Overwhelmed with Opportunities

Completely blown away by all that has happened this week. I got booked to do florals for two weddings, received four different inquiries, met with two new bride-to-bes, did a final walk-through for my first wedding of the year, and received the most thoughtful gift from a bride's mom. I can't help but feel overwhelmed by all these opportunities. To pursue what I love is one thing, but to have other people provide ways for me to actually do so is another. 

I am so grateful to have clients who trust me with their vision of the most important days of their lives, and for the gifts/skills that God has blessed me with to execute that vision. 

And as I was driving home just now from one of the most amazing consultations with a couple, I couldn't help but think of this sentiment: 

I love it when friends become brides, and brides become friends.

2015 is off to an amazing start and I am only filled with hope and excitement for all the couples I'll be working with this year. 

Dreaming of Pretty Kitchen Shelves

As much as I love for things to be structured and in order, I tend to be on the more free-spirited side of organization. I love beautiful messes. Contrasts between old and new. Polished and rustic. Mismatched textures and materials. 

Here are a few pretty kitchen shelves I'm currently dreaming of...

click each photo for the source

Travel Roots | Lyon

As mentioned in my bio, one of the things I am most proud of is that I lived on four different continents within four years. Starting from 2007 to 2011, I lived in Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa. Within those continents, I had the opportunity to travel to several countries and numerous cities during my stays. Traveling always leaves me feeling so fulfilled. I love getting to experience new cultures, trying new foods, building new friendships, and of course, adding a new stamp to my passport. 

To keep my wonderful memories alive, I decided to start a new series for my blog called "Travel Roots." I want it to be a series that represents all the cities where I left a little piece of my heart behind. As often as possible, I am going to feature one city and post a few memories and photos. I tend to reminisce on my own a lot in my head, but I thought this would be a great way to share my perspective and experiences as well. 

The first of the series is the city of Lyon in France. Lyon is known for its historical and architectural sights, amazing cuisine, silk, and the magical Fête des Lumières (Night of Lights). I lived there for four months in 2007 for a semester abroad during my middler year in college (aka 3rd year - I attended a 5 year program at Northeastern). I attended CEFAM, a business school in Lyon with mostly French students, but all classes were taught in English. I believe this is where my itch to travel internationally really began. I loved how I was living in a whole different world and although it was challenging with language barriers and cultural differences, I learned so much about myself and others. A few of my favorite memories: 

  • A group of friends and I were out late one night and it was pretty much sunrise when we got back. We lived above a small bakery and they were preparing for the day as we were coming back in. They weren't technically open, but they let us buy a few of their freshly baked baguettes. Words don't do the flavor and experience justice. It was simply amazing.
  • I usually explored with my Northeastern or French friends, but one day, I just took my camera and walked around Lyon by myself. I called it "solo spontaneity." It was only one day, but it was one of the most memorable experiences walking around aimlessly and discovering new spots. Also on this solo day of exploring, I found an amazing little vintage shop where I scored some silk scarves and a small purse. When I went home, I looked inside the purse and there was a 10 euro bill inside!
  • The Parc de la Tête d'Or was the park I visited most often. They had a lake, gardens, and a small zoo. Without thinking of the time, I loved watching the elephant move around.
  • We went on an organized wine tour of all the well known vineyards in France, including the famous Beaujolais. As I stood there looking out at acres of vineyards, that's when I decided I wanted to own a vineyard when I grew up.
  • Creating friendships with French locals. Towards the end of the semester, we were inseparable. I even saw some of them in New York and Boston, and one of them even came to visit me in South Africa! 
  • Overhearing cute French kids talking. That's all.

I could go on and on about my love for Lyon, but I can just tell you more in person if you'd like :) Here are some of my favorite photos!

So Worth Loving

Two summers ago, I participated in ICE for my Flower Crown Society booth. It was my first market ever, so as I was creating flower crowns and preparing my booth set up, I was filled with emotions ranging from anxiety to doubt. I had no idea what to expect and wondered if people would even buy my handmade crowns. It was a two-day market and after most of the first day was over, I was feeling a little discouraged. I didn't do as well as I expected, especially compared to my neighbors who seemed to be pro at markets and handling customers. I kept comparing myself to them, even though they were years and handfuls of markets ahead of me. As I was wallowing in my discouragement, two bright and cheerful young women came over to my booth asking if they could buy some crowns. They represented a lifestyle clothing brand called So Worth Loving, and one of them was the founder, Eryn. I was blown away by their contagious energy and the positivity they radiated with every word and action. They immediately put on the crowns after purchasing them and even wore them again the next day. Apparently, they sent quite a few people over to my booth, encouraging them to support me! I hardly knew them, but knew there an instant connection that both of our brands represented. Although I don't always advertise my purpose behind Flower Crown Society, it is to remind young women that they should be confident in who they are, and wearing crowns is just a small way to do that and to feel beautiful and brave while doing so. And as the name suggests, So Worth Loving is a brand that promotes self-worth and love. Their manifesto is:

No matter my history, past mistakes, relationship status, or career choice, I am worthy of love. I am not defined by my past. I am prepared because of it. While my own voice and others may tell me different, I will lean into the safe people that affirm this way of thinking. When I encourage others to love themselves I am encouraging them to treat themselves with kindness, patience, respect, and all that embodies love. We live our life knowing we have worth. So Worth Loving. It’s a lifestyle.

Eryn and I have stayed good friends since then and I am still blown away by her optimism and energy. I'm super thankful she started So Worth Loving so that her and her team can remind thousands of people that they are worthy of love, even if it may seem like the world is against them. One day, they'll realize they ARE worthy of love and then continue to spread the message. It's a beautiful brand and definitely worth supporting. And even despite me being super camera shy, I was so honored and thrilled when Eryn asked me to model a few tanks. I'll do anything to support them ;) 

Photography: Yellow Bird Visuals | Hair & Makeup: Stacy Oh | Necklaces: Crafts & Love

Dreaming of Outdoor Dinner Parties

For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to host beautiful, whimsical, and genuine outdoor dinner parties. With our rental home, it's been doable with our huge fenced backyard so we just put together mismatched tables and chairs, and have some friends come over for dinner. But last summer and fall were fleeting so I definitely didn't host as many dinner parties as I would've liked. I'm hoping to be more proactive about it when the weather gets warmer in Atlanta. Looking forward to new friendships blossoming over dinner, trying out fun recipes, and styling tablescapes + florals.

Here are some images I have collected over the years for inspiration: