Making a Floral Centerpiece

Howdy Y’all,

Happy Thursday, hope you had a wonderful July 4th to my American friends, it was quite the washout here, which was disappointing we often enjoy the parade (it was cancelled.) It literally rained all day. Last week Mr L and I celebrated our wedding anniversary, eight fun filled years, Mr L informed me that it was pottery, he did this while surprising me with the most beautiful porcelain bowl. As I begin to share my home with you, you will learn about my passion for china and the colors blue and white. Mr L hit the jackpot with this present. I knew the bowl would take pride of place on my dining table and although it looked beautiful I knew it was goading me to try my hand at making my own floral centerpiece.

 

 

Firstly I knew that the easy option would be to take it to the florists and ask them to plant something stunning in it, I also knew if my idea went tits up then I could fall back on that plan. Secondly I had considered buying a fake arrangement but that would have to be online and although I am not against faux flowers they have to be the most exquisite quality otherwise they can look cheap and I hate not being able to see or touch them. Thirdly both options are bloody expensive and I felt I could have a go. So for Queen and Country I jumped in and I share with you what I did.

What I Used

  • An extra large beach towel, so not to dirty the floor. (You will see why later.)
  • Potting Mix for Orchids. I used the coarse blend.
  • A black bin liner/ trash bag to line your bowl of choice.
  • Clips to help keep liner in place
  • A bowl to collect old soil.
  • Orchids (the amount is dependent on your bowl size.)
  • Moss to cover top of bowl (not in picture.)
  • The centerpiece bowl (not in picture.)
  • A sixteen month Goldendoodle puppy (not necessary at all, wanted to be involved she was a total pain in the butt, but God she is cute.)

 

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  • Take the bin liner/ trash bag and with one of the bottom corners place it in the bottom of the bowl, making sure the corner is centered.
  • Then pull the bag taut over the sides and clip. (You will have plenty of excess.)
  • Next use scissors to cut and remove the excess. Leave a few inches below the clips on the outside you can tuck this in later.

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  • You now take the Orchids out of their packaging (this is where the bowl comes in.) Orchids tend to be packed in mossy/damp soil which needs to be removed carefully to expose the roots.

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  • I then semi lined the bowl with the potting soil about half full.
  • Next I positioned the Orchids where I thought they would look best, juggling the roots is quite complex as they are shallow and bulky and alter placement.
  • It is important to view the Orchid placements from all angles.

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  • Carefully fill the rest of the bowl with the potting soil, I did this by hand to ensure all roots are covered.
  • It is quite fiddly because you have to make sure the Orchid leaves are not trapped.
  • The leaves get dirty/dusty from the soil so I used a paintbrush to clean them up.

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  • I then used plant twine to pull the Orchid close to the rod so it is upright and looks neater. Orchids can drop with the weight of the bloom.
  • I prefer to use twine and then cover with florists tape in the color of the stem, looks better.
  • The Orchid clips I find are not as effective at holding the plant straight.
  • Then you remove the clips, you can either cut the remaining excess or tuck it in as I did (neater edge.)
  • Finally you add the florists moss on top to give a  professional look (who am I kidding?!)

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  • I then placed the arrangement on the table and admired my amateur work.

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I am actually quite pleased with the result and certainly doesn’t look bad when in situe and your not looking too close. Plus it saved me several $100.

Have you done anything similar?

Ta Ta for now.

Kx

HydraFacial

Howdy Y’all,

Happy Friday, wow this week has flown by, yesterday I took a timeout and went for a little pampering. I love a facial and it would be my desert island beauty treatment. A facial can transform your skin and how you feel. When your a mum or have a busy life making time to have a little pampering is often difficult so you want it to be good. My thoughts on those who don’t like facials is you either haven’t found the right treatment or the right person. It is that simple. I have come out before feeling a little let down by the money taken and the result and that is not a good feeling. So when you get the right combination keep it up. I have wanted to try a HydraFacial for an absolute age but hadn’t had the time or inclination to do the research, well now I have.

What is a facial?

A facial is a multi step beauty treatment for your face conducted by an esthetician. A facial generally includes cleansing, exfoliating ,extracting, masking and nurturing the skin. The objective is to assist with skin concerns which can be a wide range from skin complaints like acne or rosacea etc. to anti-ageing with a primary focus on creating clear, clean and hydrated skin.

Why Facial?

