This month, we took a little trip with our favorite gals--daughters Viva and Tilly and their grandmother/my mother BeBe (of Deb line fame)--to visit our other favorite gal, Nana (of June line fame) while she wintered in the sunny south of Florida. We have the most special place in our heart for Delray Beach--it's like the most welcoming, warming, and comforting spot, with memories upon memories for everyone in our family. We could go on (and on,) but we'll spare the family history details and just say that we've all spent many many seasons in this happily growing beach town, and it is always a magical and happy treat to go back. I'm already planning our return. (In fact, I was on the flight home...)
Though we try to treat our time there as a true vacation, I couldn't help but snap a few photos to share. Hope you'll enjoy the "postcards" from the trip! (That's BeBe with the bebes above...Viv in stripes retrieving a lost goldfish snack, no doubt...and Tilly in the bamboo bundle.)
Our grandparents were avid travelers and collectors, and the touches of Asian and tribal art tell such a sweet (and adventurous) story of their life together...and are infinitely inspiring in both sentimental and aesthetic ways. (And Viva found them entirely fascinating, too.)
A few of BeBe's additions to Nana's collection...displayed in a cupboard she restored and painted.
The park next door has the most amazing vegetation--sprawling sea grape and bougainvillea...and pines. There is something so relaxing about Florida sunsets, especially when the view is unobstructed and unspoiled. (Love green spaces.)
Though I'm sure this is NOT allowed anymore, the facade of Nana's building is adorned with locally-harvested coral rock. Beautiful texture and only looks more beautiful with age.
And talking about getting better with age...one of our favorite spots in Delray is Doc's All American. Clearly they're doing something right, as they're celebrating their 60th birthday this year. Delicious burgers (our go-to is the blackened dolphin), fries, and, of course, the BEST soft serve. With sprinkles. Add fresh air and no-fuss seating, and you've got a perfect meal.
Though we did sneak over to one of our top spots for antique-ing in the area (and discovered this goooooorgeous 1940s brooch!)...
...the rest of the time, we could be found here...digging in the sand, looking for shells, and reapplying sunscreen.
I would live in one of these cabanas if I could. Besides, aren't stripes supposed to be big this season?
Whether you're a fan of February 14th or not, we're guessing you may be a fan of "free" (especially when it comes to jewels!)...and we'd love to feel the love AND share the love this Valentine's Day. So...when we found some beautiful vintage brass love knots, we decided you needed to have them. On your ears. For free.
The catch? Spend $100 with us between now and February 14th AND show us some love: tweet about us, post on Facebook, or leave a message below right here on the blog.* We'll say thank you with a pair of these limited-edition love knot earrings--vintage brass on 14 karat gold fill wires. Sweet, simple, and compliments of the gals at Elva.
Happy Valentine's Day to you!
*Valid on orders of $100 or more placed between 2-8-11 and 2-14-11, only one per household, while supplies last.
We're strong believers in the idea that the company you keep says A LOT about you--revealing character, values, and a bit of personality. We love our friends and family...and brainstormed a really fun idea just for you (and them!): Since Elva Fields is such a friends-and-family type of company, we'd love to introduce you to the company we keep! Whether friends, family, customers, or any combination of the above, we'll be featuring them over the coming weeks with a mix of style, insight, and info. Check back weekly(ish) for a new profile of one of our peeps!
First up: dear friend (and incredibly willing volunteer) Whitney Frazier Watt. (Thank you, Whit, for agreeing to this!)
Whitney is a fellow Kentucky gal (hailing from Ashland) and--in addition to being an incredibly hard-working and accomplished attorney with one of the southeast's top firms, Stites and Harbison, PLLC--is also a consummate hostess. (Watt parties are legendary!) We recently sat down with her (read: begged her) to find out how she does it all! (Yes, she's one of those people who achieves more in 24 hours than most of us do in a week...but would never bore you with the details!)
