From Grocery Store Flowers to Professional Arrangement

Most of us have been to the grocery store wanting or needing a quick flower pick up whether it’s for an event or just to bring some life and color to your home. If you’re like me, you find it’s hard to pick up a bouquet that has all the elements your wanting in an arrangement, or maybe too many things going on like this one. There are just a few simple steps to making this bouquet look like it was purchased at a local flower shop instead of the grocery store.

Step 1:

Pick your vase.

Wider mouth vases require more flowers to fill it and smaller mouth vases you can get away with just 1-4 stems. The height of the vase plays a factor as well depending if you’d like a lower or taller arrangement. I tend to use medium height vases without very large mouths so I can use the flowers to add height and I can get away with fewer stems to fill the vase.

Step 2:

Trim and feed.

The cleaner the flower stems the better they will look in the vase and the longer the water will last that your flowers are sitting in because there is less foliage to discolor and stink it up. I use my kitchen scissors to remove any leaves that will be inside the vase. Some of the leaves at the top of the flower I keep on or if it’s a flower that I will be using for height I will leave some of the lower leaves on as well.

Use the flower food packet that you get at the store to prolong the life of your flowers. Just add it to a vase that’s filled with room temperature water, 2/3 full.




Step 3:

Remove & arrange.

A lot of times I don’t like all of the flowers together that come in a single arrangement. It’s OK to leave some of the flowers out!! We’ll use them a different way later but don’t feel like you have to use EVERYTHING that comes in the store bought bouquet.

I decided to leave out the yellow flowers of this arrangement so I set them aside.

 

Next, I usually start with the larger blooms first and put them toward the front of the vase where they can stand out the most. It’s important that you trim the stem before putting it directly into your water-filled vase within at least 7 seconds of trimming. This will extend the life of your flowers which is always the goal.

Then I start to add some of the other flowers, but I keep them grouped together for higher impact. However, I’ll cut some of their stems shorter and keep some longer to make the arrangement more interesting instead of having everything at the same height.

So this is what my arrangement would look like if I just used the grocery store items that I decided to keep from the bouquet I purchased- definitely better looking than what came in the packaging, but I like it to be more full and more diverse, sooooooooo, this next step is VERY important.




Step 4:

USE GREENERY AND FLOWERS FROM YOUR YARD TO FILL IN!

Maybe I’m stumping some of you right here, but I could almost 100% guarantee every single one of you either has a tree, bush or flowering plant growing in your yard in the front or the back. USE THEM!! Garden flowers are what make your arrangement unique and even more personal since it’s coming from your yard.

I haven’t started my garden yet at our new house but this is what I pulled from the garden at our old house (luckily the new homeowner is a friend:). Hosta leaves, peonies, roses, clematis, greenery… We pulled a bunch just to see what we’d want to use. Then fill in the vase the same way you did with the grocery store flowers- bigger blooms first, then groupings of the smaller flowers and leaves next, cut at different lengths.

I like keeping some of the bigger blooms tight to the lip of the vase like I did with the peony and lily above. And I use the greenery on the outer edges.

See how nicely it’s getting filled in with just a few flowers from the garden?

This is the first arrangement completed! Pretty much looks nothing like the grocery store purchase. And I didn’t forget about the yellow flowers that I took out initially. I kept their arrangements simpler.

Just one sunflower and greenery from an outside bush.

A smaller mouthed vase for the daisies with a hosta leaf to accent them.




These are the final 3 arrangements I got out of one $6 grocery store bouquet. It’s simple, I promise! And totally worth the small effort to make it look the way to you want it to. Have fun arranging! It’s so satisfying to start out with the first picture above and end up with these:)

Sour Cream Pound Cake

Sour Cream Pound Cake Recipe

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour bundt cake pan.

Ingredients:

2 cubes butter

1/2 c. shortening

3 c. sugar

5 eggs

3 c. flour

1/2 t. baking powder

1/2 c. milk

1 c. sour cream

1 1/2 t. vanilla

1 1/2 t. lemon juice

Blend butter, shortening and sugar till fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg. Add flour and baking powder alternately with milk and sour cream. Add vanilla and lemon juice and combine well. Bake at 325 for 30 minutes then increase temperature to 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 min before turning onto a wire rack to cool.

Frosting:

1 block cream cheese

1 cube of butter, softened

3 c. powdered sugar

3-5 T. milk depending on desired consistency of frosting

1 t. vanilla.

Combine all frosting ingredients till smooth. Frost cake when cooled.

 

Multi-purpose Living Room

The living room is the first thing you see upon entering this client’s home. It had the space we needed to hold an office area, piano and sitting area which was what my client was in need of. As a result, it had to be both pretty and functional as guests entered, but work well for the day to day use of their computer usage as well as piano practice.

Of course a desk space was a necessity so we kept it clean and modern with all of the papers hidden away. But the desk is big enough to hold more than one person if necessary, which is a need much of the time for this family of 8. These free standing bookshelves from Ikea were the perfect light and airy solution for the office area of the room. With bins down below to hold piano books and kids papers, it makes for a simple and clean area to corral office necessities as well as display books and decor.




The most visible part of the room in the center of the space we kept inviting for company and visually appealing as people entered the home. The blue couch from West Elm adds an eclectic and vibrant touch to an otherwise neutral space, as do these modern chairs, also from West Elm.

This old piano offsets all of the modern pieces in the space to keep the vintage, modern look we wanted. Set against a painted shiplap wall, installed by Breinholt Design, it becomes a pretty feature for the room.





