Live from LA…

 

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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Reception Venue: Bryant Park Grill

Band: Silver Arrow Band

One Year Later…Part 2

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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Location: Bryant Park Hotel

Photography: Kelsey Combe Photography

Flowers: Johnny Flowers

Dress: Monique Lhuillier

Tuxedo: Brooks Brothers

 

Frozen Tundra Layering Essentials

Despite last week’s blizzard flop, New York has still settled into a very cold and windy frozen tundra. This makes getting dressed in a somewhat interesting outfit incredibly difficult, even after mustering up the motivation to leave your house. To stay warm and stylish, without resorting to a giant puffer coat and leggings, layers are absolutely required. There are endless articles on layering, including how the J.Crew models where four shirts and don’t look like a crazy person, but I’ve decided to pare it down to the essential top layers that will beat boredom and chill in the months ahead.

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Chunky knits are ultra warm and cozy, but make layering difficult. While they may be perfect for skiing, I prefer warm thin knits for layering under vests or jackets. In a slim extended cut they can be just as cozy without the added bulk.

I remember the first time I bought a short sleeve turtleneck and my sister could not figure out how that made sense. Now I’m tempted to get this longer sleeveless version. A tunic length is perfect for making leggings respectable outside the gym, and sleeveless is perfect for layering under a blazer or cropped jacket.

I’m not much of a cardigan fan since they make me feel a little matronly. However, a huge wrap sweater I can totally get behind. I like to layer these under a warm coat for ultra chilly days, plus when you wrap the lapels over your chest you can eliminate a scarf.