Let's Party Like Girls DECOR + Party!!

I am just giddy to be able to show you all the gorgeousness and fun from the 5th Let’s Party Like Girls night! I gave you a little sneak-peek of the incredible shops, artists, and authors who partnered with us in donating items for the raffle…but now I get to show you the set-up and actual party!

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First of all, let’s talk about the DESSERT!!!! You should have seen my face when I opened up the boxes of treats after returning home from Happy Bakeshop here in Denver.

It was sort of like this…

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Ahahaha seriously though…I was freaking out at how beautiful (and yummy) they were! And the fun thing is I simply gave them a color palate, a few Pinterest inspiration pics for overall feel…and they just did their thing!

I’m just so amazed at their talent and humbled at their generosity in partnering with us (if you live in the Denver area, you’ve GOT to go see them).

I’ve purchased french macaroons from Costco several times because of the fun pop of color they bring to the table but never understood why they were so popular because they tasted pretty…well..bleh.

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After one bite of Happy Bakeshop’s macaroons though, I realized what all the fuss was about. What in the WORLD?! THESE THINGS ARE FANTASTIC!!! I’m not even kidding.

Life. Changed. And the colors!!! They were better than anything I had imagined.

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As usual, instead of spending money on paper plates, I pulled out my mismatched set of vintage china (mostly from Goodwill, thrift stores, and garage sales). I originally started collecting them when I hosted a Pretty Backyard Picnic and have used them SO many times since!

And that sparkly table cloth? Amazon Prime, baby!

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After Christmas last year, I found this fantastic dress tree on clearance at HomeGoods for 80% off. I knew it would be the perfect thing for our Angel Tree tags for Denver Dream Center. What do you think??

I tied a sparkly headband around the neck and used a little bobby-pin to connect the fascinator I wore at my Book Release Party for an extra floral touch.

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This year I brought out all my bottle brush trees and just love how happy the house looked with the fun bright color everywhere. You’ll notice they’re sprinkled all over the house!

Another really fun addition this year is a beautiful board from The Typeset Co. that showcased the mission of Let’s Party Like Girls. They also gave a set away for the raffle. I just loved being able to share the heart behind the evening!!

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In case you missed the invitation, it said:

Are you exhausted by the pace of life, feeling completely tapped out? Perhaps you feel like you’re in “survival mode” and have nothing left to give, or are just in a crazy-busy season of life. Maybe it’s just been awhile since you’ve done something for yourself or felt like you have community.

If that’s where you are, I get it. I’ve been there.

My goal is to curate an evening of beauty. One where we can replenish your cup, so you can once again pour out. This is an event for ladies who love pretty details, friendship, and making a difference in the lives of others. Let us love on you in a way that leaves you feeling full - in heart, mind, and spirit.

Because you can’t pour from an empty cup.

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I’m just such a fan of balloon installations so when my dear friend Erin (sister to Something Styled Events), I jumped at the chance to have one again!!

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Plus, my backyard is an absolute disaster right now (read: six kids and three pets who don’t like to clean up toys, sports equipment, and who may or may not have dug holes where they shouldn’t have) so I wanted to hide the ability to see out those double doors!

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We decided to hang another rose gold sequin table cloth across the window portion to provide the perfect backdrop for photos. You’ll see that in photos later on!

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This year we set all the raffle items out on the table in the our Homework/Study Room so ladies could see all the incredible items before I started drawing names. I wanted the hype to go sky-high so they’d take more Angel Tree tags from the tree (one tag = 1 raffle ticket).

Our goal was to get as many gifts as possible for these deserving children whose families are struggling financially and/or have a parent in incarceration.

We had a birthday party in a box, handbags, art pieces, books, bespoke running jackets, spa treatments, beauty products, and ohmygosh so much more!

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Last little bit of greens strung across my favorite Christmas canvas from my friend Lindsay over at Lindsay Letters/The Art Bar! I’ll admit…I’ve had this up ever since last Christmas, I love it so much!

Finally it was time to get dressed and finish the last details (mixing our signature cocktail, sliding the apps into the oven, and make sure kid stuff was cleaned up)!

I wore a skirt I’ve had for years (from Nordstrom’s prom section, hahahaha) and a top from J Crew (that I’ve also had forever) but one of my favorite people in the world did my hair and makeup!

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Kat is the girl who convinced me to stop living a timid life and wishing I’d gone pink…and just do it! (If you need a hair girl, you’ve GOT to see her)

Time to pop the bubbly and let ladies in!

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As ladies arrived, it was obvious they were as in-awe over Erin’s balloons as I was!!

