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!

Blooms and Brushes

Happy 2016 everyone!

I hope you all have recovered from the holiday craziness and are enjoying the return of normal routines like I am. I’m still wishing for more snow here in Boston, (New York – feel free to send some our way!) but we have settled in for the winter nevertheless. Heavy sweaters, wool socks, and sleeping bag jackets stand at the ready, and there have been more than enough excuses to indulge in the warm comfort foods that I’m always craving when it gets cold. I was chatting with a friend over frozen yogurt last week (I know it’s winter, but fro-yo is always in season in my book,) and we were discussing how much more of a challenge it can be to find things to do in the winter. Boston is lovely in the warmer seasons with an overwhelming number of farmers’ markets, outdoor activities, and free events to attend, but the winter calendar isn’t quite as full. I do love cozy nights in as I mentioned in my last post, but it is fun to brave the elements for an evening to do something fun. So I was quite excited when an event popped up on my Instagram feed that felt like it was made for me – a collaboration night between Central Square Florist and The Paint Bar! If you’ve read my bio, you know that I’m an architect by day/florist by night, and part of my architecture schooling involved learning the art of watercolor painting. Therefore, making bouquets that would serve as inspiration for watercolor paintings sounded like the perfect blend of my favorite artistic mediums. I immediately enlisted two of my coworkers to sign up for the event with me, and we trekked down to Newbury Street on a freezing Tuesday evening for girls’ night.

Jackie from Central Square Florist kicked off the event by teaching the basics of floral arranging. Everyone had a bunch of tulips, roses, irises, hyacinth, and solidago to make their mason jar arrangements, and every table had a heap of Silver Dollar Eucalyptus to add for filler. It was fun to see how different everyone’s arrangements came out despite having the same materials to work with!

Next came Jackie from The Paint Bar’s turn to lead us through the watercolor techniques for our still life paintings. Being someone who loves color, I practically drooled over the enormous watercolor palate, and painting made me wish for the days of school again when I would paint every week for my graphics class. Just like the bouquets, all of our paintings turned out so differently, but we were all equally as proud to take them home and display them to keep the bright pops of color in our wintery homes even after the bouquets died.

So now as the snow falls and the temperatures drop with the arrival of the big blizzard, there are bright, pleasant flowers on my kitchen table, and I’m a little more content to cozy in for the weekend after my little adventure into the city.

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P.S. I’ve updated my website, and I’ve finally fixed the subscribe link! Please subscribe to my blog to receive email updates from Two Stems of Joy. (If you are reading this on your phone, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to find the link.) Don’t worry – I hate spam as much as you do, so you’ll only get emails alerting you to my new posts. Also, if you’re on Instagram, please follow @twostemsofjoy to see the pictures from my posts, as well as few extras that don’t make it onto the website! Thank you!