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How to shop and take care of flowers

It’s been over a year since we last moved into our home and I am learning new things about myself since becoming a home owner. One of them is that I really love gardening and second is that I have a slight obsession with flowers. I remember watching the Desperate Housewives TV show a while back and admiring the housewives homes. They always had beautiful gardens and pretty flower arrangements in their homes which I loved. Now I always make it a point I have a vase of fresh flowers in the home and today I will be sharing some tricks that I have learned. 

How to shop and take care of flowers

Flowers are nature’s gift to earth and they are one of the best ways to bring beauty and elegance to a room. There is a notion that flowers are expensive which is partly true but if you shop around you will find some really good prices. Trader Joe’s is my go to for fresh flowers as they always have reasonably priced bouquets as low as $3.99. Whole Foods often has good sales on flowers as well so I would start at these 2 shops. 

Tips for Shopping & Caring for Flowers: 

Always make sure the flowers are still vibrant and none of the petals and leaves are wilted: Do not the make the mistake of picking the first bouquet you find. Sometimes there may be some hidden blooms that are past their prime. It is actually best to pick flowers whose blooms are still opening so they last longer however some shops only sell them when they have fully bloomed. In that case just pick the freshest looking. The Leaves should be green and firm too. Regardless always inspect them before you buy.

How to shop and take care of flowers

  • Check the Stem: Firm stems are a good sign that a flower can still absorb water well. If the stem is too soft, chances are high your flowers will not last long. 
  • Try to buy varieties that last long: I am no flower expert but I have discovered some types that last longer than others. Calla Lillies and Carnations for example seem to last longer than a week in water, they can even reach 3 weeks sometimes. Hydrangeas are one my favorites but they always seem to die on me after a week. If you have a trick to keep these longer, I would love to hear from you. 
  • Trim the stem. This is important to do before you place the flowers in a vase. I recommend using sharp pruners or pair of scissors to trim. I would say about an inch or two of stem trimmed at a 45 degree angle works. Also remember to trim every 3 days or so to allow water to keep going through the stem. I read that cutting them at an angle keeps the stems off the bottom of the vase thus allowing them to absorb water more easily. 

  • Remove leaves and buds in the water line: By removing any leaves or buds in contact with water you will prevent them from rotting and causing bacterial growth. It also looks better if you are using a transparent vase. 
  • Clean your vase: I am very guilty of reusing the same vase without cleaning it before adding new flowers. I have noticed that whenever I wash the vase first the flowers last longer. Something to do with bacteria which affects the length of their freshness. 
  • Use the plant food packet: Most flowers come with a small packet of plant food and they are very  essential. I used to use the whole packet at once until I learned that I need to use little by little whenever I change the water. If you run out you can do your own mix of two drops of bleach and a teaspoon of sugar with a gallon of water.

  • Always check on your flowers every few days. Check if they have enough water, trim the stems and replenish the plant food at least every 3 days. This will result in long lasting flowers. 

How to shop and take care of flowers

Now that you have arranged your flowers neatly in the vase enjoy the beauty and brightness they bring to your home. I love placing them anywhere from the dining table, coffee table, bathroom counter or bedrooms. A home with fresh flowers always looks beautiful and inviting. 

Do you love flowers? What tricks do you have for keeping long lasting flowers? I would love to hear from you in the comment section below. 

Choosing wedding flowers: Tips & ideas

Wedding flowers are one of the most expensive items on the wedding budget which makes choosing them very important. They are certainly an item you cannot ignore if you want a beautiful and elegant wedding. Today we will talk tips for choosing wedding flowers and you will also get a glimpse into my wedding while we are at it.

Choosing wedding flowers. White and pastel bridal bouqet

My dream was to have lots of flowers like those you see on beautiful Pinterest boards but reality struck when I received the quotes from the florist shops. I mean seriously, I am surprised people pay these exorbitant amounts but I guess if you can afford it, why not.

Since I am not Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex; my goal was to find a florist that would create a look as close to the one I dreamed of without breaking the bank. Our wedding theme was simple, classic elegance with a touch of glam. Being the terrible procrastinator that I am, I chose my florist 4 months before the wedding. I definitely would recommend giving yourself more time than I did. I was lucky to find a great florist who could accommodate my time frame. If you are getting married in the Rhode Island area, I definitely recommend Studio 539 Flowers.We were very happy with the way the flowers turned out with no glitches in the process.

