Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A very Merry Christmas

We are so very blessed to be safe after what could have been an absolute tragedy for us yesterday. We spent the day with Tyler's dear parents, his brother Travis and my dad came down from Toronto to share in the joy of Christmas and Penny's delicious cooking. Around 9pm we decided to head back to the church house to relax, maybe watch a movie and snuggle with the bun. I was absolutely horrified when we walked into the house full of thick dark smoke.  The fireplace had some hot coals escape under the unit and they were slowly burning the floor boards all day long. If we had been any later, it would most certainly have burned our home to the ground. Dad and Tyler moved quickly, Tyler crawled under the church calling up to dad where to pour the buckets to extinguish the burning wood below. I took our wee bunny to the car and hoped he wasn't at all hurt by breathing in that much smoke. After about an hour the church had cleared of a lot of the smoke and everything was under control. The scary thing is imagining what would have happened if we stayed for another drink, originally we were contemplating sleeping over at Penny and Bill's. We are just so so lucky.
I'm currently writing this from the couch in my pj's, I smell like a camp fire, it's going to take a few weeks for the smell to clear but everyone is safe. Coincidentally, 3 days ago, the original owner of the church contacted me to say he had pictures of the church and a video of it on fire, back in May 1990 it burned down to the brick! Kind of strange yes? We are just so thankful we caught it before it was too late. We could have lost so much.  
I feel especially thankful today for so many things in my life. My dear family and friends, my wee shop. Coriander Girl is going strong and during this week off I've got so much dreaming to do! So, I'm going to get to that and I'll see you back here early January. It's just so important to give priority to the things that matter, finding the time for the people we love, taking the time to do the things we love to do.
Here's to that!

Alison xoxo

Friday, December 14, 2012

Wedding Reflections~ Anabela + Geoff

Friends Anabela and Geoff got married this summer and it was too beautiful for words!  Shot by the fabulous Celine Kim! Click here to see many more beautiful photographs on Etsy and to get the full story.
Congratulations once again Anabela and Geoff (Fieldguided!) 

Cake by the lovely Nikole. Click here to visit her blog

Alison xo

Monday, December 10, 2012

Water colour workshop!

Alison of Coriander Girl and Martha of My Time Watercolour invite you to a
Card Painting Party
At Coriander Girl, 1604 Queen St. West
 Friday December 14th 6-9PM

Delicious nibblies and mulled cider will be served

A wreath (handcrafted by Alison) will be used as inspiration to create cards and raffled off at the end of the event

Martha will help you make 6 to 10 cards of a seasonal nature to take home to send to family and friends

Begin the season with some fun and treat yourself to a new passion: watercolour painting

$45.00 per person or $80.00 for 2

Call the shop for more information. I hope you can make it! 416 532 3333
To read more about Martha click here! She is an amazing teacher and if this is something you've always wanted to try, it's the perfect, most relaxed setting to do it.
Alison xo

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Got to get up!

Coriander Girl Opening day September 2nd 2009 

Hi everyone! Thanks for checking in. So, I'm always pretty open in my writing but lately I've been so busy with wedding season and who am I kidding?... just being a business owner that I barely have time to get really real, you know? Things are changing though, my priorities are shifting and I'm looking forward to getting back to my writing here. 
You guys know the story? When I opened Coriander Girl over three years ago I had no idea what I was in for. I just liked flowers and I wanted to bring sweet little garden inspired arrangements to my community, we were sans florist from Dufferin to Roncesvalles. I believed in my little dream so much that when I saw the "for rent" sign, even with only fifty bucks in the bank I signed a three year lease, then ran home to write my business plan.  After only six months blog TO said we were one of the TOP TEN florists in Toronto, TORONTO?! House and Home magazine did a full page shop story! This isn't me bragging, this is me still as shocked and amazed as the day I read that. I'm self taught and so it's really hard not to feel like a fraud sometimes. I'm waiting for the flower police to show up or something. Certainly, by now, the hours I've banked I can call myself a florist but it wasn't always so. The first few weddings I sat up all night wrapping boutonnieres in front of You Tube or passing it off to Kerriander because I was too scared to screw it up. My friend Sarah(fellow florista) and I spend a lot of time cursing wrist corsages.  The one thing I do know is that it was my true love of flowers that inspired my wee shop and it's the reason we moved to a bigger location after only 2 years. I am never more happy then when I'm making arrangements, late night dance parties, the rabbit circling my feet.  Certificate or no, it's what I was born to do and I believe that's why it's working. 

