besties & bubbly: NYE party inspiration

Going "out" for New Year's Eve is so 2015. The older I get, the more I simply desire staying in or spending the evening with a few close friends. All of that in mind as we creep into the end of 2017, I felt inspired to create a girls' holiday/NYE shoot. Because I'm obsessed with SF, I wanted the venue to be based there and somewhere niche that felt like every girls' safe haven. Somewhere that lived and breathed "city sleek." Enter, Wine Down in SOMA!

As we're all probably aware by now, metallics and velvets are taking over the fashion world for the fall and winter months, so that was where my initial inspiration came in.  I wanted to play off the natural textures inside the bar, particularly the wood. There is something so inviting and warm about it. I decided to go with a bare tablescape, paired with a sleek black and gold runner from Lavish SF to keep things clean. My amazing friend and vendor, Angie of Chairs and Cups helped me conceptualize the perfect plateware/stemware set to make everything flow cohesively with the colors we had chosen. The best part was accenting this table with mercury votives, wooden antlers, and other odds and ends I sourced from Eileen (owner of Lost + Found Vintage Rentals). 

I hope this shoot inspires anyone planning a party to not be intimidated to go BIG on the details. I think that a tablescape that is well-thought out is one of the most important pieces of planning a perfect party. I really wanted to incorporate something that would make the table pop (but not in a gaudy way) and working with Angie (owner of Bobo Design Studio) was a dream. She came up with those gorgeous diamond-cut personalized name cards for each of the guests. 

ProTip:  always incorporate some type of interactive activity for the guests. In this case, I wanted it to to be DIY-related. I've worked with the amazing Keegan (owner of Petal Atelier) for over a year now, collaborating on different projects, and she knew exactly the route I was wanting to go down. She suggested a DIY floral wreath station. I wanted the aesthetic to be neutral enough where it didn't scream Christmas at you, so we went with very earthy florals and greenery for these wreaths. The girls had an amazing time using the tools and creating some fun wreaths to take home. PS: How stunning are those bigger bouquets with strawberries, pomegranates, and anemones?! We were jaw dropped at their beauty. 

Then came the cake! Rachel (owner of Bay Cakes Design) came up with a perfect mini cake to round out the party. I knew I wanted black and I have admired her work for a while now, but she blew me out of the water with the detail she added with the sugar flowers on top of it. Sitting it on top of Lost + Found Vintage's bar cart with my felt board was one of the most inviting vignettes of this shoot.

Finally, it was MY job to do all the wardrobe styling for this shoot which was very fun for me. I wanted to go with jewel tones, metallics, and subtle dramatic additions of fur and velvet.  Huge shoutout to Sunshine Shannon for capturing all this goodness! Peep the gallery below and the whole vendor team under that! Happy New Year babes <3

Vendor List:

Creative Direction/ Planning/ Styling: Naseem Events 

Wardrobe Styling: Naseem Events (Anthropologie and Madewell // Jewelry: Kendra Scott) 

Venue: Wine Down SF

Photographer: Sunshine Shannon

Florist: Petal Atelier

MUAH: Imagi by Fiona

Diamond cut name place cards: Bobo Design Studio

Cake: Bay Cakes Design

Invitation and Signage: Caffeineated Letters

Runner and confetti poppers: Lavish SF

Plateware/stemware/glassware: Chairs and Cups

Video: Elmira Saalabi  

Bar cart, pillows, votives, and wood antlers: Lost + Found Vintage Rentals

wedding adventures

My holiday weekend was a whirlwind of events. Starting off where I left off in my last post, I was in the airport on Thanksgiving night about to board a flight for Michigan, to join my extended family for my cousin's wedding. I'm back home now and finally adjusted from the jet lag and ready to tell-all!

This past weekend was seriously one of the best times of my life. It's so funny how the little things end up mattering the most. Of course a wedding is nothing little -- but simply the notion of being amidst your entire extended family for three full days was something else. I tend to forget how priceless moments like that are. It was so fun because the entire wedding party, the aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents; ALL of them, were in the same hotel. So the night before the wedding we had a huge suite where we had a little soiree for all the guests. It was perfect because so many family members from the bride and groom's side were meeting for the first time so it was a good mini ice breaker for everyone.

The funnest part for me was being able to take the elevator up and down at any hour and visit my uncle, visit my cousins, and just simply have all of us able to hang out all together for 3 full days. It's almost like when you go on a huge trip with a bunch of your family or close friends; you're together in a tight space for the full duration of the trip that once you get home you're stuck feeling a little lonely from missing them.

