Friday, December 23, 2011

Instant Christmas


Hi friends,

Here is a quick family recipe that will ensure you are instantly feeling the spirit of the season. My mom has made it since I was a child. When the scent is present throughout my house it brings back so many memories of Christmases past.... I usually package it up and give it to friends but I didn't get it done this year so I'm sharing it with you virtually and hoping it will get you in the mood for Christmas and maybe even inspire you to share a batch or two with a friend or neighbor.

Aroma of Christmas

3 sticks of cinnamon
3 bay leaves
¼ cup whole cloves
2 sections lemon and 2 pieces of orange peel
1 quart water

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and keep simmering over low heat. Add water as needed; it evaporates quickly. Enjoy!


From our home to yours, Happiest Holidays.

Love,
The Andersons



Thursday, December 8, 2011

2012 Color of the Year

Source: PANTONE

Hi friends,

Unless you are a color enthusiast like me, you may have missed PANTONE’s announcement today revealing their 2012 Color of the Year. They posted a press release early this morning east coast time and I caught it on Facebook before I went to bed last night. I was excited to be one of the first to find out (yes, I am a color geek like that!) and I was over-the-moon to see that they chose a reddish-orange (very similar to my signature color) called Tangerine Tango.


Source: PANTONE

PANTONE, the global authority on color, describes Tangerine Tango as a “vivacious, enticing hue.” The press release continues: “The 2011 color of the year, PANTONE 18-2120 Honeysuckle, encouraged us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor. Tangerine Tango, a spirited reddish orange, continues to provide the energy boost we need to recharge and move forward.” Don’t you feel energized just reading that?

My “color guru” Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®, describes it as: “Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it . . . . Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.”




Wow, that is pretty powerful. And I think it encapsulates why I love color so much. The subconscious meanings that color evokes are so powerful. These words describe the message that color can send. That’s precisely why I chose a similar color (PANTONE 485) for Fleurish Partners, my marketing and communications consulting business. When I was working on my logo, the direction I gave my graphic designer for the color was I wanted it to communicate radiance, high energy, joy and passion. Currently my color only has a number, but I think it needs a name. I’d love any suggestions you have.
The dress I wore for my 40th birthday celebration recently was pretty close to Tangerine Tango….



And my new car is pretty close too....


Maybe I was a bit ahead of PANTONE on this one, and in fact it was my 2011 Color of the Year! In all seriousness, I am thrilled that they chose a color that I have worn and used for years and many people think of as my signature color. I hope it means good things for me in 2012 that I am aligned with the global authority on color.


Colorfully,

Amy

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Get your 70’s Colors On – It’s Saturday Night Fever!



It's no secret that I turned 40 recently, that I love birthday celebrations (not just mine!l) and I love color.... On Saturday night, my husband, Geoff, and I will be celebrating our birthdays with about 50 of our closest friends. Geoff and I were born 13 days apart in 1971 so we are sharing this momentous occasion. He is leaving all of the planning up to me. After the surprise he gave me for my birthday (a new car!), I am happy to let him off the hook. Plus, this is my thing! I love planning parties. I am thrilled to be planning a colorful 70s-themed 40th birthday bash for us.


The Theme and Color Palette

One of my favorite things about planning a party is coming up with a theme and color palette. For our party, I found inspiration in the 1977 hit movie Saturday Night Fever and my new favorite book: PANTONE: The 20th Century in Color. According to the book, “Travolta’s white suit, the louche darkness of nightclubs, and the silver mirror balls are the starting point for the Night Life palette. Radiant pink and orange, pulsating yellow and cobalt, recall the passionate wonderland of the dance floor.” Disco and glitz were all the rage during this era too.

 Source: InStyle

The Setting

Next was finding the perfect venue. We landed on “The Bar” at one of our favorite restaurants, Olympia Pizza on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. It’s warm, cozy, hip (but not too hip!), urban and yes, colorful! The restaurant is our go-to casual weeknight dining spot. We love the food and have gotten to know the friendly staff over the years since we’re they’re so often. It’s kind of our home away from home.

The beautiful bar at Olympia Pizza is from Pioneer Square's departed J & M Cafe, a college haunt.



