Kayak Inspired Cocktails

On my trip home a few weeks ago, I wanted to do something special for my dad. It was his birthday and he loves to kayak, so I decided to make a kayak themed signature cocktail for him. 

My dad had bought the cocktail book, Shake, thinking it would be fun to work our way through as a family. (And yes we're all of age!). With the Bourbon Trail being close to us in Cincinnati, my family loves bourbon, and I tried the Rosemary Bourbon Maple Sour from the fall recipe section. It calls for lemon, maple syrup, rosemary, and bourbon. For myself, I made a variation for with Southern Comfort. I've been gluten free for a few years, and SoCo is supposed to have a much smaller risk of reaction to those sensitive to gluten.

Both recipes were quite delicious! From my non-gf taste tester, mine was a bit sweeter, and the bourbon version had more of a burn to it, though equally good. So it's up to you and what you prefer!

Wooded Wild Flower Wedding: The Making of...

This is Stephanie, and here's a little story about a few friends coming together for the making of her wedding. 

  Stephanie and I with our friend Emily. We're in highschool on an art club field trip, and we're jumping around in a handmade teepee in the woods.


Stephanie and I with our friend Emily. We're in highschool on an art club field trip, and we're jumping around in a handmade teepee in the woods.

Stephanie has long been an outdoorsy type, and that it is why the spot she chose in a beautiful wooded family home outside Cincinnati was so perfect.

A few friends and I got together the night before the wedding and teamed up to help with wedding prep. The bride and mother did an excellent job getting all the details together for the venue and food, and we all wanted to give a little of our creative talents, in order to bring it all together.

Our friend Laura is a beautiful letterer and she hand lettered all the chalk board signs. She tooled a few different typefaces from references online, and it came out beautifully, sitting at the drink station and pie table, and welcoming guests at the entrance.

Leah, is an incredible photographer and took photos of the ceremony. She is also a talented artist, with an etsy shop of her stencil and spray painted art, and she crafted a delicate string of beer can birds with Laura that hung in the trees. She had stenciled and cut out each bird by hand.

After helping with the styling of the venue and tables, I made a few signs for decoration as well. One sign was burlap letters spelling out "play." It sat out in the yard where the yard games of bocce ball, hillbilly golf, giant Jenga, and cornhole were set up.

The other, my favorite, was a sign of floating twigs spelling "I Do" at the end of the dock. I have to admit I'd never made anything like a floating twig sign before, but I knew beavers make dams made out of twigs –and those float – so I thought it could work. I used some twigs in my parent's backyard and lashed a sign together. There was a beautiful pond on premises and with the alter being at the end of the dock, the bride and I loved the idea of having the words floating there. 

This idea was first inspired by one of Jesi Haack's designs, beautiful tinsel
Mid-century floating initials in a Palm Springs hotel pool. 

I'll detail the process in another post, but the first step is to learn about lashing. So, find a boy or girlscout, a modern day Huckleberry Finn, or YouTube video on lashing twigs together, then I'll show a few photos on the process :)

Interior Inspiration

Hello! So back on the writing train. Now that I'm gaining more of a routine here, it's time to continue working through the important task of making your home more comfortable and designed.

This is by no means the end design, but I'm starting with this moodboard below as a jumping off point, to get me to make some decisions and buy a few key pieces. Overall, Bryan and I are energetic people but also love our down time. We're playful but also for the first time are wanting our space to feel more "grown up" and invest in nice pieces, so I hope the end design will reflect a rich, spontaneous personality, with areas of rest and relaxation.  

Some of the design ideas I'm loving right now: rich reds and true reds paired with deep greens, unexpected uses of dyed fur, funny yet elegant statement modern furniture, rich tones, outdoor as indoor interiors, and luscious layering of textures to add a touch of fanciness.

  Dotted tulle layered  skirt ; red fur rug home  interior ; hotel scene in  Beginners ; 70's era Steve Chase egg shaped  sofa ; Takashi Murakmai and Keiju creature from  Ideat  magazine; fur covered chairs in Paris Rue Henry Monnier SoPi shop; indoor outdoor living room photographed by  Amber Gress ; red leather Chesterfield sofa at the Greenbier Hotel via  Rosie Clayton , Leslie Parks abstract painting found on  Krrb ; overflowing floral display in London shop on Chilteron Street captured by  Kikithedinosaur . 


Dotted tulle layered skirt; red fur rug home interior; hotel scene in Beginners; 70's era Steve Chase egg shaped sofa; Takashi Murakmai and Keiju creature from Ideat magazine; fur covered chairs in Paris Rue Henry Monnier SoPi shop;
indoor outdoor living room photographed by Amber Gress; red leather Chesterfield sofa at the Greenbier Hotel via Rosie Clayton, Leslie Parks abstract painting found on Krrb; overflowing floral display in London shop on Chilteron Street captured by Kikithedinosaur

We'll tackle the most important areas, like sleeping, places for us both to work at home, a place to sit and relax, first, and more on to the more tertiary living areas later. However, here are a few pieces that made it through our cross country moving purge, that work with, and are that start to my collection for this new space in Brooklyn:

 A. Vintage white 80's modern grid task lamp from thrift store. B. Vintage wooden head figurine from flea market. C. Criss-cross white stacking jewelry box from  Container Store . D. Long high pressure laminate PS table in white for desk,  IKEA .

A. Vintage white 80's modern grid task lamp from thrift store. B. Vintage wooden head figurine from flea market.
C. Criss-cross white stacking jewelry box from Container Store. D. Long high pressure laminate PS table in white for
desk, IKEA.

Happy Monday and stay tuned – I'll keep the updates coming as I go.
xxoo, Elyse

Our new home in Brooklyn

I'm in New York City! We've officially moved and are living here. We found a place in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, close to our good friend and down the street from McCarren Park. I'm super excited to finally be here and am loving each day's adventure. I'm having a blast getting to know my new surroundings.

However, one part about moving that is always hard is the transitional period in your new place. It takes a while to get everything unpacked, and whether you decide to decorate all at once or over time, organizing can take a while. For us, we gave away all our furniture and showed up with a full car, 15 boxes we'd shipped, and an air mattress. Our place has some really nice bones, and I feel like this is a project I can confidently attack. I know my design preferences, and with some vague ideas of color and style in mind (I love modern, light filled spaces with quirky objects and unexpected areas of fanciness and my boyfriend loves vintage coated metals and anything with airplanes and WWII). With this in mind, we are going to go with whatever we can find that we love and that works. We're hoping to get a few of the major activity areas together soon so we feel more up and running.

Our priorities:

  • A large kitchen table that fits 8+ friends/family and also has reading nook/work space potential
  • A sitting/entertainment area that also houses the turntable sound system
  • Adding bedroom organization with a dresser that has shelves or cubbies for our clothes, and by adding bedside tables 

A few challenges:

  • Lack of natural light in the dining area off of the kitchen; it is very cave like
  • The narrow and long nature of the sitting area space, and exposed pipes along the wall that will get hot in the winter
  • Being able to section off the end of our massive living room to function as a relaxing but light filled bedroom

I'll continue posting as I find pieces for each of the spaces, but here are some photos of the space empty. Thanks for tuning in!


Travel Photos

Here are a few photos from my travels in Europe this summer with my sister (to Oslo, Paris, Venice, and Rome), then from the San Francisco move cross country (stopping in Asheville then driving up the coast of North Carolina), and the process of creating a new home in Brooklyn. I'll update with a longer post soon!