Picnic In the Orchard

Whenever I pack them a picnic lunch, Jesse makes a beeline for the pear tree, calling his sister to keep up with him, all the way out back to the orchard.

He spreads the blanket, then the napkin, and carefully dolls out the cheese tortillas to him and his sister. He even keeps an eye on Little Brother when mommy runs back to the house for her camera.

Then he picks me a flower.

I love him.

How to Make a Corsage for Mother’s Day


I hereby give you permission to make yourself a corsage for mother’s day – it’s fun, and will save your husband a whopping $8-$15. Use the saved money to go on a thrift shopping spree! ☺

Just tell your husband to get you a dozen roses (whoops, there goes the savings!) and choose just one bloom for your corsage. The rest you can enjoy on your table for the rest of the week.

You will need one rose, some foliage, florist tape, and some florist wire, cut into 6 inch. lengths.

You need to individually wire each blossom or leaf that you want in the corsage. For a leaf, bend the wire in half and poke into the back of the leaf and out again, about 1/3 the way up the spine. For the rose, trip the stem to one inch, strip off leaves, and poke the wire through the stem right at the base of the rose. Bend both ends down straight.

Now you use the florist tape to secure the stems and wire together. Start at the base of the leaf or flower and wrap, letting the warmth of your fingers activate the stickiness of the tape.

Here are the components for a Christmas-themed corsage I made for a wedding. You can use baby’s breath, any kind of fern, or smaller rose buds to fill out your corsage. You can even skip the rose and use whatever flowers you have blooming in your garden, though they may be more fragile and not last as long as a rose.

To form the corsage, grab your rose, a petal, and a piece of other greenery (I’m using ceder here) and gather them together at the base of their collective stems, arranging the greenery to the back of the blossom. Pinch together and begin wrapping florist tape around the stems. Add more flowers or greenery until corsage reaches the desired fullness. Make a small bow out of light weight ribbon and wire it. Add the bow and wrap the florist tape all the way down to the end of all the wires.

Bend the wire ends back up towards the bulk of stems and wrap the florist wire around a few more times before tearing it to finish it off.

A few corsage pins to attach it to your Sunday Best and you’re done!

You can make your corsage several days in advance if you spritz it with water and store it in a ziploc bag in the fridge (blow the bag up with air before you seal it so the bag doesn’t bruise the rose petals).

Ok, fine, I’ll reveal a florist secret  – if you start with a fresh rose (petals tight and bud feels firm like an apple) a corsage can keep for a week in the fridge! (so, maybe you could manage to make the corsages and boutonnieres for your own wedding? I would have if I’d known this!)

May 3, 2013 update: If you’re looking for a great Mother’s Day gift idea, check out The Ultimate Homemakers eBook Collection. Hurry, sale ends midnight Saturday (5/4/2013 11:59 P.M. EST)!

Valentine’s Day at our House: For the Wife

oh, lisianthus – how I love you! pink roses, astromeria, and eucalyptus, too!

Because he knows I like to arrange my own flowers.

generous arrangement for the buffet

When the cashier asks if he wants them arranged, he says, “My wife likes to do it herself.”

and a little one for my bedstand

Which she does. Very much. Especially when the flowers are something beyond the typical dozen red roses.

Thanks, Honey.

(Photos taken on my phone and uploaded from facebook – I WILL prevail and post photos on my blog even if my camera and desktop are both sick!!!)

Flowers and Chocolate

My first birthday gift was the Magnolia tree the Lord arranged to be planted in my yard years ago BURSTING into bloom just in time to gather an arrangement for my buffet.

I have always loved these trees, which I have known as Tulip Trees. I am amazed and blessed that I  now have one in my own yard – and it’s the biggest one I’ve ever seen. I never knew they were so fragrant until I brought them indoors. Within just a few hours I was overwhelmed by the lovely fragrance and had to move them to the porch. I replaced them with a big bouquet of daffodils and my first red tulip. It is a special blessing that I thank God for that my yard has produced enough flowers for me to have a bouquet on my buffet every day so far this spring. He knows me, He knows what I love, and He loves me.

