Resolutions can be divisive and I get that. I’m one of those admittedly annoying people that happens to love making a clear set of goals for myself at the start of each year. And while I won’t bore you with everything on my ’24 for ’24 List’ (some are as mundane as find a new dentist) I did want to share how I’m approaching them as a whole. Intentions and process rather than outcomes and shiny ‘afters’. As I look at the new year ahead I keep coming back to this phrase (from James Clear’s newsletter this week):

Think in decades, act in days. 

When I consider the areas of my life where I’ve been met with any modicum of success thus far, it’s been because – without phrasing it as such – I’ve adopted this outlook. 

– Career

– Personal Finances

– Health

– Relationships

All of it has been best served when I’ve had a long-term macro sense of where I wanted to be and then took small, measurable, daily actions in the interim towards those goals. I removed motivation and luck and divine intervention from the equation. It’s not fate that’s going to keep Adam and I together, or winning the lottery that’s going to stabilize my retirement, or some magic pill that’s going to help me stay in shape. It’s small acts, day by day.

In other, punchier, words: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. 

Case in point  – I’ve got several goals this year that this applies to perfectly. How do I publish a book someday? I write 1,000 words a week. How do I maintain my current strength/fitness? I wake-up at 6:15AM and exercise before work everyday, I add mileage to my running routine, I continue to be mindful to what I eat and drink. How do Adam and I plan for our financial future while also making the most of our current place in life as child-free newlyweds? We keep an active working budget that we review weekly and make joint decisions on new purchases/experiences along with savings/investments. It feels, if not easy, then simple.

In reality, I’m sure there will be days when this approach feels hard rather than frictionless, and I’m not talking about a year of relentless self improvement, but I do think that this simple phrase is a great guiding light for me personally as I look forward to 2024. 

I leave you with another phrase that gave me pause this week (it’s a week of motivational phrases – I’m not sorry!)

If it’s not: making me happier, making me money, making me better – I’m not doing it.

Here’s to 2024 friends.



If I had to name the moment that this year changed from a slow ascent towards a rollercoaster’s summit into a free-wheeling ride filled with highs, lows and some fairly profound personal growth – I’d pin it all on May 13th. The night of the Taylor Swift Eras Tour in Philadelphia. Her ‘hometown’ show and the day I turned 36. Maybe some magic was released from seeing her perform the soundtrack to the last nearly two decades of my life, a song to match every crushing heartbreak and soaring love, every personal stumble and hard-fought success. Perhaps it was being back in Pennsylvania with my childhood best friend, who was there the night I turned 18 (another formidably memorable birthday) and now, having exactly doubled our age, was still there laughing and screaming by my side. Or the fact that Adam drove two hours each way just to chauffeur us safely to the stadium (if you find someone that exhibits this type of endless generosity, I suggest you marry them).

Was it something in the confrontation of these past selves that allowed me to let go of some of the weight they’d been carrying? I could be giving Taylor too much credit here.. but I doubt it. You try standing beside 70,000 (mostly) girls and screaming a 10 minute break-up song written 10 years ago and see if you’re not changed for the better.

When I go to recap the specifics there was the highlight reel that you all saw – the early spring getaway to Palm Springs, the walking marathon of NYC, Springsteen at Madison Square Garden with my Dad and Taylor (twice!) and lots of other smaller shows in between, the fun nights out in New York, the weekends at the lake, our wedding (!!!) and subsequent honeymoon in Paris and the South of France. Core memories created.

On the flip side, there are the parts that are harder to capture on Instagram. Work nearly ate me alive at several points this year. Within a 2 month span leading up to our wedding Adam and I both had a beloved grandparent die. My Mom was diagnosed with Breast Cancer last month (I’m not sure that I’ll talk about this much more here – but send good thoughts, will you?). At one point I was so stressed I developed a stomach ulcer and then a small hernia. And that’s just the stuff that feels black and white, nameable.

