Back to December

November ended up being quite the exciting month! I’m delighted to share some wonderful news- my younger brother Tyler proposed to his girlfriend Mariah out on a beautiful farm in Brooksville under the stars! My brother’s best friend, Rob, and I headed out to the farm earlier in the day to get everything set up for the big night. We lit the mason jar candles, got the bonfire crackling, strung pictures of Tyler and Mariah amongst hay bales, and set out the sparkling diamond ring.

Since my brother does concert and event lighting, he told Mariah he had to go scope out a venue for a “wedding” that week. She went with him to check out the Hitching Post Barn and much to her surprise, he got down on one knee and popped the question! I was lucky enough to see the whole thing and the look on her face was priceless. It was such a beautiful moment and I feel so blessed so have been a part of the day with them.

I found out one of my best friends from NYC, who now works in North Carolina, was going to be in St. Augustine for the weekend. Since I hadn’t seen Caryn since she left NYC, I thought this was the perfect opportunity for a last minute roadtrip. I drove to Gainesville to pick up Chelsea so we could spend the day in St. Augustine. I forgot how charming the town was. We stopped by several bakeries for fudge and rainbow colored macarons, popped into quirky little gift shops, and ended the night at the UNC soccer game to support Caryn and her team.

I decided to spend the rest of the weekend in Gainesville with Chelsea. She was able to escape her dental school studying so we could venture around town. We had Sunday brunch at a cute little place called Sisters. The area was full of quaint restaurants and white picket fences. We spent the rest of the day shopping, laying by her pool, watching movies, and enjoying the crisp autumn air.

I was quite thrilled to be home for my first Thanksgiving in 3 years. As much as I loved spending time in New Jersey with friends for the holiday, there’s nothing like waking up at home to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with family. I helped my mom in the kitchen before we spent the afternoon with family friends. I started the Black Friday shopping at 7pm on Thanksgiving evening. After a long night of battling lines and pushing through crowds, I ended up with two DVDs and some shampoo. Not one of my more successful shopping years.

On the day after Thanksgiving, a friend of mine told me I was on Perez Hilton. When I first moved to NYC in 2010, I met the cast of Gossip Girl and sent in the picture to Perez Hilton in hopes of it being posted in the fan section. Who knew two years later that photo would make it to the website! I can now say I was featured on a celebrity tabloid site.

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Goodbye Summer, Hate To See You Go

I decided to soak up some Florida sunshine this past weekend and spend Sunday afternoon at the Don CeSar Hotel on St. Pete Beach. Some friends from college were staying at the hotel for the weekend so I joined them and we spent our afternoon laying on beach chairs, sipping frozen drinks, going for a dip in the pool at their villa, and watching a summer thunderstorm roll in. I forgot how gorgeous St. Pete Beach is. I felt like I was a million miles away on a tropical vacation. What a nice little weekend escape!

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week has always been one of my favorite times of the year. I love seeing what the designers put on the runway for each season. Fashion’s Night Out is the official kick-off to the most fashionable week of the year. Every September, over 500 cities nationwide participate in this event. I met up with some girlfriends at International Plaza in Tampa for a night of dressing up, posing on the red carpet, and of course, shopping.

I took a weekend trip up to Gainesville to visit one of my best friends, Jamie. We had planned this trip over a month ago but in the meantime, her boyfriend Paul popped the question and she is now engaged! It was a wonderful weekend being able to celebrate with the happy couple.

We spent an afternoon at the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens which was full of colorful flowers, bamboo gardens, hundreds of fresh herbs, and a lakefront view. We continued our relaxing weekend with Gator football, dinner at my favorite tapas spot Emiliano’s, a stop at the mall for some fall shopping, lattes at Starbucks, and a whole lot of home cooked food.

I’m looking forward to heading to my mom’s hometown in Ohio for the weekend. I’ll be spending the first day of autumn with temperatures in the 40’s and if I’m lucky, some leaves changing colors. It really is the little things that make me the happiest.