Monday, September 22, 2014

Weekend Recap: Happy Hour

Monday, September 22, 2014
This past weekend was surely a whirlwind. Friday we went out for dinner together at a pho restaurant we've been meaning to try. Although it wasn't the best pho broth that we've ever had, the meal was a great deal for our dishes and a bottle of sake to share. It was nice to go out to eat, just the two of us, trying a new place like we used to do all the time. 

Saturday, we brought Mordechai to GPA GO which  is where we adopted him so that he could visit with some of his kennel-mates. We also had a wedding that evening for a friend that I went to college with. She and I had classes together every semester so naturally, we'd always sit together. She was the first person that I ever met that had a blog and by being able to chat with her about it, it gave me the confidence to blog as well. She was there for me during my entire wedding planning process, so it was wonderful to see her own wedding day come together. Her reception had twinkle lights strung on the ceiling, just like our reception did and it was a magical ambiance. I've never seen her smile so much and I am so happy for them!

After the wedding, we went downtown with friends to some bars. It's great to be able to walk from our house where it's a little quiet and sleepy, to a few blocks over where it's downtown and bustling. We tried a cigar bar for the first time, grabbed a slice of our favorite pizza in the area, and made our way to our favorite bar where they serve absinthe. They laid a slotted spoon across the top of the glass with a sugar cube and poured the absinthe over top. After it was drenched with alcohol, they lit the sugar cube on fire and it glowed blue with red smolders. Off to the side was an absinthe fountain filled with ice water. The base was silver with a gilded woman holding up the taps. The bartender opened a tap and let the water slowly drip over the sugar cube until it disintegrated. It was a theatrical show that ended in licorice goodness. 

On Sunday, we started the morning with a doggie photoshoot. Our wedding photographer, Live Happy Studio offered to do a family session for us since we have our new addition, Mordechai. We took her up on it because we would love some photos of him with the both of us! Normally, I'm behind the camera or I persuade S to snap a few shots of me and Morty. 

Later in the day, we had doggie training! GPA GO recommends a company that had a great introductory, at-home training session. Turns out, we have a quietly dominant dog on our hands. He tends to ignore our commands and does things on his own time. The trainer taught us training techniques to show more leadership with Mordechai so that he realizes that things will be on our time. We're already seeing progress with him walking by our side steadily, but we still need to work on the "come here" command. But overall, he's a sweet dog who needs leaders to teach him the way. I'm already proud of his little accomplishments! 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Market Palette

Saturday, September 13, 2014
I love summer for its abundance of colorful fruits and vegetables. Going to the market is just an excuse to admire the most beautiful produce of the year. There's rambutans, romanesco, dragon fruit, figs, all ripe and ready to eat. This time of year the pineapples are delicious and the mangoes are juicy.

Shopping at the market is the best way to say goodbye to summer, bringing home with me the most colorful fruit, and saying hello to fall, admiring the ripening squash. Every time we go, we buy the most gorgeous multi-colored carrots with their greens longer than the carrots themselves. We roast them in balsamic vinegar and a friend paired them with sweet potato greens. The flavors are reminiscent of this time last year and I am so excited to get back in the kitchen.

Summer is all about the salads and seafood, light dishes that don't make us hot and don't weigh us down. Fall, on the other hand, is all about blending flavors, letting them marinate all night and simmer all day in a warm pot. By dinner time, the house smells like a feast and red wine tastes better with the flavors of fall.

Lastly, I just wanted to wish a very happy wedding day to one of my favorite bloggers, Erin at Like/Want/Need. Her wedding begins the first of my wedding season (I'm attending five weddings this fall and four are in a row!) and I'm happy to celebrate hers today, even if from afar. When I got married in May 2013, Erin wrote a guest post for me telling us about her love story. Here she is, a year and four months later getting married as well! She has the most beautiful engagement photos of her and her beau, "JAMAL" in the Philly Museum of Art, and their engagement story in France is the sweetest. Congratulations to E + J. xo, Yelle

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Picnic in the Park

Wednesday, September 03, 2014
In the beginning of summer, we found this Significant Trees Map of Orlando. We've been waiting for cooler weather to explore the different parks in our city. With the onset of cool breezes after sunset and the smell of autumn at 7 am, we couldn't wait too much longer and had to start. One is two blocks from our house, the other is across from my museum (we do weddings there!), and one hosts Orlando's oldest tree that is almost 400 years old!

