Imaginary Outfit: Spring



It has been windy, snowy and wet the past few days in New York. Here is an imaginary bright and fun Spring outfit to take the edge off.

1. Target//2. Target //3. Hue//4. Need Supply//5. Dav//6. Medal

Have a wonderful weekend, friends. Here are a few links I enjoyed this week:

Wild Belle’s new album Isles is streaming here and sounds like summer.

I love this oak bag.

I get to wear this gorgeous dress at my best friend’s wedding in June.

Speaking of, I keep thinking about my Matron of Honor speech at the wedding and have read this post (and cried) about seven times now. It is lovely and true and wonderful.

And, for fun, here is a photo of me and the best friend on Wednesday night behind the bookshelf bar The Quail built for our bonus room:


It is a beautiful piece and really deserves its own post, but this photo is too great not to share right now.

Have a good one!



Our Wedding

I’d like to share a few wedding photos and details, if you’d like to see:

The Quail and I were married at  The Dumbo Loft at 6pm on September 17th, 2011, and our wedding day was truly one of the happiest of my life. So much love went into it. Wedding planning is difficult. Wedding planning in New York City is almost impossible when you are in any way on a budget. Through so much kindness and help from our friends and families we were able to have an incredible day and an unforgettable celebration.

My little brother performed our wedding ceremony. We were having a hard time picking out an Officiant. I was really turned off by the fact that none of them knew us–how could they perform a heartfelt and special wedding ceremony? We did some research and found that you only have to be 14 years-old to officiate a wedding. We immediately thought of my brother. I should probably explain that my brother is the most confident 17 year-old that I have ever met. Teenage awkwardness? Nope. Nerves speaking in front of people? No, not at all. He did an incredible job. He was sweet. He was funny. He made our ceremony so much more personal and heartfelt than I could have ever imagined. Thank you, CVB.

My very talented Sister-in-Law, of Playful Cakes,  made our beautiful cake. We sat down with her and decided on a traditional four tier cake–alternating chocolate with ganache and vanilla with blackberry buttercream layers. She searched and was able to find quail wedding toppers on Etsy! Not only was the cake beautiful and delicious, the hours she spent baking, decorating and personalizing it meant so much to us.

The summer before the wedding we scoured second-hand shops, flea markets, and stoop sales in both New York and Wisconsin for vintage vases to use as our centerpieces. I wanted jewel tone colors, and we ended up with the perfect amount in rich purples, blues, greens and golds. My wonderful Momma did our flower arrangements for us. We went to the Flower District early Friday morning and picked out light pink Dahlias, pink and green Hydrangeas, tiny pink Tea Roses and various greens and filler flowers.  Early Saturday morning my mom and my aunts assembled our centerpieces and the bridal party’s bouquets in my basement. Everything came out beautifully. The vases added a great pop of color to the white tables and the flowers were classic and beautiful.

We kept the rest of the decorating simple. My sister, and Maid of Honor, ordered various paper lanterns (in the same jewel tones as the vases) and we hung them at various lengths over the dance floor. We strung cafe lights from the natural wood columns in The Dumbo Loft. We wrapped some tulle over the railings on the stairway and added big floral arrangements to the bar. I say it was simple, but we had aunts, cousins, uncles, friends, roommates, parents and brothers and sisters all there for us the morning of the wedding helping. This was when it truly hit me how lucky we are, and how special this occasion was.

Last, and maybe the sweetest, The Quail built the alter we were married under. With the help of his brother, he built and set up a beautiful alter for us to stand upon when we became man and wife. In the days leading up to the wedding he worked tirelessly on this alter. It was incredible and sweet and beautiful.

Every detail turned out wonderfully. We have so many great people in our lives that were there to help. Even when we talk about it now, over a month later, we still get choked up at the amount of love that was shown to us from our families and friends. It was a perfect day and I would do it all over again. We danced, we celebrated with those most important to us, and we enjoyed each other and the coming together of our families.

*Photo credits to Diane Diederich and Michael Diederich

The Mini-Mooners

Between our budget and the fact that The Quail recently started a new job, we weren’t able to take a long Honeymoon immediately following out wedding. We did, however, manage to escape for a few days to Long Island Wine Country. We rented a Zipcar and drove out the Monday after our wedding.

We only got lost a little bit.

