Rachael McIntosh Photography

Hey Y’all Hey! Did you miss me? ‘Cause I really missed YOU and I have much to share with you!

Our move to Texas was a super duper quick process! Right before we moved and prior to our decision on relocating…a kismet encounter happened! A long-time friend told me she had a friend visiting New York who was a photographer and suggested we meet one another.

On a cold February morning, Rachael McIntosh came over and I was immediately struck by her warm personality. We became instant friends–chatting, laughing and sharing our love of photography.

Before we began shooting, Rachael asked me “what do you want from your photos? What are you trying to capture?” I loved Rachael’s question! Not only because she was the first photographer to ask me this question but also because it came from a place of genuine interest in her approach to the entire photography session. I replied that I wanted the photos to convey “happiness, candid moments and most importantly to capture this special time in New York City!”

Shooting with Rachael was fun, fun, fun! Who knew you could actually get New Yorkers to bat an eye over something unusual in Grand Central? We did! Bring the party balloons!! ūüôā

I am forever thankful to Rachael for capturing these photos of me enjoying New York, embracing the unknown and eagerly awaiting another adventure!

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First SNOW Days of 2015

Hello Loves! Happy HUMP Day!

Brrr…it’s cold y’all! The Polar Vortex has officially returned, bringing icy temps and our first snow day of 2015! Cold snow days in the city are the best because it’s one of the only times when the hustle and bustle slows down. The city transforms into your own winter wonderland!

Getting this guy all bundled up...he was none too pleased

Getting this guy all bundled up…he was none too pleased

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Royal Sighting [Prince William and Kate Middleton]

Ever since visiting Buckingham Palace in London, I’ve been quite intrigued with the Royal family. ¬†Fun fact: If the Royal Standard flag is flying at Buckingham Palace, the Queen is in residence. Although the flag was flying during my visit, I never saw anyone from the Royal family in person. I never imagined to see Royalty back in the USA but today was my lucky day!!

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are officially here in New York City!! This morning, Prince William and Kate Middleton paid their respects at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Despite the rain downpour and high winds, the couple spent quite awhile at the 9/11 Reflecting Pools. Kate arrived in a beautiful bright pink jacket and the couple quickly waved hello to the crowd before entering the museum.

Journalists and press crew had front row access, while the remaining crowd was limited to partial views of the couple. Luckily, I did manage to snap a few pics! Enjoy!!

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Press and News Crew

Press and News Crew

9/11 Museum

9/11 Museum

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Will and Kate at the Reflecting Pools

Will and Kate at the Reflecting Pools

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Leaving the museum

Leaving the museum

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Kate waving goodbye

Kate waving goodbye

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Alicia Keys

Hello Hello! Happy Thankful Thursday to you!

Ekk! Last night I met the one and only, Alicia Keys!!¬†I still have her voice singing the NYC favorite “Empire State of Mind” in my head– ¬†

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Barnes and Noble in TriBeCa hosted the talented musician, artist, actress, producer, and creative contribution to the new children’s book ‘Blue Moon: The Journals of Mama Mae & LeeLee’. Alicia collaborated with Jessica Walton to create a children’s book that encourages belief in one’s self and following your own “moon”.

A true New Yorker, Alicia Keys has rocked the music world with hits like “Fallin”, “If I Ain’t Got You”, and most recently “Girl on Fire”. She has also acted in numerous roles starring in the ‘Cosby Show’, ‘Smokin’ Aces’ and the “Secret Lives of Bees’.

In person, Alicia Keys is simply gorgeous…she truly has such a magnetic presence. She is eight months pregnant but you would never know! She dressed simplistically chic in¬†jeans and a black¬†top¬†paired with a leather jacket. She was beaming and had her “momma glow” shining! Alicia’s mother and son sat in the front row supporting her book launch! So sweet!

After greeting everyone, Alicia read her book and even treated the audience to short song during the reading! Y’all- that girl can sing! After reading the book, I now have a lil’ sentimental sweet spot for the book, as the book begins with a girl apprehensive about moving to New York City and then follows a story about a brave girl from the Great Smoky Mountains! A girl after my own heart ūüôā Alicia explained the inspiration for the book came from her close relationship with her grandmother and the stories she told throughout the years.

Alicia Key’s new book ‘Blue Moon: The Journals of Mama Mae & LeeLee’ is on sale now at Barnes and Noble. This week (November 10 to 16), Barnes and Noble is giving 10% of all proceeds to Alicia’s charity Keep A Child Alive!

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Alicia's adorable son, Egypt

Alicia’s adorable son, Egypt

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Alicia's Momma

Alicia’s Momma

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Saying goodbye to her momma

Saying goodbye to her momma

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Here I am telling Alicia Keys I'm from the Great Smoky  Mountains :)

Here I am telling Alicia Keys I’m from the Great Smoky Mountains ūüôā

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Halloween in the City

Happy Monday Folks!