Choosing Wedding Flowers. Wedding table tall centerpiece
Soft color bridesmaids bouqets

There are so many things to consider when choosing your wedding flowers. Here are the main things I learned from my own experience.

5 Important things to consider when choosing wedding flowers
  1. Budget: First things first, how much can you afford and how much are you willing to pay? Always set the wedding budget first so you make sure you do not go into debt after all is said and done. Try to stick to the budget as much as you can. Request quotes from various florists before making your decision. When you get frustrated about not affording what you want, just remember the flowers won’t last but the memories will.
  2. DIY or florist service: Decide if you want to do your own flowers or have a florist take care of everything. I chose a florist because I already live a busy life and anything to reduce my workload and reduce stress was important to me. If you have more time on your hands and want to save more money you could order flowers from places like Whole Foods and arrange them yourself. Whole Foods especially is well known for their ability to cater to wedding requests with great results.
  3. Venue style and size: You will be surprised how many people forget about the size of the venue and focus only on the number of tables to decorate. If you have a large room with high ceilings then small flower arrangements are just going to disappear‌ in the furniture and not have a visual impact. A small venue may look too crowded with large centerpieces on every table. We had a medium sized venue so we had some tables with large centerpieces and others with small centerpieces. This was a great way to lower the costs and worked well with the room size.
  4. Wedding theme: Is your wedding going to have a rustic farmhouse feel or are you going for a more polished and glitzy wedding? Knowing and sticking to your wedding theme creates a cohesive and visually appealing wedding. For example the wheat bundles will look great in rustic farmhouse style wedding but will not work well in a classic vintage themed wedding.
  5. Bride and bridal party flowers. Your bouquet is a key accessory to your dress. Put a lot of thought into it and make sure it complements and doesn’t overpower your dress. Also remember the bridesmaids flowers are also a key factor to a pretty wedding. For example, If your bridesmaids dresses are soft colors then you want flowers that complement that look; think whites and pastels. Flower girls flowers and groomsmen boutonnieres should all be considered when deciding on your flowers.
Choosing Wedding Flowers

Are you getting married or are you already married? I would love to know your experiences and advice for future brides in the comment box below. Have you got your shoes yet? check out my post on how to choose your wedding shoes

Four ways to cozy up your living room

The living room is the room in the house were we like to relax, socialize, and feel at home. For that reason, it is the one room in the house that needs to be warm, cozy and inviting. Sofas, tables, rugs are all standard items in a living room but there are certain items that add a level of comfort to the room.
Ottomans: Ottomans are great because they can be used for different reasons. They can be used as a footstool, coffee table, storage bin or even as a place to sit and add a nice cozy look to your room.
Throw Blankets: A throw blanket adds instant coziness to any room. Throw it on the couch, Place it in basket near the couch or over the ottoman. The great thing is that they are decorative because of their patterns and textures while still being functional.

Throw Pillows: These are an absolute must if you are looking to create comfort and coziness to your living room. Aside from their beautifying advantages, they also offer great lower back support. Throw pillows come in various colors, textures and patterns which add personality to any room. I suggest replacing the throw pillows that come with the couch as those tend to have very dated designs.

Do you like to spend time in the living room? What is your favorite decor piece? I would love to hear from you in the comment box below. Check out my post about how to create a beautiful home for more decor idea.

Lantera: A Boston Luxury Apartment Community

If you are looking for a beautiful apartment community in Boston with top-notch amenities and luxurious living then Lantera probably popped up on your search list. I took a tour during their grand opening event and absolutely loved the space. Located in the Brighton neighborhood it’s the perfect place for you if you like to live near the city, universities, restaurants, the Charles River and more.

Lantera Boston Luxury Apartment Community Lantera Boston Luxury Apartment Community

Lantera has a variety of residences starting from studios to three-bedrooms. I toured a number of their units including this good-sized one bedroom 1 bath apartment. The apartment does not feel cramped and the modern finishings, especially in the kitchen, are a plus. The kitchens include light and dark cabinet options, quartz countertops, under cabinet lighting and stainless steel appliances.

