California Love Brunch

California themed party invitations

California themed party

R Love Floral Dallas

Gold letter balloons Etsy

Peter Millar water resistant quilted jacket

California love brunch Brooke du jour

Giant gold letter balloons

Bistro 31 Dallas

DIY colorful succulents

California themed party inspiration

Halogen blush velvet booties Nordstrom

Dallas brunch

Succulent table arrangement

Boho California flower crowns

Anthropologie celestial halter gown

Photography by Stephanie Drenka and Holden Hostetler

Event design and styling by Brooke du jour, Stephanie Drenka, Courtney Bier & Mary Liz Tuttle

Venue: Bistro 31 | Invitations: Mooseberry Paper Co. | Cali balloons: Lovely Party Studio | Flower crowns: R Love Floral | Succulent arrangement: Brooke du jour and Mary Liz Tuttle | Place cards and thank you tags: Carrie and Seash | Party favors: Compartes | California drink stirrers: Jenna and Jules Designs

My outfit: Anthropologie dress, Joie jacket, Vintage scarf, Halogen booties, An Old Soul jewelry

Find your tribe, love them hard.

This post is basically a huge giant thank you to my Dallas family for throwing the most beautiful brunch to send me off to California! So many people and so much love went into making this incredible day but there are several big thank yous in order. When I told my best friends/work wives/soul sisters Stephanie and Courtney that I was planning to move to LA at the end of the year, they right away offered to throw me a going away brunch. Of course they knew it couldn’t be just any other brunch. It had to be a Brooke du jour brunch. The planning process ensued and they acted like they weren’t annoyed when I sent them Excel spreadsheets full of ridiculous ideas about California-shaped pink drink stirrers in the middle of a perfectly good night’s sleep. I memorized Stephanie’s address from the amount of boxes I had shipped to her house for the party. I woke up the morning of my “California Love” brunch and it was 19 degrees in Dallas. Only in Dallas can it go from like 70 degrees one day to 19 degrees the next day. I was in the middle of a complete panic wondering how we could change the theme at the literal last minute to “Frozen” when I arrived at the venue and saw that Courtney, Stephanie and Stephanie’s husband Holden had already taken care of everything and it was perfect. Heaters were placed on the patio, Courtney was straddling a bench to set up the Cali balloons, Stephanie was taking test shots. Everything was perfect. Find your tribe, love them hard.

I also need to majorly thank my succulent arrangement master and partner in crime, Mary Liz. When she moved back to Dallas over the summer, I threw her a fabulous pineapple-themed welcome home party. As soon as Mary Liz heard I was having this brunch, she immediately offered to help out, which is exactly who she is. Mary Liz has helped and shaped my life in so many ways since we were roommates our freshman year of college. She has incredibly thoughtful and wonderful parents so I’m sure that’s where she gets it from. Anyways I told Mary Liz I wanted a colorful succulent arrangement as the centerpiece for this brunch and showed her some inspiration on Pinterest and she just totally went for it with her creative, crafty mind. A friend who will spend her entire Saturday separating teeny tiny pink rocks from a giant mixed bag of pink and purple rocks to keep with your brunch’s color scheme is a true friend. Find your tribe, love them hard.

I also of course need to thank my boyfriend, Michael. This was not his first Brooke du jour brunch. The man knows how to prep a party favor like a seasoned event pro by now, lol! I decided fairly early into our relationship that I was moving to LA. If we’re being totally honest here, if the situation had been reversed and Michael had told me he was going to move across the country to follow his dreams, I probably would have told him to F off. But Michael has been so incredibly supportive and calm and steady about my move and my blog and it makes me love him and value him so much. I know a long-distance relationship is not exactly ideal. When we told our friends our plans, some of them had this concerned expression on their faces like, “Oh shit. They have no idea what they are getting themselves into.” We didn’t know what we were initially going to do but the turning point for me was Michael’s birthday dinner at the end of October. I asked him what he wanted to accomplish this year and he started listing all these things like get into grad school, travel to Europe, etc. and I suddenly felt this massive realization that I didn’t want him to do any of these things without me. So here we are. Find your tribe, love them hard.

Two days after this brunch, I landed at LAX. I had done a really great job of holding everything together until the flight attendant said, “Welcome to LAX!” and I just burst into tears. I couldn’t stop crying all throughout the plane taxiing and while I waited at baggage claim for the insane amount of luggage I brought. I’m sure the other travelers thought I was having some kind of mental breakdown or something. I think all of that was because I had experienced so much support, connection and fierce love in Dallas – especially my last few weeks there—and I’m just hoping and praying to be lucky enough to find a similar feeling in LA. Of course I have my family’s love, which I am so grateful for, but there’s something different about meeting friends who become your family. The kind of friends who hold you when you ugly-cry over your first big breakup. The kind of friends who bring you pink champagne and Oreos when you quit your job. The kind of friends who are such smart, kind and beautiful human beings that you are just in complete awe of them and their fabulousness. My magic makers. My girl gang. My warriors.

Find your tribe, love them hard.

I’m Coming Home

Leith velvet maxi slipdress

Los Angeles fashion bloggers to follow

Pink velvet dress

Leith pink velvet dress Nordstrom

Bel Air Bay Club Malibu California

Klose Up Photography Los Angeles

Los Angeles fashion bloggers

California beach waves

Pink velvet maxi dress with slit

Los Angeles fashion photography

Klose Up Photography

Outfit: Leith dress

“So I close my eyes to old ends and open my heart to new beginnings” – Nick Frederiokson

DEEP BREATH IN.

