Weekend Highlights: New York Style

On Friday afternoon, we packed up our bags, kissed the pups goodbye and headed north to spend the weekend in New York City with my sister and her husband. You may have seen a sneak peak of the beautiful views that we were able to enjoy all weekend if you follow me on Instagram {stephaniechalk08}. My heart is full and I am still smiling after this weekend.  

By the time that we arrived at their door, I couldn't wait to squeeze my sister and give her the biggest hug! My sister has always been my rock and moments like this weekend make me realize how much I miss having her in the same state and only a couple of hours away. 

Throughout the summer, I have received numerous photos of their "favorite summer spot" so I was excited to kick-off the weekend from The Roof Garden Cafe and Martini Bar at The Met. The panoramic view of the city as the sun is setting is absolutely gorgeous. To find a spot along the wall to take a picture is nearly impossible but I had no fear that my sister was going to make it happen. And I am so glad she did because these are a few of my {new} favorite photos! 
It only seemed appropriate that we took a short tour through The Metropolitan Museum of Art to see some of our favorite artists - the Vincent Van Gogh exhibit was definitely my favorite so I had to snap a couple pictures.
Following a few glasses of rose, breathtaking sunsets and a history lesson we opted for a casual dinner at Pizza Beach. We spent the rest of the evening enjoying the beautiful weather, catching up on life and indulged in way too many delicious pizzas. If you love pizza as much as we do than this is your kind of place. I enjoy a pizza with a twist so my recommendation would the Lamb Merguez and Oaxaca Cheese with Shishito Peppers and fresh Cilantro & the Mushroom and Stracciatella with Roasted Leeks and Mascarpone. 

After such a fun Friday night, Saturday morning came {very} quickly but my sister whipped up one of the best breakfast spreads that I have had recently! My sister and her husband hit the jackpot when they found their apartment which has now become their beautiful first home as Mr. and Mrs. "Tro". One of their favorite amenities is the gorgeous rooftop that has the most spectacular views of the city skyline which is where we enjoyed breakfast. If only I had taken a picture so you could see what I'm talking about...blogger fail.  

Then we were off to Yankee Stadium to cheer on the Cleveland Indians as they played a four game series against the Yankees. TC's childhood friend plays for the Indians so it was a really special opportunity to be able to watch #8 play while we were in town. 
The former Yankees catcher, Jorge Posada, had his uniform retired during a special ceremony prior to the game. Many of his fellow teammates were in attendance for the ceremony to help celebrate and congratulate Jorge on his retirement - Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Andy Pettitte are just a few that I recognized that were there.  
This weekend was full of epic sunsets and we took full advantage of them for our photos! A couples photo op was much needed as we waited in line to have cocktails at the Grand Banks NYC. If you plan on visiting NYC, you will have to head to Pier 25 in Tribeca to enjoy a cocktail on the deck of the F/V Zwicker - the last original salt-bank fishing vessel in existence. 
Happy Hour was followed by dinner at Nobu New York, the original restaurant of Chef Nobu Matsuhisa that specializes in Japanese cuisine. Everything that we ate melted in your mouth. I have to admit that I am still dreaming about the Bento Box dessert - Warm Chocolate Fondant Cake, Shiso Syrup, White Chocolate Sauce and Green Tea Ice Cream. Doesn't it sound amazing?!

The weekend was over and Monday was quickly approaching but the memories that we made this weekend will be cherished forever. Thank you to my sister and her husband for the amazing hospitality and another wonderful weekend on the Upper East Side! :) Until next time...

Reader Request: Wedding {Vendor} Splurges

A sweet reader that is recently engaged reached out to me a few days ago to ask what vendors I was happy to have splurged on for our wedding. I was thrilled to help and wanted to share with anyone else that may be planning their wedding.
Wishing we could relive the night of our engagement! :)
We all know that a wedding is expensive, but I truly believe it is worth every penny, every meeting, and every decision to bring your dream wedding day to life! When I was newly engaged, I created a {very} detailed spreadsheet that would help me document each detail, expense and ultimately keep me within our budget. Thankfully, it worked! So first and foremost, I highly recommend creating a spreadsheet or having some form of organization that works for you so you can understand where every dollar is being spent. Everything adds up quickly {I mean, very quickly} so it's easy to lose track of the amount of money that you're actually spending. I'm happy to share the spreadsheet that I used with anyone, feel free to email me.

Looking back on that amazing day, every vendor was extraordinary and I couldn't imagine our wedding day without each of them and their level of expertise.  But I'm so, so, so happy that I splurged on our Photographer and Wedding Coordinator! 

We met with dozens of photographers, either face-to-face or over the phone, and I knew that I wanted to find the perfect photographer for us. To find that "perfect" photographer may seem impossible but it really isn't, I promise! 

I wanted someone that I instantly connected with, someone that I felt comfortable around and someone that shared my same style and vision when it came to photography.  The style of photography that I wanted would be described as classic, southern elegance and timeless. When I looked through the samples provided by our photographer, I realized her style and vision aligned perfectly with what I had imagined. 

