I love when natural elements are brought into more formal arrangements. So when I saw the work of Amy Merrick, a Brooklyn based floral designer, I was thrilled. I came across her work through her posts on Design Sponge and her blog An Apple a Day. On both sites you can see her mixing things like fresh cut branches and fruit on the vine into lush arrangements. I love how she chooses a color pallet and builds an arrangement around it. In the photos below, she adds limes and pomegranates to arrangements, and the last arrangements are all different shades of rose and pink. The color combination is both elegant and organic. She also just revamped her website and it looks amazing. Check it out here.
Featured Wisteria Product: Rectangular Storage Nesting Baskets W4830
What’s your favorite pastime?
Sleeping. Followed by some sunbathing. Then more sleeping.
What’s the one thing that really makes your hackles stand up?
I’m pretty mellow, a pacifist really. I don’t chase squirrels or cats, and I’m nice to kids. But I do not like it when strangers walk up on the porch. I do not like it at all. Watch out, strangers!
What’s your favorite toy?
I like tennis balls and my Kong, but my favorite toy is my new bed. So comfy!
Who’s your favorite snuggle buddy?
Paige is my favorite snuggle buddy at home. Miles (Paige’s cat) tries to snuggle with me, but I am resistant and confused by this. At my grandparents ranch, I like to snuggle with Buster and Duke, my dog cousins.
I like an egg on my dog food occasionally. But for a treat, I love anything human. I’ve even been known to get in the trash for leftover yogurt and ice cream. I like sweets; what can I say?
What is your favorite kind of mischief to get into?
I love to get on the furniture when Paige isn’t looking. Aforementioned dumpster diving. I also really love to howl when ambulances go by. I get all the dogs in the neighborhood riled up. And my pitch is near perfect!
If you had to describe your perfect day, what would it be?
It would probably start with sleeping late in my new bed. Waking up, going outside for breakfast, and then hopping in the car to go to the ranch. I love riding in the car, and I am a good passenger. I just lay down and sleep or put my head on Paige’s shoulder while she drives. Once at the ranch, my dog cousin Buster would come over, and we would play and chase horses. If we are lucky, we might get to go swimming and chase tennis balls into the water. At night, all the humans would come out to watch the sunset, and we would take a long walk down the gravel road. And then before bedtime, we would get treats! That would be a perfect day.
I love having plants and flowers in my house, but having cats makes it almost impossible. I saw these floating vases on the blog Cupcakes and Cashmere; the image above is what inspired me to make them. They are very easy and inexpensive to make, and the plants I used added some nice color into my living room. To make them yourself, you only need a few simple, readily-available things.
Plywood (or any scrap wood you have)
Steel wire (I used 16 gauge picture frame wire)
Paint or stain
Needle Nose Pliers
Plant or flowers of your choice
1. If your wood is not already cut to size, determine what size you would like. The one above is 8″ x 10″.
2. Paint or stain your wood.
3. Once the wood has finished drying, place the jar on the piece of wood to determine where you would like it to sit. Drill two small 1/8th” holes, one on each side of the jar.
4. Cut off about 1 and 1/2 feet of the wire. Now you will take the wire and wrap it under the lip of the jar twice. Make sure that the excess wire is even on both ends.
5. Next take the wire and insert each end into one of the 1/8″ hole on your piece of wood, with the jar attached. Pull the wire tight and twist the two ends with each other. Making sure that both pieces are twisting so that they stay secure.
6. Cut the extra wire off with needle nose pliers. The wire should be secure, but you should still be able to slide the jar out from the top, without the wire coming out of place. Then you’ll be able to change the water of your plant or flowers.
7. Take the hammer and lightly tap on the wire that is on the back of the wood to flatten it against the wood. This will help when you hanging it on the wall, so it won’t to stick out or scratch your wall.
8. Add you plant or flowers to the jar
9. Hang you floating planter on the wall. I used two screws, one on each of the top corners.
- Use vertical shelving because it will free up more wall space. Make sure to put any decorative items toward the top and items you use every day toward the bottom.
- Have your furniture double as storage. Instead of the usual side table, use a trunk to store items you don’t use on a daily basis.
- Make a home for everything. This ensures everything has a place, eliminating potential clutter.
- Edit down your items. Decide how often you should go through everything and determine what to keep, donate, or throw away. I try to do this twice a year.
During the Victorian era, homes were not built with the variety of closets as homes are now frequented with. Therefore, owners had to purchase furniture that served more function than decoration. But because of the popularity of ornate furnishings, some wealthier homes were able to have items that were functional and attractive. The hall tree came about because of this need for storage. It was usually kept in the front or back entrance of the home, whichever received more traffic. It would be fitted with coat hooks, umbrella stands, a compartment for shoes, and sometimes even drawers or pull-out shelves to set keys or purses on.
