MLB Bouquets!

Let’s Go Mets!!

Or Yankees, or Marlins, or whoever your home team might be! It’s easy to honor your favorite team with a few simple flower arrangements using branded items in unexpected ways. If you’re having a few friends over to watch the game, set the mood with these team color coordinated bouquets and everyone will feel good – win or lose!

For these Mets themed arrangements, I used blue delphinium in a Mets galvanized bucket and orange gerbera daisies in commemorative Shea Stadium beer bottles that I got at a game last year. Of course, the only reason I bought the beer was for the commemorative bottle – a girl’s got to do, what a girl’s got to do!

Koozie can holders, also make great little vases. Just line them with a short beverage glass or a vegetable or soup can to hold the water.


K.I.S.S. Centerpieces

Did you ever hear the expression “Keep It Simple Stupid”? Well I prefer to say “Keep It Simple Silly”, but that’s beside the point. I created these centerpieces using one (yes, that’s right, only one) gerbera daisy and a couple of tea lights! Did you ever think that you could actually make a centerpiece using just one flower? Of course, when you use less materials that means you must use more of your imagination. I think it’s the simplicity of these centerpieces that makes them spectacular.

For the first two centerpieces, I used the individual petals of one gerbera daisy to create graphic versions of the real thing. Or if you want, you can take one gerbera and cut the stem off at the base of the flower and put it in a wine glass along with a tea light for a fun individual place setting. Another idea is to use multiples in varying sizes and shapes for a unique tablescape that’s simple and stunning!






The Perfect 4th of July Centerpiece

Impress your guests or wow your hostess with the ultimate 4th of July centerpiece – a fresh flower flag!

DIY American Flag Floral Arrangement

How To Make A Fresh Flower Flag

This flag can be made in many different sizes.

Choose a container that has a lip of at least one inch all around. Line the container with floral foam, cutting the foam to fit. Tape the foam into the tray using clear waterproof tape. If you plan to only use your floral flag as a flat centerpiece then taping isn’t necessary. Soak the floral foam thoroughly using regular tap water before inserting flowers.

Floral Foam

I used red and white standard carnations and blue statice. Other options would be white poms, mini carnations, or roses. To fill the galvanized tray that I chose, it required:

  • 3 dozen white carnation
  • 4 dozen red carnations
  • 10 stems blue statice

I used clear crystal bouquet jewels to create the stars.

Creating the flag:

  • Cut the stems of your flowers slightly shorter than the height of the lip of your tray.
  • Use a knife to mark off the area in the foam that will be the blue area of the flag.
  • Fill in the marked area with your blue statice.
  • Starting with the top row, place your red flowers into the floral foam. Be sure to insert the cut stems directly into the floral foam with the flower straight up.
  • Alternate rows of red and white flowers, ending with a red row.

Your floral flag is now ready to display. Add water on a daily basis and your flag will stay fresh for at least a week!

God Bless the USA!

4th of July Floral Arrangement – MADE IN THE USA!

When decorating for the 4th of July, a red, white, and blue theme is a “no-brainer”! Take your patriotism a step further and use vases and flowers that are all made right here in the good ol’ US of A. I’ve chosen a set of my favorite hobnail milk glass vases, which are designed and manufactured by the Fenton Company. Fenton is a family owned business that has been making vases and decorative items in the United States for generations.

I kept the arrangements simple, using single varieties of flowers that were grown in California. I chose blue delphnium for the tall vase and red roses for the short one. The look is retro, reminding us all of a time in America when things were simpler and almost everything we owned was made right here at home.

4th of July Floral Arrangement

Fun Facts About Roses

Stop and Smell the Roses!

June is National Rose Month. Here are a few fun trivia facts about roses and a few beautiful images of roses to brighten up your day!

  • Since 1986, the rose has been the official National Floral Emblem of the United States.
  • The rose is the official state flower of: the District of Columbia, Georgia, Iowa, New York, and North Dakota.
  • George Washington was the first rose breeder in the United States.
  • Roses are native plants in the United States.
  • Roses are big business: 1.2 billion are sold annually.








Flowers For Your Victorian Tea Party

Back in Victorian times a Tea Party was the equivalent of today’s “Girl’s Night Out” – although back then it was a traditional afternoon event! It was the ladies chance to get together and do what we do best – get dressed up and talk, talk, talk! It was also an opportunity for a host to impress friends by creating the most beautiful environment and serving sweet and delicious treats. Using the best china, linens and having lots of fresh flowers were a must!

The Victorian Tea Party theme works great for any bridal or baby shower. Starting with the invitations, ask your guests to dress accordingly (including a beautiful hat!) There are many websites where you can find tea party ideas, games, and recipes. Here are some ideas for incorporating flowers into the day. Personally, I think that the flowers really bring it all together!

Don’t worry about being matchy-matchy. Mix the flowers with old and new tableware in various patterns – this will allow you to create your own look. If you are able to visit a flea market or garage sale, look out for old silver trays, tea pots and tea cups. Don’t be afraid to mix and match tea cups too. Straw hats can also be incorporated into your tablescape for a fresh look.

The flower arrangements should be lush and have an “unarranged” feeling to them. Mix roses with other garden-variety flowers such as hydrangea, tweedia and black-eyed Susan’s.

Any piece from the Old Country Roses collection from Royal Albert would be a perfect addition to the setting. Fill it with fragrant fresh flowers and you just can’t go wrong!

Here’s a cute idea to use as a place setting. Fill individual tea cups with fresh flowers and have a “tea bag” label flowing from the flowers with each guest’s name on it. These precious petite arrangements can double as party favors. Just have small shopping bags ready for each guest to place their tea cup bouquet in when the party is over.

Spotted: Maggie Gray, Green Thumb Mom

Even though the Mother’s Day holiday has passed I am still not done “spotting” incredible women who are also moms. Today, I am recognizing a garden loving mom in my life. I had originally planned to feature her prior to Mother’s Day, but as always “better late, than never”.

Green Thumb Mom

I would like to introduce you to someone who is a true Green Thumb Mom and who has used her passion of gardening to create a very special outdoor space for children at the Long Island Children’s Museum. Her name is Maggie Gray and I visited her in “Our Backyard” last fall when they were just getting ready to close shop for the winter. The place is amazing. Each space has a unique quality that allows children to learn something while they are having fun. I’ll let Maggie tell you in her own words a little bit about the museum and how gardening has affected her as a mom.

ME: How long did it take to create this fabulous outdoor space – playground, classroom, sanctuary?
MAGGIE: This project started in 2004. I was working at the Long Island Children’s Museum as an exhibit technician, fixing things the visitors broke. At the same time I was attending classes necessary to become a Master Gardener with Cornell Cooperative Extension. I saw a need to provide an outdoor space. After receiving support from my directors and with a team of dedicated staff, this project has grown bigger than I ever expected and I foresee it to grow.

ME: What were your goals?
MAGGIE: My goals were to give the museum visitors an opportunity to either begin to or continue to, develop a ‘Sense of Wonder’ through the exploration of the great outdoors. If we hope for the current generations to protect the environment, they must first develop a relationship with it. People will not protect what they do not love. My hope is that ‘Our Backyard’ will help nurture the development of our current and future environmental stewards.

ME: What are you most proud of?
MAGGIE: I think I am most proud of the example that I have set for my children to pursue a worthy cause and that if you work through the obstacles in creative ways, goals can be met and exceeded.

ME: Do your children share your love of gardening?
MAGGIE: My 20 year old son texted me from Haines Point in Washington, D.C. the other day, to tell me about the Cherry Blossom Trees that were raining pink. My 17 year old daughter is graduating from high school this spring and plans on pursuing a degree in Environmental Engineering, and my 13 year old daughter still loves to eat the first peas right from their pod seconds off the vine. So I guess my answer is yes, my children do share my love of gardening.

ME: What can children learn from gardening?
MAGGIE: From gardening children (and adults) can learn patience, disappointment, success, failure, love, frustration, anticipation, and understanding of the interdependence necessary for life. Another big one is a respect for life.

Enjoy the pictures of Maggie in “Our Backyard”



Spotted: Kids in the City Blogger

Today I’m excited to spot Melissa Chapman who is a mommy blogger extraordinaire. Melissa writes a weekly column called Kids in the City, which is a news website dedicated to Staten Island, NY and the surrounding areas. Melissa also works as a blogger on NYC Mom Blogs and is a contributing writer for SheKnows.com, iVillage.com and Time Out NY Kids.

Melissa offers fun and helpful advice, such as the best coloring books for children, how to rejuvenate instantly and even dating tips for single moms. Check out all of her blogs and columns! There’s some great stuff…

Mother’s Day is tomorrow!! Make sure to spot all the moms in your life.