A good facial is an essential part of an effective skin regime. It clears pores in a way cleansing at home can not , diagnoses skin issues which can change with age, climate and lifestyle. A skilled esthetician can help you with a skin regime suited for your skin type. The lights and equipment make them able to see your skin at a microscopic level and assist in diagnosing issues and guide you on effective products more than a person at a beauty counter. Finally they can perform extractions properly, whether it is blackheads (we all have them,) milia or regular spots they can assist in their removal without scaring and no God awful pore strip in sight.

How Often?

A good facialist will say to see great results you should visit them monthly and honestly that is not always practical financially or schedule wise, so my answer is get them when you can. An annual facial is better that no facial, plus they make awesome gifts.

Why HydraFacial?

A HydraFacial is a  new gentle treatment, it is the latest offering in non laser skin resurfacing. It combines cleansing, exfoliating, extracting and hydrating products into  your skin. It does this with the use of a small machine with high suction which works like a vacuum. The suction absorbs dead skin, clears and extracts blocked pores. The HydraFacial is effective for all skin types including sensitive skin and can assist and treat all skin needs and issues. It leaves you with clearer, cleaner and more beautiful skin with a limited recovery time.

My thoughts and results.

After doing lots of research and reading reviews I decided to visit a med spa within walking distance of my home. I was not disappointed, my esthetician Heidi was a lady older than me who had terrific skin, looked and dressed well. I always feel more comfortable when the person performing procedures looks like I would like to. She was not heavily made up with too many procedures and her professionalism in her work was similar to her appearance, excellent. She was incredibly knowledgeable and careful. I really appreciated the time she took to explain each step of the procedure and she  did extra extraction without the machine (removed a few of those beastly milia.) The extraction pain was minimal discomfort. The whole procedure was painless, it is not as relaxing as other facials mainly because of the noise of the machine but that did not concern me as I could feel the benefits. I got particular satisfaction from the machine extraction because it feels a little like a scrubber on a saucepan and I knew it was cleaning and clearing those pores. At times I could feel my cheeks flushing in particular and you will see that in the pictures below, that is expected for me as I have sensitive skin and slight rosacea. Heidi talked me through and explained how I could change and add to my regime to help with the issues. I was pleased to hear she felt my regime was working very well and that my skin was hydrated with minimal lines. All the hard work is paying off, I enjoyed chatting through some of my skin care concerns and how I felt my skin had changed since we had moved to the more humid climate of the Houston. One thing I found remarkably satisfying is to see the dirty liquid sucked from you face, I enclose a photo for those of you mad enough. The sediment is things stuck in my pores – gross. As I left my skin felt warm and I did have redness, but my skin felt glowing and it never felt dry or tight. The redness went down very quickly and I attach photos immediately after, after about an hour where you can see some dried skin cells on my face and then about two hours later when I had washed my face and reapplied sun screen. I am writing his approx six hours later and my skin feels clean and wonderful. I can’t wait for the next one!

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Before the procedure, my skin was looking a little dull, tired and I had some minor congestion.
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A closeup on a problem area, milia, sun spots and pigment.
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The gunk taken from my face, Heidi is highlighting the sediment.
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The color of the extracted liquid
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The amount of liquid
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My face straight after the procedure. Lots of redness in the cheekbone area.
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About one hour after, you can see a few dead skin cells and white stuff left on my face.
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A closeup after treatment, still a little red but it is glowing and looks cleaner and more hydrated
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Picture about three hours later, after I washed my face in cool water and added sunscreen, Thrilled with the results. Skin looks cleaner, fresher and more hydrated. I could almost pass as 50- lol.

Have any questions please get in touch. Have you tried a HydraFacial? Have I inspired you. It is so important to take care of our skin.

Happy Weekend Friends.

Kx

 

 

 

 

 

Marriage- Eight Years. What I have learnt.

Howdy Y’all,

Happy Tuesday, today is special in chez Lifestyle because Mr L and I celebrate EIGHT years of marriage. I can not believe we are at eight years which I think is a good thing since it doesn’t seem that long ago that I walked down the aisle to become a Mrs. We have packed a lot in to our eight years, an international move, six homes, a child and a dog. So never a dull moment. It is not my intention to speak of mine and Mr L’s marriage specifically or to speak in depth about him, we like to keep some privacy. I will say this. When I walked down the aisle eight years ago I knew I was marrying a good and kind man, a man of principle (sometimes bloody mindedness with an insistent need to be right.)A man confident and self-assured enough to support those around him, a man who raises women up and sees them as more than equal. A person who loves unconditionally and understands remarkably. Mr L has not disappointed. The type of personality I am, I had to be married to a man who I respected and who could be my partner in all things. A man who can accept my feisty side and encourage and support me. I am the lucky one I have found that. I have a partner in all its entirety, it is not perfect but its ours.

