Word[s] of The Year[s]

Word[s] of The Year[s]

Shortly before 2015 began I came across the concept of choosing a word to center your year around as opposed to making a resolution. As I listened to the woman talk about her word and how it weaved throughout her year, I was sold on the concept. Listening to her gave me the sense that her year had been fulfilled in the way that she wanted, and not simply by making an empty promise to herself, but by thinking on, reflecting on, and applying her word throughout every aspect of her life. 

Right then, I had my word. Aware.

#TheNewlyNalls One Year Anniversary!

Our One Year Anniversary is TODAY! WHOA - I've been a married lady for a YEAR?!? Doesn't feel real. Our first year of marriage has been a whirlwind, which I'm sure I'll go more into later, so when I finally had time to post our wedding photos it was about 8 months after the fact. I decided if I've waited this long - I might as well wait until our ONE YEAR!!! Which is today. Bonkers.

Instead of unleashing it all at once, I'm going to post sections of the day and the planning that lead up to it, including any tips and stories that fed into the details of the big day. I have to admit, I had most of the say - after-all, this is what I LOVE doing. Carl was very supportive along the planning journey, but when it came to the design details he mostly just gave his approval and let me have the reigns. He's awesome.

The Theme

I want to preface this by saying that I was not one of those girls that dreamed about her wedding. Ever. It wasn't until college when I started considering it - and then when Carl and I began dating, it didn't take long for me to know he was who I had been waiting for. At some point along the way, I knew I wanted it to be Alice in Wonderland themed. For as long as I can remember, I've had a love for the story - it's curious whimsy. Maybe it was my Great Aunt Alice that solidified my obsession. She was a spectacular woman - and she had the most specific things she adored. She loved roses and bleeding hearts and she used to make the best cherry jubilee desert! I didn't know much about her life when she was young, but I always imagined her living an adventurous one. After she passed, my mom and I moved into her house and my mom still lives there to this day. I have a few of her things, including some jewelry. As my "Something Old" I wore my very favorite pair of earrings she gave me in her honor.


The theme being Alice in Wonderland wasn't quite right. I didn't want to leave it there. I was left wondering, how do I combine Alice in Wonderland, Vintage, Fall and Hippie elements? Thus the birth of Alice In Autumnland.

Once the theme was established it was off to the races from there - idea overload. I can't wait to share more soon, but for now I'll leave you with a few Alice touches and some tips on coming up with your own wedding "theme."

Roses. The Queen of [Bleeding] Hearts / Painting The Roses Red Table. Tastes like...cherry [pie.]

How To Pick a "Theme"

Maybe you've been dreaming of this day all of your life, or maybe you have absolutely NO clue where to start. Either way, coming up with an overall vision for your Big Day can be overwhelming. Our wedding definitely had a distinctive theme, but not every wedding needs that. Creating the vision for your wedding could be as simple as focusing on one or two things that brought you together. Below are some tips and questions to ask yourselves when trying to clarify your vision.

1. Think about how you met.

This one seems fairly obvious, and as such can be overlooked as a viable option. Maybe you met at a concert, or you kept seeing each other at the same shows of your favorite musician. Your wedding could be musically "themed." You could take your engagement pictures at the music venue, or even get married there. [A friend of mine did this - she and her husband met at a concert and years later, that was the very place where they exchanged their vows. It was gorgeous!] For decor, you could take some of your favorite lyrics that mean the most to both of you and incorporate them in the centerpieces or backdrop displays throughout the ceremony and reception.

2. What are some of your very favorite things?

Some of my very favorite weddings I've seen have involved combining a few of the bride and groom's obsessions. My hands-down favorite one of these was unicorn, rainbow & cowboy themed done by Hey Gorgeous Events. Everything about this wedding is amazing! At first, hearing those things together might not sound possible, but the bright colors incorporated with little Western touches really pulls it together and makes for one of the most unique weddings I think there's ever been. If you couldn't tell - I think this is the most fun out of all of the methods. Having a Bride and Groom with such SPECIFIC obsessions is the ultimate challenge. I'm a super nerd when it comes to learning and I LOVE diving into the knitty gritty details of a subject to find how to incorporate as many details as possible. This is the dream job. 

