Summer Flowers for Our Patio

I'm so thankful our apartment has a balcony; as small as it may be, it definitely adds a little extra square footage to our space. We love having dinner out there when the weather allows. I always get some flowers for the front door stoop (haven't done this yet this year!), but this year I decided to get some for the balcony as well. My neighbor makes planters for her job, so I asked her if she'd help me find the right plants for the type of light we get on the patio. She was so kind, she even TOOK me to the flower store and showed me herself! While I love flowers, I don't necessarily know what plants need to go where or which do well in what light. I was so glad to have her show me, so I didn't just waste money on flowers that weren't going to work well in the afternoon sun. 

I got some simple and cheap round, wire basket hangers to attach to our railing, then filled them with the round pots. The pots are plastic-- nothing special, but they make the patio look so summery!

This pretty, thin, white and green plant is going to continue growing and cascading down the pot. They're called Creeping Jenny's. I forget the name of the tall pink blooms, but there are also some gorgeous petite dahlias in the basket, which I ADORE!

You can see they already have a couple more blossoms coming soon!

Not only do we love the balcony, but so does Lincoln! He sits out here and watches other doggies on walks and "greets" the neighbors (with a big 'ole bark ;))

I found these chairs at Target on sale this year they fit perfectly with the garden stool I already had. (I'm addicted to lemon water-- a pretty good thing to be addicted to, I guess!)

Just to be sure the wire baskets stayed in place, I zip-tied the wire onto the railing, per my neighbor's suggestion.

Anddd one more :)

It's so nice to see the flowers through the window. Something about colorful blooms make my heart so happy! Do you spruce up your porch for Summer?


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Memorial Day Sales

It's a long weekend! Hooray! We're heading up North to enjoy the weekend with some of our friends and can't wait. In case you need a last minute meal to make, I shared my flank steak taco recipe yesterday. This is a great cocktail for the weekend, too!
Are you going to be doing any Memorial Day shopping? I snagged two adorable shirts from J.Crew Factory yesterday when the sale started:
This eyelet ruffle sleeve top: (tried this on in the store and the sleeve isn't itchy at all)

And this embroidered tie sleeve top: 
As timing would have it, Nordstrom is having their half-yearly sale. Great prices on some cute pieces (up to 40% off!) Some favorites of mine are below + some other great Memorial Day Deals:


Clothes, Jewelry, Home:

Jewelry + Home:



Bloomingdales: 20-50% off select regularly priced items.
LOFT: 40% off everything
J.Crew: 40% off everything with code GETAWAY
J.Crew Factory: 50% off everything with code WINWIN
West Elm: Buy more, save more with code SAVEMORE 
Anthropologie: extra 40% off sale home + 25% off sale clothing + 20% off full-price home decor and furniture
ASOS: 20% off with code SUNNYDAYS
Madewell: 20% off dresses with code PRETTYPLEASE
Target: sale on home decor and patio
World Market: save up to 20% + FREE shipping + 30% off outdoor.
Pottery Barn: Up to 30% off with code SAVEMORE
Lulu & Georgia: up to 25% off on your entire purchase (get discount codes here)
Hope you enjoy your weekend!
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Flank Steak Taco Crock Pot Recipe

Do you have that ONE recipe that you know you can make perfectly and it'll be a crowd-pleaser every time?! I sure do. It's my flank steak tacos. And when I say "my recipe" I mean my mom gave me the recipe and she originally got it from my aunt ;) It's tried and true, friends! I've mentioned it here on the blog before but never shared the recipe, so I thought I would being that it's Memorial Day weekend and this is the perfect thing to cook for a large amount of people.

Picture from this very similar recipe

1.5lbs of flank steak for 6 people (I was going to make 3lbs for 10 people this weekend)
1 can Mexican Stewed Tomatoes (for MI locals, I've only ever found these at Meijer)
1 small can mild green chilis
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp minced garlic
salt and pepper

Taco sides:
Spanish / Mexican rice
shredded cheese

Score the Flank Steak on both sides. Salt and pepper both sides of steak. Put in the crockpot. Dump all ingredients on top of the stead. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-8. .Usually I do low for 4 then high for 1 or two. Stir every so often, making sure the juices are on top of the meat. An hour before serving, shred your flank steak with two forks. This should happen easily (that's how you know it's almost done!) 

