NYC Update 2020

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A little over 5 months ago, we packed our bags for what we thought would be a short trip home to see our families and get some fresh air outside of NYC. I packed leggings, 2 sweatshirts, 1 dress, and pajamas.

….May turned into June…and all the sudden it was fall…

And that ‘short trip’ turned into nearly half of year away from NYC 🤯

New York is such an incredible place in normal times. I spent my days running all over town shooting with John, meeting friends for drinks, going to coffee meetings, brand launches, trying new restaurants with Con, and stopping by a cool event every night of the week. My first year and a half there was a complete marathon, I can barely process all of the awesome things I got to experience in those 18 months. 

Then March hit like a brick and everything came to a hard stop. Quarantine in NYC is much different than most places. Living quarters are tight, no backyards, porches, gyms, and hardly any nature. The reason people pay SO MUCH money to live in these compact boxes on top of each other is because of the opportunity that exists outside your apartment here. There was no denying New York had changed, and as sad as it was, we felt our hearts changing every time we saw something on the news about the city we barely recognized. 

Our lease is ending soon, so we made the decision to go back to New York for the last few weeks to pack everything up in a U-haul and move out.

We’re still waiting to know when NYC (and Conner’s office) will reopen, but for now we’re just doing our best to go with the flow and take things day by day until we have more answers. John is also moving out for the time being until the dust settles 😢 I still don’t think I’ve totally processed it all yet, but we’re all so happy to be headed back to New York to enjoy it for these last few weeks before life changes again. Then it’s back to Indiana to spend the next few months and the holidays! It’s so bittersweet, but we know it’s the right thing for us right now.

It’s uncomfortable to live in the middle of so many unknowns…especially while trying to plan a wedding. I’ve realized the only thing I can do is get more comfortable with not having our plans for the future figured out. That was one question so many of you asked on IG messages – what our future plans were for buying a house, settling down, kids, location, etc. If I’ve learned anything this year, it’s that the best way to fully live your life fully is to enjoy what you have while you have it. We can’t always wish our current season away waiting for ‘some day’. I’m so excited for what our future holds, but I am really loving this time in our lives so much right now, even if it’s not where I thought we’d be. So if you’re worried about your own timeline right now, I hope it makes you feel better to know I literally have zero plans for the future at the moment 🤷🏼💕

Never in a million years did I think at age 29 I’d be moving back in with my parents and my future husband…but after 2020 idk if anything will truly surprise me anymore 😅 The last 5 months have been an unexpected slice of heaven in small town Indiana. I mean having a BACKYARD! A front porch. GRASS. A car?? Driving to the grocery store (a trunk🙏🏼). The drive through! Space to workout. A driveway. FRESH AIR…I can’t believe how much more I appreciate the little things a Midwestern town has to offer after living in one of the biggest cities in the world.

It’s been a blessing for us to have all this time with my parents and Nani. When we drive back home to Indiana, I’m so excited to start working on a few interior projects in my Mom’s house I can’t wait to share with you ~ and we already can’t wait for Thanksgiving and Christmas at home! Plus wedding planning is so much easier at home with my mom ♡

We’re currently en route to NY as I type this. It’s SO CRAZY to think I left my entire life there (with a weekend bag 😅) almost half a year ago.

Who knew I needed so little to be so content.

It’s a good reminder that when things feel uncomfortable and God seems silent, you’re most likely right in the middle of exactly what He’s trying to teach you. Use these uncertain times as an invitation to seek Him more diligently. The timing will be perfect and eventually we’ll see – the only way to truly appreciate joy is by experiencing difficulty along the way.

(Say hi on Instagram tonight if you read and you’re in a similar situation of uncertainty ♥️ )

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10 Casual Fall Basics

It’s been a WEIRD time for fashion. I can pretty much count on one hand the number of times I’ve worn something other than my lulu align leggings 😂 Are you embracing the sweatpants forever movement? Do you miss wearing ‘normal’ outfits? Still on the tie-dye trend? Crop tops??

I don’t know about you, but I’ve stuck to my basics over 6 months. It’s a little different on my end I guess because showing you what I’m wearing is an important part of my job, but surprisingly I’ve been able to get creative with my staples over the last 6 months from go-to stores.

Topshop has always been one of my go-to’s. Ever since I moved to Chicago and started shopping at the store on Michigan Avenue, I’ve loved it. My closet is full of Topshop basics I’ve worn to death that have held up for years. For all my fellow petites – this is one of the very few stores I’ve found that is *actually* petite friendly. Like, SHORT short. They also offer regular and tall sizing so it’s super inclusive.

I’m sharing my 10 favorite basics from Topshop for this fall/winter season. Whether you work at home and just want to look decently presentable (even if it’s only for you cat/dog).. or if you’re venturing out into the world…here are some go-to go pieces to pair with anything…

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My half-zip I’m wearing above

Petite Sizing Here / Regular Sizing Here

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Ripped Mom Jeans

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Scarf (from above)

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Denim Jacket (petite friendly)

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Cropped Oatmeal Sweater (petite friendly)

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Classic LBD for fall (petite friendly)

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Cozy Roll Neck Sweater (petite friendly)

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Leopard Print Faux Fur Coat (petite friendly)

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Olive Green Satin Midi Skirt (petite friendly)

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Leopard Shirt Dress (petite friendly)

Thank you to Topshop for sponsoring this post!

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Wedding Planning Update!