We finally found our way to Cedar House on Sound B & B–which was fantastic. They built their B & B in an old potato barn from the 30’s! Our hosts, David and Donna, upgraded us to the beautiful Master Suite and couldn’t have been more gracious or welcoming.  We quickly opened a bottle of Cabernet Franc from their winery, Scarola Vineyards, and soaked in the light and beauty of their back porch.

After a delicious dinner at A Mano, we called it a night and were up bright and early for wine tastings at the dozens of wineries along the North Fork Wine Trail. First we stopped at The Village Cheese Shop on Love Lane for provisions.

Then we were off to wineries!

We also stopped at the Long Island Vodka Distillery.

Then we headed for Greenport, NY, stopped at the beach, and then took the ferry to Shelter Island for dinner.

The next day we continued our winery tour.Then we said goodbye to the beach.

We had our last seafood supper at Crabby Jerry’s, and then drove back to Brooklyn.

Sorry for the photo bomb, but we had such an amazing time. It was the happiest, most romantic three days of my life and I never wanted to come back. I still don’t want to be back. You know, The Quail and I had been together for nine years before we got married (seven of which we lived together) and I really didn’t think all that much would change after the wedding. But it did. In the best way possible. There is this genuine feeling of calm surrounding us. Just knowing that each of us chose the other to build a life with is a powerful thing, an incredibly loving thing, and I am so excited to build our family of Quails.

I’m Married!

Oh, hello there. I’d like to (re)introduce myself as Makayla Mota! The Quail and I tied the knot on Saturday, September 17th. It was magical, sincere, sweet, romantic and so much more. I am so lucky to have found him and so proud to finally call him my husband. I’d like to share more photos and details when we get everything back from our photographer, but I couldn’t resist sharing this lovely shot above.*

Much more to come!

*Photo by Vera Galvez

Time Out

Planning a wedding can be all consuming. After realizing that we have practically not had a single conversation that did not include any wedding talk in weeks, we decided to go on a “no discussing wedding details” date on Saturday. First we stopped at the newly opened Red Lantern bike shop and bar* (seriously, how genius is that?), and then took a long late afternoon bike ride, stopped for dinner and saw a movie. It was so nice to just hang out–wedding stress-free–for a few hours. I think planning a wedding is really a true test of a relationship–if you can be fighting over ridiculous things like tablecloths one minute and then laughing the next, I think it’s safe to say that you will spend your whole lives together able to find humor in stressful situations.

*The Quail surprised me with that “I ♥ MY BIKE” bell after we left the bike shop. I love that he buys me little trinkets and surprises he knows I’ll like, and I know he always will.

summer romance

I am in love with the 30 Days of Twist and Pin Hairstyles hair challenge on Hair Romance. I am pretty certain I am going to do my own hair at my wedding and am looking for something soft and romantic (tease: these are the same two words I would use to describe my dress). The three styles above (numbers 23, 14, and 6) are top contenders. I love how romantic and effortless they look, and that I could easily wear my hair this way on my wedding day or to a picnic in the park.

Speaking of soft and romantic, how dreamy are these summer dresses and sandals? My wedding shower is going to be a ladies only picnic in Prospect Park, and I think one of the above combinations would fit the Prosecco-sipping-cheese-and-fruit-munching occasion perfectly. My mom and sister and coming to New York for the occasion and I invited a few close girlfriends, so it should be a laid back and fun Saturday in the park with some of my favorite people. I can’t wait.

1. H & M

2. Lucky

3. Madewell

4. J. Crew

5. Zara

6. Rampage

7. Forever 21

8. Franco Sarto

A Very Special Wedding

I had the honor of being a bridesmaid this past Friday in one of my oldest friend’s wedding in Wisconsin. The photos above are a little blurry, but I like them. I think they reflect how much fun the wedding was (plus the top three were taken while I was rollin’ in a limousine/party bus double-fisting a glass of champagne and a Miller Lite). The Quail got some photos of the ceremony and the reception, but, for me, it was one of those days that you’re having too good of a time to properly document it–and sometimes that is just fine.

The Quail and I spent all of last week in Wisconsin (more photos of our adventures to come!) and it was fantastic. He commented that he thinks he has now met every single one of my friends since several were in town for the wedding, and we had the time to meet up for drinks (and bowling!) with people a couple of times during the week. I loved that. There is something about the relationship you have with the people you grew up with (especially in a small town) that is just different from the relationship you have with friends you make later in life. There is no pretension and no competition–and after living in New York for ten years that is so refreshing. It is reassuring to know that all you have to be is yourself, and they love you. Plus, they know your parents, your stories, what high school was really like, and they will always, always, always dance to “Notorious Thugz” with you–especially at 3am in room 227 of the Comfort Inn in DeForest, WI.