We serve this just like any other tacos by topping them with rice, avocado, cheese, lettuce, etc. The only thing I wouldn't do is beans. 

They are so delicious and any time I make them, everyone always wants the recipe! Maybe this will help your Memorial Day meal planning. Oh! And leftovers are almost better than the first time you eat juicy ;) 

Let me know if you try them!

Before I sign off for the day, I wanted to let you know I'll be back with Memorial Day Sales tomorrow, but in case you want a head start, here are a couple already going on!

Nordstrom: Half Yearly Sale! Up to 40% off!
Bloomingdales: up to 40% off Designer Handbags
LOFT: 40% off everything
J.Crew: 40% off everything with code GETAWAY
J.Crew Factory: 50% off everything with code WINWIN
West Elm: Buy more, save more with code SAVEMORE 
Anthropologie: 20% off home decor and furniture
ASOS: 20% off with code SUNNYDAYS
Madewell: 20% off dresses with code PRETTYPLEASE
Target: sale on home decor and patio
World Market: save 20% + FREE shipping!


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Kauai Open House Tour

When we were in Kauai about a month ago, my parents set up a couple tours of open houses nearby, since it's their dream to live there one day! It was raining outside, so it was a great pastime. There was a house in particular that I just LOVED so I thought I'd show it to you here. The owner had quite the eye for design. It was a sea of blue, turquoise and pops of other hues to brighten it up. Perfectly coastal and beachy, but without being cheesy!

Here's the living room:

I loved the coral prints framed around the TV. It helps distract from the TV, which is a great eye-trick!

This coffee table was incredible! I also loved this gorgeous coffee table book. I think I want it for myself one day :)

The one thing I felt was too much was the rug. I could have done with a neutral rug, myself ;)

The kitchen had been newly redone with quartz counters, marble subway backsplash, and a really cute shell chandelier over the breakfast nook.

I loved this little wall with fish plates. I'm not a fan of fish normally but this was so fun and appropriate for Hawaii!

This is the half bath. Is this not the craziest mirror you've ever seen? I found it online and linked to it below incase anyone wants to drop $3,300 on a mirror ;) Ha! I couldn't believe it. It does make a big impact!

This is the master bedroom upstairs.

The Master Bath had this pretty waterfall feature over the tub.

This was the second bedroom. It's hard to pull off complimentary color palettes (colors across the color wheel from one another, like orange and blue, green and red or yellow and purple) but this homeowner made it work!!

The bathroom off this room was sweet, too. Coastal and chic.
Get the look: 

Not the first thing I'd want to do in Hawaii, but definitely a great rainy-day (more like tropical storm...) activity!

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The Perfect Summer Romper + Wedges

Last week I was in Nashville teaching The Bloom Workshop and it was a lot hotter there than we've yet to experience in Michigan this year! I was SO glad I found this romper a couple days before our trip, because it made the perfect outfit to wear to teach during the first day of the two-day workshop. I'm pretty picky about rompers and have a little checklist in my head when trying them on.
Things I look for in rompers: 
- Not too short
- Not too long ;)
- Comfortable fabric
- Fun pattern
- Somewhat fitted (to give some shape. Also, I try to sit in them in the dressing room to make sure they don't create an unwanted bulge you-know-where ;))
- Washable (nothing worse than only being able to take something to the dry many of my tops are like this, so I'm trying to be more careful about what I buy!)
I just fell in love with this one and it was on sale, so double win! It's 50% off now!!

The sleeves are flowy and so sweet. The top is sort of a wrap look, but has a snap to make sure you don't fall out of it ;) The back has a zipper so it's fitted and gives me a little shape.