 It’s not quite New York’s Studio 54 but we think it’s perfect.


The Fashion

Another one of my favorite parts of any occasion is figuring out what I am going to wear. Geoff wasn’t too keen on a costume party so we compromised. The invitation states: “We hope you will take some inspiration from the colors of the 70’s…. Costumes are optional but loud colors are not!”  There has been a bit of confusion amongst my friends about what to wear. I am telling them they can interpret it however they want. My goal is fun and color....  If you’re stuck for what to wear, here is a bit of inspiration.

My friend Tracy challenged me to wear this hot pink number.


 




I am opting for a red-orange dress with a large ruffle across the neckline that is inspired by Saturday Night Fever. Geoff is still contemplating his outfit. I think he would look great in a white suit, don’t you?!

If you’re still stuck, the Pretty Parlor on Capitol Hill has some great vintage dresses. Or just wear something colorful from your closet.

Signature Cocktail

And last but certainly not least, another favorite was coming up with a signature cocktail just for our event. Geoff and I both love margaritas and I wanted our signature cocktail to be colorful, of course. So the fabulous bartender at Olympia Pizza came up with an orange margarita which I have named the Orange-alicious Margarita. This delicious concoction is Sauza Hornitos tequila, muddled limes, oranges and lemons, fresh lime juice, and a splash of mandarin liqueur, on the rocks with salt.  Yum!




I'm ready for a fun party and for my forties to be fabulous! Bring it on.






Thursday, November 24, 2011

Amazing Women No. 6: Darlene Hermes



Darlene Hermes
My mom!
Seattle, WA


My mom is one of the most positive, creative, beautiful, healthy people I know. As I get older, I realize and appreciate how much I have learned from her and how so much I of who I am is a direct reflection of her.  Now that I have my own daughter I am seeing how much both my mom and I are passing onto to Sofia.  We have so many things in common and share so many interests and talents. All three of us love color, art, fashion, flowers, traditions, accessorizing (especially scarves!),creating, being active, going to church, traveling (especially to Paris). The list goes on and on. It’s very cool to see.
I have also come to realize that so many of the things my mom has told me over the years are true, especially when it comes to motherhood. Like “Once a mom, always a mom.” She’s still always there for me and I know I will always be there for Sofia. And “Being a mother is the most important job you will ever have.” I am starting to more fully understand and appreciate that one. It is also the hardest job I have ever had, but my mom has supported me every step of the way….

My mom’s positive “blue sky” outlook on everything, during good times and challenging ones, is such an inspiration to me. She has more faith than anyone I know – in people, in God, in herself, even in the weather!!  I remember so many times growing up I would look outside and comment on the gray sky. She would always say, “The sun is going to pop out!” She must have had x-ray vision. Actually I think she just had a really sunny outlook, because I could never see it through the thick gray clouds, but it usually did pop out. In hindsight, I don’t think it was x-ray vision. She always sees the best in everything and everyone. That is such a gift and something I am still working on.

I am featuring my mom as one of the most amazing women I know. She gave birth to me 40 years ago on Thanksgiving Day and she still talks about it like it was one of the most special days of her life. Thank you mom, for everything. I love you!


Q. What is your favorite color combination and why? Does it change with the seasons or do you have a go-to favorite(s)?

A. Basic colors (like navy blue and black) are my favorite and then colorful accessories complete the look.  I wear a scarf every day; it is my signature.  My first job with the airlines I wore a camel wool coat with a scarf probably tied as an ascot to my first interview.  The VP that hired me on the spot later told me it was because of my classic coat and scarf look!!

Red would be my favorite for accessories: red leather purse, red leather driving gloves, red coat and, in my home, my accent color in each room is red. 

My mom's artwork was featured in the Madison Park Art Walk. She loves red doors!


Q. Where do you look for creative inspiration for your art and your life?
A. Creative inspiration is found all around me, every day.  I look for inspiration as I walk, drive, meet people, enjoy all the details of objects, and look for meaning in what I choose to touch, remember, smell, give, take and share with all around me.   Being a creative person, I enjoy mostly the simple things in life that bring joy to me and to those that I share my thoughts with.

