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Floret

This is the beginning of a new series on florists who inspire me. I’m starting with Erin Benzakein from Floret, a Skagit Valley, Washington-based farmer florist. Floret is a 2014 award winner of Martha Stewart’s American Made! Congratulations, Erin and Floret!  Watch this video about Floret and you will fall in love! I’m not ashamed to admit that I completely teared up when I saw just how beautiful the Floret flower farm is.

Absolutely gorgeous, right?!!!!! How about when Erin walks through the rows of dahlias! And how about that all-yellow bouquet at the beginning! Just stunning! I love that Erin took such common flowers that we see all the time in yards and grocery stores (Brown-eyed Susan’s and sunflowers), but made an arrangement so big and lush it elevates those simple, everyday flowers. It is just breathtaking!

More beautiful photos of Erin’s work! What I love about the first arrangement below are the cherry tomatoes dangling up front. I love the mixture of fruit and veg with flowers.

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Floret specializes in growing certified organic heirloom flowers and is considered one of the nation’s leading “farmer florist” operations. They grow most of what they use in their gorgeous bouquets and arrangements. Their design studio is tucked into the heart of the flower farm. What an inspiring place this must be! Floret is a big advocate of chemical-free, American-grown flowers. Only 20% of the flowers available in the U.S. are domestically grown. Such a sad and small statistic. Floret is an inspiration in what they grow and how they want to change the industry!

One thing I love about Erin’s arrangements is that in addition to the beautiful show stopping heirloom blooms, she will mix in common weeds, such as dock. Seeing her use all that mother nature gives us flipped a switch in my head. My back yard is often riddled with weeds, especially dock (which is incredibly hard to get rid of) and I look at them with such scorn. Instead of cursing the dock that keeps on popping up, I should use it (it is free) and turn it into a thing of beauty. This is what I find so inspiring and exciting about Erin, she uses everything around her and doesn’t discriminate. Gorgeous cafe au lait dahlia or common weed, all are welcome and beautiful in her arrangements.

Floret

All photos courtesy of Floret Flower Farm.

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Dutch Florals

I’m loving the Dutch floral trend that I’ve seen cropped up in fashion this season. The prints are inspired by one of my favorite 17th century Dutch still-life painters, Rachel Ruysch. Her saturated floral still-lifes are meticulously painted, often on a rich, dark background. This moody atmosphere is what makes this such a beautiful trend for the Autumn and Winter.

RRuyschStill-Life with Bouquet of Flowers and Plums, 1704

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1130px-Ruysch,_Rachel_—_Rosenzweig_mit_Käfer_und_Biene_—_1741Rose Branch with Beetle and Bee

Dutch Floral Trend

Clockwise from top left: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 //

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Cozy Autumn/Winter Interiors

My September was a crazy month and the first half of October has turned out to be a bit of the same. I’m ready for some cold weather hibernation! I’ve been lusting for warm furry blankets, a cozy sofa, silky soft pillows and mug of rich, decadent hot chocolate. Plus a good book and a Netflix marathon.

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These three interiors were the inspiration for my mood board below. Don’t you just want to curl up with a good book in that first photo?! Some people might not find the color grey to be cozy and warm, but I think the key is to mix it with lots of textures. Find a great couch, add a Moroccan rug, a gorgeous weaving (this beauty below is by Natalie Novak), lots of pillows, a faux fur throw and some obligatory candles and string lights. BOOM! A room I won’t want to leave till Spring!

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Are you ready to slowdown and hibernate? How do you like to make your home cozy?

 

Shop:  1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 //

Style Inspiration credit : 1 // 2 // 3 //

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Autumn Reading List

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I made it through most of my Summer reading list. I’m still working on Capital by John Lanchester, which is a bedside read for me (i.e. anything over 200 pages doesn’t easily commute). There are lots of fantastic new books out this Autumn. Here are the ones that that made my list.

Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes I’m most excited about reading Sali’s beauty without the bullshit book. Sali Hughes is the beauty editor of The Guardian, a contributing editor of Red Magazine and the founder of salihughesbeauty.com. She is a straight shooter and I trust all her recommendations. She’s funny, smart and super kick ass. I love this quote from her introduction.

I believe looking good to be an important and valid pursuit. All too often, women with an interest in their appearance are assumed to be stupid, shallow or unintelligent. Event traitors to feminism. But I see good grooming and feminism as entirely complementary. For some, beauty is a mater of pride and self-respect, of feeling your best and worthy of attention. While a man with an interest in football, wine, Formula 1 or even paintingballing would never see his intelligence called into question, a woman with an interest in surface is perceived to have no depth. I believe it’s perfectly normal to love both lipstick and literature, to be a woman who paints her nails while shouting at Question Time. Looking good makes us feel good, and the rituals involved are a pleasure in themselves. The implication that us poor women are getting up half an hour earlier than we want to and miserably trowelling on slap because it’s what society tells us to do is absurd. I know categorically that for very many women, putting on make-up is one of the only time they enjoy to themselves all day. It’s an act of love, self-care and, crucially, self-expression. Make-up is such a powerful tool of creativity. I genuinely pity men for not having it. – Sali Hughes

YES, YES, YES AND YES! This is the beauty book for everyone. From the make-up lover to someone with no experience. It talks to you as the intelligent, dynamic, funny, sexy woman you all are!

Yes Please by Amy Poehler I love Amy Poehler. She’s smart, hilarious, wise, a pretty awesome feminist and great role model to all females young and old. So I know her book is going to be awesome.

The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah This is a brand new Hercule Poirot mystery. How will it fare compared to Agatha Christie’s writing? Will the little grey cells be stimulated? I’m excited to find out.

How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are : Love, Style and Bad Habits by Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret, Sophie Mas I love these types of books. Slap here’s how you can be French on the cover and I will eat that marketing up! Francophileness in full effect!

How to Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran Caitlin has a new book out this Autumn, How to Build A Girl, but I never read her previous book, so I thought I would start there. How to be a Woman is part memoir, part feminist manifesto and I’m sure it is filled with witty anecdotes that will make me laugh and rile me up about woman not identifying themselves as feminists anymore.

Have you read any of these? What’s on your fall reading list?

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California vs. Paris

calivsparis Toby and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary next year! In honor of the occasion, we really want to take a fun trip. We talked about where we would really love to go and the two ideas we came up with are a road trip around California and Paris. Toby hasn’t been to either places and really either would be wonderful, but we’re having the hardest time to decide.

We have a lot of friends in L.A. and it would be great to see them, maybe a side trip to Palm Springs and Joshua Tree, a trip up Highway 1, a night or two in Big Sur, a visit to Yosemite and the Red Wood Forest and swing by San Francisco to see a few friends.

But Paris is PARIS! I haven’t been there since 1999, which is far too long! Paris holds such a romantic place in my heart. I love it there in the fall. Leaves turning a beautiful orange, warming up in a cafe with a decadent chocolat chaud, strolling along the Seine, visiting the Musee Rodin and eating our weight in cheese, bread and pastries.

It’s a fun decision to think about. I’m curious, where would you choose? California road trip or Paris?