Foodie Mom – Lori, My Wooden Spoon

Today I’m excited to spot Lori from MyWoodenSpoon.com. Lori is a mother of three and the wife of a cowboy. This award-winning cook’s food blog is her pride and joy, offering everything from recipes to health and fitness tips. She was recently hired by Kraft to create an original recipe using Velveeta and guess what? She won 1st place!!

In addition to blogging at MyWoodenSpoon.com, Lori also blogs at ACowboysWife.com and is one of WalMart’s chosen “Elevenmoms”. I do have to say myself, Lori is definitely wins the title of Foodie Mom.

Since Mother’s Day is right around the corner, I will be spotting a Mom tomorrow. Can’t wait!

Have you bought all the moms in your life a Mother’s Day gift? If not, hurry!

Foodie Gifts

SPOTTED! Vanessa Druckman is a French Foodie living in New Jersey with her husband and three kids. Chef Druck Musings is her space to talk about all her passions: parenting, cooking, books, TV, movies, and anything else that catches her fancy. Any mom looking for fun food ideas take a look at Chef Druck Musings!

TOMATO CAN DO!

Almost every memory I have of my friend’s grandmother is of her either making her sauce, or what she called “gravy”, or of us sitting down at her kitchen table eating big bowls of pasta covered in her delicious red sauce. I was making my own sauce recently and thinking about those times and I looked at the can and had one of those AH HA moments. I used the can as a vessel to hold a bouquet of vibrant garden flowers and left it on my friend’s porch as a surprise. As soon as she got home she called me laughing like crazy and we had a nice little walk together down memory lane!

ASPARAGUS VASE

Isn’t this a great look! And it’s so easy to do. Simply choose a container that is about the height of a typical spear of asparagus. You can use an everyday beverage glass or if you want the arrangement to be wider then you can use a cylinder vase in the width of your choice. You could even use a tin can, because the asparagus will hide the container. To create the arrangement, simply put a rubber band around the center of your container and slip the asparagus, one spear at a time, between the rubber band and the container continuing until you have gone all the way around the container. Fill the container with water and create your arrangement. Finish it off with raffia or a piece of pretty ribbon tied around the container to hide the rubber band.


Spotted: Foodie Mom

While I don’t technically consider myself a Foodie Mom, I certainly love food! I love eating out and ordering in! But, I also love reading and trying different recipes. And of course, I love food related gadgets too. Then there’s what I would consider a true Foodie Mom. She’s the one with the real passion for all things culinary.

Today, I’m spotting Jennifer Perillo from “In Jennies Kitchen”. Jennifer is a food editor at Working Mother magazine that adapts recipes to fit busy lifestyles. “In Jennie’s Kitchen” dishes up daily recipes that will to keep you satisfied all day long. I enjoyed meeting Jennifer at the 1-800-FLOWERS.COM Spot A Mom event and spending the evening with her at Chic Mom Magazine’s Tweet Up. Jennifer truly is a Foodie Mom!

Gifting for a Foodie Mom has limitless possibilities. Some thoughts would be a gift certificate to a new restaurant she has wanted to try, a subscription to Bon Apetit or Saveur magazine, enrollment in a specialty cooking class, etc. I think that any one of these are great gifts on their own, but can be made so much sweeter when combined with fresh cut flowers! Here are just a few delightful combinations that any Foodie Mom would be thrilled to receive for Mother’s Day or any day.

PRETTY IN PINK

Instead of just wrapping up that new pink enamel colander that you bought for Mom, why not fill it with beautiful pink hydrangea combined with exotic cymbidium orchids. Just find something to use as a liner, such as, a plastic take out container. Fill the liner with wet floral foam into which you can insert the floral stems. You can use almost any variety flower for this type of arrangement so use your imagination and have fun with it.

FRESH HERB BOUQUET

There are so many elements that I love about this bouquet starting with the incredible fragrance of all the different fresh herbs used to create it – lavender, rosemary, spearmint, and oregano. The look is rustic and modern at the same time – very French provincial. When you think of Provence and the French countryside, you’re sure to see lavender fields and bright sunshine. While there are many elements that contribute to the French Country style of decorating, the resulting look is always rustic, old-world, and welcoming.

Your Foodie Mom will adore displaying this arrangement in the kitchen not only to enjoy visually, but also to snip off a few sprigs to add to her latest concoction.

Tomorrow I will share another Foodie Mom and of course, fun gift ideas for her!

Family Photo Tree

Giving a Mom of a Mom a beautiful bouquet of flowers is a no brainer – she deserves them! Here’s a way to really personalize that bouquet.

Use flowering branches so there are lots of areas to hang photos of all of those precious little grandkids – or lots of photos of that one and only! I cropped my images to 3’ x 3” and backed them with pretty pale pink paper. I hole punched the corner of each photo and attached a ribbon. On the other end of the ribbon I glued a metal word embellishment that is usually used for scrap booking. The word embellishments not only look great, but they make it easy to hang the photo without having to tie the ribbon to the branch – just drape it over with the photo on one side and the metal word on the other. What Mom of a Mom wouldn’t love this “family tree”?!






Interview with a Mom of a Mom

Today I’ve spotted Edna, otherwise known as Grandma Henke. She shares experiences from her life with her many readers and of course her family. Grandma Henke says her motivation for staying on top of technology is keeping in close touch with her large family, half of which live in the Seattle area. She is able to keep in touch with her grandchildren through emails, cellular phones, texting, and Messenger. Check out this Mom of a Mom’s blog!

I have been enjoying the joys of being a grandmother precariously through my sister-in-law Marylou. Marylou is an only child and Erin is her only daughter and now Abigail is keeping the line of Moore women going! What a bond! Marylou has told me so many times how much of a joy Abigail has brought to the whole family in the simplest of ways. The first time that the three of them ventured out into the city for day of running errands and doing a little shopping Marylou said she looked at Erin walking next to her, pushing the carriage and she thought to herself, “It doesn’t get any better then this!” Below Marylou shares her thoughts on being a Mom of a Mom with me.

Q: Has being a grandmother lived up to your expectations?
A: It is even better than I expected.

Q: Has it changed your relationship with Erin?
A: Yes, we share more ideas about motherhood. She asks my opinions and she understands the responsibilities of being a parent. We also share the joys and love of a child together.

Q: What’s the best part about being a grandparent?
A: Seeing your child with their child is so wonderful. I saw that immediate bond that Erin had with Abigail. It is also so much fun to watch the baby as she grows day by day.

Q: Do you carry pictures of Abigail with you at all times?
A: Most of the time but I have to admit that sometimes I forget to bring them with me! I need to organize them and put a few in an album that I can carry with me so I am always ready someone asks – and they always do – if I have a photo with me!

I think a great gift idea for a Mom of a Mom would be a private lesson on how to do some basic things on the computer. In most cases a Mom of a Mom is a woman who is a little bit older and just may not have an opportunity to use a computer everyday as some of us do. It could be a simple e-mail lesson including adding an attachment, setting up a contact list, adding links, etc. Or how about setting up your Mom of a Mom up on Facebook or Twitter?! Think she’s ready?

Tomorrow I will share another gift idea for a Mom of a Mom!

Gifts for the Pet Lover Mom

Today I’ve Spotted: Jan from The Poodle (and Dog) Blog. She is a former English teacher and writer turned blogger, living in Northern California with assorted people and animals. This blog celebrates the remarkable, the ordinary, and the very funny dogs that share our world. Take a look at her blog.

Here are a few more fun ways you can honor your Pet Lover Mom this Mother’s Day!

Retro Floral Poodle

Everything old is new again! Back in the day, florists used to make a poodle in a basket using various types of chrysanthemums. People have always gotten a kick out of this arrangement, so I asked one of the lead floral designers for 1-800- FLOWERS.COM, Jeff Miklos, if he would make one up for our Spot a Mom campaign. It’s funny, but as the arrangement is being created you begin to see the “personality” forming. Jeff wires the flowers that he uses to create the nose, legs and tail so that there is even a little movement to the finished product. Let your imagination go and see what floral pets you can create!

Puppy Love

There are so many decorative pet dishes out there and they make great containers for a flower arrangement or a plant. I used a bi-color carnation that matches the puppy love bowl seen in the below picture. I cut a piece of floral foam to size and created a mound of carnations almost as if the bowl was overflowing with peppermint candy. The carnations will last for weeks and then the bowl gets gifted to mom’s little puppy love!



