January Favorites

This is something I’ve been meaning to do, and if I were as good as my intentions, I’d be great. Isn’t that the way it always goes? So…monthly favorites. Inspired by new media (specifically YouTube) we highlight what our favorite things are near the end of the month and why. Plus, it’s visual. 😛

1. Aromatique Lavender & Peony

Aromatique Lavender & Peony Metallic Candle

Available in both decorative potpourri and metallic candle, this fragrance is richly comforting. Science has shown that lavender is one of the most calming and relaxing fragrances, and my olfactory system is finally catching onto it. Seriously, I’ve been burning this candle every night after work.

2. Let’s Go Green Tea & Skinny Sip Tea

I couldn’t pick between the two, they’re both so delicious and vivacious. Let’s Go Green tea packaging reads, “Subtly sweet and highly fragrant, jasmine tea is also a powerful antioxidant. It can be enjoyed without sugar and reduces fat absorption, also calming nerves. There are so many reasons to go green.” I’m noticing a trend here. Apparently I need to calm down more hahaha. However, this stuff is wonderful. The aromatic experience can be shared with others (Here, sniff this cup!-but don’t sip it. It’s all mine…) and completes the flavorful cup of tea.

The other tea, Skinny Sip, is an oolong tea (black) with green tea. Now, in college my roommate and I always drank white or green tea. The first time I ever made oolong was for her parents (from Shanghai) who were in town for graduation. The little pellets, unbeknownst to me, will expand as they steep. So I filled the bottom of the tea cup with a thin layer like normal (for green & white tea!) and poured the hot water on it. After I let it steep for a while, I came back to it and was shocked that the cup was FILLED with leaves. So, learn from my mistakes, and know that a little goes a long way with oolong. It’s also wonderful for the stomach! Oolong is the tea I drank for the majority of the remainder of my college years. There is something slightly sweet about it, but also very fresh. It’s just a really full, well rounded flavor.

3. Thymes Goldleaf Gardenia

Thymes Goldleaf Gardenia

I’ve already gone on and on about this one, and it deserves to be gone on and on about again. This. Is. The. MOST. Excited I have ever seen my mom for a fragrance to come in store. Obviously we love all the things that come in, they’re hand selected! However, this one just stands out. Fresh. Opulent. With a mysterious allure, it’s almost like the siren of fragrances. Lures you in, and then traps you. Because once we smelled it, we couldn’t stop talking about it for days. Our shipment arrives tomorrow, and I will be losing sleep tonight in anticipation.

4. Flowers


Because, duh. This month, I sent flowers to a friend in another state. Just because. I wanted them to feel special, and I wanted to feel what it felt like to send a just because fresh arrangement. And you know what? It’s addictive. I did it again the next week to another friend. Something about making someone else feel important, makes you feel important. And that snapchat or text message or phone call, is so uplifting for both parties-it’s like a party midday.

5. Dionis Lip Balm

Because normally my lips are chapped and have that grand canyon split in the middle of them this time of year, that hurts like hades and burns when I try to put lip balm on it. Not this year. I was using good stuff. 😀

And as always, one lucky random commenter will be winning a fresh arrangement two days from this post! ❤ SO, what are some things you couldn’t live without this month?







The Return of The Gallery Wall

If you haven’t noticed this trend creeping up on us for the past few years, you might not be following the blogs, social media accounts, and taste makers I have been. And that’s fine. To each their own. Also, I’ll admit I live and breath this stuff, so it’s pretty much what I do for work, and leisure time. Breakfast just wouldn’t be the same without that twitter feed full of inspiration. Anyway, as if the title of this didn’t already let you know what I’m talking about, the gallery wall is back and with a vengeance. Seriously, it’s snatching weaves, wiping eyebrows off, and taking names. But it’s not the gallery wall you remember it being.

Photo Jan 20, 3 16 21 PM

This new modern take on the gallery wall is inspired by meme culture and social media. It’s not your family’s glamour shots in the stair way, hello 80’s?! AquaNet called…they want their hair back. Actually, I’m also going to give some credit to the Harry Potter movies. Those walls took the term gallery wall to a completely different level, that I swear is almost overwhelming. Almost.

Gallery walls require a really intrinsic sense of self. You have to know who you are and what you like to execute these, and that in and of itself is a work of art. Gather images that speak to you, or that make you smile. It doesn’t have to be serious! Seriously, memes are perfectly acceptable in this kind of style. Superheros, llama weddings, SpongeBob SquarePants characters, who cares! It’s up to you! These are meant to be personal, fun, and beautiful all at once. Play with spacing, and arranging. But first, PLAN. IT. OUT!

Photo Jan 20, 3 14 22 PM

Start on the floor. Plan it out. Visually. Don’t go hammer crazy until you’re sold on your gallery wall. While you can always change it, this helps ensure your decision as well as allow for more arranging of different ideas. Are you going to try and communicate a shape with all of the pictures? Or are you going for a more free-flowing gallery wall? Home decor should be fun, so this is when the playing around really takes off!

