South Coast Botanic Garden

"Don't ask, don't say. Everything lies in silence." Sometimes you just need to get away from it all to rejuvenate. The beauty of nature always calms me. It also fires up my creativity. I mean, look at this tree: Know what it's called? Shaving-brush tree. Spot on! I recently explored the vast South Coast Botanic Garden, which covers 87 acres. Different sections have varied features, including desert plants, majestic redwoods, verdant meadows, exotics fruits, and a sensory garden (my … [Read more...]

Wordless Wednesday: A Walk in the Woods

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Wordless Wednesday: Rose

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WordlessWednesday: Weddings

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Cherry Blossoms Painting

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Sakura

"A smile is the most effective medicine." Every spring I enjoy watching the blossoms burst forth. Their bright cheeriness gives me joy and hope. My favorite tree is the sakura. Cherry blossoms exude a sweetness and delicacy with their petals. In historical Japan, people would often relax and picnic under their branches. Festivals still abound world-wide as folks flock to see their glorious floral displays. What speaks spring to you? P.S. Fun fact: Sakura mochi is modeled after the cherry … [Read more...]

Cherry Blossoms

"Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions." I've always loved cherry blossoms. Their luscious petals remind me of springtime and hope, helping me dream of goodness in the world. I know I'm fortunate to live close to places that hold annual cherry blossom festivals that celebrate the flowers and the beautiful culture of Japan. When I visited the local Japanese market the other week, I saw this night light and had to buy it! Fun fact: Along with the … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Snow Drop Flowers

Snow drop flowers: edible flowers, often boiled with anise Snow drop flowers are used in traditional Chinese stews. The petals add a sharp tang to healing broths. These edible flowers are often paired with anise or five-spice to increase the potency of herbal remedies. April Fools! (But I hope you enjoyed the lovely spring photo!) … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Rose Tea

Rose tea: green tea flavored with roses I have roses blooming in my yard, but I haven't been a big fan of eating rose-flavored treats. (The blame goes to a rose Turkish Delight I ate. I thought it would be like ambrosia on my tongue, given its prominence in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe... but I was sorely disappointed.) My one exception to this rule is rose tea. It's green tea infused with a hint of the floral. I like the subtlety of the flavor, and the bitterness of the tea … [Read more...]

Flower Arranging, Ikebana-Style

"Your efforts are budding--results will appear soon." Ikebana (literally translated as "flowers kept alive") is the art of Japanese flower arranging. Originating in Japan, the art form spread to Taiwan during their period of Japanese rule. Ikebana uses symbolism in its organization, particularly stressing the connection between nature and humanity. Traits of ikebana include: emphasis on line and form focus on stems and leaves, not just petals long-term tradition, having evolved … [Read more...]