DAILY DOSE OF PRETTY | 12 | HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY AND A SWEETHEART THEMED WEDDING

Bow and Arrow Escort Seating Chart - Photo by Jose Villa

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Isn’t this heart AMAZING?!  Hands down the most creative escort card display I have ever seen.  It’s a work of art and an explosion of love and makes my heart sing.

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Jose Villa8 Jose Villa9Wow, what a wedding, right?  Shot by the famous Jose Villa in Napa Valley, California, pretty much everything about it is a dream.  And that gorgeous light has me forgetting all about the fact that it has hardly stopped raining all week long.  Go to Jose’s blog to see even more photos, including the bride’s amazing dress.

Hope everyone has a happy Valentine’s Day!  What do you have planned?  I’ve just thought of something sweet, yet still healthy to make for dessert so I’m off to the grocery so I can surprise my man with something that won’t make him feel guilty.  If it ends up being yummy, I’ll be sure to post the recipe!


DAILY DOSE OF PRETTY | 11 | RED IS

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Image by Raffaello Franiuk

Isn’t this image dreamy?  The photographer is an Italian graphic designer by trade but also talented in drawing and photography as well.  I searched high and low in hopes there would be a whole series of photos like this, but it looks like this is it.  How cool would it be to see a slew of related images with that flame red flash in different variations?


(EASY, LAST MINUTE) VALENTINE’S DAY FLORAL ARRANGEMENT

(Easy, Last Minute) Valentine's Day Floral Arrangement via All Sorts of Pretty

Today I have an easy last minute Valentine’s Day floral arrangement that looks really sweet and thoughtful but really takes no time at all – hence, the perfect arrangement for dudes who don’t put a ton of thought in to the holiday, but might want to show up with a little more than a cellophane wrapped grocery store arrangement with the price tag still on (ahem, men pay attention…I say that like men are actually reading this blog called “All Sorts of Pretty”.  I digress.).

(Easy, Last Minute) Valentine's Day Floral Arrangement

Anyway – let’s talk about the most underrated flower of ALL TIME.  The wonderful, perky, fabulous and sweet smelling carnation.  I love carnations and think if you fill a vase with only carnations, you can have one beautiful arrangement that can make you forget about all the horrid arrangements from the 80s and 90s where carnation was simply a filler flower mixed in with baby’s breath (also underrated, by the way), and tightly wound up roses (not underrated – those are hideous).  Add a simple cut out heart with a sweet message and you have an instant gift for your Valentine.  Take it off and it’s great for any number of other occasions.  I love the idea of giving flowers in a vase the person will love and get lots of use out of too.  Major bonus points if you put that much thought in to it.

(Easy, Last Minute) Valentine's Day Floral Arrangement

Okay, here are two sweet arrangements that you can make for a loved one for Valentine’s Day or a birthday or heck, even make them for yourself because they’re pretty and make you smile…because that is important too.

Start with your flowers: you can get carnations at the grocery store, but the selection at mine was pretty sad so I went to an actual florist where I actually ended up saving money and the quality was superior.  These were just under $1 per stem versus $1.25 at the grocery.

(Easy, Last Minute) Valentine's Day Floral Arrangement

Mine were a little too “closed” for my liking and I wanted a big pouff of flours so I opened them up gently.  To do this, just work your way through the flower, pulling it slightly outward –  these flowers are pretty sturdy, you can even pull the green outer casing apart slightly to make them open up more.

(Easy, Last Minute) Valentine's Day Floral Arrangement

Cut the stems at an angle just a little taller than your vase.  Taller ones go towards the middle and shorter ones around the lip of the vase.

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This one is almost done, but there’s a little too much space at the bottom for my liking, so I filled in with shorter stems

(Easy, Last Minute) Valentine's Day Floral Arrangement

Then just cut out little hearts and write a message on them to resemble candy conversation hearts.  I have letter stamps already so I used those, but even a hand written message would be a sweet gesture anyone would love.   I also like sticking one pink flower in with all the white for this because it looks like the flowers were kissed and that’s just so romantic  :)

(Easy, Last Minute) Valentine's Day Floral Arrangement

So there you have it, two cheap and easy (but pretty nonetheless) flower arrangements for Valentine’s Day or any day.   Because giving something pretty really doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive, now does it?

