How to keep cut flowers fresh

 

How to keep cut flowers fresh

4 tips for how to keep cut flowers fresh

Give Them Some Pop

  • If your cut flowers are looking a little wilted in their vase but you aren’t quite ready to toss them out, try giving them some life by adding a carbonated lemon-lime soda to their vase. Just don’t grab the sugar free version- they like it sweet!

Pour in the Vinegar

  • If your flowers are looking a bit thirsty, you can also try giving them this vinegar mix: 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1 quart water.

Touch Up Their Roots

  • To keep your blooms around a bit longer, add 2 drops household bleach, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1 quart water.

Sear Them, But Don’t Eat Them

  • If you have a gorgeous arrangement of flowers such as poppies, dahlias, or orchids you can sear their stems before putting them into the vase. Why? Well these type of flowers have hollow stems that secret a milky-types substance when cut. Searing the end of their stems will keep them perky a bit longer. Simply hold their ends to a flame for a quick sear and then place them in a vase with warm (not cold) water.
What works for you? I’d love to hear your secrets!
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“Green” Vintage Flair to Inspire


Green has gone Vintage Glam!

ThreadBeaur is a true gemstone-of-a-company. It glistens and sparkles and shines an inspiring light right through your computer monitor. A company created with the sole mission to take old discarded fabric and create with it practical, useful, and gorgeous creations. The designs of Carrie Fountain are proof that you can be both earth friendly and fashionable. I was completely inspired by her fabulous “green-flair!”

A professed “thrift-store” enthusiast, Carrie finds inspiration for her works of art from vintage fabrics. In her own words:

“The best fabric is that with a history, some old sheets that the owners no longer stretch across the mattress, they make perfect cloth grocery bags. Floor length vintage drapes, that have found themselves hanging lifeless in the thrift store, I will rescue them and make them something special again.”

ThreadBeaur offers a range of vintage-patterned gems like these Eco-Friendly Coffee Sleeves.

When I received my Coffee Sleeve from ThreadBeaur I was equally impressed with both the quality and the design. The thickness of the fabric ensures that it does it’s job– keeps my hand from burning when I go and grab my morning latte. The well-sewn design enables me to reuse this sleeve over and over, eliminating my waste of the cardboard sleeves provided at the coffee shops. And lastly, the vintage chic print allows me to show off a bit of fashion flair myself, what more could you ask for?!

Ohhh I know, how about fabulous vintage chic Cloth Grocery Bags– because ThreadBeaur has got those too!

ThreadBeaur is not only helping us be a bit more earth-friendly but also encouraging us to show off our personalities a bit while we are at it. So, grab your coffee sleeve and grocery bag and head out for the day, the earth will thank you and you just might find your own fashion flair!

Carrie is SO fabulous that she is giving one reader a chance to win a Coffee Sleeve of their own. If you win, she’ll choose a fabulous pattern for you to show off, over and over again (that’s the point remember?)!

Winner! Congrats to Dawn!

Here are your random numbers:

3

Timestamp: 2009-01-31 22:52:09 UTC

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Candy Party Themes

If you’re looking for inspiration for creative party themes, I’ve got a sweet idea for you! Whether it’s a birthday party or a “just because” get-together, check this out: it’s a candy party!

Candy Party

This theme is perfect for a slumber party or regular birthday party too! Just gather friends and get ready for some sweet, sugary, fun! What more could a kid want… right?

Here is one of my favorite candy-themed invites:

candy party invitations

You can personalize this invite for your kiddo’s birthday or slumber party and set the tone for your sweet event! See your options for these candy themed invitations.

Rather than your traditional birthday cake, set up a colorful candy buffet. Gather old favorites and new treats and display them in glass bowls and jars. Anything really goes, just be creative! Use a glass vase to hold fun lollipops and use punch ladles as make-shift candy scoops.

Candy Buffet

You can purchase bulk candy at your favorite sweet shop, or even online (I use candywarehouse.com). Let your party guests scoop up some sweet treats rather than the serving cake and ice cream. Just don’t forget to light the candles if this is a birthday party! You can get creative and stick them into gumdrop candies and set them in the middle of the candy buffet table.

When guests are about to leave, don’t send them home without a cute candy favor! You can always provide small favor boxes or bags and let them scoop up their own sweet treats. Or, send them with one of these cute mini gumball machines. Hostess tip: Make a personalized tag out of card stock and attach with ribbon to each gumball machine. Print each guests’ name or a simple “Thank You For Coming” message. I found all of these yummy favors at Beau Coup, check them out!

Candy favors

If your party is going to be a Sweet Slumber {party}, order a couple of these fun candy pillows to use as party decor! They will be a huge hit and make for one sweet pillow fight!

Other Party Ideas:

  • Set out board games like Candy Land for the guests to play (even if they are older…they’ll still have fun)!
  • Fill jars with gumballs/jelly beans/ M&Ms and have them guess the amount for a prize.
  • Play charades having all the cards be names of candy bars and candy types
  • Have a scavenger hunt and have them collect different types of candy
**Want more ideas? We have recently added a new Candy Party feature- REAL party photos!

Check out our Sweet Shoppe party

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Let’s Eat Cake… A {great} Cause!

Thoughtfully Simple is glad to be Blogging it forward!

Let’s Eat Cake, an amazing fundraiser hosted by the equally amazing Melissa Margarita-DiStefano, is coming up quick: Tuesday, February 17th at the Plaza Paramount Hotel! Let’s Eat Cake is a cake decorating competition with all proceeds going to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Learn more about the fundraiser right here.

