December 30, 2015

Our Wedding Video

Our wedding day was one of the most memorable days I've yet to experience. And finally, the day has come when I can share our wedding highlight video! It only took a short period of time for us to figure out that working with Good Earth Films would be the best decision for us regarding capturing our day on video. Alex and James, who happen to be the most precious married couple ever, were such a dream to work with! We first met them for a consultation at Maxie B's in Greensboro. And from that day, we knew we were in good hands.

So without further ado, go and view our video here! If you are in the mist of planning a wedding, I hope our video inspires you to have a videographer a part of your big day. I can't tell you how many times we have watched our film! There were so many moments that had us rolling with laughter and it's been such a joy to "experience" all over again and as often as we want!
Photo's taken by Callie with Nancy Ray Photography

December 4, 2015

A guide to One World Observatory and Brooklyn


Happy Friday! Hope you enjoyed yesterday's city guide for NYC! If you didn't catch it, you can take a look at it here. Today I wanted to focus on our time at One World Observatory and Brooklyn! The whole experience of One World Observatory was outstanding. It was truly an amazing experience. After visiting, I highly recommend dedicating at least an hour to take everything in. Also, try to buy your tickets ahead of time to save yourself from having to stand in line. The day we went, we saw the line was really long so we were thankful to have gotten our tickets before our trip!

Let me tell you a little about our experience though. Before hopping in one of the elevators for a quick 60 second ride up 102 floors, you start in the global welcome center were you continue forward through an area that leads you to the sky pod elevators. The elevators are one of the coolest features of the observatory and inside you will notice floor-to-ceiling LED technology were you experience a virtual time-lapse of NYC's skyline development over the years. Really cool. I wish I had gotten a photo to share but maybe next time!
Once you reach the top, you view a two minute presentation before heading to your final destination; the main observatory! You guys, the views are amazing. I literally was speechless with the 360 degree views. The sun was even shining and our view was crystal clear!
After taking in all of the breathtaking views, we took the metro over to Brooklyn. Brooklyn was right up my alley in terms of neighborhood vibes. Before we started exploring, we got pizza at Fascati Pizza in Brooklyn Heights. Will was in heaven and thought this was the best pizza he has ever had. I on the other hand like my pizza's with thick crust.
After eating lunch, we walked through Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens. Cobble Hill was by far my favorite with all of the brownstone-lined streets home to trendy cafes and historic buildings galore. If in the Brooklyn Heights area, make sure to take a quick stroll down the Promenade which is a really pretty boardwalk area overlooking the Statue of Liberty and downtown Manhattan.

Even though our feet were killing (mine in particular) we wanted to walk the Brooklyn Bridge and had timed it just right...the sun was getting ready to set right as we found the entrance! Walking the bridge was a fun adventure. Even though it was crowded with bikers and lot's of people, we still enjoyed our leisurely stroll. Anytime we come to NYC, I think this will be one stop we always make.

December 3, 2015

A GUIDE TO NYC

Anytime I hear someone mention NYC I think of the song 'Welcome to New York' by Taylor Swift. From the bright lights to the hustle and bustle, I can confidently say that NYC is a pretty exciting place to visit (or live) and my first trip a few weeks ago was one for the books thanks to the hubs for gifting me the trip as an early birthday present! There is so much to see and do and we checked off most of the items on our itinerary. I quickly learned however that there is just SO much stuff to see and do that you can't possibly accomplish it all. No way Jose!  At the end of the day though, the trip was so much fun...plain and simple!

Below is a guide to some of my favorite things we did, places we went and recommendations I gathered from fellow bloggers, friends and family. Let me know if y'all have been checked out any of the items from the list or if there is anything I should add for future trips to the big apple!