We had a wonderful time. Congratulations, E and J! Your wedding was a blast.

A Very Special Anniversary

On Friday The Quail and I celebrated nine years together! The day was extra special because we picked up my engagement ring and wedding band from the extremely gracious and talented Blanca Monros Gomez. We went to her Park Slope studio in March to look at rings. I chose a diamond solitaire in rose gold with a matching rose gold and diamond band, and she handmade them in the following weeks. The rings came out beautifully, they are simple, delicate and so pretty. I really couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Blanca is so sweet and lovely and, for me, supporting a local artist rather than a big jewelry store was very important. Afterward we had a very long and wine-filled lunch at Benchmark, which is also in Park Slope. We toasted to spending the rest of our lives together. It was a sweet, sunny and romantic afternoon.

*That bottom picture is a recent shot of the rose garden at Pratt Institute, where on April 15, 2002 I met The Quail after he hit me with a baseball.

Lovely Bridal Shop

In a (much) earlier post I wrote about going to the Lovely Bridal Shop in search of my wedding dress.  My best friend recently sent me some photos from that day that I would like to share.

I found Lovely Bridal Shop after I got the amazing Elizabeth Dye dresses stuck in my head months before we got engaged. I forget exactly how I came across her blog, but it was love at first sight.  My favorites were the  Oysters and Pearls, Honeychurch and Beatrix dresses, and I looked at them almost everyday. Since Lovely was the only store in New York City that sold them, I booked an appointment.  I went about this process similarly to applying for college–giving myself one shot to get it right and no safety net. I didn’t make appointments anywhere else.  And though I knew I wanted my mom and sister with me when I did find “the dress” (they flew in with my adorable niece specifically for this occasion), I just had a good feeling about Lovely.

Located in an adorable brownstone on a tree-lined street in the West Village, Lovely is in one of my favorite neighborhoods in New York City. The store itself is small, intimate and beautiful–it was exactly what I was looking for. With Elizabeth Dye dresses on my mind, I quickly scoured the racks.  I found the Honeychurch almost immediately and my heart raced with the thought that this could be it. Luckily the sales person assigned to me convinced me to bring some others (including strapless-which I was wholeheartedly against) upstairs.

The first dress I tried on was magical. It wasn’t Elizabeth Dye. It wasn’t at all what I was looking for. It was strapless. It fit though, perfectly. It complimented my body. It was “the dress”. I, and my whole entourage, was not not prepared for this dress–and for sure not prepared for it to be “the dress”. It was though. I tried on about seven others after, and one (above) came in a close second (mostly because I put on a veil and my mom cried) but it still didn’t have the magic that first dress had.

Moral of the story is: you think you know what you want and what you like, but you have to be open. I was lucky enough to go somewhere like Lovely and trust the brilliant salespeople. I said no to so many things about my dress, and it turned into “the dress”. I did have it though, that feeling. I doubted it from the start, but the second I was zipped into the dress I knew it was my dress. Being a bride in love is pure magic.

*The dress in the photo above is not my wedding dress.

**The Elizabeth Dye dresses I tried on were lovely, but they were not made for my body type.

***Photo Credit to the lovely and talented Kristen Diederich

Going to the chapel! Wait, how do I get there?

I am getting MARRIED.  I know.  Crazy right?  The Quail and I have been engaged for almost three months and so far we have not done much in the way of planning.  Brooklyn is an expensive place to get married.  We met here though.  We live here.  We fell in love here–getting married here is important to us.  We just need to find a place that doesn’t cost a third of my yearly salary.  And we need to figure out what kind of wedding we want.  When we talk about it, we talk more about having the people we love there with us to celebrate.  We don’t talk about the food, the decor, or the venue.  We talk about the music, and the dancing, and all of the love surrounding us.  We were both blessed with amazing families and so many wonderful friends, and I want our wedding to reflect that.  I want to be able to look around and see that love and to feel it.  And I just want it to be a blast.  That is really what is most important to me.

My mom, sister, and almost four-year-old niece (and the flower girl!) are coming to town in a few weeks and I have an appointment at Lovely Bridal Shop.  I am especially fond of the Elizabeth Dye dresses, though the shop contains so many amazing dresses by great designers.  If I find the right dress everything else will fall into place, right?

By the way, the one above was Jackie Kennedy’s.  Stunning.