Internally, the year has felt even more monumental. Without giving it too much thought, I quietly started to let go of a lot of the beliefs I’d been holding about myself. Negative notions that I’d been grasping far too tightly for far too long without really realizing. Some are seismic: that I wasn’t ready to lead a department at work, that maybe I wasn’t really marriage material, that my body had changed in a permanent way, that certain people’s thoughts/opinions were always going to cause me to spiral. Some more nuanced: that I needed the particular food/drink I was giving to myself, that certain places in New York weren’t open to me, that I wasn’t good at baking (an echo from when some old forgotten boyfriend told me I wasn’t), that I couldn’t actually write a book. For a person who feels fairly confident in who I am, it was pretty astounding once I started to confront some of these. As it turns out, I could change.. just by deciding to! Just by releasing the white knuckle grip I’d had on it all.

And so we decided to get married. Our relationship feels largely unchanged but we had such a joy-filled marker of the past 13 years and look ahead to the next decades with a fresh optimism. I’m wholly happy with our decision to do it. I like being one half of ‘The Steeles’.

I radically changed my relationship with food and drink. Part of it started under doctor’s orders due to the stomach ulcer – and then it all sort of snowballed. If you had asked me a year ago if I could go a week without alcohol or Diet Coke (probably most clingingly, the latter) I would have hated to answer. But now – no big deal. Maybe I have a couple diet cokes a week. Maybe I have 1 cocktail. Maybe other people at the table are drinking them and I’m not. Sugary sweets feel like a treat, but no longer a real craving. I found an equilibrium to what my body actually needed. I also found new solace and resolve in my workouts and look forward to them (instead of feeling burdened by them) most days of the week – pushing myself further and regaining the runner’s form I felt sure I’d lost forever. I end this year having shed just shy of 20 pounds, meaning I’m back to weighing nearly the same as I did at 18. But radically stronger. And it’s not about that number – it’s about the fact that I feel free from having to eat/drink certain things to feel like I can make it through the day. That a dinner without carbs doesn’t feel like a punishment but an investment in my longterm health. It’s about the fact that I feel strong when I workout and no longer feel bloated half the time and that I sleep better. It’s about having back an energy that I haven’t had in a long time.

I stepped up at work and was challenged and rewarded by it. I started booking reservations at the restaurants I’d always wanted to try here in New York but always felt intimidated by. I resolved to stop letting a person in my life get a rise out of me with their outlook on life – it’s probably their problem, but it’s certainly no longer mine. I baked every dessert for my family’s Thanksgiving meal and they all turned out great. I’m excited to try new recipes. I have a few thousand words towards my novel with a plan for how I’ll continue writing this year.

I feel free and grounded in a way that I’m not sure I ever have. I feel no sense of longing for the single woman I once was, no shame for the specific body that carried me these past 5+ years, no contempt for the girl that would prefer to have a second, and then a third, drink, no burden by the negativity that someone else exudes. I just don’t need to hold it all anymore. In letting go, I gained so much this year. I’ll truly never forget 2023 – it’s unique highs and lows – and can’t wait to see what 2024 brings. I suspect there will be more joy, more challenges, more loss – and I feel better positioned to take it all.

Lastly, a sincere thank you to you all for being here – I felt bolstered by so many of you this year and I feel continually grateful for this small sliver of the internet. I hope that there were plenty of lessons and love in the past 365 days for you all. See you in the new year.

LET’S CATCH UP 12.27.23

Can you believe we’re in the final throes of 2023? What a strange and wonderful and wild year. I’ll have a full recap coming later this week, but for now – let’s slow down and catch up. I’m on my last more working day of the year before some much needed time off and am so looking forward to a bit of self care/home care (hair appointments are booked, closets are waiting to be organized) plus a few fun plans thrown in here and there. Below – what else is on my mind, on my bookshelf and in my cart (holy sales!). Hope you’re all enjoying the holidays and are carving out some time for yourselves this week.


  • We still haven’t made concrete NYE plans – but I’m leaning towards an early dinner out (so we have the chance to still dress up and feel the New York City buzz) and then home by 10ish to watch When Harry Met Sally (a NYE tradition of ours) and see the ball drop. In bed by 12:30PM. Sounds good to me?
  • I’ve had the itch to start a newsletter for years now as a way to collect ideas in a looser format than here on the blog – maybe 2024 will be the time? I’m loving following people on Substack lately, especially Joanna Goddard, Olivia Meunter and Becky Malinsky.
  • I’m getting the aforementioned, much needed, haircut tomorrow and I’m veryyy tempted to go full Jenny Walton – the ultimate in chic, no?
  • I can’t believe it’s taken me two months (a reflection of how hectic life has been) but I am finally going to see ‘Priscilla‘ tomorrow night. Since ‘The Virgin Suicides’ days, I’ve wanted nothing more than to live in a Sofia Coppola dream world.
  • Speaking of watching – we’ve been saving the following to get us through the dark nights of winter: Season 2 of The Gilded Age, the second half of The Crown final season, and the new season of The Great British Baking Show.


