Dallas Chocolate Festival Media Preview


A few days after returning home from my month long photo assignment at KAA, I received an invitation to attend the Dallas Chocolate Festival Media Preview event. Andi, owner and managing editor of FunCityStuff.com and all around awesome gal has invited me to other fun local events in the past so I was excited to be working with her again. Plus, who doesn’t like free chocolate? In celebration of National Thrift Shopping day, I put on a cute combination of thrifted pink and black items and chocolate themed makeup. Brandon, my sweet and supportive husband, dropped me off at Whole Foods in Addison a few hours later and I quickly climbed the stairs that lead to the event space.

I was instantly greeted by the sights and smells of artisan chocolates. My first stop was at a table sponsored by Whole Foods that featured wine pairings with decadent morsels of Guittard, Divine and SRSLY chocolate bars. Hands down, my favorite wine was the Cava Mistinguette sparkling white. It was sweet and perfect for dessert or mimosas. After chatting with the Whole Foods rep, I spotted the confectionary display on the Isabelly’s Chocolate and Sweet Treats table. Isabelly’s won the Dallas Market Center 2016 “Best Chocolate/Candy” award this year.  I scooped up four red velvet cake balls, Brandon’s favorite flavor, and then tried one of their chile de arbor dry peppers covered in caramel and dipped in Belgium chocolate. The closer I got to the stem, the spicier and more savory it became.

Next up was Dr. Sue’s Chocolate table where Dr. Sue herself was serving attendees. Dr. Sue’s goal is to fight obesity-related disease by offering all natural chocolate with healthy ingredients mixed in. That night, she was giving away Rosemary Olive Oil Melt Aways and Texas Mendiants. The melt aways had such a unique flavor. I could smell the rosemary and tastes hints of sea salt as it melted in my mouth. You’ve got to give it a try! After trying a candied jalepeno topped Mendiant, I moved on to Yelibelly Chocolates. Yeli has been studying bellydance since 1999 and making her own chocolates since 2007. After securing her first chocolatey partnership with a dance studio, the name Yelibelly Chocolates was born! Yeli gave out Expresso Rum chocolates, Sea Salt Caramel Dark Chocolate Ganache and Habanero truffles that intensified in spicy flavor the longer you hold them in your mouth. She also had these adorable Chocolate Covered Oreos, each of them decorated with a pattern or design. Yeli was very kind and her candy was as fun to look at as it was to eat.

The next table belonged to Eileen’s Pralines. Eileen Scheib, Chief Executive Baker, and her business savvy husband Jack served up coffee, oatmeal and mocha treats. I love the fact that, together, the Scheibs bake, package, sell and market their treats side by side. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that her cookies are light and crunchy, thanks to her graham cracker base, instead of thick and chewy like other pralines. She also sells praline bars with cayenne and chipotle flavors at her shop in Dallas. My mom loves pralines so I took a sample of each flavor for her to try before walking over to the table belonging to Wackym’s Kitchen. Paul Wackym has been selling his sweet and crunchy cookies since 2008. That night Paul was wearing one of his many decked out hats, a tradition he started during his first year in business.  He had several cookies out including his Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Snickerdoodles and Dark Chocolate Orange cookie which will be offered at Central Market starting this fall. My favorite is definitely the Salted Caramel!

To wrap things up, I tried the Chocolate Pot de Creme french desserts provided by Haute Sweet Patisserie. Chef Gianni Santin, one of the founders of Haute, showed us all how to make this dessert during his cooking demonstration. His passion for cooking showed as he artfully prepared each ingredient and topped them with whipped cream and handmade chocolate toppers. I’m especially a fan of the crunchy chocolate pearls. Haute’s retail space is in Old Lake Highlands where they offer coffee alonside their yummy cakes and pastries. They also offer gluten free and paleo items.

I had such a good time at the event but keep in mind, that was only a preview of the full Dallas Chocolate Festival taking place on Saturday, September 10 at the Addison Conference Centre. This year’s sponsors include Callebaut, Cocoatown, D Magazine, Guittard Chocolate Company, Perfect Temper Kitchen, Solbeso, TCF Sales and Whole Foods. Ticket are $30 for adults, $5 for children under 12, and $75 for VIP tickets. Thanks to the host, DallasChocolate.org, I’ve got a discount code for you! Use the code: CHOCOLATEFUN to get $5 off admission to the festival or the festival’s Movie Night, a new addition to the event.

For Movie Night on Friday September 9th at 7pm, the DCF will be showing “Bean to Bar: A Film About Artisan Chocolate” and then hosting a Q&A with director Bob Ridgely, chocolate makers Art Pollard from Amano Chocolate and Rob Anderson from Fresco Chocolate. Attendees can expect cocktails, chocolate (naturally) and finger foods to be served. Movie night admission is  $60 for individuals and $100 for two tickets. The DCF is offering three classes on Sunday, September 11 at Perfect Temper Kitchen in Plano for those who want a hands on experience. Each class is $60 per person or you can attend all three for $150. Seats are limited so reserve your seat quickly by visiting DallasChocolate.org!

