Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Positive Plate: Launching September 1, 2011

I am SO excited to finally announce the launch of The Positive Plate!  Take some time to browse the website here.  In essence, The Positive Plate is "an Orange County based sustainability program, helping restaurants, food trucks, and caterers implement individualized and comprehensive sustainability plans. Our mission is to help inspire a comprehensive and verifiable movement toward sustainable food production, service, and consumption from within Orange County’s dining culture. All restaurants participating in our program make significant commitments towards operating sustainably, and deserve your support."

Jesse Baker, Founder to, has been working on this project for as long as I can remember.  His hard work and dedication is finally paying off! If you are looking for sustainably certified restaurants to eat at, just check out the beginnings to a great list on the website.

To socially responsible eating!
Yours truly,

Monday, August 29, 2011

Avanti Cafe

Sustainable Living means different things to different people.  For me? My journey has been all about making small, consistent choices that are conducive to promoting a healthier life with the environmental impact in mind.  In particular, green farming practices are a huge component to my interests especially with flowers being a main component of floral design. And naturally, my research of organic floral farms have given me more reason to focus on consuming organically grown food. Needless to say, I am IN LOVE with slow food! One of my favorite restaurants that focuses on "eating responsibly" is Avanti Cafe in Costa Mesa, CA.  They use produce that is grown organically AND locally.  Avanti is vegetarian and vegan friendly.  Oh, and their food is truly dynamic (not to mention, the recent remodeling is well suited for the cafe).

You gotta love the fact that water is served in wine bottles.

I was lucky enough to take my boys out on a mommy/son date last week so here's a sampling of their menu:
Onion Jam and Garbanzo Flatbread

Custom Kid-friendly Cheese Pizza:

Arugula and Spinach Pesto Pasta

Banana Chocolate Strudel with House-made Peanut Ice Cream

I just want to add that my 4 year old had no qualms about eating arugula, spinach, garbanzo beans or onion jam, which emphasizes against the argument that kids won't eat healthy foods that don't look like canned nacho cheese and greasy fries. Its just a matter of how the food is presented. You may recall the event I covered in San Diego of Cooks Confab's presentation of School Lunch where healthy, delicious food was presented in a way that kids will love.  So, to the school districts that want to fight against school food reform based on an erroneous assumption, I say BOLOGNA! (But please don't feed that to my kid.)

So back to Avanti. Right. 

See this picture below of the baskets of gorgeous organic produce?  You can affordably purchase them through your local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).  South Coast Farms is behind this particular branch in which Avanti serves as a pick up location.  You can order on a weekly or bi-weekly basis anywhere from $31 to $42 a basket depending on if you pick up from the farm or one of their pick-up locations. See? Sustainable living choices don't have to break the bank!
And you know you would rather be eating this than what's sold in the grocery stores.
Hope this inspires you to seek out an organic meal this week!

Your truly,

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bat Mitzvah Trapeze Party in NYC with Floral Sense Paper Flowers: Professional Photos

You may recall this amazing Bat Mitzvah Trapeze Party for Bella in NYC back in June.  (View original blog post here.) As promised, here are the professional photos of all the details.  And you know me....I LOVE me some details.

Even the aerial decor of the hanging paper lanterns was well executed!

Love the personal touch!

Mazel Tov Bella!

Yours Truly,

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Summer Soiree: Professional Photos

Professional photos are in from our yacht Summer Soiree event! (View the original sneak-peak blog post here.) There were so many great images that I narrowed it down to my favorites.  Enjoy!


Beach Bunny Swimwear:

Macy's and Marisa Kenson Fashion:

And of course, Floral Sense florals:

Thank you Tony Lattimore and Alexander Avina for the photos!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Coscto Size My Wedding

I have a love/hate relationship with Costco.
Love: They have everything under the sun in massive quantities at great prices.
Hate: I, without fail, leave with a ginormous bite taken out of my wallet. This is the very reason I avoid going there.

Case in point: I don't know if you're a Modern Family fan.  I am unashamedly obsessed with this show.  There's an episode in which Cameron, the country mouse, introduces Mitchell, the upscale city mouse, to the wonderful world of Costco. During their outing, doubtful Mitchell is quickly and comically converted to Costco-ism, excitedly filling up carts full of "needed" items.  (In truth, you're going to have to watch the episode to appreciate all the humor if you haven't already.) 

But this is what go in with the intention of getting a few items and, before you know it, you walk out with hundreds of dollars worth of stuff. What the hell happened?

In regards to wedding planning, I'm going to call this the Costco-syndrome. Most couples tend to under-estimate their wedding budget mainly because they start shopping not knowing what to expect, what is available and how much services will really cost.  It doesn't take long for a couple to realize they are going to need some financial reinforcement to sustain their wedding day wants/needs. Trust me, I see this all the time.  

I get it.  The options are a bit overwhelming.  Who knew that there were so many different colors and textures of linens to choose from? Personal flowers should go to other people outside the bridal party? Wedding gifts are supposed to be given the members in the bridal party?  The venue has a separate cost for cutting the cake?  Alright,I feel your anxiety. I'll stop there for now.

My solution for wedding planning is the same solution for an outing to Costco: Have a budget and shopping list ready before you get out there and get sucked into Costco-syndrome.

For my consultations, I suggest that my couples list out their priority floral items (shopping list) and some extra items they would like to have.  Then we talk about styles that will fit within their price-range (budget).  That way, when I send over the formal proposal there isn't much sticker-shock.  See, you got it.

As for me, I have yet to overcome Costco's drug-like effect.  Wish me luck.

Happy event planning!

