Florals with Ashley Woodson Bailey


fall florals

Hello friends! The past month has been a whirlwind of school activities, fall travels, baseball games and various other commitments. My busy schedule left me completely exhausted and drained of creative energy. When my friend and talented designer, Ashley Woodson Bailey, offered a floral workshop in her new studio off the Marietta Square, I took the opportunity to recharge my batteries and my creativity.

I've been following Ashely's work via social media for a couple years now, even before her move from Texas to Atlanta. Ironically, her move landed her just minutes from my own home and shortly after, our paths began to cross. A few years ago, Ashley survived a horrific car accident that left her with a broken back and lengthy recovery. Her path was changed and while she always knew she would work with flowers, she wasn't sure where her journey would take her. Fast forward to now and Ashley is a budding entrepreneur, artist, floral designer and photographer.


ashley woodson bailey

She recently opened her new shop called 200 Mill where she displays her artwork, collaborates with other artists and hosts workshops. Ashley shared her skills and years of experience with us during the workshop, allowing us to create our own gorgeous floral creations. She gave us just the right amount of guidance without hindering our own creative process, which was just what I needed. I could have spent hours playing with the gorgeous stems!

ashley woodson bailey

copper and torch

Never in a million years did I think I could create a flower arrangement so beautiful! Yes, I MADE this!


It was hard to go wrong with the lovely flowers and stems Ashley had on hand for us.


Ashley let us make a mess of her studio, assuring us that most creative processes result in some mess. It's all part of the beauty. Even the clippings are stunning, don't you think? While we worked, Ashley shared her personal story, her love for flowers, how the accident changed her work and how she blossomed in the end. She says, "every stem has a story" and her story is certainly inspiring and hopeful.



After the design process, Ashley led us outside for a lesson on how she shoots and edits her photos. She can spend hours in this process, capturing the perfect shot or detail of a flower.  I am continuously amazed that she uses her iphone to create such masterpieces. After she's finished editing, the final images are sent off to a top notch printer and shipped to customers around the world. 



shop 200 mill marietta square

If you haven't discovered Ashley's work yet, be sure to visit her website,  http://www.ashleywoodsonbailey.com/  I also LOVE this recent feature on her via One King's Lane, where you can also shop her prints until Sunday, November 2. 

*photos by Amy Mikkelsen


Honey Chipotle Peach Salad

peach and honey salad with Blue Diamond roasted almonds



August is national peach month so I've been trying to consume my fair share to support the local farmers. While I love peaches in cocktails, desserts and salsas, nothing seems to beat a plain perfectly ripe peach. However, with the Georgia heat, peaches seem to ripen so quick that I have to find  creative ways to eat them before they're past their prime. This salad was an easy weeknight summer meal and the different flavors and textures were a great combination! I received some honey roasted chipotle almonds from Blue Diamond and added them to the dish and the spice was a heavenly match to the sweet Georgia peaches. What's your favorite way to enjoy a summer peach?

// Ingredients //

1 peach, pitted, peeled and chopped
1 cup spinach
1/8 cup sliced red onion
1/8 cup roasted garbanzo beans
1/8 cooked and crispy diced pancetta
1/8 cup Blue Diamond honey roasted chipotle almonds

Dressing:

1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp dijon mustard

// Instructions //

1. Roast garbanzo beans at 400 degrees for 20 minutes and set aside to cool. Then saute pancetta over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until crispy. Set aside to cool.

2. Mix dressing ingredients and set aside. Assemble salad starting with spinach. Layer additional ingredients and top with homemade dressing. Serve and enjoy!

*This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond. All opinions are my own!
** Photography and styling by Amy Mikkelsen

The Weekend Cheers: Skinny Beach Bum

peach cocktail with pineapple coconut garnish

This cocktail has been on solid rotation all summer, particularly at the beach a few weeks ago, hence the name of this drink. I loooove the Smirnoff Sorbet Light Pineapple Coconut Vodka! Have you tried it yet? If not, RUN to the liquor store around the corner and pick up a bottle for the weekend. It's also low-cal...awesome!! To make the shredded coconut stick to the side of the glass, simply dip the rim in a little honey and you've got a delicious garnish. Cheers to the weekend fellow peaches! Hope it's a good one.

*****Skinny Beach Bum*****

// Ingredients //

1.5 oz. Smirnoff Sorbet Light Pineapple Coconut Vodka
2 oz. Grapefruit Juice
Shredded sweetened coconut, honey and a pineapple wedge for garnish

// Instructions //

Combine vodka and juice over ice. Garnish and serve!

*photo and styling by Amy Mikkelsen

Strawberry-Watermelon Infused Water

strawberry-watermelon-water-drink

We're slowly adjusting to our new school routine but I refuse to toss summer aside. This strawberry watermelon infused water was just the ticket to lift my spirits and hold onto the season a little longer. One sip of this drink and I knew summer was here to stay for a little while longer. And the sweet watermelon and tart strawberries balance each other perfectly!

Infused waters are a great way to consume beneficial vitamins without a ton of extra calories.  Watermelon is full of antioxidants and amino acids while strawberries are a Vitamin C powerhouse. Did you know watermelon may even assist with soothing sore muscles? With most of my infused water recipes, I try to squeeze a little lemon in for the detoxifying effects. Feel free to get creative with your infused waters and use whatever you have laying around or growing in your summer garden!

***** Strawberry Watermelon Infused Water *****

// Ingredients //

1 cup strawberries, stems removed
1 cup watermelon, cubed
Juice of half a lemon
32 oz. water

// Instructions //

1. In a blender, combine strawberries, watermelon and lemon juice. Puree until smoother. Then, pour juice through fine mesh strainer to remove pulp and seeds. (You may have to use the back of a spoon to work it through.) You should have about 1/2 cup of fruit juice.

2. Add fruit juice to 32 ounces of water and chill. When ready to serve, pour over ice and leftover fresh fruit.

*Photography and styling by Amy Mikkelsen