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Outfit details // Similar grey sweater dress here + here | Sawyer Blue Light Glasses | Blanket on sale

Finally jumping back into wedding planning as we approach the 1 year mark from the day Conner proposed 🥺❤️ (10/24/19). This year wasn’t what we imagined, but I’m convinced the happiness I experienced that night could last me a lifetime.

I remember 10/24 so clearly, and any time I’ve felt sad or stressed about wedding planning during a not-so-ideal time this year, I go back to those memories. I recently listened to a podcast about marriage that digs into what my ‘yes’ really meant that night. I wasn’t just saying yes to a wedding…there were countless yeses being said in that moment. Yes to growing up together, building a family together, and supporting each other’s careers. But also…yes to a lifelong commitment of navigating all of life’s curveballs together. We’ve had more time this year to truly appreciate and prepare for what we’re about to enter into together, and for that, I’m thankful. (Full podcast here if interested).

As most of you know, our original plan was to get married in Chicago on 09/26/20. We spent March, April, and May feeling ‘stuck’ about what to do. Not only were we worried about health, safety, and stability in such an uncertain time, but there was also the looming decision about what to do about the wedding we’d been planning since October.  

Once we realized Illinois’ reopening plan wasn’t looking too promising for our September wedding plans, we knew it was time to make a decision. In June, we both felt convicted about cancelling our original plans and moving everything to my hometown in Indiana the following year. We knew this was the right thing for us to do. We were focusing on the positives and knew it would also end up saving us so much money that we could use to start building our future on, plus, it just felt so much more personal to us. Chicago would have been grand and beautiful, but Indiana just seemed more special. Just thinking about getting ready on my wedding day in my parents’ house with all my bridesmaids makes me tear up. Not to mention we’ve already locked in the day-after Rink/Hempel pool party in the backyard 😎. It all feels very ‘us’, and I think that’s how it’s supposed to be.

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Planning With Big City Bride

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Our FIRST (and best) decision when we got engaged was to hire my Aunt Susan and her incredible Chicago-based wedding team, Big City Bride. They have been SUCH a blessing throughout this crazy process of planning, postponing, and re-planning. Susan has kept us on track while pivoting quickly and professionally. I’m so thankful for all their hard work and can’t tell you how lucky I feel to have someone helping me navigate these crazy changes while keeping things fun. I honestly thought I would be much better at staying on top of all of the decisions and deadlines 😅 but turns out I haven’t been the best at wedding planning. There are some people who were totally made for this! But if you’re like me and need someone keeping you on track and pushing you along with all the decisions, a planner is so worth the investment for peace of mind. Whether it’s someone who guides you through the entirety of planning, or just handles your day of coordination, I truly believe in hiring a planner. I know Big City Bride also does month-of coordination…so you can get all hands on deck throughout that final month if that’s what you need 🙂 

One game changer the BCB team has brought to my planning process is the introduction of their new Interactive Client Portal they offer to their brides. This is an entirely digital wedding planning headquarters that houses all your contracts, lists, timelines, design, calendar & financials in one place. Some of my favorite features are: the design portal (basically a more curated Pinterest board), the guest list management tool, the countdown calendar with payment reminders, budget tracker, and the drag and drop seating tool. My client portal is a completely organized world of all my wedding things and has been such a great resource and helped me keep it all together through all the changes. (More on my IG story about this tonight).

Big Things We’ve Nailed Down So Far:

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The Venue: The reception will be in the historic ballroom of Palais Royale and is connected to cocktail hour is in the Grand Lobby of the Morris Performing Arts Center. I knew if I ever got married in my hometown, this was where I wanted it to be. The 1920’s elegance and dramatic architecture are a dream come true, plus it’s around the corner from my dad’s business and a short drive from my parents’ house.

Photographer: @Aesthetiica, obviously!!  

Videographer: Reel Special ~ the sweetest husband and wife video team based in Lexington, KY. I actually “modeled” for a fake wedding video shoot with them when I was selling wedding dresses at Twirl back in the day and I’ve loved them ever since. They weren’t available on my original wedding day, so the change of date was a blessing in disguise before we even knew it! Ryan and Brittany’s mission is to capture love in motion and I think they do a pretty dang good job of that ~ check out their work on IG too 🙂

Band: The Barnstorm – based in New York City… and we are SO excited about them. This was high on Conner’s list, since they’re buddies of his he met through a work connection. They are a REALLY good time, and I love the personal connection we have with them. Fun fact: they recently played at Keegan-Michael Key’s wedding! Here’s their promo video on youtube if interested.

Rehearsal Dinner: Booked last week! It has a fun rustic vibe with a little bit of a Kentucky theme 🙂

Bridesmaid, Moms & G-ma dresses: Adrianna Papell. I’m so excited about these! The color scheme is my dream and the AP team are some of the nicest people I’ve ever worked with. Stay tuned for more deets!

Still in the process of working on finalizing: Hair/Makeup, Decor and Floral, Registry, Invites, Honeymoon, Cake…and obviously A LOT more, so stay tuned for more wedding content coming soon 🙂

Inspiration

To end the post, I pulled a little bit of inspo from my theme & design board on my BCB client portal! The theme we’re going for is vintage glamour, with a classic and sophisticated feel. A color palette of metallics, black, ivory, & dusty rose. Candle light, chandeliers, roses, champagne…and cue the Frank Sinatra / Etta James playlist 🙂 Hoping to give you some inspo if you’re planning your own wedding alongside me! Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments of my IG post tonight ✨ @oliviarink

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