photo courtesy of Trish Papadakos 

My dreams are starting to come back in view, this summer was so intense that I could barely breathe let alone dream but now with more time, more frequent trips to "the church" (our home/sanctuary in Quinte West region where I'm currently writing this) I've got my mojo back! I feel hopeful and excited for Coriander Girl. There is nothing better than feeling hopeful again. You might know me to be little miss sunshine and rainbows but even I can fall in to the depths of despair. Here's to fighting for our melancholic hearts to sing again! Here's to being ok with doing absolutely nothing at all and regular dance breaks to lighten that heavy heart.  
Whose with me?! Dance it out with this new Serena Ryder favourite, Stompa.

And happy 30th wedding anniversary to Mama and Pop. You guys are amazing. The passion you feel for each other after 30 years is an inspiration to us all! 
Alison xo

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Day In The Life of The Shop

Hello everyone, Lauren Wilson here. I wanted to take a moment and share some snapshots of the shop recently, from the honey cabinet to the wild chamomile stems. I hope you enjoy them.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Glory Hole Doughnuts! Local business shout out!

Glory glory halleluja! I never thought I'd say Glory Hole and delectable in the same sentence but here I am! You know a glory hole is really just a pleasurable place, let's not judge but unite! To pleasure seekers everywhere, praise to the doughnut queen herself Miss Ashley Jacot De Boinod and her fantastic team of fun Glory Holers. This place rules, it's like heaven birthed a doughnut baby and only 4 doors down from Coriander Girl! Ashley uses only the best ingredients and her flavours are as varied as an ice cream case. Toast and butter(yah!), chocolate pretzel(yes please), cinnamon(slam dunk), banana cream(in my dream), lemon merengue(hello), cookies and cream(yes yes yes!) There's more people!

These doughnuts take me back to a trans canada road trip 10 years ago, my friend Laura and I stopped in Salmon Arm on our way to Tofino, that's right, Salmon Arm! This is where the doughnut bar was set for me and set impossibly high. Grandma Memm made a doughnut that put Mr. Horton to shame (Sorry Tim but it's not that hard to kick your doughnuts ass) but Grandma Memm just got it, the perfect density, soft sweet pillowy dough like a choir of angels singing, dancing and raising the roof on my tongue. These perfect doughnuts lasted me to Banff, and since, I've been searching for that same doughnut high that never quite hits the mark. Too doughy, too glooey, too sweet, too dense, not dense enough, too greasy, ughh. Was it all imagined?!

Then I tried the Glory Hole doughnut. It took me aback, I stumbled, shook a little, I may have even cried tears because, there it was, a doughnut to rival Grandma Memm. Was I dreaming?
Oh no, this place is real and it's in Parkdale, did I mention only 4 doors down? I think my family is planning a doughnut intervention, "Alison, we love you, we miss you."

Granda Memm, wherever you are, thank you. You taught me to hold out for the best, if I hadn't come to Salmon Arm, I might be held up in some cheap motel, elbow deep in a bakers dozen! You saved me.
Here's to Glory Hole! Doughnut lovers, pleasure seekers, confectionary dreamers unite in harmonious glee!
Visit Glory Hole doughnuts here for more delicious info.

Doughnut fries with raspberry coulis! I know. 

