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Posts tagged flowers

PicMonkey Collage

things are getting super busy round these parts again. (Currently sitting in the atlanta airport, traveling for work.) two weddings coming up in july. one, i will travel to finger lakes in new york state and the other, right here in colorado. just a good old 25 minutes from my house. natalie has been a very special part of my life for a long time now. since, the days in highschool when we would get taquitos covered in cheese and sour cream at the cafeteria and convince each other there was no guilt to be had. we became as close as ever in college, and that friendship has stayed strong since. we even share the same birthday! nat is so supportive. she listens, gives advice, and laughs. her family is throwing a beautiful shower next weekend in indiana, and i can’t make it due to travels for work. i wanted to still do something special for her, to show her how much i love her, and decided to throw her a little bridal lunch-in here in colorado. wait, did i mention natalie is one of two friends i actually do have here. and thank god for that!!!!

i told nat to pick a place for lunch and we invited just a handful of people. the theme became about flowers. there were these beautiful poppies growing all over the property out here and i wanted to do something with them. natalie is always taking pictures of flowers and she LOVES beautiful things. her excitement for simplicity in beauty is intoxicating. slowly, i came up with more and more flower themed knick knacks to create little prizes for everyone. i got tiny terra cotta flower pots (painting them would be cute too!) and filled them with flower seed packets, chocolate covered sunflower seeds, a homemade rosewater and thyme lollipop (recipe link below), a hand drawn rock and watercolor print, and of course, a small bouquet of flowers wrapped in brown paper and twine. simple, but sweet, and something everyone can appreciate.

since, we were having lunch at a restaurant, i didn’t want to play games, but i borrowed an idea from my friend stacy over at revisinglonliness. for her wedding she set up this big display with mason jars and people could write in suggestions for things like travel tips, ways to say i love you, rainy day, monday night. stacy’s were a little different, but the idea is the same and so unique. so, say on a rainy day they can pull out a piece of paper and take the suggestion into consideration. i love this idea!

for the lollipops, i followed a few different recipes. i did not have a mold, so i used this brilliant idea of using powdered sugar as a mold. if you don’t want to buy a mold, this is a great alternative! there are tons of recipes out there, here is a martha one! i just added rosewater and fresh thyme for my flavor.

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PicMonkey Collageergq IMG_6637 IMG_6610i have discovered the fun of flower arranging. there are some very talented modern florists out there these days and i constantly find them inspiring. like the ladies of frolic and  emmersonmerrick. (both of whom do classes if you live in portland or NYC)  i am always falling in love with their work and it makes me want to fill my life with flowers (something i need to do more often).  i was inspired to a try a little of my own with simple generic flowers you can find anywhere. certainly, those grocery store bouquets could do for a little sprucing up. sometimes you get that bouquet of flowers wrapped in plastic and although the flowers are pretty, just putting them in a vase seems a little blah. here are a few very simple creative ideas anyone can do.

1.cut the flowers down to a small stem and place in a small vase or jar. makes a simple small arrangement. nothing fancy, but cute!

2. i think greenery goes a long way. you can find bundles of this at your grocery store or florist. baby’s breath is another favorite of mine! just a vase of that i think is pretty. or go out into your yard and look for branches with green leaves, twigs, bushes. i use to do this in california in the spring. lemon tree leaves are great. pine branches. a simple twig too. don’t underestimate the power of what is in your yard. you could just do a bouquet from that too!

3. is your jar too short? or you want to make the flowers bunch together. some fishing line tied right underneath the flower head will do the trick!

4. one of my favorites is grabbing a bunch of jars, placed down the center of the table or maybe a window sill and each jar/vase gets one or two flowers.



soooo….let us back track a few weeks. before the colorado road trip, my dear friends stacy and allan were hitched at the culver hotel here in los angeles.  i can honestly say it was one of the most endearing weddings i have ever been too. the words of their friends, family, and their vows to each other made me fall in love with LOVE  just that much more.  when two people like this find each other, it makes me believe it is worth the wait!

the culver hotel, located in culver city, is near culver studios (that is a whole lot of culver) which is where the wizard of oz was filmed and the munchkins stayed in the hotel while filming.  stacy and allan did a tongue and cheek podcast, but chock full of information, for the guests staying at the hotel. if you like old hollywood, take a listen! it will now turn into a regular program! i think it is brilliant!

stacy’s friend, sharon, took on the flowers and decorations for the wedding. the hotel is beautiful and charming itself, so it was just about adding a few pieces.  i helped sharon pick out some flowers at the LA flower mart, but i can’t take credit for the arrangements. that was all sharon! sharon, also came up the fabric strips sweetly draped from the banisters and the book wreaths. i think she found her new calling!

the wedding was so sweet and endearing. complete with cupcakes and dancing!

congrats stacy and allan! love you guys!