Yours truly,

PS - Due to a sudden influx of professional photos from past events and new editorial content, the blog post schedule will temporarily change to Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Summer Soiree Hosted by Peggy Tanous of Real Housewives OC and Taylor Armstrong of Real Housewives BH

Last Thursday, Fashion Destination Group held a high fashion show aboard the Majestic yacht in Newport Harbor.  Floral Sense served as a proud sponsor to the event along with Macy's, Marisa Kenson,, and Casore Magazine!  The event was hosted by the fabulous Peggy Tanous of The Real Housewives of Orange County and Taylor Armstrong of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

Here's a sneak peak of the florals from this high profile event taken with my iPhone:

Professional photos to come!

Yours truly,

*Update*:  In light of recent tragic events surrounding Taylor Armstrong, we extend our condolences.  Our prayers are with you.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Policies, Schmolicies

There's a new rule in my house effective August 10, 2011: 
Chewing gum will not be used to decorate one's face. 

With two boys under the age of 5 in the home, you can only imagine the implications of how this policy came to pass. I can assure you it was one big sticky mess I was left to deal with. I've come to realize is that even with this new rule in place, it doesn't completely prevent the mess from happening again.  It just serves as a reminder in hopes that the mess doesn't happen again....a preventionary (yeah, I know that's not a real word but it is now) measure.

Having said that, I have occasional questions come up regarding Floral Sense policies. So here's a little Q and A of our top competing questions:

Q) How much of a deposit is required to reserve Floral Sense services for my event date?
A) A 25% non-refundable deposit of the total cost is due once an agreement is signed.  This deposit serves to reserve your date so we are committed to your event and all your decor needs surrounding your event.

Q) Why is the final balance due 45 days prior to the event?
A) We rarely purchase products for future events unless we are certain the event will be taking place.  Each event we service is so unique which affects the types of products that need to be purchased. There is no cookie cutter order log.  45 days gives us the time we need to order specifically for your event and receive these items in time for production. This is also why any changes that need to be made are done prior to the 45 day countdown, ensuring we have all the design elements cohesive to your event's look.

Q) Do I really need to sign a revised contract with each change to the decor?
A)  Yes.  The reason? We refer to the most updated version of the contract during ordering and production. Any changes need to be reviewed and approved by you so that you get everything you want for your special day. Unfortunately, if its not in writing in the most updated contract version, the change doesn't exist.  This is also why you will be contacted prior to the 45 day mark to go over the final details of your decor just to make sure everything is in its place.

So there you have it: Floral Sense policies in a nutshell. Some of our policies may change over time as we learn and grow through our experiences.  In the meantime, all of these safety nets are in place so that we don't run into sticky messes on your special day.


Yours truly,

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Press: A Rustic Wedding in Southern California with Floral Sense

I love it when our couples get featured in editorials for their special wedding day! Meet Tiffany and Steven Shores who got married several months back at Dove Canyon Country Club. Check out their pretty, pretty pictures here on

Tiffany was an awesome bride to brainstorm wedding designs with! A country girl at heart with an affinity for bling, we fused the two together by adding touches of rope and crystal throughout the floral decor.

By far, my most memorable moment that day was handing Tiffany her bride's bouquet. I got lucky enough to get that moment captured on film.

Then there's the moment all the ladies in the bridal party get to see their line-up of bouquets complete with personalization!

Congrats to the beautiful couple Tiffany and Steven! Thank you for allowing Floral Sense to share your special day with you!

And a special thank you to our day-of set-up team members Roger Hua and Thomas Cemo for all your hard work!

Yours truly,

Monday, August 8, 2011

Summer Bloomin'!

Summer in Southern California is definitely a favorite of mine. The smell of sunscreen and BBQ grilling signify that school is out and the beach is in. As for us wedding folk, we get the glory of being immersed into the full swing of nuptial season. And with that come some great summer blooms for the floral decor! You may even have the pleasure of coming across these beauties in your own garden. Here are a couple of my top picks for mid-year bloomers.


Kangaroo Paw





If you're planning a summer wedding for next year, you may want to consider inviting these pretty things to the party. Happy summer lovin'!

Yours truly,

All photos courtesy of google images.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Flower Class at The Wedding Pantry on August 6th

Its that time again!

Yep, get your floral design skills on at The Wedding Pantry this Saturday, August 6th from 11 AM to 1 PM. Learn how to make a standard 1 dozen rose arrangement for that special someone or just to deck out your home. And of course, I will have some fun fillers so your arrangement doesn't look so standardly blase.

Class is $50 which is inclusive of all materials.

Click here to register.

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Yours truly,

Monday, August 1, 2011

Experience This!

It surprises me how inspiration can come from so many different sources. This particular blog post was inspired by recent personal experiences that have left me forever changed.
You may be familiar with this profound quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr:

"A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions."

Before I stepped into the floral design world 10+ years ago, the only flower I seemed to notice were the typical grocery store red roses. It didn't take long for me to hit satiation and come to dislike the red rose for its overtly common purposes. At that time, I defined good floral design as any arrangement that displayed color variation in roses. I didn't really consider other botanical components mainly because I was not aware of their existence.

Fast forward a few years, I find myself in a whirlwind of new floral experiences on a weekly basis. If you are familiar with our Facebook fan page, you may have participated in our "Name that Flower" game. This has been a fun way to share my findings with you. Here are a few of them:

Blue Thistle

Gloriosa Lily

Lady Slipper


Coming in contact with each new floral experience is strangely magical for me. For that initial moment, the design possibilities are seemingly endless: What new color palette can I create with this flower? What kind of emotion can I evoke with this textured component? What new conceptual photoshoots can birth from this unique floral element?

As a result, my definition of good floral design is forced to be changed and expanded. The bar of excellence is set higher. And the best part is....I can never go back to the old dimensions of what I thought was great design.

Cheers to new experiences that may forever change you for the better!

Yours truly,