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I’ve learned through the years that a big party = needing A LOT of glassware! I found this gorgeous boho bookcase at Goodwill last summer and it has since become my favorite way to display it all, which means my counter tops are no longer filled with them. It’s such a better option because now the countertops can be filled with other things like food, wine, and other items.

(So thankful to mix my glassware with my friend Elise’s…we trade off borrowing each others whenever we have big parties)

Speaking of drinks, it was 10 minutes before people were to arrive and I realized I had purchased a bunch of random ingredients but hadn’t a clue what signature cocktail we were going to make.

My sweet friend Hannah and I taste-tested a few ideas and were so excited by the yummy recipe we created using Trader Joe’s Winter Wassail (Do you want the recipe? Let me know if I should post it).

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It was so good in fact…we had to keep remaking more! Which was fine because it meant I got to open more One Hope sparkling wine (can you tell by my face how much I loooove popping those corks?!).

Our cocktail wasn’t the only thing that needed replenishing quickly…so did our food and tags from the Angel Tree! I actually had to ask Ben to run upstairs to my office and print more because they were gone so quickly!

YAY! I’m so excited so many kids will get gifts this Christmas!

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I wasn’t planning on saying anything at the beginning of the night other than give a welcome and let everyone know when we’d start the raffle but suddenly felt a tug on my heart to share why Let’s Party Like Girls started several years ago.

In raw honesty I confessed that it was birthed out me realizing I didn’t have many friends, though we’d lived in Denver for awhile. I kept waiting for people to invite me over…but invitations never came. So I decided I needed to be the one to get out of my comfort zone and open my own door. That I needed to stop waiting to be invited and instead do the inviting (hence the door cookies!)

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It was amazing how many women came up to me afterward with tears in their eyes admitting that they keep waiting to be invited, too…that they crave community and just don’t have one. Because of the internet and social media, we’re the most connected we’ve ever been and yet we’re just so darn lonely.

I pray this party encouraged them (and you!) to open your own doors.

There was so much laughing!! And you know what’s so fun about these ladies??

I didn’t know most of them. SERIOUSLY!! Some of my closest friends were here, of course…but honestly a lot of these women are friends from social media or read this blog. Some of them were even from an event that I spoke at the week prior!

Many women came knowing no one and left with a larger community. That makes my heart swell up big-time.

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Finally it was time for the raffle…and Imani decided she wanted to read the names of the winners. It was so darling.

I love how excited everyone was as they shopped the table and got to bring something home as a reminder of the party and how loved they are.

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Weren’t the photos of the event incredible??? A big MASSIVE THANK YOU to the ridiculously talented Bryn Marae for your generosity in photographing the event (and coming over earlier in the day while the light was good!!) You rock, girl.

And I don’t want to forget the quiet (not so quiet) help of this guy. Gosh I’m thankful for him!!! Benny…thank you for all you did behind the scenes to make this all happen! Having 75+ women in the house is a lot…and you refilled plates, took coats, and checked in ladies with a smile on your face and grace in every step. I love you, babe!!

(and PS Kiesha…you’d better be here next year after all you did to make this event happen!)

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Not sure how we could outdo this year… It. Was. Incredible.

Thank you again sweet Erin for ALL YOUR HELP!!


if you came to Let’s Party Like Girls (this year or one prior), what was your favorite part? I’d love to know!!


Take Joy,

TERESA

Favorite Things + Let's Party Like Girls giveaways!

It has been so exciting to have some of my personal favorite brands get on board with us and support Let’s Party Like Girls! For the past several years, we’ve featured small business owners, authors, and artists who love to make a difference in the world and have a heart for loving on women.

This year is no different!!

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Ladies attending will have the opportunity to come home with these goodies BUT…

Even if you’re not attending, you can grab these items by using the Coupon Codes!!


I fell in love with Bought Beautifully when I first met it’s founder Emily a few years back. Her love for people around the world is contagious and she believes so readily in transforming lives through the purchase a product because our purchases provides hope, love, and opportunity for those who otherwise wouldn’t have any!

Emily even travels around the globe with her kids, living in the same towns as her artisans to help deepen her relationships with them and to change the world for her children as she and her husband open their eyes to the impact they too can make!


This is something I’m so excited about. Whether you have children of color or desire to be intentional by embracing more ethnicity in your children’s books, this is for you! Just Like Me Box is a beautifully curated monthly subscription full of books featuring black characters! Each month focuses on a different theme.


Fed by Bread

10% off when joining their email community

Fed by Bread makes our family’s FAVORITE granola. And believe me, with eight people in the family…we go through a lot. The great thing (other than it’s SO GOOD) is that is DOES good!

