Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Chain Mail! Q & A

My friend Sarah who I'm so thankful to know as a fellow blogger and real life friend tagged me in a fun Q&A...I got entirely too excited. I love how these little questionnaires shed a little light on the girls behind my favorite blogs. Here are my answers to Sarah's questions:

1. What's the most played song in your music library?
(Lifetime. Be honest.)
It would be a close call between anything by the Backstreet Boys  (I am not ashamed) and Alicia Keys "This Girl is on Fire." She's my hype girl when I'm feeling scared, down, or need any kind of courage/encouragement. 

2. What is your favorite thing about your current occupation or job?
I love seeing my designs in real homes and it's even better when customers send me sweet notes! Ashley was my very first customer and recently posted this pic of the very first Sedgewick bar cart to go out into the world in her living room!

3. City or country?
City! The energy here in New York is unstoppable. "These streets will make you feel brand new, big lights will inspire you."

4. What is your coping mechanism after a really bad day?
I can drink a whole bottle of wine in one sitting. But if the day is bad but not that bad, and I don't feel paralyzed with anxiety, I like to kickbox it out. My weighted gloves make me feel like I can kick ass ;)

5. Favorite item in your closet right now? (Pictures welcome.)
A really simple, basic sweater from Zara (above)-- it's a cotton silk blend which makes it super comfy and it goes great with everything. Denim, skirts, and black cigarette pants for an Audrey look. It's so classic that I bought it in grey, too.

6. Skill or craft you still want to work on?
I minored in French in college and studied abroad along the Cote d'Azur. I can squeak a little bit out now, but I would love to take classes again and get back to where my language skills used to be.

7. What is your most precious keepsake?
My mom and dad had a bench custom made for our Catholic wedding since there is a lot of kneeling, sitting, standing. It's since been used at their 30 year vow renewal and my brother's wedding. All our names and dates are hand-carved into the side. It's such a special piece that I hope is treasured in our family for generations to come. You can see it here-- scroll!

8. What's at the very tip top of your holiday wish list this year?
This is terrible...I am at a total loss! If I have to name something, Inslee just scooped up one of the last Mansur Gavriel bucket bags in all of Manhattan (cue the frenzy), and trust me when I say it is stunning. Pictures do not do it justice-- impeccable Italian craftsmanship and rich, buttery leather that is going to age so elegantly overtime.

9. What's your favorite spot in the town/city/state you live in?
Alan and I love dining in the West Village. The restaurants are quaint and candle lit and then after dinner you can take a slow walkabout the cobblestone streets. I wrote about one of our favorite West Village restaurants here.

Now for my turn, I'm tagging Inslee, Amy, Lindsey, and to mix it up my brother Lawrence and (SS photographer!) who is probably going to kill me :). If you want to participate, I would love to see your answers in the comments, too!

1. Favorite quote?
2. What are you most thankful for today?
3. Any adventure in world...where would it be? What would you do?
4. In my next life I am going to be a famous singer, obviously (and possibly Beyonce status), what about you?
5. Favorite holiday recipe that you think everyone should serve?
6. Secret small joy? 
7. One item on your bucket list?
8. Girl crush?
9. Boy crush?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Brooklyn Popcorn

Update: Brooklyn Popcorn is kindly offering 20% off to all My Cup of Te readers with code "cupofte"-- Enjoy!

Today was a beautiful day to be out and about in the city. While casually walking around downtown Alan and I stumbled upon a food truck called Brooklyn Popcorn. The delicious buttery smells literally led us right to it.

The truck was serving up gourmet popcorn in such interesting flavors like Jalapeno, Bacon (!) Cheddar, Parmesan Garlic-- we couldn't resist. The two men working the truck were so friendly and let us taste test a few before deciding on our bag.

