July 31, 2014

Flora Focus || Rose

Roses are one of the most recognizable flowers around. Given in almost every occasion, from the most joyous of celebrations to days of condolences, always with a deeper meaning of love. The most common is the red rose, the classic symbol of love, but roses come in all shapes, sizes and colors. From large blooms with many showy petals to small blooms that only have five petals.

Botanical Name: Rosa spp. 
Flower: Hard to classify because they come in almost every color, have five or more petals, and most are fragrant. 
Leaf: Compound leaf with 3-9 leaflets. The margins have teeth.They turn yellow, orange, or red in the fall. 
Meaning: White- A heart unacquainted with love
                Pink- Grace
                Pale Peach- Modesty
                Burgundy- Unconscious Beauty
                Moss- Confession of Love
                Red- Love
                Purple- Enchantment
                Orange- Fascination

A rose can take on many different faces. They are shrubs and trees and can climb up trellises. Some produce rose hips that are commonly used in tea. There are gardens dedicated specifically to ornamental roses as well as cultivars bred to be cut flowers. The petals can be crushed and the oils used in perfumes and made into rose water used in cosmetics, cooking and medicine. 

Are there any rose gardens around your area that you visit often or have been wanting to visit? There is a rose garden very close to my boyfriends new place that I will hopefully be visiting very, very soon. 
Let me know of any other rose gardens I should put on my must see list! Or any gardens in general at all!

July 28, 2014

Sweater Love

I love being able to wear a sweater in the summer. I would much rather be on the cooler side than on the warmer side. You can only take off so much and you still wouldn't cool down. But you can always put more layers on and warm up when it is a little on the chilly side. Plus it is so much cozier. No one likes to sweat to just sitting there, that is completely uncomfortable. We have another heat wave coming in the northwest, so I apologize in advance for any complaining I do about the heat. Just a little while longer and fall will be here.
Outfit Details
Dress || Zara
Sweater || Kohls
Boots || Borrowed from Mom
Rings || Macys

July 25, 2014

Feels like Fall!

I am currently typing this with the wind blowing and rain falling at a constant rate outside my window. I could not be any happier. With that heat wave we just had, this rain is a VERY welcome sight. Last Saturday, my boyfriend and I went to the carnival that was in town to watch a hot air balloon glow. We got there around 9:00 pm, got these photos taken, walked around a little bit, played a little carnival game and went back to the car to put on more layers, grab our blankets and umbrella and head out to find our spot on the grass. As we were sitting there it started raining harder and harder and it became evident that there was going to be no balloon glow that night because of the rain and wind. I wasn't even mad or sad. I was so happy it was raining. The first rain in a very long time. Let me tell you, I cannot wait for fall. Constant rain, wind, storms, sweaters, pumpkins, apple cider, Halloween, changing leaves, crisp air, tights and boots. Im ready.

Outfit Details
Dress || Ruche (Now on Sale!)
Jacket || Nordstrom
Shoes || Vans

July 24, 2014

Flora Focus || Hydrangea

When Hydrangeas are planted in the right location, come mid summer they are nothing but a big wall of color. They produce the largest blooms of bright blues, pinks, purples and white. A little fun fact about this shrub is that the flower changes color depending on the soil that it is planted in. When planted in acidic soil (pH below 6), the flower will be closer to blue and when planted in alkaline soil (pH above 6), the flower will be more pink. Pretty cool if you ask me.

Botanical Name: Hydrangea macrophylla
Flower: Large clusters of brightly colored flowers. Comes in white, pink, blue and purple.
Leaf: Large oval leaf coming to a point with serrated edges.
Meaning: dispassion

July 23, 2014

7 Florists and Flower Farmers to Follow on Instagram

My Instagram and Facebook feed has slowly started to become nothing but flowers. Photos of flower farms, bouquets, arrangements and more flowery goodness. Since I have been blogging more about flowers on Pretty Lovely, a lot of you have expressed interest in learning more about florals and floral arranging. I'd thought I would start by filling your Instagram with some of my favorite florists and flower farmers on social media to give you some inspiration to maybe plant your own flowers or start cutting some from your own garden.

One of my favorite people to follow. Her photos are complete gorgeousness full of flowers and flower fields taken at sunset. If you only follow one person from this list, make Floret be the one.

Saipua travels the world creating wild arrangements for every occasion.
Blog || Farm Blog

3 Porch Farm & Moonflower Design

A flower farm and a design studio by the same couple. Follow their farm account to see what life on a flower farm is like and the design account to see what they create.
3 Porch Farm Website || Moonflower Design Website
Farm Blog || Flower Blog 
3 Porch Farm Instagram || Moonflower Design Instagram

Field to Vase
This is a blog that highlights farmers and florists all over the country. This is a really good account to follow if you want to learn more about the local flower movement and meet lots of other farmer florists.

