Then Comes...you know!

I agreed to take a small break from my fashion roots to work a contract position in a totally unrelated field that I actually do also happen to be experienced in. I started working on the project two days before I became engaged. So needless to say, I've been extremely busy the past six months. When the project was ready to be rolled out, it would mean a 21 day tour of three cities, coast to coast three weeks following the exchange of my wedding vows. Yes, I know...I got married and then immediately left town. It's been a running joke at our house. What makes the joke even funnier, is that I came back pregnant. Well, I was actually pregnant before I left{we just didn't know it}.  So baby makes three, and I'm going to be pulling out the{not so}ol' wedding #1MooreMcMahon hashtag once again. I'm not going to share all the wonderful details surrounding how we found out because they are special and I sort of feel like sometimes you need to keep a little magic for yourselves. I will say I was 2880 miles away from home in Eugene, Oregon when I found out. These are a few photos from the day before I discovered my little stowaway. 

Nicole was here...

Nicole was here...

CAPE COVE

CAPE COVE

Cape Cove 

Cape Cove 

Hobbit Cove

Hobbit Cove

Cape Cove 

Cape Cove 

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The day before I discovered little stowaway McMahon.

Now the real adventure begins...

XOXO 

- Nicole 

Second Comes Marriage...

The Wedding

I choked on my dinner the night my fiancé said he wanted to get married before the end of the year. That was only three months away! I was confident that I could pull all the details together, but was extremely worried about finding a location. I scoured our city, other cities, and everywhere in between. When we would find a location we liked, it was booked. When we would find a location available it was awful, and not for us. Finally, I suggested our home. He initial thought I was crazy. "But our house would more than accommodate the number of guests we're inviting and it will be cozy. It'll be an intimate formal affair" I'd argue. He eventually began to love the idea as well {with a little nudge}. We decided New Years Eve would be the perfect date, and a wonderful way to celebrate the start of our new life together as husband and wife. Plus, we would forever have a festive anniversary full of confetti and champagne.

Photo credit: Julie Filyaw Photography 

Photo credit: Julie Filyaw Photography 

Photo Credit: Julie Filyaw Photography 

Photo Credit: Julie Filyaw Photography 

And just as it always does...everything fell right into place.  I will never be able to explain the warmth I felt as I walked into our front room. It was full of friends and family, people who had traveled far and wide to share with us this special day. Saying it was magical would be selling it short. It was spellbinding. 

Photo Credit: Julie Filyaw Photography

Photo Credit: Julie Filyaw Photography

photo credit: Julie Filyaw Photography 

photo credit: Julie Filyaw Photography 

Photo Credit: Julie Filyaw Photography

Photo Credit: Julie Filyaw Photography

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And they lived Happily Ever After...

XOXO

-Nicole

First Comes Love...

The Proposal

It all started in the fall of 2013, a few days before Halloween. I had recently relocated to a neighboring city forty five minutes away from where I was raised. Gratefully, I had family and a few friends in the area, but for the most part I felt like I was starting over.

Luckily for me, I had never shied away from talking to strangers. So, being the new single girl in town was super entertaining.  I was invited to what seemed like every social event and my calendar was always busting at the seams. On this particular night in question, I had been invited to a Young Professional's Halloween Costume Party. Halloween costumes can be a little tricky{especially when you're single and ready to mingle ha}. Not too spooky, not too hoochie...you have to find one that's just right. I decided on a long sleeve Jaguar printed unitard. It would be perfect...sexy but not too revealing.  

As I was partying the night away, little did I know that across the room a life changing conversation was taking place. 

Someone snapped a picture of me right after Gavin introduced himself. It is a perfect depiction of who we are as individuals...plus it's super cool to have a picture from the night we met. (It's framed and on display in our house)   

Someone snapped a picture of me right after Gavin introduced himself. It is a perfect depiction of who we are as individuals...plus it's super cool to have a picture from the night we met. (It's framed and on display in our house)   

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Gavin was meeting two friends...a couple actually. Joe and Marie. As they chatted and Gavin unknowingly knocked over a person's plate of chicken tenders...Joe noticed me from across the room. He also happened to notice I appeared solo. He motioned to Gavin, and said "you should go talk to her, she came in alone."  I honestly don't really remember the first introduction...I'm sure it went something like "Hi, I'm Gavin. Hi, I'm Nicole. Nice to meet you.", but I do remember the conversation right before I left. I was standing outside with the cast of Brokeback Mount{or maybe they were just my two friends, Tim and Jamie}, and he walked over and said "So, if someone wanted to get in touch with you, how might they do that?" while kind of waving his phone in my general direction.  And that was how he got my number.