With floor to ceiling windows, balconies and walk in closets you can’t help but fall in love with the rooms. There is a clear focus on technology and good quality, elegant finishings throughout the rooms and the entire building.

Lantera Boston Luxury Apartment Community

One feature that is usually a deal breaker for most renters is the presence of a washer and dryer in the unit. Lantera has that covered; all apartments are energy-efficient.

Lantera Boston Luxury Apartment CommunityLantera Boston Luxury Apartment Community

you’ll fall in love with the common areas, which are comparable or even surpass some hangout spots in Boston in my opinion. In addition to a zen garden, there is an outdoor pool deck area with cabanas, fire pits, outdoor dining areas and private grilling stations. There is even an open gathering space with a fireplace lounge, bar and gaming area. For those who work from home you will love the tech bar! I would just move in for the amenities but everything else about these residences is awesome. Covered parking, fit studio, pet friendly, beautiful grounds and the fact that it’s next to a commuter rail stop are just some of the other great features Lantera provides.

With the way I am raving about this place one would think I work for them which I don’t. I just give credit when its due. This place is a gem and if you are not sure you want to live there, I suggest at least stopping by for a tour before crossing Lantera off your list.

Looking for a good Boston Hotel? Check out my Boston Staycation story at Aloft Boston Seaport Hotel.

How I Improved My Sleep with SLEEPHI

Anyone who knows me can tell you that sleep is very important to me and I get very grumpy without enough of it. Because of this my bed has to be super comfy and cozy; my little sanctuary where I can easily slip into blissful slumber. A good mattress and great bedding is key to creating a relaxing setting that helps me easily fall and stay asleep.

For the past two weeks I’ve been sleeping in new bedding from the SLEEPHI Collection and I have seen an improvement in my sleep quality. I lay my head down, doze off almost immediately and wake the next morning feeling rejuvenated. The only downside of the bedding is that I now want to do everything in my bed like surfing the net and writing blog posts; including this one.

How I Improved My Sleep with SLEEPHIHow I Improved My Sleep with SLEEPHI


SLEEPHI Collection Pieces:

Hypoallergenic Microfiber Pillow: Ideal for Side, Back & Stomach Sleepers, Unique Design to Prevent Neck Problems & Relieve Pain, Flat and Medium Firm Hypoallergenic Microplush Mattress Topper: Box-Stitched with Overfilling for Extra Comfort,  Breathable Material to Prevent Overheating Hypoallergenic Down ALTERNATIVE Year Round Comforter: Climabalance Patented Design, Improves Deep Sleep Phases by 50%

Product descriptions by SLEEPHI


How I Improved My Sleep with SLEEPHIHow I Improved My Sleep with SLEEPHI

I am sure you are wondering what makes this bedding so special. The SLEEPHI Collection uses the patented Climabalance technology, which allows heat to escape. This is so huge because heat is the usual cause of restless nights. I honestly never thought about this till I tried this bedding. I was actually surprised when I woke up the first morning and the covers were not scattered as they usually are.

I have 3 items from the SLEEPHI collection – the Hypoallergenic pillows, the comforter and the mattress topper. The SLEEPHI comforter is unlike any comforter I have seen before. It has mesh baffles that allow the heat to easily escape leaving you cool throughout the night. The mattress topper is insanely plush and feels like you are sleeping on clouds. Don’t even get me started on the hypoallergenic pillows which are just perfect; no wonder they have a high rating on Amazon. Before my new pillows I had these really thin pillows that I had to fold in order to get sufficient neck and head support. The SLEEPHI pillow has a flat middle and is fluffy on the outside which has helped me tremendously. I have no need to fold my skinny pillow anymore!

Knowing that SLEEPHI is Boston based is icing on the cake as I always love supporting local businesses. If you are shopping for great quality bedding be sure to check out the SLEEPHI Website or check them out on Amazon.

SLEEPHI SPECIAL!

Use the code SPOONSAG for a 10% discount towards your next SLEEPHI purchase on Amazon

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Sponsored post written by me in collaboration with SLEEPHI. This post contains affiliate links. Click here for full disclosure policy

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