A Picnic under the Apple Tree

 

Nothing feels like more like Fall to me than a visit to the apple orchard.

I was invited by Dani Graham, owner of Dig-It Flower Farm in Duvall, WA for a day of collaborating with some other very talented ladies, whom I am now proud to call my friends!  Dani grows Specialty Cut Flowers and has a seasonal CSA for Duvall residents, offers direct sales to local florists, and can accomodate custom orders for the public.

At the time of this shoot, Dani’s boutique flower farm was overflowing with Dahlias and Zinnias, which were the base of this gorgeous custom arrangement that Florist, Tammy Myers, of First & Bloom designed for me onsite.  Tammy is extremely talented, she took a look at the props I brought with me, we chatted about my ideas,  and from that she created this perfect centerpiece.  What I love about her business is that she hand selects all of her blooms and only sells American grown flowers.

When I heard that there was an apple tree on the property, I immediately knew I had to style a picnic for two!  My vision was rustic and charming, so I gathered up an old chippy table, plaid blankets and throws, copper mugs, and a wooden crate and old tree stump for seating.  I completly lucked out with the cameos of the resident farm dog and cat who made this shoot even more charming.

All of this captured and brought together by Visual Branding Photographer, Missy Palacol, whose photography style is one of my favorites!  Missy works with small businesses and brands to personalized stock imagery.

This was such a fun day, working together with such talented ladies who each have a unique gift and shared it to create such a fun shoot!

So, join me on this gorgeous Fall day under the apple tree.

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design & styling // Party til Dawn

photography //  Missy Palacol Photography

floral design //  First & Bloom

venue & flowers // Dig-it Flower Farm

How to Throw a Football Tailgate Party

When fall rolls around, my family is ready for some football! Here in the Pacific Northwest we get a little, ok a lot, of rain, so anytime you can take a party outside, you better believe that’s what we’re doing! Let’s kick off the season with friends and family, and of course, football! Tailgating is about good food, but food that is easy and travels well. If you have an SUV or a large and open trunk, then you are set for a true tailgate! So, grab your portable grill, ice chests, and my easy appetizers of Roasted Rosemary CashewsBuffalo Cauliflower Bites, and a Rice Krispie Football Treat and find the nearest game day parking lot!

Disclosure: As an OTC blogger, I received compensation and/or products in exchange for my styling and crafting services. As always, all opinions are my own. 

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A fun touch for any party is adding fresh flowers..so adding a bouquet to your tailgate set up gives that feminie touch!

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For this party, we changed up some of your usual Game Day snacks of peanuts and wings with delicous recipes for Roasted Rosemary Cashews and Buffalo Cauliflower Bites!  And what about a fun take on the usual Rice Kirspie treats with this giant football!

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Here are a few tips for tailgating:

  • Think of it as a “picnic”. Bring food that is simple and easy to transport
  • Bring items that can pull “double duty”. A picnic basket can hold food inside, and then once you arrive it becomes a styling tool!
  • Don’t forget to add your team spirit with garlands, pennants and flags.
  • Make sure you have lots of water and other non-alcohol drinks on hand to stay hydrated.
  • Bring anti-bacterial wipes, Kleenex, and extra chairs and blankets.

I’m sharing all the details from this fun Game Day celebration over on the Fun365 website by Oriental Trading.  Be sure to check out the full Football Tailgate Party Ideas article!

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

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It’s fall, and that means one thing in my house: football season! Everyone loves a good buffalo wing when watching the big game but sometimes I like to give it a fun veggie twist: yummy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites dipped in bleu cheese dressing with bleu cheese crumbles. This is a great recipe for vegetarians – or just a fun way to get your kids to eat their veggies!

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2T Olive Oil
  • 1t Smoked Paprika
  • 1/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce
  • Bleu Cheese Dressing
  • Bleu Cheese Crumbles

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Break cauliflower into bite sized pieces and place in a medium bowl.

 

Drizzle cauliflower with olive oil and add in smoked paprika and toss together.

Spread out onto a baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes until golden brown and tender. Remove from oven.

Place cauliflower back into a medium bowl, and add Franks Red Hot Buffalo Sauce. I started with a 1/4 cup and added until I got the spice I wanted.

Toss well. At this point you could add crumbled bleu cheese and toss if you would like.

Cut up 5 stalks of celery into bite sized strips. It’s nice to have that extra bite of something fresh in case your cauliflower is a bit too spicy!

Pour your bleu cheese dressing into a bowl and add bleu cheese crumbles. Place in a serving dish, or serve in a NFL Snack Helmet like I did representing your favorite team! I also love using these bamboo cocktail forks when serving. This is such a fun way to eat cauliflower, and honestly, not as messy as buffalo wings.

You can find more delicious recipe ideas on my full Football Tailgate Party Ideas post!

 

 

My Favorite Fall Textures

Fall brings lots of new textures whether it’s in fashion or everyday products.  Here are some of my favorite textures this season and where I like to find them, either in my closet or in my home.

Copper:  This warm rosy metal is my new favorite whether I am styling my bar cart or using it everyday like this copper water bottle.  I love it whether its shiny and new or when it gets that lovely patina.

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(copper water bottle)

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(copper punch bowl)

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(copper ice bucket, copper and marble cake plate)

Plaid:  I am mad for plaid, and Fall takes it to the next level.  Hunting thrift stores for amazing vintage wool plaid blankets is one of my year-long favorite hobbies, but it is in Fall when I get to pull them out and use them!

