Saturday, December 1, 2012

Paris Bound

I can't really say when or where my fascination with Paris started, but since middle school ( and thanks to Monsieur Bustin), I have always wanted to go. I kept my dream going by taking French classes for several years and planning a solo trip every year, but never being able to go (money, time, fear). Well a couple of years ago, I came across The American University of Paris online and became intrigued. Unfortunately, I was still in my undergrad and my schooling was already paid for so moving to Paris and going to school didn't fit at the time.

Now two years later, I have been itching to go grad school. I revisited AUP's website this summer and decided to apply on a whim. Four weeks later, I got my acceptance and was totally shocked and thrilled as can be! Friends and family were in shock, too! my favorite being my mother's supportive response, "Really? I didn't think you would get in!" Paris is nice a idea but when you actually have a purpose to go and live there, it's kind of daunting. I have had a few months to grasp the reality of what I am about to do. Here is some prep work I had to do:

Step 1 - Wait
This was probably the most difficult. I applied for admission in June, got accepted in July, and had to wait for my acceptance packet which came in October. As with any other curious person, I wanted to know all the details right away, but since I won't be starting school until January, I had to patiently wait for the packet before I could begin any of my paperwork.

Step 2 - CampusFrance
Along with applying to the school, a student must also apply to CampusFrance which determines whether or not you can be a student in France. This was also my first look into how badly forms are translated from French to English.

Step 3 - Travel Reservations
In case you didn't know, traveling to Europe from Utah is kind of expensive. I searched for months for one way fares just to gauge what would be a reasonable amount. I finally found one for $476!! I booked it immediately and am super happy I did. When I look now, the lowest price I can find is $700.

Step 4 - Student Visa
Not only did I have to travel to San Francisco for a 20 minute appointment, but the paperwork involved was ridiculous! Make sure to plan ahead to have your paperwork filled out completed in its entirety BEFORE you come to your interview and don't be like the girl in the waiting room who decided to get her forms done that morning. Also, while waiting, we saw a girl get dismissed for trying to apply for a visa so she could go that weekend!

Step 5 - Packing
So I am currently in this step. It's hard to decide what not to bring. I have already reduced my wardrobe from bursting out the seams to about a 1/3 of what I had before. I had a huge garage sale and was able to sell over $1200 to help pay for the fees, deposits, and airfare for Paris. Also, I have noticed Paris apartments are small, and I mean tiny! So I have been informed by friends who have been to Europe to not bring any kitchen items. If I need something, I can buy it there. That makes me nervous, but I will have to trust them, plus it would be risky to transport glasses and ceramic in checked luggage. So pretty much, I am planning on packing clothing, shoes, accessories, bed linens,
bath towels, and some pictures and books.

Even through all of this, my excitement for moving to Paris has not faded. my adventure begins in 38 days and counting!

xo Ello

Sunday, July 22, 2012


My sister is having a Pollada in a couple of weeks. A Pollada is pretty much a fundraiser to help raise funds for a personal situation by selling food. If you are in the South Jordan, UT area feel free to stop by and try some great, authentic, home made Peruvian food!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

HGTV Dream Home 2012

As many of you know, this year's HGTV Dream Home was in Park City, UT.

What many people may not know is that HGTV hand picks a local charity to give tours of the home and all the profits go towards the charity! Great deal right?! So Make of Wish of Utah was chosen to do this year's tours of the dream home and I got the opportunity to not only walk around the home, but to be a tour guide for other guests. It was such a great opportunity to see just how amazing HGTV and their artistic, interior design crew can be. Here is a video a local news station put together regarding the home. You can see moi in the background in a couple of shots and ya that's my oh-so-awesome voice at the beginning!

xo: Ello

Sweet Bake Shoppe Birthday

I absolutely adore my little niece, Taylor! She is one of the smartest little things I know. She already knows how to unlock my iPhone and iPad and pretend to text. Well her first birthday was in March and her mom and I got together to come up with a great birthday plan. Well since I started working part time at Bath and Body Works (BBW), I was able to get some great inspiration to do a Bake Shop theme for the party. My sis and I rolled with it and made sure to include the theme as much as we could. First of all, we needed an invitation to set the tone:

So remember how I said that I work at BBW, well we did a Bake Shop theme for some new candles that came out and to help bring out this theme, we held a store event that included an imitation Bakery Display!

I seriously kick myself each time I see this photo because it reminds me that I took no other photo during the party. None, zilch, nada!! I was so busy running around getting things together and making sure things were going smoothly, that pictures were a complete afterthought. Well the display if you can tell is pretty big. It had a large BBW logo in the front that I covered up with some foam board and decorated it with paper, glitter, and wood block letters that my sis (from the pic) made for Taylor's bedroom.

Some other fun stuff we did during the party was decorate chef hats so all the kids could wear them. We played some games like put the 'Candle on the Cupcake', 'Cupcake Toss' (like ring toss but donuts on a cupcake candle), and last but not least we had three cupcake pinatas that the children were more than happy to beat and get the candy from. For prizes, we gave out craft kits in these fancy little bags (also courtesy of BBW)

Overall, it was such a great time and the birthday girl wasn't too much of a diva.

As always, you can contact me for custom invitations for your parties!

xo: Ello

Kung Fu Birthday

My Friend Amanda came to me the other day and needed to get invitations out for her little boy's birthday which is next weekend. Well apparently she wanted the invitations the same day she asked. Well no problem, after hearing her theme and scouring her facebook page for a good photo of her boy in action, I was able to make this oh so cute card!

I found some great font to match the Kung Fu Panda theme she wanted and was able to make her little boy the center of his invitation. Granted this was done in a couple of hours, i am sure I could have incorporated a bit more and maybe cleaned it up a bit, but I love how it looks. The background moves along with the panda's cape to give it that moving motion and the asian inspired fonts help move the theme along.

Needless to say, she loved it and I was wonder woman for a day :)

If you see any invitations on her that you would like custom made, just give me a shout out!

xo: Ello

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Make A Wish Gala

It has been months since the Make A Wish Gala, but I still want to share some awesome photos.we had the Alpine Garrison group come and entertain our guests in all their Star Wars costume glory. They provided some great photo opportunities on the moon and Mars backdrops. All the volunteers for the event were great. Catering was fantastic from La Croissant and Rhiel Events did some great decor. Overall, a great event and the 500+ in attendance made the night great!

xo: Ello

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Make A Wish Gala Centerpieces

For the past few months, I have been working closely with the Make A Wish Foundation of Utah for their annual gala that is coming up this Saturday!! I am very excited for this gala since its breaking tradition from the regular cocktail hour and sit down dinner in a beautiful hotel ballroom. The event will be held in the Clark Planetarium. The Clark has three floors of exciting space trivia and hands on games for kids of all ages to play. They also have an IMAX theater and stellar space shows. 

One of my main duties was to create centerpieces for this oh so awesome gala. Since we are holding at the Clark, we decided to make it a space theme; Galaxy of Wishes!! Here is my inspiration for the centerpieces...

That was the only picture I could find of a suitable centerpiece that didn't look super cheesy.  So after a couple of hours of work with my awesome volunteer Jayme....Ta-Da!!

 We used these colors to help match the invitation. The hardest color to paint was the black. It eats up a lot of paint. We used a dab motion to help cover the balls.
After we finished painting tons of 2" balls and a few 2.5" and 4" balls, we spray painted some glitter on them and affixed them to a base filled with rocks for some weight.

 We hot glued the balls onto the sticks to make sure they stayed put!

We had a great time putting these together. It only took a couple of hours to make three of them. We love them and can't wait to see how they fit in with the rest of the decor!!

xo: Ello