Tag Archives: family

My Life in Photos, June

If May was a good month, then June can only be described as great. We had tons of visitors at The Fortress in June, including our very first workshop attendees. My son, Levi, and his girlfriend spent some time with us, too, along with other friends. I’ve loved every second of being here.

The Fortress has proven to be a wonderful place for workshops. The energy is rhythmic, the lighting spectacular, and the views awesome. Of course, June has been a busy month too.

There were lots of things that had to be done to prepare for guests, but we found time to tackle it all. We even managed to squeeze in a few area adventures, too.

If this month is any indication of what the rest of the summer will be like, I can’t wait. As always, follow along on Instagram to see first-hand what our day-to-day looks like here. From lots of antiquing to aperitivo on the terrace, there’s always something to see.

If May was a good month, then June can only be described as great. As always, follow along on Instagram to see first-hand what our day-to-day looks like.

Just a day at the beach

Coffee bars are something we like to have everywhere. This one is in our bedroom what a way to wake up in our 12th century fortress.

Coffee bars are something we like to have everywhere. This one is in our bedroom what a way to wake up in our 12th century fortress.

Loving my new side table (and sofa).

Loving my new side table (and sofa).

Morning conversations.

Morning conversations.

It's here it's here the workshop is about to begin, and we are off to the local markets to collect goodies for our photoshoots this session!

It’s here, it’s here! The workshop is about to begin, and we are off to the local markets to collect goodies for our photoshoots this session!

Our welcome dinner was truly dreamy last night.

Our welcome dinner was truly dreamy last night.

Tour day in Parma

Tour day in Parma

Our farewell gathering was lovely the perfect send off.

Our farewell gathering was lovely the perfect send off.

 

xx Annette

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Ciao from Pisa, Italy

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All these years, I avoided Pisa like the plague. I took the kids once to see that leaning tower. The piazza where the famous tower leans is full, and I mean chocked full of tourists. They are everywhere and FROM everywhere. Watching every person on the planet taking the same ” look I’m holding up the leaning tower” picture definitely makes me vomit in my mouth a little bit, I am not going to lie. I never tell my guests to visit Pisa, “Avoid it,” I say, “and just use the airport.”

However as many of you know, we have moved to the Lunigiana which is northern Tuscany and about 1 hour from Pisa. It’s a pleasant and easy drive, so frequently I find myself hanging out in Pisa (mainly to go to the IKEA..but anyway…).

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A couple months ago, Frank and I spent the night in Pisa. We had a wicked early flight, so we thought, why not? We walked over to the Tower which was about 30 minutes from our hotel and to my surprise in March, there was hardly a tourist in sight. The piazza is quite beautiful, and approaching from the city side was extremely visually interesting, as the town is quite normal and sticking out of the city-scape was this incredible leaning building. I did not clue in at first because it was such an unexpected vantage point, but it was indeed the leaning tower of Pisa, go figure. It looked so odd jutting out of the city view.

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Last week, my son and I decided to take a stroll in the University district of Pisa, and again to my surprise Pisa has its very charming areas, great shops, funky college town fashion and cool edgy eateries, like Filter, a super groovy breakfast spot in the middle of the University. So yes, I have changed my mind, and Pisa is a great place to spend a few hours wandering the pretty cobbled streets and of course visiting the tower…especially since to my surprise, the tower is not the thing that makes Pisa kinda cool; there’s a whole city out there if you take the time to look.

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Every once in a while one’s viewpoint is changed; that’s what makes life so interesting…indeed.

Plus bacon and eggs? Why yes please! Pisa, we will be back soon…

Ciao for now xx

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Atlanta Magazine’s HOME Summer Entertaining Feature:: An Epic Engagement Party

As most of you know, I am the Entertaining Editor for Atlanta Magazine’s Home. It’s a position I truly relish. I get to attend the most interesting parties on Atlanta’s social calendar and rub elbows with the who’s who in the design and creative world of the city. I am a lucky lady.

Most recently, I got to attend a party that I have been wanting to attend for a long time. Our own daughter’s engagement party. All the juicy details are reveled in the Summer 2017 issue.

You can imagine what a thrill it was to plan and execute our daughter’s stellar celebration.

Read all about it in Atlanta Magazine’s HOME on newsstands right now!

Here are a couple sneak peeks of the festivities.

Most recently, I got to attend a party that I have been wanting to attend for a long time. Our own daughter's engagement party. Most recently, I got to attend a party that I have been wanting to attend for a long time. Our own daughter's engagement party.

Photography by: The Raftermen

xx Annette

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Spring Recipes for a Crowd- Passover or Easter

Our family celebrates the holiday of Passover which is on Monday April 10th. Passover has a very specific menu. We are not allowed to eat leavened bread, we eat Matzoh. The story of Passover is an interesting one, and one that we recall at our dinner table on the night of Passover. Here’s a great dessert to make for your gathering this year… and it involves chocolate!