Today I want to share some of the observations and lessons I have found in eight years of marriage, these do not simply relate to marriage but to all partnerships,

  1. Marriage in unpredictable. Yes like life you can have an idea of what marital bliss will be like and then you are thrown a grenade and it becomes something else. I never saw us spending our lives living on another continent to our loved ones. Raising my child away from family, but it forces you to pull together and lean on each other. It tests the foundations of marriage.
  2. Your not the same person, your life experiences prior to your relationship are different . Your childhood and traditions are unalike. Navigating and respecting each others ways is part of the journey. Examples of this are should your stocking or Santa sack be at the end of your bed or by the fireplace? Does Santa wrap your gifts or not? Is Easter a time for lamb or ham?
  3. You get the marriage you think you deserve. A wise women once made that statement to me at school, at the time I thought very little of it, but whether speaking of marriage, life or friendships there is a real pearl of truth to it. If you have self respect enough to love yourself and show love to others then you deserve the same in return. Many partners will invest and reciprocate the same levels of love you show them. It is also important to remember you are the example of a healthy loving relationship to those around you, especially children and they learn how to love and give love from your example.
  4. Pick your battles, as you bed down in marital bliss you learn that you don’t have to win every battle to win the war. Either that or I am becoming so long in the tooth I care less. Now Mr L may disagree on this but I have tried in recent years to let things slide. I have made a conscious effort not to become a nag and ride his butt about everything he doesn’t do, (because I am sure there are things I don’t do, very few things but sometimes even perfect people slip up!) I am also trying to calm myself and consider is this issue really worth a disagreement and nine times out of ten it is not unless it is PMT driven.
  5. Marriage requires work, that doesn’t mean big extravagant gifts or hearts and roses (although all great ideas so Mr L if by chance your reading this don’t be put off.) You have to be that person the other requires sometimes and find common ground. It is so easy especially when you have small children to get immersed in routine and little person needs, you forget that you have needs of each other. My grandpa used to say that children flee the nest and you are left with each other so don’t forget that.
  6. Marriage has seasons, there are times when you require more from your partner or the balance changes. Life is fast pace and we all have times where things are not quite as we would want, marriage requires you to support and love your partner unconditionally. The roles could revers one day. Seasons in life and marriage are meant and you have to learn from each one.
  7. Don’t compare you marriage to other. Firstly nobody’s marriage is perfect and they are all different because we are. In the eight years I have been married I have sadly seen lots of marriages dissolve for many reasons but often I see that people compare their marriage to unrealistic expectations or society ideals. What matters is the two of you and how happy you are with each other. What others are doing or speaking about is up to them. I maintain if you were lucky enough like Mr L and I to have grown up with strong examples of marriage, it helps because you have seen the journey of marriage and the ups and downs required for true partnership.
  8. Love Languages. Something I discovered this year and I am using. You answer a series of questions and they inform you about your preferred love language. Mr L and I completed this thinking not a lot of it, we were polar opposites (no surprise.)  My main love language is “acts of service” for Mr L it is “physical touch.” So in a nutshell I feel loved and appreciated by “acts of service”  so for example if Mr L put the trash out, or I came home and the kitchen had been cleaned (your getting the idea) I would be in heaven. For Mr L he feels most loved if I give him a hug or hold his hand on the sofa ( not natural for me.) These are such simple things and I have noticed subconsciously we have been trying to appeal to each others language and although far from perfect I am quite amazed by the result. I was a skeptic but honestly humble pie I may need to eat. Would you like a post on the love languages? I encourage everyone in a relationship to take the quiz. Not only have I been grateful by the effort Mr L has made but it gives me areas at which I need to focus. 

Do you have any pearly words of wisdom or do you prescribe to that mantra the art of a good marriage is two people who don’t want to get divorced at the same time!!!

Happy Anniversary Mr L here is to another year! Love you.

Kx