

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Fire Response: OMFG Uncle Paul, in the words of Mick Mulvaney, GET OVER IT. If you’re so obsessed with making sure politicians don’t do shady sh*t for their own personal benefit, then hop on board to this impeachment and bring your but her emails energy to the actual problem happening right now.

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The Best Cyber Monday Deals On Home Decor, Tech, & Fashion

Kim Kardashian and I are very different people, leading very different lives, but one thing we definitely have in common is that we spend an obscene amount of money on crap we don’t need. The only slight difference between our spending is that she keeps on living her high-brow life and I wake up to “low funds” alerts from my bank. So my cute little financial compromise is that I’ll only buy things I need (using the term “need” loosely here) if they’re on sale. Enter Cyber Monday. 

Cyber Monday is the time for me to buy things I’ve had my eye on for a while, but don’t want to drop money on when it is full price. Ya know? Read on for our top Cyber Monday picks in every area of your life, like home decor, tech, and fashion. One small caveat, there are no beauty sales listed below because I thought those sales deserved their own story. You’re welcome. 

Home Decor

Ikea Markerad Daybed

Truth be told, I own zero Ikea items because the idea of paying like, $300 for a sofa that I have to put together myself after dragging it on the Ferry from Red Hook, guided only by instructions which are 100% photos and 0% words, sounds like a truly miserable time. However, Ikea is obviously popular among more patient people, so they will be excited to know that a large selection of Ikea pieces are on super sale! Daybeds like the very minimalist chic Markerad are 20% off! Honestly, if my one bedroom that I share with another person was big enough, I’d be all over this daybed situation because I believe they are the true mark of sophistication. Also on sale—up to $200 off—are the Frigeten, Gronlid and Vimle sleeper sofas so that your weird cousin doesn’t have to share your bed when she comes to visit. Is it just me or do all Ikea names sound like they could be characters on Game of Thrones?

Ruggable Vintage Daisy Bordered Fuschia Rug

One thing I really want, but don’t want to shell out all of my money for, is a new rug, which is why I still have the nasty-ass one from my college apartment. Before I realized Ruggable was having a 20% off sale site-wide (with the code CM2019), I kind of just accepted sleeping in the same room as a rug I puked on in college. Yum! I am so excited to spend 97% of my Monday on Ruggable since they actually have limitless rugs. I have my eye on the Vintage Daisy Bordered one, but to each her own. One last thing about Ruggable is that when you order a rug, you get a pad too, and if you’ve ever eaten sh*t on the corner of a rug, you know how essential a pad is. Also, they’re machine washable! 

Bekka Campbell Cactus Framed Art Print

I know I’ll have made it when people ask what I do and I say, “I’m an art collector.” However, today is not that day and the only art displayed in my home is a bunch of tiny framed prints from Society6. Tbh even though they are already pretty cheap, I will always take advantage of one of their massive sales, like the 50% off site-wide from November 30 through December 2. If you aren’t at art collector status yet, but still want aesthetically pleasing pieces for your small, windowless box apartment, Society6 is the move. I have two prints, one of a pink Art Deco building with palm trees in front of it and one of eight illustrated cacti, leaning against the wall on my floating shelves. As long as you don’t get a stupid print (like “Live, Laugh, Love” in gold lettering), all of the prints will look chic af. 

Fashion

Reformation Emersyn Dress

I have a love-hate relationship with Reformation because sometimes it looks like Forever21 quality with an Intermix price tag and since I don’t have money to waste, I’m just not about that. However, some of my favorite dresses that I’ve worn to every wedding I’ve ever attended are Reformation and I’m okay with that. One of the few reasons I like it is because the clothes are simple in both silhouette and color, which makes me more inclined to wear them all the time. For Cyber Monday, Reformation is shining down on us and offering 30% off site-wide. I mean, finally? Call me crazy, but Reformation doesn’t have sales, like, ever, so this is a big deal. I may even get up a little earlier than usual because something tells me the clothes will go fast. 

Kensie Patchwork Sequin Long Sleeve Minidress

Misleading name aside, Dress the Population is a great brand for people who like to be a little extra when they go out. I say the name is misleading because outfitting the population (aka everyone) implies the brand is affordable, but, rest assured, it is quite expensive. Luckily, their clothes will be affordable for four whole days starting November 27th, with a 30% off the whole site code (CYBER2019)! I first learned of this brand through Rent the Runway, but it’s sold at Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Amazon Fashion, etc. My point is, it’s legit. In fact, I wore a long-sleeve mini dress with heavy beading to a wedding last weekend (giving my Reformation dress the day off) and I feel like more people complimented my dress than the bride’s. Weird flex, I know, but just trying to make a point that this brand is great. 

N° 21 Leopard-Print Faux Fur Match Puffer

Saks Off 5th is an amazing store and makes a serious case for never buying anything full-price. It’s like a nicer and less stressful Nordstrom Rack, and I have faithfully loved it since I found my prom dress there a decade ago. So for Cyber Monday, SO5 is having a 60% off outerwear sale. Do with that enormous discount what you will, but you can bet your bottom dollar I will be purchasing more than one coat. Normally, Amazon is my coat destination of choice, but this feels too good to pass up. 

Tech

Nespresso® by De’longhi VertuoPlus Coffee and Espresso Maker Bundle and Aeroccino Frother

Bed, Bath & Beyond is hands-down my favorite store. I mean, it literally sells everything. So, if you have Abi Abrams-type feelings toward BB&B, please reach out to me in the comments because I feel like we will get along. But also, be sure to snag yourself a very chic Nespresso® by De’longhi VertuoPlus Coffee and Espresso Maker Bundle and Aeroccino Frother for 35% off. I mean, you have not had a good cappuccino until you’ve made it using a frother. 

