THIS EVENT + GIVEAWAY WERE HOSTED FOR ARKANSAS WOMEN BLOGGERS TO HELP PROMOTE THE ARKANSAS FLOWER + GARDEN SHOW.
This past Tuesday evening was one for the books. A huge group of Arkansas Women Bloggers met up at the home of Clark Trim + Henrik Thostrup, owners of Colonial Wine + Spirits, and were privy to an evening of truly delicious food, fabulous wine pairings and exceptional entertainment. Lucky me – I was one of said bloggers, and I have to say I left feeling so inspired and excited about the amazing Arkansas Flower + Garden Show coming up in a few weeks. And you know what? There will be 4 VERY lucky winners who will get free tickets to the show!
But first let’s talk about this evening. It started off driving to Clark + Henrik’s house in what I can only describe as a storybook winter wonderland. It had rained and sleeted all day, and the event itself was up in the air for a while. Luckily the streets were clear, so I drove through streets lined with ice-covered trees that were just incredible. It was completely surreal to see just how beautiful they were, and it totally set the mood for an evening filled with beauty.
When I got there I immediately recognized most of the faces, so I grabbed a glass of wine and starting chatting. This community of Arkansas bloggers is just so incredible; none of the cattiness or competition or comparison traps that can be such huge stumbling blocks in most of the blogging world. It really is a group of women who support one another and really CARE about lifting one another up. After a few minutes of photo ops and laughter we all grabbed a plate (or 5 in my case) of delicious food and settled in around a roaring fire. As we ate we were serenaded by the sounds of two fantastic violinists, which was such a fun experience.
After dinner we all gathered around a table in the middle of the room and watched as Chris H. Olsen, owner of Botanica Gardens in Little Rock, gave some really practical, easy + beautiful tips on decorating with flowers and plants inside the home. Since we’re in the middle of buying a house right now I was taking tons of notes – I want our home to be beautiful and inviting, but don’t have a massive budget to do anything huge. I loved that most of his tips had to do with making things special and not spending an arm and a leg; he has a TON of really great videos on his YouTube channel and site!
A quick interlude that, for me, included a tray of cheesecake and then we had a moment to listen to Clark Trim talk about how pairing food and wine should work. We had two fantastic pairings that were fun and truly unforgettable; one was a Pinot Noir paired with strawberries dipped in black pepper (it was heaven, y’all, pure heaven), and then a blended wine paired with a completely fabulous bleu cheese. I almost lost it on that one; I think all I would need is a loaf of bread to turn that one into a complete meal. Especially since Nate would totally snub the cheese 🙂
A quick note on Colonial Wines + Spirits to my awesome local readers: it is BY FAR my favorite store in town when it comes to beer, wine and spirits. I didn’t get anything to say this, it’s just true. I showed up before knowing anything about Clark or Henrik or the Garden Show and asked about a really rare beer. I had heard they were the only ones in town who carried it (it was a birthday present for Nate), and sure enough they led me straight to it. Not only that, but everyone in the store was really knowledgeable about the products they had AND they helped me out to the car while I herded Wes. Amazing selection, fantastic knowledge, excellent service. The end.
After all of the festivities we chatted and spent more time admiring the art around the house. You guys – they have floor-to-ceiling art that is just STUNNING, with beautiful colors and textures galore. I can’t help but love a painting that has beautiful texture in it, and there were dozens just in the living areas that I adored. As my own online space grows I’m hoping to show more of our home, how we decorate our new house, and do more on entertaining, and this house will definitely serve as inspiration for all of that!
So here’s the deal: the Arkansas Flower + Garden Show is such a cool event, and I honestly cannot wait to go. It’s going to be February 21-23 at the Statehouse Convention Center, and it’s not just for people who are already fantastic gardeners. In fact I’d say it may be even more so for people like me who struggle with growing things but WANT to get better at it. There are tons of exhibits, events and activities for everyone in the family (SUPER kid friendly). You’ll have access to all of the top gardening experts in the state of Arkansas, which I will say is a HUGE pull for me. I’m all about learning how to make this little real-world space of ours more beautiful, and having people make it approachable for me is huge.
So. Who wants to go to the show?! I’m giving away 4 sets of 2 tickets (kids 16 and under are all free!) to 4 lucky winners. Just follow the Rafflecopter widget at the end of this post to enter, and I will notify you as soon as the winners have been chose. Good luck guys, and I’ll see you there!