in and out of bloom

I’ve been tracking the summer’s passing in the coming and going of some of my favourite blooms (or the ones I recognize, which, to be fair, are not very many). The lilacs in my parents backyard were some of the first to show off before I noticed their perfume all over town. Next there were the tulips, the peonies, the apple blossoms…all of them seeming to peak and fade before I stopped to smell them.

Then, I was lucky enough to take two classes at Blumenstudio (my dad and I had the same idea when it came to birthday gifts for my mum, apparently). We made dreamy little succulent terrariums and learned about throwing together garden bouquets. When Kat opened her second Blumenstudio in the west end of town, I wrote about it for Ottawa Magazine – and so I happily spent a lot of time around her pretty plants and Klaus the dog.

Then, there were lush little gardens lining streets in Montreal, beautiful blooms on the farm, and tiny doggy flower crowns.

SONY DSC

Then, one of my best friends got married. One of the bridesmaids, Michelle, happened to have worked as a florist for many years (she’s also a brilliant scientist and communicator, there is nothing this girl can’t do) and so she took on doing all of the floral arrangements for the wedding. This also left her responsible for leading the rest of us bridesmaids through making our own flower crowns, something we were super excited about.  Once we actually started, though, I was struck with analysis paralysis (was I making it too heavy on one side? Did the colours clash? Was I crushing delicate blooms?). Over mimosas and Top 40 tracks we crafted our crowns, left them to stay fresh in the beer fridge during last minute prep, and then our friends got married! The wedding was absolutely beautiful and our flower crowns lasted a whole night of dancing – I don’t think I’ve ever cried so many happy tears, or taken so many selfies.

THEN, as I went for a run along the canal yesterday evening, brown leaves fluttered on to the path in front of me and suddenly summer seemed like a blur. There are still another 20 days of summer left on the calendar, so there’s still time to squeeze out every last humid, sweaty drop (and Continue reading

Tea Time Cookies

I’ve talked before about my love for tea (would anyone like a slice of dark chocolate Earl Grey tart??). But I think it’s become more about my tea making ritual while slogging through exams: I put the kettle on to boil, I waste a few minutes doing something fun, and when my tea is steeped and ready that means it’s time to stop goofing off and get to work. (Most of the time this routine works for me, don’t judge!)
With the end of exams around the corner, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I thought I’d share these cute cookies with y’all.  My super-cool and lovely friend Kaitlin provided the inspiration for these little tea bag cookies (thanks girlie!). Since I was already making a batch of sugar cookies (recipe here) at the time, that’s what I used for these ones, but how much fun would it be to actually make tea-flavoured dough? (A spiced Chai? Earl Grey, anyone? Martha Stewart also has a recipe for green tea shortbread that I’ve been wanting to try…any other suggestions? Let your creativitea flow!)I cut out the tea-bag shapes free hand, and made a little hole at the top of each one with a sterilized nail.  Once they were baked I tied on their little tea labels and dipped the bottom of each one in melted chocolate — these are perfect for dunking in your tea. If you want to save these for your next tea party (or late night study session…) just layer them in a container with parchment paper between each layer, and you can freeze them for a couple of months.
Happy Sunday/Study Day!

That crazy time of year when exams and singing competitions collide…