2 Years

Relationship advice, anniversary, two year anniversary, what i've learned about love

Champagne + Pomegranate seeds!

This weekend Andrew and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary. I’ve always looked at 2 years as a big relationship milestone. My mom used to tell me that it takes 2 years to fully know someone. Over time you have a chance to see how someone fares through different stages and experiences in life. This has definitely been true for us as we’ve faced some major life changes, especially within the past year. In honor of our anniversary, I thought Andrew and I would each share the 2 biggest lessons we’ve learned in  the past 2 years:

Alex:

  1. The more complete you are individually, the better partner you’ll be in a relationship. I cannot stress enough that a relationship is not the answer to filling a void in your life, finding yourself, feeling whole, or finally living the life you’ve wanted. A boyfriend/girlfriend is not the key to happiness. This is something you must find within yourself and continue to work at as an individual. You are ready to be a good partner when you have a sense of self and are comfortable with who you are. A partner should complement you, not complete you. Andrew and I met when we were both at a good, strong place in our lives. This allowed us to come in to the relationship baggage-free and build something really special together. It also takes a lot of pressure off of the other person from feeling like they must be the key to your happiness.
  2. Avoid drama. Outside of your family, your mate is the one person who will be by your side throughout everything in life. There is nothing more amazing than someone who is committing to do life with you throughout every circumstance. This is the last person you want to fight with, so minimize the drama at all costs. It’s not worth it!

Andrew:

  1. Always put the other person before yourself. As human beings, we’re always in our own heads. Our interpretation of what other people want and need might be incorrect. It’s important to always listen and put what that other person wants first because that’s what’s going to bring your own happiness.
  2. Express Gratitude. It’s easy to take things for granted,  but it’s important to express sincere gratitude and count your blessings when you’ve found someone who is your true mate. Every relationship requires work. Being grateful for who the other person is and what they do for you is critical to finding the path forward when times get tough.
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Andrew and I at Heart Ball

My Podcast Addiction Pt. II

It’s been a while since my last podcast post so I thought I’d share a few that I’ve been listening to lately. The content that I’m interested in changes with the different seasons of life.  Right now, I’ve been listening to podcasts that are either business-oriented, branding-focused shows or those that tell a unique story. It’s very similar to the way I read books. I’m always reading at least 3 types of books: non-fiction, light/fun fiction, and business depending on my mood. This diversity is helpful when you’re working through a challenging project, trying to develop a more balanced perspective, or just simply need a mental vacation!

  1. The #AskGaryVee Show – If you’re not familiar with Gary Vaynerchuck, he is an expert and successful entrepreneur in the world Social Media Marketing. He is the CEO of Vayner Media and speaks at a variety of events around the world. Gary packs a lot of ego, but makes some excellent points. His is quick and to the point. Listening to his show is one of my favorite ways to kick off the Monday morning commute.
  2. The Art of Charm – While I’ve only listened to a few of their episodes, I’ve loved the variety of speakers they bring on board. What makes their show unique is the raw nature of the conversation and unfiltered advice.
  3. Bodega Boys – Speaking of unfiltered, I feel like I should add a word of caution about the Bodega Boys. It’s best to listen to this one when you’re not around any sensitive ears. That being said, Desus Nice and The Kid Mero are absolutely hilarious! They aren’t talking about much of anything, but just laughing about current events with a true bodega, cornerstone vibe. Their perspective and humor is raw, but reminds me so much of the way my brother and I crack jokes with each other.
  4. This American Life – If you’re new to the podcast world, you definitely want to start here. This American Life captures the true essence of powerful storytelling. Each show has a different theme, usually unexpected. Listening to the show is like getting lost in a great fiction book with a surprise ending.

P.s. I’d be remiss if I didn’t share that my fiancee was just featured on 2 incredible episodes the Blogs of War podcast, a natural security show. Check them out here and here

Cheers to a great week!

St. Helena Engagement Getaway

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Andrew and I wine tasting at Duckhorn

Andrew and I got engaged at the peak of Christmas craziness. Excitement was high, celebrations ensued, and our family and friends were around to make the moment even sweeter. Once the Holiday season came to an end, we were prime for a quiet getaway with just the 2 of us.

Right before New Year’s Eve, we made a trip up to Napa Valley. This trip to Napa is one of our favorites partly because it is so serene, but also because there is always so much to see and do. For this particular visit, we focused our stay on St. Helena. Here are a few highlights of our 24 hours in St. Helena:

Hotel:

Harvest Inn – We booked a romantic, loft suite in the main building. I loved our room because it was huge with vaulted ceilings, but had a brick fireplace that gave it a cozy bed-and-breakfast feel. There’s also a bar downstairs with creative cocktails that got pretty packed as the night went on. The next morning we had the most amazing, FREE breakfast outside on the covered, heated patios. So far, this has been our favorite hotel to stay at in Napa Valley.

Wine Tastings:

Duckhorn – This was our favorite winery we visited on this trip. The tasting room itself looks like an old Victorian home with a beautiful wraparound porch. It was sprinkling when we went, but if there on a nice day, I would recommend doing your tasting on the porch. Everything about the experience was top notch from the service to the wine and cheese pairing. While I’m normally a Chardonnay gal, Andrew and I both loved their Cabernet Sauvignon.

Rombauer – If I had to drink one wine for the rest of my life, it would be Rombauer Chardonnay. When we decided to go to St. Helena, I immediately made a reservation at Rombauer. To say I was excited would be an understatement. Unfortunately, their wine tasting experience did not live up to their actual wine. While their tasting room is in a beautiful setting, the inside was a bit outdated and service wasn’t great. However, we got to have a glass (or 2) of my favorite wine and met some fun people while at it, so it wasn’t an overall bust.

