Tuesday, October 2, 2012

July, August, September, October

I know it's been long long time since I have written. Since I have shared. You would think that by my last post, my life ended after turning 30. Nope, but my summer seemed never-ending. At times I've felt that these last 4 months have bled into each other marked not by the passing from month to another but by a string of events (actually, that seems like a good thing).

Z and I moved and we're still trying to settle. Correction: I think he is set mostly. I am still trying to find my system or that rhythm that helps my day run smoother. I got around a bit and freelanced this summer. You learn a lot about yourself when you're working for others. I got into a car accident that totaled the car I had been driving for nearly year. The one I mentioned was on its last legs. Next I got a brand new car and enjoyed the new car scent for a while. I say a while because... After striking the second of the two weddings I did last month I was too tired to remove the debris from my vehicle so it just sat overnight in the back like a champ. Oh, and there was that one time I drove around looking for unlocked dumpsters to get rid of my floral trash--but that's another story.

Speaking of those weddings -- YES! It’s funny how doing flowers for someone else draws me deeper into this profession. I had two weddings in the ‘Bu (bonus points to anyone who gets the corny movie reference and, yes, I am childish some times) and I loved it. Well, I would have to love it because despite the pretty final product that most people are used to seeing this work is not for the faint of heart. There were long hours involved; very early mornings; close calls; Bloc Party, The Postal Service, Skrillex(???? granted I do have a grip of old Ministry of Sound cds lying around) Pandora stations; and coffee and homemade chais (the latter I will probably never buy it from a coffee shop again since it's so much cheaper to make it at home).

Now that everything is slowing down I feel like I can catch up on everything else. Like: picking up the leftover pieces and really settling into our new home; getting my studio up and running; getting my flowering for me on. This summer has confirmed how important it is to flower for myself. This isn't about keeping busy or clearing things up for the next spate of hustle. This is about allowing myself to truly appreciate what is going on around me. I just want to be cognizant of it all.
(This image is boss.)
Ngo Thanh Van by Zhang Jingna; styling by Phuong My for Harper's Bazaar Vietnam September 2012 via FGR

Saturday, June 30, 2012

June (Baby)

Images from my iPhone

Seven years ago, in an overpriced apartment in Westwood, my stomach was churning from fear. Fear from my Mother’s reaction when I asked her how she would feel if her daughter moved in with her boyfriend. I was 22, mostly sheltered and came from a fairly strict home. Over the previous weeks I slowly built up the nerve to ask her during one of our phone conversations. When the time came, I didn’t use some cunning segue, nope I just went ahead and asked that small question.

Me: So... How would you feel if me and Z moved in together?

Mom: (Silence)

Me: Hello?

Then she said something that has resonated with me years later...

Mom: Jessica. You are an adult so you are free to do what ever you want. But, if you find out you have made the wrong choice, don’t come back and complain about it. You made your bed and now you will have to lie in it.

Relief cleansed away the guilt and basically I continued our apartment search minus the worry of my Mom’s thoughts. I have thought about that conversation often because it best encapsulates one thing that has annoyed me as I have gotten older: how right my Mom has been about everything (even when she’s wrong).

Last Thursday I turned 30. If you spoke to the 27 year old me about this date I would have whined about the last days of my 20s. Outlook is a funny thing. My twenties were a complicated mix of excitement and worry, envy and content. From fruity cocktails, beer and Jager to cocktails, beer and wine. Confusion and guilt. I got my degree, got married, started new jobs, was laid off, found my path, and had lots of fun. Nowadays I think back on mistakes as detours. Yes, they take longer but sometimes you discover something that would have never crossed your path otherwise.

No complaints. No regrets.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Carry On

Streamline Moderne by Patrick Cline and Art Direction by Michelle Adams for Lonny Magazine July / August 2011

At first it was all talk.

“If only we had another room.”

Then it became an excuse to drive around random neighborhoods.

“Can you imagine the traffic going home?”

