an overload of photos from our visit to the most beautiful ojai. in mid-april, the warm sun and fat blooms and groves upon groves of citrus were just plain therapeutic. i MAY have been the one smushing my nose into every flower and sneaking into orange groves. (the things a minnesota winter will do to a person).

our days were pure bliss, rarely leaving the premises of ojai valley inn. patio breakfasts and books by the pool and pressed juices and the most wonderful pedicure ever. we did manage to make it into town to enjoy lunch at the tiny hip vegan with the most delicious whole foods you can imagine, popped into this outdoor bookstore (so fun!) and my favorite shop summer camp. we shared pizza and bottles of wine under the string lights on the patio of papa lennon's, and of course i couldn't pass up the roadside citrus stands.

ojai, we'll be back.

flower stills


i am always aiming to improve my technique when it comes to styling... it does not come as naturally for me as i'd like to admit. back in december, i picked up some blooms at a local florist and spent some time styling and shooting on black. i love the way the tones are muted, and the images have a serene, but moody, feel to them.

kentucky derby party


it just so happens that i was too busy playing hostess to properly document the day. but trust that our first annual derby party went off without a hitch. [well, only one hitch. the big tv on which we planned to watch the race wasn't working (or rather, comcast wasn't working)... so we all had to cram in the living room and watch on the smaller one. but some things are just out of your control.]


i had my first experience with purchasing flowers in bulk, but it went seamlessly. after the 100 roses were delivered from costco, i kept the wrappers on the flowers and immediately snipped their stems and placed them into buckets of water. after a few hours, i removed the wrappers and all of the leaves that fell below the water line (decomposing leaves can kill the flowers). the next day, i amassed all of my vases and made arrangements for the house.


i was lucky enough to have a few ladies arrive early to help prep the food, while the guys filled the coolers and made last minute adjustments. i prepared the ham biscuits, asparagus salad, and derby pies during the week, which made saturday morning a bit easier. 

there were pastels and pearls and big hats and plenty of juleps to be had (sipped from mason jars, of course). the rain held off and the day was pretty perfect... the party started at 3 and went well into the night.



i am decidedly glad to have my first party behind me. so much prep and planning went into it that this break is very much welcomed. i am now in the process of making notes about what worked and what didn't, what we had too much of and what we could have used more of. all the little details to make next year's even better!

happy (april) weekend!


i hope you have a beautiful weekend! we will be making our way to virginia beach for a wedding... looking forward to celebrating with some good friends.

aren't these ranunculus just beautiful? i took this photo a few weeks ago and still can't get over their prettiness!

see you back here next week.

buds and blooms

a few signs of spring were present when we returned from our trip earlier this week. despite the fact that this weekend won't feel like spring, it is indeed here... and the weather is sure to follow! looking forward to seeing some more buds and blooms within the next few weeks.





our wedding: cake buffet

during the months leading up to the wedding, i scoured thrift shops and flea markets vintage cake stands of various shapes and sizes. i collected several, and even borrowed a few from friends and family. i worked with our baker to create my vision: one two-tiered cake that we would cut, several single-tier round cakes, and a couple dozen cupcakes to round out the display. i was so pleased with the way everything turned out. the various shapes and sizes created a sense of abundant simplicity, which i loved. our florist placed simple white blooms on top of the cakes, which contrasted so nicely with the various icing textures.

in case you were wondering, the flavor lineup:
two-tier: chocolate chip cake, vanilla mousse filling
single-tiers: lemon cake, raspberry filling
                   vanilla cake, chocolate mousse filling
                   almond cake, strawberry filling
cupcakes: carrot
                 chocolate chip

(all frostings were buttercream)

cake buffet

cake, cupcake

all photos by jennifer domenick