Sunshine & Love in LA: Part 2

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11.30.15

Welcome back from the Thanksgiving weekend! I’ve already got some holiday ideas to create and in progress, but for now, enjoy part two of my trip to LA.

 

I wouldn’t travel across the country for just anyone.  The groom in this bright and beautiful wedding has been a close friends of mine all the way from the depths of early high school. When we were all awkward and full of baby fat and feelings. I think there’s something really special about keeping in touch closely with friends for over a decade. Granted, social media has made this a lot easier, but it’s actually investing in each other’s lives that takes it a step beyond ‘liking’ the pictures of dinner posted every other day.

Anthony and I have done our best to keep in touch since we have lived on separate coasts for a while now.  Him and his (now wife) made the trek to Phil and I’s wedding in March, and we couldn’t wait to repay the favor.

Since the wedding wasn’t until later in the afternoon on Saturday, Phil and I were again at the mercy of Nick and Michelle, in the best way possible.  They took their responsibility seriously and drove us to get some of the best taco’s we’ve ever put in our faces.

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I drank horchata and sat outside and absorbed vitamin D in my skin while I inhaled chorizo in my mouth. It was a beautiful day for a wedding.

There’s something really surreal when you attend a wedding with guests you haven’t seen in anywhere from 8-12 years. Guests which include old classmates, the underclassmen you hardly gave the time of day, and the parents of the groom who used to keep an eye on you and your friends when you had theatre sleepovers. Everyone goes back to zero when you come back together as adults.

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It puts into perspective how much high school doesn’t matter in the ways you think. It can cultivate lifelong friendships, while at the same time making you think you know everything at 18. And you know nothing at 18. Seeing old friends and acquaintances throws you into a situation where you see who’s grown up, who hasn’t, who’s made a life for themselves in ways you never imagined while others are doing exactly what you thought they would.  I’m not sure what category my former alum put me in while I silently did the same.  But I can say one thing, everyone was so damn nice and pleasant to catch up with. And I couldn’t wait to introduce my husband to them, because let’s put it out there, my husband is the shit. And it was wonderful to hug the former drama chaperones who were now watching their son get married.

The ceremony and reception took place at the beautiful Yamashiro restaurant and event space. I wish I had more pictures from the wedding but I went old school and purely enjoyed my time without documenting all the laughs and happy tears and epic white people dancing. That’s what the professional photographer is for. 

Phil did snap some photos of the outfit I wore before we headed over.

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My obsession with this dress is so deep I’ve had a watch notification on Modcloth for it. It’s always been sold out in my size and I have been waiting for that magical email saying it was back in stock.  And when I saw it in my inbox, I bought it with zero regrets.

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It is one of the most flattering things I own. It falls perfectly on your figure and gives you a beautiful silhouette.  The draped chiffon material is light and breezy and the polka dots add an extra whimsy to it. I loved wearing it all night and pairing it with these blue strappy Steve Madden’s in shock blue I bought for the occasion.  

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When it comes to strappy heels I think I own…..oh wait, none. I don’t have a lot of reason in my life to have any, and I know I should at least have one good black and one tan pair but I don’t. But I thought with my dress being such a neutral color I could get away with some fun shoes that I would later wear with skinny jeans, other dresses or the second pair of pixie pants I have coming in the mail. And when I discovered these gems on sale on top of clearance, well, that guilty purchase factor basically disappears.

Are these the most comfortable shoes you’ll wear? No. But find me heels in this vein that are. Please, that’s a serious request.  Regardless I’ll definitely wear them again knowing that I can’t walk in them for 10 hours, but I can for about 5. And I can totally dance in them.

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I love this earring cuff trend that’s come into the world lately.  It’s such a pretty detail in jewelry.

The time zone change really took a toll on us so even at the wedding after party we were probably some the first to Irish exit our way out of there. Seeing Anthony marry Chris, who he’s been with for close to ten years, was such a treat and so special.  I loved seeing my longtime friend so happy. And Phil and I had a much overdue blast in LA. We decided we’re still meant for New York, but we have to make more of an effort to visit the west coast.

 

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Modcloth Undeniably Adorable Dress / Steve Madden Heels / Forever 21 earrings (similar)

 

As gifts, on each of our place settings were meringue cookies made by the same pastry shop who designed Anthony’s cake. I decided to put my own spin on them. So I made meringue cookies with a blackberry swirl.

For the blackberry syrup
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For the meringue cookies
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Meringue Cookies with Blackberry swirl
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For blackberry syrup
  1. 1 heaping cup of blackberries
  2. 1/2 cup sugar
  3. 1 cup water
For cookies
  1. 3 egg whites room temperature
  2. 1 tsp lemon juice
  3. 1/2 tsp salt
  4. 3/4 cup sugar
For the syrup
  1. Place all ingredients in medium sauce pan and bring to boil
  2. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 20 minutes
  3. Strain and allow to cool before using
For the cookies
  1. Freeze your mixing bowl and whisk attachment for at least 10 minutes but ideally 30 before using
  2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees
  3. Whisk egg whites on low until foamy, then add lemon juice and salt
  4. Turn speed up to medium and whisk in sugar, pouring slowly
  5. Up the speed to high and whisk until stiff peaks form, it will double in size
  6. Take heaping spoonfuls and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  7. Lightly flatten cookies with back of spoon, then pour about 1 tbsp of blackberry syrup over cookie, using a toothpick to swirl syrup into cookie
  8. Bake for 2 hours, cookies should be firm when touched and if you attempt to peel off parchment paper should remove easily
  9. If not firm, continue to check every five minutes until desired consistency, then turn off oven and crack open to allow cookies to dry out overnight
Notes
  1. *These cookies are the easiest all day project you'll ever tackle, they obviously must be made in advance
  2. *I had blackberries in the fridge, feel free to use any fruit of choice
Adapted from A Happy Food Dance
Domestic B(i)atch http://domesticbatch.com/
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Full of whimsy! Just like my polka dotted dress.  

Until next time LA……..

We all deserve a little treat.....share!
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One Response to Sunshine & Love in LA: Part 2

  1. Bridgete says:

    I love all your posts but especially this one. Ashley, you don’t need anyone to tell you this but you are and always have been so super talented. I truly enjoy reading about all the wonders you are creating in your life. You truly inspire me to embrace life and not keeping making lists of what I want but to actually do those things.
    Just wanted to let you know, you have another fan who loves the sparkle you are sharing with this planet.
    Happy Monday,
    Bridgete

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