Restaurants:

Goose & Gander – This was a cute little restaurant right off of Main street we stopped at for lunch. This place came highly recommended by the locals. The atmosphere was pretty cozy and downstairs was an underground-style bar. The drinks were great and food was okay (although Andrew said he burger was fantastic). I would recommend going for dinner and eating in the upstairs dining room. Side note: If you’re driving, give yourself a few extra minutes for parking.

Archetype – I absolutely loved this restaurant! Everything from the vibe, to the service, to the food was top notch. They had one of those menus that you could easily see yourself ordering multiple entrees from. The main dining room was classy and modern with a white wash interior. We sat outside in a covered patio area with little heaters going and comfy pillows (which is heaven for me). Next time we find ourselves in St. Helena, I will definitely be back!

All in all, it was an incredible little engagement getaway. If you are recently engaged, or just getting  overwhelmed with the wedding process, a quiet trip with your fiancee is a great way to remember why you’re getting married in the first place.

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Vest (more here and here)// Turtleneck//Pants// Shoes (old – similar here and here)

Planning the Big Day

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I thought that from the moment I got engaged I would be instantly drawn towards wedding planning. With a background in putting on large galas and luncheons, I just knew planning an epic wedding would be second nature… I was so wrong. There are a just few differentiating factors like using our personal budget and creating an experience that is deeply personal, but memorable for family and friends alike.

Luckily my mom was in town when I got engaged and could celebrate this special moment with us while helping me to start thinking about where to begin. As we would curl up on the couch in our Christmas pj’s watching ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ and reading bridal magazines, I conjured up a multitude of questions, concerns, and ideas about what this special day would look like. While the actual day is still a while off, I was eager to share all of this with Andrew right away. Having just pulled off the proposal, he was just as excited about the wedding as I, but wasn’t quite ready to dive in to all the details.

Herein lies one of the best pieces of wedding advice I’ve received so far (thanks Mom :)): Do your research, figure out what you like, and then dedicate time with your fiancee to discuss the wedding plans…preferably over drinks. Enjoy being a couple and do not fill up your quality time together with wedding planning. Of course, this changes as you get nearer to your actual wedding date. For now, keep it chill.

Being a notebook lover, another thing that’s been helpful is a good wedding planning notebook. I picked up this one by Lucy Sui because it looks to be the most comprehensive, and honestly, the color coding made my heart smile.

As we embark upon this wedding planning journey, I will share some of the process along the way. As with most things in life, there’s a lot to learn, so I’d love to hear any thoughts or suggestions on planning for the big day!

Rainy Day in the Bay

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Coat (similar here and here)// Vest // Sweater(similar)// Pants// Boots// Bag (sold out – similar here)// Cary Lane Ring// Lip color

Hello 2016!

It’s been a few weeks, but I’ve taken some time to rest up and recharge for the New Year. Sometimes you need to give yourself a little break from the Holiday break to fully relax and indulge in the things that make you happy.

This time away has given me the opportunity to put some thought into the content and direction of this blog. Here are some of the things to be on the lookout for in 2016:

  • Career – Moving to Silicon Valley has challenged me in a variety of ways. You have to seriously be on your game here because there are lots of brilliant people (10 years younger than you even) doing HUGE things in the same amount of time you have. I will share some of things that have helped me grow in my career and what I’m learning along the way.
  • Home – We are making strides to make our little over-priced San Francisco apartment into a home! The design process comes with the added fun of working with my fiancee to find things that match both of our taste and at a good price. We will share how this develops over time.
  • San Francisco (and beyond) – Lots of travel is on the books this year. Also, there’s still so much to see and do here in the Bay. I’m excited to share this on the blog for those thinking of visiting the City by the Bay.
  • Wedding Planning – I’m getting married! It has still yet to sink in. We have a long engagement planned with lots to prep for the Big Day. I plan to share the process in hopes that it can help others planning for their wedding day, and get some advice in return!
  • Beauty – Thanks to being raised by a mother who is a makeup artist and model, I’ve picked up lots of tools of the trade along the way. I look forward to sharing some of these tips here  as well as some of my favorite products.

In the meantime, we are experiencing a downpour here thanks to El Nino. This is an interesting change of events after 5 years of a drought. This Saturday the rain stopped just long enough to take a walk out to the beach and the Palace of the Fine Arts. It’s a pretty incredible sight after near constant rain!

Afterwards, we grabbed a drink at our favorite bar, The Interval, and dinner at A16 in the Marina. If you’re looking for a cozy, upscale, Italian pizza spot after a day sightseeing by the Golden Gate Bridge, A16 is a must.

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Trench coat, red hunter boots, hunter boots, hunter boots and plaid, san francisco, golden gate bridge, san francisco outfit, kate spade bag, boots and leggings, what to wear in san francisco, rainy day outfit, alex haygood, vast aspiration, vast aspiration 2016, fashion inspiration, lookbook, top bloggers, fashion blogger, style blogger

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Trench coat, red hunter boots, hunter boots, hunter boots and plaid, san francisco, golden gate bridge, san francisco outfit, kate spade bag, boots and leggings, what to wear in san francisco, rainy day outfit, alex haygood, vast aspiration, vast aspiration 2016, fashion inspiration, lookbook, top bloggers, fashion blogger, style blogger