DECEMBER

Wreath-Under-Arm

{images via 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9}

Happy December 1st!  Can you believe it’s the last month of 2014?  I’m both ecstatic and terrified – excited that my favorite time of the year is here and scared to death that every year seems to fly by even faster than the last.  The feeling really hit me yesterday while working in our warehouse with a group of 25 volunteers who were there to pack up our orders from our Black Friday sale.  Over 27 pallets of boxes were packed, stacked and hauled onto a UPS truck late last night and the reality really set in.  Not only are we having a great year, which I am thankful for to my core, but the holiday bustle is truly here to stay for the next four weeks.  Even in the madness, I vow to make this season merry to the very last minute.  My Christmas playlist is on shuffle/repeat, I can’t wait to attend a few holiday events this week and our Christmas tree is going up whenever I can find a few free hours to make her pretty.  Are you feeling the holiday cheer yet too or am I just a crazy #basicwhitegirl?! ;-)

PS: Take a look at the holiday images that are making me feel all warm and fuzzy on my Pinterest – feeling so inspired by some of these!

Christmas-Lights-2

Spiced-Eggnog

Christmas-Tree

Wreath
Cinnamon-Sticks

Cheers

Eggnog-2

Wreath-Door

Advertisements

DIY Fall Floral Arrangement

Fall-Floral-Feature

You all know that I’m a flower fanatic so creating a fall floral arrangement could hardly be considered “work” ;-)  The trickiest part of this task was keeping it simple enough so that the arrangement could easily be replicated by a novice.  Since most of our reps in this program at work have little experience arranging florals, I needed to break this one down step by step so they could easily recreate it for their own party.  Flower arranging is really intimidating to a lot of people, but it’s really so much easier than most imagine until they see it broken down.  The trickiest part for me is learning the textures and strength of the stems/stalks so that you know just how much pressure you can use while arranging and finagling your flowers into your floral foam.  But once you’ve done a few, it’s really easy to get the hang of it.  I whipped up this beauty that would easily cost over $150 at a flower shop with less than $50 in under 30 minutes.  Since we were using the arrangement for our Pink Party, we wanted to keep with the theme, but also make it seasonal.  Outside of Breast Cancer Awareness, October is not a month that would traditionally make you think of pink, but with the addition of some orange and deep purple florals in combination with pink buds and fresh maple clippings, our arrangement was both perfectly pink while warm and seasonally appropriate for a cozy, fall wine tasting.

Supplies

Florals (see my list and tips below)
Oasis Floral Foam
Vessel
Floral Clippers/Pruners

Floral-Guide

Floral-Supplies

Tip: Almost every big city has a flower district where you will get the best deals on bulk florals.  A few quick google searches will lead you to yours.  If you live in a small town with no direct access to a flower mart, do some research on what you’re looking for and call your local florist to place you an order.  Also, use whatever florals you have around you. Have a tree changing colors in your yard?  Persimmons, Oranges or Artichokes?  Clip a few small branches or stalks and add them to your arrangement to cut down on cost and to keep your arrangement seasonal, textural and beautiful.

Instructions

1.  Pick your vessel.  Remember that big arrangements do not necessarily call for a big vase.  When you are using floral foam, you can position stems in from every direction and maximize the amount of space you have.  The arrangement we created is a medium/large size and we used a small vessel – a brass julip cup.

2.  Using a knife, cut your floral foam to fit snuggly inside. I like to press the foam to the vessel to get an outline of where to cut excess foam away.  You want to make sure that your foam does NOT move once it’s inside the vessel so start big and cut more away if needed.

3.  Fill your vessel with water.  Your foam will soak up a TON of water so make sure that you continue to let it soak in for a few minutes before you get to work and add water as your foam absorbs every drop in sight.

4.  ARRANGE!  There is no “right” way to arrange flowers, but I always start with my biggest floral or what will ultimately define how large the arrangement will be.  Since this arrangement was going to be large, loose, imperfect and “wildflower-esque” I started with the leaves and greenery to define how tall and wide I wanted the arrangement to be.  I positioned the left greens a little higher and the right greens a little lower to give it that imperfect and “freshly picked” feel.

Floral-DIY-15

Floral-DIY-2

Floral-DIY-3

5.  Next, I added some celosia to give the arrangement some color and height.

Floral-DIY-4

Floral-DIY-5

6.  Now that the back of the arrangement is filled in, it’s time to start adding some of the “wow” flowers or your showstoppers of the arrangement ;-)  Dahlias come into season in the late sumer/fall, are so beautiful and make such a big statement.  I added a few “dinner plate” dahlias in orange and then started filling in with smaller florals: plum colored dahlias and pink ranunculus.

Tip: you can always clip your florals shorter, but you can never make them longer.  To keep the arrangement fun, casual and wild, leave some stems on the longer side.  Don’t be afraid to group multiple of the same flower together either.  That helps add dimension and keeps the arrangement from looking too uniform and perfect.  

