Decorate Desserts Inspire Parties

Scary Stories & Cute Cupcakes

You know what’s scary?

Halloween is less than a week away which means that Thanksgiving is four weeks way which means that Christmas is eight weeks away.

I can’t breathe.

You know what else is scary?

My eldest daughter will turn 14 the day after Halloween which means that she will turn 16 in two years which means she’ll be leaving for college two years after that.

STOP the madness. 

Do you see how my mind works?


My morning was scary too. I had my cup of coffee, made breakfast, packed lunches, fed the animals, made sure that everyone had their vitamins and got ready to workout. Seems rather normal right? Well then as I waited for My Yanni to finish up a business call before heading to the gym, my mind started whirling through my to do list. Before I knew it I had grabbed the white pumpkins to be used as a centerpiece for an upcoming post and had just started to carve them when I thought, “I should have different clothes on”.

This is where things began to unravel.

I had dashed to the closet to grab a sweatshirt. Somehow that turned into trying on clothes and more clothes then shoes and boots and then I noticed a dust bunny & cob webs on my hardwood floors which made me think of Halloween and…the pumpkins waiting in the kitchen.


Halloween is less than a week away.

Tomorrow is Sweet Cheeks Halloween party at school. Her very last Halloween party of elementary school which means it’s MY last Halloween party of elementary school.


So I made cupcakes. Just because.

Makes perfect sense doesn’t it?

Stress+ multi-tasking-like-a-deer-on-roller-skates = easy-cute-cupcakes.

Makes perfect sense to me.

To save time I used a boxed cake mix and pre-made icing and decided to embellish the little cuties with some fun ribbon flags.

I happened to have some ribbon with “Happy Halloween” written on it, but you can use any kind of Halloween ribbon that you’ve got.

Just cut the ribbon into 2 inch length pieces, dab some hot glue to the back edge and wrap them around the tip of a toothpick.

Make some cupcakes and frost them…

And stick the flags in.

So festive and darling.

Now you’ll even have time to dust up all of those cobwebs hanging around your house.

Or if you’re like me, decide that they make the perfect Halloween decoration.

Speaking of Halloween decorations, I didn’t even get to tell you how I haven’t had the time to put up all of my beloved Halloween decorations. Or how I accidentally took my dog’s allergy pill last week.


Now THAT’S scary.

Which reminds me.

Oh never-mind.




Decorate Inspire Sponsored Post

Gameday Tailgate Tips

Fall and football make the perfect combination, don’t they?

The brillant blue skies and the crisp Autumn air make a stunning backdrop for tailgating and game watching.

All of my senses come alive. The colors just seem to pop, the celebratory cheering of the crowds seems to cut through the cool air for miles and the food smells exceptionally fabulous as it sizzles away on the grill.

Oh yeah…and then there’s the football part…


Ohio State football has been an important part of my family for as long as I can remember. And for as long as I can remember I have, well, um, to be honest, gravitated more towards the tailgating and entertaining side of the sport.

That is kind of a sport, right?

The funny part is, my dad actually played football for Ohio State under Woody Hayes. First string linebacker #60 to be exact.

Now I did try to embrace the sport when I was younger. I came up with the idea to be a water girl for my high school football team as a way to show hommage to the sport. While it was exciting and had it’s obvious perks, it was just too stinky and sweaty and I soon found myself back in the stands with my friends putting lip gloss on waiting eagerly for the social that would follow. What can I say? I tried.

A few weeks ago my dad was invited, with other alumni football players, to come back and form the tunnel at the beginning of the first OSU game. He was actually able to get tickets for the whole family and I’ve got to say it was a spectacular experience.

(My daddy is the one in the middle, between 2 legendary fellow teammates.)

We had front row seats and I must admit that I was totally enthralled in the game, caught up in the cheering and screaming and jumping out of my seat like all of the other hardcore fans.

Especially when they made a homerun…I mean touchdown.

