Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January Wedding

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Only in Florida can a bride and groom have an outdoor wedding in January. My past weekend (and past few weeks in the office) were dedicated to this wedding. It was one that I was so looking forward to because of the amazing vendors that the bride and groom chose to work with. 
The bride and groom's ceremony was across the street from the museum at the lakefront under an old oak tree with branches that crept down to the grass. The timing was perfect because as the sun set it peeked through the branches spotlighting the bride and groom. I couldn't take any photos at that time because I was busy coordinating the bridal party for the ceremony itself, but I am so looking forward to getting the photos from the photographer on this wedding. He's someone we work with all of the time and he really captures beautiful images. 
As cocktail hour was happening inside our dinosaur exhibit, we made sure all of the reception details outside on the terrace were in place. I had one of those moments in which I realized how beautiful the view of downtown was, and how it could never get old at this time of day.
It was there on the empty reception terrace that me, my co-worker, and even the DJ all stopped to take photos of the gorgeous night, perfect for a wedding. 
Adieu, Yelle
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Monday, January 28, 2013

Weekend Recap @ Home

Monday, January 28, 2013
This past weekend it hit me that January is nearly over, and now we are down to double digits until our wedding. Today makes 96 days. I'm sure I'm not the only one feeling like, where did January go?
It's so nice to start our days slow: slowly make cups of coffee, slowly make something to eat, slowly get a start on errands... It's nice to take it slow with an easy meal like waffles when you have a new waffle maker. This past weekend we whipped up some waffles, sneaked a little vanilla extract in the batter, and instead of syrup we topped our waffles with chocolate and hazelnut spread (Nutella). A sweet start to a day.
After slow weekend mornings, every week it feels like we accomplish something for the wedding. For a while it was something that we set a date for, put on the back burner, and figured we would think about it later since we have so much time to plan it. Well, now that we have 3 months left, it feels crunch time.
Recently our friend finalized the invitation designs, set up with our other friend who works at a letter press company to get them printed, and ordered big things like bridal party gifts and our wedding bands. It was really awesome to go to the letterpress studio and see how the whole process of printing will be. The studio had huge machines for pressing, cutting, inking, and even aqua-tinting. It seems surreal right now and hard to imagine how the invitations will finally look in our hands.
Other than that, weekends are a time for us to relax and recoup for the busy weeks. On Sunday morning we spent it listening to the radio and S played mandolin on the balcony while I sipped my coffee and flipped through a magazine. It was so nice to take an unintended break from TV, Netflix, and our computers.
Also, I'm itching to buy new glasses. I'm really loving the tortoise shell look, so I don't think I'm choosing from the batch that I tried on. I've been looking around the web for tortoise shell glasses in the shape of the favorite pair from that post. This time I'm going to do all of the upgrades that I normally do like progressive bifocals, UV protection, anti-reflection, ultra-thin, etc. I will definitely have to do a proper update with the glasses once I find them!
I wish that you all have a story-worthy week!
Adieu, Yelle
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Friday, January 25, 2013

Working Girl: Arugula Salad + Curry Tilapia

Friday, January 25, 2013
I've mentioned before that I've been super busy lately, yet I still try my hardest to eat healthy. It's one of the important things to me, especially as I find I barely have time to read blogs with all of my reading for assignments. This recipe is a simple one that is super quick and healthy: arugula salad and curry tilapia.
This recipe is simply made up of:
  • tilapia with curry powder, a little cumin powder, salt, + cracked pepper
  • arugula salad with croutons, toasted pistachios, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, + cracked pepper
I seasoned the tilapia then baked it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, flipping it halfway through. This recipe works with both fresh and frozen tilapia, as long as the frozen tilapia is thawed. The salad was an easy addition to mix up while the tilapia baked in the oven. It's perfect for any busy weeknight, and even for a quick lunch at home on a weekend in between errands.
This week marks the end of a huge building-wide event that we've been working on, and the start of wedding season. We have lots of weddings from now until May. I haven't been feeling the greatest lately, but I feel myself progressively getting better, just in time for wedding season.
Adieu, Yelle
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Organization For The New Year

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

These past few weeks I've spent my free time organizing my life. Everything in our apartment is already pretty organized, enough for day-to-day operations. However, I'm all about making my life simpler, more efficient, and orderly from here on out. We've began to get rid of items we never use, giveaway doubles of the things we have, as well as shift things from cabinet to cabinet (the kitchen specifically), making the flow of the kitchen work better. 

