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November is the month for giving thanks and during this month of gratitude it is important to remember that actions do, in fact, speak louder than words. That is why I love this little reminder from our former president, John F. Kennedy: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” I am also reminded of the quote by Pierre Reverdy: “There is no love; there are only proofs of love.” In order to express our gratitude and our love we must show it, not simply say it. We must also remember to be grateful throughout the entirety of each year and not just in the month of November.

JFK

Happy (Almost) Thanksgiving!

Hello, trick-or-treaters! Tonight is the night for all things spooky and if you are the hostess this Halloween, or if you are celebrating solo, this is the drink for you. All you need is aged rum (1.5 oz), fresh lemon juice (0.75 oz), simple syrup (0.75), red wine (0.75), and one stick of cinnamon.

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fourSo what makes this cocktail so creepy? Red Rum spelled backwards is “Murder” and it doesn’t get more creepy than that. Talk about trick or treat!

What are your favorite tricks and treats for Halloween?

 

While there are several signs that mark this beautiful season we are in, nothing says ‘autumn has arrived’ quite like a porch full of pumpkins. However, carving pumpkins can be a pain, and not everyone is a master with a carving knife. So, what to do? Well, being the garden expert that I am, naturally, my “no-carve” solution involves plants. While this DIY pumpkin planter is not completely carve-free, it is a whole lot easier to achieve and, in my humble opinion, a lot easier on the eyes as well. With four simple materials and in four simple steps you will have the perfect, pumpkin planter for your porch.

materials-diy-pumpkinFirst, cut around the stem of your pumpkin, just like you normally would, making a hole large enough for your plant to fit into. Then, if you want, spray paint your pumpkin a fun, fall color. I chose copper for mine. After the paint has dried, choose your favorite, fall quote and use a paint pen to write it out onto your pumpkin. (Tip: If you know someone who is gifted at calligraphy, enlist their help!)quote pumpkinThen, simply plant your flowers just like you would in a normal planter.plant pumpkinEasy, right? And now your porch is the perfect picture of fall.pumpkin porch“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”

-George Eliot

I am a big believer in having a garden that is not only lovely to look at, but that is useful as well. I cannot say enough how beneficial an herb garden can be. There are so many practical ways to put everything from rosemary to mint to good use. One of my absolute favorite things to grow, however, is lavender. Not only does lavender look gorgeous growing in your garden, it seems as though there isn’t anything lavender cannot do. From homemade beauty products to a variety of drinks and desserts, lavender adds something special to everything it touches. That is why I have put together this list. And let me tell you, lavender has never looked so good!

1. Lavender and Honey Marshmallows via A Beautiful Mess
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2. Lavender Bouquet via Rustic Wedding Chic
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3. Lavender Oatmeal Tub Tea via Evermine Blog
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4. Lavender Shortbread Cookies via Mountain Mama Cooks
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5. Lavender and Rosemary Wreath via Sarah the Architect
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6. Lavender Lip Balm via Martha Stewart
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7. Lavender Linen Spray via Hello Natural
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8. Lavender Honey Crepe Cake via The House That Lars Built
lavender8What are some of your favorite ways to put lavender to good use?

As they say, all good things must come to an end, and summer will be over before you know it. With just a few weeks left for summer fun, it’s time to take out that to-do list you made at the beginning of the summer and start making some marks. If you don’t have a to-list of your own, try a few items on mine. I’ve already crossed these off. Tag—you’re it!

1. MAKE YOUR OWN SUMMER COCKTAIL
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2. WEAR FLOWERS IN YOUR HAIR
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3. PACK YOUR BAGS AND HIT THE ROAD
© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

4. START AN HERB GARDEN AND MAKE YOUR OWN BEAUTY PRODUCTS
© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

5. HOST AN OUTDOOR DINNER PARTY FOR FRIENDS
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6. EXPERIMENT WITH INFUSED WATER RECIPES
© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

Best of luck!

Staying hydrated has never tasted so good! I have been a fan of infused water for a while now and I am so happy to see something so healthy trending on the web. It is extremely important that we drink enough water throughout the day, but with so many other choices out there it is difficult to make the right one. By infusing water with your favorite fruits and herbs, you can make it as enjoyable as it is good for you. My favorite part about infusing water is that there is no wrong way to do it. It is an ongoing experiment and you can constantly try out new things. For todays post, I tried out three new recipes and one of them has become my new favorite.

1. GRAPEFRUIT + CUCUMBER + MINT
© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

2. WATERMELON + BLUEBERRIES + LEMON THYME
© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com
© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

3. LEMON + LAVENDER
© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com
© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

After allowing the water to sit for a little while, I tested all three and discovered that the lemon and lavender was my absolute favorite. The grapefruit, cucumber, and mint combination was too strong for my taste, while the watermelon, blueberry, and lemon thyme was too subtle. Ironically enough, I had thought that I would like the lemon and lavender least of all three, but the refreshing combination was unbelievably delicious.

If you have any infused water success stories—or failures—I would love to hear all about it! Feel free to comment and share below.


