Thursday, February 28, 2013

Goodbye February + My 100th Post

Thursday, February 28, 2013
February has quickly come to a close and I could really use days 29, 30, and even 31 this month to catch up.  Spring break is coming up and I am using it as an opportunity to have my bachelorette party! Me and a few girl friends are renting a little house in the French Quarter of New Orleans for the week! Being that I have never been, and I love food + jazz + French, I think I will enjoy every minute! But, as you can imagine, wrapping up exams and assignments before I leave while trying to plan my trip can make some important things like studying for my midterm to be put on the back burner. Eek!
You really haven't seen much activity from me this week because today is my degree's version of a capstone: a career fair that my class has planned. Most of my work was in the pre-planning stage since I was co-lead for the floor plan and show guide. Today I will work on directing exhibitors (companies hiring!) to their booths. Luckily, I get time at the end of my shift to walk around the career fair for myself. For me, it's the perfect opportunity to network with hospitality and event companies since we are constantly working together in the industry. 
Finally, this is my 100th blog post. This is quite the accomplish for me since I've started blogs in the past and have abandoned them like a Chinese theme park. I'm really glad that I've kept up with it, although I have yet to hit the year mark! One milestone at a time. One hundred thank you's to those that read and enjoy my blog and to those whose blogs I adore for inspiring me to be involved! 
These are just quick photos from our brunch one of these last few days. Marble rye bread with goat cheese, an egg, prosciutto, and of course arugula. I find that when a meal has something green, something red, and something yellow (like cheese!) I'm a happy girl. 
Adieu, Yelle 
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Weekend Recap @ Home in the Kitchen

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
This weekend has been one at home, and mostly in the kitchen. I had a lot of class assignments to do so I set my computer and textbooks up on the dining room table, alternating between homework and cooking. Being in the kitchen at least gave me a sense of having a weekend and doing something for myself instead of just being a slave to college this week. S's brother came to visit, so it was nice to have someone to keep S company while I devoted my weekend to assignments, and it was also nice to cook for someone else, which I always love doing. 
This weekend since I had time at home I set up my new KitchenAid mixer pasta cutter attachment and got to work. I've made raviolis before with a friend so I knew it took some time. I spent most of my afternoon alternating cutting 10 noodles and writing a few paragraphs. In the end, it was so worth it. To me, there is always so much love inside homemade pasta, it always tastes ten times better. 
I didn't want to drown my fresh noodles in tomato sauce, so I opted for carbonara so that we could really taste the semolina flour in the dough. It was delicious, and of course heavy! I always find that when I eat fresh pasta I am always satisfied with smaller portions. My favorite addition to pasta a la carbonara is cracked black pepper; I always add a lot because I love the peppery flavor with smoked bacon and the egg sauce. 
In the first photo is a snack I made with the extra pasta dough. I mixed nearly too much semolina flour for the pasta, so instead of making more noodles, I rolled it out on our pizza stone extremely thin. I brushed it with some thick olive oil, cracked black pepper, sharp provolone cheese, and some arugula to make a flatbread. It was our snack as I continued rolling out pasta noodles in the afternoon. 
And, of course, I started this weekend of cuisine with homemade waffles. I made a decent size batch in order to put the extra in the freezer - homemade frozen waffles. I like my waffle batter to be extremely milky (I use almond milk) and with a teaspoon full of vanilla extract. It's like dessert for breakfast. I think next time I will still use the almond milk, and instead of vanilla extract, I'll use almond extract. And since I'm not crazy about syrup, I put Nutella on my waffles instead. It was a wonderful weekend of sweet and savory to balance out the workload that I had.
Adieu, Yelle 
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Friday, February 22, 2013

Urban Exploring: Abandoned Chinese Theme Park

Friday, February 22, 2013
This past Monday was President's Day and since my detail-oriented wedding from the weekend was over, I had the day off! S did too so we took a day adventure together. We drove less than an hour (towards the tourist area of Orlando) and visited an abandoned Chinese theme park.
Now, I can't exactly explain how I came about being able to explore this abandoned park since it is gated off and no trespassing signs are posted, but that's half the fun, wondering about the mystery, isn't it?
We came in the back way where most of the structures were wooden and decrepit. Many of the Asian style gazebos were chipping, and the historical replicas were broken piece-by-piece, most likely souvenirs taken home as a keep sake. 
Whatever statues that couldn't be moved in the abandonment were left to be vandalized and over grown by foliage. The greenery adds to their beauty, and the graffiti made me feel less lonely as I walked around the empty spaces. I could hear my shoes crunch the acorns and echo across the park. The silence was eerie being that I am used to roaring crowds while exploring theme parks. 
It was so serene to explore the park with no other visitors shuffling in front of us or speeding up behind us. There were no lines for the stone gardens, no photo-bombs in our portraits. The only people we came across were another set of urban explorers, toting their cameras as well.
The graffiti made me sad because I couldn't do something like that to a park that had original stone work, hand carved replicas, and Chinese entertainment when it was up and running. 
There were models of the Great Wall of China, The Forbidden City, and the Potala Palace. Most were falling apart at the seams like the one above, and others like the Great Wall were left standing, all except the tiny people figurines that used to stand on it.
It was a beautiful day to walk around, snap photos, put my hair up. It was peaceful and exhilarating at the same time.

