Flower Friday {number twenty-five}

Well hello everyone! I am back after a very, very long break. In the past couple months I graduated from college, moved back to Southern California, and started baking like crazy again. I finally have access to a fully working computer again so get ready for a ton of fun new posts coming to the blog really soon!

This past weekend I was able to join my mom and my sister on their weekly Trader Joe’s run. The proportion of food to flowers that were purchased was a bit embarrassing. Between the three of us, I am pretty sure we cleared out the majority of the floral cart. We spent the whole time laughing and fighting over who had to push the cart down every aisle, which mostly ended with my sister B losing the battle. I stocked up on two bunches of stock {been waiting to use that pun all week!} and a bunch of lisianthus. I usually don’t like to buy stock because it tends to be a bit too fragrant for me, but I couldn’t resist the pale pink color I found this week! I got out of the store with the flowers, 2 two peanut butter and jelly chocolate bars {so heavenly, trust me and grabbed some the next time you are waiting at a TJ’s check stand}, and some baking ingredients for under $20.

IMG_3143 IMG_3149 IMG_3144IMG_3153Isn’t that pink stock just to die for?! I borrowed one of my mom’s big white pitchers and started throwing in the cleaned off stems. I really didn’t have to do much “arranging” this week and the wild end product couldn’t have made me happier. Now I will warn you guys again, stock is pretty fragrant. Instead of putting the pitcher on my nightstand like I normally do, I put it in my bathroom so I didn’t wake up with a face full of flowers. I just loved how the lisianthus poked out between the stock and gave it a little extra body too!

Little B loved them too and just had to grab a sniff while I was snapping a picture with my new Madewell bag that my wonderful sister B got my as a graduation gift! Isn’t she the cutest? I’m so obsessed with this bag right now and can’t wait to tell you guys more about it soon. “Best Sister Ever Award” is definitely going to B for this one!

The weekend is just about here and it is going to be a busy one! Tonight I am headed off to Blog Party, Los Angeles with my friend S who just recently moved down to Pasadena! I cannot wait to meet everyone and share some pictures with you guys later next week. Then tomorrow is a recipe testing day before I head off to some family celebrations on Sunday for Father’s Day.

What are you guys doing this weekend to celebrate the special dads in your lives?

XO, EE

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Flower Friday {number twenty-four}

One more week in the books everyone! This week was so busy and felt like it was never going to end, so I am so happy that it is finally the weekend! I have been looking forward to this week’s market trip for days now; not only because I was getting low on veggies, but also because one of my best friends, M, had work off this morning and got to come with me!

The parking at the market this morning was crazy to say the least, so M and I parked pretty far away and made a walk of it. Nothing better than stocking up on veggies AND getting some exercise in there {until we realized we had to walk back to the car after the market}. I restocked all the veggies that I scarfed down during the week because I have been on a major veggie binge lately. In all honesty, I was going to skip the flowers this week because none of them were really jumping out at me. But just as we were about to leave, M and I saw a little stand with these crazy pretty flowers. I grabbed two bunches for $8 and we made the journey back to the car {my one workout for the year is officially checked off the list guys}.

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IMG_2387Only having one flower this week made the arranging pretty easy, or so I thought. But when I opened up the newspaper I realized that each stem was covered in greenery. After stripping all the stems, I arranged them in a mason jar and my gallery wall jar, which has been sadly empty for the past couple weeks.

While I was cleaning up, my roommate, J, saw that I had my shears out and asked me to trim the dead stalks off of her orchid plant. I was just about to throw the stalks out and then I saw my plain looking bunch of flowers…perfect! I stuck the two dead stalks in the bunch and it added the perfect amount of height and contrast I needed, for free! Another person’s trash is someone else’s treasure, that’s for sure! Absolutely loving the added flare.

The weekend is just starting and S and I have some plans in the books to keep us busy because we don’t have to work on our senior projects this weekend {whoop whoop!}. Today will consist of answering emails and waiting for S to get off of work so we can head off to Happy Hour at Alvarado Street Brewery! Hopefully tomorrow will be spent in Big Sur like we have planned. What do you lovely people have planned for the weekend? Hopefully something fun!

XO, EE

Flower Friday {number twenty-three}

Happy Friday everyone! This week has been dragging on and I never thought we would make it to the finish line, but we did. This week has been an odd one full of catching up and weird schedules. Classes were cancelled on Tuesday for Cesar Chavez Day, which of course threw everyone off. Even though classes were cancelled, I still had some schoolwork to focus on. Instead of meeting in the library, a few classmates and I decided to meet at a local coffeehouse, East Village Coffee Lounge. The interior of this place is too cool and pretty unique, making it the perfect place to hunker down and get some solid work done. Not to mention, the coffee was fantastic AND they had bright pink straws! It’s the little things that get me.