Floral-DIY-6

Floral-DIY-7

Floral-DIY-8

Floral-DIY-9

Floral-DIY-10

7. Once you’ve used all of the “wow” flowers you can fit, add in some extra green clippings to break things up a bit.  I added some leaves as well as some extra celosia to pull things together and to make the arrangement look finished and picture perfect :-)

Floral-DIY-11

8.  You did it!  Get ready for lots of compliments!

Floral-DIY-16

Pink-Party-Florals

PS: Don’t let any gorgeous florals go to waste.  We filled a pitcher with extra flowers and greens and utilized some on the backdrop behind our wine display too.

DIY Floral Ice Cubes

Floral-Ice-Cubes

I’ve been dying for a reason to make floral ice cubes for a while now and our Pink Party seemed like the best excuse to finally pull it off.  To be honest, they’re a little annoying to make and take quite some time, but the results are so darn cute and girly that I’d be lying if I said I would never make them again.  I don’t have any pictures of the process, but it’s pretty self explanatory, so I’m sure you’ll do just fine figuring it out ;-)

Supplies

Ice Cube Tray (any will work, but we used this one to make larger cubes)
Edible flowers or fruit (we ordered edible flowers from here)
A kettle to boil your water

Instructions

1.  With edible florals, you’ll want to order them 2-3 days ahead of time.  I used this company and because the flowers are perishable, they overnighted them to us.  I ordered on a Monday, they arrived that Wednesday and they’re hands down the best deal out there.  There were a few companies that charge literally $75 for the same thing.  Do not use them – ever.

2.  In a kettle, boil your water and let it cool (I stuck ours in the freezer to expedite the cooling process – but don’t let it freeze).  Once the water has cooled, boil the water a second time and let it cool completely.  Boiling the water twice helps eliminate tiny air bubbles and minerals that will make your ice appear white when it freezes.  Crystal clear ice will help show off your pretty flowers ;-)

3.  While water is boiling or cooling, remove any greens from your flowers.  The greens are edible, but I found that they turned our ice cubes slightly green on our first try – oops!

4.  Put a few flowers into the bottom of your ice cub tray and fill with 1/4″ water.  Freeze water.

5.  Once the water has frozen, layer some more flowers on top of the ice and fill your trays with remaining water and freeze.

6.  When your ice cubes are completely solid, remove them from the tray, place in a glass and serve with an ice cold beverage immediately.  Enjoy!

Pink Party for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Pink-Party-Table-1

Call me #basic, but by the time September rolls around, I’m ready to embrace all things fall.  From autumn inspired recipes, to warm mulled wines, to pumpkins and candles that remind me of fall scents back home in Michigan – I just can’t get enough of my favorite season.  October, however, is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it marks the beginning of the most important time of the year for us at work.  Since half the profits from our Chardonnay give back to Gateway for Cancer Research (providing clinical trials to women with breast cancer), just when we’re ready to dive head first into fall, everything turns PINK.

We have a division of our company called Hope at Home which offers at-home wine parties that benefit the cause of your choice with 15% going back to the non-profit of your choice.  As our Art Director, I’m always on the hunt for creative and fun ways for our team to stay inspired and get motivated to throw their own parties – especially during our cause months.  A big challenge for me this year at work was figuring out how to throw a pink party, when everyone wants to curl up with a blanket, drink warm mulled wine and pull out their orange pumpkins and decor.  I poked around the internet for some inspiration and ultimately ended up coming back again and again to a flower arrangement that embraced pink and orange equally.  It was inherently pink but also perfectly fall so I decided to run with it.

Since everything we put together had to be easily replicated by our team members who might not be full fledged floral designers or regular party hosts, I broke it down into three simple DIYS and four food/appetizer ideas that both embrace the fall season and pair wonderfully with our Chardonnay.  The best part of this project (beside seeing it all come together) was definitely trying the recipes.  They were SO good and everyone in the office chowed down while we popped open a few bottles of Chardonnay.  Check out everything below from the DIY and recipes to shots from our own little Pink Party ;-)

PS: If you’re interested in hosting your own PINK party for Breast Cancer Awareness Month or if you’d like to raise money for another cause that you’re passionate about OR if you’d like to make an income while giving back to various causes, please consider Hope at Home :-)

DIY YARN FRINGE BACKDROP

DIY PINK FALL FLORALS

DIY FLORAL ICE CUBES

PINK MARSHMALLOW DIP

PEAR + GOAT CHEESE CROSTINI

BRIE + FIG PASTRY BITES

CHARDONNAY CHEESE PLATE

PINK-PARTY-COLLAGE

Pink-Party-Flower-2

Pink-Party-Table-2

Pink-Party-Florals

Pink-Party-Wine

Pink-Party-Beth

Pink-Party-Table-4

Pink-Party-Table-3

Pink-Party-Group

CHEERS!