These are great for children’s rooms, and give you a great creative outlet!

Photo Jan 03, 2 35 14 PMPhoto Jan 20, 3 14 16 PM


Have you noticed more gallery walls in your friends or relatives homes? Or do you have one yourself? We’d love to know what you think about gallery walls in the comments below! 😀 In fact, I’ll be giving a flower arrangement away to a random winner on Friday! To enter, just comment below! ❤

All photos in this post are used with permission from Instagram user @idresstoimpress


3 Reasons You Should Pre-Order for Valentine’s Day

We all know the feeling in your gut you get when you forget to do something you know you needed to do, and the following panic that ensues once you try to dart around to finish it. It happens to all of us. I think we all also know the feeling of “wow, I’m really on top of things! I got this done way before I needed to, and now I don’t have to worry about it.” I think we all know which feeling we prefer. Valentine's Photo Prints

In case you needed more reasons to pre-order your Valentine’s Day flowers, here’s more!

1. Ready for Pick-Up

You call ahead, pre-order them before the day you want them, and they’ll be ready (and in water!) waiting for you. You can pay when you pick them up, or over the phone so you’re in and out! You can even specify what time you’d like to pick them up. Seems simple right? I mean…it is.

2. Free Delivery in Geneseo

If you pre-order your Valentine’s Day flowers, you’re going to get free delivery (should you choose to!) in Geneseo. It’s cost-effective now, right? I’m always in the mood for a good deal, and quite frankly this is huge.

3. Top Choice 

If you’ve got something specific in mind, like a certain color or theme you’d like, a pre-order helps significantly. Not only can we better accommodate your special arrangement and have what we need in stock, but we also know “don’t use any of those white roses until after Jerry’s order is filled!”


BONUS: Maybe I’m just feeling the love and feeling generous, but we tend to go out of our way for our customers who pre-order. You’re making our lives easier when you do, and we like to give that back in return. This year, we’ve been obsessed with this Goldleaf Gardenia fragrance. Now, I’m not saying anything is happening with it just yet. But it just might.


Feel free to give us a call! 309-945-1212



How to Properly Burn a Candle

I know what you’re thinking, you light it and leave it, right? No.


I’ve seen too many people tunneling their candles. And candles should not tunnel (unless it’s intentional-I’ll save that for later) when burned properly.

First thing is first, and the first burn is the most important. This is gonna sound absurd, but the first burn on a new candle is the most vital to setting the tone for the rest of its beautifully fragrant life. “The wax has a memory” is what I’ve always been told.

The first burn should go all the way to the edge. That means don’t light a new candle while you’re getting ready for a dinner date. Unless you take 3-4 hours to get ready (we all know THAT person) your candle is not going to reach the edge of the container.

Once you’ve let it burn to the edge, you’re free to blow it out. From here on out, you’re going to want to trim the wick to 1/4-3/4 of an inch from the top of the remaining wax. This should be fairly easy, as the upper part is going to be a bloom of black ash, and will most likely stay on top of the scissors you use to trim the wick. Otherwise, there are wick trimmers you can purchase.

Now, what happens if you’re burning your candle and something comes up and you have to blow it out? You’re going to have some wax that hasn’t melted and you’re going to run the risk of tunneling. Fret not! The next time you’re burning it follow the same rules as before, it just might take a little longer. However, if there is some stubborn outlying wax, place a sheet of aluminum foil over the candle with a hole for the flame (and oxygen exchange), and sealed around the rest of the container. This will help diffuse the heat along the top layer of the wax to help “reset” the wax. You should only have to do this for one burn.

As always, it is an open flame. Treat it as such, and follow the warnings on the candle.

Happy candle burning! I could definitely use the warm glow on a day like this one! ❤ If you have any other questions or comments, please leave a comment below!


Photo Sep 23, 11 44 21 PM

It is September 29th and I have already burned through a Christmas candle. Granted it was a votive size, and I loved it a lot so it got a lot of burn time. I also should clarify that this isn’t just a Christmas candle. It smells like Siberian fir needles, with subtle notes of cedarwood and sandalwood. Is it my fault we assume those scents are for Christmas only?!

Photo Sep 29, 11 40 11 AM

Okay, I really need to share my experience about this Frasier Fir fragrance by Thymes. I heard about it before I smelled it, and thought “yeah, okay, it’s a Christmas tree smell-how great can it be?…” Apparently pretty incredible. Because I will eat those words and yours too, it smells that great. I’m trying my hardest not to swear for intensity of how great it is. I just want my room to smell like it again, and unfortunately I can’t just hoard them all to myself. But the magic of it all was in the burning of it, once the fragrance reached the air.