The Pet Lover Mom

Today and tomorrow I would like to honor all of our Pet Lover Moms out there in the world. To all they may not be the traditional form of a Mom, but when it comes to their pets – they truly are a Mom. SPOTTED: Yvonne from Scratchings And Sniffings! Yvonne writes a blog that shares pet news from the world of dogs and cats and of course, all other pets you want to hear about.

I for one fall under this category! I have had a dog as a pet almost my entire life, but I have never had one that got under my skin and into my heart like my chocolate lab, Cody! He’s 5 years old and the entire family is totally nuts about him. He is the sweetest and cuteness dog and he loves us as much as we love him. So of course I have to share with you a picture of him when he was a puppy and a recent one.


Creating a floral gift for a Pet Lover Mom just takes a little imagination. Here is an idea I was able to come up with and I will be sharing more tomorrow. As I was brainstorming I kept my eyes open for fun items that I could make into a great gift that would bring a smile to my favorite Pet Lover Mom. Being a dog lover myself, I seemed to gravitate towards doggy things, but the same basic ideas can work with any type of pet.

Party Animal

Flowers for mom, treats for her best friend, and a fun book featuring ideas for having a party for your pet make up into a vibrant and happy gift with something for everyone.


Fun Gift Idea For a New Mom

SPOTTED NEW MOM: Liz from Mom-101. Funny Mom, Liz, is a busy working mom who blogs about her two daughters and her husband, the stay-at-home Dad. Liz shares stories about her life and adventures in parenting. She jokes that she and her husband have no idea what they are doing, but by the looks of things they seem to be doing just fine. Take a look her Mom-101 and tell me what you think!

For all those Moms (and even Dads) who may want a good laugh, here is a fun Mother’s Day gift or even baby shower décor.

When I was planning the flowers for Erin’s baby shower I found a really funny book called “Safe Baby Handling Tips” by Kelly & David Sopp. Each page is like a graphic international do and don’t sign for the correct way to feed, lift, calm, etc. a new baby. I used the different pages and ribbons to decorate glass vases that I filled with gerbera daisies. The daisies are innocent and fun and everyone got a kick out of the silly signs. We can’t always take ourselves too seriously now can we!?!



Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for New Moms

I’ve Spotted: Kelcey from Mama Bird Diaries! Kelcey is a Manhattan-mama and former journalist. This dedicated mom and her team of contributors at Mama Bird Diaries share stories and tips for moms everywhere.

So after yesterday’s sneak peak into a New Mom’s life, you’re wondering what to get her for Mother’s Day. My niece, Erin, mentions below what she would LOVE to receive this Mother’s Day.

Q: You’ve given many mothers’ day gifts over the years. Now that you are a mom what would you like to get as your first Mother’s Day gift?

A: A day off! Seriously though, I would love a spa day! I would also love to get some fragrant spring flowers to brighten my apartment since I spend so much time inside at home with the baby now.

You can always give your New Mom a gift certificate to their favorite spa, but if you want to do something extra special at home try creating a “Day of Relaxation” at home.

Serenity Room – transform your bathroom into Mom’s perfect spa treatment. Fill up the bath tub with warm water and sprinkle Mom’s favorite flower petals for a relaxing bath. Light candles, scatter them around the room, and leave Mom’s favorite book by the tub. Be sure to have her fluffy towels, slippers and robe ready when she’s done.

To add to her special day, be sure to have a beautiful floral arrangement waiting for her. As Erin mentioned, flowers will brighten her days as she’s at home with the baby. Flower arrangements such as, Pink and White Roses or the Sentimental Surprise from 1-800-FLOWERS.COM incorporate soft colors and are perfect for any New Mom.

Tomorrow I will share a fun DIY project!

Q&A with a New Mom

From the life of a new mom…

First things first, today I’ve spotted Candace and Debbie from Mamanista! Candace and Debbie are trendy moms, dedicated to sharing their budget-friendly ideas with other hip moms. Mamanista offers helpful product comparisons and parenting news. All moms should take a look at their great blog!

I enjoyed speaking with my niece Erin about her New Mom life and I’m so happy she let me share some of our conversation. Below are some excerpts from our little Q&A session.

Q: How has it changed your relationship with your mother?

A: From the day I brought Abigail home from the hospital I began to appreciate my mother more. I began to realize all the things she did for me, and gave up for me! I have never needed her advice or support more, and she is always there with guidance and unconditional love. We talk every day, sometimes multiple times a day now and she never gets bored listening to me talk about poop or spit up. I never realized how much I needed my mom….and how I hope I can be half as good a mom to Abigail as she has been (and still is) to me.

Q: How did you relax pre-baby?

A: Read, watch movies, have a glass of wine

Q: How do you relax now?

A: Sleep!

Q: Did you blog or use blogs before the baby – do you now?

A: I didn’t really use blogs before I had the baby. Now however, I spend a lot of time online doing searches about topics related to the baby. I have so many questions and I often find great answers on blogs.

Q: If you do now is it primarily for baby info, sharing, and community?

A: Yes. I use them to get information on the baby and it is always helpful to find out that others are in the same boat that I am in and that other moms have had the same worries that I do. It’s like an online version of a good friend saying “me too”.

When choosing a gift for a New Mom you should definitely take into consideration the changes she has been through and the types of things she enjoyed before baby and the things she enjoys now (i.e. sleep!). Combining both into a day of relaxation may turn out to be a Mother’s Day to remember! Tomorrow I will be sharing some flower suggestions that will add to her day of relaxation :)

For all Moms out there: What do you want this Mother’s Day???

Spotted: New Mom!

Today’s Spotted New Mom: Stephanie from Adventures in Baby Wearing. Stephanie provides all sorts of tips and tricks on natural and eco-friendly parenting. Adventures in Baby Wearing offers advice on everything from cloth diapers to vaccines. It truly is a great blog for all Moms out there :)

New moms, just like “old” moms, come in every imaginable shape, size, temperament, etc. One thing is for sure, they all have one thing in common: their world has just been turned inside out and upside down. And that’s a good thing!! It’s been awhile since I was a New Mom. My first born, my son Shane, just turned 30 (how is that even possible). While some things never change, the world and the way we live in it are very different today. I thought it would be interesting to talk to a New Mom and see how things compare. I didn’t have to go too far since my niece Erin gave birth to her first child, Abigail, a few months ago. Next week, I will also feature Erin’s mom, Marylou, as a Mom of a Mom. It has been a pleasure to see the changes that Abigail has brought into their lives and their relationship. I am happy to share a little slice of Erin’s New Mom life with you and thousands of the other Moms out there.

Orchid and Candle Centerpiece

As we end our On-the-Go Mom stay-cation, I have one more On-the-Go Mom I’d like to recognize. Emily from Busy-Mommy.com: You’ve Been Spotted! Busy-Mommy.com provides helpful hints and tricks aimed at making Mom’s life a little easier. Emily posts everything from quick and easy recipes to the best sites for online shopping. If you are an On-the-Go Mom, make sure you visit her blog!

To top off your stay-cation tablescape – here is a VERY easy centerpiece you can create. Teak is a great wood to use when trying to create a tropical feeling to a tabletop. For the orchid and candle centerpiece, I used the salad bowls from a teak bowl set that I picked up in a vintage store near my home in Florida. I also found a great piece of vintage tropical fabric that you see in the shot in the same store (it was a good day!).

How to:

  • Cut a piece of floral foam, so that it fills the bowl, but does not go over the top. Then cut a hole it in the middle of the floral foam that is the size of your candle.
  • Add water to the bowl until the foam is totally saturated.
  • Remove the single cymbidium orchids from the main stem. You can just “snap” the single bloom off of the main stem.
  • Insert the single bloom stems into the wet floral foam until you have gone all the way around the candle.

Done! Now you have a great centerpiece to share with your friends and family.

Don’t forget to enter a Mom you know in the Spotlight a Mom contest. Stop by on Monday for a great gift idea for a New Mom.




Spotted: Floral Lei How-To

Erin from Queen of Spain – You’ve Been Spotted! Erin is an award winning journalist, contributing editor, avid blogger and a non-stop On-The-Go Mom. Visit Queen of Spain and tell me what you think!

Erin is definitely an On-the-Go Mom who may be in need of a stay-cation. Below are the step-by-step instructions on how-to make the perfect floral lei.