We got this great cart for our tiny kitchen from Ikea in order to organize all of our new kitchen items. Since everything is brand new and beautiful, an open-shelf cart was the perfect way to show off our items while organizing them for usage. Right now we have mostly espresso + coffee equipment, a cheeseboard, and my one copper pot on the cart, with our gorgeous new cutting board sitting on top. We can take the cutting board away when we're entertaining and place the cheeseboard there, or even utilize the top as a bar cart for wine, beers, mixers, etc. 
Like most first apartments, ours was a culmination of his + hers brought together to make one very non-cohesive kitchen. When we thought about registering, it didn't exactly seem appealing to us until we realized we did need upgrades and that we did need a cohesive look. Our mission was to bring in more basics like the classic white pieces, standard stainless steel that goes with everything, and a bit of natural wood for a nice juxtaposition against the stark metal. 
We didn't want to get rid of color in the kitchen completely, so we figured we keep a few of our colorful pieces and use them as accents to the very neutral palette that it has become. My favorite accent color at the moment is pistachio, the color of my Kitchenaid mixer. I think it's going to be our kitchen accent color for a while. 
Surprisingly enough, our kitchen looks so much larger than it used to with all of our white and stainless steel items. If only we could paint our cabinets I'd be 10x happier with our kitchen, but we can't because we are renting. I so look forward to the day in which I can own a house and a kitchen that is all mine to do as I please. After all, I spend every morning and every night in the kitchen, it should be a beautiful little spot. 
Adieu, Yelle
19

Monday, January 21, 2013

Our First Meal With Our New Items

Monday, January 21, 2013
Since my bridal shower was this past weekend, not only did I bring home birthday gifts, but I brought home shower gifts as well. The first thing I did when we got home was unpack our beautiful new everyday China, our new gorgeous silverware, and our new set of kitchen knives. The first meal that we cook with all of our new items had to be a good one. So we went classic: a chicken caprese panini. Our  ingredients included:

  • grilled chicken tenderloins
  • sliced tomatoes
  • sliced buffalo mozzarella
  • fresh arugula
  • balsamic vinegar

With a chicken caprese panini I was able to grill the chicken on our lovely new grill pan (so much surface area!), slice the tomatoes and mozzarella with our new knives, and I even pressed our sandwiches with our wonderful new panini press!
Also, even cleaning was a dream! Grill pans are usually such a pain to clean, but this one was nearly spotless with the gentle wiping of a sponge. It was such a pleasure to cook and clean with our first complete set that is all ours. I do hope that this is an indication of how every future meal will go!
Adieu, Yelle
11

Friday, January 18, 2013

Where I've Been

Friday, January 18, 2013
This past week has been quite busy as I get back to my routine of work, class, wedding duties, and blogging. I haven't been as active as I usually am as I try to get back in the swing of things. As we unpack the last few of our new items, find new homes for them in our cabinets, and look for excuses to use them, I'm slowly writing thank you's and quickly reading my textbooks. 
I'm happy that this is my last semester ever (I graduate in April!) and I have only had to buy textbooks for one class - all of the others are optional, or I've heard there is little textbook usage. The textbooks that I had to buy? They are two non-fiction wine books for my History + Culture of Wine class. We've already started tasting ancient Georgian and Greek wines as we start all the back as early as wine was discovered. I've never been a history buff, but let me tell you - I suddenly have an interest in areas that don't exist anymore like the Caucasus region where wine originated. If you're wondering how on earth I am taking a wine class in which I can taste as an elective for a college degree - it's for my Event Management major, technically in the College of Hospitality. I believe that the college sees us as having to deal with wines at events, so we ought to have knowledge in the area. Me? I just adore wine and would love to make my own some day like my dad used to. 
I've been growing my hair out like every good bride does a few months before their wedding. Although last week, just in time for my birthday, I got it cut. A healthy trim, leaving my ends feeling fresh and bouncy again. There really is not greater pick-me-up like a visit to the hairstylist. 
Getting back to the routine also means adjusting to the Florida "winter". We have just spent two weeks needing wool socks, and now I am leaving the house in t-shirts. It's been warm down here, but there is a "cold" front coming in this weekend that I am really looking forward to. I have the weekend off so we're going to spend it how we love spending our weekends at home: shopping at the farmer's market, cooking a good meal, and catching up with friends.
Have you ever visited Miranti's blog, Pen + Peplum? It is heaven for any girl that loves a gorgeous office and workplace like me. She recently interviewed me on a little about my office preferences, day-in-the-life, as well as my dream office. You can check out the post here!
I do hope that all of you have a great weekend, especially if your week was as busy as mine! I've got some assignments to do as well, like read two chapters of my wine textbooks. Learning about wine with a glass of it in my hand sounds like the perfect afternoon to me.
Adieu, Yelle
16