I can't stress enough how important it is to know what you like and dislike when you look at wedding photos. Some photographers are more "trendy" versus "traditional" or may edit in a way that you like or don't like so take the time to determine your style of photography before you make a decision. 

Our photographer was absolutely amazing. She has now become one of our dearest friends and will be our forever, family photographer. She gets us. She makes us feel comfortable which allows her to capture the most beautiful and special moments. But most importantly, she goes above and beyond to make sure we are happy with our photos and the quality of them. 

Splurge on your photographer! Your pictures will allow you to relive your special day over and over again. Plus your photos are the only thing that you have to look back on and share with your children, grandchildren or great grandchildren! 
A few of the many moments that Renee was able to capture that still bring me to tears when I look at them...
TWO. Weekend Wedding Planner {Kailey at A Southern SoirĂ©e}
I knew from the very beginning that I wanted a weekend Wedding Planner that would be there to help with the final details, handle all the weekend logistics, make sure our family, wedding party and guests had all the information they needed to have a stress-less weekend and to help organize and check on the vendors throughout the weekend.

Many people advised me to spend money on something else but my gut and heart kept telling me differently. I can confidently say that this was the best decision. Our Wedding Planner and her Assistant made the weekend run smoothly, allowed me to enjoy and take in every moment of our wedding weekend and handled any big {or small} hiccups that came up. They are focused on making sure you and your soon-to-be husband have the best day of your life, seriously! Kailey coordinated every, single detail down to making sure we had food, bottles of water and glasses of champagne waiting for us in our hotel room on our wedding night! 
Even if you have a Wedding Planner at your church or reception venue, I still highly recommend a Wedding Planner that meets your needs. Kailey was there during the entire weekend because I knew that our church and reception venue coordinators had a lot of other responsibilities and events taking place in addition to our wedding. I knew that this was a weekend that we couldn't "do-over" so I wanted to invest in vendors that were there to make sure every detail was special and unique.

If you're like me than you can relate when I say that I've been dreaming about my wedding day since I was a little girl. So it's absolutely okay to have someone there to take care of you and remove all possibility of stress. Our wedding planner is another person that I was so thankful to have by our side every step of the way! 

If you have planned a wedding, what vendor(s) were you happy that you splurged on?!

Chalk House Updates: Master Bedroom

We have taken a little hiatus from our home updates to enjoy the summer months but I am finding myself eager to begin our next project. When I think about which room I want to tackle first, I have gone back and forth between our Master Bedroom or Kitchen for the longest time. After talking to TC a few nights ago, I realized that I wanted to focus on our Master Bedroom. Our kitchen is going to take a lot of work {not to mention patience} so I think we are going to ease ourselves back into our #chalkhouseupdates.  

Prior to getting married, I've always focused on making sure my bedroom was exactly what I wanted and had a cozy feel to it. When TC and I moved into our first home about a year ago, we decided to upgrade the rest of our home to make sure it was welcoming to us and our guests. This summer, I have realized that I want our Master Bedroom to become a place that we can decompress and all the stress of the day goes away once we walk through the door. 

Our bedroom suite is Broyhill Seabrooke in white, which I absolutely love but I am looking to incorporate a few soft colors to our room. I am excited to share my inspiration and I can't wait to see the transformation take place over the next few weeks! :) 

Dresser: Seabrooke Drawer Dresser {Broyhill Furniture}
Rug: Elodie Rug {Lulu & Georgia}
Lamp: Mora Brass Sphere Floor Lamp {Lulu & Georgia} 
Pillow: Annette Spring Euro Sham {Furbish}
Tray: Grey Bone Inlay Tray {Furbish}
Side Table: Gold Grace Side Table {One Kings Lane} 

Weekend Highlights

This weekend was one of those that was good for the soul. It truly is amazing what a little salt air, lots of sunshine and evenings full of laughs with a group of people that I am so {so, so} thankful to be able to call family now can do to make you feel like you hit the reset button. The past few weeks have been consumed with fear, tears and praying endlessly that my sweet and selfless Dad would be okay. I am not going to share all the details but what I can say is that I can't thank everyone enough for their love and support, our prayers have been answered and Dad will be back on his boat and cooking up a storm in no time.
My sister was in town visiting my Dad for a few days and I was excited to learn that her flight on Thursday was delayed and she would miss her connecting flight {selfish, I know}. But we were able to spend the evening catching up, getting a pedicure and sipping on a delicious rose. All the things that sisters love to do, right?! :)  
On Friday afternoon, we headed to Morehead City to spend the weekend with TC's family. After a day on the boat, happy hour was next on our agenda. It included all my favorites - Pimento Cheese and Texas Caviar for appetizers, a vodka and cranberry in the prettiest glass and the cutest cocktail napkins.  
On our way home, I couldn't resist snapping a quick picture of my favorite Rocksbox necklace that I received in last week's box. Loren Hope's Palmer Necklace in Crystal is my absolute favorite. I love a versatile piece that I can mix and match with any outfit!
I hope everyone's week is off to a wonderful start!