Thursday, March 15, 2012

Obsessed with buttercup

I bought a bouquet of Persian Buttercups (also known as ranunculus asiaticus) at Trader Joe's a few weeks ago and not only did they last for three weeks, but I became obsessed with them. Now I seek them out every time I'm at the market or near a florist, but I haven't had much luck. They bloom in late spring / early summer, so I think I'll have to try and find some to plant on my patio this summer. The name ranunculus comes from Latin and means “little frog." Mythology says that there was a Persian prince that was so beautiful that everyone loved him and wanted to be him, and since he was a modest prince, could not muster the courage to declare his love for just one. So he died and was memorialized in a beautiful flower that grew in swampy areas.

One of the pleasures of working with ranuncula is the small buds that many stems carry. Snipped and used on their own, these cuties help create layers of texture in a denser arrangement or bouquet. But, you don't have to get too fancy. Ranuncula look their loveliest when kept simple. One thing to note is that they can be quite expensive – as much as 4 or 5 dollars a stem for prime flowers. But so worth it! Their little paper mache petals and delicate color variations are just too much to resist. And four stems could easily hold the center of your table (however, their stems aren't made of steel, so if you want to keep them long and leggy, keep them suspended upright with a small flower frog).

I quite prefer the softer, looser, more naturally inspired arrangements that flowers like the ranunculus make.

photo credit: Martha Stewart

Thursday, March 8, 2012

DIY mini cakes!

I just love the idea of making several mini cakes for a party instead of just one big one. You could get super creative with flavors and cake toppers! And the most brilliant part? You can make them by using a simple tin can as your cake pan. Check out the DIY instructions over on Oh Happy Day!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Back in business! Well, sort of.

After some technical difficulties and a VERY busy start to 2012, I’m in the process of reorganizing and re-prioritizing, well, my life, so to speak. As many of you know, h&a happenings is not my full-time job, even though I’d very much like it to be! After the new year, I applied for a new day job and after many weeks of interviews, I was offered – and accepted – the position. The exciting part for me is that I’m heading back into marketing, which will inevitably help me market h&a happenings more effectively, and I was just really REALLY ready for a change of scenery (my old job had become boring and monotonous and one of those things that you groaned about as soon as you opened your eyes in the morning).

For h&a happenings to take off soaring, I need to have a day job that actually pays me well (which my old job was NOT). So, for the next couple of months, juggling my day job with my side business is going to be a little difficult, especially since I’m moving to Berlin for a month for training (the above pic is actually of my cute little apartment I'll have while I'm there - I have a balcony, which I'm super excited about!). But, I will have my laptop and my creativity with me, so I will be able to blog and brainstorm and discover new ideas for parties and getaways (speaking of which, I’m planning a Memorial Day weekend getaway to Vermont, which should be so much fun because it’s 1.) Vermont and 2.) such a great group of people!!).
On my to-do list over the next couple of days is to pack (for a month!! How does one actually do that??!), learn basic German, see a few friends that I will miss dearly while I'm away, and to snuggle a ridiculous amount of time with my husband (and our dog and cats).

Thanks to you all for your continued support!

Friday, January 13, 2012

A rustic Maine wedding

To me, Maine will always be home. So, when Alf and I were searching for a venue for our September 2011 wedding, it wasn't a surprise that we gravitated toward those in Maine. After a couple of stressful weeks (mostly because every place we liked was already booked), we found the ideal location: Kingsley Pines in Raymond. A summer camp on Panther Pond, Kingsley Pines had everything we were looking for: rustic appeal, on the water, private (we rented the entire venue for four days!), guest cabins (that could sleep up to 200), lush and gorgeous grounds, and all the firewood we could possibly ever need for unlimited bonfires. What really made our wedding weekend even more amazing was the staff.  Drew Taylor, whose family owns the venue and who is the current manager, was incredibly welcoming, gracious, and funny. His staff followed suit. We couldn't have asked for a more amazing weekend - even the rain cooperated. 


invitations: Courtney Jo Schoenbaechler
photographer: Jeffery Harmon Photography with Kelly Berezansky
caterer: The Black Tie Company 
planning & design: h&a happenings

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Well, hello 2012

I'm not sure how it happened, but 2012 certainly arrived a LOT quicker than I expected. I wasn't ready, and now that it's here, I feel like I've been thrown into things on fast forward!