PotsDeCreme

Salted Chocolate Pots de Crème
Serves 6-8

You will need:
1 ½ cup whole milk
– 1/2 cup whipping cream
– 5 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
– 1 teaspoon sea salt, or flake salt
– 6 large egg yolks
– 1/3 cup sugar
– 1 cup whipped cream for topping

To prepare:

Preheat oven to 325°F. Bring milk and cream just to simmer in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and salt; whisk until melted and smooth. Whisk yolks and sugar in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in hot chocolate mixture. Strain mixture into another bowl. Cool 10 minutes, skimming any foam from surface.

Divide custard mixture among six 3/4-cup custard cups or soufflé dishes. Cover each with foil. Place cups in large baking pan. Add enough hot water to pan to come halfway up sides of cups. Bake until custards are set but centers still move slightly when gently shaken, about 55 minutes. Remove from water. Remove foil. Chill custards until cold, about 3 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.) Top with whip cream, and serve.

Photo by Sarah Dorio

Styled by Moi

One of my favorite entertaining stories was for Atlanta Magazine’s Home. It was a Greek Easter party thrown by good friends every year, a party we always look forward to. Greek tradition calls for this sweet bread which makes a lovely and festive presentation. Imagine taking it somewhere for your Easter feast. Get all the recipes and the full feature here.

Passover begins on Monday and last through the following Monday (the day after Easter), and I have two great spring recipes for a crowd to share with you.

TSOUREKI (Easter Sweet Bread)
Serves 4 loaves

You will need:

– 7 cups Flour
– 3 quick rise yeast packets
– ½ cup warm water
– 1¾ cup sugar
– ½ teaspoon salt
– 1 Tablespoon mahlepi
– 1 teaspoon mastic
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– 2 teaspoon lemon & orange zest (mixed)
– 5 eggs (room temperature)
– ½ cup hot milk
– 1 cup melted butter

Note : All ingredients should be warm or at the very least room temperature to help the dough rise faster.

Egg Wash for bread:
– 1 egg
– a few drops of vanilla
– 1 Tablespoon water
– ½ cup of sliced almonds

To Prepare:

  1. Mix warm water and yeast, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl put flour, make a whole with your hands in the center of the flour to put the sugar, zest, salt, spices and mix that your hands. Add hot milk and mix again with your hands. Once the dough is incorporated add eggs, one at a time, and mix well. Then add the yeast water mixture, your dough should be stringy when pulled apart.
  3. Next pour melted butter into the bowl one handful at a time and fold the dough (do not knead the dough). Pull and fold and pour in melted butter, repeat until you’ve used all the butter. Don’t worry if you see butter puddle around the edges, it will absorb as the dough rises.
  4. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap that it tucked down inside the bowl touching the dough. Then wrap the entire bowl in towels and place in a warm place for the dough to rise for about 2 hours. Once dough has risen, separate into 4 equal parts. Then separate each of the four parts into three pieces and roll the dough with your hands into approximately 14 inch long and about finger thickness.
  5. Braid the three long cylinder pieces just like you would braid hair. You will have 4 braids.
  6. Place each braid in a 12” round pan that has been lined with parchment paper and cover with towel, place in a warm spot for 30-45 minutes for dough to rise again.
  7. Once each of the braids have risen, prepare the egg wash. Beat the egg with water and vanilla then brush each of the braids, this will give the bread a beautiful shine.
  8. Place pans into a preheated 350° oven (2 at a time) and bake for 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the dough, if you see it getting too brown, cover with foil until baked through.
  9. Once bread has cooled, cut out the center and place a hard boiled egg that has been dyed red sprinkle with sliced almonds.

Photo by: PATRICK HEAGNEY

Styled by Moi

xx Annette

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My Life in Photos, March

This month was full of renovations at The Fortress and working on book number two. Not only is this a fun walk through the month's memory lane for me, but it's interesting insight into photography for you. This month was full of renovations at The Fortress and working on book number two. Not only is this a fun walk through the month's memory lane for me, but it's interesting insight into photography for you.

As you know, photography is a huge part of my life professionally.

I love teaching workshops about how to style and shoot images.

You can find some of my favorite images popping up a few times a day on my Instagram.

Did you know I have two accounts? You can follow me here and my workshops here.

In the meantime, I thought I’d give you a glimpse into my life through my photos.

This month is full of renovations at The Fortress and working on book number 2. I hope you log on an follow along as I am a massive over-sharer. LOL

xx Annette

This month was full of renovations at The Fortress and working on book number two. Not only is this a fun walk through the month's memory lane for me, but it's interesting insight into photography for you.

In my element. I’m so grateful for the harvest in my kitchen garden.

This month was full of renovations at The Fortress and working on book number two. Not only is this a fun walk through the month's memory lane for me, but it's interesting insight into photography for you.

Our tub arrived from Marrakech and is the talk of the village!

This month was full of renovations at The Fortress and working on book number two. Not only is this a fun walk through the month's memory lane for me, but it's interesting insight into photography for you.

Antique pavers being laid in the kitchen at the Fortress.

This month was full of renovations at The Fortress and working on book number two. Not only is this a fun walk through the month's memory lane for me, but it's interesting insight into photography for you.

An extra large charcuterie platter and some cocktails with friends one weekend.

This month was full of renovations at The Fortress and working on book number two. Not only is this a fun walk through the month's memory lane for me, but it's interesting insight into photography for you.

Most March days were spent writing about drinks all day long. Cheers to book 2!

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