I have some really big news to share! After 6 ½ wonderful years in Dallas, I’ve moved back to LA, the city and home that raised me. This decision was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. There was a point where my entire apartment was covered in colorful Post Its with pros and cons written all over them. I agonized over this decision and really put myself through the ringer and then it finally dawned on me that all I had to do was make a decision. And I’m here now.

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? I never thought I would ever leave LA. California has always had my heart. My parents have lived in the same pink house since before my brother and I were born. I love our house. I love that my parents have used the same brand of coffee for 20 years and there’s always a cup in the morning waiting for me. I love the beach club I’ve spent pretty much all my free time at and want to get married at one day. I love that family dinners have always been a rule at our house, not an occasional thing. I love that I think my younger brother is the coolest person on the planet.

My whole childhood I dreamed of going to USC. I was that little girl going to football games in my pint-sized cheerleader uniform. I had a USC keychain on my first car. One day during my senior year of high school, I came home and my mom handed me the small envelope. I didn’t get in. I was crushed. I remember my mom brought us both pillows because I couldn’t stop crying on the floor of our entryway. I had to give away the red dress I was wearing because it just reminded me of my failure.

So that fall I went to my second choice school instead- SMU in Dallas, Texas. And you know what? It was the absolute best thing that ever happened to me. Moving away from my parents and my support system forced me to grow up. I couldn’t go home whenever I felt like dropping laundry off and I had to learn how to figure shit out on my own. I fell in love for the first time and made incredible life long friendships. I studied Fashion Journalism and just completely loved it. I had several amazing internships and right after I graduated, I landed my dream job. Dallas had been really good to me and I was so happy.

About a year and a half after I graduated, things had changed and I started becoming really anxious. My long-term college relationship had failed and while my job was perfect for me on paper, it no longer felt like the right place for me to grow. At that point, I seriously considered throwing in the towel and moving back to LA. I’m so glad I didn’t though because I realize now that I would have just been running away. I started thinking of other things I wanted to do in Dallas like event planning, interior design or styling. I must have polished my resume a 100 times but I just wasn’t ready to take that leap quite yet. I was in a new relationship that felt really good, I loved my tight circle of extremely supportive and amazing friends (more on them in Monday’s post!) and I was so proud of the home I had created in my little apartment.

Over the past year, I realized what I really want to do is devote myself fully to Brooke du jour. This blog has been such a huge labor of love for me. Brooke du jour turns 5 in August, and I really feel like it’s time to give this space my full attention and give it a chance to really grow. I was tired of Brooke du jour being the 10th priority on my list with jobs and internships always coming before it. A few months ago I read somewhere to “fearlessly pursue what sets your heart on fire” and it really stuck with me.

I was beyond terrified to make this decision but finally recently found the courage to jump all the way in with my family’s support in LA. I think part of the reason why I had such a hard time with this decision was because I didn’t want to let go of Dallas. I love Dallas and it has been such a positive place for me. I think I finally realized that by letting go, I wasn’t ending anything but it was more about accepting the life stage I’m in now.

So here we are. I feel really proud of myself for spreading my wings. I have no idea where Brooke du jour is going to be a year from now, but I know that right now this place feels good and I want to chase that good feeling. I promise I will always do my best with this blog and every piece of content will come from a place of integrity and love. I feel like Brooke du jour just might be my magic wand and I have my groove back. I’m taking a big step forward into this fresh chapter with bravery, determination and a full heart. When I made this life altering decision, I chose to trust my intuition, defy my life long fear of change and believe in myself. My faith is more powerful than my fear.

In LA, I obviously want to cultivate my blog but I also want to nurture my soul- and that means stepping far away from my comfort zone and saying YES to all different kinds of adventures. I used to have this problem where I didn’t do something if I was afraid I would be bad at it. I’m realizing now that was a ridiculous way to live and ideas like that kept me small. Since landing in LA, I’ve signed up for classes in pretty much everything ranging from SoulCycle to French to meditation to photography to acting. Basically if it’s something that used to seem scary or intimidating, sign me up—and don’t let me chicken out.

I hope that by sharing my truth it allows me to fully move on and for anyone reading this who also might be struggling, I hope this helps you know it’s okay to let go of what you thought your life was supposed to be like and embrace the unknown. Oh and remember to love yourself because that’s the key to the real party.

DEEP BREATH OUT.

Hey 2017! Let’s Do This!

Anthropologie rose gold sequined cami

Joie black leather jacket

CJK Designs pink choker

Anthropologie rose gold sequin top

Rebecca Minkoff black Leo clutch

J.Crew dark wash jeans

Pink suede choker with crystals

Joie Ailey leather jacket

Rebecca Minkoff black glitter clutch

Halogen blush velvet booties

Angie Garcia Photography

Outfit: Anthropologie top, J.Crew jeans (similar)

Accessories: Joie jacket, Rebecca Minkoff clutch, Halogen booties

Jewelry: CJK Designs choker (only $20!)

Makeup: MAC lipstick in Craving

Happy New Year! How was your NYE? I was in New Orleans for a beautiful wedding. I loved starting 2017 surrounded by love and friends. Definitely a great way to ring in the new year!

NYE is over but that doesn’t mean I’m over sequins quite yet. I’m all about sequins when the right occasion presents itself- birthdays, anniversaries, Taco Tuesdays, etc. And of course, you need to pair a sequin top with a glitter clutch and blush booties because why not?!

Have a great rest of your day! Check back on Brooke du jour tomorrow for a very exciting announcement I can’t wait to share!