Thursday, February 28, 2013

February feature of the month

strike a pose...
It's almost March and you know what that means... it's time to do my monthly feature! This month I decided to choose one of my good friends, Amanda Naylor, and her photography business. She is amazing!  She has taken my maternity pictures, shot pictures of Piper for her newborn session, holiday pictures, and she's also done my sisters wedding. I just admire her work. Since I have met her, I have watched her business grow, along with mine, as well as her talent. I take no hesitation in recommending her to all the brides-to-be I meet and all customers of mine because I know that they will always be happy with the end result.

One of my motives in growing my business is to take a little of that 'wedding planning stress' off of my brides. Being in the wedding business, you start to meet a lot of diversely talented people.  With my aquired information and contacts, I want nothing more but to share them. How easy would it be for a bride to sit down with her florist, share her visions, and be able to create her dream wedding in one sitting... all because the talent she needs is at her fingertips? That's my goal.. Read on:

Hi everyone! I’m Mandy, a York County camera artist of real life and love.

When Amanda asked to feature me on her blog, it couldn’t have come at a better  time, not to mention a better source! Amanda and I connected a few years back through a mutual friend and we hit it off right away! Maybe because we share the same name, or maybe because we share a passion for art and crafting… Either way, this girl has become a HUGE part of my life! Being in the same realm of business, we lean on each other a lot- I ask her for help with new ideas, she asks me for opinions, and together we’re building our businesses! I recommend all my brides to her for flowers not only because she is 
my friend, but because she is truly GOOD at what she does.  After photographing a few of her amazing designs, it was a NO brainer for me to ask her to design my bouquets for my wedding day next year! Yup, that’s right! I’m getting married! And let me tell you- it’s such a CHANGE being on the front-line, instead of behind the scenes! It’s almost kind of stressful- I don’t know what I would do without Amanda’s help, not only flower wise, but with decorations, DIY crafts- everything! This girl is a jack of all trades!
After high school graduation in 2008, I relocated to Philadelphia to attend Antonelli Institute of Art and Photography where I earned my associates degree in photography. After graduation, I started to pursue my dream, and my business was born. For the past 2 years, I have been SO fortunate to work with some of the best clients a girl could ask for! September of 2012 I left my fulltime job to focus on building and improving my business, which was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done, but I “punched fear in the face” (as one of my favorite photographers says), and I took the leap. It was the best leap I’ve ever taken.
One of the most popular questions my clients ask is, “why photography?”, or “how did you get into photography?”.  To me, these questions have endless answers, but the one that sticks out to me most, happened when I was 16. My grandfather suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease.. We’d go visit him and he couldn’t remember who I was, but when you showed him a picture of his life YEARS ago, it took him back- he remembered. He remembered the home he grew up in as a child. He remembered his adolescent years, his siblings and friends. What if those pictures didn’t exist?
I think that’s why I fell in love with photography. I don’t ever want to forget my life as time goes on. I want to remember the moments I once cherished so much. I want my CLIENTS to cherish their lives… The way a new couple looks at each other while they’re first falling in love, that walk down the aisle and first kiss after saying “I do”, those fresh wrinkles of newborn skin, your highschool senior all grown up… All of those moments we take for granted; those moments we CAN’T get back.  I want to freeze time for you, because when it’s all said and done, only photographs live forever…

Visit my website:
Become a fan:
Amanda Naylor Photography
*Not to steal the spotlight... but step over! (haha) I want to add my favorite shots Mandy has taken for me and my family. She will forever be our family's photographer. It was very hard to choose just a few favorites, I must say:

..don't be shy, and thanks for stopping by!.. 
*follow me on instagram: everyonedeservesflowers* 

'Like' on facebook: everyone deserves flowers.

Follow Me on Pinterest  

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

nuts about mango...

nutella'll get 'cha!...

So, over the weekend I put on two pounds of the six that I've lost so far. I don't know if it was the stress of starting an 'everyone deserves flowers.' Facebook page (which if you haven't visited and 'liked' yet, please do!) or the fact that I ate a buttload of Nutella, but it's so unfair. (Fat girl for life- whoop whoop!) Well, needless to say, no cheating AT ALL for me this week! This girl needs to get back on track! 