Have courage,
Elle | Elleword  | Tweets  |  InstaElle

Productive Summer OOTD

Elleword - Productive Summer OOTD

Yesterday I got lots of work done for a new video based class that I’m going to teach on Skillshare as a way to make passive income. It’s the first of many! I recorded myself working as well as an intro and conclusive video. Now all that’s left are the voiceovers. I hope to finish those before my interview today for a part time marketing assistant gig.

I wore a thrifted Rue 21 peach colored top with lace netting on the shoulders. My skater skirt is from my lounge and fitness thrift haul. I felt so flirty and cute in this. I wore brown wedge shoes (not shown) as Brandon and I hit the Salvation Army to buy supplies for the camping trip I’m chaperoning next week.

Gone on any thrift shops lately? I’d love to see what you bought. Leave me a link or comments below.

Have courage,
Elle | Elleword  | Tweets  |  InstaElle

Elleword - my thrifted peach shirt looked great with this skater skirt. You don't have to spend lots of money to look good.

KAA Camp Wardrobe Capsule

Elleword - my camping gear! Even though I'll be in the woods, I still want to look cute, lol

This just in, I’m going camping next week! My church is taking a group of teens to Kids Across America camp for a week of fun away from parents and technology. We’ll also have time to bond with the kids and have bible study with them every other day. I’ll be chaperoning, I’m so excited! The last time I went to an overnight camp was in college when my husband (then boyfriend) Brandon invited me to go to Fellowship of Christian Athletes camp over the weekend. Since then, I’ve been longing to go camping again. I even sewed a vintage comforter together to make my own sleeping bag! The only catch is that there is a dress code for camp which wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t ban just about every piece of clothing in my closet. No yoga pant, fitted athletic wear or skinny jeans. >__<

I needed camp clothes that won’t send a group of boys into a conniption so Brandon and I headed off to the Salvation Army. After looking through both the men’s and women’s sections, we found enough stuff for my trip. Excluding the ‘hotcake hustle’ tee and black jeans, all of these items are my new camp digs. Yes, two of the items are super comfy skirts that are too long to get blown by the wind but durable enough to hike in. Of course, I’ll be wearing tights underneath to keep my legs from being bitten up by mosquitos. It’s almost unbelievable that I managed to find two bathing suits and both cute! Two piece suits are banned so I was relieve to find these two cuties.

 

Elleword - my camping gear! Even though I'll be in the woods, I still want to look cute, lol
Check my vintage comforter turned sleeping bag!

I still have plenty of things to add but I made sure to grab sunscreen, OFF Deep Woods, extra toothbrushes in case some of the girls forget theres, feminine products to share, wet wipes and snacks. While the kids cannot bring electronics, I’ll have my phone and laptop to work with during free times and at night when the girls are relaxing/sleeping. I plan to keep it in my backpack so it will never leave my side! I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to log the fun but I hope to get some pics during the week of my little camping adventures. Hiking, treetops, and water skiing, here I come!

Have courage,
Elle | Elleword  | Tweets  |  InstaElle

Summer Vibes in July


I’ve been doing lots of thinking around ways to make passive income so I can enjoy all that summer has to offer. Aside from posting our vacation in Vegas video and talking about why I shave my head on my Youtube channel, I’ve decided to work on new videos everyday to build my audience and start making money from ads.

Our truck bit the dust last month and I’ve once again embraced the commuter lifestyle. To get to church, we take two buses and then ride our bikes the rest of the way. While waiting on our second bus, we found this little donut shop and decided to step in for breakfast. After church let out, we hitched a ride with my mom back to our place.

The next day was the fourth. Instead of jumping into an event or barbecue, we took a long walk with Justice (woof) and relaxed at home. The next day was my birthday! Brandon had to work but surprised me with lunch at Ojedas, my favorite Tex-Mex restaurant. I ate the Carmel special and had two celebratory frozen margaritas. So good! Brandon had to head back to work but Nae (my twin sis) and my brother-in-love Danio joined me for round two.

More summer fun is on the way and I can’t wait to indulge! I’ll keep you updated via blogs and vlogs to keep you in the loop.

Have courage,

Elle | Elleword  | Tweets  |  InstaElle

Adventures in Marriage: The Case of the Missing Glass

Elleword - Brandon and I enjoying the view at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Vegas

Have you ever had the feeling that something has gone MIA? Let’s say it’s not a cherished electronic or puppy but something of the practical nature. Well that my friends is what this adventure is all about.

