How to Make Succulent Terrariums on Driftwood without Soil

A friend and I are planning a baby shower for some friends, and I wanted to do terrarium gifts for the guests. I am also sewing little tote bags as giveaways. I love this video on how to make a terrarium with driftwood. It’s simple, easy to care for, and so adorable!


Creative Women feature: Award-Winning Filmmaker Sarah Gerber


This week is a busy one. My friend did a wedding dress upheaval and we completely changed the style of dress she wanted for her wedding. Oy vay. I’m just really glad that she likes the style we’re going with. It’s a satin twist front old Hollywood style ivory dress with a long train. I’m really excited to make it, but I kept getting road blocks in finding enough fabric to make it, and I don’t want to drive into L.A. to get it. On that note, off to the store to source the materials, and Home Depot to finish some home projects.

p.s. If you’re a typical Jane Austen fan, don’t see the movie Love and Friendship. If you’re more of a Whit Stillman fan, do see it.

Thoughts on Plants. Plants on birthdays.

For my birthday, my husband came home with a beautiful blooming pink Kalanchoe succulent plant in hand. He skipped lunch so that he could leave work early and find a plant I would like and not kill (yes, I, the plant enthusiast, unfortunately regularly kill plants. I do best when I can plant directly in the ground.) The most interesting thing about this plant is you can make it believe that it is winter so that it will bloom again in summer. You just give it some morning sunlight, stick it in a closet for 12-14 hours every day for a month and a half, and it should start blooming again. Hurrah! (side note: I think I gave it too much water and it started to wilt and turn brown. Note to you- don’t do that.)


Amazing Creative Women

I found this WeWork feature on award-winning filmmaker Sarah Gerber inspiring and insightful. I first met Benedict Cumberbatch lookalike David Gerber in Los Angeles, and while serving alongside him, was always impressed with how driven and kind he was. It makes sense then that he would marry such a compassionate, talented woman in Sarah. Read on!

With Twenty Twenty Studios, Sarah Gerber Brings International Stories into Focus

My obsessive neighbor’s secret for a weed-free lawn: generic Menard’s Weed and Feed (and check out my rose garden!)

I feel like I’ve been so lazy with my garden this year, as I’ve had so much else going on, but I guess if you nurture them more in the springtime, they’ll do just fine.

This one hadn't bloomed all summer
This one hadn’t bloomed all summer, and now, glory glory

Last night I was harvesting my indeterminate roma tomatoes off of my 4 deck container plants and my neighbors came home, so I offered them some tomatoes. That led to her chit chatting for an hour about weddings and plants, and by the help of the moonlight she broke out her beloved continuous RoundUp and sprayed my sidewalk overgrown with weeds– the perfect end to a summer night. In the first couple of years of home ownership I was very against any chemicals on the lawn, and then the weeds and creeping charlie broke me. I’ll just make sure to keep the chemicals away from my vegetables, and use it sparingly. pink_rose1yellow_rose_full

We also admired my $14 InnoGear solar walkway lights I put up myself with my rickety ladder and cheap power drill (I really could’ve used a more powerful drill for this project.) I did my research and am satisfied with this choice. They have been up for a few months and stay lit throughout the night, getting brighter when there is motion nearby. Let’s see how they hold up through the winter. I put these solar lights up because I have this thing where I ask myself during every purchasing decision I make, “If all hell breaks loose in my city, will this sustain me?”

Menard's Weed & Feed
Menard’s Weed & Feed

I have also been having problems with a weedy and sparse lawn, and my neighbor told me about a product she has been loving. After trying the name-brand kind and being dissatisfied because it killed her lawn, she got Menard’s house brand of Weed & Feed, around $14. It feeds your lawn while also killing the weeds in it. The sweet thing is, she offered to use her broadcaster and apply the Weed & Feed on our lawn herself. I said I’d buy the spring Weed & Feed and she’d take care of the late summer/fall bag, and we struck a deal. I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t a major high for me this week.

I love rosemary topiary plants!

My friend Tami showed me her new rosemary topiary she bought this weekend, and I am slightly obsessed.

Tami's rosemary topiary
Tami’s rosemary topiary

I didn’t have any rosemary plants to play with so yesterday I played around with one of my starter lilac bushes and made it into a topiary. My neighbor has a lilac tree like the one below that is gorgeous, but my little guy has a few more years before he reaches his full glory.