Anyway, I'm usually not a resolution kind of girl (mostly because I hate not being able to cross them off my to-do list if I fail to do them), but I do have a few things in mind that I'd like to accomplish this year:
  • Finish sending out my wedding thank you notes (this keeps me up at night, actually)
  • Paint my living room
  • Update my wardrobe (this is a necessity, really)
  • Sew, sew, sew!
  • Eat less cheese
  • Make a sectional sofa (yes, make)
  • Find an oval coffee table that isn't made of glass
  • Organize all my digital photos and make some photo books
  • Dye my hair red
One thing that I do like to do every new year is reflect on some of the amazing things that happened to me the previous year. So, 2011, I'd like to thank you for these awe-inspiring moments:
  1. I got married (to one of the most incredible human beings I've ever known)!
  2. I launched h&a happenings!!!
  3. We got our dog, Roscoe, to gain weight
  4. My grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary
  5. My grandfather (who turned 80 this year) had a heart procedure that was very successful
  6. My mother lost more than 40 pounds (go Mom!!!)
  7. I read 50 books
  8. My husband (who got laid off in April) found a job!
  9. We had four Christmas trees in our 900 square foot condo
  10. I had Twitter conversation with Donal Logue (aka Jimmy the Cab Driver and Agent Tom Colton)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Creating my own white Christmas

Alf and I spent Christmas in Maine this year and yes, it was a white one (yay!!). We woke up Christmas morning to snowflakes falling and it basically snowed off and on all day, accumulating to maybe an inch of the white stuff. When we left Monday morning, we said good-bye to my family AND the snow and headed back to Massachusetts, where we haven't seen any snow since Halloween. I'm a Mainer, so I need snow during the winter for it to actually feel like winter, so this snow drought has really become quite annoying. And since mother nature isn't helping me out, I guess this will have to do:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Loveliest nightlights ever

The Land of Nod has the most adorable nightlights, and they're not just for kids! Starting at $49, one of these little beauties should be on everyone's new year's resolution wish lists.

A Colorado meets Boston wedding

Heather and Chris' love story is cut from a movie script: they met on an airplane when Heather was on her way to Colorado for a work meeting (and Chris and his two young boys were on their way home), spent nearly every free second of her work trip together, and fell madly in love in a matter of minutes. A year later, they made it official and married at Heather's parent's house in Winchester, MA, followed by a joyous celebration with family and friends at the Island Creek Oyster Bar in Boston. The lovely laid back couple really only had one specific request: to infuse some kind of airplane theme into the celebrations. The final outcome was deep fall colors laced with some fun airplane decorations.


gown: Wtoo Brides
ceremony venue: private residence
reception venue: Island Creek Oyster Bar
planning & design: h&a happenings
floral: h&a happenings
photography: cee poull blaine, artistic edge photography

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Something for my wish list

I've seen a few variations of these Phonofones recently (of course the one I really like is only available in France and it's $1k), and I'm seriously crushing on the this new style from Science + Sons. It's crafted from ceramic and it amplifies the volume emitted from an iPhone internal speaker roughly four times! Another amazing thing? It weighs less than two pounds. The price tag is still hefty ($200), which is why it's on my wish list...


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Free Custom Owl Calendar

I adore owls, along with about a billion other people. I don't know when the owl craze picked up, but owls have become a favorite of nearly everyone out there in the last year or so. My Owl Barn has this amazingly cute and FREE 2012 owl calendar that screams awesomeness. What makes this extra special is that you have the option to customize each month with the illustration of your choice!

Monday, December 5, 2011

An anniversary holiday party in Boston

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had lovely weekends, and it was certainly busy in Salem! I spent most of my day on Friday putting together 25 floral arrangements for Kettle Cuisine's 25th anniversary / holiday party that was held at the Seaport Hotel in Boston on Saturday evening. I was a little worried about the flowers, mostly because I didn't get exactly what I wanted, but from what I've heard, the flowers were a big hit and a few guests were able to take their favorite one home at the end of the evening. Thanks to Courtney Jo Schoenbaechler for the inside scoop on the party, as well as for taking all the fantastic photos!

floral design: h&a happenings
photography: courtney jo schoenbaechler