a little progress…

In our new uptown home, we had a bit of remodeling to do.  Every single wall (interior/exterior), ceiling and floor is being removed, so essentially we are just starting with the façade and building back.

But something I’ve found interesting with this house, and in older homes in general (I think ours is about 100+ years), every couple decades people just seem to slap on another layer of whatever is popular at the time to redesign.  The family that owned the house before us, and whose family it has been in since its house birth, apparently stopped updating around the 70s.  Although too bad for us they didn’t stop before they decided to nail laminate over all the original hardwoods.

Or cover every single wall and ceiling, upstairs and downstairs, with this swirly plaster shit. But we later realized, you know after buying the house and all, the plaster swirls were added to hide the fact the walls aren’t straight.  Which, of course, we didn’t realize till the siding went up and the exterior of the house looked like heat waves coming off sand dunes in the Sahara.

We’re currently working on that, just FYI.

But they did leave the original fixtures, and these antique crystal chandeliers are enough to make all the time and pain (and expense!) due to remodeling worth it.

And thankfully this time we are hired someone we trust-ish and aren’t forced to do any work ourselves.  We’re currently about 3 months in and have about 2 months to go.

 Here’s a pic of that room to-date.  We’re opening up the large double living room, brought the kitchen to the front of the house and combined the spaces.  Although unfortunately for us, I read an article recently that said ‘open concept’ is over.

And I hope to God that’s not true, because at this point I really can’t do much to stop this open concept freight train.

So that said, our ‘post-work’ evening ritual has become heading over to the house to take a peek at all the progress.  I asked my fiancé, “once it’s completed, what are we going to do after work everyday?”

“Sit in our new house and figure out how to pay for it.”

So if you’re ever looking for me, that’s where you’ll find me.  And hopefully the walls will be straight.

pink lemons exist…let’s drink them

After what has been years in the making, my pink lemon tree has produced one pink lemon.

So here’s my lazy girl’s guide to a great drink.

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{cocktail glasses – Anthropologie}

Gin: quantity?  I’m no bartender but my pour is usually dependent upon the day I’ve had.

Squeeze of pink lemon: odds are you probably don’t have a pink lemon, but fortunately for you, a pink lemon tastes exactly like a regular lemon.  Which is kind of a let down when you own a pink lemon tree.

And since I had no mixers, we’re a pretty wine and scotch focused household around here, I topped off with a can of Lacroix, berry flavored to be exact.  Gotta use what you got.

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And voila.  This lazy girl’s summer cocktail.

Give my tree another couple years and we can have another round.

Beefeater Gin Party…Tales of the Cocktail

Every summer in hot month of July, Tales of the Cocktail descends upon New Orleans.  Beverage distributors of all kinds come in from all over the country, to host parties celebrating their brands.

This year, Leaf+Petal had the fortunate opportunity to work with some amazing distributors including El Tesoro Tequila, Ford’s Gin, High West Brewery from Park City and Beefeater Gin.

They were all pretty fabulous, but the Beefeater Party was one of my personal faves.

For one of their events, they hosted a seated dinner at Trinity Restaurant in the French Quarter.  The aesthetic was garden style, utilizing their brand colors as inspiration: ivory, blush, gold and accents of red.

Tables were laid out garlands of eucalyptus, white stock, blush roses, red and white ranunculus and red tulips.

To tie in the gold, we added our antique gold lanterns with additions of gold mercury votive cups.

 Now for next year, I need to work towards getting an invite.

 I may love flowers, but I love cocktails…

looks bad? cover it with jasmine

I apparently had a dormant gene, it was pronounced in my mom but took a bit to come to the surface in myself.  I’m a gardener.

And come to find out, a fanatical one at that.

As I lay in bed last night looking at Pinterest (is this something people still do?), I came across a website that has construction plans you can print out, then build your own garden trellises.

I was amazed.  It was amazing.

The next day, when I went to Home Depot to buy the 32 pieces of various sized, but exact in measurement, cedar plank to build this amazing trellis, I found out something else even more amazing.

Home Depot sells trellises. Already made.

Thank you Jesus.

I went about remodeling a back wall that can see into our neighbors back yard.  And while it’s cool they have a pool and all (jealous?  yes.), I don’t want to see it.  So I decided on Confederate Jasmine from Urban Roots, a vigorous and prolific climbing vine, to put on my new, already made trellises.

I’m sure my rear neighbors will appreciate it when it starts taking over their yard as well.  But having a gorgeous back wall of jasmine or making new neighbor friends?

Jasmine.  Every time.

house buying…not for the faint of heart

Two years ago, my fiancé and I bought a house and completely gutted and remodeled it.  It seemed like such a good idea at the time, as all terrible decisions initially do.

After being told it would take six weeks to complete, 6-8 months later they were finally ‘finished’.  And by finished, I mean it looked like absolute shit.  The painter, after initially painting all the rooms the incorrect colors, had stopped showing up.  He honestly painted half the kitchen and never returned (but did manage to steal my sunglasses on his way out).  Our hardwoods all started buckling and coming up so bad, we even took a nail gun to them one fateful evening.   Our General Contractor (who ended up not actually being a contractor) had moved to Idaho and stopped returning phone calls.

Then we learned while hard, it’s not impossible to sue someone in Idaho while in Louisiana.

And while I learned a great many things about myself during this period, be it the fact I can easily now paint, tile or stain anything, another interesting thing I learned was apparently if you take my money and run, I’ll follow you to the ends of the earth.  Idaho included.