A few days later he called and officially asked me on a first date...with 3 options. Of course three and a half years later I don't remember the other two choices, just the one I choose. A Corn Maze! I had never been on a day date or to a corn maze. I was excited. I do however, remember what I wore{ha}. Rust colored jeans, a denim chambray blouse with my favorite vintage sweater, and my cowboy boots...I have no recollection of what he wore, but I do remember how handsome I thought he looked. He picked me up and said, "I stopped by Starbucks on the way...I took a chance and ordered you a pumpkin spiced latte." I immediately replied with "Ewww, no! I don't drink any kind of coffee!" only to quickly realize I probably sounded like a brat. After a few minutes had passed, I figured I'd at least give it a try. "Oh My God, this is soooo good!!!" And like that latte, the rest of the date was just as delicious. 

Fast forward several years, and with another hurricane {Matthew} pending off the coast...Gavin mentioned going to "our" corn maze. I instantly thought, "Well, that has proposal written all over it!!" With the hurricane scheduled to hit any day we figured "our" first date corn maze was probably closed. It was a small "one man show" kind of place, with no way of google-ing the number...or if there was even a number to google. We decide to try McBee Farms. I called first thing the next morning, and then received the dreaded news. CLOSED! My heart sank and I promptly became humorously passive aggressive. He asked me what was wrong several times before I finally admitted, "I'm supposed to be living happily ever after in a corn maze right now."

Little did I know, I was falling right into his plan. The day was full of hurricane preparedness, and Gavin convincing me he didn't believe in the sanctity of marriage. You can imagine my shock, confusion, and frustration {after two plus year and lots of talk}. He kept at it all day, and later that evening we {I reluctantly} agreed to meet a group of our friends downtown for drinks. It goes against my raisin' to go out on the town with a natural disaster looming, plus I was now as you can imagine...in no mood.  Later that evening, we arrived home around 10:45pm and I was {to be honest} still a little annoyed. He told me if I didn't give him a kiss I was going to be sorry. I agreed under the conditions that he answered a few questions. "You really don't believe in marriage? You'd really only marry me for my benefit?" He gently grabbed my hand and as he said "Ugh, what, you want to make it official?" he slid the ring on my finger. I immediately buried my face in my hands and ugly cried for about five minutes. It was perfect!!!

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He had planned and purchased the ring with no help, plus through me off the scent. Saying he was pleased with himself would be an understatement. He wanted to give me something unique, that no one else would have. He choose an old mine cut diamond. The name refers to the fact that in the 19th century gems came from old diamond mines in India. Also, artisans shaped each diamond by hand until the early 1900's. Due to the craftsmanship, each diamond was unique and no two cuts were identical, unlike today's diamonds which undergo machine-assisted cutting. This cut was the earliest form of the brilliant and allowed each stone to sparkle under even the dimmest candlelight of the era. It was thoughtful, unique, and completely melted me into a puddle.

The following morning hurricane Matthew hit, and we spent the rest of the week without power. It was glorious! It made the moment last much longer than it would have on any other given day. Every night was by candle light, no tv, barely any cell phone reception...you get the general idea. It was a romantic staycation that we will never forget! 

He really had me at pumpkin spice latte!

XOXO

-Nicole

 

Tales from the North & South...

and other reasons why I haven't blogged anything since july.

The North:

Hurricane Hermine was headed for the South Carolina coast and we were headed for Connecticut. It was my first trip to the New England area, and I was super excited. Of course, my bags were packed with loads of preppy pieces{and a few bohemian things too}...I was ready for whatever{I had never spent Labor Day in the North...who knows what could go down, a Girl had to be prepared}.   