Q. I know that I inherited my love of traditions and rituals from you. What is your favorite holiday tradition and why?
A. One of my favorite rituals when you and Jill were growing up was to make every day special in a special way.  I would set the table in the morning for your breakfast with a theme of the day or season.  There are so many little things I used to do that I call rituals. Birthday parties were always very special. I would put a number candle on a paper doily on a plate on your birthday each year. 

Memories of our very special family Thanksgiving celebrations are paramount in my mind.  I loved to prepare for the trip, packing candles, flowers, snacks, sometimes the turkey and off we would go to a destination – Lake Quinault Lodge and Cannon Beach stand out!!
My mom's illustration.

Q. One of your favorite authors is Alexandra Stoddard, author of Living a Beautiful Life and several other books.  What is your favorite advice or quote of hers?
A. Inspiration from Alexandra Stoddard comes in statements like “Let all your motivation come from inside you;” “Get a Passport;” “At night, in the mornings, on weekends, the important thing is to like and understand yourself;” and “Daring to be Yourself”!!
Q. Your personal style is classic, yet always current and a bit artsy. What is your fashion philosophy?
A. Stay classic. Don’t follow fads as they fade away very quickly. Classic is forever. 

Q. I know you have always loved quotes. Can you share a favorite with us?

A. “Look at this day, yesterday is but a dream, tomorrow a vision; But today well lived, makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and tomorrow a vision of hope.” -Sanskrit Proverb quote

Q. And finally, what advice do you have for me and others who are turning 40 about living a healthy and well-balanced life?

A. Turning 40 is such a special time of life, just take it, embrace it, feel how special you are and live each day to the fullest!  Take good care of your mind, body and soul by eating a healthy diet, exercise, stay positive, smile at every person you pass – and even say hello! You will be amazed the response you will receive and you will feel blessed to have touched someone’s life in a very personal way.   Take care of yourself!! 

My mom's illustration.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fragrant Friday

Color, fragrance, beauty… three of my favorite things!

 
Maria Christofilis, founder and creative director at Anthousa, in her new flagship store in Seattle.
Photo by Katie M. Simmons.

On Friday night I attended the grand opening party for Anthousa’s flagship store. Anthousa is one of my favorite brands and it was created by one of my favorite people – the lovely and talented Maria Christofilis. Maria and I share a love of fragrance and we love to gush about it whenever we see each other. So you could imagine how thrilled I was to receive an invitation to this party. I was excited to see how Maria would apply her amazing aesthetic, unique fragrances and beautiful brand to a retail store. She did not disappoint… it was even lovelier than I could imagine. Here I share a few pics from the party. Sorry for the poor photo quality, except for the one above that was taken by a pro. I forgot my good camera.









By the way, Anthousa, if you don’t know it, is a collection of “home ambiance perfumes” that Maria created to add fragrance and beauty to your living environments. The collection includes home ambiance diffusers and candles in yummy and imaginative scents ranging from white gardenia to cucumber & green grass to nectarine & red currant (one of my favs) and fig leaf & bitter almond.

Inside this glass box was a lovely display and a bottle of Maria's latest creation - Tuberose personal fragrance. The scent was simply intoxicating.

Anthousa diffusers and candles make great gifts. So be sure to visit the new Anthousa flagship store opening Tuesday, November 8, in the hip and trendy South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle at 900 Lenora Street, Suite 105. All of your senses will be glad you stopped in. (If you're not in the area, shop the Anthousa Online Boutique.)

P.S. These big blue hydrangeas were simply stunning in tall, clear glass vases.

Friday, November 4, 2011

November Gratitude



Happy November friends!

Wow, where did this week ago? I started this post on Tuesday and I ended up having a very busy week filled with Sofia’s parent-teacher conference, a community service award luncheon for my dear friend Phil Smart, Sr., client meetings, prospective client meetings, a trip to Olympia, seeing friends, a doctor’s appointment, etc, etc. Living a busy life - you know how it goes!

Anyway, I really wanted to write about November and gratitude. I was born on Thanksgiving and I’ve always loved this month for many reasons.  I love the fall colors and cozy dinners and hunkering down at home before the holidays hit. 