  • I can’t wait to have some time to really dive into books over my extended holiday weekend. My TBR stack has gotten a bit out of control and I generally feel a bit off balance when I’m not reading regularly – plus, as with every year, after indulging in a few back to back saccharine holiday rom-coms my brain is ready for something more literary. Here’s what’s in my stack:
  • I just picked up Madame de Pompadour by Nancy Mitford – a historical biography from 2001 on the infamous mistress of Louis XV. The non-fiction feels like a nice mental change of space and I’m loving being transported back to Versailles.
  • Continuing on the backlist train, I found a copy of Empire Falls by Richard Russo (from 2002, it won the Pulitzer that year) and can’t wait to dive in. I’ve heard the setting of this novel described as a literary Stars Hollow (of Gilmore Girls fame) and you know I was sold.
  • Okay a newer one: Happy Hour by Marlowe Granados – The New Yorker called this as refreshing as gin fizz and likened it to having ‘all the barbed charm of Nancy Mitford’ – who just so happened to write the Madame de Pompadour previously mentioned. I love bookish serendipity like this! It’s a debut novel about a young ingenue moving to New York City in the pursuit of pleasure – didn’t we all?
  • If my library hold ever comes in, I’ll be able to start my next pick for book club: Go As A River by Shelley Read. A coming of age story set in Colorado, this has been billed as good for fans of Where the Crawdads Sing.



  • So. many. sales. I plan to do a big closet clean-out later this week and donate a bunch of things that no longer align with my style, don’t fit or just aren’t getting worn for one reason or another. That way I’ll be able to better see what gaps I might need filled in my wardrobe. My approach to the sales to this time of year is to stock up on basics, fill wardrobe gaps and snag pieces from great, quality brands that at full price might be just outside of my price range. Here’s what I’m eyeing and have already been buying:
  • J.Crew’s Sale is an extra 60% off – this lace jacket, striped henley and fair isle sweater are all hanging in my cart. You can’t beat those prices!
  • I have a similar pair of these Talbots shearling boots from a past season, but if I didn’t I’d 100% be grabbing these! So cozy and would be cute with jeans, leggings or even skirt and tights. They’re an extra 40% off right now + 20% off on top of that today! And if you don’t already own them – my favorite wide leg trousers are on sale too! Same goes for this faux leather blazer. Thank me later.
  • I’ve been watching Charleston based boutique Hampden Clothing for ages now – even more so after a colleague of mine moved back to South Carolina and took on an art director role there. They sell so many amazing designer brands mixed in with smaller labels that are new to me. They generously let me take a crack at their End of Season Sale section and I made out like a bandit – I can’t wait for this denim jumpsuit, these chocolate suede pumps and this suede mini skirt to arrive. All an extra 20% off right now!
  • Alex Mill is having a rare sale right now and I’m eyeing this corduroy vest. Grandpa-core is trending in case you haven’t heard.
  • Have you heard of Frances Valentine? It’s like the older sister to Kate Spade – same wit, but a little less sweet and a little more classic. I’ve long admired their bags and, at an extra 30% off the sale price, might finally grab this wool plaid one to add a pop of color against solid color coats this season.
  • Reformation is having a pretty killed End of Season Sale and stock is going fast. I grabbed this fitted cashmere cardigan (size up if you’re tall as it’s a bit cropped), this leopard print mini dress (just waiting for winter date nights) and these fun plaid pants to add a bit of spice to my winter wardrobe doldrums.
  • Shopbop has an extra 30% off sale styles too – I have this dress in a gold metallic knit but I love the slate grey/blue for a more dressed down vibe. Would be great for a warm weather escape this winter – and that price! A nice belt has been on my wishlist too and I love the look of this one – classic and not too logo-heavy.
  • French Connection is extra 40% off sale – this double breasted vest dress, this faux leather skirt and this tweed blazer and mini skirt set are all absolute workhorses in my wardrobe since fall – highly recommend. I’m eyeing this faux leather and fur vest.




