Monday, January 26, 2015

A little love...

I mentioned it a few times last year (see here & here), but I am one of those OBNOXIOUS girls that just loves Valentine's Day. Even when I was single (and relatively bitter), I really enjoyed the excuse to show my friends and family a little extra love. And keep in mind, this is coming from a girl who went to elementary school BEFORE it was required to give every classmate a Valentine. (It's safe to say that people didn't entirely understand my personality and my handcrafted Valentine's Day Mailbox was occasionally a little drafty.) I was looking at the West Elm gift section and stumbled upon the VALENTINE'S DAY JACKPOT.  From a cute heart bud vase to chic paperweights, I want every last item.

Whether you plan on celebrating GALentine's Day (with pizza & peonies & Bridesmaids on repeat), or you just feel like treating your own darn self, I think the next 2 weeks are the perfect opportunity to do a little shopping with love in mind. Here are my top picks -- which item do you HEART most?

Shop my Valentine's Day Favorites at West Elm: 1. Bud Vase // 2. Heart Clutch // 3. Key Ring // 4. Tea Towel // 5. Marble Box // 6. Paperweight // 7. Love Lock // 8. Dinnerware

Friday, January 23, 2015

Thoughts: Wedding Planning

So, when we first got engaged - I was under the impression that I'd be blogging throughout the planning process. (It's like a dream excuse for constant blog content.) Now, basically 10 months later, I haven't posted a single thing about our upcoming nuptials. (Insert awkward whistling.)

You see, it turns out I am an anti-bride. I am totally shocked, appalled, unsettled... FREAKED OUT... by this news. When I was little, I had a wedding gown in my "dress up box." (It was adorable.) On a road trip with my youth group in 9th grade, I pored over my leader's bridal magazines - even going as far to rip out a picture of my "dream dress." (It was really similar to this.) When a coworker got married in college, I offered to help with every single detail - from choosing centerpieces to making sure the music was queued for the first dance. Given my track record, I sort of assumed that I'd basically be J.Lo - headset and all.

A few weeks after we'd gotten back from Mexico, I curled up with my first stack of bridal magazines. I had patiently waited for this moment (I'm against planning a wedding - or even so much as pinning a pin - before you meet the groom) and was ready to savor every single detail. Yet, page after page, I felt the frustration build that the events and tips featured were so... girly. Pinks and purples and sequins galore, no event seemed like it was quite a fit for our big day. Every featured wedding looked like a darn Easter egg. Maybe it's because Tim is an artist and has opinions on these things, and quite frankly - better taste than I do. But I just knew that a pastel wedding with macarons at every place setting would be inappropriate and so not us. It'd be beautiful, but not "us." As I neared the end of the first magazine, I felt a little discouraged and let my brain shut down on all things wedding. I put the topic on the back burner, where it (occasionally) still resides.

Pair that experience with wedding dress shopping, which I'll dive into more on a later day, and I was off to a rough start.

I kept avoiding planning the details, but slowly got the larger pieces put into place. We have the date set (June 13),  a venue (my dad's lavender farm),  a dress (it's white, and not the one I linked to above), a caterer, an officiant, my dream photographers, and a general idea of the vibe we've got in mind. Most of the large, important things are in place. But when it comes to the things that took serious thought and work - guest list, save the dates, invitations, tables & chairs, what time the ceremony should start - I would start to panic and think "OH... I'll just do it another day." And the days passed and suddenly it was Christmas and I felt like we had done nothing. I never actually pictured what it really meant to plan a wedding, and I especially never considered that I'd dislike it.

I think I've avoided blogging about this because I'm almost ashamed to admit this has been the case. I'm an editor, a stylist, an obsessive aesthete - shouldn't I be foaming at the mouth for this stuff? Really, though, I finally realized it's okay that I'm not. A wedding isn't just a pretty party or a photo shoot. It's 2 people who are publicly vowing their love for each other. And also becoming a new family. And also dancing. And at the end of the day, I just cannot wait to be Tim's wife - whether the wedding is awesome or not.

I've still got this looming cloud over my head - like I'm overlooking the importance of escort cards or that by not hiring a DJ, I am going to have complete chaos during the reception. But I also finally have that burst of excitement and have felt more enticed to focus on the little details that will make the day special for us and our guests. On June 13, I am going to be Tim's wife - new last name and all. (And on Wednesday, the Save the Dates will be mailed... only 2 months late.)

For my married readers, did you ever encounter similar feelings? Or did you love the planning process? Would love to hear about your experiences!

[Image Credit: Elisabeth Marzetti for Love My Dress]

Sunday, January 18, 2015


2015 is already off to a little delayed start. I had plans to write this post during the first few days of the year... yet here we are, at midnight on the 18th. Whoops. I think I'm seeing a trend with this blog...

It's no excuse, but I have actually been really, really busy at my job. We're creating tons of great content and I'm writing almost every day, so you know... take a peek.

Anyways, I wanted to write a little bit about resolutions - though I realize, I'm like 18 days late so this is totally redundant in blogland by now. (Oh well. If you stop reading now, I'll never know.) I am all for resolutions, but I don't really take a traditional approach. I mean, you basically are setting yourself up for failure if you are too strict from the get-go. (For example: I'm going to lose 7 lbs!! = I'm going to eat 70 tacos. I want to read 1 book a month = I am going to spend $70 at Barnes & Noble and clutter up my nightstand while I still play on my iPhone every night before bed.) Instead, I like to use the "New Year's Resolution" as a chance to take a closer look at my life. What are some broad areas that could use a little help? What do I need to fix? What is already awesome and should only be enhanced?

This year is going to be a big one for me (we're getting married in June!!) so it was fun to think about what I want to change and accomplish:

-Read more books & print magazines. I find myself playing on my phone constantly - barf. While I do read a LOT of news articles online, I miss the routine of curling up with a great book or magazine and letting my brain unwind from real life.
-Be kinder to my body. I don't necessarily want to lose weight (though, my wedding dress would look awesome if I did). I do want to eat healthier, make exercise a priority, and drink more water. I want to feel better without feeling like I'm "dieting." If I end up looking better as a result, that will a great little benefit.
-Be kinder to my mind. Spoiler alert: I am really hard on myself. I set unrealistic expectations and feel tremendous guilt if I can't achieve them. I want to do my best, but I don't want to fall victim to the stress and imaginary pressure I create for myself.
-Cultivate more friendships in San Francisco. Many of my best friends live elsewhere. I've made a few friends here, as well as built many industry relationships. I want to make those into more meaningful friendships (and spend less time watching TV with Roxanne). I'll admit, it's a scary one to verbalize. But hey. L&L is nothing if not honest.
-Put my family and my relationships first. Speaks for itself. Love should always be the priority. Not technology, or work, or made up obligations.

That's really it. I suppose one other thing I thought of was more personal writing... which basically is a fancy way of saying blog here more frequently. I had this grand idea of sharing my journey through wedding planning, adding more lifestyle content, and sharing my SF favorites. I even had a great plan of recapping every episode of The Bachelor. (#PrinceFarming.) Yet, weeks go by and I find myself opting to binge-watch Vanderpump Rules and avoid my laptop at all costs. EMBARRASSING. So, in addition to the above... I "resolve" to kick it on L&L a few more days a week/month/year.

Do you make a list of resolutions? (And if so... any tricks for sticking with them?!)