Celebrating the coming of Spring fills me with the utmost amount of joy. I couldn't ever obtain enough flowers, ripe fruit, or iced coffee during this season. Walks in the neighborhood and wearing hats around town causes an unbreakable smile across my face.
The other day I got off of work, bought four of the most perfectly ripened red bartlett pears, a coconut water vanilla iced latte, and rushed over to Nate's apartment for an afternoon walk, before grabbing dinner at a local food truck (with the most incredible Mexi-Thai tacos!!). The weather was 73 and cloudy and we walked with bliss. Springfield is known for moody forecasts, so of course we were savoring this weather with the knowledge and probability that we might have to grab a coat for the next morning.
That evening, I met with a good friend who was in town from school. We had pastries and coffee and talked about dreams and our exciting youthful aspirations. Chatting about life and hazy desires always leaves me with a certain fuel of inspiration and motivation to continue to press on towards ultimate goals.
Spring is such a refreshing season. It's always a marvelous reminder of new beginnings and tangible hope. I'm welcoming Spring with open arms and bright eyes. I hope you allow Spring to bring exhilarating ideas and feelings into your hearts.
Upon walking into Eleanor’s home there is a definite sense
of welcome and warmth. Her house that’s shared with two other girls is full of
greens that reflect the sun’s bright rays. The wind is blowing through the open
windows and doors as Eleanor ushers me into the kitchen where she is finishing
the final preparations of composing the icing for the most delicious-looking carrot
Eleanor is a nineteen-year-old Baker at local, Tea Bar & Bites in Springfield, Missouri. The café is stationed on one of the most charming streets in our hometown. The street is decorated with early twentieth-century homes and old-time charisma, with a neighborhood grocery store filled with local produce and organic goods. Not far from Tea Bar & Bites, houses a tiny patisserie with the most delectable treats. All of these things create a certain irreplaceable experience to be had on Pickwick Street. You can find Eleanor waiting on diners outside in the tabled courtyard at Tea Bar & Bites. Her smile radiates a love for what she does; you can tell Eleanor feels at home.
Eleanor has been working and baking in Tea Bar & Bite’s
kitchen for the past four years. When Eleanor was fifteen she brought her
well-known sugar cookies into the bakery and café to meet the owner and present
and prove her worth as a potential staff member at the local eatery. Of course,
she was hired on, with only little experience, but a fire burning in her heart
to learn and grow. She worked under another baker at the café for some time,
while learning much from her grandmother, and experimenting on her friends, she
developed quickly. Sugar cookies upon sugar cookies were baked and now Eleanor
finds herself inventing creative and original treats and filling wedding and
party orders with breeze.
I find myself drooling over Eleanor’s impeccable talent, quite literally! I’ve enjoyed following her work on Instagram and visiting Tea Bar & Bites to sample her tasty treats as often as I can. I must say this Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese frosting and caramel drizzle was by far the best Carrot Cake I’ve experienced, and even quite possibly the best cake I’ve ever tasted. If you’re local or ever in the humble town of Springfield, Missouri drop by Tea Bar & Bites Bakery & Café to familiarize your taste buds with Eleanor’s handiwork. You won’t be disappointed, this girl’s worth following.
Today, I come bearing great news. I am excited to announce
the first give away here on the blog… and I am even more excited to tell you
who and what it’s all about.
My good friend, Barrett Hillenburg has recently produced a
fantastic line of prints. His Geo-graphical prints had me at hello when he
first shared them with me. He took a fresh spin on the traditional state prints
to create a more personal and fun way of representing and owning your hometown.
Here is a little Q & A with Barrett to allow you guys a
little insight into what the idea was behind the geo-graphical prints, as well
as what sets these prints apart from the other state prints!
What inspired you to create this line of Prints?
The first Geo-Graphical print (Missouri) was created to spur some
creative juices. I work a design job where I don't have absolute freedom of
creativity - it's a lot of designing something someone else has already thought
up. I sat down one day and created something I liked and I thought
others would like them too. As I showed the prints to friends and family, it
became obvious that people were interested in getting a copy for themselves.
What is the purpose behind Geo-Graphical Prints?
The ultimate purpose behind Geo-Graphical Prints is to connect with
people. When people purchase a print and hang it on their wall, they are
inviting our artwork into their home, their work, their lives. It's a special
thing to be able to connect with people through something like that.
Every person, no matter where they come from, has an enormous sense
of pride about their hometown or home state. That is the beauty of these prints
- everyone can use one in their home. There isn't a specific demographic,
gender, age or type of person that these prints are for. They are for
I love how the Prints are so unique and specific
and that they give info into a bit about that location. Tell us a little bit
about why you decided to include that on the prints!
The little small details are my favorite part of these prints. The
prints are clean and simple, but offer such a great look into that specific
location. The small details about the locations, such as the demonym, area code
and exact location offer details about that location that not many people may
know. When I create these prints, I try to find the most iconic elements of
that location for the small images each print contains; it's such a fun way to
represent the different locations. Probably my favorite part of the prints is
the nickname at the bottom. Each location has such a unique nickname that
provides some small insight into that location.
I really love these prints and can’t wait to get them up in my home!
To enter the giveaway you must follow through with these two things:
Hello lovely readers. Alexa here to share with you my go-to eye makeup. I love this eye because you can dress it up or down, depending on the lip. Lets begin!
I start by prepping the area around my eye and create my brows (you can find my brow tutorial here). Normally, I would prep my eye and finish my shadow before applying my foundation, but for the sake of the tutorial, I went ahead and finished everything. I do that to keep the fall-out from the eye shadow from my face.
Next, I apply a taupe or ash brown shadow to my crease, and into the outer corner. I apply it with a bigger shadow brush, like the one shown in the photo. I make sure to follow my natural eye shape while doing this.
After that, I use a smaller, more precise brush to apply a warmer brown to the outer corner, and halfway up the crease. This color also goes on the bottom lash line. I apply by looking upward and sweeping back and forth.
A deeper brown is then applied to the outer corner and blended slightly along the top lash line. I use an off white shadow on the lid, inner corner and brow bone, and then blend with the same brush.
I take an angled brush and dip it in my liner, and draw a small line starting from the corner of my eye, and drawing toward the end of my brow. I create a small triangle and fill it in, and then continue brushing my liner along my top lash line.
Using a white pencil, I color in my water line on the bottom, and also the inner corner. This will make the eyes appear bigger.
Friends, I am so excited to present to you the first collaboration
and feature here on Floral Mountains. I want to introduce to you my dear and
beautiful friend, Alexa Brooke Smothers of Horizon and Form. Alexa will be visiting my blog once every couple of
months to show you how to highlight your natural aesthetic through the beauty
I met Alexa via internet about a year ago. I was immediately drawn
to her sense of creativity that she portrayed through her style and appearance.
I then set up an appointment with her at the salon she worked at in Springfield
for a small cut and conversation. To say the least, we hit it off. We chatted
about blogging, style, personal creative goals, photography, and music. This
lady was definitely my type. From there on out we kept in touch through social
networking… I started blogging and not long after Alexa began her personal blog,
Horizon and Form.
Thereafter, we decided to work together. I can’t wait for you all to
discover her talents while revealing a little something about yourself along
the way. I want you all to get to know Alexa, so here are a few Questions I
thought would help us identify and relate with her.
Q : What are your favorite things to do in your free time?
A: For as long as I can remember it has been filled with lipstick
and hairspray. Among the cosmetology side of life, I love capturing the world
around me behind a camera; sometimes I like to be in front of it. I love
creating things that make the every day prettier, whether it’s planting a
cactus to put on a shelf, or putting an outfit or shoot together.
When I'm not creating, you can find me with an xbox controller in my
hand and snuggled by my husband to be, or out nurturing my shopping addiction
Q: Explain what you do professionally.
A: I've been a professional cosmetologist since the beginning of
2012 and an aspiring photographer for years before. Loving everything
about the industry, it’s hard to pick just one outlet. I tend to lean toward
makeup artistry, however, I would love to eventually be able to have a
business, where hair makeup and photography are a one stop shop.
Q: How long have you been practicing hair and makeup?
A: Practicing hair and makeup was never foreign to me. Home-schooled
until high school and having an aunt and grandmother with a salon, I basically
grew up in it, which definitely spawned and inspired my love for all things
fashion. Even as a slight tom boy, growing up in the middle of nowhere, I would
braid my hair to go climb a tree, because that was the "look" for
tree climbing. Yeah, I did that.
I got my first camera as a gift at the age of 14, and shortly after
that I began doing my friends hair and makeup for prom, senior pictures or we
would create a shoot just for fun. Because of my love for it, the career kind
of found me.
Q: What makes you passionate about hair and makeup?
A: I am so passionate about what I do because I love the look on
someone’s face, when you can tell you have brightened their day. In a world
that pushes products upon products and edited beyond belief photos on our
society, I love being able to show someone that they are beautiful with what
they were given.
Q: How would you describe your personal style?
A: I would describe my style as eclectic minimalist. I love unique
pieces, but don't like to over do it. This is the same with my hair and
make-up. A bold lip or an overly curly mop is right up my alley, but its all
My comfort outfit is a high waist pant with a crop top and bold
shoe, or a funky dress and hat and always, always a cat eye.
Q: Tell us about your career currently and your dreams for the
A: Currently, I am trying to find a salon job as I just moved to
Nashville a few weeks ago! I plan on being behind the chair, along with
freelance makeup and photography until I eventually can do it all
Readers, look forward to hearing more from Miss Alexa. In the mean
time, visit her blog, Horizon and Form to be inspired.