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE A FLORAL LEI:

  • 5 stems dendrobium orchids (approx. 35 blooms)
  • Monofilament or fishing line
  • Large needle

HOW TO:

  • Cut a piece of fishing line to the length that you want your lei to be, plus 6 inches. Remember the lei should be long enough to fit over the head.
  • Thread the needle with the cut fishing line. Tie a knot about 3” from the end of the line.
  • Remove all of the dendrobium orchid blooms from the stem. Remove the small piece of stem that is still attached to the flower.
  • Insert the needle through the base of the flower and slide the flower down the length of the fishing line stopping at the knot.
  • Continue this process, “sitting” each bloom within the one previously put on the line until you are about 3” from the end of the line.
  • Tie a double knot with the 2 ends of the fishing line.

Now you have beautiful floral lei perfect for a stay-cation!




Relax and Have a Stay-cation! Spotted: NY City Mama

Don’t you wish your On-the-Go Mom would slow down enough to take a really nice tropical vacation? And if she could don’t you wish you could afford to take her on one?! Well you could give her a one-day tropical stay-cation right in your own backyard or terrace. It can be so much fun. Get the whole family involved in the planning. Remember all of the senses – sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. You can download Hawaiian music or the soundtrack from South Pacific, use tropical scented candles, and create your very own version of a Zombie cocktail. It would be so cute to have the kids dress up and be the servers and give a hula dance performance!

Here are a few photos to give you some inspiration. Some of the materials I used to capture that South Pacific feel are:

  • Orchids – Cymbidiums, Dendrobiums, and Phalenopsis
  • Tropical Calathea Leaves
  • Bamboo and Teak
  • Raffia
  • Vintage tropical fabric

Your On-the-Go Mom will be talking “Happy Talk” faster than you can say Bali. And just in case you’d like to sing along check out the lyrics!

An On-the-Go Mom I know who deserves a tropical stay-cation is Carol from NY City Mama. Carol – You’ve Been Spotted! NY City Mama shares exciting stories of her family’s adventures in the big apple. Her life is never boring with three boys in tow. Check her blog out and tell me what you think :)

Stop by tomorrow for more stay-cation how-to’s! Also, don’t forget to share a Moms story at www.spotlightamom.com – for a chance to win a Beaches Vacation!







Spot a Mom Campaign Launch

On Thursday, April 9, 2009, the staff at 1-800-FLOWERS.COM officially launched the “Spot A Mom” movement with a wonderful party for mommy bloggers and the NYC media in a beautiful penthouse of the Buckingham Hotel in midtown Manhattan, just steps away from Central Park.

Mommy bloggers were able to mingle with Jim McCann, Chris McCann and Julie Mulligan, while eating delicious food.

Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate the launch of the Spot a Mom movement!

View our Photo Slideshow from the Event!



Spotted: Every On-The-Go Mom Needs a Cup of Joe!

Is there a mom who isn’t an On-the-Go Mom? Whether you are a stay at home mom or have another job too, there never seems to be enough time in the day!

I’m spotting Katja from Skimbaco Lifestyle as today’s On-the-Go Mom. Skimbaco Lifestyle is run by an On-the-Go Mom who provides tips from fashion to vacation spots. This busy Mom’s blog is perfect for On-the-Go Moms who want to stay in the know about hip new trends.

One thing that definitely needs to be done when you are an On-the-Go Mom is hydration. Drinks are hardly ever consumed sitting down and relaxed. Surprise your On-the-Go Mom with a bouquet of fresh tulips that are stunning in their simplicity, blooming from within an on-the-go beverage container. Top it off with a gift card for her morning “Joe” and it doesn’t get much better than that. The reusable container not only looks so much cooler, but it is eco-friendly.

Travel Mug

If you know an On-the-Go Mom and you want to share her story, be sure to visit www.spotlightamom.com. She could win a Beaches Vacation! :)

Spotted: Confessions of a Craft Addict

Congrats! Mary from Confessions of a Craft Addict, you’ve been spotted as a DIY Mom. I see that beading is just one of your many mediums (I can so relate!), so I thought you would appreciate this stunning beaded vase. It’s really easy to do and a great project to do together with your children. You can really get creative with the choice of beads and the different colors and textures. Enjoy!

Jeweled Vase

Measure and cut elastic thread to a length that will encircle glass, plus several inches to tie off. Thread first group of beads on elastic thread, test for fit and tie off. Now you can pre-cut a number of pieces of thread and continue threading until vase is completely covered.

Jeweled Vase Step 1

Fill vase two-thirds full with water and floral preservative. Cut stems of flowers (here I used lisianthus) to correct length so that the flowers sit just at the top of the rim of the glass. Continue until the vase is full.

Jeweled Vase Step 1

Check in on Monday for an On-the-Go Mom! Also, don’t forget to share Mom’s story at www.spotlightamom.com – she could win a Beaches Vacation!

Spotted: A Craft Lover

You’ve been spotted! Marie from Make and Takes is today’s DIY Mom. This blog is great for the craft lover. Make and Takes showcases creative and fun craft ideas for moms and children everywhere. Visit Makes and Takes and tell me what you think.

I pick up pretty things just about everyday – some things just call out to me. I know that some day that book, wooden box, or vintage sewing basket will be exactly what I need to create a meaningful gift that will let someone know how I feel about them and their place in my heart. A few stems of soft pink roses and sprigs of ivy made this precious basket the perfect gift for a dear friend of mine. Long ago she taught me the valuable skill of sewing, which seems to have become a lost art. However, it is one that I believe we will be embracing once again as we start to simplify our lives and our spending habits! Remember – a stitch in time saves nine!

Sewing Basket

Do you know a DIY Mom? If you do, share her story at www.spotlightamom.com and she could win a Beaches Vacation!

Spotted: A Toolbox Full of Creativity

Laurie from Tip Junkie: You’ve Been Spotted! Laurie is the perfect example of a DIY Mom. Tip Junkie is a non-profit blog that promotes women and their creative ideas. Laurie’s mission is to improve women’s lives with unique, fun and fabulous ideas, from games for the kids to organizing your home. Check her out!

To be a DIY Mom means to think outside of the box. And don’t forget, when it comes to flowers that might mean thinking outside of the vase too! Whether you are giving a gift to a DIY Mom or just creating something beautiful and meaningful as a gift for yourself to enjoy, why not start where most projects begin – with the toolbox. Only this time use the toolbox as your vessel for a breathtaking display of garden blooms. This arrangement speaks to your heart and your soul!

If you want to think outside of the house, try planting a beautiful lilac plant to add not only beauty, but a lovely aroma to your garden. Monrovia’s Miss Kim Korean Lilac is a perfect tool for your toolbox of creativity.

Do you know a DIY Mom? If you do, make sure you tell her story and she could win a Beaches Vacation!

Spotted: Resourceful Mommy

I think every mom has an element of DIY in her. Some just have more of it than others! One of the most dominant traits of a true DIY Mom is resourcefulness. She knows where to get it, how to get it, and what to do with it. Today, I found the perfect blog for all DIY Moms.

Amy from Resourceful Mommy, You’ve Been Spotted! Resourceful Mommy is a blog for the mom that does everything from planning the family trip to organizing her children’s bedrooms. Check out Resourceful Mommy and you’re sure to find unique and resourceful ways to sort out every day life.

A DIY Mom always has the “props” needed for any project whether it’s making a costume, wrapping a gift, or setting a great table. Surprise your mom this Mother’s Day with the perfect DIY spring-time brunch to say “thank you” for teaching by example. Being a DIY Mom myself, I always save the ribbons from my gifts and pick up remnants whenever I see them in a sale bin – you never know! The striped, grosgrain ribbons that you see here are what inspired this particular tablescape.

Hyacinth is just starting its season and the colors work perfectly. Pieces of ribbon can turn an everyday cylinder vase or drinking glass into a custom made coordinating vessel. Use belt buckles to make the napkin rings and the trim for the flat of wheatgrass. The wheatgrass is so fresh looking and fun. It can even be used to make wheat grass shots after the brunch!

Your mom will be so impressed and proud of the creative, resourceful person you have become. And I’m sure that she’ll be re-using all of the decorative elements in new and interesting ways before long!

Tell 1-800-FLOWERS.COM about your DIY Mom! Visit www.spotlightamom.com and tell Mom’s story & she could win a Beaches Vacation (pretty cool).

A Hermes Scarf Vignette

As if a Hermes scarf wasn’t enough of a dream gift for a Red Carpet Mom, why not take that extra step and create a vignette to complement the scarf? My vignette was inspired by the Au Coeur des Bois design by the French artist and painter Zoë Pauwels featured on my Hermes scarf. It was fun pulling the elements together such as the bird, nest, flowers, and branches. It’s also a great way to work some of those extra special accessories into our home décor for an unexpected and personal touch.

Don’t forget to check out my blog on Monday for the first highlighted DIY Mom! What kind of Mom are you?

Spotted: Momtrends and Vintage Accessories

Nicole from Momtrends: You’ve Been Spotted! Momtrends is perfect for any Red Carpet Mom. Momtrends is a great blog dedicated to helping all moms find what’s trendy and cool. Today’s vintage idea is in honor of Momtrends.

Flowers and Vintage Handbags

A great way to add a touch of personal style to your look is by using vintage accessories. They are as unique as every mom and will set you apart. I have a great collection of handbags that I love to use when I need that little something to complete my look. I have also found that vintage handbags make great vessels for flowers, as you can see here. Wouldn’t they make the best centerpieces for a celebration in honor of your Red Carpet Mom?! Although a vintage bag is a great gift on its own, this will make it even better. Use the personality of the bag to inspire your floral creation and it will be a gift within a gift!







To learn more about how you can spot a Red Carpet Mom visit: www.spotamom.com

Spotted: The Perfect Shoe

This week I will be focusing on the Red Carpet Mom. To quote a song by Tom Jones, “She’s got style, She’s got grace, She’s a winner”. The Red Carpet Mom not only knows how to work it, but she knows the importance of having “it”. And the “it” I am talking about is what’s inside – she knows her own worth and her own style. The Red Carpet Mom always has that perfect accessory whether it’s a dress, a vintage bag, or a pair of red high heels.

This brings me to a great blog, A Mom in Red High Heels. Tammy: You’ve Been Spotted! A Mom in Red High Heels is a blog by and for any fabulous and stylish mom. It has great posts and terrific links – check it out! Tammy’s blog inspired my floral tribute to the Red Carpet Mom!!

High Heel Roses
High Heel Roses

I had this idea for a while, but never got around to actually trying it. As soon as I visited A Mom in Red High Heels I knew now was the time! I picked up a pair of high heels (you can use any color) on sale for $10 and covered the shoe with red rose petals, wrapped the heel with Galax leaves, lined the inside with lamb’s ear, and finished it off with a vine inspired ribbon. I absolutely love the finished look and can’t wait to give it to my favorite Red Carpet Mom!

Don’t forget to check out the Spot A Mom website!

Spot a Mom!

Mother’s Day is fast approaching and 1-800 FLOWERS.COM has asked me to put on my creative cap and come up with some unique ideas for their Spot A Mom Movement. While being a mom puts us in a sisterhood of millions, we are all still unique and one in a million to our children and grandchildren. The 1-800-FLOWERS.COM Spot a Mom Movement focuses on celebrating all of the moms in your life.

I think flowers are the perfect gift for anyone at anytime, but somehow flowers seem to be extra special on Mother’s Day. From now until Mother’s Day, I will take a look at various types of moms and share with you ideas on ways to take a personal gift such as a vintage evening bag, a travel coffee mug, or a galvanized tool box, that you know your Mom needs or covets, and turn it up a notch by pairing it with some of the best seasonal floral and fauna.

So, join me and others in the Spot A Mom Movement! Have you spotted a mom today?

Spot A Mom
To learn all about this fun movement visit:
http://www.spotamom.com

Tune in Tomorrow! Spotted: Red Carpet Mom


A Chic Bridal Shower

Bridal showers have come a long way since when I got married! Brides are older and wiser now. A chic bridal shower idea for the urban sophisticated bride-to-be is to have the bridal shower at a lounge or club. You can customize the cocktail menu by renaming some of your favorite libations in honor of the event, such as, Wedded Bliss, Blushing Bride, Love Potion, and Chastity Belt!

In keeping with the cocktail theme, make all of the floral arrangements in various size cocktail glasses. Here are some ideas for making your own or check out the Happy Hour Collection from 1-800 FLOWERS.COM.

Rose Martini


Calla MiniCocktail Grouping


Cocktails


Having Fun

St. Patrick’s Day Flowers

St. Patrick’s Day is not just about green carnations and beer. Ok, well it is about beer, but another way to celebrate the day is with a floral bouquet that honors the beauty of the fields of Ireland. This was my goal when I created Erin’s Pride (shown below). Gather together an assortment of heather, Queen Anne’s lace, Belles of Ireland and white lisianthus (which is a cut flower that resembles the flower on the Rose of Sharon shrub). Add some fresh herbs, such as rosemary, for that fresh clean outdoor fragrance and arrange in a stoneware crock for a look that brings you back to the Cliffs of Moher.

Erin's Pride

Now about the beer – stick with this fun floral arrangement that I can guarantee will keep you hangover free on March 18th! Acrylic “ice” creates the fizzy look. If you can’t find the “ice” in yellow, you can use clear and just add yellow food coloring to the water. Top it off with shredded Styrofoam and white carnations. If you are looking for an easy solution, you can order a Beer Mug of Blooms from 1-800-FLOWERS.COM. Send one to all of your favorite Irish men. And don’t forget – everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!

Beer Mug of Blooms from 1-800-FLOWERS.COM

Add a Burst of Color to a Grey Winter’s Day

One thing you can say about New York in the middle of January is that it’s so grey outside! Everything from the air to the ground and also the buildings look grey. I love the various changes from season to season. The one thing I like about the dead of winter is that it makes us really appreciate the other three seasons!

The explosion of color during spring isn’t too far away, but why wait! Color your world now with a simple assortment of colored glass bud vases. Displayed on a windowsill with a single bloom or branch in each one will add just the right touch to your home or office.
burst of color

DIY Vase – Bring on the Bling!

Here’s a pretty project for a cold winter’s day. Add a little sparkle to someone’s day and create a dazzling arrangement using a glass, some beads, and fresh flowers. Take this initial idea and make it your own. These vases can be customized to any size, shape, and color. These vases make fantastic centerpieces for weddings, showers, and other celebratory occasions. Or just make one for your own pleasure and enjoyment.

Jeweled Vase

Measure and cut elastic thread to a length that will encircle glass, plus several inches to tie off. Thread first group of beads on elastic thread, test for fit and tie off. Now you can pre-cut a number of pieces of thread and continue threading until vase is completely covered.

Jeweled Vase

Fill vase two-thirds full with water and floral preservative. Cut stems of flowers (here I used lisianthus) to correct length so that the flowers sit just at the top of the rim of the glass. Continue until the vase is full.

Jeweled Vase

Flowers Make the Perfect Gift!

I know from experience that flowers are a great gift to give to anyone. Flowers are usually unexpected and unfortunately not something that we usually buy for ourselves. Flowers also make people feel good.

The next time you run into an occasion where you need to give a gift, why not make it a real surprise and give a present that is made out of flowers. It’s simple, fun and will bring a smile to anyone’s face.

Fresh Flower Present

Step-by-Step Directions:

Fresh Flower Present

Glue a piece of floral foam to a plastic tray or liner and thoroughly soak the foam.

Fresh Flower Present

Stems of button poms have multiple blossoms on them. Cut the individual flowers from the main stem leaving about 2” of the stem on each bloom. Insert the button poms directly into the foam so that the flower is just touching the floral foam. Continue until you have covered the entire piece of foam creating the “present”.

Fresh Flower Present

Tape a piece of ribbon to the bottom of the plastic tray/liner. Make a bow with the same ribbon and attach to the center of the present using a pearl head straight pin.

Urban Baby Shower

I was recently asked to do the flowers for a baby shower that was to be held at The Core Club in midtown Manhattan. The Core Club is a private club with an urban art gallery atmosphere. After taking a look at the space, I came to the conclusion that the traditional baby décor in pink and blue just wouldn’t work! I wanted to create décor that was artsy, fun and would speak to the occasion, as well as, work in the space. Also, at this point the sex of the baby was unknown, so I had to keep the décor as generic as possible.

At the beginning of the event, the guests mingled on the outside terrace. I chose to use stems of orchids in large glass cylinders for the bar and a mix of greens and Burgundies in glass cubes for the tables.

For the lunch, served in the main dining room, I created “peas in a pod” arrangements! I made the pod out of papier-mâché and the peas were spheres of prado carnations. Accent lighting was provided by glass votives surrounded by fresh snow peas.

Dessert and the opening of gifts took place in the library. The art displayed on the walls of the library were in neutral tones and had a graphic feel. For the flowers in the library, I used red roses and white orchids in glass cylinders decorated with images from a parent’s guidebook that I had found online. The advice was quite funny and everyone really got a kick out of reading all of the “vases”.



I am pleased to say that the floral décor was a huge hit and that little sweet pea, Abigail Moore Lenehan, was born a few weeks later and is healthy, happy, and beautiful (and my first great niece!). Her Mom and Dad are following all of the do’s and don’ts from their new guidebook and are doing a wonderful job!!