When we last left off in the Wedding Diary: Part One – Adam had just left our suite to get ready for the evening separately. My sister arrived, champagne, silk pajamas, hair and make-up tools in tow. We put on a ‘getting ready’ playlist and spent the next hour or so getting ourselves ready for the night ahead. My parents stopped by from down the hall to say hi, my two best friends from college came by and did their own hair and make-up there too before heading off to the venue – it was a revolving door of some of the people I love most. It was a fun period of the day but also in the moment, I was feeling the most stressed. The weather was tenuous at best and we’d just asked 30 of our closest family and friends to come to New York City and wait for us on a rooftop.

The vendors had begun to deliver things, the tables were being set.. really there was no turning back. Suddenly it was 5:00 PM – everyone was heading to the cocktail hour and Leandra, our incredible photographer was coming back to the Ludlow to capture a first look. For the first time since 7:00 AM, I was alone in the room, in my dress. Adam was 3 doors down the hall. Later we recounted that we’d both stood at the window, looking out over downtown and watched it begin to rain. And then we took a few deep breaths and came to meet each other.

Me, in a very simple silk slip dress – found for half price this summer from Reformation and hemmed at my local tailor, vintage paste stone earrings from Alexis Bittar (where I work) and a more walkable block heel sandal with just a touch of sparkle from Loeffler Randall – all brands that I wear and love regularly so I felt completely at ease in them. My hair let down from the morning’s bun to fall in retro waves and parted to the side. Lips bright red in Ruby Woo – the lipstick I wore constantly when I first moved to New York. An ivory mohair cardigan from French brand Sezane to drape over my shoulders in the chilly evening air. The inspiration was Carolyn Bessette at her wedding to JFK Jr. – a simple, timeless elegance + a touch of old hollywood glamour. Adam, in a silk tie neck shirt, wrapped twice, and a double breasted jacquard vest, vintage trousers and black patent loafers.

We were together, come what may. We had a few quiet moments to ourselves and then we were off, into a cab headed from the Lower East Side to Nolita – just as the rain began to stop again.

As we were making our way to the venue, our 30 guests were huddled inside – the bartender passing drinks down the staircase for a banded together makeshift happy hour that everyone was looking back on and laughing about already by the time we arrived. If you look closely you’ll see the place settings still upside down from when they set the tables only to have it start raining. Chairs wiped down before we got there and tablecloths and settings that were miraculously dry enough for us to sit less than 2 hours later.

My Dad met Adam and I downstairs, and then we were in the tiny stairwell leading up to the roof. My best friend Claire, who had spent months helping me expertly craft our wedding playlist and was so generously willing to hit ‘play’ was waiting at the top of the stairs and it was so nice seeing her first. Her being the one to give us our cue to walk.

What I remember: the opening chords of the Beach Boys’ ‘Don’t Worry Baby’ (the song we’d picked for him to walk out to) coming over the speakers, Adam turning the corner and hearing the tiny crowd erupt in cheers. My Dad giving me a steadying look, picking up the hem of my dress to keep it from touching the somewhat wet steps, the feel of his new wool suit against my bare arm. Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Secret Garden’ starting to play, how we made the turn out to the roof just as the music started to swell. How even with just 30 people I felt like I couldn’t quite meet anyone’s eyes until we made the turn and my childhood best friend Joanna came into focus, Adam beside her.

In a happy accident the microphones had been ruined in the earlier rain and so we could exchange our vows to one another quietly. We took our first dance to Smokey Robinson & The Miracles’ ‘You’ve Really Got a Hold On Me’ – a song that reminded us of the early days when we’d first met, both of us swearing we weren’t going to be together but finding it impossible to resist.

And then, as the lights began to go up in the city around us, string lights sparkling, we were free to breath. We greeted our guests, were handed drinks (a French75 for me, a Manhattan for Adam – our signature cocktails for the night) and wandered around the rooftop – never much more than an arm’s length away from one another. We’d pause and listen to a particular snippet of a song we love – mouthing the words to one another.

Every single guest had traveled to be there that night. Most from Pennsylvania but a few from further and it meant to world to have our 30 closest friends and family in this city where we’ve built a life together. My sister and Adam both gave a short toast, we sipped good champagne and then we served dinner from Rosemary’s – one of our favorite local restaurants. I’ve honestly never had a memorable meal at a wedding and so we thought – why try to cater steak? We could just serve great pasta from one of our favorite local restaurants and then whenever we feel like it, we can have the same meal we ate at our wedding.

Keeping in the spirit of sourcing things locally – we had a small lemon curd and olive oil cake made by From Lucie – a French bakery in the East Village (same thing, we can eat our wedding cake on every anniversary if we’d like) and trays of cookies from Bedford Cheese Shop that did our appetizer plates as well – they’re right around the corner from us in Gramercy.

We served coffee in classic NY blue paper coffee cups. I danced with my Dad to Sam Cooke’s ‘Nothing Can Change This Love’. The rest of us swept the dance floor. We played Amy Winehouse’s ‘Valerie’ for my dear friend from college Val as she twirled around. My cousin’s wife Raquel, whom I adore, hooted and hollered – a true country girl in NYC. One of our oldest friends Dave came around with a tray of tequila shots – no idea how he procured it. It was spectacular.

We laughed and danced and then.. like clockwork, it started to rain just as the party was meant to wrap up. We ran for cover downstairs. I changed into a white party dress from Staud and silver platform heels and a handful of us were off to the after party. Final finals (and then some) at The Flower Shop in the Lower East Side. It was a rain soaked blur of a late night adventure until finally I looked over at Adam and said.. let’s go home.

It wasn’t perfect.. nothing is. But it was really and truly ours. And if I had to do it again – aside from maybe getting a really beautiful sunset as our backdrop – I wouldn’t change a thing.

All photos by Leandra Creative Co.


There is a line in the 1999 movie Runaway Bride that has stuck with me since I was 12 years old. Julia Roberts character says “I hate big weddings with everybody staring. I would like to get married on a weekday while everybody is at work. And if I ride off into the sunset, I want my own horse.” It took me another 24 years to get there (and alas, we shared a cab) but in the end, Adam and I were married in City Hall, at 10AM on a grey Thursday – while everyone else in Manhattan was at work.

I’ve been meaning to share the wedding details with you all, and then one thing lead to another (work’s busy season, a few curveballs from life) and now we’re nearly to our two month anniversary. But I hope you’ll still indulge me. It’s going to come in two parts as the day was distinctly split that way.

But first, I’ll pick up where I last left off – at the engagement. When we first decided to get married I was hesitant to share the news at all (I think I waited about a month to do so publicly). I know that most people scream about their diamond rings from the rooftops, but ours wasn’t like that and I think it just felt so precious, so delicate – that I wasn’t sure I wanted it out there in the world. I’m glad I reconsidered because one of the most surprising things about this entire endeavor was the outpouring of well wishes from you all – extended family, old friends, internet acquaintances. So many people who I honestly wouldn’t have guessed thought of us at all, went out of their way to say that they were earnestly happy for us. It really was bolstering, especially since the 3 months leading up to the wedding day proved to be more challenging than I had anticipated. While almost all of it was out of our control (the death of two grandparents, work stress, a stomach ulcer and small hernia, family stuff, the stress of planning and organizing the wedding and the honeymoon very quickly) – that surrounding joy helped me to feel more celebratory in that engagement period when I chose not to have the traditional bridal shower, bachelorette, etc. Needless to say, by the time September 28th rolled around Adam and I were running on fumes, and I presume had checked the weather more times than most meteorologists in the tri-state area.