For every great spot that opened, some swift party scooped it up. Any place that seemed too good to be true (nice outside after checking Google’s street view, amazing inside) Z would immediately check the LAPD Crime Map (the man swears by this thing) and found out why.

Last weekend while frolicking through California for my birthday we got the news that it was ours: new digs that we will be moving into in 2 weeks. It’s bigger than our current place and fit the criteria we had in mind. We can now grill any time at our place. I can take out that box of vases that has been housed in the trunk of my car (I wish that was a joke). My flowers won’t overtake the common areas. Z can finally file all of this papers in a file cabinet (yes, he is excited about this). And his poker games won’t involve as much (if any) furniture maneuvering.

No, we didn’t buy a house. We’re still renting. If there's one thing our search for a new place confirmed it's that we're not ready to set those kind of roots. Deciding on a (temporary) place to live was painful enough. Buying a home? That stuff is long term. It’s an environment. It’s where we would raise any future children. I can see why people can get so heartbroken when an offer doesn’t work out or get very picky (within reason) about the home they want to live in. So much is attached to purchasing a home. This is why we prefer renting. I like the nomadic lifestyle to it. The ability to try things out before making that big step.

While we are super excited and slightly bewildered with moving, I am already missing our neighborhood. I truly love it here. The only thing that would have made it absolutely perfect would be if it were near the beach (I am obsessed with living near water). Sadly, where we're moving isn't near any water either. At least we have the weekends (well more Z than me) and days off for that.

Farmstead Restoration by Emily Gilbert and styled by Meagan Camp for Rue Magazine May / June 2011

You know I am celebrating, right?

Thursday, June 7, 2012


I can't take it anymore. These happening over here.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

May (Retrospect)

A few weeks while I was at home doing a mundane task, it dawned on me that I haven’t complained about much of anything. I have had the worries, the fears, and confusion and for sure the WTF but never any complaints. I’m not expressing this as a “my life is great” bs, but I do feel very fortunate. Last year, sacrifices were made and truths were faced that had been ignored and it wasn’t pretty... I needed that.

May was good to me even when certain days weren’t.

Over the last few years May has become quite the eventful month. Along with my Mother’s 2 week celebration of getting older and being a mom (man, every time I say goodbye to her, I miss her already), now it’s also home to me and Z’s wedding anniversary. We celebrated 3 years of marriage with a really nice and delicious dinner at Craft. It is kind of crazy how fast time has passed since we said our vows. We’re officially in the middle of our 5-year plan. I’m not scared of getting older -- it’s missing the little moments that scares me.

I also flowered it up this month -- solo and for some designer friends. Learning lessons each time.

If there is one thing that I feel extremely lucky to have in my life, it’s my husband. Like any couple, we have had the “what if’s” discussions, the sweet little moments where we avow our relationship, all that other superfluous things that couples say. When real life hit that’s when all that talk became fact. In my corner was a calm, resourceful, and diligent man who always thinks ahead (something I have always stupidly felt slowed me down). As a fruitful routine started making its way back into my life, I realized the sacrifices he made and the burdens he took on without hesitation, without complaint. He was a constant source of structure, affirmation, and a reminder to keep my ish together. I told him that I felt lucky to be in the situation I was in and he dismissed it. He reminded me that I worked hard and kept my persistence and those are the reasons why I’m in the position that I’m in. It stuff like this I don’t ever want to miss.

Now back to June.

Brights by Sølve Sundsbø featuring Freja Beha Erichsen for Harper's Bazaar US March 2008 via Noir Façade

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Oh here she is... Ellamah is basically the new home of my floral adventures. (No worries this blog won’t be completely flower-less cause that would be sad).

You can follow along here: http://www.ellamahblog.com/

I'm a Flirt.

R. Kelly strikes again! I always find myself singing or suspiciously dancing to one of his songs in my head. Yes, I am (undercover) R. Kelly fan despite...everything.

And here is a sample of an arrangement I will be posting later... on my other blog.