How-To's, Julie's Blog

Mug o’Blooms for St. Patrick’s Day

March 13, 2017

As almost everyone knows, a huge part of the Irish tradition is the enjoyment of delicious stouts, ales, and lagers! And this tradition will no doubt be a part of just about every St. Patrick’s Day celebration around the world. Here’s a way that you can honor this tradition and still be a designated driver!

Beer Mug Flowers

These floral Beer Mug o’Blooms are very easy to make and are a fun and unexpected way to raise a glass and wish your friends Sláinte!

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Lifestyle

American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour 2017

March 8, 2017

The American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour has announced its 2017 schedule! These dinners are must-attend gatherings that place seasonal, local, and sustainable American Grown Flowers at the center of the table where locallygrown food is served by a farmtotable chef. 

Brooklyn Grange

I was lucky enough to attend an American Grown Field to Vase Dinner at the Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm in 2015, and I still find myself daydreaming about that evening from time to time—especially now, at the end of a long winter, with hints of a spring that is fast approaching.  Seeing the first signs of crocus pushing through the hard ground reminds us that our days will soon be filled with bright blue skies and beautiful flowers in an array of vibrant colors. Continue Reading…

Lifestyle

A Tribute to Bobbi Ecker Blatchford

February 15, 2017

Following on Galentine’s Day and “Ladies Celebrating Ladies,” we have another occasion to acknowledge the important women in our life: March 8th is International Women’s Day, a global day recognizing the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women and marking a call to action for accelerating gender parity. The theme of International Women’s Day for 2017 is #BeBoldForChange.

I have always known the power of strong women. I have had some incredible role models in my family, in my friendships, and in my career in the floral business. I want to honor one of those women in particular: Bobbi Ecker Blatchford. Before Bobbi passed away on February 3, 2017, she had dedicated her life to the floral industry and was a mentor to many.

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Entertainment

How To Throw a Galentine’s Day Party

February 13, 2017

I’ve become a little obsessed with Galentine’s Day, now that I know what it’s all about.

I had no idea! I thought it was “a lonely-hearts club for single ladies” on Valentine’s Day! As it turns out, I have been celebrating Galentine’s Day basically my whole life!!

What is Galentine’s Day? In the words of the holiday’s creator, Parks and Recreations’ Leslie Knope, “Oh it’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus, frittatas.”

If you haven’t started celebrating Galentine’s Day yet, I would say 2017 would be the year to start! As a matter of fact, I think we should declare February Galentine’s Month. And make it a monthly celebration the rest of the year!  Any day of the month that you want, just do it and keep doing it. Celebrate each other, learn from each other, support each other, and in honor of Leslie Knope, let’s start by laughing with each other!

Now Let’s Get This Party Started!

 “Ladies Celebrating Ladies”

For inspiration, look no further then reruns of Parks and Recreation or a quick Google search of Leslie Knope quotes. Pick a quote to be your main theme or use them all and incorporate them into your decorations and games.

Galentine's Day Sunflower Quote

Of course, this one spoke to me immediately! Just one more reason to fill my house with sunflowers! I think that the sunflower should be the official flower of Galentine’s Day, don’t you?!  Continue Reading…

Entertainment

Galentine’s Day: Ladies Celebrating Ladies

February 12, 2017

You can make your “Ladies Celebrating Ladies” gatherings even more meaningful by adding an element of giving back. There are so many ways to do this, in big ways or small. It’s all up to you. If you are gathering with a group of friends monthly, set a dollar amount that each person will contribute per month and vote on an organization to donate to at the end of a year. In honor of the creator of Galentine’s Day, you could contribute to or get involved with Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls or another organization that is committed to supporting girls’ and women’s causes.

Or you and your friends could organize a larger special event. Each planning meeting is another excuse to get together with the girls! I recently helped organize a Paint & Wine event that raised money for Smile Farms, an organization that is near and dear to my family and me.

A larger scale event requires more work and attention to detail, but it is worth it. Here are some tips and ideas from this event if you are thinking of giving something like this a try.

Before hiring professional instructors, see if there are people within your circle who have the necessary skills and would be willing to volunteer their time or offer a deep discount off their regular fee. Continue Reading…

Entertainment

Galentine’s Day Fun With Friends

February 10, 2017

I’m a doer, a creator, a lover of learning!  So, I think having an activity planned for your Galentine’s party is a must.  You can have someone come and teach a class or you can set up an online class.  You can also take it as serious as you want or just have fun with it.

