monday must haves: date night

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i have a lot of must-haves, but few are as valuable as date night. last night we hit up some local haunts–gran electrica for margaritas and guac, then jack the horse tavern for a casual, yet romantic, bottle of red and steak!


on marissa:  jacket: vince  /  dress: j.mclaughlin  /  handbag: rebecca minkoff
on nate:  sweater: j.mclaughlin  /  pants: j.mclaughlin

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bon appetit! #DiningHacks

#DiningHacks by Lady & Prince
there are so many sweet moments in a parent’s life… one of those is when people compliment you on how good your kids are. seriously, isn’t that just the best? we recently were out to brunch with the kids, just nate and i, and a couple stopped us to compliment us on how well our kids behaved. we smiled and said how lucky we are of course… the kids really are great. afterwards nate and i talked about how funny it is because we have worked really hard at it! no matter how good your kids are, i don’t think its natural for them to want to sit at a table quietly and eat their food! we love going out to eat and it was a must for us to figure out ways to teach them how to behave… without being tied to an ipad.

not that i am judging because i love ipads, but we decided as a family that dinner time together was not time for ipads. we don’t get to eat dinner all the time as a family so when we do it is family time. period. to make this a hard rule was not easy at first… it was a bit painful to get used to. once we did though, it paid off in full. the kids never ask for any ipads or iphones when we sit together to eat–they know its not an option. funny enough it turned out that our dinners ended up being just as peaceful… as long as we were prepared. above are our #DiningHacks that have saved us and made eating out together an awesome experience. good luck and bon appetit! xx

the witching hour. #BedtimeHacks

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i was talking with a mom at the kids’ school the other night and she was telling me how she is always scouring the internet looking for tricks with the kids… for travel, for bedtime, etc. she got me thinking… i should start posting some of our favorite #LifeHacks for raising kids. people are always asking me what our “secrets” are for raising kids in the city… how to juggle the busy life or work and family… the list is endless. i wish i thought we were always doing a great job, but i do know we are always trying really hard to improve and be the best parents we can be!

i thought i would start by sharing our current least favorite part of the day. sounds terrible to say it, but bedtime is rough! i mean, if it was as simple as teeth brushing, book reading and tucking them in then i would love it, but it is a drama filled event. it’s like they turn into wild monkeys between 7 and 8pm. our #BedtimeHacks are some of the tricks we have up our sleeves that have seemingly helped our process improve by a lot! hope they are helpful to you too! xx

oh, and here is our bedtime chart!

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the hunt for bunks!

it is hard to believe, but we have to move yet again. if i told you how many apartments we have had since we moved to nyc you might die… seriously. it’s actually absurd. as renters you don’t always have the luxury of staying where you want as long as you want… plus, we have undergone a lot of life changes since we moved here.

thankfully, we are moving into another apartment in our building–which we adore–so we are very thankful and also pretty excited. as much as we hate “moving”.. i do love change. especially when change means some SERIOUS house cleaning. i don’t like clutter to begin with so the opportunity to clean out closets kind of gets me really excited.

what i am most excited about it changing up the kids room! we are saying bye bye to toddler beds and hello to bunk beds!! alexa is super excited about getting the top bunk. in searching for bunk beds i was kind of bummed out by what is available. we have a more modern, minimal, industrial but soft aesthetic and most of the bunk beds are either too junky, too traditional or too ridiculous! funny enough, we have settled on the ouef bunk. makes total sense since our entire kids room is oeuf furniture! i didn’t even realize they made a bunk bed and once i stumbled across it on pinterest i knew we had found the perfect beds! aside from a new bed i want to jazz up the room a bit… here is a little bit of inspiration i stumbled across on pinterest–specifically the pinterest account by handmade charlotte–she has some amazing stuff! i’m sure this won’t be the last post i do on decor before the move… move in date is early december! yikes!

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a directorial debut… kind of!

confession: one of my dreams is to work in the movies.

yes, i know that is not an uncommon dream, but i want to work behind the scenes. i love the process, the production… everything about it. one of my favorite projects i over directed was a video for kate spade years back called swandive or cannonball. i love art directing photo shots, but there is something so stimulating and inspiring to me about moving image. (click here to see a bunch of the other videos i have done throughout my career so far)

since i don’t really have time to take a film studies class, i’m going to make my directorial debut in iMovie! ha! i’m going to start making mini movies about our life and hopefully over time i will start to get better and better at this. hope you enjoy–no movie critics allowed… yet! ;-)

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apple picking at stuart’s farm.

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picking pumpkins & climbing apple trees

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sunday was such a perfect–beyond perfect, actually–day. besides some seriously annoying traffic and a period of “are we there yet,” it was wonderful. it’s funny, i don’t remember going pumpkin or apple picking as a kid growing up… that may be because i spent the earlier part of my childhood in florida where i imagine this was not as popular of an event. it seems like pumpkin and apple picking is one of the “things you do” in the northeast and i am super thankful for this new family tradition.

this year we decided to stay close to the city. we went to stuart’s farm in westchester. it was definitely a bit busy–especially because of the amazing weather–but, it was totally manageable and lots of fun. stuart’s farm has been a family-operated farm since 1828–how cool is that?

we had already packed lunches in the car so when we arrived we meant business… time to pick the perfect pumpkins and a bushel of apples!