Snort. I couldn’t resist. *Hi Daddy*


All joking aside, it was truly a magical day as we watched the Buckeyes beat Akron, one that we will all cherish for years to come.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of hosting a tailgate party, sponsored by Bush’s® Beans, in the comforts of my own home as we watched the Buckeyes beat Illinois. I had so much fun getting ready for friends to come over to share a relaxing afternoon of eating and fun. Oh, and football too.

Here are a few entertaining tips for a stress-free tailgating experience that can be used at home or in the parking lot.

Decorations need to be simple & festive.

I’m a big fan of paper napkin banners. I use them for everything! They are perfect for game day as they are easy and inexpensive to make. It’s an instant darling decoration.

My next tip…organization is key. I like to use a condiment caddy. I put one together using an antique milk carrier but you could use anything- a basket or even a deep tray.

The condiment caddy holds all of the essentials in one handy place. Napkins, utensils, condiments and cups are all easily carried and contained.

I find it handy to tie a sharpie marker onto the side of my caddy so that guests can claim their cup by writing their name on it!

And speaking of drinks, check out this handy tip that My Yanni enlightened me with! Mix about 1/4 cup iodized salt with about a of cup of water and pour it into your tub filled with ice to chill your drinks in about  half the time! I kid you not. My Yanni saw this on Myth Busters episode #29.

Our Root Beer, Cola and waters were frosty in no time flat.

Another simple time saver tip is to tie a bottle opener onto the handle of the drink tub.

That way nobody ever has to go looking for it and I always know that it won’t get lost. It’s a win, win.

See how easy it can be to entertain without stress and fuss?

And guess what? The food was as easy as the entertaining! We served Spicy Italian Brat-Kabobs and Greek Fetish Burgers alongside tasty Bush’s Baked Beans.

I’d like to say a big thank you to the kind folks at Bush’s Baked Beans for sponsoring our tailgate!

It was a perfect day. I was relaxed which meant My Yanni was relaxed and in turn we got to enjoy our guests, the food and the game. Hope you’ll stop back for the delicious recipes and a fabulous Bush’s Beans giveaway!


Disclamer: The tailgate and giveaway are in partnership with Bush’s Beans. However my opinions, thoughts and photos are 100% my own.

Decorate Inspire Parties

Trash to Treasure


I love to go antiquing.

There is something so magical and medicinal about rising early with the sun, grabbing a cup of coffee and forging out in search of treasures just waiting patiently to be found.

It’s all about the hunt.

The anticipation…mixed with imagination that just sets my soul on fire.

I LOVE it.

I also love to piddle around in my flower beds. When I stumble upon a treasure that I can enjoy outside amongst my flowers beds I am filled with glee!

Last summer I found this chandelabra while antiquing and I shared how easy it is to make when talking about Dining Al Fresco in Style.

Today I’d like to share another cherished find.

A flower cart. A rusty…metal…flower cart.

But it’s not just any ordinary flower cart.

With a little imagination, a simple sanding,

and some spray primer and paint, you, my friends, can have this…

a darling, charming entertaining cart. It’s got wheels for easy transportation, two shelves to fill with all sorts of goodies and can be enjoyed for entertaining inside or out!

I even found that enamel bowl while out treasure hunting…

Oh and that sweet vintage glass holder too! I switch out the glasses to match whatever color palette I may be using!

Antiquing and treasure hunting has become a hobby of mine.

Go ahead…venture out with an open mind and a full imagination!

The possibilities are endless!

Happy Hunting!


Decorate Eat Inspire Parties

Tickled Pink Raspberry Spritzer


It’s officially the first day of summer at our house which means…

long lazy afternoons chasing butterflies…

countless hours spent slathered in suntan lotion while hanging at the local pool…

lemonade stands…

Popsicles that melt down your arm before you can eat them…

dusty Jeep rides to the cabin….

early morning Farmer’s markets gathering fabulous fresh fruits and vegetables…

pitch black bottoms of feet…



and staying up late and getting to sleep in.

