field trip

I’m on my quest to soak up the last unofficial week of summer without rushing fall in like I normally do this time of year.  So today I took a break an enjoyed a stroll through a local U-pick zinnia farm in my area.  It was heavenly.  An absolutely gorgeous day for such a walk.  I could have stayed in those fields for hours.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

To get to the other field of zinnias of course!

After my walk, I visited the farm’s market which was stocked full of colorful locally grown produce.   Farm markets are always so inspiring to me for their rustic, simple style, the textures and all of the colors of course.  And just the overall quantities of produce.

And then it happened. Sitting right there in the middle of my blissful late summer moment was a sure sign of fall!  I can’t deny that it is right around the corner with a pumpkin that orange staring at me.  Bring on fall!




august splendor

You know what I love about this time of year?

Seeing all of the hard work in the garden come to fruition.  I love cutting flowers from my yard and making little arrangements.  It just sums up the simplicity of summer.

I’m still working on my developing my cutting garden but this year I ended up with a great crop of Zinnias which are annuals.  In addition I have been snipping Black Eyed Susans (not pictured) for the arrangements which are perennials.  I like to round out the bouquets with Dusty Miller foliage, a biennial.  Huh?  Biennial?  That means it blooms on the second year but the foliage is a nice silver accent both years.  The perennial Astilbe adds height and feathery texture.  And finally, a few sprigs of the herb Rosemary give the arrangement a wonderful scent.

So simple yet makes such a big impact!

Other than arranging little wildflower bouquets this month, I’ve also been obsessively making refreshing fruit smoothies.  I’d love to say that I grew those ingredients as well but I’d be lying.  I stick primarily to ornamentals, not edibles.

So basically I’ve been throwing about 8-12 strawberries into a blender along with a banana and about 2 tablespoons or so of Greek yogurt topped off with ice.  The result is a fresh and amazing fruit smoothie!  Sorry for the loose goosey measurements but, hey, this isn’t a recipe blog!  There’s a baseline for you to start with.  Feel free to add rum too.  I won’t judge.  Just as long as you are not having the rum smoothie for breakfast.  Then I’ll start talking about ya.

I seriously can’t get enough of these flower arrangements and smoothies right now so I thought I’d share.  Indulge yourself too!

What are you loving about August?

P.S.  I stopped by local shop Phantastic Phinds’ blog this week and revealed what I did with an old dresser that lost its drawers.  Lost its drawers?  Hmm, not sure that came out right but anyway go check it out!


…and the livin is easy.

tarnished silver initial pitcher

plus farmer’s market zinnias

and clippings from the butterfly bush & garden greenery

equals instant happiness for just a few bucks.  Doesn’t get any better than that.




your weekend plans

Hello!  I am back with yet another post.  I know.  I have been chatty this week, haven’t I?  It must be all of the coffee.  But anyway, I wanted to share some deets with you about what you should be doing this weekend.  These events are geared for the Philly area.  Sorry if you are not local but please scroll on for some seriously inspiring eye candy!

Have you made it to the Philadelphia Flower Show yet?  No?  Well you are in luck because it doesn’t end until Sunday evening.  Annnd I’ve got a big tip for you.  Go on Sunday and stay ’til the end.  That is the best time to shop the retail vendors because they will be practically giving away their remaining inventory of fresh flowers and plants.  Seriously.  If you are ready to inject Spring into your home, get started this weekend.  Catch the wave…


The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society hosts the Flower Show every March.  It is the largest flower show in the world! I know. Huge.  The theme this year is Hawaii: Islands of Aloha. Let’s see what 2012’s event has in store…

Oops, I think this man forgot his trousers.

 Anyway, you’ll feel like you took a day trip to Hawaii after walking around the convention center. 

And there are tons of ideas for your landscape.  Our yard actually already looks like this oasis…

We are hoping to scale it back this year but can’t decide between this quaint, rustic veranda…

Or this one.  We actually already have a patio set like this that just may get a paint job this year…

And why didn’t I think of a driftwood walkway?  You know I’m obsessed with driftwood.  It popped up more than a few times at the flower show.

And who doesn’t want a wall of lettuce?  It is so lush and green and healthy.  I want this!  It is the  perfect idea for urban gardeners with limited growing space on the ground.

Mmm, reclaimed wood wall!  Note to self, don’t forget the zinnias this year.

Whoa reclaimed wood wall AND galvanized flower bucket lighting.  Yes, please.

I’ll tell ya, my brain hurts from all of the ideas and there was a decent amount of vintage injected in the display.  Check out this fab aqua wagon.  I need this in my life.

Ok enough swooning. While I was at the Flower Show, I had the pleasure of watching one of my friends and renowned floral designers battle in a designers challenge. Renee Tucci is the Floral Design Manager locally at Rhoads Garden.  She threw down like nobody’s business. As much as you can throw down in floral design. I think there was even some trash talking going on. Yup, that’s how floral designers roll.

Oh my, only 10 seconds to go in the 30 minute competition full of surprise elements.

Does she look nervous?  They had to create a tropical arrangement to complement the Hawaiian theme with specific tools and materials that were not previewed before the competition.

There was definitely nothing to be nervous about.  Renee took home first place in the friendly competition!

I think you should call her up at Rhoads today and ask her to whip up an award-winning tropical arrangement for you.  Tell her Dana sent you.