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(washable wool blanket, Pendleton Camp throw blanket)

My other favorite way to use plaid is wear it!  This darling plaid boyfriend blazer is perfect for Fall and will take you all the way through the winter months as well!  So, find yourself a plaid shirt or blanket scarf this season!

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(boyfriend blazer)

Velvet:  It’s not just for holidays anymore!  A huge trend last year that has easily moved right into 2017.  I love a great velvet boot, but am really loving this luxe fabric in pleated skirts and tops!

(velvet loafers, cami, boots, pleated skirt)

Marble:  This gorgeous stone has been around forever, and because I dream of having my kitchen counters done in this gorgeousness, adding it in with accessories gives me the small fix I need.  Plus it really just glams up a space!

(rectangle tray, coasters, round tray)

What are some of your favorite Fall Textures?

xoxo~Dawn

*This post contains affiliate links, and by clicking on them I may receive a small commission.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own!

Rosemary Brown Sugar Bacon

You had me at bacon!  I LOVE bacon…I will admit though it is not something I buy or make on a regular basis.  However, every single time I make this recipe my family ALWAYS asks “why don’t you make this more often??”

The best part of this recipe is that you cook your bacon in the over.  If you are not doing that by now, it is time to start!  One pan, no splatters…easy peasy!  So here you go, a delicious sticky sweet bacon with the perfect hint of rosemary…your bacon game will never be the same!

Rosemary Brown Sugar Bacon

  • 1 lb thick cut bacon
  • brown sugar
  • fresh rosemary chopped

Lay your strips of bacon on a baking sheet (you can cover with foil or use a rack..I never do!)

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Sprinkle with brown sugar and chopped rosemary.   My family loves lots of brown sugar!

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Bake at 375 for about 15 min depending on how crispy you like it!

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That’s it!!  So easy, so delicious!

Enjoy

xoxo~Dawn

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Protein Shake!

I love having a protein shake as the way to break my fast…by that I mean I intermittent fast, so I eat my first meal at 11am and stop eating at 7pm.  I kind of naturally eat this way, but I have just noticed such a difference in my eating habits by making this my daily habit.

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This shake is my go-to.  I am a huge chocolate-peanut butter fan ( hello, Reese’s)…so this is a great way to satisfy that craving!  Here’s my easy recipe!

I hope you enjoy this as much as i do!

xoxo~Dawn

*this post contains affiliate links, but all thoughts and opinions are mine!

Friday Night Flowers

 

There’s Friday Night Lights or there’s Friday Night FLOWERS!  I recently was invited to the home of Tammy of Firstandbloom.com for her first ever Friday Night Flowers Workshop.  Tammy’s home is on a beautiful peace of property outside of Seattle, the weather was perfect and there was even a deer visitor.

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When we first arrived, we were greeted with a glass of wine while we mingled and swooned over the amazing selection of local grown flowers.

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The food was delicious and catered by Mary Weber of Cooking with Mary.  Her torellini salad and carmelized onion apps were amazing…we all went back for seconds!

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First and Bloom has such a passion about what she does and the products and flowers she uses.  Did you you know 80% of the flowers sold in the US are imported?  I honestly had no idea…which leads to the statistic that since 1992, 58% of US flower farms have gone out of business due to low-priced imports!

Buying American grown flowers means you support local jobs and economy, as well as reducing our footprint on the plant by minimizing transportation practices and promoting more sustainable and environmentally sound practices.

Not sure where you can find American grown flowers/florists in your area??  Visit Slow Flowers.  Slow Flowers is an award-winning online directory to help you find florists, studio designers, wedding and event planners, supermarket flower departments and flower farmers who are committed to using American grown flowers.  Founder Debra Prinzing has created an amazing resource!

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Bloggers gotta do what bloggers gotta do 🙂

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There were so many amazing flowers to choose from, and it was so fun to see what each of us gravitated towards.  I went for a subtle fall-inspired palette of dusty purple with lots of greens.

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It seems a little intimidating at first, but honestly you just have to jump in and start creating.  You will be amazed how your creation just blossoms!

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My sweet friend Heather of Thriftynseattle  was my date for the evening!  Heather immediately grabbed those gorgeous blue hydrangea and created the most amazing bright arrangement that matched her blouse!

 

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Missy Palacol of Missy Palacol Photography captured this night so perfectly, and while being the most darling pregnant photog ever!

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The lovely ladies of Friday Night Flowers.

Top right to left: Julia Case of Fairview Farm, Riva Juarez of Riva La Diva, Katie Githens of Clary Sage Studio, Carleeh Mulholland of Healthy Socialite, Debra Prinzing of DebraPrinzing.com and Slowflowers.  Bottom right to left: Dawn Parsons of Party til Dawn, Heather Rasmus of ThriftynSeattle, Tammy Myers of First & Bloom, and Dani Graham of Dig-it Flower Farm. Not pictured here, Missy Palacol of Missypalacol.com and Mary Weber of Cooking With Mary Weber

 

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All photos courtesy of MissyPalacol.com

Thank you Tammy for a wonderful evening, and for the inspiration and education on flower arranging and the importance of purchasing American grown flowers.

If you would love to attend one of First and Bloom’s Flower Workshops you’re in luck!  Tammy has all the information HERE!

xoxo~Dawn