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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Beer

My little sister works at a new brewery here in Athens, Southern Brewing Company.  How fun!  One of her duties is to maintain and update the website.  They needed photos and I needed practice, so here it goes:








Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Floral Order

Well, my friend Jessica's wedding is in less than two months, so I decided it was time to order the flowers and supplies for her bouquets, boutonni√®res, and corsages.  I am too excited to take this adventure into floral arrangements!  Here is a sneak peek at some of what I have planned!


At first glance, they don't seem to match ... but I've done my research and I'm trusting my vision.  Plus, they don't have to "match."  They have to "go."  Jessica agrees with this philosophy, thankfully.  In addition, while these individual plants are all put into a single picture collage here, they won't all be included in any one bouquet, bout, or table arrangement come October.  Jessica wants her bouquet to look very different from the bridesmaids' in both color and style.  Yet despite the differences, I can't wait to see how they all come together in the pictures in just under two months.

I must confess, there is some hesitation in my artistic medium of choice being a dying thing in this particular instance.  But, I'm doing my homework, checking with my vendors, and preparing my surroundings to support life.  Yes, they will live for at least four days.  After four days ... whatever.

Regarding her flowers, Jessica has a few things she really wants:  red poppies in her bouquet and lots of white and greenery for the bridesmaids.  The colors of her wedding are white, red, and gray with pops of green.  Otherwise, I get to let my artistic vision fly, which is a dream!

First, picking out the flowers.  Well, I hit a road block immediately.  It is, apparently, not poppy season.  Maybe I freaked out for a moment.  I mean, that's pretty much the one thing she asked for!  So I searched and searched and searched for something comparable.  And I found anemones!  They actually look somewhat similar to poppies.  In fact, some people get them confused.  Maybe JTay will ... just kidding, I told her they weren't really poppies.  But they are just as beautiful!

Next, what to use in the bouquet with the poppies:  I decided that peach, greenery, and some grayish foliage would really set off her favorite (almost) flower, so I ordered blushing bride, seeded eucalyptus, berzillia baubles, lamb's ear, and dusty miller.

For the bridesmaids bouquets I chose white anemones, baby's breath, italian ruscus, olive branches, and green berries of different sorts.  I may put some of the leftover greenery from Jessica's bouquet in with them as well.

Boutonni√®res, corsages, and table arrangements will be a mix of everything!  Except the red anemones ... those are for Jess, alone.

The binding will be peach and eggplant colored ribbons.  All of the supplies came in the mail last week, and it was such a fun package to get!


Oh, how I wish I could make the bouquets today!  I'm so excited!  However, I can't, and so this weekend I occupied my restless nature by throwing Jessica her final bridal shower.







Ignore the four frames with the stock photos in them ... I'm working on it.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The White Chocolate Banana Cream Pie


Have you ever been to a restaurant and ordered something that you will never forget - in a good way?  While I have had lots of good meals out, I have only had things I can't stop thinking about a handful of times ... one of them was the white chocolate banana cream pie from Soby's in Greenville, South Carolina.

We don't get to go to  Greenville often, but EVERY SINGLE TIME we do ... we go to Soby's and get a slice of this pie, no matter our other plans.

And, I don't even like bananas.

So, I had to try to recreate it ... this is my attempt:

First, make the tart crust:

1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted plus more for dusting
1/4 tsp salt
6 T cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/4 cup ice-cold water
1.5 T sugar

Combine the sifted flour, salt, and sugar.  Add the butter and cut it into the flour until you get "little beedees" as my father calls them:  pea-sized pellets.  Pour the cold water over the mixture and toss it together with a fork.  It will be sticky!  Then knead the dough two or three times with your hands and shape it into a ball.  Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Now, pull it out of the fridge and pretty heavily dust your working surface and rolling pin with flour - heavily.  Don't be afraid of using a good bit of flour if you are like me and struggle to have one holeless crust when you are finished.  Yes, it may make your crust a little dryer, but at least you will have a crust.  Some may scoff at me for saying that, but ... I mean, I need a working tart shell, and I'll do whatever it takes.

Roll it out to be about an inch longer in circumference than your tart pan.  Gently roll the dough up around your pin and then unroll it onto the pan.  Trim the edges.

Cover the tart shell with a layer of aluminum foil and fill with rice, pie weights, or dried beans.  Put it in the oven for 15 minutes.  After the 15 is up, remove the weights and foil and leave in there for another 9 to 15 minutes.  Start checking on it around 9 and just watch it until it gets to be the perfect golden brown color you want!


