Infusing grandeur into otherwise drab Monday mornings with five things/ideas/events for the week:

I.  I’ve developed a bit of an unhealthy addiction to The Bud Stop on Union Street. If you aren’t familiar, it’s an adorable curbside flower stand with a collection of both traditional and unusual blooms. I spend a ridiculous amount of time creating my weekly coffee table arrangements and learning about the different flower breeds. Though I wish I could put weekly flowers in the three cylinder vases on my dining table, it just isn’t practical. Explaining my dilemma to one of the shop girls resulted in the most brilliant solution - raw cotton branches. They are chic, slightly rustic, and don’t die! They’d also be perfect to mix with wedding reception florals for staggered height.

II.  Over the holidays, I ran out of business cards. I liked my first design, but I wasn’t in love with it - and it also didn’t reflect my branding. After asking almost everyone I know for designer suggestions, I opted to hold off on a complete T&T reboot and use my current black and pink design. That still left me without someone to produce my creation. This is where the company Moo is genius - they allow you to use your own graphics and assist with specifications so that the cards turn out perfectly. They also have a plethora of beautiful pre-created designs if you don’t have specific branding already. I’m smitten with my new cards, which are printed on triple-thick paper with a black band around the edges. Use this link for 10% off your first order. 

III.  With March just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking bikini weather. And that means no more buttery puff pastry or gruyere-laden french onion soup. One of the easiest salads in my repertoire is my Black Bean Shredded Chicken Salad. Purchasing a rotisserie chicken means that the only thing you have to do is heat up the beans and cut the rest of the components. Trust me, the combination of protein, arugula, lemon, avocado, toybox tomatoes, and fresh ground pepper is so delicious, you won’t even realize you’re dieting. 

IV.  So I thought that I was done with my kitchen face-lift, but evidently I’m not (and truth be told, I probably never will be). Needing more prep space, I’ve decided that I can’t live without an island. My kitchen is small, so I need something narrow and lightweight. Going with black lacquer paint for the walls and cabinets created a very modern feel, so I wanted to add a different texture to the room. This reclaimed wood island with iron piping is the perfect fit.

V.  I’m a big fan of TEDx conferences, and try to make a habit of going whenever I can. The Napa Valley 2015 TEDx is particularly appealing this year, because it’s all about changing the direction of your life mid-stream. Though the speaker lineup is yet to be announced, I can’t wait to be inspired by people who have similarly reassessed and changed their life plans. I hope that some of you will join me! There are worse places to spend a weekend in the springtime…

Have a wonderful week!  xx tt