Roses in Bloom

Roses in Bloom

Hello, flower friends!!!

So happy to see Spring is finally here. A new season with beautiful fresh flowers blossoming around the city and a brilliant warm sunshine, welcoming us into this special time. For some of us in other places, the bloom will come later.

Wishing you all a lovely Spring!! (◠‿◠) ¸.◦*´`✿✿

These roses are taking their sweet time to grow, standing elegantly tall in long green, prickly branches. Blue skies mixed with white clouds and mild temperatures, soft breezes and the sounds of birds singing around the gardens. Bees and humming birds happily kissing the flowers in celebration.

These delicate buds of roses are sometimes squeezing their way towards the light, in their effort to worship the sun and thrive.

It’s exciting to see the beginning of life slowly appearing through these buds and transforming into a magical blossoms of different sizes, shapes and hues …

The uniqueness and beauty of two-tone roses is the focal point of the garden. Usually no two are alike, as if they are hand painted, each having their the own specific color combinations. The one below is more bright red and white because cooler climates show more white color. They have fewer thorns, while strong stems allow them to grow upright, yet accented with a soft and sweet fragrance.

Vintage Floral Tea Cup and Flat Lays

Vintage Floral Tea Cup and Flat Lays

Hello dear friends! The new month is here and it’s going to be beautiful and I’m thrilled to have such great weather to take more photographs and have fun around town.

These are shots that I took of the beautiful vintage tea cup set that I found at the antique store in Temecula, here in San Diego. It’s a cool little town that I’ve been visiting for two years to find treasures, relax and eat good food.

Since I discovered flat lays, I’ve been kind of obsessed with the whole creative process, anything that can be mixed catches my attention like: flowers, branches, leaves, sea shells, candy, delicious food, fruits, vegetables and the list goes on …

Thought of sharing these soft pastel color photos using the vintage tea cup set as a center piece and peppermint tea, styled on my hand painted wooden board, with petals of pink flowers, evergreen needles, and dark berry branches all around. I kinda liked the way the arrangement and its angle turned out. It’s something I’d like to do more of, though practice makes perfect.

 

  • Also I was thrilled to be featured on the Instagram of Jessica Colaluca from Design Seeds, category [color sip] she did wonderful work coordinating the color palettes with my photo.

Please also visit her website: Design Seeds

Recipe — Colorful Vegetables Spiced Soup and Herbed Bread

Recipe — Colorful Vegetables Spiced Soup and Herbed Bread

Bonjour!

Hope everyone had a sweet Valentine’s Day.

Below is a lively colorful orange soup with distinctive taste and rich texture. It’s as beautiful in the bowl as it is delicious. It’s so nice to discover new ways to prepare healthy dishes using simple ingredients such as vegetables, herbs and a little kosher meat, and transform these into an aromatic meal.

The combination of a variety of spices like cumin, cayenne pepper, and dried oregano turned out to be the key for great aroma and taste in this soup, blended all together bringing out intense flavor. Take your time and enjoy …

Happy Saturday and wishing you a relaxing and peaceful, long Weekend!

Colorful Vegetables Spiced Soup and Herbed Bread

Ingredients: Serves 4 – 6

Time: (for the soup) 2hrs between preparation and cooking

  • 15.05 oz organic sweet potato, skin less and chopped
  • 1 lb. organic carrots, peeled and chopped [approx. 4 large carrots]
  • ¾ cup organic celery, washed and chopped [approx. 2 stalks]
  • 1 cup organic red bell pepper, rinsed, seedless and chopped [approx. 1 large red bell pepper]
  • 1 cup organic white onions, peeled and diced [approx. 1 large onion]
  • 4 organic garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  •  1 lb. natural Angus prime beef chuck for stew cut into 2″ pieces
  • 1 cup organic fire roasted tomatoes [I used these tomatoes]
  • 32 FL.oz. organic vegetable broth – low sodium or homemade
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  •  2 large bay leaves
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper powder
  • Kosher salt for taste, [for beef and whole soup]