You’re probably reading this and thinking, “get to it girl, where are the flowers?!” Don’t worry, they’re coming. Coffee tends to distract me sometimes. East Village is located in downtown Monterey and it just so happens that Tuesday is the day of the farmer’s market in that area! I usually try and avoid the area because of the traffic jams, but I was already down there so I just had to take a quick pass through. Boy, am I glad I did.

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IMG_2290 IMG_2281 FullSizeRenderIf you haven’t met the David Austin Rose yet, let me introduce yo to your next floral crush. I have been seeing these beauties all over Instagram for months and I almost shed tears of joy when I saw them in the Monterey market. I was immediately drawn to the coral colored roses and one just wasn’t enough so I grabbed a bunch of white ones too. When I saw them I was expecting them to be at least $12 per dozen, but I was happy to see that they were only $7 per dozen….so two bunches was obviously necessary. I bought the roses on Tuesday, trimmed the ends and let them drink for two days, and then cleaned them up on Thursday to get rid of the bruised petals.

IMG_2284 IMG_2286 IMG_2291 IMG_2294A mason jar was just so incredibly necessary for these flowers and I honestly can’t stop looking at them. They are without a doubt the best air freshener, and even S has noticed how wonderful they smell. I’m usually not a fan of tight round bouquets, but these roses just have me going back on all my words. Every time I look over at them, I swear they get more and more gorgeous. I only grabbed flowers while I was at the market, so I’ll still have to go to my normal Friday market for some veggies {oh, shucks}.

Have a lovely weekend everyone and enjoy your Easter holidays with your families! I’ll be cooped up in Monterey working on my senior project and drinking copious amounts of coffee. Maybe I’ll take a break and bake something fun? {hint, hint, wink, wink}

XO, EE

A rustic Pebble Beach reception

Hello lovely people! It’s Thursday and I swear I am still not recovered from last weekend yet, guys! Last week was my first week back from Spring Break and I’m pretty sure everyone had a hard time accepting reality again. My week felt especially long though, because of the fun weekend that was quickly approaching! After pitching to the Startup Challenge for one of my business classes on Friday afternoon, I locked myself in my kitchen to start baking for my first Pebble Beach wedding.

The bride for this wedding was my favorite kind of bride and pretty much left the design elements up to me. We looked through a couple pictures of cakes together and I got a feel for her style, but after that she only had one request: raspberry. We decided on 200 mini cupcakes and a ceremonial cutting cake. The mini cupcakes were an assortment of vanilla, chocolate, and lemon with vanilla bean and raspberry buttercream frostings. To match, the cutting cake was double fudge with raspberry filling and a vanilla buttercream. These flavor combos were out of this world and I cannot tell you guys how hard it was to not eat my weight in mini cupcakes. Thankfully my will power stayed strong. But enough of all this talking, here is how everything turned out.IMG_2252IMG_2254Of course there was more traffic at the time of delivery than I have ever seen in Monterey in the four years that I’ve lived here. Thankfully, my wonderful parents were visiting that weekend and were more than happy to help me set up. They took care of the cupcakes while I put the finishing touches on the cutting cake. The wedding consisted of a private ceremony and an outdoor reception in the most gorgeous spot I have ever seen. The reception took place behind the Gingerbread House in the Indian Village on the 17 Mile Drive in Pebble Beach, CA {that was a mouthful}. The bride designed her own bouquet and the flowers throughout the reception area, which were perfect too {of course}. The wildflower theme was absolutely to die for as a base for their one of a kind cake topper.

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IMG_2218When the bride first told me that her cake topper was going to be made out of legos…well, you can imagine the look on my face. I had little to no idea how I was going to incorporate the rustic feel, the wildflowers, and legos together to make the cake look presentable. When we got there for set up, the cake topper wasn’t there so I started arranging flowers and just hoping that the topper would fit in there. The topper was with the bride and groom, so I placed a big flower in the center so that they could just remove the top flower and replace it with the topper when they arrived. Thankfully, they arrived just as we were finishing up and I was able to set the topper just in time! And how adorable is that topper, guys?! I was so surprised by how much I actually liked it and the connection it had to the groom made it that much more special {not to mention, he assembled and designed it himself}.