Last weekend, I took my camera for a walk in the Washington Park Arboretum, just a few blocks from my house. I ended up walking for two hours and saw some glorious sites that I wanted to share with you.

The most spectacular displays of color were in the Japanese Gardens.



 I was especially taken with the pagodas throughout the gardens.






I am so grateful to live so close to this amazing nature sanctuary that offers beauty, peace and tranquility throughout the year. In my opinion, the colors are most spectacular right now. I never take it for granted.



What are you thankful for?

I have been reading about intentions lately. Love and gratitude are so powerful. I truly believe you get what you give. I am focusing on gratitude this month and I’d like to encourage you to do the same. Write down at least one thing each day you are grateful for on a Gratitude List. It’s such an easy and uplifting thing to do. If you feel like it, reach out to someone you are grateful for and let them know. On Thanksgiving, review your list and remember how blessed you are.  This will open you up to continue receiving so many amazing things in your life.



My blog turns 1!

Speaking of gratitude, last week, my blog turned one and I wanted to thank you for reading it. I get so much out of writing it and even more when I hear how it’s touched someone’s life or inspired them to do something new or to simply notice the little things or to look at color in a new way. I love celebrating milestones and this feels like a pretty big one to me, although not as big as the one I will celebrate at the end of the month… more on that later!

With gratitude,

Amy

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween, Halloween… what does it mean?*



I’m not a big Halloween decorator. The extent of it so far this year is Sofia's pumpkin and an orange ribbon on my heart wreath on our front porch. Of all of the holidays throughout the year, it’s my least favorite to decorate for, even though my favorite color is orange! Go figure!

But I do appreciate seeing what other people do in their yards and on their porches, as long as it’s not too ghoulish.  And I love the excuse to wear more orange and black than usual. My bright orange J Crew cords and orange wool coat have been fall staples for several years now! I don’t wear them together, of course. I would look like The Great Pumpkin, which is not the look I am going for!

I was tickled to get this image in my inbox this morning. If I could decorate with Herm├Ęs boxes, I think I’d be bit more inspired by this holiday.


This Halloween, have a ball (and chain!)




I have enjoyed my friend Jeanne’s Halloween blog posts this week. Her point of view on Halloween is classy and creative… right down my alley. Thanks for the fun reads this week, Jeanne.

Happy weekend everyone!



*This is a song my four-year-old learned at preschool and I can’t get it out of my head!

Friday, October 14, 2011

It's Time to Fleurish!



Hi friends,

As many of you know, I have spent the last year since leaving Starbucks soul-searching, networking, reflecting, reading, writing, listening, learning, growing, parenting, volunteering, and seeking the elusive work-life balance that we all deserve.  Through it all I have prioritized flexibility and doing work that feeds my soul. I didn't just want a job, I wanted more. I want it all. I want something that leverages my 17 years (gasp!) of professional experience and also fuels my passions around color, design, fashion, home, gifts, wellness, beauty, relationships, and helping talented people and cool brands I believe in thrive.

Announcing Fleurish Partners

So without further ado, I am thrilled to let you know that I am officially launching my own boutique marketing and communications firm called Fleurish Partners.  
Fleurish Partners helps specialty brands achieve their business goals and thrive by creating deeper connections with their customers.


We are partners in bringing our clients’ brands to life through strategic marketing and communications, social media, public relations, digital marketing, color communications, special events and community relations programs.

Our specialty is local, national and international specialty brands in the design, fashion, home, gift, wellness and beauty categories.

I am already working with some great clients and loving it!



Why Fleurish?

First of all, it’s a great word! I was inspired by an article I read in the May issue of Whole Living magazine about positive psychologist Martin Seligman’s latest book: Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being.  I couldn’t get the word out of my mind. But for me it was spelled the “French way” – Fleurish – and it means to be successful and prosper beautifully. I decided it was the perfect name for my company which aims to help specialty brands thrive.

I'm excited about the journey that lies ahead and to see where this venture takes me.
I plan to keep writing this blog (as time allows), but be sure to "Like" Fleurish Partners on Facebook and follow me on Twitter for the latest and greatest.