3. What do you have in common?

Again - we're not recreating the wheel here. Thinking about what the two of you have in common and using it as the focus of the design really tells a story about the two of you. One of my favorite examples of this was from our friends' wedding last year. We all went to school for architecture together and they used their love of architecture as a theme throughout the decor. For the escort cards, they used little elongated houses made out of wood and painted black with each guest's name and table written on it in white. They also named each table after a famous architect and used little houses for the table names and little red houses as the cake toppers. It was adorable, clean, and elegant. 

Whichever direction you take, or maybe you take all three, all that matters is that the day is a reflection of you and the love you share together. Brides often get caught up in comparing their days to other weddings they've been to, or seen online. Don't get me wrong, pinterest is a helpful tool, but it should end there. The best and most beautiful weddings are the ones that tell a story, not ones simply pulled from a magazine. I loved planning our wedding SO much because it was dripping with little details from our lives. Sure, few people knew - but we knew. Being able to incorporate the two of you into your day is the absolute BEST part of the design process - it's what makes me LOVE what I do. 

Wishing you the best & Happy Planning!

Love & Blessings, Genevieve

All Professional Photography was taken by the beautifully talented and lovely Lindsey Plevyak. I can't give her enough praise. All other vendors will be listed at the end of all the wedding posts to keep them in one place.

I Love New York


Day 01 

As a non-New Yorker, I was warned not to get into any unmarked cars...

I started the morning at the airport undergoing quite the ordeal involving a gypsy cab and me not knowing whether or not I was going to have to enlist Liam's services and his very particular set of skills. I kept my GPS on the entire time to make sure the driver was going in the right direction and after only one almost-accident with an oncoming, merging car, I made it to Brooklyn. Below, is my Facebook post I made during the ride chronicling our interaction partly as a calming mechanism and partly as a 'just in case someone needs to know where I was last seen' note... My mother was not a fan of this.

"Me: [looking for cab]
Stranger: Cab? 
Me: Yeah
Stranger: This way...
[Walking to "cab"]
Me: [Clearly seeing a gray car with absolutely no sign of cab markings or visible proof of a license.] Uh, this doesn't look like a cab...
Driver: [Putting my bag in trunk] Yes yes I work for [mumble mumble foreign accent mumble mumble] Where to?
Me: Brooklyn. [Holy crap - should I get in this car? My bag is in the trunk. He's in the driver's seat. Uhhh what is my body doing...oh crap...I'm getting in. I'm shutting the door. I'm putting my seatbelt on. Ohhhhhhhh.]
[In car... five minutes later]
Me: [Seeing no meter] So how much is this?
Driver: $50
Me: $50?
Driver: For you $45
Me: Ok. [Dang - swindled. It all happened so fast]

En route to Brooklyn, letting you know in case someone needs to get Liam on the phone."

Upon arrival I confirmed with my friend's roommate that I wasn't swindled too badly and that $45 was a pretty normal rate, so... at least there's that. I dropped off my things, freshened up and headed out for a day in the city. 

First Stop

It only felt fitting to pay my respects to the 9/11 Freedom Tower Memorial as the very first thing I did in the city. PWP Landscape Architecture designed the breathtaking memorial. Looking into those ominous voids encircled by the names of the victims was truly a powerful experience. They did such an amazing job creating a space that is as heavy in permanence as it is in unity. If you've never been to New York, or if it's been a while, I urge you to make the pilgrimage to the memorial. Gaze into the voids, sit amongst the trees, and remember - appreciate the freedom we have in this country. It will truly take your breath away.

Second Stop

Wellll... the second stop was less of a stop and more of a walk - a LONG walk. After spending a while meandering around the memorial; I wanted to see more of the city, walk the streets, take it in, feel the pulse. I asked a security guard for directions to Broadway and after pointing me the right way I started to walk - he stopped me.