Thimble Island boat tour

Thimble Island boat tour

Enjoying the taste of eaten words 

Enjoying the taste of eaten words 

One word: Picturesque

Honestly, the town looked like the set of Hocus Pocus. I mean, how could you not love it.  We were staying with my boyfriends family, in a cottage, one block from the water in Branford, Connecticut.  It was an awesome trip full of first time experiences. The most monumental being a day trip we took to Narragansett, Rhode Island. I, a thin blooded southern belle, went boogie boarding in the COLD, HURRICANE force waves {in a wet suit of course...I haven't completely lost my mind}. I had sworn the night before, in front of everyone, that I'd absolutely not be getting in the frigid waters. But low and behold...I had to eat those words and boy were they delicious!

And The South:

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For the past nine years, I have been a vender at a fall festival in the little known town of Aynor, SC. It's always the third Saturday in September, and has been for the past 30 plus years. So, therefore I spend the month of August getting my life "Hoe-down" ready. This year is was no exception{adding a Labor Day trip two weeks before had me in full force}. Since closing my brick and mortar location, this festival is the only time I get to have a face to face interaction with my customers...and I LOVE it. My strong suit is merchandising looks for individual customers, and this task can be difficult to communicate online. My customer, most of whom turned into dear friends, trusted me to come into their lives and help revamp their wardrobe. I miss being able to share my gift of fashion with them, so this fun once a year event is treat for everyone{mostly me}. 

2012

2012

2016

2016

The Hoe-down just keeps getting better with age!!!

 

Garden & Gun:

As another natural disaster loomed {Hurricane Matthew}, I reluctantly planned to attend a sold-out fundraiser luncheon to benefit the South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics. I was sure this was going to be a snooze, considering I wasn't currently the slightest bit interested in terminal velocity or long division. The only saving grace was going to be the finger sandwiches, and the key note speaker. Rebecca Darwin, the Founder and CEO of Garden and Gun Magazine spoke about the struggles that come along with turning your life in a different direction{oh,don't I know it}, as well as what it means to be "Southern & Sassy"...The decor and food were fabulous and oozing with southern style, and although I never saw a finger sandwich...I didn't leave empty handed. I snatched up an autographed copy of "The Southerner's Handbook: A Guide to Living the Good Life," and also made a new friend...Lisa Matthews. She and her husband,Lex own "Mark Lexton" and design impeccable jewelry.  

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custom made clutch and cuff -- for inquires please see contact page

custom made clutch and cuff -- for inquires please see contact page

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By the end of the event, I was quite thankful that I'd been able to snag a ticket to such a swanky affair. 

XOXO

-Nicole

And I thought I loved the South...

Anytime I can sing the praises of the south, you can bet your bottom dollar I do! "There's no place like it", "The weather is great", "The history and architecture are beauties like no other", and then I met Palm Springs! 

Several weeks ago, we planned a family rendezvous on the west coast! We flew into San Diego, and then drove into the desert versus flying direct. This gave us an the amazing opportunity to take a mini road trip and see some usual sights.

First stop, HWY 78 and The Anza-Borrego Desert....

he said the terrain reminded him of afghanistan.  

he said the terrain reminded him of afghanistan. 

hey, department of defense...we found a new exercise location. your welcome! 

hey, department of defense...we found a new exercise location. your welcome! 

Next stop, the Salton Sea....

The Salton Sea was created accidentally in 1905. Waters were being diverted to the Imperial Valley for agricultural reasons, a flood caused an irrigation canal to break and waters then freely flow into the Salton Basin.  In the 1920's, it was a hopping tourist destination, and by the 1950's it supposedly had more visitor than Yosemite National Park. This was going to be California's new hot spot; vacation homes, yacht clubs, beaches, and of course hotels.

However, this accidental sea had other plans and also no outlet. As the water evaporates the salinity goes up {It's ruffly 25% higher than the ocean}. The salinity, as well as toxic algae, deoxygenation due to over growth of algae, Vibrio alginolyticus, trace selenium, and being an approved agricultural repository, have all stressed the local biota and unfortunately contributed to massive fish and bird dieoffs as well as mutations...not to mention a very unpleasant smell.

It smelled as good as one might think! There were places where the barnacles were ruffly 6 to 7 inches deep above the sand.

It smelled as good as one might think! There were places where the barnacles were ruffly 6 to 7 inches deep above the sand.