Did I lose you yet?  I am full of pics and info today.  I really shouldn’t have had that second cup of coffee!  But while I’ve still got you, let me tell you about another must see event going on this weekend…

Head out to the ‘burbs for the grand opening of freshvintage on Saturday from 10-5.  I’m pretty thrilled to hear that one of my favorite vintage bloggers and sellers has gone all brick and mortar on us.  Colleen and her husband, Chris, have opened up shop at Highland Orchards in West Chester.  Their grand opening bash sounds like a blast complete with wine, of course.  Here’s a sneak peek of the new shop courtesy of freshvintage.  Check out more on her blog.

Now I’m exhausted just thinking about your weekend plans.  Let me know how it goes, mmm kay?

happy thanksgiving

From our table to yours…

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is our first year hosting. And we’ve never cooked a turkey before!  (It seems were could stand to use an iron on our tablecloth – oh well.)

Our placecards are  shimmery gold cardstock with a stamped sentiment…and our placecard holders are simple – pinecones.

Our napkin rings are none other than copper pipe fittings. The color is perfect and they come in a variety of sizes.

The centerpiece didn’t set us back more than a few bucks. It is simply a grocery store bouquet of alstromeria – one of my favorite flowers for their versatility.

I arranged the bouquet in a glass vase and spruced it up with dusty miller from my garden.

And fading brown astilbe, also from the garden.

Gobble ’til you wobble.

Enjoy your feast!

I know I will…assuming everything goes off without a hitch over here!

What will you be feasting on?

Linking to:

an affair to remember

Hey there!  We are in the peak of fall wedding season.  A few weeks ago we went to a lakeside tree themed wedding which you can read about here.  And just last weekend we attended another family wedding, this time in the neighborhood.

It is amazing how much you can customize a wedding to suit your style and personality.  I love to see what details each couple comes up with.  There were few commonalities in the recent family weddings.  Oh except for this bridesmaid who was in both and wore a deep purple bridesmaid dress to each.  (And she’s loving her Circa Dee cameo right now.  Hi Ali.)  Anyway, eggplant or deep purple seem to be quite the wedding trend for 2011/2012.

The bride wore a one shoulder strap gown with tons of detail on the full skirt.  It was a modern choice accented by a vintage style updo and a classic fingertip veil.  Gorgeous and quite complementary to the asymmetrical architecture of the modern church where the couple wed.

Speaking of church, it’s been awhile.  I mean it has been awhile since I have attended a wedding in an actual church.  The trend as of late has been to have a short ceremony/cocktails/dinner & dancing all in one venue.  I found it to be a refreshing change to witness the formality of matrimony.  It was a reminder that there is something bigger than us in this life and love regardless of an individual’s religious beliefs.

The bride and groom originally met in a college dorm years prior.  A few months ago they headed back to the meeting site and posed for engagements pics.  They incorporated the pictures into their save-the-dates and gift box pictured below.  I love the idea of taking engagement photos at the original meeting site unless of course it is less than memorable like a seedy bar, frat party or strip club (actual places some of my friends met their mates!).

The reception was held at the swanky Meadowlands Country Club.  Not only was the inside gorge but so were the grounds.  Ryan and I took a peek at the courtyard and gardens during the cocktail hour.  There he is posing.  The sun hid for their wedding day but at least it didn’t rain!

Back inside we feasted on tons of tasty hors d’oeuvres.  It was enough food to make a meal. 

I was taken back by this simple yet genius candle display.  Loving!  All it consists of his upside down stemware in various sizes with tea lights placed on top and slate tiles below.

It’s even kind of spooky in low light.  You might just see this again in my Halloween decor.

Ok so moving onto the dinner and dancing portion of the evening.  The couple’s first dance was to Better Together by Jack Johnson.  They were definitely the Prince & Princess of their ball!  Or perhaps King & Queen.  Either way, they looked like royalty.

Now let me tell you about the comedy that the bridal party brought to the party.  Enter the Maid and Matron of Honor.  They didn’t exactly look like Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince but they could rhyme.  I have to be honest, as these girls stepped up to the mic to give their toast I was thinking “oh not a girl speech”.  You know they can be sappy or sobby.  But not this toast.  They rewrote the entire Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song to reflect the bride and groom’s courtship.  It was hysterical and the beat was on point.  It could easily be a you tube sensation by now.  Truly legendary.

The flowers were also beautiful.  The tables alternated between low florist arrangements and tall branch arrangements with twinkling lights.  The flowers also met the color scheme in purples and whites.  Phalaenopsis orchids were intertwined in the branches and seasonal dahlias arranged in the low arrangements along with hydrangeas and roses.  Another classic and stunning choice.  Did you expect anything less?

Even the cake got the floral treatment.   Oh and that cake was good.  I am always left wanting more wedding cake!  The cake was followed up by a coffee bar.  In nearly 10,000 weddings that it seems I’ve attended, I have never seen a coffee bar like this.  I am talking a separate bar set up with top shelf liquors to mix with your java.  It was an extra special treat for guests.  I was so busy tearing up the dance floor that I almost missed the coffee bar.  Seriously, I was sore the next day.  We had a blast!

Best wishes newlyweds!

Now I’m off to get ready for another wedding.  The last of the fall wedding season for me.  Have a fab weekend friends!