Toast in the New Year with Easy Decor

New Year’s Eve is a time to enjoy cocktails and champagne toasts. Using cocktail glasses and barware as vessels for your floral décor is a great way to add a festive celebratory feeling to any size gathering. Here are a few ideas that I hope will inspire you to add some flair to your upcoming gathering. Just have fun with it and most importantly enjoy the time that you spend with your family and friends this New Year’s and remember to count your blessings!

Light up a bookshelf with a battery operated votive candle placed in a martini glass. When placing candles on a shelf you need to be careful that the shelves are not close to each other. Using a battery operated votive candle solves that problem and adds a nice unexpected glow.

Martinis on Bookshelf

A few lush red roses, sprigs of fresh cedar and baby’s breath will add a touch of elegance to any martini glass. Use them individually or grouped together for maximum impact. You could also give each guest this martini glass as a little party favor!

Rose Martini

To create the looks in the following images you will need floral gel, such as Crystal Accents, gemstones, shredded floral foam, fresh flowers, and various size martini glasses.

Calla MiniCocktail Grouping


Cocktails
Cocktails

This martini gets its glow from a submersible light; available at craft and floral supply stores.

Martini Light

It’s still the holiday season, so why not add a small tabletop tree to the bar area. Using a silver ice bucket as the tree stand keeps it in the “cocktail party” theme!

Ice Bucket Tree

If you are short on time and want easy New Year’s Eve décor check out the Happy Hour Collection at 1-800-FLOWERS.COM.

Williamsburg Centerpiece

The people of Colonial Williamsburg began decorating with fresh greenery and fruit in the 1930s. At that time the pineapple was already a well-established design element in architecture, ceramics, and art. It only stands to reason that beautiful fresh pineapples would become the centerpiece for the creative decorations for which Colonial Williamsburg is known today. The pineapple has become a universal symbol of welcome and hospitality.

For a brief history of how the pineapple has served as both a food and a symbol throughout the human history of the Americas, go to www.levins.com.

Williamsburg Centerpiece

To create your own version of the welcoming Williamsburg centerpiece featured here, follow these simple instructions.

  • Tape a piece of wet floral foam to a low shallow dish.
  • Insert a 4” floral or craft stick about 2” into the bottom of the pineapple and insert into the top of the foam.
  • Insert fresh cut greens, such as magnolia or balsam, into the bottom of the foam to form the base of the arrangement.
  • Using the 4” sticks insert a row of apples on top of the greenery base.
  • The next row that will be between the pineapple and the apples will be made with lush red roses. Give each rose a fresh cut on an angle (stem length should be about 5”) and insert into the foam.
  • You can add sprigs of filler flower, such as the blupernum that I used here, or add another variety of evergreen for additional texture.

Tabletop Trees with Personality

Three trees, three different materials, three different stories. What’s your story?

Tie A Yellow Ribbon
A small way to keep the troops in our hearts and minds throughout the holiday season is to decorate a tree with yellow ribbons and top it off with an American Flag. This one is a faux. It’s what I like to call a “Charlie Brown” tree.

Tie Yellow Ribbon Tree

Roses and Elegance
Add to a holiday cocktail party by placing a fresh cut tree into a silver ice bucket and dressing it with lush velvety red roses and delicate baby’s breath. The fragrant combination of roses and fresh evergreens is truly intoxicating!

And the best part is that the tree only costs $15 at Lowe’s. You can even create the same effect and keep the cost down by decorating the tree with just sprigs of baby’s breath. It will look like fresh fallen snow.

Tree with Roses

On The First Day of Christmas
A partridge in a pear tree is a classic symbol from a traditional holiday song. Create this tree by using a base of floral foam and fresh boxwood. By adding fresh white flowers, faux mini pears and a decorative bird in a nest made from Spanish moss, you will have completed the look.

Pear Tree

“A Christmas Story” Inspired Vignette

If I had to choose my favorite holiday movie it would probably be “A Christmas Story”. But I do have to say, the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life” certainly runs a close second on my list. Just thinking about the movie “A Christmas Story” puts a smile on my face. I thought it would be cool to create a vignette to honor that emotional tie to a certain time and place. This is easy to do with any movie or book that you love.

One of the first things that I found for my vignette was “Ralphie’s” hat! The miniature sleigh was the base for a gift basket I received last year. I filled a split wood basket with strands of mini white lights and added fresh evergreen sprigs to the rim and pinecones on top. This makes a wonderful night-light. A few ilex branches in an old milk bottle, popcorn to string, and a framed photo of the infamous tongue on the flagpole scene and you’re there!

A Christmas Story

Floral Snowman

Who doesn’t love a snowman? There’s something so innocent about them. This year create a snowman of your own to enjoy throughout this festive season or to give as a gift to someone you love. The best part of creating your own snowman is that you can give them a unique personality or customize it for the recipient! The size is up to you too. Watch my step-by-step video on how to create a floral snowman similar to what you see here. This is a project that is perfect for all ages and something you can have a lot of fun making!

I gave the snowman challenge to my stylist friend Laraine. I’d like to introduce you to her snow friends, Snow Queen, Officer Joe and Surfa Girl! Laraine was inspired by the doll and pet clothes departments she saw in the store. She also added her own creative embellishments. We both had a good time and a lot of laughs when Laraine was putting them together. You could really see their personalities forming. Go ahead have some fun of your own!

Snowman

Have a “Shiny Brite” Holiday

I have always had a real affection for the old Shiny Brite ornaments that were part of the Christmas tree décor of almost every American home throughout the 1940’s and 50’s. These colorful and charming ornaments were first introduced in the United States right before World War II when Max Eckhardt, a German manufacturer of glass ornaments, sensed the storm clouds of war gathering over Europe and made a deal with Corning Glass to mass produce the ornaments at an affordable price.

The best parts of the holiday season are the nostalgic memories from childhood. Incorporating those memories into what you do today creates new traditions that tie to the past. Here I created a tabletop tree using another nod to the past and American craftsmanship, a Fenton hobnail milk glass planter, as the base. The tree was made using a floral foam base and fresh boxwood accented with a few sprigs of balsam and baby’s breath. The garland is new, but done in the traditional “shiny brite” colors. I put this tree on my kitchen table and it perfectly complements the large tree in the adjoining family room that is filled with all of the ornaments that I have collected over the years.

Shiny Brite

Think outside of the box and come up with other ways to be creative when decorating for the holidays. You can create new looks using the décor elements from the past. Here is a way to use your Shiny Brite ornaments to create a welcoming wreath for your front door.

Inexpensive Tabletop Ideas

I’ll be sharing lots of ideas and inspiration with you from now until Christmas on how to decorate your tabletops for everything from lunch with the girls to family holiday dinners. I look at the surface of the table as a blank canvas providing limitless opportunities for my creative expression.

Let’s start with…

Mad for Plaid

Plaid is a hot trend right now. One easy way to bring a fashion statement to your table is with a piece of plaid fabric either used alone or layered over a solid tablecloth that you use all year.

Shopping in a fabric store as opposed to buying pre-made tablecloths will give you more options and can be less expensive. I always find great choices at The Fabric Mill in Plainview, Long Island including the autumn plaid I used in this project. I finished the edges of the fabric with iron on seam binding which couldn’t be easier to do.

The plaid fabric was my initial inspiration for the look of this tabletop. I imagined this table being for a small dinner party. I kept the design very simple and easy to do yet the end result is very polished with a “designer” look.

If you missed my television segment on Better TV, check back tomorrow for more how-to’s on how to complete this look!

Tabletop

Use Your Collections

I tend to have “collections” of things. When I like something I usually pick up various pieces as I go along and tend to display them together. I love to pull the seasons into my collections. Most of the time I have my yellow pottery collection on a kitchen shelf, but on occasion I will pull a few pieces down and fill them with bunches of flowers from my garden, a local farmer’s market or neighborhood florist. The smaller arrangements make a lovely vignette on a foyer table or in the middle of a luncheon buffet table. I use every pottery piece that I have and use them in different ways all of the time. It’s fun to see new life in old cherished containers.

I will be showcasing different collections over the next week. Each one has a different vibe and a different story to tell.

USA POTTERY COLLECTION

I’ve been collecting USA pottery for quite awhile now. You can find pieces in so many different places from garage sales and flea markets to antique stores and online auctions. Prices vary dramatically from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars. There are many factors that go into determining value, but I have never collected for the value. I love the colors, shapes and history of pottery. The fact that they were all made in the USA is also very important to me. Some of the more well know brands are McCoy, Hull, Hall and Roseville, and Haeger. I also like the early connection to the floral industry. Haeger in particular produced many vases and planters that were staples in flower shops across the United States. I have been using the vases of Barbara Eigen in my collection for a few years. Barbara is a ceramist with a studio in Jersey City. Her collection is today’s version of the USA pottery of years ago. I will be visiting her studio soon and will share with you a behind the scenes look at an artist at work. I currently have a product in my collection called Country Harvest that features a ceramic pitcher which is a reproduction of an original Hall pitcher that I found in an antique store last year.