Culver Hotel Audio Tour!-1

my travel italia post was featured on freshly pressed today! what an honor! and what an amazing adventure this day has been reading all of the lovely comments and nice words. to inspire people through my own desires or my own eye (that of the iPhone camera at the time) is quite a glorious feeling. i will try and go through to respond to most of your comments. too bad there isn’t a “like” button on each comment like good old Facebook. just to let each and every person know i read, heard, and appreciate their comment. and thanks to all the new followers. i hope you enjoy each post as much as the italy post!

i had a few different options for posting today. i try to do as much original content as possible. i have been inspired by all the little green things popping up around my yard. living in southern california there is always some new kind of plant or flower i have never seen before or noticed. i also finally replanted my herbs yesterday.  looking forward to starting the garden sometime soon.

i had the pleasure of having a few very special friends come over,and the neighbors too, for a chilly saturday afternoon feast this past weekend.  creamy cheese with walnut bread, tarragon chicken pot pie, salad with fennel/ orange/ and dill, deconstructed apple pie and apple crumble with lavender. it was a lovely little afternoon.  i had so much fun throwing it together and making up recipes! my favorite part was the fact that i filled vases and the table with plants from around the house. who needs the flower mart when you have foliage in your yard! there were also lots of cute pups! all in all it was a success and i want to start doing more like this!  make your reservations! literally! an off the grid restaurant? anyone? donation only….

recipes below.


what you need:









white wine


chicken stock

salt and pepper



more flour, butter, shortening for the crust. the recipe i used you can find here. refrigerate.

shred your chicken ( i did two chicken breasts). you can do this is a pan as it cooks, roast a chicken, roast chicken breasts, buy a roast chicken, or just cube some chicken breast. the world is your oyster.

sauté one shallot in  1/2 stick of butter. and then add the leeks and garlic (chopped and cleaned).

once they have started to cook down add  1/2 cup of flour and cook until the flour looses that flour smell

add the chicken stock. about 2 1/2 cups

add 1/4 cup of dry white wine

next add the carrots and potatoes (chopped)

simmer for a bit.

add some cream for thickness. about 3 tbsps

add the 1 tbsp tarragon, 1 tsp thyme,  1 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.

let it thicken.

cut your dough in half. roll your dough out and place in a pie dish or casserole dish using a rolling pin. ( some pot pies don’t have a bottom crust, but isn’t that the best part?)

add the filling.

cover with the second piece of dough. adhere to the sides of the dish with a egg wash. also, brush the top with the egg wash.cut slits in the top to avoid explosion!

bake at 375 for about 45 minutes to an hour or until crust is golden brown. let sit for about 20 depending on how thick your dish is.

( to be honest, i didn’t use measurements (except in the crust). i made the whole thing up after looking at a few different recipes online…do your research! i am giving you decent approximations…i think you can figure it out as you like it. you just want to make sure the filling is thick and not runny)




for the pie: same crust as the pot pie. recipe here

you need:


brown sugar



fresh nutmeg

lemon juice

lemon zest



chop the apples 4.

place in a bowl with 2 tbsps of flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp of cinnamon, nutmeg, a bit of salt, juice of one lemon and the zest too.

roll your dough out and place apples in center of dough. fold the sides over the apples so there is a hole in the center and the pieces overlap.

place some knobs of butter on top. brush with egg wash

bake at 375 for about 30-45 minutes.until golden.

for the butterscotch sauce i used Laura Calder’s recipe. super easy and damn damn good!

pour the butterscotch all over that apple pie.


i used the same apple mixture from the pie that i had leftover.

you also need:



brown sugar



slivered almonds

cooking lavender

combine the oats, brown sugar, and butter in a bowl using your hands until it becomes crumbly. best to use cold butter. i don’t measure i just eye it. but say you do 1/2 cup of oats, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 2 tbsps of flour, pinch of salt, and 1 stick of butter.

place the apples in a baking dish. top with slivered almonds and lavender. add the crumble mixture on top. bake at 375 until golden.

oh, and don’t forget the homemade whip cream!


the salad is just mesclun greens topped with shaved fennel, orange slices, fresh dill…and drizzled with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. a little parmesan wouldn’t hurt either!

we also had a cheese plate with one outstanding creamy cheese that i can’t remember the name of. but i got it at cookbook along with the walnut bread, and the best dates i have ever had! (they also have raw milk there that is sooooo good. it’s what milk should taste like!) i added some cornichons and green olives to the platter!

Zach brought a french Sauvignon that was so delicious and went perfectly with the cheese and pot pie! …and i am drinking the leftovers now!