Two Important Lists for Fall

Two Important Lists for Fall

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Did you know the first official day of fall is Thursday? I love this season. It’s a season of new beginnings. A fresh start. I love the symbolism that comes with the changing of the leaves and  the coming holiday season. First, it really can be beautiful to let things go and second, it is time to count our blessings.

So as fall arrives, I am making two lists. The first is a list of things I am letting go of- fears, comparison, time wasters, bad habits, clutter, etc. Life is too short to spend time doing things that don’t matter or don’t bring joy. The second list is a list of blessings- big & small. As you can tell by the title of this site, I believe we are all beyond blessed. We simply need to choose to look for our blessings.

What are two things you could let go of this fall?
What are two blessings you are thankful for this fall?

Two Important Lists for Fall Two Important Lists for Fallas fall drew nearer, i couldn’t help but reminisce from last fall.
i adore these photos by Ashley Monogue Photography.

they remind me of the coming cooler temperatures
and all of the new adventures we will have this season!

{dress here :: scarf old, similar here & here :: boots old, similar here }

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Why are We so Attracted to Beauty?

 

Why are we so attracted to beauty?Why are we so attracted to beauty? I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit recently. What is it about beautiful things that captivate our attention? I’m not simply referring to materialistic beauty, although that does fall under this category. I’m referring to any type of beauty- beauty in simplicity, in fresh blooms, the perfect sunset, a cool breeze, the way the movement of a dress makes you feel, the way candle light flickers in a dark room.

Why are we so attracted to beauty?

I am keenly aware of my desire to find beauty. After much thought, I believe my desire to find beautiful things and celebrate beauty comes from my desire to see and know Him- the only truly perfect thing about this world. Each time we get a glimpse of beauty, we are reminded of the loveliness beyond our broken world. We are reminded of the joy and promised redemption that is coming. By focusing on beauty we get to share in God’s goodness.

beyond blessed you are enough 3So often our days are filled with routine, basic struggles and busyness, all of which rob us of our wonder. I yearn to seek beauty and to cultivate beauty. Because beauty speaks, even when we do not. Seeking beauty gives us the opportunity to transform the ordinary into little blessings. Beauty reminds us of God’s unchanging goodness. When you seek or cultivate beauty, you are daring to bring His goodness into our ordinary days.

Why are we so attracted to beauty?
Where do you find beauty?
How can you cultivate beauty?

Credits:
photography :: B Schwartz Photography 

styling :: Tandem Events 
flowers :: La Fleur du Jour 
dress :: BHLDN 
Hair :: Pinned & Proper

Beyond Blessed Blog

(Un)Officially Fall

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{ dress SheIn c/o :: scarf Old Navy old, similar here & here :: hat BCBG old, similar here :: booties custom, similar here & here }

Now that we have passed Labor Day, it is (un)officially fall! And this weekend, NYC weather finally took the hint and got cooler. {Insert happy dance here!} I am already dreaming of long strolls through Central Park, apple picking and paddle boat rides on the Central Park lake. We even booked a brunch cruise on a small 1920’s style yacht around Manhattan for the end of October. Can you imagine the views? Manhattan on one side and fire colored trees on the other? Don’t worry- I’ll take lots of pictures and will be posting videos on my Insta Story & on Snapchat.

As you may have recently read or noticed on one of my stories, I have been living in this dress. It is so light, the material is so soft and it has pockets- need I say more? ;) I wore it this past weekend to brunch and as we explored the Cloisters {a branch of The Met Museum}.

What are your plans for fall?

beyond-blessed-243dress-003 beyond-blessed-272 officially Fall officially Fall^^ yes, the dress literally makes you want to twirl ^^

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dress SheIn c/o
scarf Old Navy old, similar here & here
hat BCBG old, similar here
booties custom, similar here & here

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Let Your Light Shine

Let your light shine

Sometimes we each need the simple reminder that you are enough, as your are, right now. There is no need to compare your story to someone else’s story and there is beauty in helping others achieve their goals.

Remember, a candle looses nothing by lighting another candle. And one small candle can stand out in a large dark room.  This weekend, let your light shine.

Let your light shine
Let your light shineLet your light shine

{ B Schwartz Photography  :: Tandem Events Styling  :: La Fleur du Jour Flowers}

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The Best Siem Reap Hotel

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While in Siem Reap, we stayed at the Golden Temple Villa and could not dream of ever staying anywhere else in Siem Reap. Seriously, it was that good. Not only is the location perfect and the price unbelievably cheap {$22 a night including breakfast}, but the staff were incredible. Like seriously incredible.Cambodia Siem Reap City-008

Upon landing at the airport, the hotel had a tuk tuk driver ready to pick us up and bring us back to the hotel. We were then greeted by name with two lemongrass teas, two cool hand towels and delicious Khmer spiced peanuts. Since it was somewhat late and we had an early morning planned, we had dinner at the hotel restaurant {which I NEVER do} and it was so good we ate there twice. The food was completely local and the spring wraps were divine! The complimentary breakfast was incredible as well- think everything from made to order banana pancakes and eggs to local delicacies. So, so good.Cambodia Siem Reap City1-001beyond blessed cambodia-11Cambodia Siem Reap City1-002

Our room had two beds, a balcony perfect for morning tea and was decorated with locally made silk throws. The contrast of bright colors and deep wood was gorgeous. And every time we returned to the hotel each member of the staff greeted us by name and made sure we had a fresh glass of lemongrass tea. The staff made us feel like we were celebrities staying at a 5 star hotel.

Cambodia Siem Reap City-002 beyond blessed cambodia-3 beyond blessed cambodia-5 beyond blessed cambodia-6 Cambodia Siem Reap City-007If you stay at this hotel {which I might even say you are crazy not to stay here}, I recommend upgrading the complimentary massage from 30 minutes to an hour. We loved it so much we actually went back for a second massage. {although, it was easy to justify the additional massages since they were only $15/hour and we spent hours meandering the city on the free bikes the hotel let us borrow} As if we hadn’t loved our experience already, upon check out they gave us two locally made silk scarves as gifts. You must add the Golden Temple Villa to your bucket list!

special thanks & shoutout to Katie at Hope Engaged for finding this treasure!

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Preparing for Fall

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{ dress c/o :: booties custom from Vietnam, similar here & here :: scarf, similar here & here }

Anyone else as excited for fall as I am? Every few days we get a glimpse of fall here in New York City and I can’t help but do a little happy dance. I love summer and will savor it until it ends, but fall in NYC is simply magical.  When I woke up to 60 degree temperatures earlier this week I grabbed my new favorite black dress, a big chunky scarf and headed to the Cloisters {I could people watch and walk around the Cloister gardens aimlessly for hours, it is beautiful}.

Oh, and did I mention the dress is under $20? And it has pockets? After wearing the dress once, I am already obsessed and plan on buying the dress in olive, maroon, charcoal & navy. I’m telling you, I’m going to be living in this dress all fall and all winter. It is the most comfortable go-to dress. You might want to purchase it before it sells out!

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dress c/o
booties custom from Vietnam, similar here & here 
scarf, similar here & here

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SheIn -Your Online Fashion Maxi Dress

Sunday Strolls

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In case you missed yesterday’s post, we spent this past weekend celebrating our anniversary, exploring the city and hitting a few of my favorite places. On Sunday, we grabbed our metro card & a couple FLYJOY bars, then continued our adventure!

We started the day with brunch at one of my favorite brunch spots. Fortunately or unfortunately, the owner is closing the restaurant for renovations and will open a new restaurant in its place in a couple months. Sad to see the old one go, but excited to see what he will open in its place!

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We then continued to Grand Central to hit the Grand Central Market for Murray’s Cheese, Oren’s Coffee {their espresso house blend is divine}, Diptyque and yummy treats.

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After we picked up a few goodies in Grand Central, we spent some time meandering around the Upper East Side. There is something charming about this neighborhood- between the architecture, couture shops and beaucoup of museums, there is always something new to find. Caleb & I like to walk up and down side streets and choose which brownstone we would want to live in. Can’t you imagine living in one of these and walking by the gorgeous gated museums each day?

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And of course, you can’t explore the Upper East Side without making a stop in Ladurée! I adore everything in this store- the macarons, teas, candles, colors…  My favorite macaron flavors are rose and lavender, but the lavender flavor is seasonal. This trip we picked up six macarons- rose, lemon, coffee, chocolate, ice mint and coconut.

Note to self {or anyone visiting Ladurée} – if you intend to save your macarons for later, eat a snack prior to visiting this place or have a snack for when you walk out… I’m so glad I had my FLYJOY bars to munch on, otherwise these macarons would not have made it to our cheese board & bubbly! On a side note, if you haven’t tried FLYJOY bars yet- you must! They are all natural and are GMO, gluten & dairy free! I literally keep one in my purse at all times. The coconut macaron is my favorite!

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After Ladurée we headed home to enjoy our new treats. We lit our Diptyque candle {the Baies is my current favorite, but I am dreaming of the Feu de Bois & Cyprès for winter}, set up our cheese board alongside our macarons & hand dipped dark chocolate covered pretzels and popped some bubbly! It was the perfect ending to a perfect weekend!

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{dress sold out, same design here & here :: vest c/o :: sandals old, similar here :: bracelets :: headband}

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Anniversary Weekend Explorations

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{dress, under $20 :: watch :: necklace old, similar here :: shoes old, similar here}

This past weekend Caleb & I celebrated our four year wedding anniversary. To celebrate, Caleb planned a weekend of hitting a few of my favorite places in New York City, along with a few new spots. It was such a fun weekend! We grabbed a couple FLYJOY bars and headed for the subway.  I get completely hangry and always need to keep a healthy snack on hand, so I always keep a FLYJOY bar in my bag at all times. Plus, they are made with all natural ingredients and are dairy/gluten free!

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We started our weekend by having high tea at The House in Gramercy Park. The House is a cute little brownstone built in 1854 and is an absolute must when  you come to NYC. We actually bought their Pulsd deal & are already thinking about buying another one. Their high tea deal right now is too good to pass up!

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After high tea we ventured a couple blocks to the Union Square Farmers Market. This might be my favorite farmers market in the city. It is so good!! Between the organic produce, fresh flowers and general array of items, you could spend a couple hours there. If you are in the city over the weekend, you must at least walk through this farmers market.

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After the farmers market we headed to China Town for foot and body massages. It reminded us a bit of Thailand. It was so relaxing and nice to get out of the heat for a little bit. Oh, and did I mention the massages are only $30-45 an hour?

After massages we explored Little Italy. We found the cutest little headband stand on Mulberry Street. The designer has an etsy shop & I am already dreaming of events we can attend so I have an excuse to buy a mask, fascinator & 1920’s style headpiece. We finished the day with a pizza and bottle of rosé at L’asso {another Pulsd purchase}. Their Alla Roba pizza is to die for- gorgonzola, poached pear, walnuts, truffle oil and balsamic.

The rest of the evening was spent wandering around the cobblestone streets of SoHo. It was a perfect Saturday!

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{dress, under $20 :: shoes old, similar here}

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Siem Reap City

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Siem Reap City in Cambodia was an absolute delight! Caleb and I spent a few days here and could have stayed for longer. Between the food, temples, scenery, and people- our five sense were overwhelmed by the beauty of it all. Siem Reap City was our the home base for our adventures to the Angkor Wat, the Cambodian countryside, lotus pond excursions, and so so much more.

Cambodia Siem Reap City-00400001715As you may have seen here, we spent our first day in Siem Reap exploring the incredible wats nearby. The second day we borrowed bikes from our hotel and simply perused the city. The city is small enough to feel cozy and welcoming, but big enough to keep you entertained for at least a week. We biked outside the main tourist area and were delighted to find the locals all waving and saying hello. Some of the small children even came out of their homes to watch us ride down the road. Thailand is known as the land of smiles, but Cambodia comes in a close second. Everyone was filled with such joy.

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Cambodia Siem Reap City

^^ families playing football {soccer} together ^^Cambodia Siem Reap City-005

While exploring, we stumbled across the most incredible street market. After living in Thailand, I was certain I could not be surprised by the street markets- but goodness was I wrong. Not only was the market absolutely incredible, the prices were so cheap! They had everything from silk scarves and sterling silver dishes to fresh teas, spices and natural medicine. And of course- no street fair is complete without food vendors, which Caleb and I took complete advantage of! We ate at least one banana/nutella crepe a day! How can you turn it down when they cost just under a dollar?

We also stayed at the BEST hotel for $22 a night, including breakfast. Yep, you read that correctly. Oh, also included was a free half hour massage per person.  I’ll be sharing more about this hotel soon.  It was seriously too good to pass up.

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Whites before Labor Day

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{ vest c/o W by Worth :: shirt :: pants c/o W by Worth :: heels :: scarf from a street vendor in Paris, similar here & here :: watch c/o }

While I don’t traditionally follow the ‘no white after Labor Day’ rule, there is something about wearing crisp whites in the summer. And in my opinion, there is something very chic about monochromatic looks with a  slight pop off color. I received this gorgeous vest and perfect trousers earlier in the summer from W by Worth while it was about 100 degrees outside. Once the temperatures dropped even slightly, I jumped into this outfit and went straight to Central Park.

I quickly learned W by Worth makes the lightest, most comfortable pants in the world and this vest will be a go-to year round {told you I don’t follow the ‘no white’ rule}. Seriously though, if these two items weren’t already in my closet I would go pick them up immediately.

Where would you wear an all white outfit like this?

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 vest c/o W by Worth
shirt 
pants c/o W by Worth
heels 
scarf from a street vendor in Paris, similar here & here
 watch c/o Jord Wood Watch

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The vest & pants were gifted from W by Worth, but all opinions are my own.

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