Flashbags are one of my weaknesses and since they are having a 20% Off SALE until Sunday, 2/28 and re-introducing one of my favorite artists it’s as good a time as any to give them a shout out as one of my favorite things. If you’re not familiar with Flashbags they basically take recycled newspaper and transform it into fun art that you can carry around and put your wallet & cell phone in. I wish I had a different Flashbag for every day of the week, but so far I only have three! My first bag, a large tote, features a design by Local Wisdom, which I use as my “briefcase”. It’s a picture of a woman with flowers for hair and the quote, “every woman has a season to be in bloom,” so it seems appropriate enough to me! Kathleen of Local Wisdom consistently creates charming & unique images with her collages and quotations that I find pretty irresistible. (Aside from the beautiful bags I buy her cards all the time. Greeting cards are another weakness of mine!) Check out a selection of Local Wisdom Flashbags here and get yourself something pretty. Ali and Laura will take good care of your order! You can also create a custom Flashbag with your own artwork or photography or surprise someone with their very own piece of wearable art! (P.S. To see a selection of cards by Local Wisdom on etsy click here.)
Archive for February, 2010
If there is one thing on my mind today it has got to be SNOW! After shoveling about 12” of it yesterday it’s hard to get off my mind (or my back!). Knowing that no two snowflakes are alike and then looking at the massive accumulation of those flakes it is pretty darn impressive. Then, when I think about the fact that Wilson Bentley discovered this amazing fact in my town of Jericho, Vermont it somehow feels even more awesome and breathtaking. We’re pretty snowflake oriented in Jericho, but who can blame us?! There are some things that are too incredible to ignore. Check out some of his original photomicrography images here.
“Under the microscope, I found that snowflakes were miracles of beauty; and it seemed a shame that this beauty should not be seen and appreciated by others. Every crystal was a masterpiece of design and no one design was ever repeated. When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost. Just that much beauty was gone, without leaving any record behind.”
-Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley, 1925
Mothers of the bride (or MOB’s as we wedding folks say) are an important part of the wedding day. Whether you are a close mother-daughter team or tend to have, let’s say, a failure to communicate, it’s important to know your place. Typically, MOB’s get a reputation for being too involved, too opinionated or too pushy, but over the past few years I have noticed more moms (of both the bride and the groom) playing a bigger role in the overall planning process. For destination weddings, whether moms are local or out-of-town, they are sometimes taking over completely for busy, professional brides and grooms who need a little wedding assist.
The “rules” for the mother-of-the-bride have changed over the years. Some moms wear blue on their daughter’s wedding day, some walk the bride down the aisle, some host a day-after brunch, some are there only to give support and advice when it’s asked for, and then others plan the entire wedding. Every bride and MOB is unique.
Here are 3 important tips for Moms:
If you’ve been invited to shop for the bridal dress or go along for the floral consultation do your best to listen to what the bride is thinking and do what you can to make that vision come true. If you’re not asked to come to the vendor meetings, tastings and shopping outings, don’t be offended. Today’s brides are very independent–hey, you made them that way!–and sometimes she will handle as many details as she can on her own, but she is likely to need your help or opinion at some point so just hang tight!
Avoiding conflict with the bride should be a priority when planning a wedding. In terms of budget it is essential to be clear so there aren’t any false expectations about the scope of the wedding. It is not uncommon for brides and grooms as well as the grooms’ parents to contribute to hosting the wedding and rehearsal dinner. Everyone should be prepared to compromise when it comes to the guest list based on the budget.
The most important thing is that you enjoy the wedding day! Find yourself a nice dress that makes you feel great, have a good time, be proud of your daughter and the role you played in helping make this dream come true–it’s a big day for you, too!
Below is a clutch bouquet for an MOB. I personally prefer small clutch bouquets to pin-on corsages for modern day moms!