Yellow Pottery

Here’s an example of the simple beauty of seasonal flowers (asclepia, coreopsis, dahlias, and calendula) in yellow pottery. The other collections I’ll be featuring are amber glass and copper. What collections do you have that can be used in new ways and add a new look to your autumn decorating?

Thanksgiving Leaf Placemats

This is the last Thanksgiving video to complete the tabletop look. Watch the video to learn how to make simple leaf placemats. They are easy, inexpensive and fun to do with the family.

They go great with the Colored Bottle Place Card Holders and the Sunflower and Fruit Candle Holders shown in my last blog posts.

Let me know what you think… and of course, have fun with it!

Thanksgiving Colored Place Card Holders

Take a look at this video for tips on how to make Colored Bottle Place Card Holders. They add a great touch to any Thanksgiving table setting. These place card holders go great with the Sunflower and Fruit Candle Holders shown in my last post.

Give this idea a try. Remember, just have fun with it!

Thanksgiving Sunflower and Fruit Candle Holders

Thanksgiving will be here before we know it! I’ll be posting videos with ideas for setting a creative Thanksgiving table. Look out for them during the upcoming weeks. I hope they inspire you to add a few unique touches this year and even create some new traditions of your own.

I made these videos a year ago and the ideas always seem to be a hit! I had such a good time making the videos with my nieces and one of my daughters.

When making the sunflower and fruit candle holders I used an arrangement similar to the 1-800-FLOWERS Autumn Celebration Centerpiece as an inspiration.

So go ahead and give some of the ideas a try and remember to just have fun with it!

Ink Bottle Decoration

Ink Bottle Centerpiece

Who knew?! I can’t take credit for this unique design. Believe it or not, I found this put together at a garage sale at an old house. This garage sale was like a scavenger hunt! There were piles of the most interesting stuff (well maybe not interesting to everyone). At garage sales, you need to use your imagination when digging through old cast-offs, but just sitting there was this little old drawer filled with little ink bottles. I immediately thought to myself how it would make the perfect little centerpiece. This is recycling at its best!

Look out for more new ideas on Wednesday!

Keeping it in the Tin Can Family

Canisters with herbs

I had been using this set of vintage kitchen canisters for a while. Then I saw another set of the same canisters at one of my favorite haunts, Barntique Village in Moriches, New York. I couldn’t resist buying them; they were only $5.00!

Once I brought the canisters home, I quickly found the perfect place for them. In the canisters I planted a variety of fresh herbs and kept them on a potting bench out on my back deck. It was so nice to have the different herbs right in my backyard. I was able to add some interesting new flavors to my old recipes. Not to mention they looked great out there too!

If It Can Hold Water, It Can Hold Flowers!

I think the most interesting floral arrangements are the ones that are in a unique or unexpected container. You’ve seen the seasonal veggie and flower arrangements that I’ve posted recently and how great they look. So why not use old tin cans, bottles and more. Look around in your kitchen, garage, or attic – I truly believe that if it can hold water, it can hold flowers!

Even if the object can’t hold water, you can always put a glass or plastic cup inside of it to fill with water. Below is one idea to get your started.

Be creative and just have fun with it!!

Tin Can

This is a container that I received as a gift from the luxury chocolatier, MarieBelle® New York. The container was filled with a delicious mix of Aztec Iced Chocolate. I loved the vintage look of the tin and the family graphic on the front. I knew that it wouldn’t be long before it was on my kitchen counter filled with something from my garden. In the arrangement, I used beautiful blue hybrid delphinium to complement the blue of the container.

I’ll be posting a few more ideas so check back in a couple of days!

Cupcakes at the Brooklyn Flea

I visited my friends from Cupcakes Take the Cake this past weekend at the Brooklyn Flea. I don’t know how it’s possible that I wasn’t aware of this flea market before.

Brooklyn Flea Market
Brooklyn Flea

I read on Cupcakes Take the Cake last week that they were going to have a bake sale to benefit Cancer Care for Kids at the Brooklyn Flea, which is in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. The bake sale sounded like it would be fun and the Brooklyn Flea intrigued me, so I made a mental note. When I got home that night my latest edition of Country Living was in my mailbox. I opened it up and there was a story on the Brooklyn Flea! After seeing it mentioned in two places I knew I had to go.

My visit to the Brooklyn Flea last Sunday was a great autumn day spent with my daughter, sister-in-law and niece. I visited Nichelle and Rachel from Cupcakes Take the Cake at the cupcake booth and made a contribution (in exchange for some decadent cupcakes), bought a few things, and had a great lunch at a local restaurant.

Rachel & Nichelle
Rachell & Nichelle

It was also a thrill to see the changes that have taken place in Fort Greene over the years. The flea market is in the school yard of Bishop Loughlin High School, which used to be the designated catholic “diocesan” high school for boys that my brother Jim attended. The neighborhood was quite rough back then, but it seems to have faired as well as many of the school’s graduates such as my bro and Rudy Guiliani!

Bishop Loughlin
Bishop Loughlin

Say It With Pumpkins

I really like to use seasonal elements when decorating for events and parties. When planning the décor for an event, you need to keep in mind the purpose of the gathering. You always want to make sure the décor “speaks” to the occasion.

I recently created the decorations for an engagement party. The house had a beautiful front entrance, which gave me the opportunity to set-up an autumn vignette. The vignette set the tone for the evening and greeted the guests as they arrived.



To personalize the scene I created a “Congratulations” message to Erin and Joe, the engaged couple, with Jack O’Lanterns. I carved one letter into each pumpkin and lit all of the candles just before the guests arrived. Everyone loved it and the festive mood was set before anyone even walked through the front door!

Make a Super-Sized Cupcake!

Just as I promised, I am unveiling my tips for making a super-sized cupcake.

Making a super-sized cupcake is very easy! Obviously it will take quite a few chrysanthemums (‘Football’ mums), but it is a statement piece that will last for at least a week or maybe even two! The super-sized cupcake shown below was made in a 15” x 8” container and used about 50 mums. The same technique would be used regardless of the size of the container.



How To:

  • I started with a 15” diameter galvanized tub (you can purchase a tub like this one at any local craft store). Spray paint your container with Rust-oleum Painter’s Touch Satin in Seaside Green.


  • To ensure that there would not be any leaks due to unsealed seams in the tub, I first lined the bottom with Styrofoam. The Styrofoam also ensured the cupcake wouldn’t be too heavy.
  • I then placed floral foam in a clear plastic liner and placed that on top of the Styrofoam.
  • Starting with the bottom layer of the cupcake, insert the mums into the foam so that the flower sits at the rim of the container. Place each mum so that it just touches the one next to it.


  • Repeat this step, making the next row of mums a little shorter then the first.
  • Continue until the “super-sized cupcake” is created.

I made the “sprinkles” out of wooden dowels that I painted cut to size. I attached them to the mums using Tack 2000 – a spray adhesive that is safe for florals.

Use this as an inspiration to create your own cupcake decorations. They’re great for any occasion!

Flower and Veggie Gathering Basket

You don’t have to choose just one! Make a stunning statement by filling up a traditional English gathering basket with an array of seasonal veggies on one side, and an exquisite profusion of autumn blooms on the other.

Flowers & Veggies in Basket

Simply place floral foam in a plastic dish or liner on one side to create your floral arrangement. On the other side, layer bunches of vibrant vegetables. You can actually keep the display in your kitchen and take from the basket, as you need.

Another great idea is to use one side of the basket for crudités and dip. Just have fun with it!!

Artichoke Vase

Artichoke vase

The artichoke is really a natural vase. Again, using what’s in season, I decided to go with dahlias and lavender. Using fresh lavender sprigs as accents make it smell delicious too. Here are some simple steps to follow to create your own artichoke arrangement:

  • Cut the bottom stem so that the artichoke sits flat.
  • Separate the top most petals and remove the heart (obviously the artichoke hearts are edible so that should not just be thrown away).
  • You can place either a shot glass or glass votive holder into the cavity you just created.
  • Either fill with water or a piece of wet floral foam cut to size.
  • You can now create your arrangement!

Make Your Own Asparagus Vase!

