Maximize the Joy of Fresh Flowers

Pastel cut flowers in a glass vase


Mother’s Day is this weekend, and that means flowers will be flying off the shelves.


In fact, “one-fourth of the flower and plant purchases made for holidays occur at Mother’s Day,” according to the Society of American Florists.


If you’re the lucky recipient of flowers, here are some tips on how to make your bouquet last longer.


Fresh blossoming flowers at at the florist shop (roses, ranunculus, tulips, carnations, mattiola,)


Clean vases are a must.

If whatever container you’re putting your stems in isn’t clean, bacteria will continue to grow and kill your flowers. Experts suggest scrubbing the vase with a mixture of 1-part bleach to 10-parts water before rinsing.


If a whole leaf is submerged underwater, tear it off.

When leaves remain underwater, they decompose and bacteria grows. You must keep bacteria at bay if you want your flowers to last.


The colder the water, the better.

When you want to cook vegetables, you steam them with warm water until they wilt and soften. Think about it like this, if you use room temperature or warm water, you’re causing the flowers to soften. The colder the water, the better your results.


Cut stems at a 45-degree angle.

When you cut flower stems with scissors, you are constricting the straw-like tube that allows nutrients to reach the top of the flower. Use a Swiss Army knife for soft stems and a pair of bypass cutters for woody stems. Cut the stems at a 45-degree angle.


Measure flower food precisely.

Avoid taking the easy route and dumping flower food into the vase with your flowers. Too much flower food will poison your flowers, and too little flower food is somewhat pointless. Use the directions on the packet of flower food to follow the correct food-to-water ratio.


Fresh water is key.

Every two days, or when the water gets cloudy, replace the water in the vase. With each water change, it’s recommended to clean the vase. Use the same recipe as above.


Source: ProFlowers

Special Ways to Make Your Guests Feel at Home

White bedding and silver tray with candle, book and Christmas items. Copy space.
The holiday season is well underway, and that means there’s a good chance you might be hosting family or friends in the coming weeks. Here are some quick tips to will make your guests feel extra special during their stay.
1. Info cheat sheet
Create a home cheat sheet that provides your guests with the Wifi code, instructions to turn on the television, garage code and anything else they may need. Be sure to include your address, landline number and any emergency contact information.
2. Spare samples
Have tons of hotel freebies and sample products lying around the house? Put them all in a jar in the guest bathroom. Your guests will like the availability of extra products, especially if they may have forgotten something.
3. Lovely florals
Placing fresh flowers or plants in the guest room adds brightness and freshness that anyone will appreciate. Bonus points if your foliage is festive!
4. Cozy essentials
To create the ultimate retreat for your guests, put a basket in the corner with items that will make them extra comfortable. Think soft throw blankets, magazines, bottled water, snacks and a reading light.
5. Freshening up
Be sure to leave extra towels and washcloths in the bathroom so guests will always have dry ones. An extra toothbrush is always a nice touch, too.
6. Clean scents
Adding a candle or diffuser to the guest suite is always a good idea to make the area warm and inviting. Be careful, however – not all guests love the smell of warm vanilla. It’s best to steer clear and find neutral scents – think fresh linen or clean cotton. If you’re feeling extra fresh, a small bottle of room or linen spray is a great addition to the room.
7. Sweet treats
A jar of candy canes is a festive and decorative way to offer your guests a midnight snack.