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Weekend Recap @ Tea Room (My Surprise Bridal Shower)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Saturday was my birthday and I had plans to go shopping + dining with two close girl friends in a little downtown area. It was the perfect way to spend the day with friends: brunch, mimosas, and girl time. After walking through some small boutiques, my friend said that she had somewhere to take me, but I couldn't know until we got there. Little did I know, she was taking me to my surprise bridal shower.
First, let's talk brunch. I love a good french toast with thick eggy bread and lots of fruit. It paired perfectly with my orange juice mimosa. A full belly is a great way to start a day.
My maid of honor got a breakfast panini that came with the cutest basket of fries. It was pretty hard to resist trying a few of them. 
We pull up to a tea house and I just figured we were getting some afternoon tea since we all looked so cute for my birthday - it seemed like a sweet thing to do! However, when we walked in, I looked straight back and saw some out of town family members all sitting at a table together. I immediately walked over to the table, and saw that there was another table behind them full of my closest girl friends. It wasn't until I saw boxes and bags from our registry store that I figured out that they didn't visit town for my birthday but it instead was, of course, a bridal shower. 
After many kisses, hugs, and a few tears from being a bit overwhelmed at how many out-of-towners were suddenly in town just for me, we sat down for tea. Each table got two different teas to try. Every tea pot and tea cup was different, just my style.
Afternoon snacks came out, many little pastries to chose from like chicken salad sandwiches on croissants, scones, and chocolate covered strawberries. So many little details for the perfect tea time like sugar cubes for your cup and jams for your snacks.

For me, the highlight was seeing so many familiar faces that have traveled far to see me. It made me feel so special to be with all of them, knowing they came all that way just for me. I'm not one for being the center of attention, so I would have loved to have been able to spend more time at each end of the table talking with my girlfriends, catching up about their lives too. But it was such a whirlwind of an afternoon.
If that was any indication of how fast time with 20 of your loved ones goes, I can't image how fast the wedding day will go with 120 of our favorite people there. It really put into perspective how much of an effort must be made to not get swept up by the moment and to consciously take a minute to appreciate now.
My mom made champagne cupcakes for the shower as well. They were topped simply with powdered sugar, just the right amount of sweetness. It made for a lovely ending to the afternoon.
Of course, I am so thankful for all of the sweet gifts that everyone made an effort to get for us, but I am infinitely more grateful to have been able to share this day with all of those lovely ladies that I know.
Adieu, Yelle
21

Friday, January 11, 2013

Party With... Karen O

Friday, January 11, 2013
Tomorrow is my birthday! And to me, it is totally reason to celebrate. I would love it if I could have a birthday party hosted by Yeah Yeah Yeah's front woman, Karen O. She's all kinds of bad ass, fun, and completely unique. I saw YYYs years ago live, and it was truly one of the best shows. 
Being that Karen O is so animated on stage, there would definitely be tons of dancing at a party hosted by her. Of course, Yeah Yeah Yeahs would be on the soundtrack to the party, as well as other indie dance favorites. For drinks, of course it would have to be my favorite inky pleasure, Chambord. It's a raspberry liqueur, so wonderfully syrupy, best mixed into white, dry drinks like champagne. 
For some thing to eat, another super indulgent treat (after all, it is my birthday) would be red wine poached pears, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It's definitely one of my favorite desserts, right up there with creme brulee. 
Karen O is very much a bad ass, so there has to be some edgy accessories. Bar rings have always been bad ass to me so it would make the perfect accessory to a birthday party outfit.
The final touch: these Jeffrey Campbell Lita's with a claw accent on the heel. By now, you must know I have a love for all things natural and science. These claw boots are maniacal enough for Karen O, and just perfect for a birthday girl like me. 
   
