A king is born! What a thrill that the gorgeous and gracious Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have welcomed a beautiful baby boy into this world. A true fairytale, their story of a sensational girl and a dashing prince falling in love, marrying, and starting a family (royal of course!) just makes one glow with love. And so, in honor of England’s newest bundle of joy, Prince George Alexander Louis, I give you a round-up of baby-approved gifts, fabulous enough for the little ones in your life and even the little king himself!
Hello dearest readers! When I think of sunflowers, I envision fields of sunshine colored blooms for as far as the eye can see. Rich golden petals surrounding a dark-chocolate center, sunflowers evoke memories of the French countryside, rustic beauty, and summertime. I had the pleasure of participating in another class at the fabulous Cebolla, where we created gorgeous, natural arrangements showcasing the ever cheerful and provincial sunflower. Here’s a play-by play so you can masterfully bring a little bit of sunshine into your home! Also, Cebolla will be offering a class on succulents later this summer, and it is not to be missed! Check their website for all of the details.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 ceramic pitcher (we used an antique style french pitcher)
4 cranberry viburnum stalks
2-4 thistle stalks
5-6 flame celosia stalks
6-7 sunflowers stalks
1. First, make sure your pitcher is filled halfway with water.
2. Pull off the leaves on the bottom of the stem – they will just steal water from the rest of the flowers. Trim the bottoms of the cranberry viburnum stalks so they are tall enough to extend out of the vase, but short enough so you can anchor them in. Start by cutting off about 2-3 inches, test the height, and then continue trimming until you have the correct length. Next, place each stalk in, crisscrossing them so you create an X, as well as support for the rest of the flowers. Keep in mind, they will fall naturally to the sides of the vase, so don’t be alarmed! Unlike with oasis, this arrangement is all about rustic, natural, free-flowing beauty.
3. Now for the thistle! Peel off the small leaves and baby buds around the stalks (you really just want the larger prickly buds at the top to be in the spotlight), and then similar to above cut the length of the stalks so they match the length of the cranberry viburnum. Thistles can be sharp, so even if you’re an experienced green-thumb, proceed with caution! Intersperse them amongst the cranberry viburnum, making sure they are evenly scattered throughout the arrangement and balance out the dimensions. You can use between 2 and 4 stalks, or more, it’s up to you!
4. Next comes what I like to call the velvet flames. Again, cut the stalks of the flame celosia so they match the height of the other blooms, and then strategically place them in the open spaces of the arrangement. They add rich color and texture, so be sure you place them in a way that they aren’t hidden with the other foliage.
5. Time for the pièce de résistance: sunflowers! Just as with the previous three flora, remove the leaves and cut the stalks (they have thick stalks so make sure your shears are strong enough) so they are the appropriate height, and then position them on all sides of the vase as well as the middle. There really is no exact science when it comes to inserting the sunflowers, it’s more about balancing out the arrangement so the flowers are evenly dispersed. And there you have it! You’re left with a gorgeous and vibrant sunflower arrangement!
Delicious cookies we taste-tested
Esperanza roses, a favor in addition to the succulent
Dear B, I live in a darling little house and have great neighbors on either side of me. I’m hosting a pool party next weekend, and anticipate quite a few guests, and we’ll of course be playing music and enjoying being outdoors. Do I need to notify my neighbors that I’m having a party so they aren’t taken aback by the noise? Do I need to invite them? Sincerely, Party Patty P Squared My Pet,
A summer pool party sounds most festive! To ensure your sweet neighbors don’t have steam coming from their ears, kindly knock on their front door this week and let them know that you are having a little alfresco soiree. Be sure to share the time-frame of the fete, and if you’re so inclined and it’s appropriate, extend an invitation to them – because who doesn’t love a fabulous pool party? Also, during the party strive to keep the volume of the music and noise to a minimum out of respect for these lovely neighbors. In the event your guests linger until the sun rises, consider dropping off some homemade muffins and a note the next morning as a peace offering. Cheers to a wonderful event and don’t forget the SPF!