That being said, the morning of the wedding we woke up to a sweeping view of downtown Manhattan from a beautiful suite in the Ludlow Hotel, and all of that started to fade away. We’d visited the rooftop where we were set to hold the dinner reception the night before with my parents and sister and made the tenuous decision to stick to original plans despite scattered rain in the forecast. And so, with nothing more than a blind trust in what was to come, we began the day. Adam had, in signature fashion, forgotten the shirt that he was going to wear that morning at our apartment so he had to run back home, which left me to get ready alone in our room. What I remember: listening to our wedding playlist, the smallest ray of sunlight parting through the clouds, pinning my curls into a loose bun with a handful of bobby pins, kneeling on the carpet to make a bouquet out of flowers I’d bought the day before at the Union Square farmer’s market, wrapping it with lace from the sleeve of my Mom’s wedding dress and securing the lace with a blue crystal earring from my late Nan (my sister had the other sleeve and half pair on her wedding bouquet 9 years ago), stepping into those ivory lace Manolos.

Adam wore a vintage navy pinstripe 3-piece suit we’d found in a charity shop a few weeks prior and he had tailored. I wore an ivory wool button front dress from New York brand Lein, a subtle flared skirt and puffed sleeves its only “flourish”, aforementioned Manolos, small pearl earrings borrowed from my sister and a vintage satin navy handbag I found on Etsy the week before. For the morning at City Hall I wanted a nod to the 1940s-1960s (my favorite eras) but with a modern twist. Ultimately, I wanted us to look really timeless in the photos, and I’m so happy with how it came together.

We’d built a pretty tight itinerary for the day and so we met our immediate families in the lobby at 9:00AM sharp and got in cars headed for City Hall. We were allowed 4 witnesses, meaning our parents could join us inside while our siblings waited outside. My Dad signed our marriage license with us and in doing so, Adam officially took our last name. From there, we watched the ticker boards until our number (C017) was called. The thing I loved about getting married at City Hall is what I love about New York – there are a million intersecting stories at any given moment. Down the hall was a young bride in chunky black Prada loafers, white knee socks and a white mini dress. Next to us was a bride well into her second or third trimester in a form fitting ivory sweater dress – her and the groom both beaming with love. Behind us – a bride in a full length lace gown, her groom in a sharp suit. We all had our own versions of that day – but we all shared in the excitement of that morning together.

The ceremony itself was brief and straight to the point. I hadn’t looked up exactly what the officiant would say but was happily surprised that we did in fact get to say “I do”, exchange rings – Adam’s a simple black band, mine a tiny row of diamond baguettes – and have an official kiss at the end. The whole thing took no more than 5 minutes and was perfect to me.

We exited City Hall into a snow globe of white confetti (I’d ordered small poppers ahead of time and our family and our amazing photographer Leandra all got into place before we came out the doors) – which was one of my favorite moments of the day. We were officially married and everything after that was icing on the cake of it all.

We took photos on the steps of City Hall and then left with Leandra for photos in Washington Square Park – a place that feels very ‘us’. It’s our local park, the one we’ve been walking to most weekends for a decade, the one where we sat on a bench and decided to get married on a hot night in July while lightning bugs flickered around us. Partially because it was overcast and partially because it was a Thursday at 11AM we miraculously had the place almost to ourselves.. which never happens. We danced by the fountain, paused under the arch, and were generally just sort of swept along with happiness during that photo hour.

From there we dipped into Washington Mews – one of my favorite tucked away streets that you’ll likely recognize as we’ve taken plenty of blog photos there over the year. Again, it was blessedly empty so we could really just relax into the moment.

Our last shot of the morning was a recreation of one of Adam’s grandparent’s wedding photos. A small tribute to his Nana that we lost a few weeks earlier.

Afterwards, Leandra left for a break before returning later and Adam and I were alone. One of the things that was most important to me that day was that we actually get to spend as much of it together as possible. And so, on a corner of Washington Square Park, I changed into little lace ballet flats and we walked to pick up lunch. We stood in line, me holding a bouquet, him holding a cardboard ‘just married’ sign – ordering salads to go. Then we grabbed a cab and took them back to our hotel suite where we promptly changed into robes, ate lunch, talked about the morning, listened to our wedding playlist for that night and just reveled in it together for about an hour. It was one of the best parts of the day.

Then it was time for the shift to the second half of the day.. where time would begin to move much faster. Adam left to move to my sister’s hotel room with my brother in law, and my sister came to our room to start getting ready for the evening. The rest coming in part two!

A few photos from my own camera and iphone, but the majority are from Leandra Creative Co. – she was a dream to work with and we can’t recommend her enough!