When I did actually smell the Frasier Fir, I instantly loved it. But I didn’t go madly in love with it until I burned a candle. That’s when I truly appreciated all the layers to this fine fragrance. It’s so clean, and so welcoming, comforting, and relaxing all at the same time. The back of the package even reads, “Mountain fresh and glowing with the aromatic snap of crisp Siberian Fir needles, heartening cedarwood and relaxing sandalwood, Thymes Frasier Fir sets the mood for those special moments that make up our life stories. Creating a tradition to savor… and to share.” Sums it up beautifully, and the packaging is right in line with the Thymes brand, beautiful and elegant.

Stop in a try it out today!

frasier fir at designs

Why Your Desk Needs a Plant

Let’s call them desk pets. I mean, if someone could sell a pet rock and get away with it, why can’t I talk about a living thing (sure it doesn’t pant or purr) as a pet?! I’m hoping to get a desk at work soon, I really need it. And the first thing that’s going on my desk/workstation is going to be a plant or an arranged vase of fresh cut flowers. Here are some reasons why I think everyone should have either a plant or a vase of flowers on their desk.

Stress Relief

One of the many benefits of gardening is the stress relief you get to enjoy. It’s like a tiny little garden on your desk. Something that depends on you that isn’t your boss or an expense report that needs filing. Trimming and watering are things that only you can do! The plant does the rest! Plus, it’s a gentle reminder that you too are a living being and not a computer. (Even if you have to sit at one all day! 😉 )

Appealing to the Eye

Colors are appealing to the eye. As much as neutrals may be timeless and always a safe option, colors are eye catching as well as pleasing. Just look at how much children love bright things! Don’t lose that inner child. Plants and flowers come in a variety of colors and can really dress up your desk.

Taken Serious

You’re taken more seriously when you wear a suit rather than your yoga or sweatpants right? You wouldn’t present a report without preparation or dressed for the part right? Dress up your desk and have that subtle reminder that you are the master of that chaos. (Let’s be real, it should be a chaotic desk. You’ve got a lot of things on your plate!)

Let Your Clients Know You Care

Walking into a meeting or a conference room with flowers is a great way to show a client you care and are prepared for the meeting that’s about to happen. If you took the time to prepare (or order) a vase of fresh cut flowers, then you took the time to have all your facts and figures straight.

Trick People Into Thinking You’re Liked

Just kidding. But I have heard “who got them flowers?”

Are there any other benefits you can think of? I know we have customers who come in weekly and hand pick their desk flowers, and I love that they take the time to do something special for themselves.


One of my favorite things about style and fashion is that it is constantly changing. It’s also so unique and personal. Home decor is your style and fashion for your home. And we all have different styles. My mom’s passion has been home decor for over 25 years. When I got old enough to carry things, one of my favorite memories is helping my mom carry all of her home decor in a crate with wheels. Multiple crates. She worked relentlessly. Got promotions. Built a team of over 300 people. Met some incredible people. Made friends with them.

For the longest time I knew she wanted her own business. She talked about it and how her and her mom (grandma!) and her sisters (Aunt Linda & Aunt Lorraine!) wanted to open a shop, and call it “Three Sisters & Mom.” Unfortunately, my mom lost her sister to cancer when I was 3, Aunt Lorraine being only 33. Years later, her mom. I can tell she still strives to hold their image highly with her business, with the ideals of scattering kindness and making people feel special. I love when people see that. She doesn’t ask for attention or accolades for it, but I love when she knows it’s being valued.

One of my favorite things is when people say, “Oh, your mom knows my style!” And it’s true. She knows people’s style better than I know my own. When she’s talking with customers (who often become great friends) she listens. She learns so much about an individual. At market we’ll often hear her say, “Oh that mirror is SO Abby!” It’s funny, cause as soon as that mirror comes in, you know who got the most excited to see it?! …Abby. This transfers over to flowers too.

Our home decor department has expanded. Last October we got to offer two whole floors of decor and accessories. Mirrors, clocks, paintings, wall decor, accents, signs, lamps, the list goes on. All of these pieces make up a room. A conveyed message to the people who enter it, “this is who I am. This is what I like.” A few weeks ago, we got to help a friend redo her whole office. We placed all of the pieces on a table to get a cohesive look at how they all interact together. And gasped. It was perfect. It was exactly what she had envisioned, and she selected pieces that I wouldn’t have expected to go with everything. But it did, and she knows I would’ve given my honest opinion. And of course I had to snap a picture. That was a pivotal moment for me. I’ve been here over a year, and someone trusted me to help them design a room. I get it now. I get why my mom is so passionate about all of this, and why it makes someone feel so special. I love it. And I’m hooked. Perhaps my mom and I can start an organization called Home Decoraholics Unanimous. Because let’s face it, we’ve got something for everybody. Casual elegance, rustic comfort, eclectic, traditional. It’s all got a space here. And it’s all got a space in your home. Let us help you make your house a home.

We’re approaching our 4 year anniversary as Designs on the Boulevard, but there are decades of experience behind that. And we’re getting more shipments for the event! 😀 Thank you for being a part of this business, and letting us into your homes and lives. We are both humbled and grateful. Thank you!