The weekend is here!

tumblr_mwserytR8v1qzvnuuo1_1280Happy Friday, dear readers! What do you have planned for the weekend? I’m actually off on a solo trip to Maine for a mini family reunion with my cousins — one of whom is visiting all the way from Memphis. This week has been so hot, I might actually dip my toe in the frigid Atlantic Ocean. We’ll see! Here, to get your weekend started right, a few interesting posts from around the web:

Are you watching this show?

OMG, peony wallpaper.

This tee is the cutest.

An ode to Governor’s Island. (And a peek at Pinknic!)

The importance of a weekend go-bag.

Love this red, white and blue soap. (Via A Cup of Jo.)

Revisiting this hilarious essay.

HUGE royal news.

Buying this pair of shoes next.

Can’t wait to watch this film.

(Image via Tumblr)

Writing vs. Music


Several years ago, someone asked me: How would you describe your writing process? One thing that immediately came to mind was the fact that, as I write (or type, rather), I need to be able to speak through each sentence out loud in my head. It sounds strange, but I think that hearing the rhythm is what helps me assess the quality of each paragraph—and keep an eye on voice.

Anyways, Matt always gives me a hard time that I don’t listen to music during the work day. He’ll download new albums he wants to hear and listen to them while he sends emails, works on spreadsheets, etc. But for me, it’s distracting because of my quest to silently hear my sentence structure.

Until now. I discovered this loophole for music listening while writing after getting back from our honeymoon in Portugal. (More on that later, promise.) I was looking for a way to flashback to our trip from my desk, so I cued up the website for Ana Roque, an incredible (and modern) Fado singer we heard on our trip. As it turns out, if the music I’m listening to is in a totally different language—in particular one I don’t know, like Portuguese—it doesn’t compete.

I tested the theory again over the weekend with Carla Bruni. Sure, I know a little bit of French, but still, I was able to write. So what if I can’t crank out copy with Adele in the background. This alternative works—and is equally fun.

Do you have any writing tips and tricks you swear by? Would love to hear!

(Image via Ana Roque)

Like rain on your wedding day

Rachel & Matt_WEB_Christine Han Photography-1You guys! I’m so sorry for the radio silence — I really fell off the wagon with blogging in the six weeks leading up to getting married. Here’s the thing that no one really warned me about: If you don’t hire a wedding planner, you will be drowning in wedding to do’s and logistics and peony color decisions right up until the moment you say “I do.”

But to be honest, I wouldn’t change a thing–and yes, this includes the weather. For the two weeks leading up to the big day, I was waking up hourly in the middle of the night to check what became my lifeline app: Dark Sky. The forecast? Rain. Then, thunder and lightning. Then, rain, definitely rain. I was panicked.

But something magical happened the day of. I didn’t care. And it downpoured. It wasn’t a dainty, misty Brooklyn storm, but torrential rainfall. We took every single one of our wedding portraits outside as planned, but here’s the truth: It was the most romantic moment of the whole day. Just me and Matt (and our photographer, the lovely Christine Han, who got soaked).

The New York Times got in touch with us afterward to get our tips on how we prepared, which given the volume of my worries, made me laugh out loud. But it all worked out. And right after we were officially hitched, the clouds parted and we got a double rainbow and one of those epic NYC sunsets that made our guests “ooh” and “ahh” while standing between bridges on the Brooklyn waterfront.

The ironic part is that, as you know, my favorite movie is Singin’ in the Rain. Right as we were heading over to our venue to walk down the aisle, I noticed one of the flower girls in front of me all by herself. She was dancing and twirling with her umbrella–kinda like Gene Kelly–and suddenly the whole day was completely right.

More blogging (and wedding tips and honeymoon updates!) to come. xo

(Photo by Christine Han)

Countdown to the wedding!

Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 8.53.07 AMT minus one month until Matt and I get married–whoa! Time flies. Last week, we popped by City Hall in Brooklyn and applied for our marriage license. Heavy. (Kidding!) But it’s true: Through all the planning and the details and the late night Pinterest searches, I’m always amazed at how humbling the little wedding-related moments are. Walking into City Hall, for example.

We went through the metal detectors and told the security guard we were here to get our marriage license. He immediately started grinning and sent us to the appropriate floor. We waited in line behind and in front of other couples getting hitched right then and there. (We just got the application which our officiant will sign after our ceremony, but so many couples were there to get married that day.)

The couple in front of us was chatting about going to see a movie together–maybe Batman vs. Superman–afterward. The couple behind us was there with their kids, both dressed in their finest flower girl and ring bearer attire. As their parents filled out the paperwork, the kids played around going up to the other windows without tellers and pretending they were getting married, too. It was funny because the room–completely bare and bank-like–felt completely filled with love.

I’m keeping my name. (Hello, Bowie is awesome). But I loved the Brooklyn lady who verified our information: When she asked if I was changing my name and I said no, she responded with a subtle Mmm-hmmm, that’s right while glancing at Matt. We both burst out laughing, reviewed the paperwork, and got on the subway to go to work. Just another day in New York.


The nicest New York thing


Recently, some very close friends invited us over for a home-cooked dinner on the Upper East Side. It was after work on a Friday night and they told us to bring….absolutely nothing. (We brought wine.) As I strolled up there from work–it used to be my old ‘hood so I welcomed the walk–I couldn’t help but think: The nicest New York gesture is inviting friends over to dine in. Here’s why:

1. We live in a city where we’re constantly go, go, go. A night in is a treat, but a night in with friends that lets us channel our inner homebody on somebody else’s couch? Bliss.

2. Our apartments are tiny, but super cute. One of the most fun things about living in New York is peeping other people’s apartments. Space is at a premium! I love seeing how people make use of it…and entertain. (My friend positioned a super comfy chair at the entrance to her galley kitchen and kept refilling my sauv blanc so we could catch up while she cooked up a storm.)

3. There’s no wait for a table. Nope, you just walk right in and a glass of wine (and apps) are served.

4. You can actually hear your friends talk. Ah, I’m an old lady, but being able to have a scintillating conversation without shouting is kind of the New York dream. (Reminder: You’re still sitting on that comfy couch.)

5. It takes a lot of New York effort. New York is all about life on demand. If you don’t have it, you can order it…food, booze, dessert, anything. A homemade meal takes a lot of prep. And timing. And cleaning. It’s such a thoughtful invitation–and one Matt and I can’t wait to reciprocate soon.