Is it spring yet? I am so over Chicago's winter. I was lucky enough to get an invite from Mariano's to visit the Chicago Flower & Garden Show, then check out the flowers at Mariano's. My mom and I decided to make a day of it and it was glorious. We were talking about attending the Flower Show before #CollectiveBias sent me the e-mail because my mom took up walking for fitness recently. It makes me super happy and proud that we could have this experience together because it's easier for her to walk further these days.
After my triumphant 5K on Saturday, I hustled out of there to meet my mom for our girls' day. We started by attending a presentation from Tastemaker Bill Kim at the Garden Gourmet Stage. He created an edamame hummus that I clearly need in my life. We all got samples, which were a lot tastier than what they gave out at the race and tied me over until lunch. So. Good. I loved his emphasis on fresh ingredients and simple recipes.
Next up, we meandered through all the displays. This show had an a huge variety of vignettes highlighting different facets of gardening, from aquatic gardening to urban farm to table techniques that gave me a ton of ideas for my square foot garden this season.
There was also a photo contest, workshops for kids and a display of tablescapes and arrangements that put my wedding to shame. Mariano's sponsors the show and their booth of flowers and produce was so gorgeous. The five-foot roses made me giggle, as I'm also five feet tall.
Half of the hall was made of the elaborate displays, and the other half was a marketplace with every gardening implement you could ever want. We actually didn't buy anything because my mom is moving at the end of the month, but I got lots of ideas for Mother's Day (which is May 11 - thank me later), before we had lunch at the pier.
Fun fact: when we were planning our wedding, I seriously considered doing the flowers myself. The theme of our wedding was "recession," so I was looking at any way to save a buck. I watched YouTube videos and even tried making a bouquet myself. We eventually found a budget solution, but I was inspired to revisit my flower-arranging skills after our shindig at the flower show.
Tim and I headed to #MyMarianos yesterday to do a stock-up trip, so I seized the opportunity to jazz up our house with fresh flowers. But first, we had lunch, enjoyed samples, found my new favorite beer in the liquor section (Laguanitas Cappuccino Stout, in case you're curious), visited the butcher and talked to the floral team. Basically, we made a day of it before swiping our rewards card and crying uncle on the whole thing.