The asparagus vase is always a hit! Everybody loves it and it’s so easy to make. Simply take the rubber band from around a bunch of asparagus and put it around a clear beverage glass. Take a stalk of asparagus and place it between the rubber band and the glass. Continue until the glass is totally covered – this usually takes about one bunch of asparagus. Cover the rubber band with a ribbon, raffia, bandana, napkin or whatever you may have around the house.

Asparagus Vase

Fill the glass half way with water and arrange with flowers of your choice. In this image I used Black-Eyed Susan’s right out of my garden.

Can you guess which veggie I’ll use next?

Autumn’s Bounty – Fall Decor

I love the fall – as a stand-alone season! I hate the fact that it means the summer is over and that winter comes next, but fall is a nature’s bounty of beauty. A farmer’s market, green market, or fruit and veggie stand offers as many fresh decorating elements as a flower shop! The best way to celebrate all that nature has to offer is to incorporate all aspects into your home decorating, party décor and gift giving.

I have many ideas to share and will start with using fruits and vegetables as containers for flower arrangements. One of my favorites is the butternut squash. The shape and texture of the squash makes it hard to tell at first that it’s real and not a ceramic container.

Butternut Squash


How to:

  • Choose a squash that stands up nice and straight in a size that works for you.
  • Cut off the top of the squash.
  • Scrape out as much of the squash as you can, being careful not to get too close to the outer skin. This is a little hard to do, so just be patient.
  • You can either fill the hole with water and arrange the flowers or use a small piece of floral foam cut to fit the opening. Foam works best with flowers that have firm stems, such as roses, carnations, and poms.

I will feature a new idea every couple of days, so check back and be inspired!

How To Choose Fresh Flowers

Look for flowers that are not yet fully developed. Most cut flowers, with the exception of some tropical flowers and fresh orchids, will continue to open after they’ve been put into the vase. A flower bud should be just slightly open–this is a general rule of thumb. There are some new rose varieties that have that full-blown look right from the beginning and stay like that for over a week, but these are an exception. If you’re not sure if a rose is fresh, lightly squeeze the rose with your finger tips and see if there is some substance there. If it feels full, and not to soft, it should last for over a week.

Blooms

Blooms should be firm and blemish free (unlike the “bruised pedals” below!)
Bruised Pedals

Foliage should be crisp and green, not yellowing or becoming mushy (shown below)
Yellow Foliage

Check the bottom of the stem. If the bottom of the stem is discolored, it usually is an indication that the flower is old or has been out of water for too long.

Flower Care

I believe that having flowers in your life on a regular basis, no matter how simple, makes your life a little nicer and a little more special. I will be sharing many ideas and tips on creative ways to bring flowers into all aspects of your life. Hopefully you’ll also be the recipient of many gifts of flowers. With that said, I thought it would be helpful to give you a few tips on the care and handling of fresh cut flowers. The more of these tips you follow, the longer your flowers will last. We’ll start with the basics and I will add helpful tips and information on seasonal flowers, tools of the trade, and design techniques as we go along, so remember to check back and see what’s new.

Hosting an Emmy Viewing Party

Watching the Emmy’s can be fun but watching it with your friends is even better. Not only do you get to dish immediately but you can feel so much more a part of all the excitement. Decide how much planning and preparing you feel like doing and take it from there. You can go all out or keep it simple, hire professionals to do it all, or assign tasks to your friends and share the fun! Here are a few ideas to get you inspired. Do them all, pick a few or come up with your own ideas – just remember to have fun with it. I’d love to hear your ideas too so if you get a chance send them to me and I will share with everybody!

Emmy Party Buffet Table

INVITATIONS
Set the tone right from the beginning with the invitations. You can design them yourself, send an e-vite, e-mail, text, or just call everyone. Besides letting your guests know the time and date an invitation is a good way to get the party started. Why not suggest that your guests come dressed to honor one of the nominated shows, for example:

THEMES
Grey’s Anatomy – Scrubs
The Office – A Dunder Miflin t-shirt
Ugly Betty – Lots of colors and patterns
Lost – Tattered clothes
Two & a Half Men – a Nate Nast style shirt (the kind Charlie Sheen wears)
Friday Nights Lights – A football or cheerleader uniform
Mad Men – a vintage style dress or pencil skirt, pearls, an up-do, or suit with thin tie and slicked down hair

Or make it a glam nights and tell your guests to be “red-carpet” ready. Put down a red carpet leading to your front door and have a “camera-man” and microphone ready (either a fake one or real one using a karaoke machine – I can’t imagine a home without one!) and interview your guests as they arrive. If you are recording this you can either play back later in the night or you already have an excuse for your next party – the “after show” or recap. You should film throughout the night – asking for predictions, critiquing the stars outfits as well as the ensembles worn by your friends at your Emmy Party, etc.

DECORATIONS
This is an area where you can really be creative and have some fun. I suggest having a buffet table set up so that guests can help themselves. You can have everything set up in advance and this way you can be a part of the party and watch the Emmy’s on TV too. Here are some ideas (along with how to’s) that are inspired by some of this year’s nominated shows:

PUSHING DAISIES

  • A gerbera daisies and wheat grass centerpiece

THE OFFICE

  • Pencil and rubber band vases

LOST

  • Mini palm trees each with one of the numbers on the container

GREY’S ANATOMY

  • Glasses, a pitcher of Bloody Mary mix, and syringes filled with vodka for a “make your own” drink station

UGLY BETTY

  • A bright tray of Columbian foods in a splashes of various colors:

    • Arepas
    • Electric Chimichurri Sauce
    • Empanadas Paisas

Obviously if you are hosting an Emmy viewing party then a TV is a must. Make sure that you have lots of seating available where the TV is and I suggest setting up the buffet table in a separate area. Some other ideas are to put together a play list of TV themes songs on your i-pod and have some TV trivia games planned.

Take a look at the tips I shared with Better TV viewers on how to create the perfect Emmy Party.

Fun Finger Foods

Ugly Betty - Fun Finger Foods

A bright tray of Columbian and Mexican foods in a splashes of various colors:

  • Arepas
  • Electric Chimichurri Sauce
  • Empanadas Paisas
  • Tortilla chips

All of these are fun finger foods. Garnish with fresh cilantro, peppers and sliced limes. You can get all of these recipes from www.recipezaar.com or pick up from a local take out place.

“Grey’s Anatomy” Make Your Own Drink Station

Grey's Anatomy

Glasses, a pitcher of Bloody Mary mix, and syringes filled with vodka for a “make your own” drink station.

“Lost” Viewing Party Mini Palm Trees

Lost - 6 Mini palm trees

These came in plain white plastic pots. I sprayed painted them gold as a nod to the Emmy Statue and painted one of the six significant numbers (4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42) on each. It will be interesting to see how many of your guests know what these numbers mean.

The mini palms work nicely because they can easily be moved around the table as you add and take away various dishes.

Daisies and Wheat Grass Centerpiece

Pushing Daisies - Daisies and wheat grass center piece

What you’ll need:

  • A tray that is a least 1” in height.
  • A tray of fresh or faux (that’s what I used) wheat grass.
  • Oasis – if using faux wheat grass
  • Daisy poms

Step x Step:

  1. I bought a wooden storage box at Michael’s Crafts that was the perfect size for my centerpiece and used just the top. To honor the golden Emmy statue I spray painted it gold. After the party I can use the storage box for another project and just repaint it.
  2. Because the tray is made from wood and not waterproof I lined it with a plastic garbage bag that I cut to size.
  3. Using one brick of floral foam I cut three ½” think pieces and still had left over oasis!
  4. Thoroughly soak the pieces of oasis and line the tray.
  5. I found terrific artificial wheat grass in the flower market on 28th St. in NYC and bought 4 pieces @ $10 each. I love the real wheat grass and it is inexpensive (about $12-15 for a xx by xx tray). I use it for a lot of different projects and thought it would be easier to have the artificial on hand to work with. If you are using the real stuff you don’t need the floral foam – just cut to size and place directly into the tray.
  6. Cut individual flowers from a stem of daisy poms, on an angle, and insert thru the blades of grass and into the foam. If you are using real wheat grass insert the daisy directly into the soil.

“The Office” Pencil Vases

The Office - Pencil and rubber band vases

What you’ll need:

  • A tall cylindrical beverage glass
  • 25-20 pencils for each glass
  • 5 rubber bands
  • flowers

Step x Step:

  1. Put at least 1 rubber band around the middle of the glass.
  2. Insert the unsharpened pencils between the rubber band and the glass until you have gone all the way around the glass.
  3. Fill the glass about half way with warm water and flower food.
  4. Give each stem of flowers a fresh cut on an angle and place in glass.