nyc 2017

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so I went to new york city back in September! I never blogged about it because I haven’t been much of one for blogging lately, but I feel like it needs to be written somewhere, so we’re doing it! I figure I can’t go to nyc and not say anything about it because I spend so much time talking about that place here on this blog. just giving the people what they want!

mostly this’ll probably be a photo dump for posterity’s sake. but still kinda fun!

[for context, I went with a bunch of kids and professors in my program here at school (advertising). we visited ad agencies, attended some industry-related panels, and also did a bunch of other random stuff in our free time. we were there for a week (the longest I’ve ever spent in the city), and it was glorious.]

a bunch of us girls got an airbnb in brooklyn that was conveniently a couple blocks away from the J train that we took every day into manhattan. the apartment had a great view of the rooftops of brooklyn, and I discovered at the start of the week that if you looked really hard into the distance there was one building that had “BELIEVE IT” graffitied onto the side of it. so rad. (hi, thank you new york gods!!)


some of the other best moments:

one night a few of us were wandering around the Village and stumbled into Washington Square Park. we’re walking around toward the fountain and the arch when I hear piano music coming from somewhere.

and not just any random piano music. classical piano music.

there’s a freaking grand piano sitting right in the middle of the park by the fountain. stopppp.

so we sit down and listen to the guy play “moonlight sonata” and a bunch of other good stuff. and just soak in alllll the vibessss.

but then! but then! it doesn’t stop there!

then a man and a woman (probs in their mid-20s?) get up by the piano and start dancing. gorgeous, ballet/acrobatic dancing.

and then!

then they get on top of the piano. and keep dancing on the piano.

tbh at that moment I was maybe 65% concerned that they were going to break the piano. or fall off. but they didn’t break it, and they didn’t fall off, and it was beautiful.



later that same night we discovered this little coffee shop called “the uncommons.” except it wasn’t just a coffee shop. it was one of those places where you can pay $5 in addition to your coffee (or hot chocolate, ha, mormon!) and they have their walls covered with board games that you can play for as long as you want to. which I guess is a thing now, provo? well we didn’t know it was a thing, so we all vowed to start a place like that in provo, because provo would eat that kind of thing up.

ha and then we got back to provo and legit 2 weeks later that random game place on center street pops up that is the exact same thing. (except decidedly lacking in the vibes department) ah well. logan, anyone?


fearless girl! advertisinggggg!!!!

near the end of the week we went to a yankees game, which was so. cool. I love baseball and the yankees and I fangirled a little about actually being there. (can you fangirl at a baseball game? does that count as fangirling? or is it just being a fan?)


random firsts (touristy places I’d actually never been to before) (this is a posterity blog post, remember?):

  • grand central station
  • chelsea market (too many food options in one place!)
  • the high line (this was actually so good. we went at night when it wasn’t very busy and just strolled (like a real, leisurely stroll) and caught the feelings of what it would be like to actually live there. and also had a semi-deep chat about how advertising is so good.
  • NY public library (didn’t go in, but hey! we took a picture on the steps! …on someone else’s phone, so sorry friends, I don’t have it, but it happened!)
  • Magnolia Bakery

aaaand here’s a dump of all the random photos that don’t have a real story associated with them!

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(do I look like a new yorker yet?? ^^^)


(those last 2 were from the high line^^^)


nyc 2017 was killer. and now the blog knows all about it!

the end.

(also, if you care to read something kinda fun about my NY obsession, click this!)


reasons why today is awesome

1. sunshine
2. warm weather
3. almost March
4. great outfit
5. great boots
6. great jeans
7. cooperative hair
8. eyebrows
9. cooperative makeup
10. Mikelle brought me Swig
11. substantial food for lunch
12. there are actually other students here at work today, so I’m not just the lonesome little secretary surrounded by real adults
13. no class after work
14. it’s Friday!
15. I actually feel like being social today, which is way good, since I have to be social tonight, and feeling un-social is usually my typical daily mood {#introvertprobs}
16. I get to talk to Caroline Beth after work today
17. I actually have stuff to do at work
18. gym this morning
19. killer leg workout
20. seeing one attractive person at the gym today
21. seeing another attractive person at the gym also
22. everything bagel with cream cheese for breakfast
23. all the attractive men in the world were out and about on campus today {are you picking up on the common theme yet?}
24. optimism about the future…despite the despair that marriage prep class brings to me haha
25. the Tanner Building…enough said.
26. seeing people I know on campus
27. good music on the radio
28. talking to myself in the van
29. peanut butter
30. ice skating tonight
31. the Econ test is over! {at least until the next one…}
32. attractive Econ TA
33. Mikelle Beth Taylor is at work today!!!
34. water is always good
35. New York City exists in the world
36. reading through my blog archives and realizing that I actually had some deep stuff to say 2 years ago. I miss substantial writing. if you need something thought-provoking to read, my 18 year-old self had some good thoughts in this post {actually I think I was 17 when I wrote that one} and this post and this post.
37. I’m publishing a blog post!!! Which really does warrant ridiculous amounts of celebration. Let’s eat some oatmeal.


Other places to find me (a.k.a. let’s be friends!):

Bloglovin’ >>> Life and Loveliness

Instagram >>> @tessabrynnk

Twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

Pinterest >>> Tessa Kohler

currently // on independence and new york and the like


reading all the new york city books i can get my hands on.

craving travel. europe sounds like a fantastic idea right about now. ukraine, anyone? and new york too {but that’s pretty much a given}.

also craving the mountains and the forest and nature. and trying to figure out how i find it enjoyable to swim in high mountain lakes created by snowmelt, but when our water heater stops working and i have to take a freezing cold shower i can barely bring myself to stick a toe in. {mini-story: then the plumber comes and fixes the water heater and all seems well in the world until your roommate comes home later and the whole apartment smells like gas, so there’s a slight concern that your house is going to explode (is that a thing?). and she calls management and they look at it and the pilot light has gone out but the plumber can’t come back until tomorrow so that means no hot water at least until tomorrow morning. and i haven’t washed my hair since sunday because dry shampoo is great and the low-maintenance life is the best, although it’s getting to the point where it really needs some shampoo. plan of action: go on a killer run in the morning, jump in the shower as soon as i get home so the cold water feels excellent. end of mini-story.}

watching this commercial over and over again. dang. NYC + style + mindblowing-ly profound copy. plus armani has all these other short film-esque commercials in this series that are so. good.

remembering just how much i love writing. and reading. and remembering that it’s so important to fill your days with what you love.

working on feeling adequate with independence. it’s hard when you live in a culture that is constantly pushing dating in your face, but for right now i think there’s something so great about being strong and confident and killing it at life because you love yourself. and Heavenly Father has it all worked out. :)

learning patience in all things. and contentment. and happiness in the details.

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have a rad rest of your week! {photos taken on a roommate excursion up by aspen grove a couple weekends ago. utah rocks at nature.}

{love, tessa brynn}


Other places to find me:

Bloglovin’ >>> Life and Loveliness

Instagram >>> @tessabrynnk

Twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

Pinterest >>> Tessa Kohler

life update // martha’s vineyard edition

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Hey there internet world! It’s been a while! I’m currently on an island {like, literally} and the wifi situation has been lacking for most of the time that I’ve been here. But I finally got myself to the library and my laptop is drinking up this wonderful wifi and hallelujah the real world is back at my fingertips.

