Thursday, May 30, 2013

DIY: Crystal and Succulent Terrarium

      It's no secret that I love gardening and spending time outdoors, however I also love to bring nature into my home decor! My dining table is wedged under a staircase (how very Harry Potter) and I always struggled with what to have as a centerpiece. After spending time in Gram's garden I was inspired by her long term friendship with succulents (some plants she has been growing for over 10 years!) and decided to build my own terrarium to feature on my empty dining table. I found the glassware that I used at the Goodwill and nestled my collection of crystals between small succulent plants to showcase a bit of nature in my cozy home! Here is an outline of how you can create one on your own with this simple and elegant "do it yourself" project:  

-Glass terrarium 
-Variety of succulents
-Seashells (marbles would be a great alternative)
-Crystal clusters or rocks

Getting Started:
1: Filled the base of your terrarium with seashells (I collected mine from various beaches over the years) or use marbles as another option.

2: Next, layer small succulents into your terrarium. These plants are easily found at most any garden supply store or nursery.

3: Finally, place and arrange crystals or local rocks into the top layer surrounding the plants.

I used natural amethyst, citrine, and quartz crystals for my terrarium
 but feel free to experiment with your own combinations!

Succulents do not need very much watering which makes them perfect for inside the home, less maintenance!

For an extra touch, I picked up this diptyque candle as a souvenir
last time I was in San Francisco and it's lovely fragrance
really makes my home smell like a fresh garden!

      Now my dining table feels like a natural, calm, and inspiring place to savor a delicious meal (maybe I'll make this recipe). I was really lucky to find the glassware that I used in perfect condition at a second hand shop and I am already hoping to stumble upon more to create other nature shrines thru the rest of my home! Do you think you might try building your own terrarium?


PS: You can get a better idea of my dining area from this post on how to construct your own birdcage chandelier!

*Supplies for this post were from:
Goodwill, Santa Cruz (glassware)                                                             
Probuild, Santa Cruz (succulents)
Gemshow, Capitola (crystals)
Mountain Spirit, Felton (crystals)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Gram's Garden:

      Earlier this month I took a quick trip to my home town of Stockton to visit with close friends and family. One of the highlights of the voyage was spending time in my Gram's serene backyard. Gram collects blue and white ceramics which are both scattered about her house as well as her garden, I love the elegant charm the decor brings to an outdoor space. She also cares for a variety of unusual plants and succulents (some of her cactus have even been kept alive for over 10 years!) and the plants truly enjoy a lovely home here. Hand painted birdhouses also speckle any empty wall or post so that any flying friend may have a safe space to rest their head. I took a cue from the birds and spent a few quite moments basking in the tranquility of Gram's bit of nature and now you can too:

Fresh orange segments and juices are a staple at Gram's when this tree comes to fruition. 

This solitary chair has the best view of the entire yard.

I like to make up topics of conversation for the bunnies, today they are discussing The Velveteen Rabbit.

My sister Claire made these bird houses, wish she would
come over and paint my home!

Gram painted this parrot herself!

I'm ready to move into this one!

Sun spattered leaves!

I simply would LOVE to cook a meal on this lovely yellow grill!


Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Bartram Wedding:

      Last Saturday I was lucky enough to attend a beautiful wedding ceremony full of love in scenic Carmel, California. My friends Mike and Sabrina Bartram tied the knot under the warm sunshine surrounded by an intimate gathering of close friends and family. The bride and groom both looked amazing that day, the venue was lush and scenic, but to me the best part of the wedding was the sense of inclusion that the bride and groom provided. Not only are Sabrina and Mike eager to enjoy their own love for one another, but you can see them infecting their good cheer with whomever they interact with! These are two people that are amazing as individuals but together they seemed to have become a super duo of good spirits! There is no doubt in my mind that Mike and Sabrina will have a spectacular life together that not only benefits their own family but also their community. I am lucky enough to call these two extraordinary people my friends and I am elated that they can now call each other husband and wife! 

Managed to catch Sabrina right before the ceremony. Surprisingly, she was as calm and collected as could be! 

Sabrina and her sister/maid of honor Natalie are very close and it was was lovely to see their sisterly bond. However, one of my favorite moments of the evening was when Natalie formally announced Mike as her own brother, such a tender and sweet statement during her toast!

Lovely accessories at the wedding including Sabrina's silver starfish bracelet and an engraved butterfly necklace she gave to her sister. 

Sabrina being walked down the aisle by her mother. 

You could see the tear in Mike's eye when he saw Sabrina. 

Loved those faux floral spheres!

The bouquets and centerpieces were lovely that day, Natalie
created all of them herself that very morning!

      I was also very excited to be asked by the bride to do her makeup/hair for the wedding shower (seen here) as well as the wedding day! In these images, Sabrina is wearing MAC lipstick in the shade "MAC Red," liquid eyeliner by Lancome, and foundation by Makeup Forever. But let's be honest, she really didn't need any of it! 


Thursday, May 23, 2013

My life is like a recurring birthday, it's full of cake:

      I mentioned earlier this week (in this slightly corny post) that it was my boyfriend's birthday this past Sunday. I took advantage of the opportunity to bake and whipped up my signature red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. The cake was a huge success at Shahin's birthday party and I even put aside an extra layer of red velvet for us to enjoy at home as well. I love being able to contribute to someone's special day with a cake because that also means that I am giving them a birthday wish when they blow out the candles! 

    ....And if you haven't gone into a sugar coma from the amount of cake I display on this blog then feel free to visit these additional posts:

Unbirthday Cake
Butter Cake 
The Happiest Pink Birthday Cake
Chocolate Chai Cake
Orange Zest Cake

(As for me.... I'm gonna run to my fridge
 for another slice of left over cake!)