kathy & phil's wedding, conservatory of flowers SF

A month ago I got to watch Kathy and Phil tie the knot in front of their family and friends at the GORGEOUS Conservatory of Flowers in SF. This wedding was super special to me since Kathy hired me on as her planner back in the fall so we had naturally grown super close during the course of the months leading up to the wedding. 

One thing I loved was that Kathy did not care at ALL about taking creative control over the decor/ design of the wedding; that's why she hired me! (#plannergoals). So I took the liberty of helping shape the aesthetic of the wedding from A to Z. Kathy and Phil are not traditional in the slightest so we dreamed up ideas that were special to them as a couple. For instance, I suggested a message in a bottle idea for them instead of a regular guest book for guests to leave them. I also helped Kathy create little disposable utensil packets (we skipped traditional plateware altogether and saved a TON), for their guests to pick up at the food trucks as they licked their fingers clean of the gourmet goodness. The lovely Keegan of Petal Atelier adorned the long dinner tables with different sized floral arrangements for a simple and clean look. With the stunning backdrop of the conservatory at our fingertips, there was so much natural beauty to play with. 

A highlight for me was the ice cream taco cart we had for dessert. I can't suggest this idea more in lieu of a traditional cake.

Guests were able to wander the conservatory during cocktail hour, wine in hand. One fun project I took on was co-designing all of Kathy's signage for the wedding. She told me straight ahead that was not a fan of calligraphy (to each their own!) and so I worked with Nicole of Penny Lane Papery to make my modern, minimal signage vision come to life.

Best part was guests were able to enjoy the light show that takes place at night on the actual conservatory walls -- peep the photo below to see just how beautiful that was! 

Huge thank you to my friend and amazing photographer, Yasmin Roohi, for capturing these images.

#sfdigs

I think it's safe to say it's finally time for an update from the Tiger's Den. (Yes, I named my apartment -- because, why not?). It's been almost six months now and the details are all slowly coming together. There's still a lot I want to add to fine-tune my vision, but lets be real, this get expensive! The great thing is that I was able to find a lot of my accent pieces from Target (Nate Berkus collection for the win!). Everything else is things I had from home or from when I was in college. I think the only thing I splurged on was my Anthropologie comforter.  Other than that, my accent wall is in still in progress but I'm so pleased with the first four pieces that came together. Not to mention the people some of them came from! 20140625-212543-77143324.jpg

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Flower print taken by one of my biggest inspirations, Delbarr Moradi //"Let's Stay Home" off Etsy -- probably my favorite piece in my room so far. Describes me to the T  // (Thank you, Elms, for the find).

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Breaking Bad vintage wall art from Vietnam via my soul sister

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#change

Yes, it's definitely been a minute since my last post. I'm slowly coming up on three months officially living in the city. Can't express enough how this has truly been one of the best decisions I ever made. I feel so much growth within the last few months and so much of an internal thirst for more. I'm slowly starting to ask myself the hard questions, like what it is I like, who I want to be around, the people I choose to invest in, the things I spend my time doing, etc. The more and more I work, the more I realize how precious our time is. So much of the week is automatically given away to working so when it comes to time off and the weekends, that's when I've really been focused on making my time count.

Living in the city on my own, I've had the perfect balance of feeding both my introvert side & my extravert side. It's funny how much we can change as we grow older, and now being in my mid-20's I can safely safe I've shifted into a 50/50 split of the two personality types. Being here, sometimes I just have those days where I'll take a walk to the Marina by myself and just sit out by the water and soak it all in. Or walking on the way home and people watching down Fillmore St. and seeing how much life goes on all around me. Aside from that, it's been so good to invest time in friends who I don't get to see as much. It's funny, when I was still living fully at home with the parents I wouldn't see a lot of my friends that often who lived maybe 10-15 min away (I think it's just taking it for granted that you live so close and then life gets busy).. but after moving up, I ended up seeing some of these people even more than I did when I was living at home. You almost make more of an effort because life does get so chaotic. It feels really good to have those friendships that stick out like that... people actually caring to invest themselves in your life and ask about your day to day and keep up with it. That effort goes such a long way, and as humans, we're bound to get moved by the reciprocation -- after all, that's what we're after. There are some people in my life in this past year alone that have made an everlasting mark because of how supportive they were through some of the toughest times. These are friends that weren't necessary the ones I happened to grow up with my whole life or ones that I happen to do life with on the daily -- some were even friends of friends who I happened to click with in an instant. Just seeing the mark those people made on my life as I look back a year ago til today, I am nothing but thankful. It's taught me a lesson in being open to change. Being open to getting to know anyone, regardless of how different you might think the two of you might be on the outside based on surface circumstances like your age or walk of life.