How to Prepare:

  1. Generously salt the beef chunks and set a side.
  2. In a dutch oven, heat a large heavy soup pot on medium high heat until hot.
  3. Add olive oil followed by the beef in a single layer and sear meat until brown on both sides.
  4. Transfer the beef to a large glass bowl and turn down the heat to medium low.
  5. Add the onions and then garlic to the pot. Sauté until tender and turn translucent NOT brown, simmer and gently stir with heat resistant rubber spoon.
  6. Add the carrots and sweet potatos and continue sautéing until started to brown. Then continue adding celery, fire roasted tomatoes, red bell peppers, vegetable broth, bay leaves, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper and salt and return the beef to the pot as well. Cook for about 1 hour on low simmer, cover the pot and leave a crack for steam to escape. The meat and vegetables should fall apart when prodded with a fork.
  7. Check periodically to see that all the liquid hasn’t evaporated and add a little water if necessary.
  8. After completely cooked, take off the heat, remove the bay leaves and transfer the vegetable soup mixture into a regular blender or use an immersion blender. Then purée until very smooth. [You may also wait until the soup has cooled esp. if your blender is not heat resistant.]
  9. In another large heavy soup pot, on medium-low heat, pour in the vegetable puree, simmer gently and stir with heat-resistant rubber spoon until it is lightly thickened for 5-10 minutes.
  10. Pour the soup into serving bowls and garnish with a parsley leaf, and serve it hot.

Here is a delicious Herbed Garlic Bread recipe to serve with this soup:

Active Time: 10 min. Total Time 25 min. Serves 4

This garlic bread gets its vibrant green color from butter mixed with chopped parsley. The spread is also great on steamed vegetables.

  • ¾ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 loaf Ciabatta bread, cut in half horizontally

  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Finely chop parsley and garlic in a food processor. Add butter, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper, and purée until smooth.
  2. Spread herbed butter on cut sides of bread, then place cut sides back together. Wrap in foil. Bake until bread is warm and butter melts, about 15 minutes. Cut into wedges.

* Notes: 

  • The Herbed Garlic Bread recipe is from Martha Stewart Living Magazine dated March 2011. It was my first time making this bread and I enjoyed so much eating it with this soup that I decided to include it here.
  • The best part of this recipe is that if you don’t have time to cook, you just place the excess soup in Tupperware and refrigerate it for other meals.
  • The napkins featured in this recipe are from my new Bella Bohemian Good Living collection found in our online boutique

Flat Lays and Bougainvilleas

Flat Lays and Bougainvilleas

Hello friends!

— Welcome February …

You may notice that there are always new projects I get myself into. Hence my posts are a combination of photographs, recipes, baking, growing the little garden, and playing with flat lays, the latter is something new that I’ve enjoying creating and lining things up in between working and developing the Bella Bohemian brand. Crazy long hours and days with a lot of lovely work to do, but I’m happy doing all these things because I love to create something beautiful everyday. The imagination never sleeps.

I’ll post some of these new projects in the coming days, sharing what inspired me last year, telling my stories through pictures about things that I did create but hadn’t had the time to write about. Working from home, sipping a cup of tea, eating homemade food, doing what I’m passionate about, and loving it all …

Thought of sharing the Autumn flat lays with a wintery atmosphere. Also showing off this 1950s oval shaped vintage mirror that I found in the Flea Market in LA and transformed it into a new shabby wooden board, a project that took me two weeks to complete.

I hand painted each side in two different colors, in simple white and pale moon using matte acrylic distressing paint then finished with rough sand paper and coached with clear wax and now I’m styling products on the board and playing with flat lays as well. The photographs most of the time turned out amazing, showing the vintage brown spots in contrast to placed colors and objects.