This incredible nonprofit brings hope to Rwandan youth by donating 100 percent of our profit from our scratch-made baked goods to provide meals, education, and medical care. 

With every purchase you make, Fed by Bread helps serve lunch to more Rwandan children!


Everthine Home

20% off with code LPLG20

I was at a conference a few years ago and chatted up some women who had a booth in the marketplace. Little did I know, it was Barbara Rainey and her daughter Laura. Since then, a friendship has been formed and their generosity with donating from their gorgeous faith-based homegoods line, Everthine Home has been incredible. Both last year and this, they have given multiple gifts for lucky Let’s Party Like Girls attendees to decorate their Christmas tree with Purpose.


Hank Orange

10% off with code PARTYLIKEGIRLS (good until December 20, 2018)

I’m such a fan of etsy, aren’t you? This once little, has become monumental through recent years. It provides a place for women (and men) to have a side-hustle or full-time gig creating and doing something they’re passionate about. It creates entrepreneurs…and my favorite of those are mompreneurs.

Hank Orange was created by my running-loving friend from college. Amy set out to make non-slip headbands because hers were driving her crazy as her feet hit the pavement each day. From that though, a bigger platform was born.

Last year her Colorado hats were a HUGE hit so she’s generously donated more this year!


Anchored Press

$10 off Coupon Code: PARTYLIKEGIRLS

Apparently conferences is where I meet most of my friends these days! I met Deana, the founder of Anchored Press a few years ago and I simply couldn’t get enough of her (she truly is the BEST!). She was in the exciting planning stages of creating something I was yearning for: a Devotional Planner. Since then, her company Anchored Press has grown like crazy…apparently I wasn’t the only one craving this!!

I’ve had the extreme honor of contributing devotions for the past three years and Deana has once again, so generously donated several styles for Let’s Party Like Girls.


No. 41

LPLG15 for 15%

This incredible organization is yet another I was introduced to at a conference four or five years ago. My bag quickly became a favorite and I’ve been a huge supporter of what they do ever since!! No.41 exists to empower women to create change; in their own lives, in their community, and in the world.

When you shop with No.41 you are not just buying a Product. You are supporting dignified employment. You are investing in a community-- in sustainable development. Who doesn’t want to be a World Changer by purchasing beautiful products that make an impact in the lives of others?! (I know you do…me tooooo!!)


I’m SO excited that my dear friend Kat (who does my hair and makeup!!) is gifting three very generous gift cards for super fun services at her salon! If you need a hair-girl…you must go to Kat. She is incredible!



Jillian Made has one of those Instagram pages where you can’t remember how you found them but you’re glad you did. I’ve been following her for years and every time she posts, I gasp, “I want that!!!” Her jewelry is gorgeous and her clutches make me swoon. Though we’ve never met, we have about a bazillion mutual friends and are PNW girls at heart. Her postings sure make me miss Seattle! I love her heart and her extreme giftings!


Vander Jacket

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I’m just so excited for you to know about Vander Jacket. Y’all…who doesn’t want bespoke running attire?! Sweet Sarah creates one-of-a-kind running jackets with an abundance of function for runners. Her goal? To honor the stylish urban people and places in our city by creating keen running jacket designs. Not a runner?? Believe me, you’ll want one anyway.

Sarah and I met at a dinner at Denver Seminary and quickly realized that her husband was our son’s Spanish teacher. She and her family are extremely dear to us and her jackets are divine!!


I think temporary tattoos are so fun…and these are the BEST! When I was trying to decide if and where I wanted a real tattoo, I found Armed with Truth and have been obsessed ever since. They not only have gorgeously hand-lettered words like “beloved” and “rooted in Christ” but also have full verses to help us (or our kids) memorize!!


I am a big fan of May Designs because everything they make is happy and bright! From their agendas their notebooks, stationary, bags, phone cases, and SUPER fun coffee tumblers! Everything they create can be personalized with your name or monogram (we’re looking at you, girls from the South!) and can be mixed and matched. You may recognize them because of their line currently in Target!


Is life busy and bustling and there are days it’s suddenly it’s dinnertime and you have no idea what to do for dinner? (My hand is totally raised, is yours??) Friends & Foodies was started by friends of mine who decided they’d like to help out us mamas (or anyone, really) by taking the stress out of dinnertime by providing the most delicious freezer meals! Organic and high quality ingredients go into each meal and every month the recipes change! One lucky girl will win a $50 gift card toward these yummy meals! PS they also have breakfast burritos for easy breakfasts, too!