A friend of mine posted a status on Facebook that kind of made me giggle. "Am I the only one who feels like salads are more of an appetizer than a meal?" I do, at times, feel that way too. The trick is to make sure your packing your salads with not only all the healthy veggies, but get some good fats (nuts, flaxseed), some protein (chicken, tuna, fish, steak), and if it is going to be a 'meal' for you, you might want to add some healthy carb in there too. I personally think salads are amazing! They are so refreshing and can be filling. I eat one pretty much everyday, but I like to switch up what I put in it so I don't get bored. In one of my previous posts I listed all the items I buy when I go to the grocery store. Some ideas for your salad might be on that post.

I've had a little obsession with mango lately. Yummmmm....
Therefore, I added it to a salad last night and that was it for me. I'm sold! Most delicious salad I've made yet. 

  • 1/2 mango (107 cals)
  • romaine lettuce
  • 2 teaspoons 'pecan pieces' (45 cals)
  • 1/8 serving craisins (16 cals)
  • cucumber
  • tomato
  • slivered red onion
  • 1/4 diced avocado (81 cals)
  • 1/8 serving reduced fat crumbled blue cheese (20 cals)
  • 3 oz. grilled chicken (140 cals)
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut (35 cals)
I dress mine simply with just some EVOO and a little red wine vinegar. This salad is about 450 calories! Might sound like a lot, but that is the kind of salad that is going to be filling and nutritious. Plus, it's a big salad. You need to fuel your body, especially after a workout. Between the veggies (feel free to add more if you'd like), the power-fruit avocado, and the protein enriched chicken (you can sub shrimp, crab, salmon, etc.) you are going to get a sense of fullness. The pecan pieces and coconut are added for sweetness and fun, but nix them if your not interested. I'm sure you have all seen salads on a restaurant menu that you think are good for you and they are not! *Example- a chicken caesar can be about the same amount of calories as this one, lacking the healthy fats and using full fat dressing! Make sure your  filling up on better choices and be aware of the mistakes you can make in salads. 

Mango is a funky little fruit to cut. The pit is in the center 
(naturally) and is a long, flatter, oblong shaped pit. To cut a mango, you want to slice along side of the pit on both sides. You will be left with 3 individual pieces, two halves and a pit. Take one of the halves, and slice it vertically and horizontally making a checkered pattern, but not all the way through the skin. Here's the fun part! Take your thumbs and push the center of the skin up, turning the mango inside out and creating this:

So cool, right!? (It's the little things in life that make me smile.) Anyway, now you can cut the cubes off the skin with a knife and plop them right onto your salad, or yogurt, or fat-free cool whip, or make a smoothie... The possibilities are endless! :) 
Mango is my new best friend.

Just wanted to share one little tidbit of information my handy-dandy Facebook newsfeed informed me on (for you local mommies): Collage Shop will be carrying Vera Bradley baby clothing! I love and adore their baby section, and they carry 'Mudpie' clothing for my little Piper, but how stinkin' cute will these colors be for Summer:

I really have to stop following these cute little boutiques. It does nothing but get me in trouble. (hehe)

..don't be shy, and thanks for stopping by!.. 
*follow me on instagram: everyonedeservesflowers* 
'Like' on facebook: everyone deserves flowers.

Follow Me on Pinterest 

Monday, February 25, 2013

and 18 months later...


I have been working with flowers since I was 15 years old, and have always known that is where my true passion lied. With intentions and goals on opening my own flower shop one day (you know how that goes) I decided to leave my full time job when I found out I was going to be a new mommy. I had all these amazing ideas written down: prices panned out, a name for my shop, the works... Well, 18 months later, here I am, officially kickstarting it up! And, 18 months later, this is what I have looking at me while I'm typing my little heart out right now:

Although I've never stopped being passionate about my dream, or working with flowers, things just fell to the wayside when I became a mom. I started telling friends, a Facebook status here and there... then I started this little blog. Word-of-mouth travels fast I suppose, because my inbox is starting to fill up with questions and appointment requests, my calendar is starting to fill up with wedding dates, and I am actually happy to start doing what I should have been doing for years now. I am becoming a local florist!

I do wedding and event appointments out of my home and dedicate "wedding season" (Spring-Fall) to doing what I love. I do take everyday orders as well (pre-ordered),  but weddings are my forte.

 Because I work from home, I have no overhead. I buy my flowers directly from a wholesaler and handle everything myself. Ordering from me will ensure you are getting quality, fresh flowers, you are getting a great price, and you know who will be handling your order personally, and I am accessible and easy to reach.

*I also dabble in party planning, helping craft banners, set up dessert/candy tables, invitations, little girl's tea parties, etc. If you see something on Pinterest or Etsy, or have any ideas for extra decor for your event, I am sure I will be able to help you with it as well.