Cheers to a great month!!! ✌︎♥︎

Had so much fun playing with these little pumpkins and petals of flowers, then gathering them together and having them pose for you …

The white Bougainvilleas beautifully dancing to the sound of the wind on a chilly Sunday.

Wherever you are, wish you happiness and joy in the simple beauties of life.

Hope you like it and can also follow it on Instagram where weekly I usually post a beautiful, inspiring image.

Have a Fantastic New Year

Have a Fantastic New Year

Hi dear readers, hope you enjoyed the holiday break with friends and loved ones where ever you are, be it in the tropics or in snowy places.

Hope you are rested and ready to a fresh start?! I think 2017 is going to be an amazing and interesting year! May it be a year of peace and understanding among humanity. That way we can stop being too sensitive and instead, work and progress together for a better future.

How can one help others without first looking inside, establish inner peace and clarity, long before attempting to change the world at large!? Oddly, so many people quote ‘be the change‘, yet their actions point more towards rash outer anxiety and even aggression as opposed to actual quiet, inner work over time. If benevolent change is sought, responsibility starts within and from there, love, maturity and wisdom radiate outward. That’s the only way productive change can happen. This may sound like I’m preaching, however, it is the truth, with hope of inspiring a few …

So let’s speak up for what we believe for sure, but do a little research first on the subject, so we don’t look like a fool. Don’t anticipate, judge or classify anyone for what may happening. First, give a person a chance, inspire and be inspired; share kindness with strength, forgiveness and gratitude and your dreams will come true.

Wishing you all the Best for the New Year — let’s make the most of it!!!

 

November and Autumn

November and Autumn

Happy November to all …

Slowly we’ve been experiencing quite the whiter blues in San Diego in the past few weeks. The sun shys away sometimes between the clouds, followed a cool freshness that is most welcome after a hot summer.

The sea is cold but you always see surfers venturing into the frigid waters wearing their full wet suits, children still play in the sand building castles and other cool stuff … To my surprise the city is full of tourists oft given away by a myriad of colorful license plates. Traffic is insane sometimes, even in October!

I’m having a wonderful Autumn, lots of work and play, like I mentioned before, experimenting with flat lays lately and learning new ways of styling photos more beautifully, for my home and website.

As I was digging in some boxes in the garage, still there since my move from New York to San Diego four years ago, found an amazing collection of beautiful things and gifts that were given to me decades ago. Gifts that I hadn’t had the opportunity to display or use yet, until now in my photographs.

Below are some photos I took recently with flowers from a local market, leaves, pine  cones, branches and such that I picked up on my walks home, and fruits and vegetables from the farmers market, all combined.

Have a fabulous month!

 

2016-grapes-closet-up_autumn-photo2-by-rhonya-holman

2016-beautifulmess_grapes_photo3-by-rhonya-holman

2016-fresh-grapes-collage-photo4-by-rhonya-holman

2016-grapes_flowers_fruit_photo5-by-rhonya-holman

September and Harvests

September and Harvests

Most of these images are from two weeks ago as I didn’t get a chance to share them earlier. I thought that September is a perfect month to post these beautiful and delicious tomatoes which I proudly grow myself. I created a mini garden for the first time on my balcony where I am now surrounded by colorful pots and vases, some which I hand painted in different bright colors, and planted rosemary, thyme, sage, green onions, parsley, basil, lemon balm as well as tomatoes, radishes, red bell peppers and aloe vera.

And if that weren’t enough, there was still space to also plant a fern, string of pearls, monkey cups, a bug eating plant, and a hanging cactus that looks like a beautiful cascade of colorful mini red balls that later blossom into white flowers. I remember it was nothing more than a tiny branch when my mother gave it to me in 2010.

Since then I’ve been practicing new photography styles, angles, lighting and effects with my new Lumix DMC-ZS40 and the new NEXUS 5X phone, both which I received as gifts. It’s been so much fun playing around and learning new things.

Below are some photos that I took with the vegetables and fresh herbs from the garden against the wooden board that I really like to use to add a background texture. Also enjoying the experimentation with flat lays which are something completely new to me.