In an effort to make sure we get the word out to everyone (and raise money), we are starting this chain-blog (Ok, not sure if that is correct terminology. But it’s like a chain letter so let’s just go with it, shall we?)

Here’s what we need you to do…Repost this post (or create your own new version) on your blog and ask others to post it on their blogs. Melissa will donate one dollar to the fundraiser for EVERY BLOG that posts on Let’s Eat Cake this week! With the power of the blogosphere, that can QUICKLY add up! Let’s make Melissa Pay! Once you have reposted it, leave a comment letting us know that you posted it along with the url to the blog. It’s for a great cause and it will be fun to see how far it will go! So lets do it… Lets blog it forward and raise money for a great cause!!!

**Kudos to Unique Designs for creating this fun chain-blog effort!**

P.S. Ok, Melissa… time to kick in another $1! ;)

P.S.S. If any business wants to help out with a matching challenge, Melissa would love to hear from you!

Blog it forward, then leave a comment and share your blog link!
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10 Fruits & Vegetables You Should Buy Organic

organic fruit and veggetables

Would you knowingly feed your family a juicy serving of DDT or a crisp bite of a toxic pesticide? Didn’t think so. But many of us unknowingly do this everyday when we serve our family their healthy servings of fresh fruits and vegetables. “But I thought DDT was banned in the US?” You ask. Well, yes- you’re right. However , even though uses of DDT and other toxic pesticides have banned in the US for over 20 years, they can still be absorbed from the soil our fruits and veggies grow in.

And although the traces of these toxins may be minimal in the foods you eat, children (and pregnant women) are in more danger due to the amount the consume and childrens’ small body mass. So, please buy certified organic when you can.

Here is a list of 10 fruits and vegetables you should consider always buying organic when feeding them to your family.

Tip: Check your local farmers’ market for your produce needs! Their fruits and vegetables typically are pesticide free, cost less, and are more fresh! Bonus: you’ll be supporting your local farmers!

Peaches

Summer’s blushing fruit contains high residues of iprodione, classified as a probable human carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and methyl parathion, an endocrine disruptor and organophosphate (OP) insecticide. Methyl parathion has caused massive kills of bees and birds. According to Consumer Reports, single servings of peaches “consistently exceeded” EPA’s safe daily limit for a 44-pound child.

Apples

Apples may contain methyl parathion. Both fresh apples and baby food applesauce can also contain chlorpyrifos, an OP which has caused large bird kills. CORE Values IPM apple growers are trying to phase out OPs.

Pears

Pears, both fresh and in baby food, can also come with methyl parathion, as well as the OP azinphos-methyl, which is toxic to freshwater fish, amphibians and bees.

Winter Squash

Dieldrin, a chlorinated, carcinogenic insecticide, exceeded the safe daily limit for a young child in two-thirds of positive samples. Another potent carcinogen, heptachlor, also showed up. DDT and its breakdown product, DDE, were detected in baby food squash.

Green Beans

Green Beans can contain acephate, methamidophos and dimethoate (three neurotoxic OPs), and endosulfan, an endocrine-disrupting insecticide, which showed up in baby food, too. Acephate disorients migrating birds, throwing them off course.

Grapes

U.S. grapes contain methyl parathion and methomyl, a carbamate insecticide listed as an endocrine disruptor; imports may contain dimethoate.

Strawberries

The enhanced red color of strawberries comes from the fungicide captan, a probable human carcinogen that can irritate skin and eyes, and is highly toxic to fish. While the lethal soil fumigant methyl bromide doesn’t show up on the fruit, it has harmed California farm workers, and depletes the ozone layer.

Raspberries

Watch out for more than thorns! These berries can contain captan, iprodione and carbaryl, a suspected endocrine disruptor that has also been found in plum baby food

Spinach

Permethrin, a possible human carcinogen, and dimethoate dominate spinach’s toxicity ratings, but CU notes that residue levels have been declining as U.S. farmers reduce use of these insecticides. DDT has been found in spinach, which leads all foods in exceeding safety tolerances.

Potatoes

Pesticide use on potatoes is growing, CU warns. They may contain dieldrin and methamidophos, and children eating potatoes risk getting a very high dose of aldicarb, CU says.

Plus 2 more:

Note: In an update to its 1999 report, Consumers Union announced two more foods high in chlorpyrifos or other pesticide residues: tomatoes and cantaloupe.

Descriptions of pesticides from CHEC’s Healthhouse

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DIY Birthday Decor

The next time you find yourself planning a child’s birthday party, try one of these DIY decor ideas before you hit the store for those old crepe streamers.

Party Napkins

Instead of buying printed party napkins, try this DIY party idea:

  • Purchase solid colored party napkins to match your party decor.
  • Choose a shape to cut out that matches your party theme
  • Make a template of your shape using card stock.
  • Trace template onto napkin, then cut around design (cut through 3-4 napkins at once to save time).

Birthday Banner

Make your own birthday banner to match any birthday theme and/or color. You can really get creative with this idea since the fonts, letters, and colors are completely up to you.

  • Choose a piece of colored ribbon to hang your banner on (or any type of string or twine will work).
  • Print individual letters out from your computer (one letter per sheet) increasing font size to fill up page.
  • Repeat above until your completed message is printed
  • Attach pages to ribbon by folding over top and securing with tape. Then simply hang!

Tip: Alternate between different fonts and colors when printing out your message for a whimsical effect like shown above.

photos from Martha Stewart Crafts
Leave a comment and share you simple DIY birthday ideas with us!
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