And ya know what? We are all just tickled pink about it! In celebration of the occasion I whipped up this fun little drink. I was inspired by these gorgeous raspberries that I spied at the market.

I decided to make a fun fizzy sweet treat that would tickle our tongues as well as our tum and welcome in the smoldering days of summer with a refreshing sparkle.

This is what I did.

I made some raspberry pink lemonade.

I just love to cool off with lemonade on a sweltering hot day.

Wouldn’t you just love to jump in and swim around for a bit?

Next I added some berry juice. Any berry juice will do.

And for the final touch and sparkle, a little effervescence to make it feel like a special occasion,

I added some sparkling raspberry seltzer water…

that just screams celebration doesn’t it?

It’s summertime.

Sit down,

put up your feet for a spell,

and enjoy a moment of sweet and sparkle.

You deserve it!


Tickled Pink Raspberry Spritzer
(serves 6-8)


4 cups Raspberry pink lemonade
1 cup berry juice (I used Juicy Juice)
2 cups sparkling raspberry seltzer water

What to do:

* Pour raspberry pink lemonade into a pitcher.
* Pour in berry juice.
* Add sparkling raspberry seltzer water (be sure to add right before serving to ensure proper effervescence).
* Stir and serve over ice with a few fresh raspberries.


Crafts Decorate Make Seasonal

Adorable Edible Easter Egg Tree

Adorable edible Easter egg tree. Say that three times fast.

Or not…

Easter is less than a week away…are you ready?

Me either.

I’m still hopping around tying up loose ends and trying to get all of my eggs in one basket. HA! Couldn’t resist. This year in preparation of the holiday, I’ve made an edible Easter egg tree adorned with delicious white chocolate eggs! It was so fun and easy and can be used as a festive decoration in or as a center piece for your Easter table.

Here’s the scoop on what to do…

Just gather some pretty pastel candy melts.

An egg shaped plastic candy making tray.

And some thin ribbon that matches the pastel color candy melts. All of these items are very affordable and can be found in your local craft store.

Melt the candy melts in the microwave.

Grab a small spoon for each color and give a good stir to make sure that the chocolate is lump free and smooth.

Next use the little spoons to fill the plastic tray with the melted chocolate. Try as best you can to fill the egg shapes evenly and don’t fill too much.

Once the tray is full, give it a good, tap, tap, tap, by picking up a corner a dropping it on the counter. This will get rid of all air bubbles that may be lurking about.

We don’t want air bubbles…we want smooth Easter-eggish-eggs.

Once your tray is filled and tap, tap, tapped, pop it in the freezer (laying flat) for five minutes. The freezer sets the melted chocolate beautifully and gives the finished product a nice shine.

After five minutes, take the tray out of the freezer and turn it up-side-down.

The eggs should pop out easily, if they don’t just put them back in freezer for a few more minutes and try again.

Next, cut your ribbon into two inch strips. These will become the loops from which the darling little eggs will hang.

Now the fun begins. Warm up your candy melts (I’m guessing that by now they’ve gotten cold and hard like mine did) and grab some paint brushes.

Paint the flat sides of the egg with an even layer of chocolate and put the satin ribbon, shaped as a loop, at the top of the egg. I failed to get a photo of the ribbon so use your imagination.

Press the whole thing together and gently hold for a few seconds until the chocolate dries. Don’t hold too long or you will melt the chocolate with your finger tips.

Note: I found it easier to make the ribbons into loops and glue ends together with chocolate before I put them in the eggs.

Isn’t that sweet?

In my minds eye, I saw a cute little tree with solid eggs but then I started playing around with easy little embellishments.

Like polka dots. I LOVE polka dots!

And then some stripes. So cute dontcha think? You can make the little eggs as fancy or simple as you wish.

I made a few extra eggs that could be used as place cards by painting the initial of each guest on the egg. Just tuck them in a little nest. How cute would that be?

Wishing you a Hippity Hoppity Easter filled with love & laughter and some sweet little treats!