Amy Merrick
Think wildflowers found in the fields of her families old farmhouse in New Hampshire. Dreamy photographs.

Love n Fresh Flowers
Another farmer florist that creates large, lush, wild bouquets and arrangements from farm fresh flowers.

Verbena Florist

A mother-daughter duo farming and designing on a small one acre plot. Sounds like a dream.

All of these farmers and designers have THE MOST gorgeous photos ever. Which is obviously why I am sharing their sites with you. They are experts at their craft and will leave you wanting your own flower farm and studio. They did it to me.
Grab something to drink and have fun exploring today. You won't regret it.
Thanks for reading!

July 22, 2014

Small Town USA

I love small towns. This is a little tiny neighborhood out in the country of my little town. This little nook comes complete with a little picnic area and a cute little white church with the big steeple. Could it get anymore perfect. The houses are old farmhouse style houses with big porches and huge yards. Lots of little knick-knacks in the yard and big gardens. I would love to just walk around the yards of these places but that is frowned upon and may be a little bit creepy. So I'm stuck admiring from the other side of the white picket fences.
Outfit Details
Dress || Modcloth
Vest || Thrifted
Shoes || Target
Bracelets || Handmade & Kohls

July 18, 2014

The Art of Braids

I love braids. All sorts of braids. I love the texture and interest they add. I finally got myself some little clear rubber bands just so I could try out milkmaid braids for the first time. Im kind of bummed I didn't try this style out sooner. I love it! And it is so easy to do! I have been trying other braided hair styles since, but braids are sort of hard to do on yourself. Ive looked at this Pinterest board so many times wondering if I could do any of these styles on myself. The answer is no right now..

Outfit Details
Dress || Modcloth
Necklaces || Forever 21 & ℅ Ali Oesch

July 17, 2014

Flora Focus || Shasta Daisy

Daisies are popping up everywhere right now! I love that they grow wild in fields and can easily be grown in your backyard too. They might be in every corner of our backyard right now in huge clumps of nothing but white flowers. A couple of weeks ago I took some photos in a field of wild daisies.

Shasta Daisy
Botanical Name: Leucanthemum x superbum (This flower is a cross between Leucanthemum lacustre x Leucanthemum maximum in 1890)
Flower: Classic daisy shape with bright white petals and a bright yellow center. 2 to 5 inches across. Blooms in summer to frost.
Leaf: Simple, elliptical shape. The edges (margins) have coarse teeth.
Meaning: Innocence

Daisies are a favorite for young children, playing apart in some of their daily activities in the fields. From making daisy chains to wear as May Day crowns or simply weaving some of the flowers through their hair. And of course we have all picked the petals one by one saying "He loves me; he loves me not."

Past Flora Focus Posts
Daisies are the like the symbol of summer. Did you ever play with them? Or maybe you still make flower crowns from them…

Thanks for reading!

July 16, 2014

Summer 2014 Reading List

I love looking at other peoples reading list and being introduced to new books. One of my favorite things about summer is all of the summer reading lists that get published on blogs and in newspapers and magazines. Maybe some of you are the same, so here is my summer 2014 reading list.
#GIRLBOSS || Sophia Amoruso: Im sure you have all seen this book on other blogs and social media. Its written by the founder of Nasty Gal about how she got to where she is today. Im reading this right and it is so good and super easy to read. A good easy summer read.
Wild || Cheryl Strayed: At 26, Cheryl Strayed made an impulsive decision to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert to Washington state with no training or experience and all alone. I have been more interested in nonfictions lately and was really interested in this one one our local paper wrote about it. Its being made into movie being released later this year, Cheryl being played by Reese Witherspoon. You can watch the trailer here.
Looking For Alaska || John Green: From the same author as The Fault in our Stars, about a boy who goes to boarding school and meets Alaska Young (I kind of love Alaska as a name), a girl who pulls him into her own world.
Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children || Ransom Riggs: The cover got me on this one. About an abandoned orphanage on a mysterious island. The orphanage held peculiar children that may have been dangerous. Jacob, who found out about this from his grandpa goes investigating to see why his grandpa  was always looking over his shoulder in fear.
Rebecca || Daphne du Maurier: I think I might save this one until the end of summer when it starts getting colder and rainy. If I can wait that long. It was recommended to me by my brothers girlfriend who couldnt stop raving about it and let me borrow this copy of it.  An old library book with the checkout slip still attached with the first due date being Jan. 12, 1970. The only way to read an old mystery, romance taken place at an old mansion.

What are you reading this summer? What is your favorite book that you have ever read? I would love to know!