We took a cool Sunday morning as an opportunity to visit a quiet park on a lake with Mordechai bringing along a picnic. We woke up early and after a morning walk with sleepy eyes, I made a quiche, sauteeing shallots and mushrooms, and even cooking with romanesco for the first time. S made a strawberry basil soda for us, and I warmed some almond waffles that I made earlier in the week. We brought water for Mordechai and a typical mornings earl grey tea for me. With all of the commotion of having an anniversary party in May, moving house in July, and adopting a dog in August, cooking brings back a sense of routine, somewhat therapeutic and certainly calming. I love entertaining guests for that reason: bringing loved ones into your home for what would have been a routine dinner without their company. One of my favorite bloggers, cookbook authors, and mother of seven, Mimi Thorisson says it wonderfully in a recent post of hers:
So we had this idea to throw one final glorious feast the Sunday before, cook everything that was missing from the book and have a blast of a time. And we did. We invited some of our favorite people and I started at the stove. It was a beautiful day, a beautiful feast. Of course it wasn’t seamless, we had a few mini-crisis. There were no cèpes to be found, the weather was fickle at best, Oddur forgot to buy gambas. In the end it all worked out, our friends unexpectedly brought the gambas, our other friends, the snail farmers sorted out the cèpes. Even the weather showed a kind side. If there was ever a “Manger event”, this was it. Oddur jumping on tables to photograph, dogs stealing food, more wine than perhaps was necessary and so much food that everyone left happy and heavy. - Mimi Thorisson, Manger blog
Mordechai, having never been exposed to a park or wildlife in his life, saw a bird up close for the first time, and heard the lake water lapping up on the shore. With every splash, he turned his head to see who was there. On the dock, he curiously stared at the water below. When we got home, he slept for hours, perhaps dreaming about his morning of firsts. When he finally got up, he stretched for miles from his tail to his toes.

After years of visiting parks and having picnics with S as just us two, this time we're visiting parks and having picnics as a few. Having Mordechai gives us an excuse to explore our city and re-visit our favorite areas with a new mindset. Having Morty has definitely been eye-opening and refreshing. The tail-wagging when we come home is pretty great too.  

Monday, September 01, 2014

Sponsored: Treat Thank You Card

Monday, September 01, 2014
I've always loved the handwritten word. I jump at any chance to have a pen pal. I've had some form of online blog since I could remember such as LiveJournal, Xanga, Tumblr, and formed friendships through the miles. I've had a diary or journal since elementary school, and I have a stack of bound books in chronological order to prove it. In a fire, after S and Mordechai, important documents, childhood treasures, etc, it's those stacks of journals that I go back for if I could. Although I blog online, I still hand write in my journals. And although I email all day at work, I still love sending handwritten notes and cards.

I've blogged about our retired racing greyhound adoption process, and I wanted to take the time to appreciate a very special volunteer at GPA GO. Joan was always quick to answer my numerous questions, spend time talking with us during our kennel visits, and never rushed us when it came time to pick only one out of all the wonderful greyhounds. Someone as  dedicated and kind as she, deserves so much more than a handwritten note, so with the help of Treat, I was able to create a card with a portrait of Mordechai.

Treat reached out to me about my photographs, and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to give a thank you card and a post-adoption photo of Mordechai to Joan. I love the card and think it came out perfect for her. I am so pleased with the quality since it's made of thick paper and has a matte finish. I opted to leave the inside blank so that I could hand write my thoughts, but I could have added another photo of Morty, or some typed words inside.

We make sure to walk Mordechai in the morning and in the evening together, our little family tradition. We have the rest of Mordechai's life to create more traditions together, but it was with the help of Joan that Mordechai is part of our family. Every day with Mordechai, feeding him, playing with him, petting him, hugging him, couldn't be a part of our lives unless it was for Joan. For that, we are so thankful.

This post is a sponsored review for However, all of my opinions are my own and I stand by this brand. You can see more about my disclosure policy here
Hygge & Wool + BLOG DESIGN BY Labinastudio