{Quick side-note/update for anyone who hasn’t talked to me lately} At the moment I’m spending the summer on Martha’s Vineyard working and having a complete party. My current job description is something along the lines of “Super Ice Cream Scooper / Barista / Pizza Server,” meaning that my boss owns an ice cream shop, a cafe, and a pizza place, so all of us here get to have fun switching it up working in the three different places. We get to live right above the shops, so a 30-second commute every day is pretty great. And we’re on an ISLAND, and basically it’s the best set-up ever. Also, I’m with some of my best friends, so you better believe we have a good time. I have silent-freak-out-moments on the daily when I get hit with the realization that this is reality. I’M LIVING ON AN ISLAND, also, I get to eat lots of delicious cafe food and TONS of ice cream and pizza. And making money. Also, having never had a job before where I earn tips, tips are now my second-best friend. Currently my best friend is this library with its wifi, but tips will probably go back to first place when I leave.

Okay, there’s the quick rundown. Basically, I’m living a dream. Dang coolest summer job ever. My apologies to anyone who follows me on Instagram, because you’re gonna get real sick of gorgeous island pictures by the end of the summer. If you’re not sick of it already, ha. Also, for people who aren’t sick of it yet, stay tuned for the end of this post where I’m actually including real live photographs, which is a big deal because photos are not my thing. I like words forever, but remembering that sometimes a visual is good is a tricky thing.

Actually, I have no idea where I’m going with this post. I’m just a little bit giddy at the moment because of said current wifi situation. And lately I’ve been having the itch to blog. Maybe it’s all the time that I’ve had to sit out by the ocean and contemplate life and all that jazz. Yeah, maybe something like that. So anyway, here I am. And I guess I’m going to ramble, because WIFI, and BLOGGING AGAIN, and getting random sounds fun. So here are some thoughts on life lately…

The lower-maintenance life is a good one. I’ve gotten good at washing my hair every other day instead of every day, which is much better for my hair anyway, plus it makes getting ready a lot faster. Greasy hair? Throw in a little dry shampoo and so what if it still looks greasy, because JUST PUT A HAT ON IT! Baseball caps…I’ve fallen in love with them. Also, my hair absolutely loves humidity. And that’s not sarcasm. Many tears will be shed when I have to go back to the dry west and try to do exciting things with this head of thin hair.

On the low-maintenance track, who has the time and effort for real pants? I’ve sunk to a low place, friends, especially for Tessa Kohler, who lives for dressing up. But when you’re running around crazy for 7 hours a day scooping ice cream, who wants to wear anything but workout pants? Plus, that makes wearing jeans feel more fancy. At least that’s what I tell myself. But I’ve completely accepted the nice-shirt-on-top-and-stretchy-pants-on-the-bottom look when I feel like halfway trying. Yeah, I don’t fit in with any of the high society people on this island, but I’ve decided I don’t even care about trying to fit in with them anymore. When we first got here and had a week to explore before starting work, I tried the dressing nice thing, but life is too short to stress over fitting in with the upper class, right?

Books. I’m in a phase, and I hope it doesn’t go away. I’ve always wanted a personal library of some sort in my house someday, but I always figured the library was good enough for now and I’d start buying books later. But no, I have the itch to buy all. the. books. right. this. very. minute. The phase was triggered by my first trip to my boss’s father-in-law’s store {that’s a fun connection to explain in short terms} right downstairs from us, which is probably one of my favorite places on this whole island. It’s full of books and little random curios and found objects and I don’t even know how to describe the rest of it, but it’s paradise. Also, the music that he plays in there is Steve Tyrell and Michael Buble and Frank Sinatra and so I die partially because of that also. I’ve spent way too much time in there. Also, ha, I forgot to mention that it is chock full of unique books about New York City, so that’s probably most of the reason why I’ve gone crazy about it. And with an employee discount, I’m about ready to buy everything in there. I’ve already bought a decent armful of books and don’t you dare ask me how I’m going to get it all home in my two suitcases that were already packed full on the way here because they are beautiful books and I’ll handle that small issue when we get to the end of August. For now, my book piles will stay tucked under my bed for me to enjoy now and deal with later.