Birthday gift to self – Sherri Watters’ Chewy Chocolate Cookies with DARK chocolate – look, the batter is black! Dark cocoa gives your cookies a genuine Oreo flavor, and is the healthiest form of chocolate. Here’s more info on the Wonders of Dark Chocolate. I used 1/4 whole wheat, and all sucanat in place of the sugar. Note: The recipe stresses, in all caps, DO NOT OVERBAKE. I took this very seriously, and as I transferred the cookies from my cookies sheet to my cooling racks they all slowly oozed through the racks and onto the counter. They were not over done. No, not a bit of it. Good thing I wasn’t even planning on eating them as cookies – they were just the first step of a more elaborate plan…

I didn’t have to convince Jesse…he spent a long time very willingly ‘helping’ me with the cookies. :)
One of the highlights of my day was every time Jesse said, “Hatty Birtay Mommy!” I won’t tell you how many times he was prompted by the birthday girl herself. :)

Dinner was a special treat, as well. For the first time in my 28 years, I bought, prepared, baked, and thoroughly enjoyed fish. This is huge people. I like fish, I know it’s good for me, I was just afraid of the unknown. We have a new favorite treat now (a rare treat, considering the cost of wild-caught fish) - Baked Haddock. Also, a spinach salad with Honey mustard dressing, baked potatoes with all the fixin’s, and (not pictured here ’cause this is Jeremy’s plate) Steamed Asparagus with white sauce. I got the asparagus all to myself because Jeremy says asparagus is like celery steeped in sewage. Yum.

Dessert was…chocolate. :) My mother-in-law made me a whole wheat, honey sweetened cake. She knows me so well. Claire absolutely loved it, and I was delighted, ’cause the dessert I planned wasn’t finished until the next day…

Individual Cheesecakes with the aforementioned cookies crushed (or rather, smooshed) for crusts, and sweet cherries as topping. The cheesecakes were made with my own homemade cream cheese, which significantly cut down on the cost for this special dessert! Oh, yes, it was a good birthday…all weekend. And we’re still enjoying the leftovers.

Waiting for Spring

Have you noticed a theme on the blog this month? It was not planned or scheduled…I just have spring on the mind. Better celebrate it on the blog now, ’cause when it does come, we’ll be too busy dancing under the apple blossoms in the orchard to be on the computer!!!
This is the month’s thrifted treasure. Do you know what it is? 
It’s a bud vase. For those little smushed dandelions with 1 1/2 inch stems that my son faithfully brings me every time he has been playing in the yard. I’ll just fill it with water and set it on my windowsill above the sink and it will be ready for the little buds and blossoms (hopefully more of the latter) that my darling children will bring me come spring. 
Come, Spring!!!!

Another Lovely Wedding

White calla lilies, roses, millet, and hydrangea.

Beatiful Couple at the reception.

The flower girls providing entertainment at the reception (playing with bubbles).

Some of my favorite people. :)

(This was the wedding of some friends of our about an hour North of us. I did the flowers as well as coordinating on the day of and some help with planning. I do wedding coordinating and floral design as a business and have traveled throughout NY. If anyone is intersted in more information, email me trintjerenae(at)gmail.com)
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Fruits and Flowers

Yesterday I got a chance to drive over to our new place and get a closer look at the yard (it rained toward the end of the auction, so I didn’t have a chance then). I was delighted to get to meet and admire the fruits and flowers throughout our yard! In case you can’t read the captions, Here’s my inventory list so far…

Magnolia Tree

Apple trees (4)
Pear tree (1)
Currant bushes (3)
Wild grapes
Wild blackberries
Wild rasberries

Does anyone know what the pink flower is in the right, lower corner of the flower collage? It’s kind of a stunted looking tree with these lovely, faintly scented pink fronds all over – I’ve never seen it before, but it’s beautiful!

I couldn’t be more delighted at the yard and gardens – it will be a wonderful place to grow children and flowers. :)

Next week – house pictures!