Last Minute Valentine’s Day Gifts For Him

Conner and I are going to out for an early Valentine’s Day dinner tomorrow night because we’re both away for work on the 14th. He booked us dinner at One If By Land, Two If By Sea, an iconic spot in the West Village that’s inside a historic carriage house built in 1767. Apparently it’s known as one of the most romantic restaurants in New York City with its candlelit tables, fireplaces, grand piano and a private garden…so I’ll report back on that! I’m so excited ☺️

I know it’s cutting it close, but I wanted to post this to give anyone who’s in need of last minute gift ideas for him. Most of these are available on prime or available with 2 day shipping! I’ve never met a pickier shopper in my life, so I asked Conner to do the honors of helping me put this list together. So, you can relax knowing that even the some of the pickiest will love these ideas.

Whether you’re celebrating Feb. 14th with your love, your girlfriends, or your family, I hope it’s a day you thank God for all the people who make your world a better place 🙂 Never miss a chance to remind the people you love how much you love them ❤️Sharing a few more shots from this engagement shoot we did with @aesthetiica in our favorite winter coats by Rudsak! This is the link to my parka, the MODA & here is the link to Conner’s coat, the DAM. (And if you missed it, read my last post: What To Wear For Engagement Photos).

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What To Wear For Engagement Photos

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One of my most frequently asked questions is what to wear for engagement photos. But…since I’d never thought twice about that before I was actually engaged, I never really knew what to tell people 🤷🏼

Then I got engaged, and I’ll admit…picking these outfits out felt a little daunting. HOW to decide what to wear for THEE engagement pics? I shoot outfits all the time, but even I felt a little overwhelmed. Alicia and I spent some time the night before laying everything out and planning out the shoot day, then the next morning we headed out like we usually do ~ suitcase in hand with a few outfit changes! It was so special to shoot these with her and made me and Con even more excited for the big day 🙂

Once I started picking locations for the shoots, the outfits started to fall into place. I had a pretty simple strategy when it finally came down to what to wear. I’m sharing a preview from each shoot we did (more to come!) to give you some ideas. (We obviously shot during the colder months, so will vary if shooting in spring/summer).

The Casual Coffee Shop Outfit

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I chose a neutral color scheme for this casual look we shot at the restaurant where we had our first date. Cream and tan are two of my favorite colors to wear together, so I loved this outfit. I wore an off the shoulder fitted cream sweater with tan colored high-waisted trouser pants with pearl stud earrings.

The Location: This is Terra Wine Bar in Tribeca. It’s an intimate Italian dinner spot where we had our first date AND where we had dinner the night Conner proposed, so this place will always be so special to us. Every time I walked by it I always thought shooting through the window would be so cute here, so I’m glad we tried it! It’s tricky to nail this, but of course Alicia killed it.

My Outfit: This is the exact top and linking similar pants but this would also look cute with jeans and booties.

What Conner wore: Conner wore a cream colored long sleeve shirt with a tan suede bomber jacket, dark Allsaints jeans, and beige colored suede Chelsea boots.

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Black and White ‘In The Park’ Outfit

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I loved the simplicity of the all black and white theme, it made styling our outfits easy. When it’s cold outside, it’s hard to find something to wear that’s weather appropriate other than jeans and a sweater. I wanted something form fitting and feminine that covered me head to toe, so I paired a tight black turtleneck top with a black and white tweed skirt, sheer panty hose, and OTK boots.

The Location: Tribeca Park will always be a meaningful place for us. When we first started dating (long distance), Conner was living in his first apartment in New York City in Tribeca. This is the neighborhood where we spent the first two years of our relationship, so we know it by heart. (More on our story here if you haven’t read it).

My Outfit: This is the exact skirt, but almost sold out so I’m linking other options! This is my exact turtleneck top. Other turtleneck top, boots, and coat linked here too:

What Conner wore: We made outfits changes simple for him and had him throw on a black and white plaid peacoat on over the same jeans he had on but just changed from tan Chelsea boots to black Chelsea boots. More shoe ideas for him here.

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A Pop of Color

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I always think a bold pop of color brings personality to a photo and captures the eye. I knew shooting on the Brooklyn Bridge would be a little chaotic, so I thought wearing something bold and bright would distract from all the people in the background! Plus, I knew the red would add some color to the photos with the muted brown bridge. We shot these during Christmas time, so I wanted something festive to remember that time of year. We got here right before sunset and I LOVE how the sky turned blue with the city lights in the background.

The Location: I knew I wanted to shoot something on the Brooklyn Bridge ~ it’s what we look at every day right outside our apartment window and it’s just a few blocks away, so it’s a special spot for us. It definitely takes a lot of patience and people dodging to shoot here, but it’s worth it!

My outfit:

Conner’s Outfit: Again girls, keep it simple for the guys. The peacoats were perfect together.

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The “Every Day Life” Street Style Outfit

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A week before we shot these, Conner and I had an awesome experience finding our winter coats at Rudsak in NYC. We love these coats SO much and basically live in them here in the city. I love this look because it’s true to what we wear all the time in our every day lives.

The Location: Alicia had shot in this location before and knew it would be perfect for the coats. I wanted a “street style” vibe and loved how the stripes on the pavement added contrast to these pics. This was 1 block from where his old apartment was in Tribeca and next to the subway station he took every day to work (Corner of Franklin and W Broadway).

