Freshman Flower Crowns

We did it – we finally made it to summer! Just a few weeks ago, all of us here in Boston were questioning whether summer would actually arrive when she decided to take her sweet time showing up in the city. But now we can kick back and enjoy warm temperatures, beach days, and watermelon while the memories of winter completely vacate our minds. And with the 4th of July right around the corner, the best memories of summer will be made while hanging out with friends & family, barbecuing our favorite foods, and celebrating/appreciating the beautiful country we call home. This holiday weekend also marks the one year anniversary for my friends Matt & Grace – dear friends who trusted me to do their wedding flowers last summer when I was just starting to pursue floral design. So Happy Anniversary to the not-so-newlyweds, and pop over here to see their beautiful wedding again!

For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you know that this post has been in the works for a while. Summer has been much busier than I anticipated (like it is every year and yet, every year I’m still surprised by it,) so while the workshop happened a few months ago, I’ve finally carved out some time to share it with you all. The good thing is that flower crowns are always in season… so just ignore our cooler-weather clothes and enjoy the snippets from my first flower crown workshop!

My friend Renee approached me about doing a flower crown workshop for a group of freshman girls that she works with at her job in college campus ministry. They wanted to host an event to celebrate the end of the school year, share summer plans, and talk about how we as young women experience beauty and beauty standards in our culture today.

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With the workshop as the foundation for the event, the evening grew into a night full of solid discussion, inspiring stories, and a whole lot’a laughter! The girls had the same materials to work with, but each girl’s crown was unique and perfectly reflected the beauty and personality of its creator.

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Their creativity and the depth of their conversations were inspiring. They spoke openly about their insecurities, the things they had learned in their first year away from home, and how they felt empowered by their faith to embrace their beauty that exists both outwardly and inwardly. It was a fun evening to share together, and it makes me so excited to see what these women will do in their years ahead!

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Photos courtesy of Renee Buck and Two Stems of Joy

Like the idea of a flower crown workshop? Book one now for your next birthday party, bridal shower, or girls night out! Please email britni@twostemsofjoy.com for more details.

Blog-iversary!

One year…

It’s extraordinary how much can happen in a single year, isn’t it? A segment of time that seems so minimal within the larger span of a lifetime, and yet, life as we know it can reverse directions, fast forward, slow to a trickle and even appear to stop dead in its tracks all within a single year. We’ve all heard the saying “Change is the only constant in life,” but it can be difficult in real time to remember that that is the nature of our world – to ebb & flow, to morph, to grow, to put to rest… to change. I’ve been reflecting these past few weeks on how much has changed in my life this past year. As you can tell by the title of this post, today marks the one year anniversary of blogging as Two Stems of Joy. I still can’t wrap my head around how much has happened this year. From the little bud of an idea last summer to having a professional internship and two full weddings under my belt, I have been stretched, challenged, and blessed in so many ways.12-blogiversary-6

When I started this blog a year ago, I was simply looking for a creative outlet. I felt stuck having completed all of the goals I had made for myself: to finish college, to secure a good job, and to live independently in a big city. I often prayed for God to reveal what was next, to divulge what the next big thing would be in my life as an architect in Boston. I never dreamed that floral design would grow into such a deep passion that would allow me to do what I have felt called to do for many years – finding tangible ways to spread joy in my community. I had no clue that this new passion would lead me down an entirely different path than I had planned for myself with so many dreams and goals that have brought me great joy and excitement for what is ahead.

I am incredibly grateful to all of the people who have helped me and cheered me on this past year. I would have never made it this far without the support of so many wonderful people – so thank you! And an extra special thank you to those people who have been with me from the very beginning (you know who you are.) I will be forever grateful for your encouragement, your inspiration, and your support. You helped me find the courage to pursue this passion, and you continue to provide encouragement when I need it most. While Heraclitus may have argued that change is the only constant, your support and God’s grace & blessing have been true constants in this process that I have not and will not take for granted.

So, after so much deep gratitude and reflection, it’s time for the lighter celebration of this milestone. For my blogiversary, my roommates and I celebrated as best we know how – with cake and flowers.