Decorate Inspire

A Bundle of Bébé Cards for the Bundle of Joy

Amanda is having a baby!

Amanda is a dear sweet friend of mine who is the brilliant and very talented lady behind the two lovely blogs, I Am Baker and I Am Mommy. If you haven’t had the chance to enjoy her blogs well, you really must. She’s witty, talented, charming and as sweet as the goodies she makes…did I already say talented?

Amanda and I are part of a fabulous group of ladies that I like to think of as a “sisterhood of blogging gaggle.” And like all good sisterhoods do, we are throwing Amanda a surprise (virtual) baby shower today!

Surprise Amanda!

So I do believe that this Mommy-To-Be (and for a fourth time) deserves a party, don’t you?

Um….yep. I’m telling you this lady is amazing…

Heck, I have a hard time juggling my 2 kids, 1 blog and venti Starbucks from day to day…

So without further adieu, let’s get this party started!

I’ve decided to shower the mommy-to-be with bundle of handmade baby cards. Some of you may already know that back in my other life (before my blog), I had my own business designing and making handmade greeting cards. Since resurrecting my old boxes and boxes of cards while sharing my no-bake cupcakes a couple of weeks ago, the card-making bug has bitten me again. Baby cards were the very reason that I started making cards to begin with. So I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to get to work making sweet little baby cards for Amanda to enjoy and to share how easy it can be!

I’ll show you how to make a dinosaur pull toy. Here’s what you’ll need:

Some soft baby blue chenille, satin ribbon, sparkle glue, bakers twine…

…and some buttons.

I just adore buttons don’t you? I love getting lost in a box of buttons and all of their untold stories of past adornments, future possibilities and individual personalities.

I know I’m talking about buttons but they really do have a story to tell if you just listen.

Next you’ll want to make a dinosaur template out of card stock. It’s so much easier to trace a template that’s already been made and finessed.

Trace the cute little dinosaur then cut him out.

Next, attach the dino, two buttons (for wheels) and a small piece of baker’s twine with some glue (or a hot glue gun) and let dry.

Squeeze the sparkle glue along the bottom edge and you’ve got yourself a darling little dino pull toy!

(Ignore the fact that I forgot to add the little blue satin bow).

I decided to make Amanda a bundle of three different pull toys,

a little sail boat, blue booties and a striped onesie.

The finishing touch?  A pretty little gauze bag!

Handmade cards are a precious way to welcome any little of bundle of joy into the world! They can be used as thank you notes or put in a frame to adorn the the baby’s nursery.

How cute is that?

And just in case you haven’t figured it out…

Wishing Amanda and her precious little family many peaceful nights, an abundance of  joyful days and a lifetime of blessings!

With love,

– Wenderly

The Baby shower continues with all of the other bloggers hosting Amanda’s Baby Shower:


Add a Pinch – i am baby Shower Punch
TidyMom  – Ducky Bath Blue Punch

Savory Bites

Dine and Dish – Stuffed Mushrooms
GoodLife Eats – Cucumber Sandwich Recipe
My Baking Addiction – Crab Rangoons
Simple Bites – Spring Crudité, Buttermilk-Black Pepper Dip


A Farmgirl’s Dabbles – {i am baby} cakes
Bake at 350 – Baby on Board Cookies
Bakers Royale – Baby Shower Cupcakes
Bluebonnets and Brownies – Mini Fruit Pizzas
Confessions of a Cookbook Queen – Homemade Butter Mints
Food for My Family – Baby Shower Macarons
Gourmande in the Kitchen – Chocolate Blueberry Truffles
My Kitchen Addiction – Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls
She Wears Many Hats – “B” is for Boy – Itty Bitty Baby Cupcakes
Smith Bites – Strawberries with Brown Sugar Dip
What’s Cooking with Kids – Hamentashen cookies

Decorate Desserts Inspire Parties

Scarily Easy Tips for a Halloween Party!

It’s scary how much I love Halloween!