E: You are a natural hostess! What are your top three tips for throwing a great party?
W: You are sweet – I love to entertain. (E: See? Such manners and humility!) As far as tips, I would suggest:
1. The more the merrier (our guests know they’re welcome to invite others or bring their kids);
2. Having plenty of food and wine; and
3. Not worrying about the things on your "to do" list that did not get accomplished before the doorbell rings – no one else will
Do you have a favorite accent item (decorative or functional) when entertaining at home?
W: My favorite accent items when entertaining are both decorative and functional. I love using fun serving trays and bowls. Whether we are entertaining in the dining room or having friends over to watch a game, there is just something about fun serving pieces that sets the tone for a festive gathering.
E: You're also an exceptionally busy woman...what saves time when prepping for a party?
W: My biggest time savers are accepting help when offered – whether it is having my husband run last minute errands or taking a friend up on an offer to bring a dish – and having "go-to" places to pick up prepared appetizers and desserts (though I always order in advance). Also, I must admit that I create a "to do" list before almost every party so I do not waste time thinking about what needs to be done when I am rushing around before guests arrive.
E: As if work doesn't occupy most of your time, you also make volunteering a priority in your life...tell us about some meaningful organizations with which you are involved.
W: I enjoy giving back to the community. I have loved being a member of the Younger Women’s Club (including co-chairing the Charities Group with you, Emily, to award grants to worthy local charities), serving on the Board of the Louisville Visual Arts Association, serving as a pro bono lawyer during emergency protective order hearings through Legal Aid’s Domestic Violence Advocacy Program (Stites & Harbison was recently honored for our litigators’ support of this program), and serving on the Board and now Advisory Council with Dress for Success Louisville – to help low-income women acquire the skills and confidence they need to get back into the workforce.
E: Speaking of "dressing for success" what are your go-to outfit elements for looking professional?
W: I wear a lot of black, gray, and neutrals – but my favorite accessories are Elva Fields necklaces and earrings! What better way to add some interest to a plain suit?
(We decided to shoot some of Whitney's Elva, Deb, and June jewels...and were both shocked when we saw the size of her growing collection! Each piece has such a great story--anniversary, birthday, a reward for a job well done--and we loved photographing them on Whitney's husband's grandfather's steamer trunk in the guest bedroom.)
It's no secret that I am a little frazzled this time of year. Between holiday excitement, daughter's birthday, and busy season there's barely room for clean dishes, let alone a decorated house. And though we swore we'd do things differently this year, we never really got around to putting up a Christmas tree--despite how excited our two-year-old is about lights this year and all of our best intentions at the ready.
So here we are--mere days away from Christmas itself--and I pull in the driveway after a long day in the studio (again). As I sat in the car (listening to the last bit of World Cafe on NPR and my infant daughter's snores from the carseat) I stared absent-mindedly at our back deck, not quite realizing what was different...until suddenly it hit me. We had a Christmas tree! Nothing crazy extravagant--nothing at all like you might find in Elle Decor or Martha--but a tree alright. In a bucket! With lights! I smiled as we headed up the back steps, and I can't tell you what joy I felt about a tree in a bucket.
From whence did the tree come? Well, that's the best part. You see, this morning my husband asked our toddler daughter what she wanted to get her mother for Christmas. Her simple reply was "A Christmas tree." And since she's two and knows exactly what she wants, they went out and found one. And then put it in water and strung lights on it. And I I love it. I realized that, as much as I love what I do for a living (it is truly a pleasure to go to work each day) it is not everything. All it took was a toddler and a tree to remind me.
So we'll be taking next week off to bask in the glow of white lights on a tree in a bucket, and we hope that--wherever you are and whatever you do--you'll be enjoying the simple things in life, too. Happy holidays to our incredibly kind and wonderful friends, family, Facebook fans, Twitter followers, and (last but DEFINITELY not least) our fantastic customers. We love you all!