Esther (author of her own blog Teaspoon of Ink and my dear roommate for the last two years) worked her magic in the kitchen again and made a dessert utterly perfect for the celebration: mini lemon lavender bundt cakes. Let me tell you, they were AMAZING! I love mini desserts and anything lemon flavored, so her petite creations and her contribution to the celebration couldn’t have been more perfect. Esther was my first cheerleader in this process; she was the one who for months encouraged me to start a blog, even before I knew what I wanted to blog about. Watching her take that leap herself was so exciting, and the time spent developing our skills and dreams in tandem has been one of the best parts about being roommates.

Also joining us in our celebration was our newest roommate – meet Megan! She’s an absolute sweetheart, and it was a fun day to show her what goes into making and photographing a blog post. Hopefully our crazy antics didn’t seem too weird… my roommates often make the loveliest of models for my floral creations, so I’m hopeful you’ll see more of her in the year ahead 😉

 

And of course, what’s a floral blogiversary without some celebratory flowers. For this party, I combined two of my favorite things: dahlias* and flower crowns. The crowns were a mixture of dahlias, wax flowers, solidago, daisies, and lemon leaf, and the festive colors where a perfect fit for the transition between Summer and Fall. (*Side note: shout out to Five Fork Farms for always producing top notch, local flowers. The dahlias I receive as part of their summer flower shares make me swoon every week!)

It was a wonderful afternoon celebrating a big milestone. There will be many big things to share with you in the year ahead, but for now, all I will share is my joyful gratitude for the blessings of this past year. Thank you for following along with me; it’s been an incredible journey, and this next year will hold even more exciting and incredible things – just you wait and see 🙂

~Britni

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If you’re on Instagram, please follow @twostemsofjoy to see the pictures from my posts, as well as other snapshots that don’t make it onto the website! Thank you!

The Season of Peace

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

I’m sure many of you will be able to relate when I say that the past few weeks since Thanksgiving have been FULL. There is always so much to do in this season – end of year deadlines and holiday parties at work, festive activities that fill every square inch on the calendar, and of course, the nostalgic evenings spent baking Christmas sweets and decorating the house in all things red and green.

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Roommate Christmas 2015

My roommates and I spend the first weekend in December in full Christmas mode; we decorated our little tree, hung our stockings, made gingerbread cookies, took Christmas pictures, and cozied up on the couch to watch our favorite Christmas movies.

 

I’ve been looking forward to this season for so many reasons. Growing up in Montana winters taught me to love those quiet, cozy evenings spent with my favorite people, and as I’ve gotten older, I appreciate those moments even more as they provide an opportunity to slow down, catch my breath, relax, and truly enjoy the company of those around me.

5_Wreaths1However, I let the stress of the work sprint-to-the-finish-line mentality get to me again this year, and by the time I stepped on the plane to head out to a fun-filled vacation week, I was exhausted. I had forgotten that this is the season of peace despite being surrounded by its symbols and reminders all month long.

 

Psalm 46:10 reminds us to “Be still, and know that I am God.” Be still. Be still. I am always prone to filling every nook and cranny in my life with things to keep me occupied: A full calendar of events, a list of books to read, a to-do list a mile and a half long. I am never still. It is one of the habits I hope to cultivate this year – taking a daily moment of stillness to breathe and recheck my priorities. But God is not calling us to just embrace stillness. “Be still and KNOW that I am God.” The peace of this joyous season was ushered in by He who was born in Bethlehem, and that perfect peace can only be found in knowing Him. But the knowing isn’t like how you know your phone number or know your best friend’s favorite song. This is the deep kind of knowing that settles in your soul, solid and comforting no matter what is happening in life around you. The kind of knowing that produces raw and honest faith to say, “God, I’m struggling to understand you, but I will keep choosing to trust in who you say you are despite the struggle.” Be still and know that I am God. That is how I want to know God, both now and in the years ahead. I hope you’ve been able to sense God’s peace in this season, and I hope that 2016 will be a year filled with moments of stillness and opportunities to know God for who he really is. Merry Christmas everyone, and wishing you a very joyful and peace-filled New Year!

 

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Winter Wreath