"Ma'am, where are you trying to go?"

"900 Broadway."

"That's a LONG way away!"

"I know - but I feel like walkin' it."

"Alright, well, good luck."

He must have thought I was crazy. I had planned on making a couple of surprise visits to two of my heroes, one in business - the other in design, but as I walked, I felt like I was trying to cram too much into the day and that I should take the time to slow down a bit and really enjoy a few things instead of checking a bunch of things off of my never-ending "list." It felt good to walk and see so many different things. I really love New York - so much to see, so much to do, so many people from so many different backgrounds. It's just - awesome.

Third Stop

I walked as far as I could before my feet could not longer handle being in the upright position. The Guggenheim was the last thing I wanted to do for the day and after walking about half-way there from The Financial District, I hopped onto the Subway and headed Uptown to 86th and then walked the few blocks the rest of the way to The Guggenheim.

Six years ago, I walked 40 blocks to the Guggenheim, knowing only that I wanted to see the lobby. When I finally arrived, I was stunned to see my favorite artist, Kandinsky, was being featured. With only ten minutes before we had to leave and $20 to my name, I rushed to the gift store searching for a memento. At the end of the ten minutes, I walked out with a $13 set of four magnets depicting Kandinsky paintings, one of which was my all-time favorite - Black Lines. I never saw the lobby. Worth it. [I say that as a former architecture student.]

On this day, I returned to find the ramps closed due to changing exhibitions and the Kandinsky collection reduced to a mere six paintings. [I never seem to have much luck with The Gugg.] I purchased my reduced priced ticket and turned to take my pictures of the lobby - I could at least do that after six years. [No need to picture them here, just Google it and you'll get the idea.] I got in the elevator and made my way to the top to see the featured artist, Doris Salcedo. She was being featured on every floor, except level 3 - the Kandinksy level.

Her work involves altering common household objects or furniture such as a chair, or an armoir as a commentary of various political statements as well as a way to capture and represent memories. That doesn't do it very much justice, but you can read more about her. I've linked to my very favorite piece of hers. I first discovered it while I was in school and actually used the piece to represent dirt/ the ground in my building sections during my Thesis Year. At the time, I had no idea who was responsible for such an amazing installation but knew I wanted to incorporate it. Imagine my surprise that after visiting the Guggenheim, the first time, on a studio related trip - I found the artist of the mysterious work I had used in my studio work three years earlier, on my second, non-studio related trip. It's. Like. A. Circle.

After seeing Doris' work I headed to the third floor to finally see what I came for. After being greeted by a wall bearing his name, I took a breath and rounded the corner. There, on the other side of the wall, was Black Lines. I stopped, gasped, and floated towards it.

I must have stood in front of it for what felt like 20 minutes, getting choked up. I've never been moved by a painting before. Sure, I've appreciated many paintings over the years, but this was different. I could have gladly spent the rest of the trip standing right there - taking it in. I guess I never thought I'd see it in real life. I literally almost cried by myself standing in front of a painting surrounded by complete strangers - but I didn't care. It is just so beautiful, and I'm forever grateful I got to see it in person. 

To compose myself and to celebrate, I bought an overpriced brownie and cup of merlot in the adjacent cafe. I sat there taking my time, enjoying every single bite and every sip. I think I wanted to make those couple of hours last as long as I possibly could. Once I noticed that everyone had left the cafe and that the staff was getting ready to shut it down, I made my way back to it and sat for another ten or fifteen minutes gazing. Again, I made my way to the gift shop to purchase a souvenir, and after much deliberation, I chose the bookmarks with my painting printed on one of twelve. 

It was truly a beautiful day - a privilege. I spent the day partaking in so many inspiring, moving, and lovely experiences. However, my one-week old shoes traversing over many many many city blocks later, had left my feet just about immobile. My phone was completely dead from taking so many pictures and using my GPS all day, and after the poor judgement in cab choices earlier, I made the decision that I was just TOO far away from my four-day home to make the trip back on an empty battery. Thirty minutes, one partially charged phone, and a medium pumpkin cold-brew later, I made my trek back.

