Thursday, April 30, 2015

Own It - April

 A little confession session:
  1. I will only eat an apple if it is cut up. I hate biting into a whole one and the thought of it makes my teeth tingle! I bring one to work with me everyday and around 2 or 3pm, I cut it into eighths and snack on it. 
  2. I'm really good at assembling Ikea furniture. I have years of experience under my belt.
  3. I can shake my eyeballs. It's gross and creepy and please don't ask me to show you.
  4. My cats have voices and human-like personalities created by my husband. I respond to them as if they are actually talking to me.
  5. I moved to Canada in the middle of Grade 1 not knowing how to speak English and by Grade 2, my teacher didn't know I wasn't born here.
Special thanks goes out to Biana at B Loved Boston for introducing me to
I made the above image with it and I'm obsessed!

Linking up with Christina at The New Mrs for her Own It series.

And finally, because I am concerned that you might not see this enough times today... 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Reading Lately: Not That Kind Of Girl

My husband likes to watch sports. A lot. And I kind of don't. To me, most games are the same. Take basketball for example: dribble dribble, shoot, dribble dribble, shoot. Back and forth and back and forth. And then time runs out and we see who has more points. Mike likes to watch lots of different sports, and lots of different teams. I just can't find it in me to share the passion. Which is ok! He's cool with it.

Anyway, the point of this post isn't the hate on sports. To be honest, I enjoy watching them in little spurts. But this leaves me with a lot of free time. Enter: books. We can still hang out in the same space and not bother each other while doing our own thing. Win-win.

I thought it would be fun to start a little series about books I have read. I really enjoy hearing what other people think about a book. Sometimes reading can be a lonely experience. After I finish the last page, I always want to discuss with others since a story can affect everyone differently. I should probably join a book club.

I recently finished reading Lena Dunham's Not That Kind of Girl. And I looooved it.

I have mentioned in an earlier post that I loved Lena Dunham. I love that she speaks her mind and says what we are all too afraid to say. She is comfortable in who she is and is an advocate for women and for the LGBT community. She is an actor, author, screenwriter, producer, and director. This girl is so crazy talented! I was first introduced to her in the show Girls. It really caught my attention and I binge-watched the whole series. Once I was all caught up, I needed more.

Her book is a collection of essays, based on her life experiences. I thought it was funny, quirky, and brutally honest. She didn't skim over anything! She talks about growing up in an artsy family, her obsessive-compulsive disorder, crazy boyfriends, college life, and everything in between.

I see a lot of parallels between her essays and various plot lines in Girls. Her writing style is very easy to follow and it feels like I'm listening to a friend talk. I really didn't want it to end. Hopefully she will write more soon!

Have you read anything worth sharing lately?

Monday, April 27, 2015


Mike and I went to the states for a few hours after work. Some outlets, some Target, but most importantly, Brickyard. We had dinner at Brickyard Restaurant in Lewiston, NY and it was woooonderful!

They have Southern BBQ cuisine which is one of my favourites and they definitely did not disappoint. That picture doesn't do it justice. The best part was their immensely large beer selection. I'm not a huge beer drinker, but I couldn't pass up their strawberry flavoured beer. Oh my goodness. SO good. Mike tried the watermelon one and that was fantastic too! Moral of the story: we will be going back there.

If you had one guess as to what we did on Saturday, would you guess painting? Well, you'd be right! Congratulations. This weekend we painted our lower stairs and entryway.

We did both coats on Saturday and my body hates me. I have an appointment with my chiropractor this afternoon. I hope that we only have one more weekend of painting. Last zone is the upper stairs and upstairs hallway. I can't wait to show you guys the before and afters!!

Mike joined a new softball team this year and Sunday they had a little mini practice before the season started. I have a couple friends whose husbands are on the team so I get to see them and their littles on a weekly basis now. Sitting in the stands, watching the boys play, drinking an iced coffee, catching some rays, and hanging with the girls is one of the best parts of summer.