These wedges arrived a couple days before my trip so I thought I'd break them in by wearing them every day before I left. I was so surprised that even the first day I wore them, they were already so comfortable! I didn't get any sores on my ankles or by the toe. Woohoo! The leather truly feels like butter. They feel pretty luxurious for being under $80! I got them in gray but they come in 4 colors.

Photos: Ashley Slater Photography
romper / wedges / bracelet / necklace
After 8 hours in this outfit, I can honestly say it was all comfy enough I'd do it again! I'm always on the hunt for cute sale pieces, so the Loft is a go-to for me (not sponsored, just sharing!) I also just learned f you buy something full price, you can have your receipt adjusted up to 14 days after your original purchase. So great! 
Hope you have a great day!
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When Memories & Art Collide

A couple months ago I showed you a new piece of custom art we got for our bedroom from my friend Rachel Wadlow Art. It's an abstract painting of one of our wedding pictures and I adore it. Rachel's an incredible painter and I just love how she can take real-life moments or photographs and preserve them in abstract paintings! She is truly talented!
Rachel just came up with a new product she offers in her etsy shop. Basically, you send her a photo and she will paint you a custom piece inspired by that photo, then frame the two pieces in this new frame she designed where the small framed photograph actually sits on top of the abstract art. You can see what I mean below! This is a totally new kind of framing style.  Isn't it cool?!

I sent her my favorite sunset of all time-- the first sunset we saw on our honeymoon in Maui. It was a cotton candy sky, that's for sure (and in the colors of our wedding!!) My husband and I both love sunsets, so we wanted to preserve this memory in a painting. Rachel's painting arrived to me a couple weeks ago and I love it! It's so fun to see how she interprets the photo in her paintings.

She also incorporates some pencil lines in her work which I love. It just adds to the uniqueness of the piece!
I actually like mine unframed as well, sitting on my bookcase. So different and fun, right?!

Thanks for the gorgeous painting, Rachel! Check out her Etsy shop here (she has tons of custom options available and even paints stunning backdrops for a wedding or photoshoot!) Use code GALLERYWALL for 10% off any Instant Gallery Wall Print + Painting Duo.

Happy Wednesday!
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(Note: I received this painting as a gift from the artist, but opinions are all 100% my own as always. Thank you for supporting shops and artists we love!)

May Goals 2018

Well, usually I write goal posts at the beginning of a month but I couldn't get around to it this month, so here we are halfway through May and I've got my goals ready...ha!! I'd love to hear a couple of yours as well.

via Instagram

Continue spring cleaning! This month I want to tackle the entry closet (more on that tomorrow), the pantry and the laundry room. Maybe the windows, too! All we have left to do is the windows! Feels so good to be a bit more organized. We took a huge load to Goodwill a couple weekends ago.

- Take dinner to one of our friends who just had a sweet baby boy. I'm bringing my favorite Flank Steak Tacos in the crockpot. I'll share this recipe soon in an upcoming Meal Planning post. I got them this as their baby gift!  They were delicious and the gift was a hit!

- Soak up time with my parents during our Hawaii trip! We leave on Monday! So ready for warmth. The weather forecast isn't actually all that great. Kauai is one of the rainiest places on earth, so we're praying it lets up a little to enjoy the beach, hikes, and some surfing for my husband and dad. You can catch our recap of the trip here and here. Boy, did it rain!!

- Even though Lent is over, I still want to practice my word of "enough". Would you be interested in a post talking about a few things I learned as I gave up shopping for 40 days? Ugh, friends! Still need to do this. Moving it down to this month's goals!

- Get all the details set for our upcoming workshop, Bloom Bash Nashville. This is for creative business owners (or hopefuls!) who want to learn how to grow and sustain a thriving business by diving into how and why to blog and use social media for your business, photography, design / styling, floral arranging, watercolor calligraphy, styled shoots and more. It's such a fun two days! Tickets close Friday. I can't wait to experience Nashville! Absolutely LOVED Nashville! I can't wait to share the recap with you.