Tomorrow I'm off to spend the day with my best friend/maid of honor! We have plans to shop, dine, drink, and to do her dress fitting too. I'm so looking forward to our girl day since I haven't had one in a while, and I have hopes of gossiping just a little, drinking just enough, and laughing quite a lot. Enjoy your weekends! 
Adieu, Yelle
20

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

From Our Travels... Manhattan

Wednesday, January 09, 2013
We were in Manhattan for New Years eve and day visiting my aunt, uncle, and cousins. It was so lovely to walk around the city that I used to visit so often when I was a kid. My trip up north already seems so far away now that we're back in our routines. But, I must say it's nice to be working again, catching up with my co-workers and touching base with vendors. The first day of my last semester of classes started yesterday and I can already tell that this semester is going to be so different from last semester. I love my teacher for my Event Management class (kind of like our capstone project) and I cannot wait to taste wine every week in my History and Culture of Wines class. There really are perks to being an Event Management major, such as our electives in which we sit in a classroom that has a bar in it, as well as most of our "group projects" consist of us planning an event. I'm happy to say that I am so glad that this is what I chose to study + have a career in. After all of this, these past 4 years of college education, I couldn't imagine doing anything else.

Anyway, about our visit to Manhattan! We walked up and down Broadway on the upper west side, our stomping grounds. We even took the subway downtown to shop. We love oddities (check out our decor) so we had to check out the shop Obscura from the TV show Oddities. They had a lot of unique items, but with their recent fame from the show, most of it was priced above what we wanted to spend. Although, it was still nice to check it out and see the gems in this tiny shop!
I love the feeling of the city, especially on holidays like New Years eve and in winter time when the city just feels so alive. It has a spirit that no other city has, and was the perfect place to spend NYE. We visited old favorites like the shop Evolution. We picked up some great items to bring home with us like a coyote skull and a lantern fly. We walked around so many streets, each one reminiscent of my childhood.
A new place that we visited that is actually old to my family is the Dublin House. It's a bar that my great grandfather used to go to everyday because he was a numbers man for the Italian mafia. It was kind of amazing to be at the place that my great grandfather had spent so much of his time. I barely remember my great grandfather since I was so young when he passed away, but I have this amazing black and white portrait of him that my father took. The portrait is the epitome of him, a cigarette in his hand and a stern glare right into the camera. It's something I will treasure forever, and I can practically see the same pose of him at this bar. 
I haven't mentioned my New Years resolution, but it actually came to me after reading a few other bloggers NYE posts. I've always written in a journal, and my resolution last year was to write a bit of prose every day, even if it wasn't good. It lasted only a few weeks, and while blogging definitely helped me write more than just journal entries more often, it still isn't on a daily basis. With the wedding, classes, and working, I can't commit to blogging every day. But what I can commit to is writing my favorite moment from every day. So far it's going great, and each of the 8 entries thus far have made me smile. Some of the moments are quite personal, and I can't exactly share them on this blog, but I can share that they are moments like tearing up while saying goodbye to family, sharing a laugh with S's sister, and getting a reality check from my brother. So far, I love it. In a year, I can't wait to have collected 365 favorite moments. 
Adieu, Yelle
19

Monday, January 07, 2013

From Our Travels... the Poconos

Monday, January 07, 2013
On one of our travels this winter vacation we went to Mt Pocono. My aunt and cousins live there and it was such perfect timing. The day after we arrived was a snow storm, which was lovely being that S and I haven't seen snow in years. 
We played in the snow with my cousins like little kids, sledding down their yard, making a snow man, and drinking lots of tea to warm our selves up afterwards. While we warmed up we watched tons of movies that I didn't get to see in theaters like Spiderman and Premium Rush. Speaking of movies, did anyone see Django Unchained? I love Quentin Tarantino, but I was still blown away at how completely engaging his movies are, just like this one. 
It snowed all day while we were there which was just fine. The roads weren't plowed until the next morning when we were off to our next visit. 
It was such a treat to see snow again, especially catching the snowflakes and having them melt into my warm hands. But I quickly realized how my socks from Florida are not made for up north. After being outside for 5 minutes my toes were numb. My aunt lent me her wool socks and oh my, they were so cozy! 
It was so nice to spend time with family. Three of my cousins are my bridesmaids, so we talked a lot about the wedding, the dresses they were going to wear, and the details of that weekend. It's scary how close it is (four months!) and how much there is still to do. Before I know it, the weekend will be here. Being that the new year has just recently arrived, t's a bit overwhelming to think how different our lives will be 6 months from now, 1 year from now, 2 years from now. We have so much going on with me graduating, us getting married, me getting my first full time job, possibly moving to Chicago... There are so many changes in these years. It's exciting, and yet quite scary at the same time. If we do move to Chicago, the first thing I'm buying are wool socks.
Adieu, Yelle
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