Archive for the ‘life’ Category
I am chasing moments in nature’s treat.
That is what I did last week when we packed our luggage and drove to our favorite beach in Delaware. We decided to take our summer week vacation and return to a favorite place that we know and love. We have visited this beach every year for the past seven years. It started back in May of 2010 when I had just finished my last cycle of chemo. After undergoing six months of this treatment, we needed to go to a place that was within driving distance and wanted to feel calm and relaxed, yet still experience new places to eat and shop. When we return to that place, specific memories feed our anticipation for the trip. Whenever we arrive to the beach, we still have that feeling of it’s still “our” place, there are familiar spots, due to the connection we made.
Since I had a procedure in late July to remove a cancerous tumor that grew, we knew it would be beneficial to go back to our favorite beach…behind every storm is a little bit of sunshine. The beach for us is a place for recharging our body, mind and spirit. What better way to start the day then by heading to the beach in the early morning hours, before the crowd arrives and having time for yourself to take in the beauty around you. Living in the moment and living the simple pleasures of putting your toes in the sand, feeling the warm sun rays on your face, and listening to the soothing waves crashing, brings a sense of tranquility. Peace fills my soul of being hopeful for better tomorrows.
One of the items I had on my bucket list was to watch the sunrise over the ocean. I was happy to have checked that item off my list a few years back – it was one of those not-to-be-missed experiences. As you know, since I love to style tablescapes and create sets, another item on my bucket list was to create and capture an intimate beach imagery. While I envisioned something on a larger scale and have it photographed by a professional, I took the opportunity to go for it, on a more intimate level.
Surrounded by nature’s inspiration, capturing the perfect moment was influenced by sitting on the stretches of sand, gazing over the infinite ocean view and exploring the beach sunrise. I created a table for two and the ocean was truly a fascinating backdrop. The tablescape was a small table for two that was low enough to be seated directly on the sand. I used a color palette of creamy neutrals that mimics the color of the sand, a soft peach that resembles one of the colorful hues seen as the sun rises, and aqua blue drinking glasses resembling the ocean water. I used natural elements for the table decor like seashells and driftwood. For a relaxing, yet romantic feel, I paired vintage brass candlestick holders and chose grey-colored candlesticks that echo the color of beach pebbles.
As you scroll through the pictures below, you will notice I was able to capture the stages of the sunrise. Viewed in person, it is one of the most scenic, and breathtaking sight you will see!
Sun peeking over the horizon.
Illuminating golden glow.
Have you seen a sunrise yet? What is at the beach too or somewhere else? Let me know in the comments section below what place you experienced in, I’d love to know!
-Photos by Rose Angel Lopez
Yes! Today is my birthday and I couldn’t be happier…even with what I am going through.
As I reflect on the past seven months, I recall the first day of the new year and waking up in our own bed after spending three months between NY and NJ for a surgery I underwent. You can read more about that and my journey in this post. To return to a place you call home, to all familiar things, smells, and glimpses of happy memories as you look around. All of that brung me a smile to my face..all of which gave me a sense of normalcy from all that I had endured prior to.
The next couple of months thereafter were spent recovering and coming to grips with what my “new normal” is and dealing with the emotions that come along with not feeling like your old self, pre-surgery. My new normal consists of daily naps and not being able to function like I used to. Gone are the days when I could tackle cleaning the house in one afternoon. Now, I’m lucky if I can get through cleaning two rooms in the house without exhausting myself. Whenever I over exert myself and by that I mean, doing too much moving around, frequently going up and downstairs, walking a lot…these everyday movements are now a challenge for me. I have to conserve my energy otherwise, I can burn myself out quickly, develop cramping and discomfort. When this occurs, I then have to take medicine and lay down for 20-30 minutes in order for my body to relax so that I can continue doing other things that are not so strenuous to my body. I am reminded of this daily and there are days when I am emotionally frustrated at what my ‘new normal’ is.
From the outside, I look just fine. You know the saying…”Look Good, Feel Good”? Well, that is what I do to maintain my “old self”. I put on my makeup, style my hair, and look the part of a healthy woman. But inside, I’m not so healthy. I recently found out that after having 12 cancerous tumors removed last year November, I now have three areas of disease I need to be concerned with…so here we go again! If you follow me on instagram, you may recall when I posted this caption where I expressed how I celebrate all of life’s joys and how I go on with my everyday. It really helps me to put focus on things that make me happy, things I want to continue to do and pursue. Doing this keeps me in a positive mindset so that I am not constantly thinking about the negative and putting me in a place of sadness. Despite my health, everyday I find joy (big or small) and love that I get to share it with the one I love. I’ve been very blessed this year where God made something very special happen for me – I hope to share this with you soon, in another post.