Halloween in the City! Friday afternoon, we welcomed lots of ghosts and gobblins for trick-or-treating! Diesel LOVED seeing all the kids! Next up, we carved pumpkins for our ‘doggie themed’ jack-o-lanterns!! Big South and I both wanted a chill Halloween night, so we decided to watch the Halloween parade on Canal Street. We walked to the parade and the crowd was huge when we arrived! Reminded me of Halloweens spent at UNC-Chapel Hill on Franklin Street! Madness! The streets were completely¬†filled with creative, crazy and creepy costumes. You could only walk in the Halloween parade if you were wearing a costume and we were happy to watch the insanity ensue from the sidewalk. Happy until the sidewalks swelled with people too and we couldn’t see or move. So, we decided to dart across the parade to the opposite sidewalk (which was basically empty).¬† Seemed like a logical idea at the time….

Half way across, we realized we couldn’t move anymore because the parade was starting and then we became participants in the parade, rather than spectators. It was quite hilarious and made for a very memorable night! “Whatta we say if someone asks us about our costume”? “We’re serial killers…they always look normal, right”?¬†“No….no they don’t!” “Undercover agents?” “You are wearing a sweater….that’ll never work”. “We’re tourists! Yes, southern tourists and I’ll break out my southern twang!” ¬†“You don’t have to break¬†anything out…your twang has been out for awhile now, honey.” ūüôā

Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!

Ready for Trick-Or- Treaters :)

Ready for Trick-Or- Treaters ūüôā

Pumpkin Contest

Pumpkin Contest

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City Halloween (14)

Grand Reaper on stilts

Grand Reaper on stilts

Picasso

Picasso

Now we are participants of the parade....already getting the stare down

Now we are participants of the parade….already getting the stare down

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Date night dinner

Date night dinner

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Taylor Swift Rocks Times Square

Hey Hey Y’all! Happy Thankful Thursday to you all!

Good Morning America sure knows how to entertain New York City! This morning, GMA invited Taylor Swift to perform LIVE in Times Square and there were thousands in attendance! Despite the chilly temps, fanatic fans camped out overnight in Times Square for the free concert! Taylor sang three songs off her new album 1989 including “Welcome to New York”, “Out of the Woods”, and “Shake it Off”.

Out of every performer I’ve ever seen, no one seems more grateful for their fans than Taylor Swift. She started the show by thanking everyone and following the concert she kept interacting with fans¬†until she was¬†eventually pulled away by her crew. She definitely didn’t walk away¬†on her own accord. After the show, her tour van served as a decoy so a black SUV could escort her away. Rather than just driving away and calling it a day, Taylor had the driver slow down, rolled down the window and waved the entire way down the street to the amazement of her fans!

Taylor Swift started her music career in Nashville, TN at just 14 years old!! At an age when most of us are enjoying our high school years- Taylor was signing record deals, topping the music charts and winning Grammys.

Taylor Swift was recently named New York’s first, Global Welcome Ambassador and her new album ‘1989’ features a song titled “Welcome to New York”. New Yorkers seem to have mixed reviews about her¬†new¬†NYC Ambassador title¬†and I definitely see both sides. Technically, she’s only lived in New York for six months, so¬†that’s not¬†really not enough time to¬†become an¬†“all-knowing,¬†Big Apple expert”. At the same time, any business is good business in the mind of New Yorkers. If Taylor Swift helps encourage more people to visit the Big Apple, the tourism industry (hotels, restaurants, museums, retail shorts, broadway shows,¬† tour buses, etc.) will greatly benefit…making it a win-win for everyone. Let’s just “shake off” the¬†Ambassador skepticism¬†and roll with it ūüôā

Good Morning NEW YORK!!

Good Morning NEW YORK!!

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Taylor Swift (9)

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Michael Strahan

Michael Strahan

Robin Roberts

Robin Roberts

GMA Ladies shooting segments for the show

GMA Ladies shooting segments for the show

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Tour Bus decoy

Tour Bus decoy

Taylor waving goodbye to fans

Taylor waving goodbye to fans

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House of DVF

The legendary¬†fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg¬†is dressing up New York today!! Diane is launching¬†her new show on E! called ‘House of DVF’ and¬†contestants will be competing for the rare opportunity to work and travel around the world with DVF!

To kick-start promotions for the show, Diane took her¬†famous “wrap dress” and styled six Lady Liberty statues throughout the city! Lady Liberty actually¬†celebrated her 128th Birthday yesterday and she certainly received the royal fashion treatment with six new gowns designed by DVF!¬†I spotted three statues today and can’t wait to find the remaining three fashionistas!¬†¬†

The series premiere of ‘House of DVF’ will air this Sunday, November 2nd at 10 PM¬†on E!

