Live from LA…

 

InDramaticFashion_CharlieDickens

Charlie taking in the view

One month ago today, we packed up and moved from New York to Los Angeles. That makes it sound much smoother and carefree than the process really was, but we’ve made it!

Growing up I moved cities every four years after age 11, but oddly enough I had been in New York for nearly seven. I never intended to become a permanent New Yorker, but I also never had intentional future plans to leave. Of course, life happens and in the fall due to some changes at my husband’s work we were offered to jump coasts. It was a great opportunity professionally and an exciting one personally, so off we went.

We made sure to give New York a proper farewell with an incredibly epic final week. We went out to dinner every night to some of our favorite spots (often with a free goodbye dessert!) We visited the Christmas windows, strolled old and current neighborhoods, and split far more than a week’s worth of champagne with great friends. After 30 days on the west coast here are a few thoughts, notes and highlights:

– As we we prepped to leave New York, several people mentioned that “everyone is moving to LA.” On paper the cities seem very much alike (fashion, art, entertainment), but in lifestyle they are incredibly different. Most obviously, in New York I walked everywhere. Literally everywhere. Of course in LA we drive. Everywhere. For the first three weeks I got in the car, looked up Google Maps, got lost, rerouted, and got home two hours later exhausted. Today I finally got our car registered with California plates, and I also think I’ve mastered the 405.

In Dramatic Fashion _Jan5
The best parking spot

– During our first week here we were towed and ticketed, separately. I’ve heard this happens often, but fingers crossed not too often.

– No matter what, I am almost always slightly over dressed. It’s a nice relaxing change, but I will probably still be over dressed.

– Last week Charlie learned to consistently do his business on the grass rather than the sidwalk. Huge win.

– We now do our morning walks next to the ocean watching the surfers and bumping into other dog buddies without blocking the sidewalk.

IMG_6245

Post New Years Day Swim (yes it was freezing!)

– There is an endless stream of fish tacos, which I’m counting as “healthy seafood fats” aka good for you.

– I can not find the right balance of layers for this “winter weather”, more on this to come…

Let’s see what the next 30 days bring!

One Year Later…Part 3

LBWeddingWeb-622

As soon as Brock and I started thinking about our reception, we focused on a few key points: an incredible live band, great food, and a cool open bar. We wanted our wedding to feel like a special intimate party more than a traditional “wedding reception.” The team at Bryant Park Grill was instantly on board with our idea and arranged the room in long banquet tables rather than a traditional round set up. A mix of candles and long floral centerpieces made the room feel warm and cozy. I’ve never felt such an overwhelming sense of love and warmth as I did sitting in the center of our table surrounding by loved ones and hearing speeches from our family and friends.

LBWeddingWeb-669

 

LBWeddingWeb-700

After everyone had stuffed themselves on delicious food, we had our first dance following by our father/daughter and mother/son dance. The team at the Silver Arrow Band was an absolute dream to work with. Brian and I met at a local coffee shop (after we were able to see their live performance in the East Village!) and had countless emails discussing our must-haves and ideas.

At the end of the night Brock and I were in a state of happy bliss and we walked through Bryant Park back to the hotel giddy from the best party of our life.

LBWeddingWeb-814

Reception Venue: Bryant Park Grill

Band: Silver Arrow Band

One Year Later…Part 2

LBWeddingWeb-186

The team at Bryant Park Hotel gave my family and me the royal treatment prior to the ceremony. Cars stopped, taxis honked, and I couldn’t stop smiling and shaking.

At some point in the wedding planning process, I read in an article to pay attention to the ceremony. Everyone puts plenty of time into planning the perfect reception but giving the same time to the ceremony helps keep things in perspective. Brock and I were married by my mom’s cousin, who also happened to be a junior bridesmaid in my grandparent’s wedding. During an early visit she gave us a fantastic book called “Create Your Own Wedding Ceremony,” which was an absolutely lifesaver. Over many late night calls and google docs, while Brock was across the country, we were able to put together a personal ceremony with hints of tradition that felt uniquely us.