Felt letterboards are everywhere…but want to know what the next big thing is in the world of lettered boards?! I had a feeling you’d say yes! Think magnetic. Then you’ll freak when you learn more about The Typeset Co. because these are NOT your average alphabet magnets (and are a far cry from the colored abc magnets you had on your fridge as a child)!

These re-imagined alphabet magnets are gorgeous. The Type Set Co. has thoughtfully designed and crafted a new kind of letter boardMade especially for the style-conscious adult with a penchant for prose and an eye for the iconic, they are both versatile and effortlessly elegant. Use these sophisticated magnetic letter boards for everything from quotes and sentiments to reminders and lists wherever you are, throughout your home or office.


I’m gonna be honest, as much as I adore parties…kid birthday parties stress me out. I don’t know why, but I’m pretty sure I’m not alone! What if I told you that you could order an entire party in a BOX and the supplies would be reusable?! I know, I know…you’re cheering and can’t wait to go to their website. Both the girl and boy parties are darling and the thought of having most of it planned FOR me is a dream! Head to Bash Party Box right this second…they even have Shower party options!


Do you love gorgeous prints (duh…we all know that answer is YES!), then I’m so excited to introduce you to All Good Things Collective, if you’ve not heard of them before! They aim to provide beautiful tools that encourage an abundant life through community and the world. What does that mean? It means the most lovely things hung on your walls that encourage hope, grace, and scripture learning and Bible Verse cards that do the same!


Guess what…these aren’t even ALL the goodies! These are simply the shoppes, artists, and creatives who have chosen to partner with us via social media and such. You’re going to squeal and jump up and down when you see all that’s here and ready for you!!!




When Kids Visit a Third-World Country

Our sweet little 4th grader, will never be the same because of last week’s trip to Haiti. This next week or so I’m going to share about the trip through his eyes, through the thoughts and takeaways from our ten-year-old son.

People ask us all the time what the right age is to take a child to a third-world-country.

Want to know my answer?

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Now.

Why do I say that?

Our children need to see how much of the world lives. We need to show them different cultures, traditions, and languages. We need to show them there is such a thing as joy in spite of need, and that life as they know it is not how millions of children grow up. I have SUCH a deep longing for kids to know that THEY CAN CHANGE THE WORLD NOW. They do NOT need to wait to be grown to make an impact.

My first time out of the country was in 5th grade when I tagged along with my dad and some of his friends on a medical mission trip to Guatemala. It changed my life forever because it burst the little bubble I didn’t realize I lived in. It opened my eyes to poverty and need and an entirely different culture I didn’t know existed.

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I remember flying into a tiny remote village in the mountains on a rickety little Cessna piloted by a man named Ludin who worked for MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship). I recall like it was yesterday, how livestock was cleared from the field as we dipped down to land, likely taxing over cow pies and who knows what else. 

I remember being followed around by children who wanted to simply touch my hair because they’d never seen a blonde child and they thought I was magical. Their toys were dolls made of sticks and bits of fabric and instead of trucks, they played with rhinoceros beetles the size of my hand that had been preserved in formaldehyde.

We woke every morning to the sound of roosters and walked downstairs for hot polenta pancakes set out on a veranda covered in bougainvillea before setting out for the clinic. I was curious about everything and the team of doctors let me sit on the windowsill and watch surgeries as long as I was quiet and made me promise if I felt nauseous at any time, that I’d leave quickly and quietly so as not to disrupt the already nervous patients. Especially since some of them weren’t put all the way under because of lack of resources.

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The goiter and tumor removals were the ones I remember most. Well, that and the smell of cauterized flesh as they worked. I realized sitting up there in the teal colored tiled windowsill that people in this beautiful country just south of mine didn’t have access to medical care like I did. I saw a woman with a basketball-sized tumor removed from her stomach cry with joy and relief, still sore from surgery. As I watched yet another large and strangely shaped growth extracted from someone else, I realized these people knew for years that something was growing inside them… but were without both the funds and access to a surgeon and therefore could do nothing about it. I didn’t think that was fair.

One thing that I just couldn’t wrap my mind around on this trip was the inability to drink the water. Even while in the shower, I made sure to keep my mouth clamped closed for fear I’d become sick. And brushing my teeth was a major adjustment as I was told I’d need to have a bottle of purified water next to me to pour on the brush and to swish around my mouth after spitting. As these incredible doctors gave treatment to so many beautiful Guatemaltecos (native Guatemalans), I understood for the first time about water-borne illnesses like amoebas.

Children were sick from their own water? Grown-ups, too? I didn’t understand it. Something life-giving was actually taking some of their lives? I didn’t think that was fair either.