Long gone are the formal sitting rooms that never get used, but have been replaced by functional and pretty spaces that serve many purposes. So happy with the end result of this modern, eclectic space and glad that the family using it has a room to meet all of it’s needs.




Farah’s Magical Unicorn Birthday Party

Farah’s 6th magical unicorn birthday party was a hit last weekend!!

This unicorn headband from Anthropologie was the perfect thing for her to wear to her party. We wanted the fill the party with pastel rainbows and lots of sweets and sparkly stars so the party felt magical and unicorn-y:) These balloon and streamer cloud rainbows by @palisadepaper were so easy to make and the cutest backdrop for the treat table. Simply attach white balloons to a plastic hanger with string and tape the streamers to the bottom of the hanger and cut to the ends to the desired length.




We served popcorn and strawberry pockys and unicorn muddy buddies for treats and snacks.





Find the how to on making these muddy buddies on West Coast Lobster Blog.

The cutest labels by @palisadepaper for these mini water bottles were the perfect touch.

We passed out these ribbon wands for the kids to wave while riding the unicorn that we hired to come to the party. With a bell attached to the top and ribbons flowing in the wind it was a magical accessory for the magical unicorn ride!




Of course balloons had to be included in the party decor (my current party obsession decoration). This unicorn balloon from Walmart had the perfect color palette to compliment Farah’s pastel party.

Of course the unicorn cake was the center of attention in this rainbow-filled party room.

Made by @4and20cooks it had the most magical exterior…

…and interior.

Unicorn horn party hats and rainbow juice went perfectly with the colorful cake.

Farah waited patiently for the guests to arrive:)

The kids sat at this table to color while they waited for their ride on the unicorn outside.

A magical day for the cutest birthday girl!! I’m thinking I want my next birthday party to be a unicorn one too:)

Updated Rustic Modern Family Room











Chocolate Ganache Tart

Tart Shell:

1 c. flour                                                      1/4 c. sugar

1 stick unsalted butter, room temp       1/8 t. salt

1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder         1/2 t. vanilla

Ganache filling:

10 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1/2 c. whole milk

1 c. heavy cream

1 large egg, lightly beaten



Coat tart pan (or mini tart pans) with cooking spray. Whisk together flour, cocoa and salt. Beat butter on medium speed till fluffy, about 3 min. Add sugar and beat till pale and fluffy, about 2 more min. Reduce speed to low. Add vanilla and flour mixture and mix till dough begins to hold together, 1-2 min. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 min. Roll out dough to 1/4 in. thickness. Press into prepared pan(or pans). Trim excess dough so it’s flush with pan edge. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Bake shell at 325 degrees on a rimmed baking sheet till firm, about 25 min. Let cool completely on wire rack.

For filling: Place chocolate in bowl. Heat cream and milk in small saucepan over med/high heat till almost boiling/pour over chocolate. Let stand for 2 min. Slowly whisk till smooth. Let stand 10 min. more. Stir in egg. Return tart shell(s) to baking sheet and pour in filling. Bake till set, about 25 min. Let cool completely before removing from tart pan(s). Garnish with fresh whipped cream and raspberries if desired.

Galentine’s Party

A February pick me up was just what the doctor ordered with this Galentine’s Party for my 10 year old, Joslyn and her girlfriends. We had treats and games and crafts and the girls left with their tummies and hands full.

I made all of the treats including the macarons with tiny heart sprinkles on top, chocolate covered strawberries and small rice krispy treats on a stick. There was definitely not a shortage of sugar.




The hit of the party was this cotton candy cocktail. You just add sprite to the glass and it fizzes and melts into the cutest, most delicious pink drink. Pretty sure each of the girls had at least 3 cocktails:)

One of the games we played was memory with these sticky notes attached to the wall. It was the perfect way to fill a large space on the wall as well as make for a fun game. I wrote on the backs of the sticky notes matching words like February 14th and Valentines Day or opposites like boyfriend and girlfriend. The girls loved it!




My daughter is a huge crafter so next we made t-shirts using simple pom poms from the craft store.

Hot glue guns, pom noms and t-shirts are the only supplies needed for this craft and the girls loved being able to come up with their own designs.

The take home favor was a homemade bath bomb. These were so simple to make and so cute to have in the shape of a heart.

BATH BOMB Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 c. baking soda                         2 t. essential oil

1/2 c. citric acid                         3 t. olive oil

1/2 c. Epsom salts                     food coloring

1 t. water

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and combine well with a whisk. In a separate container (glass jar preferably), mix the liquid ingredients together. Slowly add the liquid ingredients to the dry mix, one small spoon at a time, until the mixture is soft and wet. Put the bath bomb mixture into any choice of molds (we used a heart one). It’s important that once the mold has set for about an hour, that you remove it from the mold and set out on a silpat or waxed paper to dry and harden overnight.

**DO NOT leave the mixture in the mold overnight as it will expand and stay wet and not harden.




Jossie was even nice enough to let her little sister come to the party:)

The balloons on the ceiling were my favorite part of the decor. So bright and colorful!

And as if they didn’t have enough sugar at the party we made little treat bags for them to take home. You can’t have a valentines party without candy!!

Seeing Jossie’s excitement for the party and how much fun she had at it made it all worth it!! She is my mini for sure.

Rustic Modern New Build










Modern Boho Teen Bedroom











Home for Christmas 2017