For the whole story, please visit www.fleurishpartners.com.



Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What do you CRAVE?

CRAVE

This weekend I picked up the latest edition of CRAVE Seattle, The Urban Girl’s Manifesto, and I literally haven’t wanted to put it down. It’s chock full of amazing and inspiring entrepreneurial women doing really cool things. From the inventor of babylegs to boutique owners to fitness gurus and personal stylists, it’s all about businesses that are locally-owned and operated by women, right here in our city.

Little did I know, there are now CRAVEguides in 32 cities, from Amsterdam to NYC to Portland, LA, San Francisco and everywhere in between.  If you haven’t heard of CRAVEguide, it’s billed as “The ultimate guide to the places women CRAVE in the Seattle Metropolitan Area, including more than 150 women you need to know.”  You can take a peek inside to see what I’m talking about.

I’m excited to explore these local, stylish, women-owned businesses, and hopefully meet a few of these inspiring women too. You can find CRAVE on Twitter (@CRAVEseattle) with this fabulous description: “CRAVE innovatively connects urban gals to the sassiest, gutsiest, most inspiring people they need to know in town.” And they’re on Facebook too, of course!
If you’re not in Seattle, check out the CRAVEguide for your city. You’re sure to discover some great new business and probably re-discover some old favorites.

Here’s to amazing, inspiring, authentic, smart women everywhere!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Spring Meets Fall



Spring and fall are my favorite seasons, in that order. I love all of the promise, light and color that spring brings, and the crisp leaves, cool air, the return to post-summer routine, and some semblance of calm that fall brings, before the craziness of the holidays begins. And have you noticed the cool shadows of fall?





I also love the deep colors of fall, especially the leaves and flowers. Yesterday, I went to my favorite neighborhood market specifically to buy red-orange dahlias for my kitchen. While there, I decided I needed orange tulips for my office too. When I arranged the dahlias, they looked pretty sparse in the vase I had chosen (a Deruta Italian pitcher – my favorite kind of flower vessel) so I added the tulips, and loved the way the spring tulips co-mingled with the fall dahlias. The arrangement ended up on my desk, instead of in my kitchen, and it is just the inspiration I needed to crank out some work… and I get a little lift every time I look at them. Aah, the power of color delights my senses once again!


I also visited the gorgeous and lush dahlia garden at Volunteer Park and again thought about how lovely spring colors mingle with the beautiful fall dahlia blooms.


With names like Wild Man



 and Wynn’s Dapper Dad,




and colors ranging from lavender




 to bright pink


to chrimson red



and even a hybrid of colors.


From huge full heads



to dainty darlings




to stunning star-like blooms, it is a fabulous display.





If you live in Seattle, I hope you get the chance to see the blooms in person before they are gone. If not, pop down to Pike Place Market or your local farmers market and buy some dahlias for your home and office. Either way, I hope you enjoyed these shots, and that you’re relishing the changing of the season.

Monday, September 26, 2011

What Inspires You?


Hello friends,

This morning I finally completed a project I have been thinking about for several months: an inspiration board for my office. I am thrilled with the result and I wanted to share it with you. It’s just the kind of project I needed on this gloomy fall day to get my creative juices flowing. And the added pop of color in my office is fabulous!

 

I also wanted to share this inspiring blog post I came across today that poses a “fun way for sewists (I’ve never heard that word before!) to get their creative juices flowing, by challenging (her) readers to create a seasonal mini-wardrobe based on an inspiring color palette.” Each sewist has eight weeks to create a moodboard and color palette that inspires her/him for the season and to sew the projects based on their color palette. In the end, they will (hopefully) have a coordinated mini-wardrobe. I’m not up for the sewing part, but coming up with a moodboard and color palette for fall sounds pretty fun to me . . . and inspiring. What do you think? 



My friend Jeanne's blog always inspires me too. I'd love to wear this outfit she painted . . . if only I could sew!

If you end up creating your own inspiration board or fall moodboard and color palette, do let me know. I’d love to see what inspires you!

Happy Monday friends.

Xoxo.