LBWeddingWeb-241

While some of the ceremony is a blur (I don’t remember any of the music, which caused plenty of stress) there are some specific moments that are the perfectly clear. I remember talking to my Dad right before walking down the aisle, I remember putting on Brock’s ring, and I remember stopping at the end of the aisle to hold my husband a little longer for the first time.

LBWeddingWeb-214

LBWeddingWeb-253 LBWeddingWeb-308 LBWeddingWeb-318

 

 

One Year Later… Part 1

Next month my handsome husband and I will celebrate our one year wedding anniversary. While my parents say that it feels far longer, I can’t believe that it has already been a year. It’s been a busy 12 months to say the least, but looking at the gorgeous photos from our big day still give me goose bumps.

Some of my favorite photos are from the afternoon leading up to the ceremony. Brock and I both had separate suites at the Bryant Park Hotel. Brock and his guys spent the day playing basketball and grabbing lunch while my sister, bridesmaid and I had some food, got our hair done, and did our make up in a beautiful room with flutes of champagne. We decided not to see each other at all the day of our wedding until the ceremony. The chills and nerves of the day were absolutely worth that incredible moment.

LBWeddingWeb-49

LBWeddingWeb-120

My sister helped play make up artist for the day. We switched back and forth between mirrors with some country music playing and Kelsey calmly humming around taking photos.

LBWeddingWeb-85 LBWeddingWeb-87

I love to think about Brock getting ready with his friends at the same time I was trying to swallow my nerves and excitement. While I took a peek at the venue out of the window, I made sure to stay away the moments before the ceremony. I didn’t want to see him walking across the street!

LBWeddingWeb-149

LBWeddingWeb-175

Before I even realized what time it was, Kelsey suggested we put on the dress! Right about this time my brother knocked on the door with a band aid for my sister, great timing!

LBWeddingWeb-163

Seeing my parents and brother for the first time dressed was when everything became beautifully clear and real. It was an overwhelming time of joy before we all hopped in the elevator to walk across 40th street and get married.

LBWeddingWeb-170

 

Location: Bryant Park Hotel

Photography: Kelsey Combe Photography

Flowers: Johnny Flowers

Dress: Monique Lhuillier

Tuxedo: Brooks Brothers

 

About Resolutions…

 photo newyears_zps7396199f.jpg

To all the regular blog readers out there, are you tired of reading about resolutions yet? Me too! Obviously it creates timely content, but they seem to fall into two categories. a) Wildly ambitious and therefore unlikely to stick (lose 20 lbs! Why not start with 2 lbs a week?) b) Deeply thoughtful and slightly new-agey because resolution type a. never works. (P.S I loved Erin’s post on this same issue here.) I’m all for hitting the reset button in the new year, and on Pinterest over the weekend I came across the above quote. I think it’s a great bullet point list for evaluating and setting some small attainable goals across the board.

1. Fairly obvious, but this one is your job. Hopefully you are doing something you enjoy. If not, don’t quit your job, but make yourself visible. Brush up your LinkedIn profile, spend some time reconnecting with your network, and keep your eyes open to new opportunities.

2. Doesn’t this sound more fun than “lose 20 lbs”? An incredibly odd thing about me is that I actually enjoy gyms. Some days I’m not in the mood, but there is something about the sweat dripping, rosey cheeked camaraderie (and cute workout clothes) that I actually enjoy. Plus, if I’m not working out at least 4 days a week I am total you know what to live with. Running is my hobby of choice, but I’m mixing in more weight routines and intervals to avoid plateauing.

3. This is the one we all tend to neglect. What’s the thing you enjoy doing even if you don’t have to? Or something you used to like that you let totally drop off the radar? I have a couple, but one that always comes to mind is writing. In all of my jobs writing has been a major part of the position, and because of that I would let hobby writing fall off the map. This year I plan to write 300 – 500 words a day just because. They may show up on here, but they may not. In either case it keeps the creative juices flowing, my skills sharp, and I like it.

What do you think about this method of goal setting?