Fragrance is a pretty personal thing. Your wedding should be an affair to remember with floral decor that is a feast for the eyes, but you want to be wary of coming on too strong with scents. Especially when it comes to centerpieces. It may be tempting to fill the room with classic blooms of gardenias or lily of the valley, but strong smells at the table can irritate your guests’ allergies and even cause foods to taste differently so in my book they should be avoided or their use should be limited. This goes for scented candles as well. Pumpkin spice may seem like a nice idea when you are planning your fall wedding in Vermont, but your guests may not agree.
What smells sweet to some can seem absolutely putrid to others. Stargazer lilies are a great example (sorry to pick on ya’ girls) because their fragrance can either fill a room with a natural perfume or give you an instant odor headache. A few other fragrant flowers that tend to have strong scents are gardenia, lily of the valley, hyacinth, freesia, peonies, allium and tuberose. I know someone who is even allergic to lilacs and cannot be within feet of them–you never know! So give your guests a break and reserve the fragrant flowers for your bouquet!
Below left: This white freesia was one of the nicest stems of the summer! There are 5 or 6 flowers blooming all at once which is basically ideal for me when I am arranging a bridal bouquet. I like this shot because it includes my favorite vase from Frog Hollow. It was given to me after I successfully executed the set-up of the owner’s daughter’s wedding at a flower shop I was working at almost 9 years ago! It almost felt like an award! Below right: Lily of the valley with hosta leaves and fresh mint in a mason jar just screams Vermont Spring!
I don’t do a lot of holiday orders, but I always try to fill special orders for my clients so when one of my favorite customers needed a little something special for Valentine’s Weekend it was fun to go a non-red-rose-route. Here are a few shots from The Kitchen Table Bistro.
Small vases of yellow & white tulips,waxflower & curly willow sat in first floor windows.
I liked these shots of the sign through the window.
This yellow tulip in a glass bottle was flooded with sunlight on the second floor.
A couple of paired-up tulips for another sill in the downstairs dining rooms with curly willow and river rocks. I think it’s simple, yet romantic.
Magnolia. It’s a beautiful flower and a wonderful restaurant in Burlington. As a ”green” restaurant, Magnolia Bistro boasts locally grown produce in their vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian and meaty dishes alike which are a nice option for breakfast or lunch. The lemon ricotta pancakes are delicious as are the garbanzo burgers, salads, and the curry tuna melt. Check out their menu here! There is always something on the specials board that can complicate the decision process for you, too. It’s a lovely place (at Lawson Lane just behind Bennington Potter and American Flatbread–you enter at the corner of St. Paul and College St.) with a friendly staff and a commitment to the environment which makes it a winner and a great addition to my week of eco-friendly posts. They usually display fresh flowers in there, too which I always find appealing! It also seems like a great place to rent out for a party or rehearsal dinner!
We were so psyched about our first CSA share this winter that we decided to do it again so we signed up for a Spring share with Pete’s Greens. Our first pick-up was yesterday and the good eats just keep on coming. This week we received creme fraiche from Vermont butter and cheese, Cyrus Pringle bread from Red Hen Bakery, apples from Champlain Orchards, Butterworks whole wheat flour, frozen peppers, mixed salad shoots, potatoes, onions, garlic, celeriac and who’d have predicted I would so be glad to get 2 lbs. of parsnips! Seriously, we are all about parsnips in our house.
Try this recipe for parsnip chips/fries from Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook…
Preheat the oven to 400oF. Peel the parsnips and slice lengthwise into 1/8″ strips for chips and 1/4″ strips for fries. (If you are serving 1-2 people then 2-4 parsnips will probably do depending on their size, but this is good enough to make for a crowd so don’t be shy.) Coat with 2 tsp. of peanut oil (I toss them in a bowl) and arrange on a baking sheet. You can add more oil if you need to. Bake for 10-15 min. on each side (flipping with tongs mid-way) until slightly speckled with brown and black spots. If making fries you will cook for 5-10 min. longer. Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy! I like to dip them in goat cheese, but they are great on their own, too.
Here are some pics of our plethora of goodies. The pic on the right is a close-up of celeriac!