- Send out my monthly Safer Beauty newsletter. I love compiling this information to share with my readers! If you want more info on safe and non-toxic beauty, I'd love to get it in your hands once a month. You can sign up here. This newsletter is going out THIS WEEK because I just couldn't get it together last month ;)

- Finish decorating one of my client's houses that's in the Parade of Homes in May. Excited to finally share this with you soon. This is SO close to being done! The Parade starts May 25th.

- My husband recently got a new job that we're so thankful for and I want to go over there and get a tour of the new building and have lunch with him this month. Also moving this down to this month. Ha! Clearly, April was busy ;)

- Make a homemade dessert. Yum! Taking suggestions :) Yeah....nope, didn't happen. But my husband did make us milkshakes and they were amazing!! Does this count?! Ha. Also, we ate WELL in Nashville so I feel like this made up for it.

Well, I kinda stunk at my goals last month, huh?! It's okay, though. New month, even though we're halfway through it already! I can't keep up these days (so many fun and new design projects!). Because of this, I'm keeping it simple this month:

- Write about my Lent experience.

- Send out my Safer Beauty Tribe Newsletter this week.

- Go have lunch with my husband at his new office.

- Have a fun Memorial Day Weekend up North with friends!

- Take Lincoln on a couple of walks around the lake nearby to get better at leash walking.

- Really try to honor my business hours and stop working when my husband gets home.

- Watch less TV and do more activities in the evenings! We just played cards last night and it was so fun. We also have a study guide associated with the sermon series going on at our church right now, so we want to go through that together.

- Work out twice a week (whether this be a video in our apartment or walking around the lake or going to the gym)

That's it! What's on your list?!

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La Petite Bloom Workshop Grand Rapids

A few months ago we kicked off our 2018 Bloom Workshop year (my second business!) with our half day La Petite Bloom workshop, where we brought in two teachers in different creative industries and gathered at the Lofts at Luna in downtown Grand Rapids. Sweet Heather Anne taught our attendees how to watercolor on sugar cookies (and gave them her delicious recipe!) and Rhiannon Bosse taught the gals the art of floral arranging. It was such a special day together and I think I speak for everyone when I say we all left incredibly inspired. I thought I'd share the recap with you here, since we all love beautiful things!

Our tasty food was made by The Everyday Chef and Wife, who we absolutely adore! Both their personalities and their food are amazing and sweet ;)

 Our new friend Caitlin, of Third Clover Paper, designed the sweetest recipe cards for our guests to take home! She is a super talented illustrator, so it was fun to see what she came up with. She also calligraphed our student's names which we tied with ribbon around the recipe cards. It's all about the details!

 Heather began by sharing her background and going over watercolor wash techniques, using big fondant cakes to show the girls up front. It was so cool to see the artist at work! It comes so second nature to her and she makes it look so easy!

After her demo, our attendees got to practice on 8 of their own cookies! Can you even believe some of these cookies?! We were stunned!

 After a quick photography and styling session with Ashley and I, we welcomed Rhiannon up to teach our guests about floral arranging. It was really fun to hear about and see her process before our very eyes. She is so talented! Everyone learned so much! After her demo, it was time to set the girls free to pick out their own blooms at the flower bar. We always love seeing the gals' faces light up when they see!

 It's so amazing to watch our attendees, most of whom have never taken professional flower arranging classes before, create gorgeous bouquets! I guess you really can't mess up flowers (well, I'm sure you can-- but our girls never do!) Take a peek at some of the attendees' work below, along with some headshots of the gals. Ashley takes everyone's headshots at the end, which is a huge added bonus to the workshop! Everyone leaves with fresh pictures for their portfolio and website.

That was our only La Petite Bloom Workshop for the year (unless we add another local holiday workshop!) but if you're interested in learning floral design, photography and design tips, you can get all those sessions and tons more at any Bloom Bash workshop. We have Bloom Bash Austin and Bloom Bash Grand Rapids coming up this year! I'd love to meet you :)
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