As women, we are constantly searching for the next best thing in beauty. Whether it’s for our hair, skin, or nails, we are always looking for ways to update and improve our routine. As a gardener, I am constantly searching for ways to utilize my garden in my every day life. Homemade beauty products are such a blessing, for both your budget and your body, and this rosemary and mint hair rinse is one of my most favorite discoveries yet.

All you need is a few sprigs of rosemary and mint, a metal colander, and a large pot.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

Then, in just four simple steps, you are ready to rinse.

1. Fill the pot with water and place the sprigs of rosemary and mint inside the colander.

2. Place the colander on top of the pot so that the sprigs touch the water.

3. Boil the water for 5 minutes. Then, let it sit for another 5 minutes to cool.

4. After your regular wash routine, simply pour the rinse over your scalp for a long-lasting clean scent and fresh feeling!

Sharing ideas and encouraging creativity is part of the heart of Carmen Johnston Gardens and exactly what happened at the annual Haven Conference in Atlanta. As a Southern Living Garden Lifestyle Editor, I was honored to present great ideas in plants & gardening with the always beautiful Southern Living Plant Collection.

The Southern Living Plant Collection, first introduced in Spring 2008, provides gardeners with innovative new plants designed to solve specific landscape challenges and to excel in Southern gardens. Each plant in the collection is the result of years of plant evaluations, plant trials and research.

During the two sessions, I had SO much fun presenting lifestyle gardening solutions with container gardens, something I’m excited to pioneer and to share! My co-presentor for the two sessions was HGTV/DIY’s Jeff Wilson and I loved hearing about his home adventures and the building of his deck using Thompson’s WaterSeal products.

Carmen Johnston, Carmen Johnston Gardens

 

Some of the most popular tips from my session were the “stuff and shove” where we created beautiful container gardens with plants from the gorgeous Southern Living collection. Using the Three Ts, tall, thick and trailing, DIY bloggers from across the Southeast helped me create fresh container gardens which were also given out to several lucky winners. Everybody went home with their own lovely plant and so can you by visiting your local Home Depot today!

Carmen Johnston, Carmen Johnston Gardens

 

We took a variety of fun snapshots and assemble a quick glimpse in this video.

 

Remember, have fun and don’t forget, if you fail, just give it back to the Earth and try again!

 

 

 

Quick, easy entertaining and garden solutions are being served up at an exciting event called Haven convening in Atlanta this weekend, a conference started by some of the top DIY Bloggers in the nation. As a Southern Living Gardening Lifestyle Editor, I’ll be sharing exciting ideas from the Southern Living Plant Collection including six DIY gardening and decorating projects from get your hands-dirty to ready-made solutions!

Carmen Johnston, Garden Lifestyle Expert, Carmen Johnston Gardens

This will be happening Friday and Saturday at 2 p.m. (EDT). For those of you not attending, you’ll want to check out the highlights of the great ideas we’ll be sharing via Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and follow the hashtag #havenconf as well.

I’ll also be sharing some of the hottest trends for gardening in 2015 at the Southern Living potting shed as part of our exhibit for the event and we will be posting plenty of those pics too!

So here’s a little nugget to inspire you to join us on this weekend adventure. Give color a boost! Keep your blooms looking their best by pinching all dead foliage and blooms. Be sure to give them a drink -plants like us need a lot of water during the heat of the summer. And, are you done with your morning coffee? Give your plants a java jolt pouring the left over coffee into your plants.

Carmen Johnston Gardens

 

We are going to be crafting a floral centerpiece with ice, ice cream and florals. Intrigued? Join us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and be sure to hashtag #havenconf, #SLPC, #CarmenJohnstonGardens.

Flower crowns have become extremely popular over the last few years and it doesn’t take more than fifteen seconds of scrolling through your Pinterest feed to understand why. Even though everyone and their mama is wearing one, I love how no two flower crowns look the same. Just like every flower is uniquely its own, so too is every flower crown and today I’m going to share with you three different ideas for making one of your own.

The steps for all three flower crowns are the same, the structure is what sets them apart. The first look focuses on the front of the crown. By using some larger blooms in the front section, and then filling in with smaller blooms, you create a crown that is nice and full in the front. This won’t take as long as filling the entire crown but it is equally as stunning! The second is the exact opposite. Instead of creating fullness, you use smaller, simpler blooms to create a single look all the way around. For the third and final look, we made a crown that is meant to be off-centered. Create a cluster of a few of your favorite blooms and then group them together off to one side. This will make it look as though you have flowers effortlessly tucked behind you ear.

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Having never made a flower crown before, I enlisted the help of a friend for today’s post. Trial and error led her to believe that these flower crowns could be made in three easy steps.

STEP ONE:
Snip the stems! Leave about an inch of stem so that it can be attached to the crown.

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STEP TWO:
Create the crown! Use several pieces of floral wire and braid them together to create a sturdy frame.

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STEP THREE:
Fill with flowers! Using your floral tape, lay the stem on the wire and then wrap with tape. Then continue adding blooms until you’re pleased with the finished look.

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I hope this has been helpful! I may be a garden expert, but flower crowns are not my forte. The important thing to remember is just to have fun with it. After all, it’s hard to go wrong with flowers in your hair.

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