“…But green’s the color of spring
And green can be cool and friendly-like
And green can be big like a mountain
Or important like a river
Or tall like a tree…
I am green, and it’ll do fine
It’s beautiful, and I think it’s what I want to be.”
-Kermit the Frog, It’s Not Easy Being Green
Different shades of green weddings are painted by different levels of eco-aware couples. While some may feel certain efforts to reduce and re-use can be put on hold for a wedding day, others may want to make an extra effort to minimize waste and reflect the importance of environmental awareness in their own lives.
For truly eco-chic couples your wedding is a chance to make a statement about what is important to you while investing in a sustainable future on the day you start a new future together. Continuing with our “green” theme of the week here are a few simple steps you can take to make an eco-statement:
Tell your guests how much you care about your impact on the environment.
Use only local foods (like the localvores do!) and Vermont based vendors.
Don’t select a site that requires you to bring in absolutely everything you will need.
Provide a way for guests to identify their glasses and have your bartender & waitstaff ask if they would like to re-use their glass.
Pick a mid-late summer weekend when local plants are in bloom and evenings are likely to be cooler to reduce energy usage.
Plan an afternoon wedding with a reception ending around sunset to minimize the amount of electrical lighting you’ll need.
Ask your guests to carpool or provide transportation for them.
Be flexible with your flower choices. Local organic flower availability varies in the summer months and it can be difficult to predict exactly when certain flowers will be in bloom. Rainy springs/summers can delay blooming dates and those lily-of-the-valley or zinnia just may be a week or so behind. Prioritize a few favorite flowers and be flexible with the rest!
What eco-friendly steps will you take on your wedding day?
The spectrum of green weddings ranges from fashion-forward eco-couture events with an intentionally small guest list and seasonal localvore ingredients to casual, tented affairs with DIY details and a vegan meal option, but you’ll find many shades of green in between.
No matter what shade of green suits you every couple could use a few good eco-friendly wedding tips. When planning your Vermont wedding I think you should try to not only reduce your negative impact on the environment, but also maximize the positive aspects of holding your wedding here by focusing on local foods and savoring the seasonal opportunities Vermont has to offer, as well as taking advantage of the many talented and capable wedding vendors throughout the state.
Here are 10 easy ways you can reduce the environmental impact of your wedding whether your style is earthy or eco-chic:
Try to work with the season when selecting colors, flowers and décor by incorporating local, seasonal blooms to reduce or eliminate pesticide use/presence and allow for a more natural overall feeling.
Support Vermont farms and industries by incorporating local meats, cheeses, chocolates, wine, beer, maple syrup, coffees & teas, sodas and apple cider into your menu.
Hold the ceremony and reception at same location to reduce gas consumption & pollution.
Select lodging near the wedding location to minimize travel.
Use recycled paper printed with soy based ink for wedding stationery…Oh, and don’t forget cocktail napkins…or look for plantable paper for invitations, favor tags and thank you notes!
Rent items for the big day such as centerpiece containers, china, glassware and silverware.
Plan a sit down meal instead of a buffet to reduce food waste, extra plates, etc.
Use soy, beeswax or palm wax candles with cotton wicks.
Make a donation to your favorite charity as a favor for attending your wedding or in lieu of registering for gifts.
Go “greenhouse neutral” by offsetting carbon emissions for your wedding day at carbonneutral.com.
Try at least one of these tips for your Vermont wedding to make an environmental effort. Use 5-7 of these tips and your dedication to the green movement starts to pick up momentum. Incorporate 8-10 tips into your planning and your eco-chic efforts will be duly noted–on 100% recycled paper, of course!
Pictured: Jaime and Kyle gave reusable water bottles as a favor for their destination Vermont wedding. Their commitment to the environment was a clear part of their big day.
Whether you are planning an environmentally friendly green wedding or are moved by nature-inspired designs there are many shades of green you can consider for your wedding. I tend to be drawn toward designs that feel natural and, even though my spellcheck doesn’t recognize it as a word, Vermonty. Consider doing at least one eco-friendly element for your wedding–if not more! This inspiration board includes green & nature-inspired designs and place card displays.