So, today I just started a Facebook business page (a little behind the times with that one) but please CLICK HERE to stop by, 'like' it, please 'share' it, and enjoy it. When I reach my first 100 likes, I will be doing my first GIVEAWAY! 
 I hope to see familiar faces and names on the page, from 'myfitnesspal' followers, 'instagram' and local friends and family. This is a new venture for me; a vision I have been dreaming up since I was a young teen. I want nothing more than to share this with everyone... since we do ALL deserve flowers.

..don't be shy, and thanks for stopping by!.. 
*follow me on instagram: everyonedeservesflowers* 
'Like' on facebook: everyone deserves flowers.
Follow Me on Pinterest 

Monday, February 18, 2013

President's Day Weekend

trip to the park and some low cal. cookin'...

Valentine's Day has come and gone. My roses are pretty much wilted away, and my hands are raw from playing with flowers. Thank goodness I bought myself a little Christmas present, my favorite 'Mary Kay' hand treatment. (It works wonders!)

Since Friday was a decent day outside, after the gym I decided to take Miss Piper to the park for the first time. I mean, she's been on the swings at Brown's Orchards when I've gone there to get some things, but this was the first time I've taken a trip just to play at a a park with her.  Naturally, she loved it! I brought my niece with us, whom Piper absolutely ADORES, and it was so cute to see them chase eachother around and take pictures of them with my new camera:


The 3 day President's Day weekend meant one more day of Eddie being home, one more day of family time, one more day of cooking and being able to enjoy dinner. I cook all the time, but with our hectic day-to-day schedules, we don't get to sit down and eat as a family much. So, on the way home from the park, I decided to take a detour and stop at the local market.  The Eastern Market is open every Friday, and it's one of the things I adore about this god-for-saken little town.  The produce is much more reasonably priced, plus you can get fresh meats, salads, seafood, nuts, and a bunch of local businesses have tables there, which makes it fun to browse around.  We didn't really have anything like that in Jersey, so it's a neat experience.

While walking through the isles, I decided to suprise Eddie with a good meal.  I opted for Crab-Stuffed Portabellas, London Broil with Creamy Horseradish Sauce, red roasted potatoes, and asparagas. (of course accompanied by one of my best friends, Pinot Grigio.) Eddie loves to grill, so he took care of the London Broil, cooking it medium-rare and just simply seasoning it with salt and pepper. The rest, well here I am bloggin' it:

Crab Stuffed Portabellas 
  • 2 packs button mushrooms
  • EVOO, salt and pepper
  • 8 ounces crab meat
  • 2 tablespoons diced red bell pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayo
  • 1 tablespoon old bay seasoning
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs (optional, but I like to use them to bind it all together)
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • parsley

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine your crab meat, diced red pepper, 1 egg, mustard, reduced-fat mayo, & old bay. Mix all together and add panko to bind everything together. Season with salt, pepper, and parsley.

Remove stems from the mushrooms then toss in salt, pepper, and EVOO. Take crab mixture and fill holes of the mushrooms with it. Place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Creamy Horseradish Sauce
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2-3 tablespoons reduced-fat mayo
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce 
Stir all ingredients together to combine. I used this sauce on the mushrooms as well as our london broil. Yum!
Hope you all enjoy your extra day off and away from the every day grind. I'm going to make myself a salad with some leftover London Broil (you know how I do) and spend some extra time with the fam!

..don't be shy, and thanks for stopping by!.. 
*follow me on instagram: everyonedeservesflowers*
Follow Me on Pinterest 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine Songs

set the mood...
Something you may or may not know about me: I went to school for massage therapy. I don't practice it, but sometimes, on special occasions like Valentine's Day, I'm [semi] obligated to put my studies to use. (Plus, saves me money because I nix the gift- score!) Here is a slow song  playlist I have for things like this... but you might want to include some of this music in your night(bow chika wow wow) haha. Seriously, I listen to this just hanging around  or as a Lazy Sunday Morning mix too. Enjoy! 