This Thursday I am to undergo a procedure in order to kill one of the tumors that is the largest in size and appears to be more aggressive than the other two. What’s my birthday wish, you wonder? Well, it doesn’t come wrapped in a box tied with a pretty ribbon. Nope my birthday wish is not something one can buy or make. If every birthday candle brought me a new wish, I would repeat my wish for good health.
Go ahead – celebrate your life, your heart, and the everyday joys!
-Photos by Design by Occasion
If you were to ask me what is one of the best things of summer, I would have to say the ability to go out front or in our backyard and clip some peonies and hydrangeas we have planted. Growing flowers for cutting is such a joy for me so that I can transform into beautiful arrangements, big or small. Also, having readily available flowers are perfect for those days when you have an impromptu gathering or last minute guest visits. It’s a relief when you don’t have to rush out to the grocery store or florist to pick up some fresh flowers!
I noticed that a few of our hydrangeas were at its fullest bloom and if I didn’t cut them, they would eventually die. So I was inspired to create two different arrangements…one for outdoors and one for indoors. Keep reading to see how I created these two ideas for a simple DIY vase arrangement.
Outdoor Arrangement: displayed in a ‘Window Box Planter’
Since this is the season that we spend those most of our time outdoors, I’m always looking for ways to create centerpieces ideal for our outdoor dining table.
To achieve this look, I cut (8) hydrangeas and several leafy hydrangea stems. To arrange the hydrangeas, I used a large glass flower frog. Glass flower frogs are reusable pieces that sit at the bottom of a vase and securely hold your flower arrangement in place, while still getting water.
- A long window box planter (mine shown here is 24″)
- A vintage glass flower frog (size: large/13 hole)
How to assemble:
- Place your flower frog in the center of the planter box
- Fill your planter box with warm water
- Cut your first hydrangea stem to size and insert it in the middle hole of the flower frog. Make sure your hydrangea stem touches the bottom of the base so it can drink the water.
- Take off the leaves on the lower part of the stem (you don’t want the leaves to be submerged in water. Continue to insert each hydrangea stem into the flower frog holes. The center of the arrangement will give you a nice full-looking centerpiece.
- For the left and right sides of the planter box, you will want to fill these empty holes with the greenery leafy stems to add fullness.
Indoor Arrangement: displayed in large glass Cylinder Vases
Whether you’re looking to dress up your dining room table with a centerpiece, decorate a buffet table, or bar cart, these tall arrangements definitely have a wow factor and are very grand! I wouldn’t suggest this type of flower arrangement when setting up a tablescape because viewing your guests will make it difficult to conversate. If you have kitchen island, a couple of these arrangements in various sizes on your counter, will look amazing. Our dining room table fits seating for eight and displaying these large arrangements adds a bounteous cheer and a stunning touch of decoration.
- 16″ glass cylinder vases (depending on the size of your table will determine how many you can fit)
How to assemble:
- Fill your cylinder with water and insert hydranges. If you have a very large bloom, I inserted only one stem and also included the stems of the hydrangea leaves.
-Photos by Rose Angel Lopez
Bring on the Yummy and Let’s Party!
Do you remember looking back as a child and how you couldn’t wait until your birthday cake arrived, all lit up with candles? Well, no need to wait for the grand finale, cakes are not the only thing be shared these days. Similar to a buffet set up, decked out with a sweet-scene display, tables now are the cornerstone of most parties where they are displayed throughout an event. A display of cakes, cookies and other yummy sweet treats can be the heart of your party and the perfect place to match your party decor accessories. There’s no better way to excite your guests and have them connect to their inner child by indulging in a variety of mouth-watering, bite-sized deliciousness. As a bonus…share the sweetness by adding boxes or bags for guest to fill and treats double as favors too!
When Shari’s Berries contacted me to let me know that they put a ‘How To Set Up a Candy Buffet’ guide, I was excited at the chance to share this with you. Take a cue from this ‘how-to’ and deck out your next party with your own splendid dessert table for kids and adults, alike!
*This post is brought to you by Shari’s Berries.