Friday, September 28, 2012

From 9-5 to 24/7

I have been meaning to write for a while now but just honestly didn't have time. As most of you know I started my new job only a little more than three weeks ago. Now that I think about it and writing about it right here I well up with tears thinking that my new season, the change I was hoping for has arrived. I am here now. I am able to grow and be challenged and move forward.
I have been talking about this now for pretty much about a year and now it is actually really happening. This is the end of a road I have traveled for so long. I have reached a goal and am starting a new journey now and a new adventure.

I have been working a 9-5 job at a desk for the last years and my life has drastically changed managing a restaurant and it has become a 24/7 job. What I mean by that is that what I am doing now is life. It is not only a job. It is life. I am working a lot in the restaurant but it is so much more than just a job. It is so much more than just sitting in front of the computer and leaving work at 5pm. It is connecting with so many interesting people every day. It is serving people, hosting people, bringing them into an atmosphere of love. It is being the hands and feet of Jesus every day. It is walking in my strengths every day but it is also learning my weaknesses and dealing with it. It is such a personal stretch and a moving forward.
Elemenz is constantly on my mind and I dream about making it what God wants it to be. What it is supposed to be.

So as I enter this new season - this fall - I am again full of expectation. Full of dreams and visions and goals. I anticipate everything that lies before me and cannot wait to see God's plans fulfilled.

Here are a few instagram snapshots from the last couple of weeks:


Friday, September 14, 2012

A modern Wedding with a Vintage touch

Most of you will remember this bridalshower we threw a couple of weeks ago for one of my best friends, Clarissa.
I was privileged to also be the wedding planner for her and last Saturday was the big day. The day Chris and Clarissa got married! And as promised I want to show you a few pictures and explain a couple of things when it came to planning this wedding.
When it comes to weddings or any kind of event it is very important to me that the whole concept works, that every little detail we plan in there makes sense and overall fits the concept, the colours and everything we wanted it to be. The other thing which is important to me is that the wedding/event represents the couple and their style, their personality and what they want.
So after a first meeting with the two of them I sat down and created a pinterest board for them where I continuously put in ideas for their wedding. The second thing I did was creating a inspiration board with colors so that we always had something to give to people contributing to this wedding.
The first two things to look for (after choosing a date of course!) are the venue for the reception and starting the design process for the invitations.
The concept we went with for the wedding was something very modern combined with vintage touches. This represents them both the most as Chris like things to be modern while Clarissa likes vintage playful designs.
As a reception venue they chose a building by Zaha Hadid which is here nearby. It is in a beautiful place surrounded by green, trees and an old gravel plant. The perfect mix for a modern wedding with vintage touches.
For me personally the invitations are one of the most important things in a wedding mostly because it is the first thing your guests will hold in their hands. It is the first impression of a wedding and it shows what they can expect.
The invitation design was done by the groom together with a friend who loves doing designs and he was also the one who drew the map for directions. We included little details like the letter Chris wrote to Clarissa for the engagement into the design to make it really personal.
When planning a wedding or any kind of big event the most important thing is to not get tangled up in all the little details which seem to come your way. It is important to keep an overall picture and to stick with the concept. Once you have that you exclude mostly everything else which doesn't fit with the concept. That helps you being really focused. For weddings I try to put the tasks and things to do in a time frame like 6-8 months before the wedding, 3-6 months, 1-3 months, 30 days before the wedding. That way I only complete tasks which fit into the time frame. For example flowers and decorations are something that is just fun to do and look at and be inspired from but I will not even start planning that until 3 months before the wedding because other things like finding a venue, a church and designing invitations are more important before that.  Of course while researching you find things you like and you pin them but it is just very important to stay focused and complete one thing after another.
When talking to vendors I find it very important to brief them the best you can. Show them pictures, communicate as much as possible so that you get the result you desire and your wishes fulfilled.
We are privileged to go to a church with a lot of very talented people. That is why a lot of the things were done by friends like all of the decorations, the cake, the make-up and the photography.
On top of that Clarissa's maid of honor is a very creative and talented person herself who came up with some great ideas for the night.
But now let's get into their big day and I will try to explain more details with the pictures.
Chris and Clarissa got married in a beautiful church on a hill in Haltingen. The church was probably built in 1139 and is very beautiful and warm from the inside. We kept the decorations very simple and used olive and pistachio leaves and lanterns on the benches. Instead of sitting on chairs the couple sat on a old grey bench surrounded by green plants and a big lantern at their side.
As it is tradition in our region they had a small standing reception right after the ceremony and then drove off to the reception place to take photos.