But I was just a kid. It didn’t cross my mind that I could do anything about it.

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That’s why it was so important to me that when Run5050 and Healing Waters International approached me about bringing some of my family over to Haiti, I basically said “YES!!!” before actually asking my husband if he could clear his schedule.

Ben and Laith boarded a plane last Sunday, headed first to Port Au Prince and then crisscrossed around the country checking on water projects, completing a portion of Run5050’s marathon, and meeting loads of Haitians who like the villagers on my trip, had never seen a little blonde child before. I warned Laith that they might follow him around and touch his head. And like my trip to Guatemala, they rubbed his head like he was a genie who held all sorts of magic.

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I come to you not only with stories, but with a question. Will you join our family in making a difference?

We have committed to selling 1500 t-shirts because…

with income from those sales, we’ll have enough funds for CLEAN WATER FOR AN ENTIRE COMMUNITY!

Would you buy one for yourself? Or perhaps one for each of your kids? Christmas is quickly approaching…would you purchase some to stuff into stockings or to wrap around a wine bottle as hostess gift for the next time you arrive at someone’s house for a party?

What if instead of a traditional teacher’s gift, you gave a water bottle with a tag attached saying you have donated $10, $20, $30 (or more!) to Run5050 in their name?

What an impact your children would feel they were making with this sort of gift!!! I mean, think of it!!

Your children will LITERALLY be changing the world with this type of gift!!

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I’ll be sharing more of Ben and Laith’s experiences next week, but I’m just so excited about this trip that I wanted to share this first. Because the exciting thing is that we don’t have to go across the ocean to make a difference in the world.

You really can change the world by simply clicking this link and ordering a shirt.

And to be honest, Bonfire’s shirts will quickly become your favorite because they’ll be the softest, coziest ones in your drawer…so you can just thank me for that later. And I’ll thank you for making an impact now. Seriously. THANK YOU.

Stay tuned for more on Laith!!

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Take Joy,

Teresa 

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TIPS for When You Don't Have the Perfect Vase

There’s just something about a house full of fresh flowers, right? Between Pinterest and friends who are crazy-talented, I’m learning little-by-little to stop wishing for a magical fairy to deliver gorgeous bunches to my doorstep each week…and instead figure out how to arrange them myself!

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Here’s the thing though, I got rid of almost all my vases a few years ago because I was so tired of storing them and decided to start thinking outside the box instead. I wanted to use items that were more multi-purpose, things I already had around the house.

From that, this quickly become my favorite way to display my little flower obsession:

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Yep, it's a candle holder. I grabbed several of them awhile back when they were on clearance at Target and now use them (and others like them) all. the. time.

Here’s a little secret for both keeping the flowers standing tall…and creating a beautifully full arrangement without purchasing a ton of stems (which if you’re not careful, can get spendy).

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All you do is tape a grid onto the top of whatever large-mouthed vessel you choose or have on hand (Ideally, I’d use floral tape but I’m a big fan of washi tape because I always have it on hand).

You'll notice you can slightly see the tape on the side after all the flowers have been placed into the holes, but I kind of like it. Maybe it's just that I like black + white stripe...no matter how it's displayed.

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Major blog-tutorial fail...I was so excited about getting all these pretty little flowers arranged that I forgot to take a "during" photo. Oops!! But you’re smart, you get the jist of it, right?

Simply place the shorter-stemmed flowers toward the edges and those a tiny bit longer, toward the center.

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Continue filling your vessel until you can no longer see the taped grid and you'll have a perfectly full arrangement that looks straight out of a magazine!

Don't you love how the tape holds the flowers into place in their own little squares so they don't flop around?!

(you can see I use these candle holders as vases a TON!)

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floral tips:

1 | It's just my personal preference but I typically take off all/almost all the leaves on a stem. If you need the extra fullness, by all means leave it on there. But I like the flowers to be the main attraction and not distracted by the greenery.

2 | Another personal preference is cutting the stems down further than you'd think, enough that they don't show very much. The flowers clump together so beautifully when they're short!

3 | It's easiest if you put water in before the flowers. Especially when using washi tape (which is made of paper)...true to form, water and paper do not mix so be careful or the tape will come right off!

4 | To increase the longevity of your arrangement, make sure to remove any leaves/greenery that will be in water.

5 | I love when roses are fully open, almost looking like english roses. If you’d like your tightly closed rose buds to look this way, too, use warm (not hot) water when placing them into the vessel.

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Grocery store flowers never looked so beautiful!! Let me know what you think!!

Take Joy,

Teresa