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Design Tips for Your Home


“The breeze and the dew make tranquil the clear dawn; Behind a curtain there is one who alone is up betimes. The Orioles sing and the flowers smile – whose then, after all is the spring.  Li Shange-Yin

Flowers enhance the appearance of any room

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Participants in the Harvard study reported the greatest mood-boosting effects when fresh cut flowers were placed in common areas of the home such as the kitchen, dining room and family room. To make a small room appear more spacious use bold colored arrangements near the entrance of the rooms and more subtle shades of the same color theme around the room.

Or brighten an office with colorful, spring flowers.  Here are just a few ideas

flowersinhome2.jpg Place bud vases in high traffic home areas – with even just a few flowers. Any decorative glass from the kitchen will do!

flowersinthekitchen.jpgThe kitchen table might be the best place for flowers, because it’s where people gather together.

Stop by a florist or supermarket, where you’ll find a wide selection of flowers from which to choose. kitchen-flowers.jpg

flowersontable.jpgDecorate any table in the house with fresh flowers to brighten a corner, or add life to a room.

 

flowersonwindow.jpg The foyer, entryway or sunny window always look good with a vase of fresh flowers. 

largevaseofflowers.jpg Fill open spaces bold flowers. An abundant arrangement of lilies, gladiolus, sunflowers and other large blooms create an inviting environment for an expansive entryway or dining room. flowers-in-the-bedroom.jpg A bouquet can also perk up personal spaces such as bathrooms and bedrooms. flowersinbathroom.jpg

flowers on a windowsill make a perfect accent to your view.  flowersinwindow2.jpg Those looking in and those looking out can enjoy the healing power of fresh flowers.

girlsmakingflowers.jpg Make it a family affair! Gather flowers from your favorite florist and let the kids help put them together.

 

For more information on how flowers in the home can lift the spirits, visit http://www.aboutflowers.com/decorating_b3.html

Stop by your local florist and pick up a beautiful bouquet (or several) of your favorite cut flowers.  If you are in South Broward (Florida) be sure to stop by Eden Florist (in lovely downtown Miramar).  Tell them Heidi sent you! (Society of American Florists – aboutflowers.com)

Nature’s Benefits


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Ever noticed how good it feels to be around green, growing things? Not only do flowers and plants make us feel good, did you know there are measurable health benefits associated with their presence? Here are some facts based on research in horticultural therapy:

Looking at trees and flowers reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and relieves muscle tension.

In one study, women 50 and older who gardened at least once a week had higher bone density than those who jogged, walked, swam or did aerobics.

Physicians in ancient Egypt prescribed taking walks in gardens for the mentally disturbed.

People working at computers in an office with plants were 12% more productive and less stressed than people doing the same job in an office where no plants were present.

Working In a garden can produce endorphin highs similar to those experienced when jogging and cycling.

Working gardens and natural scenes were used to maintain morale aboard the Soviet space station Mir.

A study of British Columbia residences for Alzheimer’s patients showed that, at the residences with gardens, the rate of violent incidents declined by 19% over two years. At the non-garden residences, the violent incidents increased by 68%.

For elderly patients in particular, gardening can stimulate all the senses, by providing interesting sights, tactile experiences, fragrances, sounds, and delicious flavors.

According to another study “Those involved in gardening find life more satisfying and feel they have more positive things happening in their lives.”

Resource: The Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association

Thirteen Rules of Edible Flowers


Thirteen Rules of Edible Flowers

flowersonaplate.jpgThe use of flowers in food dates back thousands of years to the Chinese, Greek and Romans. And with the resurgence of the world’s desire to save the planet, the interest in edible flowers has become more desirable. In keeping with the current “trends” people may want to experiment with flowers and plants more as a food sourse.  However there are some rules or guidelines you must keep in mind when experimenting. First ofl all, remember that even if the flower isn’t poisonious does not mean it’s edible.

Before partaking of flowers , review these 13 simple rules:

  1. Before consuming any flowers,  consult a good reference book on edible flowers to be certain they can be used in your recipes and eaten.
  2. Not all flowers used as “garnish” or decorations on plates are edible. When in doubt, ask the server or chef or simply “throw it out.”
  3. When growing your edible flowers only use pesticides when necessary and only those  products labeled for use on edible crops.
  4. Do not eat flowers from florists, nurseries or garden centers.It is common for these flowers have been treated with pesticides that are not considered safe for edible crops.
  5. Never eat flowers picked from the side of the road.
  6. Eat only the flower petals and prepare according to recipes. Remvoe the pistils and stamens from flowers when preparing your dishes.
  7. Different flavors occur in plants when grown in different locations because of soil types, fertilization, and culture. Environmental conditions play a big role as well. What has excellent flavor at one time may taste different at the end of the season or the next year.
  8. To avoid digestive problems, it is a good idea to introduce flowers into your diet in small quantities one species at a time. Too
  9. Because some flowers may aggravate allergies, it is best to start small when introducing edible flowers into your mealplans.
  10. Collect flowers at the optimum time. Pick fully open flowers in the cool of the day. Avoid flowers that are starting to wilt.
  11. Sample the flower for taste. If it’s bitter and you expected it to be sweet, you may not want to use it just yet.
  12. Flowers mature at different rates (just like people) and depending on the soil, time of year and weather conditions, this year’s crop may have a totally different taste than those used in previous harvests.
  13. Don’t be afraid to experiment! Edible flowers can add zest to your recipes, they add a whole new variety of flavors and colors that you may never have experiences.   

Have fun experimenting and experiencing the new dimension they can bring to your cooking.

Source: Horticulture News http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/1995/7-21-1995/eatflow.html

Tips for Life, Love and Entertaining


Did you know?

roses and candlesAre flies or bees bothering you? Spray them with hairspray and they will take a quick dive.

You can spray a bit of perfume on the light bulb in any room to create a lovely light scent in each room when the light is turned on.

Candles will last a lot longer if placed in the freezer for at least 3 hours prior to burning.

To clean artificial flowers, pour some salt into a paper bag and add the flowers. Shake vigorously as the salt will absorb all the dust and dirt and leave your artificial flowers looking like new! Works like a charm!

Don’t throw out all that leftover wine: Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.

A one-minute kiss burns 26 calories. The brain is programmed for people to find their partner’s lips in the dark. Studies show kissing relieves headaches. Kissing stimulates the same part of the brain as bungee jumping, parachuting & distance running. Men who kiss their wives goodbye in the morning make more money than those who don’t.