While the two of them were off taking pictures I used the time to take a few pictures of the decoration and set up before the guests arrived.
 As you can see there is a lot of concrete in the building and so we used wooden elements and very simple fresh flowers for decorations. The round gift tags were tied around the napkins and the favors were wrapped up in beautiful green and pink paper. Guests could put their gifts into a big suitcase. There were two stations for the guests: A desk to write them a card or a letter and a photo station (inspiration from here) where we took Polaroids and hung them up (similar to here).
After a while guests arrived and before they entered the venue we had another standing reception with snacks and drinks and two friends played the guitar and the cajon.
Everybody was just having a good time, taking pictures together or with the couple and hanging out outside on one of the probably last real summer days.
Then once everybody entered the venue it is always so important to me that everything is set, music playing, candles lit, atmosphere right.
And that is how it was - it was beautiful. The food was buffet style and the cake was made by a family friend who is amazing! It had three layers, one with chocolate, one with cream and one carrot cake which clearly was my favorite.
Then guest were asked to take Polaroid pictures and write to the couple, there were a few speeches and a lot of dancing later.
It was really just a great time with tons of fun and good food and friends and made the day really special for Chris and Clarissa.
I hope that this day was exactly what they had in mind for their wedding. I hope that when they think back and remember their wedding it will put a smile on their face. The cool thing is that they have all the Polaroids now to look at and marvel about that time together on a late Summer evening.

Now, if you have any questions about the wedding or how to's or anything, just leave me a comment and I will try my best to answer those questions.
Feel free to pin the pictures if you want to.



Saturday, September 1, 2012

Simple Life and Camping

Lago Maggiore is a lake which is part in Switzerland part in Italy so Alyssa and I were set for the most gorgeous drive you could imagine.
In fact there is this one part of the road in Switzerland when all of a sudden the land opens up in front of you and the whole beauty of the Alps enfolds in front of your eyes and even though I have seen this part of the road so often already it takes my breath away every single time.
We chose to take the pretty road down the lake and tricked our little gps system which then was rerouting for about 30 minutes but oh was it worth it. The lake in the mountains was absolutely breathtaking and once you hit the Italian border it is like entering the Italian summer feeling. A feeling I get every time I go on vacation to Italy.
And it was also that moment when everything sank into rest. It was such a good feeling. All of a sudden I felt my body, soul and spirit just coming to rest. I was breathing in the summer air and breathing out and just feeling like myself. It was so needed after such a long transition time because after this vacation I would start everything new. A new season is ahead and going away on a camping trip before that was more than what I would love.
Our campground was a small, nice, really simple campground and we found a little corner where we set up the tent. 3 days without electricity, Internet, cell phone and computers. I was more than ready for it.
On that first day we set everything up and went to the beach as quickly as possible. There were almost no people which was really nice because it was so quiet and all you could hear were the sounds of the water, the birds and the wind. How much better could it be?
That night we cooked an amazing meal and took our chairs to the beach where we just set and journaled and enjoyed a warm summer night.
That first night the area was struck by a pretty strong thunder storm and we slept in the car under lightning, pouring rain and thunder. I. Loved. It. Whoever read my blog about me being a hopeless romantic knows my love for things like that!
The next morning we created the most amazing breakfast. It amazes me how much great food you can make with so little - like no cooler, no electricity. It was beautiful and Alyssa is an amazing cook and so creative when it comes to food. A lot of our conversations were about food and how to create food and how to view it and how to eat healthy and we talked about flavours. And we tasted a whole bandwidth of incredibly good food throughout that whole trip.
For the next couple of hours we just laid by the beach, read our books and took in the silence and beauty of our surroundings.
Alyssa is a great artist (I love her work!!) and so she sat by the beach painting while I was writing in my journal. How better could it get? I felt so inspired and started dreaming about the future and letting my soul rest.
That afternoon we sat out for exploring the area a little bit just to find that our car had problems starting. So bit by bit we made it down the road but I was quietly freaking out knowing that we were in Italy and what we would do if the car broke down and we had to get it fixed there with not speaking any Italian. But we made it! I just had a hard time enjoying those two hours downtown while I was constantly thinking about the car - so typically me. Anyways but we found the most amazing gelateria and a restaurant that we planned on eating at for our last night.

So the next day we only laid by the beach and relaxed reading, swimming, sleeping and resting. Nothing more. As the night approached we got ready and drove into the beautiful little town Arona and this time I could really enjoy it.
So on our last night we first strolled around town. I love little Italian towns. Ever since I was a little girl I would imagine going to Italy and walking by the waterfront with my future husband and be all romantic. I would always imagine all kinds of stories and dream about it. I still am that way. Bring me to Italy to the waterfront and I become all dreamy and romantic and imagine a hundred stories in my head.
The restaurant we went to was more than amazing! Like I said we tasted some amazing food on that trip and also in this case we were blown away by the flavour.
We talked about art and food and the future and the new seasons in our life and the dreams we have and what we believe God is calling us to do. It was one of those nights and one of those conversations which stick with you and if it were for that conversation alone the trip was worth it.

On our drive back the next day we pondered a lot and listened to music. I thought a lot about what lies ahead of me and the new adventures and responsibilities. I cannot wait and look forward to it in anticipation!

This trip was exactly what I hoped it to be...




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