I think the hardest topic for me to think/write about (aside from life passions and what I really want to do with my life -- which we shall leave for another blog post for the sake of my sanity, hehe), is change. Change in the smallest sense like my favorite TV show changing its theme song after a season or two (here's looking at you Felicity and One Tree Hill), or change in the larger sense like not being as close with people you once did life with. Lately one of the things I've been pondering about has been the change I've seen in my social circles. Sometimes it feels like I live two lives. Not in the sense of living a double life or anything like that, but living in two cities, having two rooms, a work life, a family life, a set of friends here, one there -- it's all been so non-linear that it's interesting. For lack of a better word. And yet even alongside the busyness and action-packed life I lead, there are times when I've sat and questioned "where do I belong?" I think growing up with the social groups that are a norm for our society today leads to this type of questioning. We grow up and head off to these institutions like middle school/ high school/ church/ the soccer team, and we're immediately told to start making friends and forming groups. For me especially, I always always had a big group of friends surrounding me. More often than that, these were obviously people who had a ton in common with me and were headed in the same direction for the most part. However, as we grow older, I've realized that this is where the change kicks in like a bitter pill to swallow. We all have that deciding moment to figure out what it is we want for ourselves. Where we want to go, who we want to be. We start asking all these questions surrounding our identity. From college to now (and esp. now), I've had the change kick in the most. It saddens me that I am such a nostalgic person because I notice  how much this kind of stuff effects me more than those around me. Sometimes it's so hard to even express how I feel because I don't think others would even get it. But I get so nostalgic for the old times that it definitely hurts. I miss my old group of friends. I miss the people I grew up with and did 10+ years of my life with.

People who would say they consider you "family" or a "sister." It's funny because now at 24, almost 25, I realize how loosely we throw around words like that. And it's so sad because it cheapens the value of words like that so much. One second it's this clique we consider our bffs/ family and then a year later we aren't even talking to that person and moved on to the next clique. It's really allowed my eyes to be opened to the fact that as life changes and we grow up, we begin to find that sometimes we don't even need a group anymore. We need that one, two, or three constants who are always going to be there and have made it clear that they're not going anywhere. Sure, everyone wants to have that TV glamorized clique of friends like how the Kardashian sisters make it seem or the girls on Laguna Beach, but lets be real, this isn't reality TV -- this is reality.

I've finally started to slowly start losing my grip on holding so tightly to the past. Yes, the memories will always remain and always be epic to look back on. And yes, if I could, I would repeat those instances in a second because of how joyful they made me. But am I going to keep missing out on the present because I'm holding onto missing the past? No. Not anymore. I've realized I'm done trying to control things as much as I have in the past. I came across this amazing quote that says,

"If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you.  You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot.  Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth."

 So powerful. And at the end of the day, the hard part of this quote to walk away with is the truth in that not everyone will know our worth. People will always disappoint. That's why we can't put our worth in people alone or even let them have that control. So I'll end with this and bring it full circle. Thanks to good old Socrates for putting the secret to change so perfectly. We need to stop living in the past and holding on so tightly to what's already changed. Yes, people may leave, people may change, situations can totally erupt, explode, or implode. But the key is focusing on building the present and the future. 

I never want to miss out on the beauty that is to come in my life. I am so blessed to have the people in my life who are in it right now and who have made a lasting mark, especially in such a season of change (har har) for me. I may not have that clique anymore like the kids in high school or those girls you grew up with, because lets be real we're all in different chapters at the moment. But having the few who have made it known they're here to stay has been so comforting. And even bigger than that, this has all taught me so much about independence and finding myself apart from people. I don't think that it's any accident at all that I'm in the spot where I am. I know God knows what He's doing and I trust in that. The changes are good and they're going to bear so much fruit in the long run. I just needed to shift my perspective. And I'm finally ready to let go and move forward with a new set of eyes now. <3

#citylife

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Today marks day 20 of me moving to San Francisco. Yes, I am a slacker, I have no excuse for being so late on a life update, but hey better late than never. I still cannot even begin to process the fact that I live here now. It has been one of the best decisions I ever made. Best of all, it's been such a breath of fresh air to get away from the bubble I've grown up in my whole life and venture out to see the rest the world (ironically, looks like sometimes you only need to get an hour away and you'll still feel the change of pace). SF couldn't be more different than what I'm used to. Some nights I remember taking the train home from work and getting to my driveway back home and being in total suburbia ..... and just needing to take a moment to soak it all in because it's those moments where I feel like I have two different lives going on.