That unusal looking sand: barnacles. They crunched under your feet as well as caused you to sink with every step. .  

That unusal looking sand: barnacles. They crunched under your feet as well as caused you to sink with every step.. 

And just like that, everything closed up, was abandoned, and empty....  

before

before

after

after

But of course I wanted to stop(I love weird and unusual things)! 

it looks post apocalyptic...right out of a movie.  

it looks post apocalyptic...right out of a movie. 

"just sit right back and you'll hear a tale. a tale of a fateful trip...." 

"just sit right back and you'll hear a tale. a tale of a fateful trip...." 

Sixty miles later...

We arrived at Heaven's Gate...otherwise known as The Parker Palm Springs! It's almost hard to describe this place. Every time I attempt to do so...yeah, I'm at a loss for words. In fact, the mere thought of this place leaves a smile on my face, and a warm feeling in my soul. Yes...Yes, it was just that magical! It was like going to a mid-century modern "Alice in Wonderland!" 

Locked away from the real world, and nestled in the middle of the desert is this beautiful hidden oasis. Towering hedges surround the property making it completely private, and a place where you can't help but let your everyday burdens faded into the distance.

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It was decorated by my favorite interior designer, the phenomenal Jonathan Adler{please google him if you've not yet been aquatinted with his work}! Quite frankly, any adjective I could use to describe the decor and how fabulous it truly was would simply be an understatement...so, I'll just stick with photographs. 

how fabulous is their curb appeal? 

how fabulous is their curb appeal? 

decor to die for! 

decor to die for! 

just Say No!  

just Say No! 

norma's was the places for breakfast...  

norma's was the places for breakfast... 

Click the links below...It's ok to be curious! 

adults only!

adults only!

he knows all kinds of nifty tricks.  

he knows all kinds of nifty tricks. 

what happens when you're trying to blend in and look fabulous...

what happens when you're trying to blend in and look fabulous...

au revoir mr. parker

au revoir mr. parker

Palm Springs Day Two...

 

The last leg of our adventure was spent with family at this amazing AirBnb. The whole house was pretty neat, but the back yard took the cake{I got a bad case of outdoor entertaining envy}. I would replicate this in our own back yard, but we'd undoubtably spend all our time hosing off pollen and mold, and never get to enjoy it. Yes, in the south...we're damp, and our plants are always having sex on everything.

seriously, couldn't you just spend forever in this backyard!?

seriously, couldn't you just spend forever in this backyard!?

After settling in, our party of three took the Palm Springs Ariel Tramway to the top of Mount San Jacinto.  We hiked around...maybe I should say "they hiked, I huffed and puffed."  We don't hike in South Carolina,we stroll. Down the beach, around town, your neighborhood, the mall, but it's all at a stroll...nice and easy. No climbing necessary, much less elevations. So, needless to say I was always pullin' up the rear. I can brag, however, that they do teach southern girls how to "teetee" outside...so, I at least when nature called, I had that part covered. 

shopping really is my cardio!

shopping really is my cardio!

Palm Springs Day Three...

We visited Joshua Tree State Park and relaxed.

The terrain was like nothing I had ever seen before. I felt like I was on set with the Flintstones. 

hey good looking!

hey good looking!

i could really get used to this.

i could really get used to this.

Palm Springs Day Four...

 

Last stop before our flight was the Palm Springs Art Museum

standing on one side of a large glass sculpture.

standing on one side of a large glass sculpture.

this was the most life like sculpture i have ever seen...and of course i was going to do something inappropriate.   

this was the most life like sculpture i have ever seen...and of course i was going to do something inappropriate.  

Palm Springs really had it all. Terrific weather, a mid-century design and architecture obsession, hidden oases, color(people, places, and things) and it's now officially become my retirement destination location.

My hopes for old age.... lounging by a lushes pool side oasis in a colorful kaftan, while sipping a cocktail, and letting my silver hair blow in the wind. 

You had glamour, you had class, Palm Springs you were FA-BU-LASS!

 

Until we meet again!

XOXO - Nicole

 

The Salton Sea Authority (October 3, 1997) Retrieved from www.sci.sdsu.edu/salton%20sea%20description.html