Once your tart shell is finished and while it's cooling, it's time to make the banana cream filling.  I wanted to keep it simple, so it mostly contains entire containers of things:  a whole pint of whipping cream, a whole block of cream cheese, a whole can of sweetened condensed milk, etc.  So, here are the specifics:

1 pint whipping cream
2 T sugar
1 block cream cheese (8 oz)
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 3.4 oz box banana cream pudding
1 cp whole milk
4 bananas

First, whip the cream with the sugar until it is relatively stiff.  You don't want a runny pie, so make sure the consistency isn't sloshy.

In a separate bowl, mix the pudding mix and the milk together.

Now in another separate bowl, mix the cream cheese on medium speed until it is smooth and has no chunks.  Now, add the pudding.  Mix.  Add the sweetened condensed milk.  Mix.  Add the whipped cream.  Mix

Now slice up the 4 bananas thinly and fold them into the mixture using your hands.  I wear gloves!

Once everything is combined, fill your pudding shell making a dome - higher in the middle and meeting the edges of the tart shell a little bit lower all around the edge.

Lastly, grab a block of white chocolate and a vegetable peeler and peel away.  You want a lot!  I use two bars of Ghirardelli white chocolate.

Cover the pie with the white chocolate.  Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until you are ready.  Enjoy!






Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Black Rose Cocktail

My husband loves a beverage.  And for that matter, so do I.  And ... well, so does my little sister, who is the inspiration for this cocktail my husband invented:  The Black Rose.


So the story goes:  once upon a time my lil' sis went to a bar before coming over to our apartment.  When she arrived, she was RAVING over a cocktail she had:  "it smelled like rosemary, but was sweet with blackberries, and had some citrus."  Now my husband can't resist a cocktail challenge ... and so he got to mixing; and, thus:  The Black Rose.

Here's what you do:

First of all:  rosemary vodka.  You'll be hard pressed to find this, so make it!  It's simple.  Take some vodka and put some rosemary in it.  Let it sit for 3 days, and voila:  rosemary vodka!  How much?  However much!  We made a small batch - the vodka bottle (it was big) had about a quarter of a bottle left, and we put in three sprigs of the herb.  If you have less springs, you can always let it steep longer.  You'll know when it's done because it will smell amazing and be tinged with a greenish hue!


Next:  rosemary liqueur.  You'll probably not find this either.  That's okay.  Make it as well.  This one takes a bit more work, though still not much.  Here's what you do:  to make a full recipe take 3 cups of sugar and dissolve it in a cup of water over medium heat until you have a murky looking syrup.  You do not need to let it boil.  We aren't making caramel here!  When it is done, take it off the heat and mix in 3 cups of vodka.  Put it into a container with 3 cups of ripe blackberries and let it sit for 10 days.  We think the wait is worth it ... though admittedly unfortunate.  You can always make a fraction of the recipe.  We made a third this time.



And when it's finished ... it's time to mix!

Here's the recipe:
1.5 oz rosemary vodka
1.5 oz blackberry liqueur
.75 oz lime juice
.75 oz grapefruit juice (not grapefruit drink)

Mix over ice, strain, and put in a pretty glass - garnish with a sprig of rosemary if it pleases you!




Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Newbie


Hi everyone!  I should better introduce myself.  I am Adeline, a new blogger - I'm at least going to give blogging a shot anyways!  I figured, I enjoy them so much, why not give it a try myself?

Overall, this is a lifestyle blog; it will include recipes for food and beverage, workout routines (I'm a certified personal trainer), posts on art and design, my exploration in helping design and decorate weddings, and a little style thrown in for good measure.

There are four upcoming blog posts to look out for:  a cocktail recipe (things are infusing as we speak), a recipe for white chocolate banana cream pie, a workout routine that can be done at home, and my journey as I do the flowers for my friends wedding in October!

I was told to start with a few posts before you seek out followers so that they actually have something to read and follow, so read around, but also know that more is coming!

I will try to post at least once a week!  Please feel free to follow and comment as you feel led!  I can't wait to make new friends and to share how I fulfill my restless nature with everyone!

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Mantle

I finally have a mantle!!!  But man oh man, mantles are tough.   They are the center - the focal piece of a room.  When people walk in, all eyes go to the mantle.  And so, there is pressure.