Afterwards we stopped off at Ikea for hotdogs and a new shoe cabinet. We accidentally wrecked our old one so it had to be replaced.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Only 5 days until we get to do it all over again!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Favourite: Kardashian Sweatshirt

This was love at first sight. I mentioned before how much I love watching the Kardashians. I can't remember exactly how I first saw this sweatshirt but I can remember thinking that I loved it! I clicked over to the site and saw the price tag, and said "yeah, no." I'm so frugal and $100 on a novelty sweatshirt isn't my jam.

Then one day, it showed up in our mailbox. Surpriiiiise! Mike had gotten it for me when he found out I wasn't getting it for myself. He's seriously the best.

It is super comfy and soft inside and I basically wear it all the time at home.

It is from Kitson and you can now get 10% off with promo code NEWKITSON10. Woo!

Linking up with some of my fave mama bloggers for their Can't Live Without It linkup! Check out their blogs below and make sure to send them some love:

Stephanie @ Newlyweds:North
Caitlyn @ Home Sweet Ruby
Laura @ Happily Ever Parker

Happy weekend!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

My Makeup Routine

I have gotten a little bit more into makeup lately. It's so much fun to play with different products and colours. I have come a long way from doing my makeup in the car. I think what really inspired me to get better was having a little vanity desk in the house. Now I have a pretty place to get ready in the morning that I enjoy being at. But that's another tale for another day.

My motto these days is carpe diem. For example, my body may not want me to wear heels when I'm older, so I wear them now. And likewise, I may not have the time to play around with makeup as life gets busier. A lot of my mama friends always say that their mornings are crazy between getting the kids up and ready, making breakfast, packing lunches, all while trying to get themselves ready too. So I want to take advantage of the calmer mornings I have.

I guess what I'm getting at is that although this isn't the most basic that a makeup routine can be, I really enjoy it. And I don't have a reason not to do it, so why not!

Enough rambling. Let's get to the good stuff.

  1. MAC Pro Longwear Concealer - My skin gets really splotchy. I have redness around my t-zone, especially around my nose, and it's not cute. I put the concealer on underneath my foundation and it helps even out my colouring.
  2. MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation - This is my holy grail. I have tried other foundations as a means of having a less expensive option but I keep crawling back to this, vowing to never leave again. Coverage is amazing, longevity is amazing, colour match is amazing. I can't say enough good things about it.
  3. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer - This is to hide those late nights and early mornings. I love sleeping, but I hate going to sleep. Does that make sense? There is just so much effort involved so I always procrastinate and stay up longer than I should. Anyway, this under-eye concealer helps hide the dark circles and makes me look more awake.
  4. Maybelline Master Glaze Blush Stick - This is new in my routine. I have always used a little bit of blush, but never tried a cream blush. And I really like it! The cream consistency makes it look more natural. I use Coral Sheen for spring time and apply it with a makeup sponge. 
  5. CoverGirl TruBlend Pressed Powder - I use this powder with a big fluffy brush to set all the above cream products. And it does a great job and preventing me from getting too shiny throughout the day. I used to use a MAC powder but I went through it so fast and this seems to work just as well for a better price.
  6. MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot - Paint Pots are creamy eye shadows that last forever on your eyelid. They have some great colours but I only ever wear Painterly. It's a very nude shade that I use to mask any gross redness and vein-iness on my eyelid. Basically a concealer for my eyelid. It's also amazing under powered eye shadows to prevent creasing and increase longevity. 
  7. MAC Bronzing Powder - I use this interchangeably as bronzer in the warm months and contour in the colder months. To be honest, I am not married to this. I bought it forever ago and am still using it up. I think when it's done, I will look for a more affordable option as I don't really see anything special about this. Anyway, lately I have been brushing it in the hollow of my cheek and on my temples.
  8. CoverGirl Bombshell Intensity Liquid Liner - I love a winged eyeliner look. Like, love. I do it everyday. This liner lasts a couple of months before drying out and the sponge applicator tip does the job. Here's a great tutorial on how to perfect the cat eye.
  9. CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara - Ah, my ride or die. This mascara and I go waaaay back. We are in a very serious and committed relationship and nothing can tear us apart. I take my eyelashes very seriously and spend as much time on them as I do on the rest of my face. I buy the non-waterproof one in Very Black. 
  10. EOS Lip Balm - Not really makeup, but most days this is the only thing I wear on my lips. These little balls of happiness are everywhere in my life. I have one at work, in my purse, on my nightstand, and everywhere in between. I have yet to find a flavour I don't love and they are so hydrating. Cute and functional, win-win! 
  11. MAC Lip Stick - On the rare occasion that I want to amp up my lip look, I have a few lip sticks and glosses that I have accumulated over the years. I mentioned that I got my makeup done last weekend and I fell in love with MAC's Pure Vanity lipstick. I may not own it yet, but believe you me it's on the list! 
  12. For my eyebrows, I use an eyebrow pencil to make things look a little more full. I have no idea who makes the one I use because it's been sharpened so many times that the label is gone. I am not an expert in brows at all and have actually just started experimenting recently. There are so many products out there that this seemed like the easiest but I am open to learning more in this area! 
So that's it (ha!) for my everyday makeup routine. On fancier occasions I like to play a little bit with my Naked 2 palette. Or maybe a bolder lip if I choose to keep my eyes more simple. 