Alison xo

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Wedding Reflections: Rachel and Paul

Here are some lovely images of Rachel and Paul's wedding taken by the incredible Joseph and Jaime.  The florals were among some of our favourites created this season. Congratulations Rachel and Paul! Could they be any cuter? 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I'm back baby!!

Hello sweet sugar nuggets!
So, wedding season has officially come to an end. I've got some wicked battle scars to show for it,  I saw things in the field this year that will haunt me in my sleep but, I'm a stonger, faster and smarter florist then I was this time last year. Bring it!!! Thank you to Kerriander(Master Yoshi) for coming back to help when I needed you most, sweet Sarah of My Luscious Backyard for late night boutonniere wrapping, pep talks and kitkats, I couldn't have done it without you! Thank you to dear Lauren for shop help and always keeping my spirits up, you're so "cuuuuute." The Coriander Dad brought his A game this season and even did an entire wedding set up on his own while I was setting up my dear friends wedding in Huntsville, Jaime of The Sassy Lamb! Congrats to all the brides and grooms this season. My wedding clients were all super cool people, the kind of people you would want to have dinner with, how lucky am I?
Here are some photos from the last few months! Where is the time going? I feel like Rip VanWinkle!
Much love to you all.
Alison xo

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A little rest goes a long way

It's amazing what a little sleep can do for the mind. I feel like a new woman. This summer has been the busiest of my life. The flower shop is doing so well and I thank the stars daily for my dear customers.
I've been dreaming about so many fun things I want to do in the shop and come November I'll have some time to do them!
I ended up removing the last 'coriander bits', it was fine for my friends and family but might have confused new customers a little. I'm no stranger to melancholy and I'm all about keeping it real with my blog followers but something about it felt a little too vulnerable. Some how dancing with wild abandon feels safer these days.
My dad is a positive, glass half full kinda guy and he said my post made him sad. That's the last thing I want anyone to feel when they read this. For the few of you who saw it and left such dear comments, I really appreciate your kindness and unwavering support.
Warm wishes to you all tonight as your toes search for the warm spots in the bed clothes.
Alison xo

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Summer flowers and The Grid!

Summer bouquets make me smile.


And a beautiful write up in The Grid a couple of weeks ago! Thank you to dear Nancy Tong and Luc Rinaldi. What an honour! I hope Captain John is okay. 

As summer weddings wind down a bit I'll have more time for blogging and dancing! Well, there's always time for dancing. 

Alison xo

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Empire State of Mind~more pics!

(Sing) When in New York, come and juggle whipped cream tomatoes, there's nothing you can't do.
See, it's way better!

So, we decided to walk the Brooklyn bridge to get pizza at what is supposed to be the "best pizza joint ever"
We walked....
and we walked....
And walked a little more... okay a lot more
And finally arrived to Grimaldi's pizza! The line up was over 18 parties deep. 
Yippeeee! It was a delicious pizza but what's with restaurants and their basil rations? We met two cool guys who sat bedside us and all in all it was worth the walk to Brooklyn.

So, the story of this dress. That night, after we walked the highline and had drinks, we ended up back in our West Village hood and found ourselves looking in the window of a sweet little cafe. A guy walks up to Tyler shakes his hand and says, "full respect man, I was just walking past and the vision of your lady, the back of that dress, is stunning." Tyler says, "Do I know you?" I cut in, "It's Kiefer Sutherland, my love." We proceed to tell him we're from Toronto. He erupts with glee, asks our names, shakes our hands and invites us over to the "dirty bar over there across the street" and disappears. But not before shouting 'bullocks" after I say, " Keifer, you just made the last night of our trip even cooler. " 
What a lovely time we had, so completely fun and terribly romantic. Much of this trip didn't get photographed because I didn't always want to lug around my SLR. Next time I'm upgrading my data plan! Do you have any mid summer plans? Trips you want to take but have talked yourself out of?
Book that flight, reserve that train seat! You know that saying, something about regretting the things you didn't do. Make it happen and then tell us all about it! 
Alison xo