It's been so much more convenient moving here and I feel like with every aspect of life I have more of a sync and balance. Who knew knocking of 3 hours of commuting a day would have such an effect. I've been walking to work every day, admiring the gorgeous Civic Center buildings on my walk over and just admiring the city's livelihood, no matter what the hour.

Even with work I feel so much more stimulated now. I still have those long hours but I almost don't even mind it anymore since my commute has shortened so much and I'm lucky enough to work with people I love so it's a fun time regardless.

I feel like the adventures are just beginning. There have been so many wish-list places on my endless SF exploration list, but I've experienced so many of them so far. Some of the best foods, fancy dinners, hole in the walls -- the list goes on. I think my favorite part though has been the proximity to my friends. I'm like smack in the middle of 4-5 really close friends so the best part has been walking to their place for a movie night or just having people to hang out with anytime you want.

I'm going to keep this one short since I'm still soaking in so much from this experience, but to sum it all up, it's been absolutely perfect thus far. I'm so happy about using this time to grow both in my work and personally... and I know this move and change in independence is going to play a huge role in the growth process. The best is yet to come.

city of dreams

20130816-093232.jpg San Francisco has always had a piece of my heart. Not until this year though has the infatuation gone to the next level ;) I've explored the ins & outs, the rooftops & hideouts, and finally the eclectic music scene. Wow. Left in awe. I had the life changing chance to work here all summer and that has seriously been one of the best things that has happened to me. There's just something about this place that's unlike anywhere else. It's like a city with a secret, seductively luring you in to discover each gem for yourself.

#newchapter

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Tomorrow marks the start of a new chapter in my life. I can't explain the ways in which the past year and a half has been... a whirlwind.. to say the least. Every month it seems like there's been something new going on. It's weird, being 23, the past year has been the one where I've felt the most sudden spurt of growing older. Usually every year that goes by, I don't necessarily feel THAT much older. If anything, I'll look back later and feel semi-older. But for some reason with 23 it's literally been a growth process with something new every week it seems like. I've been so stretched and so challenged -- so forced to make certain changes.

It's so funny how things work out though. I'm such a big believer in the fact that we cease to see the full picture that God has set apart for us. We can choose to remain stagnant, get caught up in our comfort zones, or even distractions that seem like fun while we're in the heat of the moment. That was me the past 6 months. It's truly been a trying time for me. I can honestly say though that I feel so blessed that I've had the opportunity to test out so many different things at only age 23. I've tried working corporate, being in a research lab, doing administrative work, event planning, and even in the mental health sector. All of which have been opportunities that I have been extremely passionate about and interested in. For me, beginning my Master's program at the start of 2013 was something that I thought was really what was meant for me in this next phase of life. After half a year into it though, the past quarter I realized that I may have rushed into it. I'm not as dead set on going into counseling as an official career as I was back then. And I think it was the experience of school and the exposure to the industry that really allowed me to see this. I can't stress how important experiences are.. I feel so bad for people who simply rush into something just because they have a mental picture of what they think it's going to be like. Honey, will are in for a rude awakening. And thankfully, I was blessed enough to realize that this might not be meant for me at such a young age and only 2 quarters in. I realized -- school will always be there. Now is the time to live life to the FULLEST and chase after being truly alive. That's when writing came back into play.

I think the thing is that I have always felt fearful about going full force with the writing thing. I can compare it to my friend who is an amazing singer and has all the potential in the world to be the world's next big star (i'm dead serious). But I think it's that initial fear of exposure and intimidation that holds us back. We're so quick to go after things we know we will thrive in. For instance, I knew I could be successful in the corporate world doing sales/admin and I was. But I wasn't happy. Why? It's not something I'm passionate about at ALL! There's no driving passion behind what I was doing. And for me, I am one of those people who has to be doing something I'm passionate about. After all, don't our careers compose over 70% of our day to day lives? You want to be doing something you love. So that's when I decided to go on a limb and just start applying. After trying so many different routes, opportunities, and crossing out 3084 plans on my to-do list, I realized: It. Always. Comes. Back. To. Writing.