IMG_2220With the help of my parents {picture credit goes to Papa Eledge!}, set up was done in about a half hour {record time} and I left feeling so incredibly relieved. The table was the absolute perfect platform for the baked goods. I mean look at that table cloth and wooden runner {heart eyes for days}! I finally took a breath and realized how breathtaking the venue was. If you aren’t familiar with it, I recommend you check it out. The wedding was so fun and rustic, and I felt so honored to be a part of the happy couple’s day. The bride was so thrilled with the whole experience and nothing makes me happier. Well, almost nothing…

IMG_2228 IMG_2233My parents and I celebrated the success of the setup with a trip to the Hyatt Highlands in Carmel overlooking Big Sur. I honestly have no words to explain this place to you guys. There are so many beautiful places in Monterey, but I think this one takes the cake {pun intended}. Not only does the lounge have the most breathtaking view I have ever seen, but the cocktails are out of this world. Between the drinks and the seafood plateau, we were in absolute hog heaven. Leaving was practically impossible. But don’t worry, we went back the next day to cope. And want to hear something funny? Hyatt Highlands is where the happy couple from the wedding got engaged! If you’re ever in the Monterey area, you NEED to make a trip up to this little slice of heaven.

Cheers to my first Pebble Beach wedding, and hopefully many more in the future! Come back tomorrow for Flower Friday, I promise it’ll be a good one.

XO, EE

Flower Friday {number twenty-two}

Well, I usually start these posts by getting excited for the weekend ahead, but it’s already Sunday people! I postponed Flower Friday this week for a very special occasion: my roommate J’s 22nd birthday! And no, I did not plan for her birthday to work so well with the numbering on the post, but we can pretend like I did. Just about a year ago {which feels like decades ago} I was arranging flowers for J’s 21st birthday so I knew that this year I would have to bring the tradition back! J is one of the sweetest people I have ever met and I feel so privileged to have been randomly assigned to be her roommate two years ago. I saw these flowers at the market and immediately thought of her!

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There’s no prices in my post this week, for obvious reasons. I told J I was off to grab a much needed coffee on Friday morning, which wasn’t a complete lie. I just chose to not mention the side trip I was making to the farmers market. I power walked through the market so I didn’t get distracted by veggies that I didn’t need. I went to all the flower tents and almost ended up copying my arrangement from last week because we were both so obsessed with it. But then I saw these little white and purple wildflowers and I just had to get them. There was something so cute and fun that reminded me of J’s personality. I grabbed about five bunches of them and then two bunches of the mini button poms {one purple and one white}. IMG_1967 IMG_1970I came home and immediately hid the flowers in my room. Thankfully J was in the shower when I got there so I didn’t have to awkwardly hide the flowers under my shirt or something! I think it’s safe to say that she would have suspected something if I walked in with stems popping out everywhere. I put the flowers in water overnight and arranged them while J was out for the day on Saturday. I cut the poms first and made them all the same length. Then it was time for the wildflowers! I’m not sure what type of flowers they are, but oh my goodness guys, they smell so amazing {a little bit like rosemary}! I cleaned the stems and left them a little wild.

J came home after a long day at a track meet and complimented the flowers on the kitchen table. Her face was priceless when I told her they were hers for her birthday. It’s so much fun to give presents to people who truly appreciate them and are so enthusiastic. Unfortunately, I am stuck in the library all day today so I don’t get to celebrate with her, but she is off exploring Big Sur and having a fun day being a tourist just like she wanted. Two years ago I took the leap to live with a group of random girls and I am so lucky that that decision brought me to a friendship like J’s! Cheers to you, J, and the next year of feelin’ 22!

What random situations have brought you and your friends together?

I hope you all got to enjoy your weekends! Spring break is a week away and I can smell the baking that is going to be happening and taste the margaritas that I will be drinking with my family. A week from today is THE CREAM, and I cannot wait to attend with some of my favorite people. Be on the lookout for a recap post afterwards. Follow along on Instagram to see all the fun first-hand {or second-hand, I guess?}