It was nice to take this mini-trip to a close place that felt so different from home. I came home feeling refreshed and inspired, until of course the class work piled up again.
I think I spoke too soon in the post earlier this week about adoring my college. Within a day, I started feeling overwhelmed with my course load. Five classes has never phased me before, but being this is my last semester with numerous groups projects and our capstone project, planning our college's career fair, I am in over my head this week. That explains why I've been a bit quiet on my end of the blogging pond! I am looking forward to a weekend of catching up on projects and catching up on errands. 
Adieu, Yelle
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Valentine's Day Recap

Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Although Valentine's Day was already a week ago, I'm just now having time to write about it. We came home from work to have wine, chocolate, and macarons together. We enjoyed each others company, listening to old French love songs and S playing the mandolin. Later in the evening we had a dinner reservation at our favorite restaurant in which we shared some delicious fare.
In case you missed it, TJ had S + I on her blog for Valentine's Day! I was so happy to be in such good company, check out the post here.
For Valentine's Day, all I asked for was a dozen macarons instead of a dozen roses. I'm not really one for flowers, unless they are dried liked lavender. Macarons have always been a favorite sweet of mine, and the colors are much prettier than a bouquet of flowers! 
I did get one rose, it was in the form of a rose flavored macaron. I would have to say it is my second favorite flavor, after pistachio. I'm the type to love floral flavors like violets and jasmine. One of my favorite teas is a jasmine green tea. 
I gave S a little Datevation, including our favorite things to do together like antiquing and getting sushi, all on me. There are even some that I put in just for fun like walking around our neighborhood, which we rarely do, and playing tourist in our city for a day. I'm happy to have S use them up because even I will enjoy them!
Adieu, Yelle
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Monday, February 18, 2013

Weekend Recap @ Our Central Park

Monday, February 18, 2013
Weekends go by too fast, especially when I work a wedding. The set up and break down seems to make time move at warped speed, and I can imagine that it feels the same way for the bride and groom whose day it is. This weekend we took advantage of the little bit of winter that Florida has. It was bright and sunny out with strong, cold winds. Perfect weather for picnics in the park, but too windy for the weddings 2 foot tall centerpieces on the outdoor terrace.
I've also been getting a hold and a jump on assignments this weekend, as well as falling into the world of Downton Abbey. Friends, family, and even Netflix suggested that I would enjoy it. And I do. I'm already on season 2, and I'm sure it's keeping me from finishing a few group projects for my classes.  
I am so excited to be done with school in less than 3 months (!!!) but I am also already nostalgic about my college campus, my classes, and the sense of community in my major. This semester I have the most group projects I have ever had assigned (at least 6), and I am actually enjoying them rather than being slightly annoyed like I usually am trying to get everyone's schedules together. So far I've worked on a project on Sundance Film Festival, Zofi Beer Festival in South Africa, and even a Puppet Festival in Turkey. It makes me feel proud and excited at the same time about the type of work that we do.
Adieu, Yelle
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Friday, February 15, 2013

Invitations + Monograms

Friday, February 15, 2013
I hope you all enjoyed your Valentine's Day, whatever was on the agenda! Most recently, I feel like we've been quickly crossing things off of our wedding to-do list. I'm the kind of person that loves making lists and crossing things off of it. Besides making appointments and laying out the details, we have purchased some must have items like S's suit and these monogram necklaces, for me and all my bridesmaids. 
I've wanted this monogram for myself ever since I've seen both celebrities and friends alike donning them. I thought it would be super special to get it with my new initials and wait until the wedding day to wear it (I took some photos with it for 5 minutes to show you!). I thought that these monograms were so pretty and and chic that my bridesmaids ought to have one too. We ordered them and they quickly arrived, and now I am so anxious to give them all to my girls. Lucky for them, they can wear theirs when they get them. I have to wait until May to wear mine. 
By now, most family and friends have received their invitations in the mail so I am happy to share with your our wedding invitations! They were designed by Joseph, and printed by Adrian. I felt like I had all of the time in the world to get these done, but then suddenly February snuck up on me. Our friends pulled out all of the stops to get these beautiful pieces of paper to creation. The design is bold and contemporary: perfect on simple, white, doubled up paper. 
This weekend I have someone else's wedding on my agenda! I've worked on this wedding a lot now as it has a lot of little details that had to be ironed out. I also have a ton of group projects for classes that have only been building up on me to work on this weekend. I have a very productive weekend coming up. Hope that yours is just as productive (or unproductive) as you wish!
Adieu, Yelle
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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Party With... Ella Fitzgerald

