Welcome! I'm a 48 (and 1/2) year old, wife, mother (8 1/2 year old son), daughter, sister, friend and volunteer. So, 48.5 really means I'm into my 49th year on this amazing planet, and on July 19, 2010, I'll be in my 50th year. The mid-century mark. L. The big 5-0. However you want to say it, to most of the English speaking world, it means "old". I want to get there with grace, passion, beauty, love and laughter. I want to get there the old-fashioned way: by taking care of myself, eating right, creating a balanced life, laughing and living life to it's fullest. I'll be documenting my journey and hope you will watch and learn along the way. I'll also provide some of my tips for looking young and feeling your best as we head to and beyond our mid-century mark. Here's to being "Beautifully 50".

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Stop! And buy the flowers.

I've always loved flowers, and love giving and receiving them as gifts. I rarely, however, purchased flowers for my own enjoyment at home. Why not? I guess I was an arrange-aphobic...if I couldn't do it perfectly, I didn't want to try at all. Until I met my dear friend, Kellie (please check out her beautiful blog at www.cashonandcompany.blogspot.com, you won't be disappointed).  Kellie always has flowers at home, usually in every room, even if it's a simple rose bud in a short, silver vase.  Her home is absolutely stunning without flowers, but the beauty is even more breathtaking when filled with her own arrangements.  She fills her vases with confidence and ease, and often uses the most unlikely of containers to hold her lovely designs.

"I can do this!" enters my mind each time I walk into her orchid-filled foyer! So, one day a few years ago, I decided to try, and guess what? It's not as hard as it looks! Don't get me wrong, I don't have a big budget, and I certainly don't try anything that will make it to the pages of Martha Stewart Living. I keep it simple and inexpensive...but just the few flowers that I do purchase make my senses happy . My favorite go-to's are orchids, potted azaleas, roses, hydrangeas and tulips. I love brights and will usually pick out the fuschia or yellow blooms, with an occasional white or blue in the mix.

When arranging, I love finding different looks on floral websites. I just ran across this site the other day - www.l'olivier.com. A big-time florist in NYC with great arrangements that I know all of us can replicate at home (see below). The best thing about home arrangements - the price. Roses at the local grocery store are only $9.99 per dozen,  tulips may run a little higher, and hydrangeas $3-$4 per flower.  I only buy orchids when they are truly beautiful and on sale. Again, at the local grocer I'm only paying between $20 -$25 for a potted, 2 stemmed, beautiful orchid (down the street at the local florist, this could run you $60).  You can often find even better prices at Sam's Warehouse, Costco or Lowes.

So, why are flowers important? Research indicates that colorful flowers can have a powerful influence over moods. Flower bouquets can conjure up love, uplift a patient's mood and even help combat stress. Dr. Mao is a big believer in using beautiful flowers as stress -busters... thereby leading to a longer, happier life. A study had people performing a 5-minute typing assignment next to either a green foliage-only plant or a beautiful bouquet. Sure enough, the participants next to the peonies were more relaxed and therefore performed more accurately on their typing assignment. Wanting to improve your mood and relax? Surround yourself with nature's lovelies!

Miniature azaleas - they can brighten any spot. 
To ensure longevity, take out of container to water. Soak and let drain prior to returning to pot.

Bunches of Parrot Tulips in small container.
Just cut on an angle, add water and enjoy!

Parrot Tulips and Roses, a perfect match.
Photo credit www.l'olivier.com

Two Bunches of Tulips
This will be my next arrangement.
Use a tulip leaf to tie.
Photo Credit: www.l'olivier.com

My go-to look. Roses wrapped in banana leafs. 
Photo credit: www.l'olivier.com

So pretty and unique looking.  I'll try this one too.
Roses wrapped with philodendron leaves.
Photo credit - www.l'olivier.com

Blue-tipped Hydrangeas
ANYONE can do this!
I would wrap a banana leaf on inside of glass.
Adding lemons or limes would be an easy, fun addition too.

Sunflowers for summertime. 
Another easy bright solution!
A sure mood pick-me-up!

So, next time you are at your local grocer, indulge in flowers for yourself! Just have fun with the arranging...don't think Martha Stewart, think 'for my own pleasure'.
You and your mood are worth it, and Dr. Mao would be proud.


Cashon&Co said...

Okay Girlie, you are WAY too kind. Thank you for those nicest of nicest words! I'll lie and say that my home is still filled w/ flowers right now, when in truth it looks barren and blank. But now you've given me the incentive to get my bottom up to the grocer's and buy some! I saw some large, gorgeous orchids at Tom Thumb yesterday, and they were VERY inexpensive, so I'm going today. Thanks for that !! ☺☺ Plus those pics are gorgeous

Kathysue said...

I am reading through your post and absorbing and enjoying each one. I just did a post on flowers the other day. I so agree they bring me to a happy place every time and it is one indulgence I allow myself. It was interesting to read about the study of the typist. Love your blog.Kathysue