However, Halloween always seems like such a hectic time of year. We’ve finally adjusted to the back-to-school routine and then *BAM* it’s time to make costumes, carve pumpkins and get ready for trick-or-treat! The next thing you know I’m watching the Macy’s day parade while baking a turkey and then turn around to find that Christmas carols are playing and my kids are married and have kids of their own! O.k. perhaps it’s not that hectic but it seems like it is especially when my oldest is actually turning 13 years old this weekend.



How can this be?

It was only yesterday that I was looking into the sweet, pink, wrinkled little face of my first born child wasn’t it?

<gulp, sniff, sob>

See my point?

Time flies in the blink of an eye.

And this is precisely why I am so happy to have these quick and easy little ditties to turn to while I’m trying to forget, I mean, celebrate my first born turning into a teenager.

Wait until you see how easy it is to pull together a last minute Halloween soiree in about 30 minutes flat.

First I’m going to show you how to make cute little spider cookies with oreo cookies!

I made these for her Birthday Halloween themed party about 6 years ago, when I was allowed to do cute little things for her party. I believe that I got the idea from Martha herself, but I can’t be certain.

These are the ingredients: double stuff Oreo® cookies, mini M&M®‘s, rope black licorice and white icing.

First thing you’ll want to do is make the icing. Just mix 1/2 cup of confectioner’s sugar with 2 tablespoons of water. Easy peasy.

Pour the icing into a sandwich baggie.

By the way my tween soon to be TEEN helped me with this fun little treat.

I have to milk every opportunity to share time with her and I’m not above enticing her to assist me in photos.

Squeeze excess air out of the baggie and twist to keep icing in the tip of the baggie.

This will be your glue for the spider eyes.

Now it’s time for the spider legs. Just snip off pairs of 2 inch pieces and badda boom badda bing…spider legs!

Gently insert licorice into the sides of the double stuff oreo. This is why I like to use double stuff oreos, you’ll have plenty of room to fit the licorice!

Cut the tip off of the plastic baggie filled with icing and gently squeeze out 2 cute little dollops of icing where the eyes should be…

and place 2 mini m&m’s on top of the icing.

Aren’t they just the cutest little spiders that you ever did see?

Now it’s time for some fun decorations…all you need are a few paper napkins!

Now if you’re like me you have a drawer (o.k. a few drawers) of festive paper napkins. And if you don’t, well, do yourself a favor and go buy some. Now be sure to buy 2 sets like I do so that you’ll always have some on hand and I won’t be the only crazy person with drawers full of paper napkins! This summer I was reading one of my 432 magazines, I think that it was Country Living, anyway I saw some darling tablecloths made out of paper napkins and thought “great scott! now I can use up some of my napkin stash!” I decided to take it a step further and came up with the idea to make banners with the paper napkins as well! I mean everyone needs celebratory banners hanging about don’t they?

Here’s all that you’ll need to make some darling banners to hang around the house.

Napkins and ribbon.

Fold the napkin in 1/2 leaving fold of the napkin at the top then cut on a diagonal upward leaving the fold in tact at the widest part.

This is the easy way to cut out a perfect triangle.

Next lay out your napkins in the pattern that you want them to hang. I personally like to use 4 different napkins with one being a smaller size and alternate that smaller one between the larger ones.

Oh, and you’ll want glue too. Forgot to mention that earlier. Sorry. I’m overworked and underpaid.

Open up the triangles and lay the ribbon in the crease of the napkin and then dab a dot of glue at the crease and tip.

Gently smooth out any wrinkles and repeat until you’ve used desired amount of napkin triangles. I like to use this banner idea for any occasion – birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day – truly you could go on and on…see why I need drawers of paper napkins?

I like to hang my banners along my fireplaces.

It’s festive dontcha think?

Now for the tablecloth, actually I decided to make a table runner at the last moment to save time.

Here’s what you’ll need: paper napkins and scotch tape.

Lay the napkins out in a pattern that makes you swoon…

turn them over and tape the seems together. That’s it.