Korean Dwarf Lilac Tree from. Purchase from

It’s spring! Plant these Giant Allium flowers

We love these Dr. Seussian giant allium flowers! How fun would these be to see in your backyard? Growing these would be like being a kid again with your own comically-sized flowers, while still maintaining adult decorum and responsibility.

Plant outdoors after frost or indoors weeks before last frost. Dries well. Buying these now…


Easy, scientific way to wrap a gift

I love giving and receiving beautifully-wrapped gifts. It’s a thoughtful gesture that is making a creative comeback. I have figured out a simple, sustainable, and scientific way for me to wrap an aesthetically pleasing gift quickly. 1) neutral wrapping paper is a safe bet 2) Layer tchotchkes in different textures and prints to make it fun 3) Add a sprig of something living to make it come alive!


– roll of brown kraft paper or a paper bag (recyclable materials!)

– decorative washi tape (optional)

– sprig of something living, or some tschotkes you have laying around (once I planted a sprig someone had used on my gift, and had it for over a year!)

– twine or cloth ribbon (I save ribbon people use to giftwrap my gifts)

– a gift!

Directions: It’s easy, just wrap it and bling it out!

pretty wrapped gift birthday christmas
There’s a sample bottle of Thieves, some Yarrow plant from my garden, a 3-D textured tag I made, and the polka dot thing is a line of hair ties I have.
pretty wrapped gift birthday christmas
With a vial of flowers from my yard: red rose, yarrow, and some purple lamb’s ear stuff.

pretty wrapped gift birthday christmas

My favorite yoga videos, mini watermelons…

1. I have been feeling a lot of tension in my body lately, so I did some of these yoga videos, and I liked them so much I wanted to share them with you:

Deep stretches click here.

Tight shoulders/ back here.

I’ll also put peppermint and lavender on these tight spots which feels amazing, and sometimes diffuse Frankincense essential oil in my Aroma Diffuser/purifier while I do yoga.

2.  Also, I was having major cramps just now, making me want to go home and lie down, so I put 1 drop of Peppermint and 1 drop of Lavender Young Living therapeutic grade essential oils on my tummy and within 3 minutes I was feeling normal. You can also put it on your tailbone to alleviate cramping.

3. I’m about to plant my mini Mexican watermelons! I’m soaking them in hot water first in order to help them germinate faster. I could even take a hammer and crack them open a bit, but this method is fine. I ordered some on Amazon and they came 2 months later, haha. Update: these did not grow. =/

mini Mexican watermelon seeds

photo credit:
photo credit:

Dangers in ibuprofen, advil. Natural alternative: peppermint oil

Today I had a slight headache and rubbed just one drop of peppermint essential oil by Young Living into my hands and on the back of my neck, then inhaled it… and voîla! I felt like roses and sunshine. I normally make my own mint tea because the good Lord made mint grow wildly all over my yard, but when I’m not at home I just put a drop of this essential oil in warm-hot water (not boiling!) and it’s delicious and soothes my throat. (continued)

Since I was a kid I never liked taking synthetic drugs, which is why I feel so blessed to have found Young Living’s therapeutic-grade oils (thanks Melissa!) I was curious what the side effects of taking ibuprofen are, and I was shocked. Below are my findings:

Ibuprofen can cause a number of side effects.

For this reason, take lowest possible dose of ibuprofen for the shortest possible time needed to control your symptoms.

Common side effects of ibuprofen include:

  • nausea (feeling sick)
  • vomiting (being sick)
  • diarrhoea (passing loose, watery stools)
  • indigestion (dyspepsia)
  • abdominal (tummy) pain

-From read more

Children’s Motrin and Children’s Advil

Both drugs have a number of known side effects including Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN) in addition to other side effects. SJS and TEN are serious conditions that can cause permanent disabilities, blindness and death.

The painful struggle and death of nine-year-old Kaitlyn Langstaff is one heartbreaking example of the dangers of Children’s Motrin. Kaitlyn’s parents have sued the maker of the drug alleging that their daughter’s reaction to Children’s Motrin left Kaitlyn unable to see, speak or eat and that the manufacturer failed to warn the public of the dangers and possibly fatal reactions.

-From read more 

Learn more about essential oils or contact me to purchase.