My Outfit: I’m wearing the MODA in an XS (love it SO much). Boots are Stuart Weitzman and dotted tights linked here.

Conner’s Outfit: Coat swap! His exact coat is sold out, but this was the runner up option when we were picking them out!

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The Formal Outfit

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You guys know I love any excuse to get dressed up, so this felt like an appropriate moment for a tux and a gown 🙂

The Location: The iconic Beekman Hotel (est. 1761) has been a staple for us ever since we moved into our apartment. It’s about 2 blocks from our building and one of our favorite places to grab a late night drink, have coffee, or a nice dinner. It’s also the hotel my parents stay in every time they come to visit. If you’ve never been, have drinks in the Bar Room underneath the gorgeous 9 story atrium next time you’re in town.

My outfit:

Conner’s Outfit: A custom Balani Tux ~ more photos and details from this shoot here.

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TIPS:

  • If you’re laughing and making fun of each other throughout the shoot, the pics will look great. Don’t take it too seriously!
  • Look for images you love beforehand on Pinterest and show them to your fiancé and your photographer.
  • Wine helps. Pop some champagne before the shoot or treat your guy to his favorite cocktail mid shoot (I think Con had bourbon on the rocks at the Beekman hotel before 10 AM, LOL). It’s normal to feel a little camera shy before the shoot, which is why it’s important to choose a photographer you feel comfortable with!
  • Stay away from anything too bulky like thick sweaters ~ you know what they say about the camera adding 10 lbs 😅. (I know we wore parkas, but they were actually pretty tailored and it was like 10 degrees). Fitted turtlenecks/tops are key. I’m always so comfortable in these and they pair well with pretty much anything! Artizia has the best ones.
  • Pick locations that have meaning! It will help you narrow down spots and gives a special backstory to each photo that you’ll remember forever.
  • Don’t be afraid to switch your hair up! It makes each shot look different.
  • Get cozy and snuggle up. Your photographer will guide you and tell you things to help you pose/laugh. Have fun with it, relax, and cherish ever single moment!

Remember, these photos are for you two to look back on when you’ve been married for years. It’s not about how they’ll look on social media or how “perfect” they are. Some of my favorite photos from the shoot are the goofy ones that may never make it to the social world. I have one more shoot to share with you guys (it’s my favorite!), but we’re using them for the Save The Dates! So I’ll be posting those all together soon once we send them out. If you read this post let me know tonight on IG which one was your favorite ♥️ Thanks for reading!

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Miami Weekend Trip with Conner

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I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss having a car. Being within walking distance of so many things and a quick $2.75 subway ride is great. BUT, when I was living in Chicago I basically lived out of my car. I drove everywhere – to shoots, to meetings downtown, to the grocery store, to drive throughs (miss those 😢), three blocks down the road to UPS (lazy). I miss it! 

When Hyundai reached out about this trip to Miami to experience the newest member of the fam, The 2020 Hyundai Venue, I was so excited! Although I’ve become quite the experienced subway rider, I’m ready to start looking at options for post-NYC life. 

I loved driving the Venue around in the beautiful Miami sunshine ☀️ It’s the perfect size car for zipping around busy cities ~ plus, I love the sleek design and all of its modern tech! It’s a small SUV (perfect size for me) that caters to a busy city lifestyle. I love how they’re calling it “small in size; big on Personality” 🙋🏼‍♀️ feels on brand. I chose this bright white color to drive around in all weekend.

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My outfit:

A few of my favorite features of the Hyundai Venue:

  • It’s so cute and sporty looking.
  • It’s easy to zip around in and easy to park! 
  • It has so many high-tech features like: Blind spot collision warning, Apple CarPlay, an 8 inch touch screen display with a rearview camera, and steering wheel audio controls.
  • MyHyundai App allows you to remote start, remote lock/unlock, and even has a car-finder feature!

And let’s talk about the monumental life event that happened last weekend ~ Conner’s first big press trip as my photographer 😂♥️ You guys know it’s usually Alicia or John shooting my pics. They’re typically my go-to travel buddies for big trips. It’s always been really important for me to separate personal life / work, and Con’s on the same page. But ~ since Alicia was busy and this trip was on a weekend that didn’t interfere with his work, I got to bring him along to test out his skills 🤳🏼 Plus, I hate being away from him! We had a crash course on the plane: angles, good side/bad side, BTS, and a personal fave, patience 🙇🏼‍♂️ 

If you were following along with #ConOnTheCam though, he blew it out of the water. And as usual, we had so much fun together and cracked up the whole time. Loved all the encouragement on IG, I think y’all hyped him up haha.

We had time to explore town in the car and found some awesome spots. We walked around the Wynwood Walls district and thought it was SO awesome. The entire warehouse district of Wynwood is covered in street art and graffiti on the warehouse walls. It’s so colorful!! We had to leave for our flight the afternoon we went here, but we could’ve spent hours in this area! 

Other Miami recs from the weekend:

Our Hotel: Mandarin Oriental

Coffee: Panther Coffee

Brunch: The Edition Hotel (next to the pool)

Lunch: TOCO Tacos 

Lunch/Dinner: Bayak for margs and ceviche  

Nightlife: Gramps

Thank you to Hyundai for sponsoring this trip!!

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