XO, EE

Flower Friday {number twenty-one}

Hello, hello, hello! Happy Friday everyone! I am so, so excited to show you guys this week’s flowers, I can barely contain myself. In the past I have been solely taking pictures by myself with the use of a self timer, but today I asked my wonderful roommate J to help me out a little bit…best decision ever. I went to the market this morning and made a point with myself not to go overboard {like I do every week, but I was going to follow through this time}. I wanted to do something really simple this week. All the stands were overloaded with tulips. I love tulips, but the ones I bought last week only lasted a few days before they started looking limp and sad {which made me sad considering I paid $7 for them}. So I strayed away from all the “mainstream” selections this week, and boy am I glad I did. IMG_1827IMG_1828I saw these buckets full of these wildflowers sitting outside one of the tents and must have walked past them about a hundred times before I convinced myself that I needed to buy them. I bought three bunches of the emile {purple and pink wildflowers} and three stems of the ornamental kale, for a total of $10.50 {not too shabby}. After wrestling with all of them for a while, J came home and I had an idea. Then the fun started. IMG_1830IMG_1834 I bunched up all the emile together {and knocked over iced coffee in the process, hmph!} and we had some fun playing around with different shots. But then I saw the kale sitting alone on the table and didn’t want it to be left out. I grabbed the fullest stem and stuck it right in the front. I hadn’t planned on arranging it all like this but when I saw the pictures I couldn’t bear the thought of separating it. FullSizeRenderIMG_1838FullSizeRender_1 Even though I didn’t want to change the arrangement I already had, I really didn’t want to leave the gallery wall without flowers. I grabbed the leftover two kale stems and threw them in my handy hanging vase {thanks mom!}. I took out a few stems of the emile and the gallery wall had its very own little pop of life!

What fun things are you lovely people up to this weekend?

I am off to meet up with S for his lunch break and then back to cleaning and getting ahead on assignments for the rest of the day. We were going to go to an indie film festival this weekend that had films about nature and outdoor recreation in Banff tonight, but it’s sold out. Such a bummer! The bright side is that it is supposed to rain in Monterey this weekend, which I can’t wait for. Hopefully I’ll get around to posting some outfit posts in the near future! Enjoy your weekend adventures!

XO, EE

Holey Moley Kailyn is one!

Some of you might remember my post about my best friend’s baby shower last year? Well, I’ve had the pleasure of watching little Kailyn grow up over the past year and she is single-handedly the cutest little love in the whole world. Kailyn’s mom, L, and I spent countless lunches talking about Kailyn’s birthday and brainstorming themes. L finally settled on donuts. Yes, you read that right everyone, donuts! I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous of Kailyn. But how do you bake for a donut themed party without just making donuts? I’ll show ya!

IMG_1524 IMG_1535 IMG_1537IMG_1551The first baked good I knew I would have to bring, one way or another, was sugar cookies. I was going to just make normal donut shaped cookies for everyone, but as I started pulling the centers out I had an idea. Donuts for the adults and bags of donut holes for the kiddies! Sugar cookies are my favorite item to use as a favor at parties. They are so easy to individually package and a perfect reminder of the event for the party-goers the next day {or later that evening}. I frosted all the cookies in a very pale pink frosting and sprinkled them with rainbow sprinkles. Because nothing says donuts more than rainbow sprinkles! I had my very talented and always helpful mother make the tags for the bags. See more of her creativity on her Instagram!

What’s been your favorite party theme in the past?

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The next treat on the agenda was the smash cake. You cannot have a first birthday party in this day and age without having a smash cake for the little one to destroy. I wanted to go a little more simple on this smash cake because all of the other baked goods were pretty consistently decorated with the rainbow sprinkles. I tried a new decorating technique on the smash cake with the swiped dot technique around the edges. It was the perfect technique to get loads of frosting on the cake, which is the main goal with smash cakes! Once again, my crafty mom saved the day and made the cake flags that added the perfect height to the dessert table! The adorable stats and fun facts sign was my mom’s present to L and Kailyn. To say it stole the show from the baked goods would be an understatement!

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But what are the other kids supposed to do while Kailyn is busy smashing? Eat mini cupcakes that look like donuts of course! I made an army of mini cupcakes and piped circles of pink and chocolate frosting on them. With a sprinkling of rainbow decoration, the mini cupcakes were transformed into teeny tiny donuts {kind of}!

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In the past, I have never been a fan of smash cakes. It’s a little heartbreaking to make a cake knowing that its just going to be destroyed; but this time was so much different. The whole time we were watching all the kids make Fruit Loop necklaces and pulling the piñata strings I was sitting in the back counting down the minutes till it was time to smash! Kailyn needed a little convincing on what to do with the cake, but once she got the hang of it….well you can see the pictures. I’m not too sure if she liked the flavor of the cake, but she loved the frosting and had the best time destroying it. And how cute is that little hand mark in the last picture?!

How do you guys feel about smash cakes? Yay or nay?