Caress Me Down:

  • Just Like A Star (Corrine Bailey Rae) Listen
  • Something You Can Feel (Aretha Franklin) 
  • The Way I Am (Ingrid Michaelson) Listen
  • The Space Between (Dave Matthews Band) Listen
  • Under The Milky way (The Church) Listen
  • American Honey (Lady Antebellum) Listen
  • This Year's Love (David Grey) Listen
  • Something (The Beatles) Listen
  • I Am the Highway (Audioslave) Listen
  • Powerful Stuff (Sean Hayes) Listen
  • High Tide or Low Tide (Ben Harper feat. Jack Johnson)Listen
  • If You're Reading This (Tim McGraw) Listen
  • Aida (Sarah McLachlan) Listen
  • Kissing (Bliss)Listen
  • Breathe Me (Sia) Listen
  • Apologize (Timbaland feat. one Republic) Listen
  • Thank Uou (Natalie Merchant) Listen
  • You Were Meant For Me (Jewel) 
  • It Hurts Me (Elvis Presley) Listen
  • I Feel Like Making Love (Kid Rock) Listen
  • How Can You Mend A Broken Heart (Al Green feat. Joss Stone)Listen
  • Wonderful Tonight (Eric Clapton) Listen
  • Wild Horses (The Rolling Stones)
  • Somewhere With You (Kenny Chesney) Listen
  • Colder Weather (Zac Brown Band) Listen
  • 6th Avenue Heartache (The Wallflowers) Listen
  • Flake (Jack Johnson) Listen
  • Run (Snow Patrol) Listen
Have a good night now ;) 

..don't be shy, and thanks for stopping by!.. 
*follow me on instagram: everyonedeservesflowers*

Monday, February 11, 2013

my valentine is pizza...

stop and smell the roses...

I love Valentine's Day! I don't know why, because with a one year old and 1000 other things happening in life, Eddie and I don't go extreme celebrating the holiday, but it just fills my little heart with warmth when I know it's coming close. Actually, I've spent pretty much the last 7 Valentine's Days too tired to do much of anything, being the night before I was up until the wee hours of the night arranging flowers so everyone else's day could be special... eating too many slices of ordered pizza. But hey, I ain't complaining! Hopefully, with promoting my home business more it will allow me to do the same this year, because I love every minute of it! (especially the pizza part)

I always laugh to myself when Eddie decides to bring me home a vase of flowers. I love him for it, don't get me wrong, but, well... It's kind of like a mechanic hiring someone to change their oil. Plus, I have a little thing I like to call OCD, haha. I normally end up ripping it apart and rearranging it. I think he's caught on because the past couple times he just brought home fresh cut bouquets... and I love them because that means I can get my hands dirty :)

 Today I am going to show you a short, step-by-step tutorial on how to arrange a dozen roses in a vase like a professional, or at least how I was taught, just in case your hubby decides to bring home a loose bunch for you too. (Oh, and don't forget to send subtle hints, ya know: a poster size note on the fridge, setting his desktop to this picture (below), constant references to how great of a florist your friend is...)

Materials Needed:
Scissors/design knife
Your goods (flowers, greens, fillers)
  1. Naturally you want to fill your vase with water. 
  2. Separate your bouquet into 3 piles: greens, fillers (babies breath, wax flower, etc) if they were included, and roses
  3. You are going to form the shape of your arrangement with the greens first. (The greens I am working with are called Baker, and they are the most commonly provided greens in a bought bouquet) Depending on how many you have, line the vase with greens. (around sides, working towards center...) see picture below)
  4. Now, we're moving onto the roses. (The roses I am working with are a 'Garden Rose' variety.) The design is rather simple, if you follow steps by step. Your center rose will be the tallest. Working in a straight line away from that focal rose, you will add 4 more roses (2 on each side) on a downward slope, almost like a rainbow. 
  5. Now, simply turn your vase so the 'rainbow' of flowers you just created is in line with your torso. You will be doing the same thing, working from your focal (tall, center) flower and adding 4 more roses, 2 to each side, creating another 'rainbow'.
  6. You  now have 3 roses left but 4 open areas, 2 in front of vase and 2 in back next to, and between the 2nd shortest and 3rd shortest roses you placed. Place two roses in the holes in front of you. Turn your vase around, and place a rose in one of the holes on the other side. You are now left with ZERO roses, but one more hole. Don't be nervous, that is to be filled with fillers or for a bow.
  7. Now, we're onto the fillers. (The filler I am working with is Pink Waxflower, one of my favorites. You may have been provided with the traditional babies breath, which you will follow the same directions.) This is more freestyle. Simply trim and place your fillers into the vase where you see holes/empty spaces in your vase. *Make sure you are cutting your fillers to be shorter than the length of your roses, because your roses are the focal of the arrangement. 
  8. Add a bow to that last hole if it hasn't been filled with fillers, and Voila! You are done. Now, just to make time to stop and smell the roses...

..don't be shy, and thanks for stopping by!.. 
*follow me on instagram: everyonedeservesflowers*

Follow Me on Pinterest