Summer is in full swing and there are still many weeks left to enjoy the bounty of beautiful, wild, and not-so-wild flowers that the season has to offer. However, knowing how to pick flowers in nature or at your local store can be a little tricky, and keeping them fresh and healthy for any extended amount of time can be even trickier. Dawn Bryan, founder of The Qualipedia, gives some great advice on how to pick, clip, arrange, and keep your fresh summer flowers looking lovely for these long summer days.
Selecting Your Flowers:
· Look for firm stems, healthy leaves, and plump flowers with upright petals
· Select flowers with petals that have the most brilliant color and that are erect
· Choose flowers that are just beginning to show signs that they are opening
Prepping Your Flowers:
· Cut your stems under running water at an angle using a sharp knife
· Remove leaves, that will be submerged, to prevent bacteria from forming
· Place your flowers in clean cool water (to slow their growth) or in warm water (to encourage them to open)
Caring for Your Flowers:
· Keep flowers out of direct sunlight, heating/air conditioning vents, and objects that have a tendency to emit heat
· Trim the stems and replace water in your vase with fresh water every couple of days
· Remove wilted flowers from the arrangement to keep the rest of your arrangement looking fresh
There are also many health benefits that come with keeping fresh flowers around you. Flowers help to improve emotional health and relieve stress. A team of researchers at Rutgers University explored the link between flowers and life satisfaction. They recently published a study that showed that: flowers have an immediate impact on happiness (apparently this is universal reaction); they have a long-term positive effect on people’s moods; and their presence has been shown to increase contact with family and friends. They also concluded that flowers are a symbol for sharing, especially the sharing of space.
So spruce your home for the summer with a gorgeous arrangement of fresh summer flowers and improve your mood and your view!
Happy summer from The Qualipedia!
Watermelons are considered to be the quintessential summer food staple. With so many choices out there, finding, storing, preparing, and serving a melon can be daunting. Here are Dawn’s tips:
- To find your juiciest watermelon you first must look at the coloring: it should have bright firm skin, be symmetrical, and free of cuts, major bruises and scars
- Pick up the watermelon to feel whether it is heavy. The heavier the melon the more water it contains, which translates to a very luscious fruit
- Make sure that you pick a melon that is the right size for your needs — you don’t want to waste any juicy bite
- The last test you need is the thumping method. You want to hold the watermelon close to your ear, thump it, and listen for a hollow sound. This means that you’ve got yourself a good melon
If your watermelon isn’t quite ready to cut open and serve, make sure that you store it at room temperature, giving it time to reach its prime ripeness. However, if you have a melon that’s ready to eat you can cool it off in your fridge for a couple of hours so that when you’re ready to serve it, it’s ice cold and delicious. Be sure to wrap all your leftovers in plastic and keep them in the refrigerator.
USES AND RECIPES:
There are a variety of ways you can eat– and drink—this tasty fruit. While biting into an icy chunk of watermelon is very refreshing, there are also new recipes you can try to spruce up the ways you enjoy this summertime staple. Here are a few recipe links to help you cool off on these hot summer days:
Watermelon Mojito Popsicles so you can cool down and cut loose
Watermelon Keg great for those late evening outdoor soirées
Watermelon Smoothie that help brighten your skin and your day
Watermelon and Feta Salad a light and refreshing summer meal
Have a delicious summer from The Qualipedia!
Summer is finally here and with it brings the coveted outdoor entertaining season. Dawn Bryan, founder of The Qualipedia, offers some basic summer party hosting tips that will also turn your outdoor event into a spectacular evening.
- Arrange guests in small comfortable groups, to foster mingling (this can be done with small tables or even over-sized grass blankets with filled baskets anchoring the corners)
- Offer fun water toys/floats for parties with a pool
- Enhance ground seating with rugs, pillows, or blankets
- Serve up a rain date on the invite so there is always a contingency plan
- Arrange food by this order: entrees, sides, salads, bread, butter, and condiments, and always prepare extra portions
- Provide enough extra dishes and silverware for second helpings to be enjoyed on clean dishes
- Position the drink table away from the buffet to avoid traffic jams
- Offer leftovers in take-away containers, especially to guests who have children
- Create a signature theme with a recipe, color, music, or games
- Send guests home with a gift bag that relates to your theme (example: if your party theme is 4th of July, find some sparklers and ring pops with a note attached saying “let freedom ring” to fill each goody bag!)
- In your gift bag, include a take home bagel or Danish for Saturday or Sunday morning breakfast
Above all be sure you feel comfortable, look great, and are ready to have a fantastic time!
Have a wonderful Summer from www.thequalipedia.com!