The wedding itself was breath taking to say the least. My cousin and aunt are masterminds at DIY and party planning and they executed one of the most creative and beautiful wedding ceremonies I have ever seen. It took place at the Detroit Institute of the Arts which is a museum, and so the wedding itself was amidst one of the exhibit halls.. It was almost like a rustic dungeon type of feel; very enchanting. I loved it.

This also marked the first time that I was a bridesmaid maid of honor! It was so fun and such a legit honor to be a part of my cousin's wedding. She and her husband only had 4 people in their bridal party; their brothers and their 2 cousins (me!) So it was truly an honor to be included above all their close friends and colleagues... I saw how much family means to them. Some of the highlights included helping my cousin as she was getting ready in the morning, taking photographs of her (which turned out amazing if I do say so myself), and catching the bouquet! It was such a touching moment for both me and for the bride. She said she felt like I was going to get it and inside of course I wanted it too! It seriously came right to me. It was so sweet seeing how happy our grandparents and moms were too. Such a memorable moment for me <3

Other than that, my biggest take away is just sitting back and reflecting on how important and irreplaceable family is. No matter what. It's funny because my older cousin (the bride), and I have never been "the best of friends." She's 4 years older than me and her brother & I are the same age so it's always been us two who usually hang out more. But over this past weekend I saw how untouchable the bond is between cousins. Especially for us because I only have 4 first cousins, and the other two live in Iran. So these two are literally like my siblings. Being able to take part in her wedding and on her side for the entire thing was such an honor to me.

Included are some of my photographs for your viewing pleasure. Truly an amazing weekend spent with my family. I will never forget it!!


Guilty: I've been more and more afraid to show my face here because of how much I've been lagging lately with the blogging. No excuse really.. I think I've just been really preoccupied in my mind and thoughts. I'm all over the place lately. Not to mention, I just turned 23 this week so much of my time was spent in birthday queen mode ;) best time of year, haha. I love the month of November especially because of Thanksgiving though. I got to spend tonight surrounded by my family and close friends who are pretty much our family. We don't have too much of our extended family living near us, so for the past couple of years we've spent the holiday potluck style with three or four of our super close family friends. It's always quite the occasion. We're surrounded by amazing food, get caught up in the most competitive charades games, and spend the whole night laughing and getting cozy by the fire. This is a short post because I'm actually leaving my thanksgiving dinner right now to head straight to the airport to catch the red eye to Detroit for my cousin's wedding! I get to be her maid of honor so I'm super excited about that. I wish all of you a happy Thanksgiving surrounded by family and lots of love. Oh, and please indulge. It's only right this time of year!






Rant of the week: I'm annoyed because almost all of my shows were cancelled this week due to something. One of my biggest pet peeves is being so excited to watch your shows on DVR from the night before -- and then you get situated and lounged in front of the TV, only to find that none have been recorded! Gossip Girl, Parenthood, Private Practice, Grey's Anatomy, AND the Challenge were all no where to be found this week :/ Sure, I saved some time and was able to be more productive with my nights, but come on, we all know that TV is my mistress. Excitement of the week: Okay, done with the spoiled brat rant. It's officially NOVEMBER! My favorite month of the year. And no, not ONLY because it's my birthday month, but because it marks the official start of the holiday season, as well as good old Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, and maybe a part of it is because I feel like it's the underdog holiday that always gets shafted. I got my mail yesterday and I'm already getting catalogs from Macy's with Christmas tree decor deals. Starbucks' holiday cup is out with snowmen on it. People have their lights up. Christmas music is flowing. I for one, am the biggest fan of Christmas time, but come on people, let Thanksgiving shine too!! Haha, I am the biggest Thanksgiving advocate. I think it's just as important to take a step back and truly immerse ourselves in the season of 1) giving thanks for our blessings & 2) actually giving to others who are less fortunate. I wanted to challenge myself this month to get outside of the "me-me-me" mentality I tend to stick in. Instead, I want to challenge myself to do something every day for someone else. It doesn't have to be buying an elaborate gift for someone every day, but even sending a kind note, doing someone a favor, or even smiling at a stranger. Anything that involves me giving back to those around me and passing along kindness. That's why this is my favorite time of year. In addition to the leaves changing, the crisp fall weather, and the yummy home-made treats, we are entering a season where we can reflect and give back to those around us. We can take this time to step outside ourselves -- and wow, what a humbling, intrinsic reward that leaves us with.

Happy holiday season to all of you! What are some of your ideas in challenging yourself to give back this season?