To add to the pressure, I'm decorating for two!  This isn't my house; it's our house!  And while Jared doesn't want to take any part in the decorating, he does want to like it!  And so ... bottles.  Jared loves bottles.






Friday, July 31, 2015

The Bedroom

Who doesn't want a pretty bedroom?  I have since I was itty-bitty, and my parents were always gracious enough to let my room be my very own space to decorate.  When I was littlest, I wanted pink curtains and a lace canopy, which my mother made for me.  Then when I moved upstairs, I picked out green carpet (brave parents) and bright blue walls.  My uncle and father painted a jungle scene on one wall.  The other three were always covered with tac holes from having hung the latest posters and pictures.  Butterflies cut from colorful poster paper hung from the ceilings, and pink curtains patterned with bright frogs covered the windows.

Since, my taste has matured a bit.

But my desire to have a bedroom that I find beautiful remains the same.  My husband and I recently bought a house, and the bedroom was the first thing I tackled.  I'll give you a tour!


I wanted a mostly neutral bedroom.  Neutral never goes out of style ... at least I don't plan on it!  I love to mix and match neutral colors while using all different textures and patterns.  So I went with gray, black, white, cream, metallics, and wood tones.  The only real color that appears is in a few pictures and flowers in the wreath.  I think it would be gorgeous if the trim were black ... but that's not going to happen, haha!


 I love this mid-century modern console table.  This West Elm original was $1600 on sale for $275 at the Pottery Barn outlet in Dawsonville, Georgia.  I love furniture from all different periods and genres, so this mid-century inspired table was perfect for our collection of interesting pieces.



This picture includes both the items that I am most secure and least secure about.  I knew I wanted my wedding dress on display, so I bought a mannequin from Home Goods for $25.  And I love the geometric Threshold curtains from Target hung on gold curtain rods.


It's no secret that I love skulls, especially paired with organic elements to soften the "she's got a real skull in her bedroom" blow.  I've heard my ideal style called "rustic luxe" before, and this gold skull adorned with the dried flowers from my floral crown and Jared's bout are a perfect illustration of that to me.


I also love these tokens from our wedding:  our stag and wolf cake toppers.  I, for some reason, don't want wedding mementoes and pictures everywhere in the house, so I've gone crazy in the bedroom instead.  Outside of it are a few nondescript decorative items and two pictures.  But our bedroom is only ours, so we fill it with all that is us.

So ... I'm not sure about the faux flowers (doesn't faux sound so much classier than "fake?") in the wreath.  The wreath I love.  It is the raw vines of the wreath that hung over us in our wedding ceremony.  The flowers I chose are primarily greenery and ranunculus (mimicking the actual flowers in the wedding wreath), but how do I feel about faux flowers in general?  They would be easy enough to remove.  So, I wonder, how do you feel about them?

 
And what about this rack of pretty clothes in neutrals and metallics?  I chose it because this space of wall needed something large, and I didn't want to spend any more money on furniture ... but I'm not sure that a $20 rack from Bed, Bath, and Beyond was the answer.  In fact, Jared is sure that it isn't!  I've seen this concept done well on Pinterest.  But I'm not sure I pull it off here.  What should I replace it with?

 On the other hand, my nightstand is an old end table from Goodwill that I painted black and cream stripes on.  A simple succulent, a modern lamp, and a gold airplane in honor of my grandfather are all it needs.

Jared's end table ... is tiny.  All that fits on this Target piece is a small frame and this AMAZING ram's skull lamp from Home Goods.  But he only uses it for his glasses, so nothing more is needed!

Finally, my beautiful dove gray velvet headboard form Grandin Road goes beautifully with this Antrhopologie bedspread that I got off of EBay.  I love the gray and cream together, and I especially love that they were both at reduced prices!

What is your favorite room in your house?  And what does it look like?  What design concept from your past, on the other hand, are you glad to be rid of?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Attempt

This is another attempt at art.  If I am not something - it is a photographer.  I have no schooling, formal or informal.  I have no experience.  I, admittedly, know nothing about a camera.  Oh, but I have an interest ... and I have subjects I wish to capture ... memories I wish to last.  So I will learn, simply because a professional does not live with my family - cannot capture the everyday - doesn't get to see what I see.  True, it is all play for me ... but why not play?  Is a camera only to be held in the hands of a professional?  Can my eyes not see beauty as well?  I will always turn to true and talented photographers for memories so precious that I need the eye of a pro.  But I also want to capture the common.  And for that, I am here.  In painting, portraits have always been my favorite ... so I think I will begin there.  In fact, I will start with my favorite beauty - my husband, Jared.


