Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Holiday Decor @ Home + Work

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
I decorated for fall, so of course, I couldn't wait to decorate for the winter holidays! You can see in my fall decor post that it was all just teasers for the holidays like pine cones + cinnamon sticks. Our first full day back from Thanksgiving weekend, I made a date with S to decorate for the holidays. We opened a bottle of wine, played a Christmas record, and went through our few boxes of decor.
A few favorite Christmas tree ornaments on our miniature tree include:

  • My ceramic ballerina that I've had since I lived in New York and did ballet. It was always my favorite ornament to put on the tree, one of my parents would lift me up to put it on a high spot so that it wouldn't accidentally be bumped + fall.
  • A select few collected from Anthropologie like a hot air balloon + a pom pom sphere.
  • My old wooden ornaments like my horse puzzle + a partridge in a pear tree.
  • A sparkly Eiffel Tower because, let's face it, dreams are made in France.
  • And our tree topper, it's so whimsical it always reminds me of Who-ville!
And of course, our old brass menorah! S is Jewish so we are lucky enough to celebrate both! This will be my 6th Hanukkah, and every year the potato latkes are different! That's one tradition that we've made our own: every year we experiment a bit with our latke recipe and change up the flavor. One year we made them from scratch with lovely textured + shredded potatoes, the other year we added curry to the mix + topped them with crumbled goat cheese! This year, I've been loving coriander, so we just might have to experiment with that flavor.
Finally, in our home, I just cannot get enough lights. We have lights inside, outside, and on our tiny Christmas tree. 
Yesterday our events department was in charge of decorating the museum for the holidays! We put up different trees in a couple of exhibit halls, decorated them, and strung lights. It was quite a beautiful sight! I do hope our December events are as thrilled as we are at how lovely they came out. I worked on the tree in my favorite exhibit hall, the dinosaur exhibit. 
We bought an assortment of gold and red ornaments, bows, and sparkly mesh fabric. The cascading mesh was my boss' idea! She went to NY over break and noted many of the beautiful trees, just in time to put up ours. 
This week has been such a festive week for my holiday spirit! Have you decorated yet?
Salut, Yelle
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Monday, November 26, 2012

Weekend Recap + What's in my bag?

Monday, November 26, 2012
There is always the question, what's in your bag? that I find online. I figured this would be a good time to address such a situation; everyone is still digesting their Thanksgivings meal, and most likely thinking about what to buy their loved ones for the holidays. 
In my bag, I always have:
  • My wallet from Anthropologie. For me, it's the perfect size; it holds all of cards, debit and business alike, as well as a nice patterned pocket for checks or cash
  • Moleskine, reporter style, in which I jot down anything I don't want to forget including adjusting my work schedule, not forgetting an assignment, and even some blog post inspiration here or there
  • My business card holder, for holding my new Moo business cards, my professional cards, and to hold other's cards
  • Keys, always
  • Sephora red lipstick: it's the Parisian in me
  • A faux-pencil that is mechanical, and a pen
  • My professional business cards, designed by my friends at Octothorpe Creative
This weekend was such a very nice mini-vacation for us. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because everyone celebrates it, no one is pressured to give gifts, it's all about family, friends, and food! It was so nice to spend quality time with the family. My favorite, starting the day with coffee and family, decorating the Christmas tree with my little cousins, and really delicious food. 


Salut, Yelle
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Friday, November 23, 2012

Traditions + Engagement Photos

Friday, November 23, 2012
I hope that everyone had the most wonderful Thanksgiving! Being that this is a time of family + friends, I am feeling very lovey right now and thought I would share with you our engagement photos. Naturally, we chose the most wonderful photographer in the central Florida area, Kellie of KWU Weddings. Her style and quality is all kinds of gorgeous, and perfect for what we wanted to do for our engagement session: shopping at an antique store
One of our favorite weekend past times is antiquing and scouring thrift stores for pre-loved items. It's a tradition for us to even take trips alone to the antique shops this time of the year in order to find holiday gifts for the family and most often for each other. 
This particular shop is called The French Nest and unfortunately is no long on its own, however it is inside a sort of vintage mall called Adjectives. The shop owner was so nice to let us photograph this special moment there. We chose this shop because it reminded us of everything we love, natural textures, animal bones, vintage treasures, and exploring new worlds. Every time I look through this shops wares is like being back in Paris, France and stumbling upon a new street or a new restaurant. Every thing is so new and refreshing, so unique and hard to describe. It is unlike anything else.
This Thanksgiving we were lucky enough to have both sets of our grandparents in south Florida host the best meal of the year. Last year we spent Thanksgiving with my grandparents, so this year we spent Thanksgiving with his grandparents (and of course hit my grandparents house up for desserts and Italian coffee of course). I will update with photos from this holiday soon. It is every good hostess' dream to have their family and friends over to their own home one year for Thanksgiving dinner. 
I am so thankful to have my family, my S, his family, all of our wonderful friends, and the stage that we are in our lives. For us this is truly an exciting time, and everyday I try to remember to enjoy these days because things will be so different very soon! Enjoy your weekend with your families and friends, and I hope that you are experiencing so much love these days! 
Salut, Yelle
all photos by Kellie Warren Underwood of Live Happy Studios 
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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins + Thanksgiving Traditions

Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Wishing everyone a very happy Thanksgiving! I always look forward to feasting on the traditional Thanksgiving food, as well as trying new ones as well.  In recent years, when my family has hosted Thanksgiving among friends and family, my father makes the usual turkey, gravy, stuffing, and predictables, and then he adds a curve ball. On the menu recently was a rabbit stew simmering in the crock pot all day, as well as a roast goat. My father is never afraid to experiment or try something once, which is where I must get my fearlessness from. He's mentioned before how he wishes one year he could proudly lay out a rack of lamb ribs, fit with the little white chefs hats on the bones and everything. What a sight it would be. Perhaps, when S and I finally adopt Thanksgiving for our own, we'll make a special treat for my dad. Of course, I will definitely be utilizing my beloved French copper pot for any Thanksgiving meals I will be making in the future. Stove top to table display in a picture-perfect instant. 
I also have a recipe for you today. I adapted this recipe for Pumpkin Muffins from the Pioneer Woman to include dried cranberries, which I had in my pantry, instead of her suggested raisins! 
Not only do you get a taste of this treat that I made for myself on a weekday before an event, but you get a taste of my photographs to come! The copper pot was shot with my Minolta film SLR (note the light leak), but the muffins were shot with my new Nikon DSLR. I am still using many images that I have from my old cameras for some blog posts as I fade out all of the images that I already took. By December, all images will most likely be from my Nikon DSLR!
I learned how to style beautifully and edit vibrantly by Elsie from A Beautiful Mess. She is such an inspiration for bloggers, photographers, and women in general. Although I don't aspire to be a shop owner like she is, I  so much admire her drive and ambition.
I feel that these photos truly represent me. The muffins are made on a whim with ingredients in my pantry. I often find myself craving some home made baked goods, and more importantly, craving a wonderful scent coming out of the oven. The plate was given to me by my mom, an old chintz pattern. The dessert fork is an Italian dessert set of spoons and forks that were a gift from an Italian neighbor who brought them back from a trip to Italy. I adore those utensils, they are so fantastic and vintage and the bit of Italian gold really makes me feel close to my roots.
I am really adoring all of these Food Network shows based on entertaining and Thanksgiving dinner! I rarely watch television, but when I do it's usually a cooking show which always inspires me for entertaining. This week, all of the best cooking and entertaining shows are on the air! I'm off to enjoy more shows about my favorite holiday while I whip up that batch of biscotti!
Salut, Yelle
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Monday, November 19, 2012

Backyard Grapevines + Homemade Wines

Monday, November 19, 2012
During a recent trip to my father's house, we took our glasses of wine and bottles of brews outside to check on the status of his grapevines
Growing up, my dad used to purchase red and green grapes by the crates to make wine in our basement. He always made red wine, sharing his secret that 8 out of 10 crates per barrel of wine were red grapes, the other 2 crates were green, otherwise the wine would come out as black as squid ink. Even as little kids, he would let us taste his creation, barreled in the basement below our beds. 
My dad made a trellis on the doorway for the grapevines to grow up and over, and they have. They are happy in the sun and are looking lively this time of the year. A few months ago there were miniature bundles of grapes on the vines, but they were only a part of this first year's harvest, too young to make anything from them. In the next few years, my dad has hopes to harvest the few varietals that he has: some native to Florida, some native to California, and some native to Sicily.
And remember how I mentioned on this blog post that France's harvest wine came out last week? Well I definitely stocked up on bottles for the season! Definitely needed for Thanksgiving dinner, as well as the upcoming dinner party that my co-worker/classmate/dear friend and I will be designing + cooking! I do have to say, the Beaujolais Nouveau by Georges Duboeuf this year is dry-er than previous years. It's perfect for me though, I adore dry wines. I always feel like there is such spirit in this wine, as if cinnamon and nutmeg plants were growing beside the grapevines.
I'll be doing Thanksgiving dinner with S's grandparents, and hope to catch my grandparents for coffee and dessert! I should really get offline right about now so that I can at least buy all the ingredients to make my classic biscotti. One of my first blog posts, while I was still figuring out this whole blogging thing, was about my love for biscotti. I have so many different recipes, I need to get on which one to make! I'm thinking vanilla bean biscotti dipped in melted dark chocolate and drizzled with melted white chocolate. What do you think?  And to all, enjoy your Thanksgivings! 
Salut, Yelle
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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Party with... Sofia Coppola