Hope you have an amazing week!

❤(₍◔◡◔₎)

2016-good-harvest-photo-1-close-up-by-rhonya-holman-for-bella-bluelf-me

2016-good-harvest-photo-2-by-rhonya-holman-for-bella-bluelf-me

2016-good-harvest-photo-4-by-rhonya-holman-for-bella-bluelf-me

2016-good-harvest-photo-by-rhonya-holman-for-bella-bluelf-me

Recipe — Summer Toasts

Recipe — Summer Toasts

Greetings!

Happy Saturday (or Sunday for those early risers across the globe) to all – sharing today another round of healthy snacks for this Summer. Toasted on sourdough bread with sprinkles of organic broccoli sprouts, dill, fresh fruit, delicate slices of cucumber and hemp-seeds. Beautifully presented to you homemade, with love, using some of the herbs form my little private green garden. Ohhh it feel so good to go there and snip fresh herbs, harvest tomatoes and prepare the food the way I want it.

Hope you enjoy every bite and the recipe is below for you to try out. If you have any question or comment, just drop me a line.

Have a great weekend!!!  (❁´◡`❁)*✲゚*

 

Summer Toasts

Ingredients: Serves 2

    • 1 organic fresh ripe avocado
    • 2 tbsp organic red Spanish onions peeled and finely chopped
    • 2 tbsp organic sweet mini peppers, washed, seedless and chopped  [mixed colors]
    • 2 tbsp organic fresh cilantro rinsed and chopped
    • 1/8 tbsp organic garlic minced
    • 3 tbsp yellow cling peaches in extra-light syrup, chopped
    • 2 tbsp extra-light syrup
    • 2 organic large hard-boiled eggs, cooler and chopped
    • 3 tbsp mayonnaise [I used Hain Safflower Mayonnaise]
    • 2 tbsp raw shelled hemp seeds
    • 1 tbsp organic dill rinsed and chopped
    • 7 slices sourdough toasted bread
    • Kosher salt and black freshly ground pepper to your liking

How to Prepare the Summer Toasts:

  1. Preheat oven: 360°F.
  2. Toast the bread slices on a baking sheet in the oven for 10-12 minutes, until golden and crispy.  Don’t forget to flip to brown both sides.
  3. Place the 2 eggs in a small saucepan. Cover them with 1 inch of cool water by. Bring water to a boil over high heat for 8 minutes for large eggs [10 minutes for extra large; 7 minutes for medium eggs]. Remove from burner. (Since I don’t know the size of your sauce pan and hence the amount of water used, you’ll need to make the necessary adjustments.)
  4. Drain immediately let cool completely under cold running water or in a bowl of ice water, then refrigerate.
  5. Cut the avocado in half and remove the seed, scoop out the inner flesh of the avocado with a spoon, separating it from the outer skin. In a bowl mash the avocado flesh with a fork, add the red onions, sweet peppers, cilantro, garlic, peaches, salt and fresh black pepper for taste. And last, add the extra-light syrup mixing all the ingredients together until smooth. Let cool in the refrigerator.
  6. In another bowl, mix the chopped cool eggs with mayonnaise, hemp-seeds, dill, salt and fresh black pepper to taste. Mix all the ingredients together gently with a rubber spoon.
  7. Generously spread the cool avocado with a spatula on the toasted bread. Add thinly sliced radishes on top and garnish with your favorite greens (let creativity run wild) and a little bit more hemp-seeds. Or organic broccoli sprouts with thinly slices of cucumber.
  8. In another toasted batch of bread, generously spread the egg mixture with a spatula. Garnish with organic raspberries, apples, strawberry or pear slices. I’ll leave that to your imagination and preference …

2016 - Summer Toasts photo 3 by Rhônya Holman for bella.bluelf.me

2016 - Summer Toasts photo 2 by Rhônya for bella.bluelf.me