Here Comes the Sun Inside the Sunflower Café

Did you know that sunflowers rise in the east and follow the sun across the sky until it sets in the west? In order to grow, the sun is their universe and draws attention to it. With bold, happy blooms, it’s only fitting that their namesake is the sun itself. Grateful for its life-giving warmth, these smiling flowers devote their days to worshipping the sun. Sunflowers are not only stunningly beautiful, but they symbolize adoration, loyalty, and longevity.

In our new novel, Home Sweet Sonoma, the Sunflower Café is a central place for our characters to congregate, like planets revolving around the sun. Such a sunny blossom, there’s a reason our characters, Nora and Claire, chose the sunflower as the central theme for their bustling café on the Sonoma Plaza. Reflecting the warmth and friendliness of the café, the sunflower gets center stage, covering the walls with colorful murals, all the way down to the detailed carvings on the handmade oak tables. With elegance, the blooms not only provide a beautiful centerpiece with a hopeful message, but their tasty seeds are liberally added to the menu du jour.

FUN FACT: Sunflowers face towards the sun in what is known as phototropic movement. Due to the presence of auxin, a growth hormone in the stem, the flower actually bends. When the stem tip receives light, the concentration of auxin increases in the shaded side. This higher concentration of auxin causes that side away from the sun to grow faster, resulting in a positive phototropic curvature.

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Deborah Parrish
Come to The Lavender Brat

And Get a Glimpse Into Our Home Sweet Sonoma World Blog

The Perfect Place to Celebrate Mother’s Day.

 Here's a little hint: Next time you're vacuuming, sprinkle some dried blossoms on the floor and fill the room with fragrance.

Here's a little hint: Next time you're vacuuming, sprinkle some dried blossoms on the floor and fill the room with fragrance.


Have you ever crushed a lavender bloom in your hand and felt the oil on your skin? Unlike its sister blossoms that tend to be more appealing to women, the lavender fragrance is a more complex scent which appeals to both genders, making it one of the more popular essential oils.

At Gracie Taylor’s shop on the Sonoma plaza, The Lavender Brat was ground zero for all things lavender. Gracie spent her day blending exotic oils, used in her bottled perfumes, massage oils, soaps and lotions. Her special teas and herbs add unique flavors for cooking up earthly delights. It takes a lot of tiny buds to make one precious drop of lavender oil. Like Gracie, local chefs love her creations and you can see her influence all across the Sonoma Valley.

Locals can’t stop by Gracie’s store without a visit behind the shimmery gold curtain that Gracie called The Sugar ‘n’ Spice Corner. They would come in, hoping to get their hands on her Second Chances body oil and other exotic custom blends for couples wanting to amp up their love life.

Aren’t you dying to get some yourself? (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.)

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Deborah Parrish
Welcome Home

Welcome to our Home Sweet Home World blog where wine and romance blend together smoothly. It's a slow moving journey into what truly matters: love, friendship, hope, and forgiveness. Here, time stands still.

We’re so excited to share our blog with you, steeped in the little things, best enjoyed over a good slice of berry pie, a tearful moment, or much needed laugh, and never without a refreshing glass of rose, or chardonnay—whatever your tasting pleasure. 

Our novel, Home Sweet Sonoma, was born out of a deep-rooted love for home and hearth. For us, a small town is a living and breathing character, and serves as fertile ground for our heroine to get swept up in the web of romance, good food, wit and wine, and many other delightful surprises and buried secrets, and let’s not forget small-town shenanigans.  

Last October we experienced a surprise of our own. As we approached the completion of our first novel, Georgia's home in Sonoma came close to burning down, as wild fires threatened this community we cherish. Most of Sonoma was evacuated due to the devastating fires in Sonoma County, and in total, over 5,100 homes fell to ashes.

We will never be the same. And our awareness, appreciation, and gratitude for this precious little town tucked into the wine country will never be stronger.

This place is a sacred space for you to come and relish in a good read while sitting by the fire over a glass of chardonnay. (But at any time of the day will do. No rules here.) So, kick your high tops off and stay a while, wine country style.

If you'd like to donate to the victims of these devastating fires, you may do so here.