One of my passions is hand lettering, so I planned chalk lettering activities, as well as a bounce lettering online tutorial.

Chalk Lettering

I incorporated chalk lettering into my party décor, which provided lots of inspiration for my guests!  And, once again, I turned to Leslie Knope’s own words for inspiration!!  I used an oversized glass canister with chalkboard label to display this fresh and fabulous arrangement of sunflowers, free spirit roses, asters, and tulips.

Flower Arrangement with Chalkboard Lettering Label Hoes over Bros Continue Reading…

Entertainment

The Perfect Galentine Cocktail

February 2, 2017

Setting up a Mimosa and/or Bloody Mary bar is a no-brainer, especially when serving breakfast food. That said, you have to try this waffle jello shot recipe that I found on the Jelly Shot Test Kitchen blog!

They have the classic recipe and a nice blueberry version on their site. I made the classic, and it was quite good.

The Wilton 12 Cavity Round Ice Cream Sandwich pan is the magic behind the waffle shape and look of the shots. I ordered mine from Bed Bath & Beyond.

The Recipe (with my shortcuts/substitutions)

Yield: 12 jelly shots

  • 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice, strained to remove solids (I used store bought, no pulp)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup Grade B maple juice (I used Harry & David Maple Syrup)
  • 2 envelopes plain Know gelatin
  • 1 cup cake flavored vodka or vanilla vodka with 2 tsp amaretto (I used plain vodka, because that’s what I had in the house!)

Galentine's Day Jello Shots

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Entertainment

Food for a Galentine’s Party

January 31, 2017

What’s on my menu for Galentine’s Day? Waffles, of course! But just because breakfast food is the official food of Galentine’s Day, that doesn’t mean you must have a brunch. Why not take your waffles in a different direction?

It’s so easy to make these fun chicken and waffle appetizers. Start with frozen mini waffles and fresh chicken tenders. You can make your own chicken tenders, but I bought these from my favorite neighborhood deli. I chose both regular tenders and buffalo style.

Heat the waffles according to package directions. Cut the pre-made tenders into smaller pieces that will fit onto the mini waffles and heat as well. Place one piece of chicken on each waffle, and drizzle with maple syrup.

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How-To's

How to Preserve Flowers with Wax

January 26, 2017

FRESH TALK® – Your Floral & Gift Newsletter

Create Your Own Wax Flowers

You can make your beautiful fresh-cut roses last longer than you ever imagined by dipping the open blooms in melted wax! The best time to dip your roses is at the very end of their shelf life–after you have enjoyed their beauty for over a week–when the rose is in full bloom.

Wax rose

I have waxed roses many times over the years using paraffin wax. Now that soy wax is readily available, I decided to give that I try… and I’m glad I did! Soy wax is a completely natural and renewable resource, has a lower melting point, and cleans up easily (with just soap and water). And soy wax is so versatile that you can melt it in the microwave! Continue Reading…

How-To's

Roses Being Arranged in a Vase

January 16, 2017

Because roses are the number one Valentine’s Day gift, I wanted to share a few tips that I have learned over the years to help you to get the maximum vase life from your fresh cut roses.

My Favorite Rose Secrets

  • Hydration is what’s it’s all about so be sure to get you roses in water as soon as possible.
  • Fill a clean vase ¾ of the way with warm water.
  • Add a packet of flower food according to package directions. Flower food contains a biocide to kill bacteria, an acidifier to help stems drink water, and a sugar to nourish the blooms. If you don’t have any commercially prepared flower food you can make your own recipe at home by adding three teaspoons of lemon-lime soda (non-diet) and one teaspoon of bleach to one quart of water. The soda provides the food source (sugar) and the acidifier and the bleach will help prevent bacteria growth.
  • Another way to prevent bacteria growth in the water is to remove all foliage from you flower stems that would fall below the water line, before placing your flowers in the vase.
  • Right before placing your flowers in the prepared vase give the bottom of each stem a fresh cut – on an angle. Cutting the stem on an angle prevents the stem from sitting flush on the bottom of the vase thus allowing maximum water intake.
  • Check the water level in your vase on a daily basis and add fresh water as needed.
  • After 3-4 days repeat these steps for optimum vase life!

Red roses arranged in a vase.

Learn how to arrange roses with step-by-step instructions in my latest blog post here.