Beats Studio3 Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones

The last time I was in a Best Buy, it was to get the Sims 3: Makin’ Magic! However, I will definitely be paying a visit (to the website) on Monday to get the Beats Studio3 Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones, which are regularly $350, but on Monday, are $200. Sold! I had the Solo 3 headphones, but lost them in the security line at La Guardia. That’s right, someone behind me reached into my bag and snatched them and I didn’t notice until I was on the plane trying to fall asleep to the sound of giant engines and screaming infants. RIP. All I have to say is, f*ck the person who stole my Beats! Anyway, I will finally be able to tune out my coworkers again when I order the new Beats on Monday, and I truly cannot wait. 

50-inch Roku Smart LED TV

After my old roommate **curse her soul** broke our lease and moved out, she rubbed salt in the wound by taking her TV with her. I know what you’re thinking: why would she leave it there? Well, because she bullied me into signing a two-year lease then moved out after seven months because she wanted a cuter apartment in the West Village. K. So, the least she could do after completely f*cking me over was leave her sh*tty TV. However, because she’s an assh*le, I had to buy a new one, and I ended up with a Roku smart TV. For Cyber Monday, you can head to Walmart’s website and get the same 50-inch Roku Smart LED TV with aggressively high HD for $148! Honestly, for a 50-incher, that’s pretty cheap. The smart aspect is also pretty cool because it allows you to be supremely lazy and just yell “Great British Bake Off!” and it just flips to Channel 4. Ah, technology. 

Images: Ikea; Ruggable; Society6; Reformation; Dress the Population; Saks Off 5th; Bed, Bath & Beyond; Best Buy; Walmart; Unsplash

The Best TV Shows And Movies Coming To Netflix In November

Ah, November. The sweet time of the year when everyone is either still hungover and reliving their glory from Halloween (your costume wasn’t even that great, chill), or already setting up their Christmas tree and writing their Hanukkah wish list. There. Is. No. In. Between. Despite the fact that Thanksgiving is around the corner, nobody really seems to care about #turkeyszn. But, fear not! I’m here to make the irrelevant month of November more relevant again. Here are some new shows and movies coming to Netflix in November that you can get excited about.

 ‘Grease’

It’s finally here! You may have seen my recent article on a new Grease series that is yet to come, but honestly, what can ever compare with the original? Grease is the ultimate classic you can enjoy with bae, your mom, your friend, or alone. Get your pink jackets, poodle skirts, and singing voices ready, ladies!

‘Step Brothers’

Netflix, did we just become best friends? Thank you for bringing us the joy of watching Brennan and Dale’s rivalry and brotherhood blossom and the laughs that is Step Brothers. Having a bad day? Need a pick-me-up?  This is the perfect comedy to turn on and cry of laughter to. I love you, Will Ferrell.

‘A Bad Moms Christmas’

Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn. An amazing trio, I must say. A Bad Moms Christmas is the perfect feel-good and hilarious holiday movie about three overworked moms who rebel against the expectations of motherhood during Christmas time. If you’re already prepared to sit on Santa’s lap this week, this is the movie for you. Let’s get in the holiday spirit! P.S. Kristin Bell is me during the holidays.

‘A Holiday Engagement’

Bonnie Somerville stars in this this holiday rom-com about a woman named Hilary Burns who constantly feels pressure from her mother to marry (same, girl), and when her new fiancé suddenly breaks up with her, she scrambles to find a replacement. So, she hires an actor to pose as her fiancé in front of her family, as ya do. Honestly, the only reason I even know Bonnie Somerville is from her role as Mona on Friends, but this movie is a pretty fun storyline to follow. Oh also, Hilary Duff’s sister, Haylie, stars as the snobby sister, so that in and of itself should be your reason to watch.

‘Queer Eye’: We’re In Japan!

The wait is finally over. It’s been a long three months without JVN on our Netflix screens, but the Fab Five are back and truly better than ever. They are abroad in Japan to help four Japanese men and women find confidence in themselves. Unfortunately, the season is only four episodes long, so pace yourselves accordingly.

‘The Crown’, Season 3

The Netflix series—which won the 2017 Golden Globe for Best Drama and a handful of Emmys, is back with season 3 spanning from 1964 to 1977. Yeah, 13 years of history is a lot to get through. The show follows the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and the ups and downs of the royal family. What’s interesting about the show is that the actors change every two seasons. For this season, actress Olivia Colman will take over as Queen Elizabeth, Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip, and Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret.

‘The Great British Baking Show: Holidays’, Season 2

Dig out your ugly Christmas sweater because The Great British Baking Show is back for Season 2 for the ho-ho-holidays. This holiday extravaganza will see competitors from past seasons of the show reunite under the tent. Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith are back judging this season, and the fans are going wild. We’re in for a treat, literally.

‘Atypical’, Season 3

This Netflix drama follows Sam Gardner, an 18-year-old who’s on the autism spectrum, who decides it’s time to find love. His journey sets his mom and family on their own path as Sam seeks independence. In the new season, Sam starts his first year of college and is faced with the challenge of figuring out what success means for him. The show is a great presentation of life in a family, specifically with a special needs child. If you haven’t seen the show yet, I definitely recommend trying it out.

Unfortunately, when one door opens, one must close *sobs*. While we are so excited about what’s to come this month, we also have to face what we are leaving behind. Here are the movies leaving Netflix this month: Caddyshack and Caddyshack 2, Chasing Liberty, Groundhog Day, Sex and the City: The Movie, The House Bunny, Mamma Mia!, and Coco. Enjoy them while you can!

Images: Becca Tapert / Unsplash; Giphy (8)