Final Stop

After climbing out of my last subway stop for the day, I began walking home - when who should I run into on the street? Why, my dear friend and host that I hadn't seen in twelve years! [Whoa - twelve years...that's crazy.] We hugged and began chatting as if no time had passed and that we had always been the best of friends. Technology is just so cool - had it not been for Facebook and Instagram, we never would have formed a stronger friendship post High School Graduation. She is simply the loveliest person - sweet, generous, hilarious, witty, chic, the list goes on and on. She had read my post about drinking Merlot in a Frank Lloyd Wright building and was on her way to purchase a bottle as a surprise before I made it back. We made it back to her apartment and she made a spread of sliced french baguettes, prosciutto and wine as a pre-dinner snack. 

For dinner, we met her boyfriend at Littleneck's, the cutest little seafood restaurant - and check out that mood lighting. We ordered an array of things to share, including oysters. I was a little hesitant to shoot oysters, as you can see below, but in general, I'm up for anything once. If I don't like it, I never have to do it again - as they say, you'll never know unless you try... I don't think I'll be doing that again. We ate, we drank, we talked, we laughed - it was a delicious and perfect end to an amazing day... just what I needed.

Getting it Together...

I don't know about you - but this year has been CHAOS. Carl and I definitely took on way too much this year, especially with it being our first year of marriage. Now, it seems like some things are winding down a bit and we're getting together this weekend to lay out the rest of the year to plan out as much as we can so that everything we have to do doesn't seem SO overwhelming.

Last night I threw together a quick Planner Print-Out for us to use and thought it might be helpful for some of you as well - so you can get it HERE.

It's a nine page document and will hopefully be SUPER helpful for you.


Use the first three sheets titled 'PROJECTS' to dump everything that is your brain. Absolutely everything that you can think of that you need to do between now and the end of the year.


Use the next three sheets titled ' [MONTH] PROJECTS' to start organizing what you put on the first three sheets into which month you think you need to accomplish your specific tasks.


Use the last three calendar sheets to take it a step further. Organize your monthly project list into chronological order and label the specific days with which task you need to accomplish.

It's SUPER nerdy but you will be SO relieved and you will have a plan down on paper to carry you through the rest of the year. After all...

How you end one season is how you begin the next.
— Pastor Steven Furtick

... and you want to set yourself up to enter 2016 strong! Good luck!

Love & Blessings,


More Than One

Design is a full time job
It is the way you look at politics, funny papers, listen to music, raise children...
— Charles Eames

So, what do you do?

I'm a designer.


Design is hard to define. It's life. It's all encompassing. It's everywhere you look. It's decisions AND it's feelings. I've wrestled with the notion of picking my 'thing' for the majority of my life. I felt pressured and constricted to just pick ONE.

Why? Why just one?

This world is so jam-packed with beautiful places, people, things, experiences, why would I or better yet, why should I have to limit myself to one? In a world where mastery is highly praised [as it should be,] being a jack-of-all trades is often ridiculed and diminished. 

So, when you're a designer [and a dabbler,] it's difficult to narrow down what it is you actually do. One day it could be architecture, the next a lamp, the next a wedding, the next an ad campaign, the next an art exhibition, etc. 

To me, it's all the same. It's about the process, the intent and the expression. What are you creating and for whom? The tools are the same, but the canvas is different. I know I'm vastly over-simplifying it. It's important to have a focus, but that certainly doesn't mean you have to have the same focus for the rest of your life. Architecture was my focus for 24 years, the last two years have been a re-shifting of that focus, and now I'm focusing on Graphics and Events, or rather Identity and Experience design. 

I couldn't be more excited and would encourage anyone to go towards what lights them up. It's scary at first - you feel like you can't change now, because that would mean you've wasted so much time. That couldn't be further from the truth. Nothing is wasted. Your past and your experiences have all culminated in making you who you are today. It's never too late to make a change!

So. What do I do?

I design. 

Yesterday it was a building. Today it was a logo. 

Ask me again tomorrow.