Stay

The Pod Hotel 39 (Between 3rd Avenue and Lexington Avenue) - We stayed here the first night we arrived since we didn't land in New York until after 8:00 pm. The rooms are small but we didn't want to spend a lot of money since we only planned to stay for one night. While doing research, I saw that the hotel was in a great location and had a rooftop bar and restaurant called Salvation Taco that made this place all the more appealing.
Airbnb (We stayed here in the Lower East Side/Bowery area) - Will and I had previously stayed at an Airbnb when we went to Savannah, Georgia and had a great experience. You can read about that experience and see where we stayed here. I love the feeling of living like a local and wanted an authentic experience while in NYC so what better way then to do it again, this time in a different city. Our experience was wonderful and our host was so easy to work with. He gave us a tour of his place the day we arrived, told us about the area, recommended a few places for us to check out and was available by phone anytime we needed him.

See & Do

 

One World Observatory - The views! I'll be sharing more about our experience here in tomorrow's post along with a guide to Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Bridge!

Central Park - For obvious reasons...it's amazing. I wish we could have explored the entire park!
The Plaza Hotel -I've seen many photos of the Plaza Hotel and was excited to see it in person. Ahem, it's beautiful and really hard to leave! But to be honest, I was most excited to find Eloise! This was my birthday present after all so Will had to suck it up and deal with my little girl excitement haha...
 
Time Square - To be honest, Time Square was too touristy for me and way to crowded which I knew it would be. Granted we went at night when all the buildings were shining bright and ton's of people were stopping every few seconds to take photos. I did some research before our trip and found out that if you want to see panoramic views of Time Square, you can go to the cocktail bar called the R Lounge in the Renaissance Hotel (at 48th and 7th) which we did and that I don't regret! We even stayed awhile and ordered cookies and ice cream as a late night snack.
Birchbox in SoHo -A few years ago I subscribed to Birchbox so getting to visit in person was really fun. The store has a downstairs area for guys and for in-store services where you can get your hair and makeup done too.

Barney's, Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue and Century 21 - Our favorite department store was Bloomingdales! I got the Kate Spade hat I'm wearing in my photos from their and Will got a few things for himself as well. Our second favorite store we visited was Saks. I got a really pretty Rebecca Taylor cocktail dress (this one is very similar) to wear to Will's company Christmas party!

Brooklyn Bridge - We walked from the Brooklyn side back towards Manhattan and I'll go into more detail and include photos in tomorrows post.

Flatiron Building - For a good view head to Broadway and East 23rd Street.
Lord and Taylor Holiday Window Displays - A lot of stores hadn't finished setting up their holiday window displays but Lord and Taylor had and it was to die for! Everything was perfectly done and so beautiful.
Bonobos - We were able to go here for Will (it's mainly a men's clothing line) without making an appointment which was awesome! This is their flagship store where you view all their merchandise in person and work with a stylist to see what best suits you and then order online. I think Will had a great time and walked away with a herringbone wool blazer that arrived at our house within days!

Eat & Drink

 

Penelope - We went here for breakfast and I got the french toast which was so good! If you decide to go here, make sure to go first thing in the morning because there isn't much room once you are inside and they are always busy from what we were told. We got there before 9:00 am and as we were leaving there was already a long wait...and it was a weekday!

Tisserie - We stopped here for a quick pick-me-up coffee and pastry after shopping at Bloomingdale's and Barneys.
Catch- This restaurant is a MUST! The atmosphere is what caught my eye but the food is just as good. It's on the pricier side but worth every penny, I promise. Will got east coast oysters and the fresh catch of the day and I got the macaroni and lobster cream. For dessert we got the "Hit Me" chocolate cake.
The District - We went here for dinner one night and got burgers. It's pretty small on the inside but looked a lot bigger in the photos just a heads up.

Refinery Rooftop - The best rooftop bar we went! You had a great view of the Empire State Building and lot's of outdoor seating. It was cold outside the night we went but we sat outside anyways because they had the heaters turned on and the views were worth the frozen faces and hands.
The Bluebell Cafe - There was a line of people already waiting to be seated when we arrived here for breakfast but it went quick and the food was pretty good.

Rosa Mexicano - We went here for dinner and Will thinks they had the best guacamole he has ever had. One of his coworkers/friends told him about this place and Will made reservations for us before our trip and besides Catch, this was defiently a favorite food place for us. Who doesn't like Mexican food?! Oh and we went to the one near the Lincoln Center on Columbus Avenue.