Some of the things we use everyday were wedding gifts from our family. Included in this list are plenty of dishes and glasses. My favorite glasses were a set of short squarish drinking glasses that looked reminiscent of those you see distinguished gentlemen filling with Brandy in old movies. Of course, instead of whiskey, I usually filled my glasses with a mix of lemon and cranberry juice. As part of our agreed chore schedule, I take care of the meals and my benevolent husband takes care of the dishes. A few years later, that’s when the mystery began.

I would go to grab one of my favorite glasses and notice that there were less of them in the cabinet than usual. After only seeing three, I started looking around the kitchen – the sink, beneath the counter, my husband’s desk – but those sweet little treasures were nowhere to be found. It wasn’t until a few months ago when I heard the last glass shattering in the sink that I realized where my beloved chalices had disappeared to. While Brandon was keeping up his side of our chore wheel, he was having trouble keeping a good grip on some of our dishes. Drinking glasses gave him the most grief and, one by one, my goblets bit the dust.

Elleword - My replacement glasses from the thrift store

 

 

Of course, there was no need to be upset, it’s just a little glass in the scope of our matrimonial journey together. But let’s be honest, I missed my little cups. So I did what any thoughtful wife would do in this situation. I bought replacements! The new glasses have spiral designs at the base and best of all, they only cost me $1 each (thank you Salvation Army!). I wouldn’t be the thrift loving gal you all know me to be without adding a a pair of taller glasses with a geometrical design similar to the kind you see in crystal drink ware. They were $3 total. Do I expect these new editions to our pantry to last forever? Not unless I buy a friction grip for Brandon or vow to handle all glass sanitation from now on.

Case closed.

Have courage,

Elle | Elleword  | Tweets  |  InstaElle

Introducing Found Fashion Fridays!


I’ve decided to not only post images of my own outfits but of those that I see when I’m out and about! It won’t be every Friday starting off but I’m hoping to post one of these babies at least once a month. To kick things off, here are some fashionable locals that made it in this month’s lineup!

It’s Friday, what are you gals wearing this weekend? I’d love to see your ootd. Share a link to one of yours in the comments!

Have courage,
Elle

So much to be Grateful for


Hi Queens and Kings.

My Friend Elle on Thanksgiving with her family

This past week I spent a much needed week away from work at our family house in Grand Prairie. While it was a little tough adjusting to the periodic yells from my nieces, I got in some much needed relaxation, quality time with family and even some exercise. The only downside was not being able to spend that time with my husband. He spent the week with his family out of state this year but we kept in touch through text and video chats until his return on Saturday. Continue reading “So much to be Grateful for”

Aug. 24, 2015 OOTD: Resisting Retail has Begun


I still have a few days left in my 30 day grace period but there is nothing more that I need to add to my wardrobe at this point so I’m officially starting the challenge of Resisting Retail for the next 365 days. I even added a countdown widget at the bottom of my site to keep me motivated. My next post will include images of my entire wardrobe so you guys can see what I have to choose from and even help me pick some OOTDs if you like. Something that seems to be a result of this challenge is my being more conscious of what I want to wear and wanting to look my best. With that in mind, my first outfit felt like a perfect way to kick things off.

I bought this top weeks ago, only back then, it was way too big for me and had sleeves. I did some alterations myself and made it fit, ditching the sleeves in the process. Then I just paired it with these thrifted white slacked (originally from The Limited) and my brown wedges from DSW. I felt so chic in this outfit and managed to go through the entire day without getting anything on my pants, win! What do you guys think? Let me know with a comment. If you’re participating in a wardrobe challenge or downsizing to a seasonal capsule I’d love to hear about it.

Have courage,
Elle

Elle is wearing a floral sleeveless top that she altered with some white slacks and brown wedge heels.

August 26 OOTD: Hump Day, Hard Day


Today was a rough day. I had so many tasks flying at me at work, I got kinda burned out mentally. I’m covering my work and a co-worker’s duties while he is out on vacation this week. Besides a bunch of work, my temporary crown broke into three pieces and I have to go to the dentist tomorrow. Apparently they neglected to schedule me for my permanent fitting when I got this thing and I should have had it removed weeks ago. SMH, what the hay man? Despite that, I was still able to find a good OOTD consisting of one of my newer thrifted tops,originally from the Limited and my green slacks from the Gap. Let me know what you think of this one. My pics are a little darker than usual, I didn’t get to take these until the sun was setting.

Have courage,
Elle

aug26

3.27.15 My OOTD


My husband and I took the day off to run errands and get our car title. It’s been sitting in the same place for months but in a day or two, it will be getting donated to charity for veterans. I made this dress out of a sheet and an old dress shirt that belonged to my brother in law after viewing this post by Ma Nouvelle Mode. I’m pretty happy with the results, although, the next time I attempt this, I will adjust the sleeves more.

Have courage,
Elle


mar27