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.

Lifestyle

My “Hygge” Winter Centerpiece

January 11, 2017

In the last week of 2016, I learned about “hygge” for the first time in a feature article in an obscure British magazine called Breathe, which I picked up to help me transition into a new year in a centered and peaceful manner. The next day, there were at least three posts in my social media feeds about hygge. Ah, I’ve hit on a new trend, I thought! This is it: hygge will be the word of the winter of 2017. Let me be the first on my block to write a post about it! Then today I read that our cozy hygge days are over—only to be replaced in 2017 by the younger, cooler Scandinavian relative, lagom!

Definition of Hygge

Whether it’s hygge or lagom, for some reason I am being drawn to things Scandinavian these days. (I just read the book A Man Called Ove over New Year’s weekend and thought it was the sweetest story.) And I am fine with that, because despite their long, dark winters, Danes are known as the happiest people on earth, so they must be doing something right! Continue Reading…

How-To's

Happy Birthday Snow People

December 28, 2016

Who better to deliver birthday wishes on a chilly winter day than a happy little snowman? Think about it: Have you ever seen a snowman who didn’t have a smile on his face? Snowmen are a celebration of winter, unexpected snow days, and family fun. The best part about the snowmen (or “snow ladies”) in this post is that they can stay inside, sharing birthday smiles without melting!

DIY Snowman Without Snow

This happy little guy is the finishing touch to a birthday vignette of floral cakes and cupcakes. And you won’t believe what I used to create him! At a recent Design Council held at 1800Flowers.com headquarters, one of our talented florist-franchisees, Mimi Lee from 1-800 Flowers|4GiftSeattle, showed us how to make a snowman using corn starch and hair conditioner! When I started working on this story I did some research and found many snowman recipes that call for corn starch and shaving cream. I did a little experimenting and went with the shaving cream version but both work great! It’s a fabulous fun sensory activity to do with kids too! Continue Reading…

Christmas & Holidays

DIY Santa Hat Holiday Treats & Crafts

December 19, 2016

Learn how to make Santa’s hat out of strawberries and flowers!

Everyone loves Santa and everyone loves Santa’s hat! Put one on and it’s an instant party! Anyone can wear one – young or old, big or little, animal or human! Don’t believe me? Check out our truly original Santa Paws a-DOG-able and see for yourself!
santa-hat-treats
I decided to have a little fun with Santa’s hat and make one entirely out of fresh flowers to complement the mini hats that we made out of fresh strawberries. These are great ideas that are so easy and will make you look like quite the “hostess with the mostess” at your holiday brunch for the girls! Include a little spiked peppermint hot chocolate and let the merriment begin!
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Christmas & Holidays, Holiday Decorations

DIY Tabletop Christmas Tree & Decoration Ideas

December 13, 2016

I love Christmas! And I love decorating Christmas trees. The main tree in my home tends to be pretty traditional, changing only slightly from year to year, with new ornaments added here and there. So what I want to talk about is the beauty and versatility of fresh tabletop Christmas trees. These beautiful arrangements are usually handcrafted by your local florist and make great gifts. As a matter of fact, the Holiday Flower Tree® has been a best seller since it was first introduced by 1-800-Flowers over 15 years ago!!

If you have a little time and want to get creative, these trees are pretty easy to make. The basic instructions are the same for whatever size tree you want. The smaller the tree, the faster and easier it will be to construct, of course. Petite trees are so sweet and can be tucked into so many unexpected spots. Larger trees, on the other hand, allow you to create a completely custom look based on your choice of container, decorations and color scheme.

Tree with Bird Continue Reading…

Holiday Decorations

Thanksgiving Centerpieces and Table Decoration Ideas

November 21, 2016

Pear Table Place Setting

Think of your tabletop as a blank canvas on which you will create your “tablescape” art. You choose your mediums as any artist would—your surface, linens, flowers and candles. The layering of colors and textures, adding personal touches, all play a part in the delight and ambiance that a beautifully designed table brings to a special occasion. Go as big or as simple as you want! This is your masterpiece, and should represent you and tell the story that you want told.

Let’s start with simple! Here are a few easy, creative and inexpensive ideas that I hope will provide some inspiration to get you started on your tablescape art.

Fresh Flower Wreath Centerpiece

Floral Wreath Centerpiece Close-Up

Wreaths are one of my favorite design styles for a more traditional centerpiece. Having the center of the wreath open provides endless opportunities for additional personalization. Here I used a beautiful amber Fenton glass vase as a candleholder. I think the amber glow is the perfect complement to the rich hues of the seasonal flowers in the wreath.

Recipe for Floral Wreath Centerpiece

When creating a fresh floral wreath I like to use flowers that air-dry nicely. Using flowers such as the varieties featured in this photo can extend the “life” of your centerpiece by weeks.

Succulent Wreath Centerpiece

Some varieties of hydrangeas dry better than others. The variety that dries the best and is featured in the wreath pictured above is known as an “antique hydrangea”. It is typically soft moss green with burgundy edging and works beautifully with all of the rich colors of autumn.

Fall Wreath Centerpiece Top-Down View

This wreath is all about the vibrant and saturated colors of the season. In order to create the perfect backdrop for this intensity I chose to keep everything else very neutral. A burlap table runner on a natural wood farm table and wooden chargers holding amber depression glass plates let this centerpiece take center stage!

How to Make your Flower Wreath Centerpiece:

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