Wednesday, February 13, 2013
The queen of jazz herself, Ella Fitzgerald would be the most wonderful host to a Mardi Gras party. Of course, all night would be vinyl flipping in the record player of all the classic jazz musicians. It would be a loud, vibrant, and lively party. 
And of course, king cake would be served for all to indulge in. King Cake is a delicious pastry made with cinnamon and pecans. The person who gets the piece with the baby inside, well they get special privileges. 
It wouldn't be Mardi Gras without masks like a plague doctors mask; each guest would sport their own style. Hiding behind the mask but celebrating all together.
Adieu, Yelle
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Monday, February 11, 2013

Letterpress Happy Hour: Valentine's Day Edition

Monday, February 11, 2013
Every Valentine's day, being that S went to art school, it's our tradition that he makes me a card. I always want a handmade card more than any box of chocolates or bouquet of flowers. The past few years, he's illustrated a different part of the body and cut it out as a card. The first year I got an anatomical heart, there was also a lung one year, and last year I got a skeleton hand with the quirky, "Can I get your digits?" written inside. This year, we made our cards together.
Last week our invitations were printed and the letterpress we used, Flying Horse Editions, was also having a Letterpress Happy Hour, just in time for Valentine's day. Our friend that works at the press walked us through the steps of picking our paper and designs, then picking the letters for what our cards would say. We went with the simple "Happy Valentine's Day" with a variation of font types and sizes. Then, he showed us how to operate the printing machine.  
Our friend joked that it was kind of like inviting people to a restaurant and making them cook their own food. We had to clamp the paper in, as well as press the letters on ourselves. We are definitely not pros at this, but it was fun to use the printing press, especially just after our invitations were made, so we could see exactly how it was done. 
It was also nice to see what others picked for their cards to say. I saw other languages like Latin and Spanish, and even cutesy sayings like, "Love you like cake." The entire atmosphere was nice; couples and friends printed their cards and traded, there was beer and wine to drink, as well as a food truck parked just outside of the letterpress for those looking to fill their bellies. 
This past weekend we visited friends and family back home for a quick trip. The French would call this a "petit weekend," like a little weekend trip. S finally found his suit for the wedding, we caught up with family, and we got pho with my dad, just in time for Tet, the Vietnamese new year. It was the best bowl of pho I've had in a long time, paired with fresh spring rolls dipped in peanut sauce. 
I've been thinking about friends and family up north lately. I know there is a blizzard and I hope everyone is bundled up tight! In Florida, it doesn't even feel like winter. This past week we had an exceptionally beautiful day and while at work my boss said that when we were done with all of our meetings we should go do something outside. It was the first time in months that I had time to just sit by the pool. It felt even stranger knowing that miles north, everyone is inside keeping warm, while I was in a bathing suit laying out at the pool. 
Adieu, Yelle
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Friday, February 08, 2013

Party With... Jane Austen

Friday, February 08, 2013
Valentine's Day is one of those holidays that some love, and some hate. Although, if Jane Austen was alive, I bet she would love every minute of it every year. She would most certainly host a Valentine's Day party full of romance, frills, and lace. She wouldn't be shy on the details, incorporating her writing into every facet including the place cards for her lady-friends seats. 
Jane Austen would be hostess to a day party, being the romantic that she is, in order for her guests and herself to be free for their suitors in the evening. Keeping true to her English roots, the miss would serve tea for the afternoon. Everything would be served on silver trays, like true English tea time
I am definitely lending some inspiration from my recent tea-themed bridal shower. I adore vintage tea cups and saucers. I have a beautiful set of chintz from my mom. The tiny flowers are beautifully painted like the set above. 
To add even more romance (is it possible?) gorgeously pastel French macarons would be served with tea for nibbling. Lemon, raspberry, and pistachio flavors a must for their wonderful color and taste.
And lastly, hearts symbolizing love would not be left out, and would hang proudly in colorful garlands while Jane Austen reads love poems aloud to her friends, and they dance lively together to the sounds of a fortepiano. 
Have a wonderful Valentine's day whether you're celebrating with your main squeeze or your favorite friends!
Adieu, Yelle

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