(Easy, Last Minute) Valentine's Day Floral Arrangement

PS – I’m not alone in my love for carnations – Carrie Bradshaw loved them too, especially the pink ones.  She said “I think they’re making a comeback” and I think she’s right.  If you decide to make these, and I’m talking to any man who may be reading this, whatever you do – do NOT accompany these with a yellow post it note if you don’t have time to cut out cutesy little hearts.  (Any Sex and the City fans out there?)


DAILY DOSE OF PRETTY | 10 | A BIRD BALLET

You really need to see this video.  It’s the kind of video that makes you stare in awe at the beauty of something so simple and complex at the same time.  It might seem fake, but is indeed the real deal.

This video shows a huge mass of birds flying together in perfect sync – but moving and swaying and changing directions just like a school of fish.  It’s amazing to see and apparently is called a starling murmation – starling being the kind of bird and murmation being the fantastic dance they seem to do.  This is so beautiful, I just had to share.

If you’re at work, you don’t need sound to appreciate the video.  Watch!

If you don’t see a video above, click here.


HONEY, ALMOND, & CRANBERRY CRISPIES RECIPE

Honey, Almond & Cranberry Crispies via All Sorts of Pretty

Happy Monday!  Today I have a sweet treat for you.   But here’s the thing: I love any excuse for candy and sugar highs and Valentine’s Day is all about that.  However, you know that I’m trying to be good and cut that crap out…or at least, I’m just trying to be more healthy in general.  Parker asked me this weekend to make him some healthy snacks for him to take to work and I found this recipe on my search.  I love all of Jamie Eason’s recipes because they are clean eating and so far each one I’ve made has been really yummy too.  Since Valentine’s Day is coming up, I thought I would make heart shapes for my love – plus, their easy to eat this way.  I made a variety of heart sizes, but the tiny ones make perfect bite size yummies.

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You can make this recipe as healthy as you want – it calls for almond butter, but you can use peanut butter.  I added chia seeds because they are so good for you, but you could leave them out – or put flax seeds instead.  This is a no-bake recipe so 1.) flax seeds and chia seeds are welcome and 2.) no-bake means super easy.  It also calls for protein powder but if you’re opposed to that, you could leave it out (just add a little more oats for consistency) and the last kind of weird thing it calls for is xylitol brown sugar.  We’re trying to cut back on sugar since our blood sugar levels spike and we’re likely to eat way too much of anything sweet and this Ideal blend I found is great – xylitol does not raise blood sugar, it doesn’t taste artificial and is actually a really healthy alternative (dentists love it because it’s good for your teeth).  But you don’t have to have it – just leave it out completely, or go buck wild with the real thing.

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These really should be kept in the fridge or freezer to keep the consistency together and chewy, but I couldn’t help show off my new glass dome and cake plate I scored at the antique store this weekend.

So, if you’d like to make a healthy alternative to a Valentine’s Day treat (or any time really), here’s the recipe:

Honey, Almond & Cranberry Crispies

  • 3 cups Kashi Puffs Cereal
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 cup whole oats
  • 1/4 cup crushed almonds
  • 1/2 cup Xylitol brown sugar (or regular brown sugar if you’d rather)
  • 3/4 cup smooth almond butter (or peanut butter)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 Tablespoons chia seeds (or ground flax seeds)
  • 1-5 oz package dried cranberries
  1. Pour the cereal, protein powder, whole oats, chia seeds and crushed almonds into a large bowl and shake gently. Avoid stirring, to keep the protein powder from settling on the bottom.
  2. In a small glass bowl, combine the brown sugar, almond butter, and honey, and microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring until combined.
  3. Add the almond butter mixture to the cereal mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until every piece is coated.
  4. Spread the mixture evenly into a 9×13 Pyrex dish and spread cranberries on top, or use cookie cutter shapes as molds, and fill with the mixture, pressing firmly into place.  If you’d rather have squares, just place in refrigerator for about an hour and then cut.