Practice bouquet

25 07 2012

LAST DAY OF WORK TODAY! YIPPEE!! Family will be here tomorrow!

One last post before they get here, and then posting may be a bit sporadic during the next few weeks. I don’t want to spend too much time on the computer when my fam is here, as I’m sure you can understand. Plus, we’ll be doing all that last-minute wedding stuff such as baking cupcakes and buying flowers, so there won’t be much time to post anyway!

Speaking of flowers, I didn’t get a chance to post about it, but last week I made a practice bouquet for the wedding. I am making my own bouquet so I figured I should try it out before-hand to have a better idea of what I’m doing. (The more you know, the less stress you have on the day of trying to figure out how to do something new for the first time!)

So I watched this video for some tips, got some flowers, and tried it out! And here’s the finished product!

The verdict?

Colors: Great! I love having a mix of colors so as not to look too much like a color scheme, especially since we don’t have “wedding colors” anyway! I know a lot of brides choose white, which is pretty because it’s classic, but I really want my flowers to POP!

Texture: Great to have a good mix. I love the summery feel of the bouquet and would love to add a bit more wildflowers to the mix next time. Plus, I’ll be adding a succulent in my wedding day bouquet. I also love how the flowers are mixed in together so that it’s not too uniform, but more casual. Adds to that summery feel.

Size: Not quite big enough for my big dress. So I’ll need double the amount of flowers for the big day. However, this size for the courthouse wedding will be perfect!

Wrap: Twine was the look I was going for, as it also corresponds to our wedding décor quite nicely. (The only thing is…the twine smells a bit strange! A bit earthy! But not a deal-breaker.) On my wedding day, I’ve got 2 pins from my grandmothers to add to it.

Those orange flowers are called safflowers. Pretty fun, right? I’m not sure what the green sputnik-lamp-looking flower/plant is called, but that also had a really great texture. It was really fun to make!



23 07 2012

One of my mini succulents is blooming! It’s my very first one to grow little flowers. How exciting! Also, an added bonus: see the rainbows on the left side of the picture? I took this at night while the chandelier was on – the chandelier shoots rainbows all over the room! How can one not be happy when their living room is full of such color and little flowers?

Hope you all have a good start to your week. I’m pretty much psyched because I just have a 3-day week and get to see my family on Thursday!

P.S. Also, a shout-out to Malorie, my dear friend from high school whose birthday it is today! Happy 26th birthday, Mal!

Rainy day

16 05 2012

In German, a dandelion is called Löwenzahn – “Lion’s tooth”. In French, it’s a pissenlit — roughly translated, “wet the bed” — because of its apparent diuretic qualitites. And if you pronounce dandelion with a French accent, it sounds like “dent de lion” – lion’s tooth!




Thank God for spring

9 05 2012

Spring has sprung and I am enjoying the abundance of green I’m seeing around here. I absolutely love these red flowers on a bush that’s near one of the places I teach at. It’s interesting how they bloom so close to the branches, with the leaves on the outside – just clustered together in the middle of the plant. Does anyone know what kind of plant this is?

So pretty!


Nature around here

7 11 2011

Over here in Hamburg, it’s getting to the point where there are more leaves on the ground than there are on the trees. And it’s been pretty constantly foggy and gray all day for the past several days. But that’s okay – it’s that nice November feeling where you just want to stay inside, drink tea or hot chocolate and try to get over that cold that’s inevitably making its rounds. I had it this weekend and now Tobi seems to as well.

Speaking of hot beverages, I had some hot chocolate yesterday during our jam session. My favorite type of hot chocolate is made with milk, with a dash of almond extract and marshmallows on top.  (A close second is during Christmastime, when I like to use a peppermint candy cane as a stirrer!)

And here are a few other nature pictures from recent walks:

Take a look at these crazy purple berries!  I didn’t edit this picture at all.  They are literally THAT purple.  I wonder what kind of plant this is?

Even the ivy is changing colors.

Happy Monday, everyone.  Hope it’s as relaxing for you as a Monday can possibly be.


Happy November!

1 11 2011

This afternoon I collected some leaves and sticks to do some various DIY craft projects and really enjoyed walking around in the leaves.  There are tons of them on the ground right now in all of autumn’s brilliant colors.

I love it!  I felt just like a kid again, picking up leaves and kicking my feet through the leaves so they rustled around.

Fall is wonderful!


A mild fall so far

31 10 2011

Apart from the very windy week we had a few weeks ago, we’ve had some really mild weather here in Hamburg.  Foggy mornings, gray days, with a sunny one here and there, and the beautiful colors of changing leaves has made for quite an enjoyable autumn.  But the best part is, it’s been pretty warm, all things considered, and this week looks like it’ll be in the mid-to-high 50s.  This picture, taken this morning from one of my classrooms, shows what nice views I’ve been seeing these past few weeks.

It’s perfect.  Just enough to wear a sweater and maybe a light coat, but without the need for layer upon layer of clothing.  It’s been lovely.

AND it’s just cold enough that we’ve enjoyed various soups over the past few days.  Today was the best, though.  In honor of Halloween, Tobias made a pumpkin soup and garnished it with some sour cream and some delicious Nordseekrabben – a tiny shrimp from the North Sea.  Yum!

The yellow ring on the white bowl with orange soup makes me think of candy corn!

Here is his recipe:

1 hokkaido pumpkin (or small pumpkin)
2 onions
salt & pepper to taste
a few rosemary sprigs
approx. 2 liters water

The first trick he did was to put the onions and the pumpkin slices in first and add some sugar, allowing it to caramelize.  Then he added the water and let it simmer for several minutes to allow the flavors to mesh together.  And then he used a hand blender to get it to that nice, silky smooth consistency that it had.  Top with sour cream (we used something called Schmand, which is a very thick sour cream) and a few mini shrimps and you’re good to go!


Did any of you do anything Halloweeny this weekend?  Or tonight?  I didn’t have an occasion to dress up this year, but I have enjoyed seeing pictures of friends (and their kids!) dressed up in their various Halloween costumes.

Here’s a blast from the past, though!  Maybe I’ve shared this photo before, but I think it’s really cute!

From left to right:  Jon, my cousin Elizabeth, our friend Michael, and me!  And yes, that IS a beaver carved into my pumpkin.  It was my favorite animal back then (oh, it was a simpler time…before that word had other meanings) and I was just obsessed.  Can’t really tell what Jon’s pumpkin is.  Michael’s was a house and it was really well-done.  He was always so artistic, that Michael.


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