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how adorable is hayden’s camo sweatshirt (on sale on mini boden). jeans are gap kids and shoes are puma.

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alexa’s first time climbing a tree… let’s just say, we are still talking about this! she was SO excited and proud.

i’m loving mini boden’s casual graphic tees for the kids these days. they do a great job with non cheesy graphics that feel playful, but not obnoxious (why is this hard to find?). she is wearing crewcuts jeans with richer for poorer socks and aster kids shoes.

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yesterday was perfect–i love fall in new york. beautiful, bright, colorful and so happy.

dress my desk

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in the office we talk a lot about how we set up our desks… from accessories, to plants to pinning up inspiration. these are some of my favorite desk accessories… other than when i bring rider to work (he is so small he technically counts as an accessory!).

1. tata harper’s volumizing lip & cheek tint 2. kate spade business card holder 3. simply spotless fabric cleaner (for the accidental lunch mishap!) 4. a chic coaster or two 5. frends headphones 6. porcelain typography tray 7. calypso eau de toilette (for the work to dinner date spritz!) 8. poppin white desk set 9. the sill table top plants 10. re-visit iphone case (ivanka gave this to me for my birthday and its hands down the coolest and chicest case–obsessed!) 11. spray and screen cleaner in one!

when the cat is away, the mice will play.

i had more after work events this week than normal so nate was on hard core daddy duty. on wednesday night, after my event, nate showed me what they had been up to. clearly this would not have happened under my watch… but this is why nate and i are a good balance. he adds that little bit of physically daring adventure to their lives. my bedtime ritual involves reading storybooks… his involves sofa diving!









alexa is wiped out… and hayden goes in for the last dive with perfect form!

a morning stroll

i think one of my favorite parts about alexa starting school is our morning walk there! it’s our special time to chit chat. today however, i asked nate to follow along and snap some pics of us as we walked along the way.

today alexa and i are both rockin’ some ivankatrump shoes. i’m wearing the green carra suede pumps (which i am totally obsessed with) and alexa is wearing the abigail suede ballet flats with a darling little jeweled flower embellishment on the toe. she has moved onto tights, but i’m holding out as long as i can!

when we pass through cadman’s park, alexa always insists walking along the raised barrier between the sidewalk and the grass. i told her a story once about how my mom used to play a game like this with me where we couldn’t fall off because there was a lagoon and a crocodile would get us… she loves “avoiding” the crocodile. :-)


my top and skirt–yes, it is not a dress–is from reformation. it’s called the huck two piece… its like 3 wardrobe staples in one. can’t beat that.


our little walk to school is only 10 minutes, but i am so thankful that its just a fun stroll. no stress. no subways… traffic, etc. definitely one of my days little blessings. xx!

studio test

nate and i worked on a really big project together this week at ivanka trump hq. my team and i have been hard at work at a campaign that i will be SO excited to share in a couple months. it was a little dream i had and it came to fruition this week. as a creative that is one of the most rewarding experiences… and this was not only rewarding, but incredibly inspiring in so many ways.

one of my biggest takeaways from this week’s project was to dream big… BIG. and then BIGGER. i’ve never believed that there are ceilings on what i can do and/or what i can accomplish… but what i realized this week is that i don’t really dream enough about what i want to do in my life. what is my big vision for my life–for our family life. i have been blessed with a fulfilling career path… i have worked for incredible brands and i am very thankful for what i have accomplished–that said, am i dreaming about what i really see for my future? i don’t have an answer to what my dream is, but this week made me aware that i hadn’t focused on that and that i wanted that to change. i may not know the answer now, but i know i want to start challenging myself to figure out what my dream is.

another thing i realized is that i have a pretty bad habit of taking on more than i should and while i often argue that it helps me feel fulfilled, i have realized lately that it starting to take a toll on me. i can’t do everything… i am not superwoman–but more so i realized i don’t have to be. taking a step back and thinking about my priorities and working smarter at work and at home.

i guess we are all constantly redefining ourselves… i suppose that is what being in your 30′s is all about.

in preparation for the shoot, we went to nate’s studio this past weekend to do a lighting test and we got such cute family pictures that i just had to post! gaby, or tia gaby as the kids call her, was visiting from art school (mica) for the weekend. its pretty amazing to have my little sis close by–especially since the rest of our family is back in atlanta. gaby and i are almost 15 years a part so in these pictures she looks like she is our daughter! hilarious.

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nate and i rarely get pictures together… i’m kind of obsessed with these. don’t we look like an old school gap ad? love it.

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