Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Happiness for $7

In a favorite film of mine, Enchanted April (watch it instantly on Netflix for a spring pick-me-up!), 
the stuffy and annoying husband of one of the winter-weary British housewives chides her for the fresh flowers on the table: "Lottie, flowers are an extravagance of the most blatant kind" he says. I couldn't disagree more. I'm now wondering why I don't buy cheap little grocery store bouquets more often? These cherry blossom-colored roses have been bringing me cheer on the dining table for a whole week and they were just $6.99. That's cheap therapy if ever I saw it. To make your bouquet last even longer, strip all the leaves off the stems and cut them at an angle. Keeping the leaves out of the water cuts down on bacteria and improves vase life. Plunge them into cool water (not cold) and they'll last for a good week if not longer. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

To Die For: Greek Yogurt Cheesecake

Holy moly. You're gonna want to try this. 
Last week, for a little Valentine's treat, I made this cheesecake, whose main ingredient is heavenly, completely zero fat Greek Yogurt. And it was SO good. 

The crust is easy, healthy and low-sugar, consisting of crushed Melba toast, walnuts, olive oil and a dash of sugar.

The cheesecake part consisted of egg whites, 1/3 less fat neufchatel cheese and Greek Yogurt (and some sugar, which I cut down a bit and added a little agave nectar. Not sure if it really makes a difference, but it makes me feel better to lower the white sugar content)

The recipe called for a fig sauce (which I'm sure is incredible) but I didn't have time to follow the complicated fig sauce instructions and opted for a berry compote with vanilla, lemon juice and agave nectar. So pretty and so tasty.

I've never made a real cheesecake with the water bath and all, but I was amazed how smooth and pretty much perfect-looking it came out after baking in the slow roaster pan water bath. No drying, cracking or anything. Just straight-up sexy cheesecake. 

Get the recipe right here.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Guest Post: Gorgeous Gray & Gold

Hello, everyone! I'm Mari, a writer for Design Shuffle, a fabulous site that brings together designers and design lovers to showcase projects and share inspiration from around the world. I'm delighted to be visiting Fern & Flora as a guest blogger. Today's post is about one of my favorite color palettes—gray and gold. There's just something so elegant and gorgeous about interior designs done in gray touched with gold. Please enjoy! Thanks to Emily for allowing me to share with you today!

Gray and Gold

Golden place settings and centerpiece add even more elegance to this formal dining room. Lovely mural covered walls give this space a dreamy ethereal quality. I love the blue gray of the dining chairs.

Gray and Gold

Sometimes it's sunshine that gives a gray room its golden glow. Such is the case here as the pale gold draperies are bathed in natural light.

Gray and Gold

More light here—this time from a lovely golden chandelier. With pale gray on the walls and ceiling and deeper shades on the floor and upholstered seating, this space offers the perfect opportunity to add gold in the decorative accessories. Isn't the couture artwork stunning?

Gray and Gold

In a marble swathed bathroom, the gold of metal trim and fixtures adds an elegant finish to the room's sleek bathroom design.

Gray and GoldWe certainly don't expect ducks in the bath, but apparently even birds were attracted to this age-worn space with its antique gold framed mirror. I love the gray slipper chair and of course, the ornate chandelier.

Gray and Gold

A formal sunroom gets the gray/gold treatment here. The space would be beautiful without the accents of gold, but those few bits of shiny metal add another eye-catching layer. Using gold to line the white lamp shades is lovely touch. Isn't the deep gray velvet loveseat stunning?

Gray and Gold

The contemporary look of the textiles in this bedroom design is an unexpected choice that works beautifully with a mix of traditional and glam furnishings.

Gray and Gold

Soft gray and accents of gold are gorgeous in this traditional living room. I'll be dreaming of those lovely chairs for a long time. How about you? Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

What do you think of the gray and gold combo? Be sure to check out Design Shuffle! It's filled with stunning inspiration from top San Diego interior designers, Chicago interior designers and many others!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Poem

A little Neruda for your Valentine's Day. No Hallmark card could say it the way he does.... 

Friday, February 10, 2012

New from Fern & Flora

New items you say? Surely not! That would be akin to well... a miracle. I know. I know. My little shop hasn't had any new offerings for quite sometime now. It has something to do with buying a house, not having a craft space, being pregnant and losing my creative mojo in the process. However! I'm slowly working on getting some fresh pieces in the shop so keep checking back! 

The gray piece above would be lovely for a bride or a wintery night out on the town, I think. I also added this lovely pink piece below which is made from vintage Swiss Dot fabric I found at an estate sale. It's so soft and feminine... 

If you're planning a  wedding, or know someone who is, I'm happily taking orders for custom bridal hair pieces. 
My email address is on the right side bar of my blog, so please, don't be shy! 

Happy weekend friends. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Valentine Blooms

Here Valentine. Pick a virtual bouquet, won't you? 
I was poking around in a file this morning and found the raspberry colored bouquet just above from a wedding I did last fall. Then I thought "a floral valentine image board would be fun." So here you have a mish mash of appropriate colored blooms from arrangements I've made from here and here. I love the pink berries and red thistles and ranunculus. The ribbon on the peachy pink rose bouquet came from a vintage shop. Wish I had more of that. It would be perfect glued on a real Valentine. Wish I could send all of you a package of v-day goodies too, but these flowers will have to do! 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Baby Love

With our sweet babe on the way this spring, I've discovered a new realm of cuteness on Etsy: vintage baby clothes. The prices are all reasonable and they're just SO darn adorable. So far, I've been able to contain myself and haven't bought anything, but I think an expectant momma should be able to indulge herself a little here and there, right? 
With all our focus on getting the house ready, signing up for birthing classes and assembling a baby registry, this kind of shopping is a welcome diversion. I especially love the mint green romper below... 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Winter Words

We're in the midst of the biggest winter snow storm of the season (we've gotten at least a foot of snow and it's still coming down). All this snow got me humming the tune Walking in the Air, from the lovely animated film The Snow Man. Have you seen it? It's the most charming little show based on the book by British author Raymond Briggs, written in 1978. The animated film was created in 1982 (but has such a timeless quality about it) and is a silent one save the scene where the little British boy goes sailing through the sky with the snow man. A haunting song with the above lyrics plays while they fly. Watch the best part right here. And have a lovely weekend whatever the weather is.
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