Friday, May 30, 2014

NY POST TWO: How NOT to ride the subway, a bald lady and the Empire State Building

It's been a month today since getting on a plane in NY and heading back to So Cal. It seriously doesn't seem like a month has elapsed since then...until I try jogging my memory of the trip and can't seem to remember certain things. This is exactly why I wanted to get to these blog posts done ASAP but life happens so here goes the second post to end the first full day in Manhattan (See the first NY post here)...

After exploring central park in all it's early morning glory on Sunday, April 27, my mother and I started heading back into the city. As we came out of the park near the Museum of Natural History, we saw a subway station leading underground. My mother got pretty excited and felt spontaneous I guess because she started leading me down those steps with talk of taking the subway. "Where are we going?" I asked a little hesitant. "I don't know," she said.  "How do you get on?" I asked, this time a little more worried. "We will figure it out" she said and we did.

Thing is, I thought I was going to have time to muster up some bit of courage to get on the subway for the first time rather than just throw myself on it not knowing where the heck I was going. Since it was still really early (around 7am), the station was EMPTY and quiet-too quiet. I seriously was waiting for someone around the corner to attack us or something with nobody around to hear our screams-call me crazy but I'm just being honest here.
Needless to say, we were completely fine and once we got on, I held a rail just like everyone else. My mother apparently wasn't holding on tight enough because as soon as it took off, she about fell back and said a 4 letter word. This had a local woman chuckling at us as she "pretended to read a book". After that, we learned to hold on tightly, plant your feet on the ground like there may not be gravity in a few moments or just sit down.

 Surprisingly, we ended up in Times Square- not a bad destination for your first subway ride. I was finally able to grab a vanilla latte at an open coffee shop and we walked around the Crossroads of the World as it was transformed into a still and muted realm on a Sunday morning.

The earliest opening restaurant we could find for breakfast was Hard Rock Cafe so we took a seat there. We had a buffet of french toast sticks, waffles, bagels, sausage, bacon, and eggs. It seemed like the food was frozen prior so it wasn't my favorite meal but it was food and I was hungry.

Afterwards, we decided to walk to the Empire State Building. As we came out of the restaurant, a lady who resembled a monk came up to us and started saying how beautiful we were and some other strange words. She put bracelets on our wrists and then asked for a donation and initials on a graph. She was a scammer! I gave my bracelet right back and pulled my mother away. Another lesson-don't trust everyone who comes up to you and compliments you on your beauty. Ha! After that, every time another would try and come up to us (they were everywhere) my mother would say, "OH NO! NAH-UH! NOT AGAIN!" It was pretty priceless!

We finally arrived to the Empire State Building and had some guys try selling us tickets to get up there. I said try but I really meant, they did sell us tickets scam us tickets. You'd think my mom learned her lesson from the bald lady in the brown robe...Anyhow, we did get to go up to the Empire State Building, we just payed for extra tickets to see some dumb virtual tour show that we didn't want to see. Such is life!

When we finally got to the top of the historical building, it really took my breath away to see the city of New York from bird's eye view. Soon, you don't feel like such a little person anymore, you feel like you are on top of the world!
The Freedom Tower-built in replacement of the once standing Twin Towers. 
We also visited the 9/11 memorial (later post).
The beautiful Chrysler Building (my favorite skyscraper).
I spy Central Park.

Once we were done, we headed back to the upper west side to explore some more of the city in spring.

Our hotel building
We had dinner at Trattoria where we sat outside-pretty much in the middle of the busy sidewalk while I enjoyed some yummy minestrone soup and my mom had some type of rigatoni pasta. It was definitely different to eat dinner while people walked all around you but it added some free entertainment while we people watched and sipped on espresso (my mom's first one) and a vanilla latte. NY cheesecake was for dessert!

We ended the night back at the hotel after a trip to Zabar's-the best family market we've ever been to (more on that place in a later post)! 
We had brought back to the hotel some Gouda cheese, cream cheese with herbs, olives and rye bread amongst several other good eats to enjoy while relaxing and heading off to bed. 

It was good day!

See Post I of New York: Sunrise Over Manhattan and Magic in Central Park

See Post III of New York: Strange worship in the seaport harbor, a yacht ride under the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and the 9/11 Memorial.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Photo shoot for re-branding + stepping out of my comfort zone

This past weekend, I chose to step out of my comfort zone and in front of a camera...with another eye looking through the lens. I'm not sure why but I get really nervous when people take photos of me by myself. I just feel awkward and all I want to do is a silly face because at least I'm purposefully going to look funny right?

Well, I have been meaning to update my photos on the blog and website for a while now so I enlisted the help of Kayla from Kayla V Photography. I've worked with her on several styled shoots (her work is featured all over my blog & online shop) and I love her aesthetic of photography. If anyone can make me feel a little more at ease in front of the camera, it would be her and that's exactly what happened!

When she sent me these photos, I was so excited that I seriously squealed! Yes, we may have been kicked out of our first location (closed park) and I may have been caught on barbed wire more than once but I'm so happy that I took that little leap and let her snap away. THANK YOU SO MUCH KAYLA!!

Here are just a handful of photos from the photo shoot.

A few of these pretty supplies will be used to create the new bridal line debuting this Summer!

See more of this shoot on the Kayla V Photography blog

Featured Floral Crown: "Leigh" Crown from the shop

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The New Spring Collection has made its debut!

 The new Spring Collection has made its debut in the shop today! This new line is full of Victorian inspired pieces including crowns, headbands and floral necklaces. Each piece is created with timeless, feminine blossoms including garden roses, babys breath, english roses, greenery, lace and so much more!

See the entire collection in the shop right here.

Photography Credit for above photos: Kristen Booth
Credit for first photo (entire blog post on this amazing photo shoot will be up soon):
Created by- Kristen BoothKarie Denny
Wardrobe & Designer - Chariot Marie 
Creative Direction & Styling -Ace & Whim 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Elevate Blog Conference 2014 RECAP

Last year, I attended my first blog conference in Newport Beach, Ca. This past Saturday, I returned to the Newport Dunes clubhouse to attend Elevate once again.

It was such an inspiring day to be immersed among such talented women! I feel like there is not enough time in one day to really get to talk and get to know everyone there. Last year, I really regretted not reaching out and networking more so this year, I tried harder to step out of my comfort zone of meeting new people and I still feel like I could have done more. I know a lot of you have felt this way after reading some of your posts. I think it's just inevitable when we are in an environment with so many opportunities and like-minded people around us. If I didn't get to meet you, please comment or email me at because I'd love to connect with you!

This year, Elevate was incredible once again. From lunch catered by Bj's Pizza, encouraging and talented speakers, lots of AMAZING giveaways, swag for dayyyss, crafts to take home, dinner catered by Cafe Rio, TONS of delicious sweets and a HILARIOUS game of Minute to Win it, this day had my cup overflowing.

I am so thankful for this event put on by Jen from Delightful Deets, Summer from Made by Munchie's Momma and Nichole from Yeung Mother Hubbard with so much help by their wonderful families! I am completely blessed because of each of YOU!

I could go on and on about this beautiful day but instead, here are some photos...

My friend Tara from Laila's Charming Pieces and I went to Elevate together. Such a blessing to share this experience with a close friend!
The lovely Jen and Summer who put their whole hearts into this day!
Ellen Style selfie! Chrissy, you are too wonderful for capturing this!!
Creativity is anything but tidy!
YUUMMMMY tacos from Cafe Rio!
I spy my dreamcatcher and daisy crown I donated for the giveaway...
Thank you so much to Alissa from Diary of an Addict & Desiree from The 36th Avenue for posting my dreamcatcher! 

I am creating a limited amount of these large dreamcatchers if you'd like to custom order one! They are going quickly so email me at if you are interested.
Tee-Pee by Tnees Tpees  
Cara from Maskcara demonstrated some of her amazing talent with makeup. Megan from Absolute Mommy got some new eyebrows. Love!
Desiree from The 36th Avenue and Lisa from Lisa Leonard Designs were such wonderful and inspirational speakers!

Desiree, first off, won the key to my heart as she gifted each of us a package of delicious DONUTS! As she shared her heart and her story, she made me laugh SO hard and cry when her words became personal and raw. Thank you so much for your honesty Desiree and opeing up to us!

When I found out Lisa was speaking at the conference, I was ECSTATIC! I totally admire her and when I met her for the first time in person, she truly exceeded any expectations I may have had. She really is so kind hearted and loving. When it was her time to speak, I was all ears...even with a camera lens at my eye. Her words spoke straight to my heart. "The more you are yourself, the better you will be." "Be Brave." "Be Loving." Thank you so much Lisa for sharing your heart!

Chrissy from Let Me See You Sparkle and Stephanie from Life Created gave some photography advice. Thank you both for your courage to speak to all of us! I know you guys didn't have too much time to prepare but you both did great and you are so enduring!

Cara from Maskcara, Ashley from Little Miss Momma and Alissa from Diary of an Addict shared a round of tips for blogging from posing for photography to affiliate links. Thanks girls!
All of the women who helped make this event happen! 
With the beautiful Lisa Leonard.
At the end of the night, we got to take home CRONUTS from DK's Donuts!!
Sweet dreams Newport.
Ended the night at Alissa's house for a little bon fire and snacks. 
Thank you so much Alissa for opening your gorgeous home! I may have not been home until 2:30am but this day was all well worth it!! 

Until next year...