Lexington Avenue Statue

Lexington Avenue Statue

Columbus Circle Statue

Columbus Circle Statue

Times Square Statue

Times Square Statue

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Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade

Hello Loves! Happy Monday!

New Yorkers LOVE their doggies! So, it’s no surprise the largest dog parade in the world takes place in the Big Apple!¬† The 24th Annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade took place on Saturday and¬†pups from around the city were sporting their most creative Halloween costumes!

I found the cutest NYPD dog coat for Diesel and prayed it would fit him when I got home. Unfortunately, it was snug as a¬†bug–especially around his shoulders and chest area. He also made it pretty clear he wasn’t even going to attempt walking in it. Back to the drawing board with less than 24 hours before the parade brought some creativity to Diesel’s costume! His new costume? Diesel was a Today Show Fan! Complete with a Today Show microphone! He was very embarrassed wearing it until we arrived at the parade and then he was in heaven playing in the park! We spotted lots of cute costumes and even got pictures in front of the Mutt Cutts van from the movie ‘Dumb and Dumber’.

It was such a perfect fall day with awesome friends, great weather and our favorite canine companions! Check out more Halloween costumes from Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade!

NYPD Costume

NYPD Costume

Today Show Fan costume

Today Show Fan costume

Diesel and Meadow

Diesel and Meadow

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One Year Photo Reflection [Part 1]

Happy Monday Y’all!

It’s official! We have lived in New York City for over a year now and we just renewed our lease to stay in the Big Apple!

Wow! This time last year, we were packing up and moving to the glittering Metropolis of Manhattan! Looking through photos, I’ve realized our unexpected adventure has turned into a journey of unforgettable memories and experiences–one that challenged us, open our minds, took us across the Atlantic, and introduced us to a life we never imagined for ourselves. Oddly enough, we are exactly where we are supposed to be!

A little "visit" to NYC turned into a job offer

A little “visit” to NYC turned into a job offer

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We had just started our Sweet Home Carolina when the NYC job offer was made

We had just started our Sweet Home Carolina when the NYC job offer was made

Before we move, a trip to Italy!

Before we move, a trip to Italy!

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We packed up everything and started our adventure!

We packed up everything and started our adventure!

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Frist day living in NYC

Frist day living in NYC

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City Life

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Thanksgiving Macy's Day parade

Thanksgiving Macy’s Day parade

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Diesel's photo shoot for Downtown Magazine NYC

Diesel’s photo shoot for Downtown Magazine NYC

Diesel is featured on the TV segment 'Little New Yorkers'

Diesel is featured on the TV segment ‘Little New Yorkers’

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Here comes the snow...

Here comes the snow…

Polar Vortex nearly freezes over the Hudson River

Polar Vortex nearly freezes over the Hudson River

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Despite the cold weather....I didn't buy the infamous Sleeping Bag coat :)

Despite the cold weather….I didn’t buy the infamous Sleeping Bag coat ūüôā

Snow Days

Snow Days

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Celebrating Diesel's birthday

Celebrating Diesel’s birthday

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New Years

New Years

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Columbus Day

Happy Tuesday Y’all and Happy Belated Columbus Day! Hope you all had a great one!

Yesterday, we celebrated Columbus Day in midtown watching the Columbus Day parade off Fifth Avenue, followed by a surprise¬†dinner at one of my Bucket List restaurants…Keens Steakhouse! Keens Steakhouse is quintessential New York!¬†It’s¬†one of the oldest restaurants¬†in the city (est. 1885), features a¬†famous ceiling covered in the world’s largest collection of churchwarden pipes, and is the only surviving business of the former Herald Square Theatre District. Keens famed patrons include Teddy Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, and¬†Babe Ruth! The atmosphere is old-fashioned cozy with a large fireplace and the service was wonderful! Oh and the steaks…so delish!

Columbus Day Parade

Columbus Day Parade

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Surprise dinner at Keens Steakhouse

Surprise dinner at Keens Steakhouse

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Cozy dinner with Big South

Cozy dinner with Big South

Famous ceiling covered in pipes

Famous ceiling covered in pipes

Diesel gets some Keens Steakhouse treats :)

Diesel gets some Keens Steakhouse treats ūüôā

P.S.– Thank You ALL so much for participating in my GIVEAWAY for the custom hat created by the talented Double Black Designs team! Congratulations to the winner Tina M!! An e-mail is on the way to you regarding your prize! If today wasn’t your lucky day, no worries! Visit Double Black Designs to view all¬†the new creations handmade by Elise Reynolds and purchase your own custom hat!

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