Our Hall Tree Bench has taken this antique concept and modernized it with a sleek iron construction and simple styling. To make the most use of it, you can even store some stylish baskets in the bottom to hide hallway messes. We particularly like the idea of using a mud tray underneath to keep muddy or wet shoes from tracking in the house.
It’s pretty much understood that eating healthier is apart of everyone’s New Year’s resolutions. But what exactly does that mean? From the strict raw vegans to Atkins to the twinkie diet, everyone has their own opinion. I seem to think the simpler the better; if I don’t understand an ingredient, I try to steer clear of it (what is soy lecithin, anyway?)!
I am, by no means, an expert when it comes to food. I like it, and I enjoy reading about it. So, to help you in whatever nutrition goals you have for the new year, I’ve put together a list of a few of my favorite food website and thrown in a delicious, easy, and nutritious recipe at the end.
First, some online resources, in no particular order:
Clean Eating – Created by the same group that houses several other fitness brands, these people are serious about clean eating. I suppose that’s why they’re all so lean.
Food Inc – This movie will rock your would, or at least, it should.
The Environmental Working Group’s guide to buying organic – So we don’t all go broke buying organic, here’s a list of produce items to buy organic and those you don’t necessarily have to.
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 32-oz carton of chicken stock
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1/2 head of cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped
2-3 cups of water (depending on thick you want the soup)
salt and pepper to taste
a pinch of red pepper flakes or 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce (depending on how spicy you want it)
chorizo or sausage (ground or sliced)
1 cup of pickle juice (adds a bit of tang)
a handful of green lentils, corn, or beans
In a large stockpot, saute the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery (and chili garlic sauce or red pepper flakes) in olive oil until the onion is translucent and the carrots and celery are soft. Meanwhile, core and chop the cabbage. Once the cabbage is chopped, place it into the pot and add the chicken stock and can of diced tomatoes. Add enough water (and pickle juice) to cover cabbage. At this point, you can add additional ingredients, like chorizo or green lentils. Cover and simmer until the cabbage is soft, roughly 10 to 30 minutes.
I’m always looking for new things to read. Let me know if you’ve tried a good recipe recently or have come across a helpful resource.
What is your job here?
What are your favorite things about working at Wisteria?
During one of our warehouse sales, I met an elderly woman that was ecstatic because she finally got her Biblical Glass bowl. Seeing her smile for that one piece she has always wanted made it worth while.
What is one thing about you people probably don’t know?
As a kid my uncle had a dairy farm so I spent most of my weekends herding dairy cattle, setting hay and upsetting a few of the bulls.
What is your favorite place to visit?
So far I would have to say that little city by the bay (San Francisco)
What is the one place in the world you’ve never been but would love to go?
How would you describe your personal style?
Laid back and witty with a splash of spontaneity
What is your favorite Wisteria item?
W4567- Drumming Up Side Table
What is your most treasured item?
My family, I’d be lost without them
How many languages do you speak?
Two (English and Spanish) but I’m sure my mother wouldn’t include my Spanish as a language.
Craziest food you have ever eaten?
A Korean soup called Budaechigae. The reason it’s crazy to me is because it contains different ingredients every single time I try it (even if it’s at the same restaurant), yet it’s equally as delicious if not better than the previous time.
My one indulgence is:
Favorite spot in my house:
Anything fresh off the grill
My pet’s name is:
Duke and Duchess (chocolate and yellow labs)
Favorite place to watch the sun set:
Over any Texas lake
The beginning of the New Year is one of my favorite times because of the hopefully great events that await you, and all the unknown. For most people it also means it’s that time, once again, to decide what calendar to use to keep track of all these events. If they do happen to be great, you’d better have something to keep track of them on. Do you buy a calendar to keep track of events and dates or do you just use your computer or smart phone? I like to keep a calendar at home for events, birthdates, and any other important announcements. Seeing it every morning helps to remind me than having random alerts go off on my phone (Plus, I always have to choose a calendar with pictures of cute animals on it). I am very thankful for the person who decided to start putting the calendar on paper. Can you imagine trying to keep track of your social calendar on a rock or having to remember what lunar phase we are in?
Here are some of the cute calendars I am deciding between this year:
GRACE, located in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, provides emergency financial assistance, basic healthcare services, transitional housing, and other vital services to local families and individuals in need. With programs like the Food Pantry, Outreach to Health Community Clinic, Christmas Cottage, and Feed Our Kids, this organization is able to touch the lives of thousands of people every year. Their resale shop, located in Grapevine, Texas, helps fund them, allowing a greater portion of the donations to be used for these programs. Based on core values of equality, compassion, assistance, integrity, and stewardship, GRACE is committed to making a tremendous impact on their local community. We are happy to financially support GRACE in its special mission to help those in need. Find out how you can help at www.gracegrapevine.org.