Guys, I am closer to New York City now than I’ve been in over three years and it’s killing me. There are five of us BYU kids here that pretty much spend all day every day together and we’re trying to plan a trip to the city. Holy Hannah, if we can actually swing this trip, I will literally die. I don’t think I’ll even be able to handle myself in the city. I’ll probably just sit myself down on the curb {which is kind of a nasty idea, when you think about it} and not be able to move because I’ll be so excited. It doesn’t help that I’ve been reading a plethora of books about NYC for the past month. Stay tuned for more updates on my potential trip to the best city in the world. Or maybe if it happens I’ll just die and then you’ll never hear from me again. That could very well happen too.

That’s about it for random thoughts at the moment. Actually, I could keep going on, but I’d better refrain because for most everything, you just kind of have to be here. Caroline and I are back to being roommates again, so hopefully her photography skills will rub off on me sometime soon and I’ll have some more pictures. Really, life is great. I’m on an island where everything is literally perfect. I’m sitting in a little library wearing lipstick, and I live across the street from the ocean, and we’re also a ten-minute walk from a sandy beach, and I can get $2 frozen lemonade every day, and I eat breakfast by the water on the regular, and I’m living with great people, and it’s so green here, and I have a stack of New York books under my bed, and I’m surrounded by classy people, and I’m just so grateful for the opportunity to be here. There are definitely downsides to being here, but above all that I am learning so much. Outside of learning how to work in an ice cream shop and a cafe and a pizza place, I’m having a grand time rediscovering aspects of myself that have gotten a little lost in the midst of the past year of my crazy life.

Life is awesome, y’all. We are all so blessed. And even though my pictures don’t do it half justice, in case you’d like to see what my current life is like, here’s a photo party for general enjoyment. Peace out, I’ll be back soon.

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Promise I actually took this, it’s not just from the internet.
Day one in paradise.
Day one in paradise.
The Valentine House and I match.
The Valentine House and I match.
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It take me about 30 seconds to walk here. My favorite breakfast spot is on top of that pavilion thing on the left.
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Taken on a Sunday walk with Caroline. It was misty and everything looked so green and I don’t know how to pose for photos so I’m pretending that this is an action shot and not just an I-can’t-do-anything-except-be-weird shot that Caroline happened to catch.
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Lonely beaches on cloudy days are the best.


Other places to find me (a.k.a. let’s be friends!):

Bloglovin’ >>> Life and Loveliness

Instagram >>> @tessabrynnk

Twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

Pinterest >>> Tessa Kohler

blog love

I follow waaaay too many blogs. Or, I guess I should say that I follow way too many blogs for the amount of free time that I have. I would gladly read blogs all day, but I kind of have to get an education, so sadly it’s the blog-reading that suffers.

Out of all the blogs I follow, I have a select handful that I always make to take time to read when their new posts pop up on Bloglovin’. Here are some of my absolute favorites – inspiring blogs written by inspiring people! You better go check them out – you will not be disappointed! {Note: my NYC obsession is so, so obviously made manifest in this list…enjoy!}

Hey Natalie Jean – I’ve mentioned her a couple times here before, but her blog is pretty much wonderful. New York City + an adorable little boy + beautiful words = pure blog greatness.

Meg Fee – Meg is currently on a three-month-or-so blogging break, but you can still go explore her site and have an enjoyable time reading past posts. She also lives in New York City, and has a way of expressing things with words that hits it right on the nail, every single time.

Hannah Brencher – Again, more gorgeously crafted sentences and paragraphs that hit right to the core.

Humans of New York – Brandon Stanton walks around New York City all day with a camera and does a truly amazing job of capturing the life and personality of the people of New York.

In the Head of Al Fox – This has more of a religious slant, but I am always so inspired by Al’s words of encouragement and truth.

Love Taza | Rockstar Diaries – Another New York City blogger with adorable children, beautiful photos, and a lovely vibe about her entire blog.

That should be enough to give you all some stellar reading material for a few afternoons! I hope you all have a fabulous day!


One more day left!


other places to find me (because making friends is fun, right?):

twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

bloglovin’ >>> life and loveliness

pinterest >>> tessa kohler