IMG_1728Well, Kailyn is one, and I honestly have no idea where the last year has gone. It feels like just yesterday she was a snuggly little peanut who tagged along on L and I’s lunch dates. I cannot wait to see what this little girl gets into and I feel so honored to be a part of this little family’s life. Cheers to many more years of lunch dates, zoo trips, and birthday parties with this perfect human!

XO,EE

Flower Friday {number twenty}

Happy Friday everyone! This week went by so quickly that I can’t believe it’s already over. I am finally staying in Monterey for the weekend and I cannot wait to sit back and enjoy the cool weather. I made it to the farmer’s market this morning and I spent an embarrassing amount of time wandering around. After I did the necessary veggie run, I made my way around the flower stands. IMG_1627

The flower selection today was not the best…but then I saw the kale. Ornamental kale has a way of making my heart flutter a little extra, because who doesn’t love decorating with their favorite salad ingredient? Not only was the kale white and gorgeous, it was only 50 cents guys! Earlier in the week I received my Valentine’s Day card from G.Joan and I made sure to slip my $5 bill in the back of my wallet to spend at the market. Thanks for the freesias and kale G.Joan!  I complimented the bright white and green kale with a bunch of white freesias and a bunch of white tulips!

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I started with the tulips and I took off all of the excess leaves, except for one on each stem. I loved how the tulip leaves added some movement in the mason jar. Next, I trimmed the kale stocks down and made them three different lengths to make the jar look fuller all over. I kept the tallest one a little bit taller than normal to add more height too. After separating the freesias, I placed them in the empty holes. The freesias add the perfect amount of texture and randomness. There is so much green in this bunch that I absolutely love. I put the flowers at the foot of my bed and they make my room so much brighter. But that isn’t all for this week!

IMG_1641 IMG_1650I ended up leaving the market with four kale stocks. An even number just didn’t look right in the mason jar arrangement, so I had one extra for my gallery wall! This little touch of color and life on the gallery wall makes my room feel so much homier and alive. The short vase was also the perfect home for a few freesia stems that broke in the arranging process too.

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IMG_1648The weekend officially begins as soon as S gets off of work for the day. Homemade pizzas are on the menu tonight and I might even take the plunge into making my own marinara sauce from scratch!

What are all of you lovely people up to this weekend?

Come back later on this weekend to see some of my favorite party favor baked goods to date from last weekend! Because I have a feeling blogging is going to be my favorite homework procrastination tool this weekend (like always). Enjoy yourselves and do something fun this weekend lovelies!

XO,EE

Flower Friday {number nineteen}

Happy Friday everyone! We survived another week which means it’s time to celebrate with flowers! This post is one that is long overdue. A few weeks after Christmas my family went down to Laguna Beach to celebrate the holidays with my mom’s side of the family. One of my favorite people {and most avid followers} is my Grandma Joan. Hi G.Joan! Her favorite posts are Flower Fridays and my favorite thing to do for her is bring her flowers. For Christmas I brought her lots of baked goods and, of course, flowers.

We headed down south on a Saturday morning, which meant I didn’t have the luxury of going to the farmer’s market. Surprisingly, I got a great assortment of flowers from the local grocery store! I am not a huge fan or roses, but these green ones were too gorgeous to pass up. I grabbed one bunch of green roses, a bunch of light cream roses, and a small bunch of white snapdragons.

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I trimmed off most of the greenery from the roses to save space in the vase. I left a few of leaves on the outer roses to add a pop of darker green throughout the arrangement. I cut all of the roses about the same length, with some shorter ones around the edges to make the arrangement look a little bit more full. The snapdragons were the perfect addition to add a little bit of height to the arrangement too! There were only a few snapdragon stems in the bunch so I placed them as randomly as possible between the roses.

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After a little pulling, snipping, and rustling, I had the perfect centerpiece for our afternoon post-Christmas celebration lunch. The contrast of the bright green roses against G.Joan’s gorgeous cherry table was killer! Our day was full of laughs, amazing food, and flowers. What more could you ask for?

What is your favorite gift to bring to parties?

I hope you all have a fabulous Valentine’s Day weekend and enjoy time with the ones you love. Unfortunately, my Valentine’s Day celebrations are being postponed with S because, well, life happens. Thankfully, a postponed celebration doesn’t bug either of us. But I will be celebrating the first birthday of one of my very best friend’s one year old daughter this weekend, so follow me on Instagram to see what yummy treats and fun things we come up with for the celebrations!

XO, EE