We couldn't agree on just one so Mr.Brooklyn Popcorn offered that we pick two. We decided on a happy mix of Bacon Cheddar (me) and Jalapeno (Alan) and before too long we both had telltale cheesy fingers. Finger lickin' good :) 

The local small biz has whipped up 16 unique flavors a few more including coconut and caramel, ketchup (?!), sour cream and chives, and bbq. With the holidays coming up, I will definitely be keeping their customizable tins in mind, you can pick up to three different flavors and shipping is only $2.95 on all orders, for hostess and thank you gifts!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Tea in a Greenwich Village Brownstone

My talented friend, Patricia, recently invited me over for tea. We had the most lovely time sipping our hot beverages out of vintage teacups and indulging in salted chocolate chip cookies, golden apple tarts, and cheesy scones.
Patricia lives in a charming Greenwich Village brownstone complete with beautiful pre-war details from gorgeous crown molding to worn hardwood floors, dreamy high ceilings, even a cozy fireplace and good gracious an outdoor space perfectly strung up with twinkly lights.

Have you passed out yet? She's filled it with sentimental memorabilia like antique chairs she discovered while on holiday in Paris, nostalgic sepia-toned polaroids from her wedding day, and a unique mix of furniture from classic bentwood chairs to rustic wooden furniture and itsy bitsy ball and claw foot stools. Can you spot it tucked away in the pic?

These details are the makings of my dream residence. (Remember this book I keep on my desk for motivational purposes?) Thanks for being the ultimate hostess, Patricia! If you ever tire of your amazing apartment, you know who to call first ;)

{All pics by me, except no. 3}

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ball Caps & Brothers

My little brother came to town last weekend on his way back out of the country. He lives overseas these days and I was so grateful to be able to spend some big sis/lil bro QT together :) We matched all weekend in sweatshirts and sneakers, and if you didn't know, camo ball caps from Wal-mart are so in. I will be sharing a few of our NYC excursions in the next few days. I miss you already, San!

p.s. While I do believe you get what you pay for, sometimes this girl has to shop the trends on a budget: 
a ball cap from here (don't be scared) vs here

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My 5 Tips for Starting Your Own Biz at Style Me Pretty Living

Dreams don't work unless you do! Excited to be sharing my 5 tips on starting your own business as well as a little behind why and how I launched Society Social over at Style Me Pretty Living. Click here for a little business 101!

{Photo by Lawrence Te}

Monday, October 21, 2013

Plum Pretty Sugar Robes

My beautiful best friend got married over the summer and sweetly gifted all the bridesmaids Plum Pretty Sugar robes at the bridesmaid luncheon. We spent the morning of the wedding in our fancy floral attire, primping and laughing with our mimosas held high! The thoughtful gifts made for the prettiest photo opps and made our pre-wedding girl time that much more fun and special.

p.s. The company also recently came out with a bedding line that I love. Wouldn't the soft floral and fauna prints be perfect for a cozy bedroom?

{Photos by Buffy Dekmar}

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Life Lately...As in the Past 5 months

I took some personal time this summer to spend with family and friends. (Can you believe it's already October?) There were so many happy celebrations and SS happenings that I knew if I tried to do it all I would end up crazed, dazed, and all of us would be extremely confused.

My brother, and Society Social photographer, is a married man. First in Seoul...

Alan and I tried airBNB for the first time and I highly rec. We stayed here and saved so much money and still got to stay in the heart of Gangnam,  one of Seoul's most upscale neighbs. Yes, like "Gangam Style," the song. It is a place! We relished being tourists, and did things we would never ever do in New York. We are locals and too proud, duh.
After the reception which ended early,we did something different, the fam picked up beer, wine, and snacks and had a picnic on the gorgeous Han River. It was a beautiful breezy summer night with twinkly city lights and stars serving as the backdrop!

...then they got married (again!) in the Philippines. Go bro and my sweet new SIL!

My sis and I designed our bridesmaids gowns and an up and coming Filipino designer brought them to life. We like to call it a "modern hanbok." The flowers are hand-painted directly on the gown! Mom wore a traditional Filipinia gown. I hope one day I have a fantastic excuse to do the same. 

My brothers, sister, new SIL, Mr. and I hosted my mom and dad's 30th wedding anniversary and I cried my eyes out giving my speech.

Mom and Dad renewed their vows on a bench that has now served in me and Alan's wedding, my brother and SIL's wedding, and hopefully my younger brother's and sis' weddings one day too! 

Dad serenaded mom and then they danced like no one was watching. They work so hard, to see them let loose and enjoy the most important things in life makes my heart swell. 

Alan Dale was forced to participate in our family's ballroom dancing craze but between breaks I danced with my brothers. He is thankful for them I am sure.

There was so much family time and I was the happiest. Pablo, the newest member to the Te family, was too. His tongue, his cute tongue. He also owns the biggest ferns of any puppy I have ever met.

MOH duties included planning a Palm Beach Chic bachelorette. (Alan took the same weekend for the groom's bachelor's trip!) The trip wouldn't have been complete without lots of Lily and cocktails at the Breakers. All in all, it was a weekend for the books!

The hotel Eau Palm, formerly the Ritz Carlton, upgraded us to the royal suite so all 8 of us got to stay together. We had cookies, french fries, and creme brûlée out of coconuts (?) late night. Needless to say, the grounds and service were A++.

The weekend after a NYC bachelorette, my best cousin friend and crew took to the streets of Manhattan on a mission. We stayed at the Eventi even though we are all local. #yolo The weekend ended in watching the sunrise and somehow we made it to brunch after literally dancing ALL night BOTH nights. We are champions, but I did not feel like a champ come Monday. I felt like death and far from my early twenties.

In between there, SS celebrated it's 2nd birthday by moving into a new studio space in...(drum roll) Manhattan y'all! My studio mates gave me the sweetest welcome including cupcakes and champagne.

...Alan and my family helped me move in when all the furniture finally arrived. I am nearly 30 but having my family around makes me so relieved and calm. Are you supposed to grow out of that? I am not sure. 

Then Palm Beach bach got married in the most darling mountain town. The backdrops were stunning. It feels like their engagement weekend was just yesterday!
It was truly a special wedding as the bride and groom are two of me and Alan's best friends. We felt so honored and happy to be a part of all the celebrations...

...and throughout the year we've had a wonderful time hanging with the bridal party. It really was such a fun group. I miss everyone already! (The wedding pictures which turned out so beautiful are by Buffy Dekmar!)
New York bach got married at the fanciest wedding I have ever been too. An intimate wedding in the Yale Club library followed by cocktail hour on a rooftop overlooking Manhattan and dancing all night in the grand ball room. 

My cousin Anna and I grew up together and I can't explain how happy I am for her. We waltzed around Grand Central in our fancy dresses and became a NYC tourist attraction. I am positive we are in random tourists' vaca albums.

I made my way to Charleston for a cocktail social thrown just for SS and had to pinch myself. The space had so much SS I died. Yes, that is all Society Social!

My family and I made a road trip of it and I got to meet so many sweet customers of mine including Sarah who you should def visit and my stylish friend Chassity who helped me pick out my oufit! I can't thank Laurie and Charleston enough for the warm welcome. Here are more pics from the party if you want to see!

SS NYC officially launched. (!!!) It is one of the biggest things to happen in my professional life, and adult life in general, and for those of you who have been following along since the beginning I'm sending big hugs! My sweet family came all the way from NC for the event to celebrate and to help pitch in for the prep. Don't they always? Gosh I love them so much! My studio mates and I threw one heck of a party. The turn out made us feel like lucky ducks. Here are more party pics if you want to see!
I feel like my feet have not touched the ground for a hot second during the past few months, but when they did, Alan Dale and I made the most of it :) The fall weather in the city has been stunning and we've been hopping from park to park and spending as much time outdoors as possible before it gets frigid!

I'm so excited to be back and I'm definitely looking forward to more regular posts! (and can a girl get some down time?! Maybe one day. phew.) I hope y'all have been so wonderful! Talk soon!