 

 

#ONEHOPEHoliday / Snippets from last week…

photo 1

Happy, happy Monday!  I hope your week is off to a wonderful start!  Last Wednesday we had our “Christmas in July” / ONEHOPE Holiday shoot for ONEHOPE and the days leading up to it were an absolute blur.  From planning to flower arranging and driving all over LA to pick up rentals, it was a chaotic week!  While I’m glad to have the stress of it behind me, seeing everything come together for just the few hours of shooting sometimes doesn’t feel like enough.  Our table scape ended up being so beautiful that I couldn’t bear the thought of tearing it apart for a few days… even if it meant we had some wilted dahlias and crispy ferns as eye sores for Thursday and Friday.  If you follow me on Instagram, I’m sure you’ve already seen a few of these, but I just wanted to pass along some snippets of last week.  Can’t wait to share the professional images (hopefully this week) as well as some of the inspiration behind the day :-)

Cheers!

photo 2

photo 3

photo (9)

photo 4

Lately / Seeing Pink

In case you don’t follow my work Instagram, here’s a little peek into my life lately… Valentines Day Insta 7

{Product samples and shoot inspiration on my desk}

Valentines Day Insta 3

{A little nail art and summery sangria during last week’s heatwave in LA}

Valentines Day Insta 10

{Ban.do Mini Hearts arrive at the office – OBSESSED!}

Valentines Day Insta 5

{Valentine’s shoot day!  All set up and ready to go!}

Valentines Day Insta 6

{ONEHOPE ladies decorating heart sugar cookies and enjoying some Friday afternoon vino}

Valentines Day Insta 2

{Arrangements that I put together – pink and red ranunculus with red anemones in white vessels. PS: How rad is that chevron runner from La Tavola?}

Valentines Day Insta 1

{Bird’s eye view}

Valentines Day Insta 9

{It’s all in the details}

Valentines Day Insta 8

{View of our pallet wall, chocolate fountain and lots of pink/red goodies!}

I’ve always been such a neutrals girl… until this year.  I’m currently so in love with Valentine’s Day and all things pink, red and sparkles and my desk at work is like an explosion of all things girly.  Thankfully, I got to take out some of my fem aggression on our VDay shoot for work (introducing our ruby red wine bottle) and couldn’t have had more fun.  We’re awaiting the professional photography, but had to share a few of my favorite iPhone pics in the meantime :-)

Happy Monday! xoxo

Holiday Table Inspiration

ONEHOPE Holiday Table Final Flattened

Faux Sheepskin – Ikea |  Confetti Placemats – Kitchen Papers  |  Hurricanes – West Elm  |  Cedar garland for table – Available at most wholesale flower marts | Clear glass candlesticks – CB2  | Hanging candle holders – CB2  |  Deerhead – ZGallerie  |  Chargers – Assorted from Michael’s and ZGallerie  | Reclaimed wood wall – Pallet wood DIY (details coming soon) | New York White Sequined Linen – La Tavola  |  Gold Rimmed Glasses – West Elm  |  Votives – Jayson Home and Garden (no longer available but similar here)

___

Happy, Happy Holidays!!!  I hope everyone is having some much deserved down time and rest while gearing up for 2014!  I think it’s going to be a big one and I’m actually super excited to see what the new year holds :-)  So, without getting too distracted, I REALLY wanted to get this published before Christmas, but if you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen what a ridiculously chaotic yet successful December we had over at ONEHOPE Wine.  We more than quadrupled our sales over last year and we had an all-hands-on-deck situation for most of December.  Instead of dabbling in anything creative, I was with the majority of our team in our warehouse packing boxes, sourcing product that we’d run out of (eeeek!) and helping to load hundreds upon hundreds of boxes onto multiple UPS trucks daily.  The experience of seeing our company grow like that and watching all of our hard work finally pay off was nothing short of incredible and I wouldn’t change being there, smack dab in the center of it for anything in the world :-)

In early December, I posted a few sneak peeks from our ONEHOPE Holiday party (#ONEHOPEHoliday) at work. Since the wine industry is absolute madness in December every year, in 2012 we didn’t plan anything fun during the holidays. It was the first year that I really felt that the holidays just slipped through my fingertips and it bummed me out beyond belief. I wanted to make sure that didn’t happen again this year and planned an afternoon for the girls on our team to spend some time together outside of the work madness to decompress and do something fun. We played Christmas music, did a little wine tasting and gold leafed glasses to give away as gifts… It was just what we needed. Since we were going to have a photographer there to capture it as a DIY, I wanted to make sure that we gave our conference room a little TLC and turned it into a winter wonderland. I am SO HAPPY with how it turned out and can not wait to share the images our amazing photographer captured.  In the meantime, take a look at my inspiration board for the project :-)

PS: I know Christmas is over, but I truly believe that so many Christmasy pieces can be carried into New Years Eve/Day parties.  So, recycle that garland, grab some gold confetti and wintery fur and enjoy your seasonal decor for a few more days!  If you’re not diggin’ it, keep this in your back pocket for next year ;-)

xoxo

Meg

%d bloggers like this: