Flower arranging with Studio Choo

Friday, April 18, 2014


Last night I attended a workshop hosted by Jordan and her team from Oh Happy Day. It was a flower arranging workshop run by the two girls behind Studio Choo. Their work is amazing and if you haven’t heard of them you no doubt would have seen their beautiful bouquets pinned on Pinterest from time to time. Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo are not your typical ‘throw as many roses together with a bunch of baby’s breath’ type of florists. They have a very organic style to their arranging. As if flowers were picked fresh from their home garden and put together to create a simple yet striking arrangement. And they actually do often stop to pick flowers from a beautiful garden or field of wild flowers.

It was exciting to have buckets filled with flowers to choose from. And the smells – wow. Quite often bought flowers don’t have much of a smell to them. But the studio room was filled with their fresh scents.

Above is my flower arranging attempt. Since I love very pale peach I used flowers with those tones mixed with a little white and richer purples and maroons. Even now with the flowers beside my computer I can smell that white peony.

So what are some things that I learned? Firstly that their name came about by Jill’s small ‘choo!’ sneeze. So it became a nickname between the two and they now always call each other Choo.

And in regards to flower arranging – prep comes first. Flowers need to be cleaned. So leaves on the lower stem come off and a nice clean angled cut to the stem is made. This prevents water from getting too dirty which can shorten the life of your flowers. Studio Choo don’t actually use any powders in the water to increase their life. Making sure stems are clean and changing the water regularly can help to lengthen the time that they last and keep the flowers hydrated. Hydration is key to plump fresh flowers.

Your arrangement first needs a structure. ‘A web’ that forms a support for the more delicate flowers. This is done by using greenery in a criss cross pattern within the vase and using the natural V shape of the stems to form a brace inside. You then start placing the flowers. Something to keep in mind is that they each need their space to bloom. And to play with different heights and angles. Also forming small groupings. I guess the idea is to create areas of interest within your arrangement. So rather than placing a mass of a similar type of flower together, you play with a variety that while are different and unique, work together harmoniously. Having flowers angled differently was also something I learned. So rather than having them all facing in the same direction, have them subtly turning in different directions.

It was a lot of fun and I was so excited to see the Oh Happy Day studio. We also got a goodie bag to take home. And our flowers in a cool cream mason jar. I’m looking forward to hearing about the next workshop.



I’m going to sound like a brand snob, but I really don’t like Ikea. Don’t get me wrong I’ve bought a lot of Ikea things over the years. We all know how convenient it is, not to mention kind on the wallet. But I think I might be done. There have been too many disappointments and feelings of frustration after something bought there only lasts for a year (if that) before you have to replace it.

The last item we bought was a couch. I mean, it’s ok. It is what it is. But it’s not the most comfortable item of furniture to sit on. I think it’s worth holding off and saving a bit more to get something of quality that will last a while. But we have this couch now so I’m on the hunt for a few cushions to make it a bit more comfortable and add some style.

The couch is in a grey fabric and I’d like about 4 or 5 cushions. with a similar look to the interior shots in this post. So far I’ve come across these shown below which I don’t mind. I’m after a couple neutral cushions and a few patterned with similar colour tones.

Have  you seen any cool cushion suppliers around? If you have then please feel free to point me in their direction ;)



{ interior image credits – one, two – original source unknown, three, four – original source unknown }

{ cushion credits – one, two, three, four, five, six }

Ele Story

Monday, April 14, 2014


While wandering through Japantown on Saturday I stopped for a look at a store called Ele Story. They make really cute clothes for girls aged 12 months to 8 years. All made locally in the San Francisco Bay area. So cute don’t you think?

Chantelle_Grady_Ele_Story_01 Chantelle_Grady_Ele_Story_02 Chantelle_Grady_Ele_Story_03

Snaps from our weekend

Monday, April 14, 2014


Hola! How was your weekend? We heard that the Cherry Blossom Festival was on in Japantown over the weekend so headed in for a look. Before it started we wandered up Fillmore and stopped for a coffee and quinoa cookie at Jane on Fillmore. Love their coffee. And their cool flag logo.


We then headed back to Japantown and chowed down a couple serves of Takoyaki balls. I’ve never heard of them before but going by the number of people waiting in line we figured they were something special. They consist of a light batter filled with octopus, pickled ginger and shallot. Then drizzled in sauce. Really yummy. It was fun to watch the cooking process going on. 


Yesterday the weather was beautiful so we had our first BBQ on the patio. I picked up a couple cheeses including Cowgirl Creamery’s signature Mt Tam cheese which I’ve heard good things about. It’s a triple cream – so good. Reid isn’t a soft cheese fan and neither is Soren I learned yesterday. Oh well, more for me!


For dessert I picked up some Talenti Argentine Caramel gelato and Roman Raspberry sorbet. They also make other flavours like Mediterranean Mint, Black Raspberry chocolate chip and Southern Butter Pecan which I’m keen to try as well. So it was pretty much a weekend of eating for us! Really enjoyed it though and love heading into San Fran for a wander around. What did you get up to? Did you do anything exciting?


Happy Friday!

Saturday, April 12, 2014


I joined the YMCA today (cue music). On the walk home I snapped this pic on my phone. Love the houses in Berkeley and the power lines that criss-cross one another. Isn’t that bougainvillea swallowing those steps to the white house amazing?

I’ve been battling a head cold and nasty cough this week so I’m hoping to wake to a clearer head in the morning. I think a BBQ on our patio is on the cards. And a little shopping for a few comfy cushions. I hope you have a great weekend :)

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