Saturday, November 17, 2012
The best kind of hostess to put on a sophisticated Thanksgiving is Sofia Coppola, the woman of timeless beauty and style. This lady-director wouldn't be shy on the details. Having worked on elegantly rich films like Marie Antoinette, she would use the same sense of humor, like playing unexpected 80's music for a 1800's time-piece. The film maven would incorporate classic decor like wonderfully fragrant chestnuts in hurricanes.
Sofia wouldn't be afraid to have long tables outdoors for dinner, to really get a sense of the season. Tons of casual wine bottles, brews, milk jugs of water, and tall pillar candles. 
For food, I can totally see her serving rustic finger foods like figs wrapped in blue cheese and proscuitto, or some eclectic jam & cheese pairings.
Being the woman of many unexpected talents, I could definitely see this display of antique silver trays flanking the entry way to her home, with plenty of seasonal pumpkin decor.
And of course // bien sur, to drink, would be France's harvest wine that comes out every year the week before Thanksgiving. Just in time to be picked up and enjoyed within the bottles young life.

Salut, Yelle

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

DIY Craft Date + Wine

Thursday, November 15, 2012
One of my favorite things this time of year is getting together with friends to make things for the holidays and enjoy some wine. Recently, my friend and I had a craft date and consulted Pinterest in order to decide what to make together! What we ended up making were seasonal burlap bunting and Anthropologie inspired votive tumblers
We painted these tumblers with different color palettes, keeping in mind that they would look great with the a little votive candle inside. We got this set of four tumblers for $2, used some left over acrylic paints from past crafting days, and dabbed dabbed dabbed constantly to create these looks!
And of course, being that we are both finishing up college in the Event Management major, we brainstormed a holiday party while we were crafting! We have plans to actually use these DIY pieces as decor for a holiday dinner party. We have dreams of being the chefs, the stylists, the set up + break down crew, the florists, and the photographer all in one for this holiday party. It's still in the works, but we are completely treating this upcoming party as our thesis. 
Another DIY that we must bring to decorate the holiday party with are these burlap buntings we made together. One large one says "Seasons Greetings" with a bit of holly. The others say "Noel" + "Harvest" which is perfect for this post-Thanksgiving + pre-Christmas dinner party.
We simply bought a yard of burlap for $2 and cut out pieces of triangles. We then snipped two holes into each corner of the bunting triangles and threaded festive + rustic twine through it to hang. 
Also, this year's harvest wine from France has been released today! As they say in France, Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivee! I will be spending the evening enjoying a glass of Beaujolais Nouveau, cooking a nice dinner to pair with it, and catching up on some blog posts from my favorites. Bonne nuit! 
Salut, Yelle
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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tangled Up in Yarn + New Cards

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
I find that the only time of the year that I knit and crochet are during the winter holidays. It's perfect for gift giving, but more importantly, it's perfect for keeping my fingers warm on cool nights. I find that doing any crafting, creating, and making is great for boosting moods and calming souls. The feeling of accomplishment and the process of creating itself is such a soothing activity. Also, it really sets a wonderful tone for the holiday season.
This year I learned how to do the trendy herringbone knit stitch via SteamyKitchen.com. Unfortunately, by the time I finished the scarf earlier this year, it was too warm to wear it. Instead, I tucked it into my scarf box in my closet and am waiting for a cooler day this winter to wear it!
Scarfs for me can really tie a look together. The look is of cozy and comfortable, as well as put together and well thought out. An instant pick me up on chilly days!
Also, remember how I posted here that I have all the ingredients now for a blog? I have one more perfect ingredient! Thanks to the lovely Erin from one of my favorite blogs, Like Want Need, I now have Yelle Events business cards! Moo.com had a promotion for 100 free business cards, you only pay shipping! I jumped at the chance to get these elongated blog cards printed, just in time for my web domain purchase! Erin's blog is also now on my Link Love! Be sure to click over and check out her lovely blog, especially if you're like me and her and love all things French.
Thank you Erin
Salut, Yelle
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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Playing Tourist with the Family

Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Finally getting around to updating about my brother and his girlfriend's visit with us a few weeks ago! Like every natural hostess, I love having guests over.Whether it's just a dinner party or a weekend visit, it absolutely thrills me! I live for making guests feel welcome, well-fed, and warm! The weather was gorgeous down here due to the off wind from Hurricane Sandy. But keep in mind, the reason for their two-weekends-in-a-row visit? In the middle of the week they departed out of our port for a cruise. Luckily, their cruise was only delayed one day. So in essence, they had two vacations!
On the first weekend, the weather was gorgeous, perfectly autumn. We brainstormed some ideas for how to enjoy the outdoor sunshine and cold breeze, so we brought them to the local parks as well as a plant nursery. It was so nice to see the trees move in the what is usually very still wind. My brothers girlfriend even found some plants for her new apartment! 
We bonded over silly stories and sharing jackets. The first evening we all went out to the downtown area. My brothers girlfriend doesn't typically drink wine, but on the cruise, they let you bring some bottles of wine, so our mission was to find a bottle that my brothers girlfriend would like! So our first stop was The Wine Room in which they have bottles of wine "on tap". You can try 1 oz, 2 oz, or 4 oz pours and only pay an average of $3 per pour depending on the cost of the bottle. There are many descriptions too like "vanilla + spices" and "soft tannins" so we were able to find two bottles that she brought on the cruise! 
After working up an appetite tasting different wines, we went to the Italian restaurant along the busy brick road that I've posted about before here. When I say Italian, I mean really amazing, authentic ingredients, unique flavor combinations kind of Italian! We ordered two pizzas fresh from the fired pizza oven, and dessert too since it was my brothers girlfriends birthday! 
The next evening, we stayed in for dinner, but that doesn't mean that we skimped out. I entertained like a true hostess. We gathered bottles of gin, wine, and champagne for an evening of sampling new drinks and pairing with dinner. I made an easy oven-to-table meal consisting of roasted chicken and sweet potatoes from the farmers market. I cooked it in my grandmothers copper pot, so even the table display was gorgeous. We all ate in silence by the time dinner was ready, it was that delicious and we were all hungry from laughing and drinking. Did I mention that I have the best brother ever? Because I really do! 
The night consisted mostly of drinks, food, and alternating vinyl records. It was a really memorable visit and really reminded me why I love having visitors. The morning coffee with company, the evening desserts with shared spoons. It isn't just the company that really makes entertaining worth it, it's reinforcing the family. 
Salut, Yelle
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Monday, November 12, 2012

Weekend Recap @ the Farmers Market

Monday, November 12, 2012
This weekend was full of morning coffee dates with my S, trips to the farmers market, and lots of weddings at the museum! The weddings went as well as they could have. No matter how much we plan and try to anticipate all needs, something comes up. But! Since we have an amazing team at the museum, we are always equipped to handle these sticky situations. Also, this is my first post full of photos from my new DSLR camera! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! 
Our mission at the farmers market this weekend was to pick up some plants for our balcony since so many of our flora died over the summer due to the intense heat and sun. We obtained  four different kinds of basil (can you smell all of the Italian dishes we'll be cooking this week?), arugula, and lavender! I'm really hoping our lavender lasts for a long time, but I don't have high hopes because lavender was just not made for Florida, it's born to be in France! Kind of like me...
We walked around, happy with our plant findings, and decided to hit up the bagel stand that always has a line out the doorway. As you can see, they are so busy that even by 10:30 in the morning, they are running out of old favorites. But we always enjoy walking around, munching on our treats, looking at the wares for sale. The cheese lady, the bread maker, the olive oil company, the pasta maker, all are familiar faces at this market every Saturday morning. 
Another reason we love going to the farmers market is because it is held inside an old brick + wooden train depot, and it's where we are going to get married next year! We picked this building because we love it so much: the brick, the market lights, the train tracks, the sliding wooden doors, all of our Saturday morning trips... there is just so much history for us at this spot. I'm happy that I could take a few photos to share with you some sneak peeks of what our day will look like. 
And of course, weekends mean free time for S so there's lots of guitar playing. But I have to say, it's nice to wake up to some classical guitar, hearing it change into some indie acoustic. 
I hope that everyone else's weekend was just as swell! Today I have off so it means writing some papers, cooking a good meal, and roaming the town to take more lovely photos to share with you!
Salut, Yelle
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