Blonde bombshell teaches how to make a terrarium

Heather Morphew: Des Moines jewelry designer and gardener with a heart of gold


When I last saw Heather she was making party favors for her Maine wedding: 30 pieces of jewelry for the women guests attending the wedding. I wanted to write about Heather because I think she’s pretty cool! She’s a homegrown Iowa girl who loves working with her hands, and has been making jewelry since she was in 2nd grade. “I ran into a friend of mine at the farmer’s market last summer and she’s like, ‘remember that pair of earrings you made for me in 2nd grade and i wore them for my school pictures?'”  (laughs) Heather works at Heartland AEA as an Early Childhood Special Education Consultant working with babies from birth to 3 years that have developmental delays. She only works a 192 day contract, so it allows her flexibility to do gardening and jewelry. What a nice setup!



Heather designs jewelry in her spare time when she’s not remodeling her home or making terrariums.  Her jewelry is currently sold at the Octagon in Ames and Arboretum gift shop in Madrid. Past retail shops include the East Village Day Spa and Accenti.  “I also like to do art shows: Reiman Garden art show in Ames and Art on the Prairie in Perry.”

Heather’s favorite produce to grow are sweet peas or strawberries. Says Heather, “I don’t make jam- I grow strawberries because I like to eat them.” (smiles) I’ll just sit in the garden eating sweet peas because they’re so good… I like to go morel mushroom hunting out by my mom’s house- you can go in public areas but it’s kind of picked over. They usually grow in the same places every year so you get to know what are good mushroom spots. I fry them in butter or I bread them with Ritz cracker crumbs.”

A little known fact about Heather? “I’m tougher than I look. I also have a pretty big vegetable garden every year and I do canning. I have a big deep freezer for all of my garden produce. My family always did that- I just helped my dad in the garden. I just enjoy knowing where my food’s coming from.”

See below to see how Heather makes terrariums! (buy your own cloche for a terrarium at our Trouvés store here)






IMG_2754How to Make Terrariums


– Cool vintage glass jar, with or without a lid (a lid is easier, so that it can create its own moist environment with little maintenance)

– Miniatures to put in the jar like rocks, fairies, mini gnomes

– 1-4 slow-growing terrarium plants (with similar climate needs if you are using a lid)

– Big spoon or trowel

– Activated charcoal pieces

– Moss (optional)

– Potting soil

– small rocks

1. Clean/disinfect jar thoroughly

2. Put 1-3 inches of drainage material (rocks) in the bottom of the jar.

3. Next, put a thin layer of charcoal to keep the soil fresh.

4. Add potting soil then plants.

5. Add miniatures then moss (optional).

6. Add a tablespoon of water. Put the lid on. Place in a shady area.

The terrarium with a lid needs almost no water. Test the soil of terrariums without a lid before watering with a small amount of water. Enjoy!

Gardening, rain barrels… 5 exciting things that are so right now

It’s Saturday, and I want to share with you things I am discovering or loving right now:

1. Pinterest has unlimited secret boards now!!

2. My sweet potato vine I am trying to grow from organic sweet potatoes I got from Gateway Market is not going very well. After 2 weeks I see 3 roots barely growing. If it doesn’t grow in 2 weeks I may be forced to go out and buy some starter plants to make a version of the below arrangement for my porch. …although I do have an indoor vine plant that I normally bring outside in the summer- I may use that too.

sweet potato vine spike and fill pot arrangement
sweet potato vine spike and fill pot arrangement

3. When my rain barrel overflows, the water gets into the foundation of the house. I’ve found an easy solution! Just put an overflow drain hose in. See here.

4. Planting seeds! In our grow zone, it is officially 2 weeks before the last frost date, so I am going to plant Cosmo flower seeds that I got from my friend Melissa, and plant spring peas outside, to join the cilantro seeds I already planted 3 weeks ago. I also pruned my rose bush (which I should’ve done in the fall), and I planted the 6 inch stems in the ground for new rose plants to grow. I need to pour some rooting hormone on it this weekend because I was lazy and didn’t do it before. One man actually puts the stem in a potato first then plants the rose branch.


5. Accompany: an ethically edited style website. I love this company! They’ve curated ethical fashion and home companies to make it easier to shop responsibly. They even have Raven + Lily, a company I love and used to volunteer for in their early greeting card days.

accompany us ethical style fashion