This event took a lot of planning, re-working, and refiguring, but overall it came out pretty awesome. The hardest part about my job is matching my vision and the budgetary constraints. Every party would look exactly how I envisioned if clients had bottomless pocket, and sometimes that is the case! But when it’s not, you have to pick and choose what will give you the most bang for your buck. For me, lighting was important to make this tent pop. I chose to do simpler table arrangements and make a huge fourteen foot tree the centerpiece of the room (picture to come in upcoming blog) It was a little modern, a little asian, and a little traditional all at the same time. The food was both passed and at stations. The dim sum station had pork dumplings, shrimp shu mai, and the hosts favorite, shrimp tempura.
Happy Memorial Day everyone! Today I planted about thirty small succulents into 3″ terra cotta pots for a dinner party next Saturday. These cuties will hold the beautiful place cards for the guests at their table. I planted them ahead of time not only to check them off the to-do list, but also to make sure they settle and get a watering before the guests take them home.
It’s peony time! This is my favorite flower. I love watching them bloom, they evolve everyday into a stunning breathtaking burst. They come in a variety of colors and have huge blooms. These precious flowers are to be admired. Thanks Rita for the beautiful vintage teal glass piece. It’s perfect!
Interesting Fact: The peony is named after Paeon (also spelled Paean), a student of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing. Asclepius became jealous of his pupil; Zeus saved Paeon from the wrath of Asclepius by turning him into the peony flower.
Paeonia. In Wikipedia. Retrieved May 23, 2012, from
This was a really fun nautical luncheon I styled last week for 200 guests. No two tables were alike and the food was presented family style so it acted as part of the décor. There was homemade rhubarb spritzer and passion fruit iced tea to sip through red-striped straws while indulging on mascarpone and spinach stuffed salmon. Each guest got a labeled vial filled with sea salt that could be used for cooking or in the bath. Cobalt blue, yellow, and accents of red and white were carried on throughout the party. Bountiful bouquets of hydrangeas and clusters of Queen Anne’s Lace adorned the twenty-five dark wood tables. The party was a great success…Ahoy!
I wish I could say I planted these gladiolas about 8 weeks ago and watered them everyday. But the reality is… they’ve been here since I moved in two years ago and they are making their annual appearance. These flowers remind me of funerals, but they’re pretty and the bees love them so I’m glad to have them around. It’s nice to have beautiful things pop up without doing any work- usually not the case!
I am a huge fan of Sangria. It’s the perfect refreshment on hot LA days. I made this batch for a party today and wanted to share it you. Enjoy!
Recipe makes 6 cups
1/2 cup brandy
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup frozen lemonade concentrate
1/3 cup orange juice
1 (750 milliliter) bottle dry red wine
1/2 cup triple sec
1 lemon, sliced into rounds
2 apples cubed
1 orange, sliced into rounds
1 lime, sliced into rounds
1/4 cup white sugar (optional)
In a large pitcher or bowl, add brandy and fruit, let infuse for two hours. Then mix together the lemon juice, lemonade concentrate, orange juice, red wine, triple sec, and sugar. Refrigerate overnight for best flavor. For a fizzy sangria, add club soda just before serving.
I love these vintage apothecary bottles with their glass tops hanging on the side. A good friend of mine found them in Massachusetts and sent them my way. I send her photos of things I’m searching for so I won’t miss out on the east coast selections! I used them for a simple statement on a clients coffee table. I love using Queen Anne’s lace flowers. They remind me of fireworks on the fourth of July! Happy Wednesday!
Over the last thirty years there has been a ton of research & development put into creating the perfect rose. If you were to buy a bunch or roses from the market or flower mart they would likely be the same size, almost flawless depending on whose been handling them, and to me… lacking in character.
Unfortunately, flowers, and especially roses are not a product of small farmers anymore; they are becoming limited to large producers and following in the footsteps of other major industries like cattle, chicken, corn, and soy producers to keep up with demand and the goal to create a superior product.
Just as there has been a revolution with sustainable food, a growing number of people are consciously choosing to buy locally, buy non-GMO food (genetically modified organism), and even going as far as trying their own hand at growing and farming. Which I love!! Our family has started a hydroponic garden, which supplies four people with all the lettuce, herbs, and about a quarter of the vegetables we consume.
Also, I have seen first hand a shift towards local non-GMO flowers. Large commercial flower marts are starting to sell local producers and pushing seasonal flowers more than ever.
These local flowers, in season now, are the beauties I prefer. I made the arrangement above to show the character flowers can have. These garden roses are light, unique, and more impressively have an amazing scent! An arrangement with these flowers sends a message that things don’t have to be perfect to be breathtaking, and that nature itself is innately beautiful.
I wish I could say I could sneak into my parents’ house early in the morning and create a wonderful country breakfast…with homemade toast, jelly, and of course, a behemoth carafe of mimosas. However, my career lends me to creating special brunches for other special mothers. Sunday I have the great pleasure of celebrating some truly extraordinary woman of all ages. I plan on cooking a feast of savory and sweet treats, some healthy and some rather indulgent. But no matter which items they eat, they all will be made with love and admiration for the great mothers they are.
Sunday evening is when I will get to spoil my mother. The menu is below:
Wine: 2009 Woodstock “Black Widow” A delicious blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% malbec from Napa Valley fruit and 15% Petite Sirah from Clarksburg. This wine is smooth and full of style. Gobs of fruit leads to a strong bold blackberry flavor and long sultry finish with hints of tobacco & leather.
Appetizer: Beluga Lentil Caviar on crostini with mascarpone and fennel pollen
Maine Course: Brown Sugar and chili rubbed bone in Rib-eye
Side 1: Pancetta and smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese
Side 2: Grilled asparagus with butter and lemon zest
Dessert: Chocolate soufflés with crème anglaise (Mom’s favorite)
I love you mom. I am who I am because of you. And to Karen Thibault, my future mother-in-law who has added so much support to my life and a son that has made my dreams come true.
What isn’t there to like about vintage enamel flower pins?! They are one of my favorite things to search for. Do I wear them often? Hardly ever and I’m ok with that! My mom gave me my first pin, which was her mothers, for my sixteenth birthday. I didn’t really fall in love with them until after college when I became a more avid flea market fanatic. Today craft people are finding all sorts of ways to reuse and upcycle them. I however just love putting them in a display case. It’s my bouquet of flowers that’s always in bloom!