And that's where we come full circle to the amazing opportunity I am starting tomorrow. You may have read my past few posts about feeling so restless and lethargic here. My heart and soul have been yearning for adventure and new explorations. I was itching for it. And lo and behold the right door opened up. I will officially be an editorial content writer for an amazing start-up in SF for the next 10 weeks. Finally, a solid step in the right direction to set my feet on a firm foundation for the career I want to seek after. I can't explain how humbled I am to be given this opportunity -- among over 200 candidates! It's been such a confidence booster and a push in my drive and ambition to use the next 10 weeks to grow in my niche and develop the skills I need to thrive in the writing world. We shall see. I'll never know until I try and now is that time. Meanwhile, my main inner circle is all getting domesticated; having kids & getting married (and yes, literally it's all of them)... so I do feel the yearning even more to remember to DO ME. It's so incredibly hard not to get caught up in the status quo and think you're the minority since you're not going with the crowd. But this constant reminder to myself is what has kept me going and helped to maintain my perspective. It's ongoing. This is my life. Yes, it looks a lot different from yours. I'm not the girl that went all her life "knowing" her destiny was to be a lawyer or engineer. I'm a trailblazer. I'm curious. I'm analytical. I like options, testing the waters, and being sure of myself. This opportunity could not have come at a more perfect time for me. It's almost like I'm literally going to be shutting out the rest of the distractions and people who have been negative energy in my life and just going full force with my eye on the prize towards what I want.

I'll be posting more often now that I begin this adventure. The best part of all of it is I literally got my dream come true with it being in San Francisco. It's so funny because for most people location isn't a main driving force and they could care less -- for me, my heart lies in San Fran. I have such a deep love for it and it truly makes me come alive anytime I'm there. The rich culture. The diversity. The LIFE in the streets you walk in; makes such a difference. My goal from March was to find the right job there and to move out there to begin this next chapter. And funny enough, it only took a few months for God to open that perfect door for me. Little by little, the search will officially begin to get settled out there but for now  I'm just ready to embark on this adventure and truly get serious about starting my career. I'm no longer in college and no longer in a place of just chilling around and being lazy all day. Sadly, those days are over ;)

But I know the rewards and growth to come are going to be so worth it. Finally, I've realized what matters most is going after our heart's desire and not letting others control us (whether that's our happiness, joy, or what we do). Don't be so quick to give anyone that honor. Protect yourself and guard yourself. By doing that since the start of 2013, I can't even explain the amount of inner growth I've had and the realizations that are so much more clear to me. It's as if I had blinders on before and now I'm seeing crystal clear. To sum this all up I'll leave you with this: for my college entrance essay way back when in 2008, one of my prompts was to write about some song lyrics that speak to me and have significant meaning in my life. I chose, "Let Go" by Frou Frou. A song that I can honestly say has guided me throughout my teen-young adult life. And even now, coming to this juncture in my life, I can say with confidence that I now know exactly what it means when they sing "there's beauty in the breakdown." Amidst a literal breakdown and whirlwind of a life, I've found the beauty and sunlight beaming in through the thicket. And it's the most peaceful illustration I can leave you with.

xox.

Removing "Fine" From your Vocabulary

"Your problem isn't your ideas -- your problem is that you don't act on them" It's so funny that my post this morning was regarding an itch for exploration and adventure. I just got done listening to a TED Talk that honestly shifted my entire perspective about so much and also challenged me hardcore. Mel Robbins, in 20 minutes, put it so simply. Am I okay with being just "fine" when people ask me how I'm doing? How can I get outside being just "fine" and make my ideas come to life? It is SIMPLE, but it is not EASY. It takes force. It takes getting outside of my comfort zone. It takes acting upon my impulses and taking chances.

"When we feel stuck or dissatisfied it's because we are depriving ourselves of our humanly desire and need for exploration" -- this line spoke to me so much. It's so true. I highly encourage watching this short motivational talk to check you and challenge you to step outside of what you're comfortable with and what you're used to, to get exactly what you want. It is quite simple, you just have to make the active decision to physically and mentally chase after what you want.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp7E973zozc&w=560&h=315]

 

#wannagetaway

Ever have those seasons in your life where all you want to do is just fly away? There doesn't have to necessarily be anything wrong in your life or anything too stressful, but simply a yearning to adventure. A desire to take a step outside your comfort zone and see things from a new perspective. That's how I've been feeling lately. Amidst a time where a lot of changes are going on around me and within me, Dream place on the list right now? NYC baby. I'm such a city girl at heart and I head to San Francisco every chance I get for a taste of its rich culture and escapism feel. I don't know what it is about big cities but it seriously makes me come alive inside, and I mean that both in the mental sense and even physical sense. I get an excitement in my bones and even the crisp air and hustle and bustle of each person rushing off to do their own thing excites me. The best part of all of it is that I love thinking that each one of these peoples' lives must somehow happen to collide in one way or another. Maybe I've seen Crash one too many times but I love the sense of thinking that even if we think we're in the largest city filled with a bunch of strangers, that we all still manage to collide at one point or another. After all, why else would we constantly be hearing the saying, "Wow, what a small world!"

Anyways, that's my little word vomit of the day as we trek into the weekend. Who knows when these little trips of mine will come to play, but I hope one day soon!

 

TGIF kiddos.