So after sinking another round of ungodly money into the house to actually finish it, we finally sold it.  Literally, a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into that house.  And since we had a lot of trouble selling it, we decided to take a break from house buying for a bit.  We needed time to lick our wounds and have lots of drinks to dull the memories.  And just have some drinks in general.

Apparently, forget we did, because we just bought another house.  And it needs so much work, it’s getting completely taken down the studs.

I barely survived House War I, lets see if we survive HWII.

I’m already skeptical.

The Land of Bridal Magazines…

Working in the wedding industry, when speaking with brides-to-be, I find myself frequently saying, “I know, it can all be very overwhelming, but…”

But apparently I didn’t truly understand the complex nature of that sentence.  Or how truly overwhelming it actually is.

We got engaged on Christmas morning and it was wonderfully low key.  We’ve been dating 8 years, and at some point along the way ‘high key’ went out the window.  So I posted the obligatory #ringselfie, because if we don’t put it on the internet, it’s like the silent tree in the woods.  And immediately after, people started asking when the date was and where it was going to happen. And immediately after that, I started to panic.

I honestly believed that since all I do, about 50-70 hours a week, is work on weddings, that this would be simple.  But I find myself thinking when I’m overwhelmed (buzz word), I’ll think about this later.

I’m really good at that mentality, I’m still ‘back-burnering’ things from college.

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So I did what any bride-to-be in over their head does, I went and bought a magazine.  I guess this is exactly why I pay for business advertising, so that’s money well spent.  I only bought one bridal magazine because my magazine budget would only cover that, Travel & Leisure, and four interior design magazines.

I guess I got sidetracked.  That’s ok, I’ll just think about it later.

moving is fun!

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted; as ‘they’ say, “life gets in the way sometimes”.

We finally sold the house that we spent an eternity (and an ungodly fortune) remodeling but it hasn’t really set in yet.  While we look for a new house (oh God.), we’re renting a temporary space in a gorgeous area called Bayou St. John.

Last week, I had two hours to find somewhere for us to move to before the movers got there.  As my mom has not subtly informed me several times since this happened, most people do this in advance.  And that most people probably don’t live in an insane housing market quite like New Orleans.  Hindsight blahblahblah.

But the most exciting part of all this is I finally had the opportunity to open the champagne that I have been dragging around the southern part of the country for the better part of three years.  [side note: I’ve actually found none of this is very exciting, it’s more like a big incredible stress inducing money pit.  I honestly might as well take my checking and savings out of the bank, head-on into the backyard (that doesn’t exist because I live in New Orleans, which is just a weirder, smaller New York space-wise) and light it all on fire]

So in any case, here is my new stoop.  And my traveling champagne.  Which, not surprisingly, tasted funky.  Apparently hot/cold/hot/cold/hot/cold/hot/cold over the course of three years is not good for the quality of your bubbles.

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So you live, you learn and so on.  Except I seem to have trouble with the learning part so I just keep living and repeating the same shit.

But at least I’m finally in New Orleans.  On my stoop.

my day as an event planner…

Several months ago, a bride contacted me to do her wedding flowers.  We really hit it off, so she asked me to help her with the wedding planning.

I’ve never planned an event before, I usually go decorate with florals then head off for cocktails somewhere when work is done (good business strategy).  But she was persistent and I like new challenges.  So I became an event planner for a day.

I even wore all black, which I rarely do because it makes me look like a sad high schooler.

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For the florals, we did a color palette of blushes and whites.   Roses, peonies, hydrangeas and baby’s breath.

The reception took place upstairs at Antoine’s and looked incredible (I’m biased).  I set out place cards, centerpieces and little gifts from the bride and groom.  They’re both from Russia (now Floridans) and she had someone from back home (Russia, not Florida) hand paint little nesting dolls as thank yous.  I thought it was incredibly thoughtful and unique.

Everyone loved them, especially me.  She gave me one as a thank you for my event planning help.  Well, that and she paid me.

But I’m obsessed with my new little doll.

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It sits on our mail able so I can see it everyday.

when in bloom…

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As a florist

Let me begin again, I don’t care for the term florist.  So dated.

As a floral designer, obviously I’m pretty biased when it comes to flowers.  They’re all great.  Really great.

And I’ve gotten into gardening, so even rooted plants are great.   Clearly I’ve found my calling.

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But in terms of favorite flowers, in my opinion [IMO- I’m trying to learn the verbiage of the young, but might be a wasted effort since I’m talking about branches and gardening], nothing beats the flowering branch season.

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I lean towards quince every time.  I buy them in a bud stage, so they look just like dead branches.

And just when you start to think you have thrown your quince money down the drain, they start popping open, like little bundles of gorgeous pink popcorn.

drawer bugs…

When it comes to interior design, I think eclectic is great.  Unfortunately for me, I seem to lack the filter that differentiates ‘eclectic’ from ‘terrible’ and have often been known to confuse the two.

This lack of filter has led me down two paths: the first, buying interesting pieces that I will love for many many years.  The second path usually ends with me saying “well, that was a poor, non-refundable decision…”

scarabs

I’m really hoping I didn’t take the second path with my scarab pulls.

I love them (currently), and am hoping I won’t regret my decision to pay $50 for a pair of giant bug drawer accessories.  And to mention I actually don’t have a drawer to put them on.

I guess that just means it’s time to shop.

Wish me luck!  Because God only knows what I’ll return with.