And then my friend, you’ve got a party!

Decorating and entertaining really don’t have to be expensive and difficult!

Just let you’re imagination run wild.

Wishing you a spooktacular stress-free Halloween!


Decorate Seasonal

The Great Pumpkin

Today, in honor of it being the first day of October, (which happens to be my Daddy’s birthday, Happy Birthday Daddy!) I am honoring the glorious pumpkin.

I love pumpkins. I love decorating with pumpkins. I love growing pumpkins, except for the fact that they take over my entire yard. I love carving pumpkins. I love eating the roasted seeds of pumpkins. I love the many variations of pumpkins.

From the very moment that pumpkins hit the market I am in search of the *perfect* pumpkin, or in my case, pumpkins. There are so many fantastic and unusual shapes, colors and sizes to choose from that I can’t possibly be expected to choose just one. Right? One must take into consideration the stem, the color, how the two compliment one another, the texture and generally the all-around personality of the pumpkin. It’s serious business folks. And I take my pumpkin hunting very seriously.

I mean would you just take a look at this darling little tiger pumpkin?

Have you ever seen anything so dear?

Would you look at how precious they look marching along in a row of three?

Now take this Cinderella pumpkin. I know, I know, the name is perfect.

Can’t you just imagine it turning into the magical coach that is drawn by white horses on the way to ball? And the color is magnificent isn’t it?

Speaking of white, look at THIS fantastical specimen. Doesn’t it just scream Halloween? And the stem…stop it. It’s down right ornery isn’t it?

Talk about personality.

The stem just says it all…

This is my kind of pumpkin.

I could play around with pumpkins all day long. And don’t be fooled, I have. You should too for that matter! Hope you stick around because I’m planning on showing you just how to “Deck Your Halls For Fall” next week. And guess what? Pumpkins are a crucial yet affordable component of doing just that!

Look how fun they look together!

If you’re out and about this weekend, I encourage you to find some delightful little pumpkins to adorn your home with! You’ll be glad you did!

Happy Hunting!


Decorate Parties

Dining Al Fresco with Style

If you’ve never dragged a table and a few chairs into your backyard for an al fresco dinner, then I must tell you, you’re missing out.

I have been consumed by this delightful concept ever since our honeymoon in Greece 19 years ago.

Did I just say 19 years? Wow, that’s a loooooong time to be dragging furniture in and out of my house and into my backyard.

But I’m here to tell you, it’s totally worth it!

Your yard can make a stunning backdrop to a delicious meal any ol’ time you fancy. In my opinion, late summer or early fall is the perfect time for outside dining. The temperatures are cooling off, the bugs have seemed to disappear and the evening air is exhilarating!

And guess what? That just happens to be right now!

There’s just something elegant about enjoying a meal underneath a tree in the middle of your yard.

Don’t ask me why. It just is. Trust me.

There’s really nothing to it. Once you place a table and some chairs in the grass, you’re good to go.

I’ve got a few simple tips to share that will make your evening complete. No worries, they’re easy and quick, no making paper from scratch for place cards here.

For starters, I like to use a simple white tablecloth and then take my color cues from my backyard, green seemed the obvious way to go. I want my centerpieces to be quick and easy. Don’t stress over complicated arrangements and definitely don’t go spend a lot of money on flowers! Just look around your yard and use what you’ve got at your fingertips! You’ll be surprised at all you can do.

As you can see, I just cut some green foliage from my Baptisia plant that had already finished blooming and then trimmed some lavender that was in its’ full glory… and voila!

A centerpiece was born!

I like to spruce up my white tablecloth with some color and I’ve found that placemats work like a dream. Bet you’ll never guess what I use as placemats…

Scrapbook paper.

I’m serious! They cost pennies a piece and you’ll have an unlimited selection of color, texture and design. Not to mention, no worries about food and stains to clean up later! Here I used different designs within the same color family and alternated them between place settings.

I decided to jazz up the table a bit with green & white polka dot plates. Personally, I adore polka dots. They’re just so happy and festive, but you can use what you like.

Instead of place cards, I like to use cardboard letters. They’re fun and hip and if the mood strikes, you and your guests can stick them on your shirts like Laverne. Or not. See, no tedious paper making or calligraphy in sight. You could even use a letter shape paper punch or even cut out letters from the newspaper.

The world is your oyster.

Now, my next tip is my all time favorite…

Try tying different color ribbons on the stems of your glasses, this way everyone will easily remember which glass belongs to them (hopefully).

Simple. Fun. Easy.

For a little sparkle and sophistication I like to set the table with fun flatware. It also gives me an excuse for my antique silver flatware fetish.

I love to find old silver at antique shows- it’s so affordable and charming. Of course the monograms aren’t always mine, but don’t tell anyone.

Now for the show-stopper of the evening…(drum roll please) the “CHANdelabra.”

“What the world is a chandelabra”, you ask?

Well my friends, this is a chandelabra…

… a Chandelier turned into a Candelabra. It’s an old brass chandelier that has been spray painted white and filled with candles rather than light bulbs. I like to tie a ribbon to mine and hang it from the tree in the center of my yard. I light it as dusk settles in and the crickets begin their evening serenade. And let me tell you, an applause of  “oooooooo’s” and “aaaaaaah’s” from the mouths of my guests never fails.

There is just nothing like candlelight dancing from a tree to make your evening complete.

Well, have I convinced you? I hope so! And don’t worry, you can blame it all on me when your neighbors wonder why in the world you keep schlepping that table back and forth.

And who knows…I may just leave my table outside until it snows.

Happy dining al fresco style!


Decorate Inspire Parties

Hydrangeas aren’t just for Bouquets Anymore.

Lately, we’ve had enough rain to justify building an ark or at the very least a small raft.

Which may be why my hydrangeas are going gangbusters this year. I personally would like to think that it has something to do with my super-di-duper gardening abilities, but whatever it is, my hydrangea are happy and blooming like there’s no tomorrow, therefore I’m happy and blooming as well.

I heart hydrangeas.

This year I made a New Year’s resolution to have fresh flowers in my home at all times, or at the very least, every single week. I figured that I might as well make a resolution that I could actually keep and why not make one that makes me happy too!?

So being the dutiful resolution 2010-carry-outer that I am, I decided to fill my home with hydrangeas yesterday. As I eagerly approached my happy hydrangeas, clippers in hand, I stumbled upon this beautiful butterfly.

Or is it a moth?

Well, all I know is that I was mesmerized by its’ gentle, sweet, beauty.

Then it flew away.

And I clipped the bloom that the butterfly had been resting on.

Then I clipped a bundle of other blooms.

And arranged them into my favorite vase.

In case you don’t already know this, a hydrangea stem is very thick and fibrous, (woody if you will). It is necessary to trim stems to desired length,then cut the stem at an angle and gently tap the end a few times with your clippers. This will mash the stem a bit but will create better flow of water up the stem. Those lovely blooms love their water. I can’t tell you how many times I had arranged the perfect bouquet only to find them wilted and droopy by morning.

Now, it’s also a good idea to pluck off any leaves that would otherwise be resting in the water. This allows for your water to remain cleaner, longer and hence you will have beautiful flowers greeting you in every room longer.

“What will you do with all of those gorgeous leaves”, you say?

Well, I have found that they make a gorgeous backdrop for a cheese plate or a dessert plate or any kind of plate!

Just wash them with soap & water and you’re ready for action!

I dug around in my fridge and found a chunk of cheese, grapes would have been a nice addition but I was out cutting flowers in my garden rather than grocery shopping so, just cheese will do. Then I found a few crackers and sat down for a mid afternoon snack while enjoying my beautiful bouquet.

And it was only Monday…

How do you like that?

Total bliss.

I’m telling you, do yourself a favor, next year (or even right this very minute) make a resolution to yourself to always have fresh flowers around your home!

You won’t regret it!