I Suck as a Florist (Or I Need Help with My Floral Arrangements)

I think I’ve been listening to too much Tift Merritt and Bon Iver today because I’m starting to feel all sorry for myself.

Or maybe I’m glum because “Trader Joe” and I have very different opinions on what an “easy to open” package of oven roasted turkey breast looks like. Or it could be because the only Doritos left in the bag are crumbs. But mostly, I’d bet it’s because I have the kind of cramps that hurt from your feet all of the way up to your face and I’m missing some of my close friends today.

My birthday is in two weeks, and I’m deep in the throes of planning the party. It’s going to be awesome, and the guest list is out of control huge, but it will be missing some amazing girls this year. See, many of my close girlfriends have moved away and/or gotten married. They used to throw my parties, do my flowers, and just basically make me feel all kinds of special on my birthday. One year they even broke into my apartment, set up Sprinkles Cupcakes while I was at work, and were waiting to take me out for a surprise dinner when I got home.

That they won’t be here to partake in my Peter Pan Party madness just basically makes me feel like this:

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Not only do I miss them and the days of dancing on tables together, but their absence also means I am facing the daunting task of making my own floral arrangements for my party. I sort of suck at arranging flowers, and I’m afraid I’m going to make a huge mess of the affair. I mean I can’t do this:

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Danielle, the Goddess behind last year’s arrangement, now lives in Cabo and is launching a furniture line.

Sure, I could buy the arrangements, but where is the challenge in that?

Besides, I absolutely cannot stand being truly bad at something, so I am trying to teach myself.

So far it’s not going terribly well….

My dog hates my floral arrangement. So do I.

Part of the problem is that I don’t have the right vessels, so I need to remedy that. The other problem is finding inspiration because this art form does not come naturally to me. I wasn’t all that into flowers for most of my life. I spent many years as a tree-climbing tomboy who collected toads with the neighbor boys, and I left the flowers and the other pink stuff to the girls who had unicorns on their Trapper Keepers.

Here I am with my best toad-collecting buddy, Brett, basically being all boyish and geeky.

So now I am making up for lost time and I’m combing Pinterest for ideas. I have come up with these contenders so far:

Photo courtesy of Petals by David.

Photo Courtesy of Catch My Party.

That’s a decent start, right?

It only took me three HOURS to find two designs I really liked.

I think I have to turn off the Tift Merrit, down the entire bottle of ibuprofen, and watch Iron Eagle now because I hate being in a funk. It’s going to take Jason Gedrick blowing up some oil wells to cheer me up today, I’m afraid.

Do you have any arrangement ideas that might inspire me?

Please send help!

Only Children are Spoiled (Or How to Make Truffle Popcorn)

I am an only child. And I was the only grandchild for NINE YEARS. So, it should come as no surprise that I am an absolute nightmare on occasion. There was a time I thought the entire world existed to watch my performances, which included recitations of the Narnia Chronicles in a British accent, dramatic lip syncing performances to Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me,” or dancing on a picnic table in a diaper at 10 pm.

My dad is this well-behaved electrical engineer who has been pushed to the absolute brink of insanity by my antics. Were it not for his faith and his firm belief God made me this way, he might have died of embarrassment (or frustration) long ago.

Not only did I demand a fair amount of attention, but I was also given a lot of swag. Before you read this as a cautionary tale about only children, I should tell you that we’re not all bad. I can entertain myself for days on end without company, and I love to share from my lavish bounty of gifts.

My mother came for a visit recently, and I now have new Betsey jewelry, the dogs have piles of squeaky toys, and my kitchen is full of farmers’ market swag.

Before you condemn me for being some sort of spoiled parasite, I should tell you I played airport chauffeur for hours, made my mother wonderful food, and endured hours of interrogation about why I’m not dating anyone. So, it all evens out. I trade swag for my sanity. It’s cool.

You know what else is cool? Truffle salt. My mom bought me some at the farmers’ market, and I’m putting it on everything. The applications are absolutely endless, and because I’m so into sharing, I’m going to tell you about one!

Tonight I’m making truffle popcorn for my Gone with the Wind movie night, and I plan to wash it down with bourbon-spiked shakes.

See?

Truffle salt is so absolutely amazing that I might eat my own shoe if you sprinkled enough on it.

I’m looking forward to stuffing myself to the gills with goodness while watching Clark Gable strut around like sex on a stick. You might want to do the same.

The recipe is below. Enjoy!

Truffle Popcorn Recipe

¼ C popcorn kernels
2 T oil
2 T unsalted butter, melted
¼ tsp truffle salt

The popcorn bag will say you should heat the oil until two test kernels pop before adding the rest of the popcorn. This is a bald faced lie. This will burn your popcorn. I have found it’s best to add the oil and the popcorn at the same time. If you want to double the recipe, work in batches and add another 2 T of oil and ¼ C of popcorn after popping (and removing) the first batch from the pot. Working in small batches prevents burning. (Or maybe I just suck at making popcorn the old fashioned way and am making more work for myself than is necessary, but I’d rather not waste food. Or set my kitchen on fire.)

Pour the melted butter over the popcorn and toss the popcorn. Add the truffle salt and toss again.