Cafe Lalo (dessert) - You guys...this place is like a dreamy slice of Paris and was featured in the movie You've Got Mail. Inside there are tons of French posters, marble tables to dine at and twinkly lights both inside and outside. We went pretty late at night and decided to get dessert to go.

Photo Op's!

Kelsey Montague's "What Lifts You" Mural on the corner of Kenmore Street and Mott Street in the NoLita area.

West 10th Street in Greenwich Village has beautiful townhouses and elegant architecture.

Another street with well-kept townhouses is known as "The Beautiful Block" on East 19th Street between Irving Place and 3rd Avenue.

There is a waterfall tunnel on 48th Street between 6th and 7th Street, along with a large waterfall display at Paley Park on 53rd between Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue.

I didn't check this one out but I hear if you want a photo that has a magical feel to it then there is a tunnel of vines that are intertwined with lots of twinkling lights that can be found near Perry Street.

Eat & Drink (for our next visit) 

 

Serendipity for a sweet treat.

Drinks at Tipsy Parson.

Cafe Cluny - I hear it feels like you are being transported to a small french town and the waiters wear breton stripes.

The Spotted Pig.

Two Hands and Happy Bones for coffee.

Hamilton's Soda Fountain.

Levain Bakery - I hear they have amazing cookies.

December 2, 2015

Hello, December

Hello, December! So far you've been pretty enjoyable, even if it's only day two. But to be honest, the days months leading up to you weren't all that I expected. I experienced a handful of lows that have weighed heavy on me such as a neck issue that has been a constant battle and may possibly lead to surgery along with my job coming to an end as soon as I got back from a wonderful getaway to NYC with my husband. But you know what? I don't want to waste anymore time trying to figure out why certain things happen.
I recently came across something that said "trials and obstacles are the Lord's chosen methods of discipline and His appointed conditions of success." and even though I know this to be true, it's not always easy to believe. Yes...I'm human and I question God and find myself constantly ask him "why me?". Am I the only one who does this? I hope I'm not alone!
This past Sunday at church, the sermon was about being thankful. Coincidence? I don't think so! As we were leaving and getting ready to grab lunch, I realized that I have so much to be thankful for but don't take the time to "count my blessings". Constantly I find myself thinking about how I deserve better. I feel I deserve my dream job, friends who are perfect, a marriage that is in a constant honeymoon stage and much more. But while we live here on earth, nothing will ever be perfect and we can't keep trying to understand everything God has up his sleeves.

So where do I stand and how am I feeling? Blessed. And hopeful. Like I said, it' not always easy to see the blessings God has put in front of us and all the things we have to be thankful for. Yesterday, I literally got out pen and paper and wrote all the positive things that have come out of my recent trials and obstacles (a lot of its revolving around being unemployed because I've never had to go through this before)...
  • Even though I've been battling a neck issues for years, I don't have to live with as much pain as I would if it weren't for physical therapy and medicine to help lessen the pain.
  • I have a husband who works extremely hard and because of that, I don't have to be scared about our finances while I'm seeking employment.
  • Because I don't have a job at the moment, I'll be able to help Will out by getting Christmas gifts for everyone on our lists during the week so that we can spend quality time relaxing together on the weekends.
  • My mom is also having knee surgery at the end of the month and I'll be able to go stay a few days to help her out while in recovery. Sorry I couldn't do this for you dad when you had yours!
  • I've been able to get back into a normal workout routine and try out new classes like Zumba.
  • I've had time to deep-clean and organize all the miscellaneous things around our house!
  • Will and I spent Thanksgiving and my 27th birthday with my family in Greensboro
  • We went and picked out our first tree together and got to decorate it and fill it with ornaments we've been collecting.
Whew! What a lengthy blog post y'all but this topic is near and dear to my heart so thank you to those who made it this far! Let me end today's post by asking you to join me at attempting to be more content with who you are, where you am in life, and what you have TODAY.

Oh, and before I forget, come back tomorrow for a fun post of my getaway to New York City! I can't wait to share all of my favorite places we went, restaurants I recommend and the itinerary I created and will be sharing.

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