The Wedding

I love weddings.  I think most of us women do.  We dream about them.  We plan them.  We put so much heart and effort and care into them when they are finally ours.  And then we remember them, treasure them, keep and hold the date, the photos, and the tokens for the rest of our lives.

They are so important.

And yet, they are judged so immediately by most of us.  We may not say it to the face of the one whose wedding we attended, but we go home thinking:  "I liked this but not that."  We even watch shows like TLC's Four Weddings - shows that are, in their very nature, judgement based ... I mean, they literally "judge" each others' weddings!

Confession ... I like the show.

But, I cannot let it turn me into a woman who judges others' dreams come true with such eagerness.  The truth is, everyone's aesthetic style is individual and personal.  Why can't that be one of the things we look forward to and love about weddings - it's a glimpse into the desire, the personality, and the design of another couple - a glimpse, in so many ways - into their heart.

And so, in lieu of submitting my wedding photos to the popular blogs, who may reject them, I'll put them on my own ... because I think they are lovely.



Flowers by Moonflower Design at 3 Porch Farm, located in Athens Georgia
I was a pain when it came to flowers!  I requested wildflowers with minimal to no red or white ... in February.  Apparently, that's typically not a thing.  Winter colors are, in fact, red and white.  But my florist, Mandy, was such a good sport.  She imported the flowers from California and arranged them in a round, but loose and organic bouquet.  At the suggestion of my friend Kristen, she wrapped them with the handkerchiefs I had given my bridesmaids when I asked them to stand beside me.  They were EXACTLY what I had pictured.

Toward the bottom, right corner of this photo, you can see the edge of a small, yellow rose.  Mandy placed it in my bouquet in memory of my little sister, Morgan, who passed when she was four.  She loved yellow roses.  Later, my friend Kelsey put the bouquet in a shadow box for me ... and the little yellow rose is front and center.


Jared and His Groomsmen
I toyed with having each groomsman wear something different but decided against it for a few reasons.  First of all, the bridesmaids were eclectic enough, and some order was called for.  Secondly, his friends and family wouldn't have enjoyed the process of finding separate but coordinating outfits at all.  They were good enough sports to wear the "butterscotch" shoes and belt I asked them to wear! Their outfits were classic:  gray suit, white shirt, black tie, camel colored shoes and belt.  To add a bit of interest, every boutonniere was different, another request of mine Mandy so graciously entertained.

The Handsome Husband





My Bridesmaids and Me
I like a lot of things ... perhaps that's why my taste is so eclectic - I just can't decide!  I have three favorite colors:  emerald green, gray, and gold ... and, who says they can't all go together?  So I decided that they would.  And I think they did.  Every maids dress was under $100 ... most found on sale from places like BHLDN, LuLu's, The Loft, ModCloth, and David's Bridal.
My flower girl had to be eclectic as well.  Gracey wore a dress decorated with a stag head adorned with flowered antlers from Zara Kids, pink Minnetonka moccasins, gold tights, and floral crown put together by Mandy.  She looked like a princess.





I wanted a different dress, of course.  Really, just because I am so very different.  This dress by Jenny Packham was the one I chose from Kelly's Closet in Atlanta, Georgia.  I tried on white dresses, of course, but everyone kept saying that white just "wasn't me."  This one had a gray slip covered with a silvery mesh overlay adorned in gold and silver crystals and sequins.  It was, indeed, "me."

Our Entire Wedding Party

Floral Wreath by Moonflower Design at 3 Porch Farm, located in Athens Georgia

Cakes by Cecilia Villaveces' Cakes
Cecilia's is a stapel in Athens, Georgia.  If you want good cake, you get Cecilia's.  We chose Spanish Lemon and Tiramisu.  Mandy decorated the top of one with fresh flowers, and we spray-painted a stag and a wolf (that one's me) with gold glittered spray paint, and topped the other.  Jared originally wanted a dinosaur instead of the deer, and I kind of wish that's what he had chosen!


Our ceremony was short, but oh so sweet.  Our officiants, my bosses and mentors Bob and Clay, knocked it out of the park!  I think I got more compliments on their words than any other part of the wedding!  What a blessing!


In the end, I don't expect anyone else to want her wedding to look like ours.  After all, it was ours.  It isn't your dream.  Your's is or was equally personal, equally unique, and equally beautiful.  So I ask you, what is your favorite picture, memory, or detail?