Do you have a beauty product that you are married to? I know you do, so spill! 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Neptune was my first pet. He was honestly the best dog ever. I had him since he was a baby. Words can not explain the relationship we had or the loss I felt after his passing. Having never dealt with death before, coping was very difficult. I miss him madly. He was my best friend for 15 years. He passed away exactly two years ago.

I miss the way he licked my hands (and feet!), the way he would always greet me at the top of the stairs when I came home, the sound he made while drinking his water, the way he would always run to the first tree at the beginning of our walks, the way he loved rolling around in snow and on grass, the way he would chew on his bone, the way he would nudge our elbows with his nose so we would pet him. I miss the way my hands felt on his head, seeing his fur on our hardwood floors, having to go for midnight walks. I miss everything. I will always miss everything.

I can only think of the positives now -- all the amazing times we had together and the unconditional love we had for each other. I know he is looking down at me from doggie heaven (which is filled with warm timbits, lakes to swim in, and bones). I know his leggies are now healthy and the tumor he had in his belly is gone. He no longer feels pain. And I know he is surrounded by other doggie friends.

I love you Neptune. Now I carry you in my heart. You no longer have to wait for me at the top of the stairs. We are always together now.

Monday, April 20, 2015


I looooove when my family comes over for the weekend. My mom and brother live about 40 minutes away and I don't get to see them as often as I would like. We try to have them over at least once a month for the weekend for some quality bonding. I picked up my brother on Friday after work, since my mom works on Saturday, and we spent the evening playing wii and eating pizza.

We woke up to my brother-in-law and his wife come over for a mini gender reveal party with us. They are expecting their second bundle of joy in August and I couldn't be more excited. I'm going to be an auntie again! And this time, it's a BOY! And our last name officially lives on, yay!

After that, we took Philip for his first mini-golfing experience. Once he got going, he did great. Me on the other hand.... not so much. Let's just say I have no business showing face at the masters. But we had a great time and Mike even got a hole in one!

After minigolf, we stopped by Mike's parents' house and went grocery shopping. My mom came around dinner time, just in time for spaghetti and meatballs. And we ended the night with a card game.

Here's a huge surprise: Sunday we painted. We tackled the main floor hallway, making the main floor of the house DONE. It was so great to have my mom help us a bit. My back is in permanent pain these days so I will be scheduling a chiropractor appointment this week for sure. We enlisted Philip to help as well. We was our tape taker-offer and switch plate reinstaller.

For dinner, my mom walked me through her nacho casserole recipe. Guys, this stuff is incredible. My husband loves it too. It's basically bar nachos on steroids.

After they left to go home, we had our weekly grocery shopping to do and when we got home, we basically crashed. We cozied up on the couch with Big Brother and the Kardashians.

I seriously think I need another day to recoup from a busy gogogo weekend.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Favourite: Chocolate Chips

I'm going to fill you guys in on my latest discovery: chocolate potato chips. Someone decided to pour a bunch of milk chocolate on a regular chip and created edible heaven.

Since I found these, they have quickly skyrocketed to the top spot on my favourite snacks list. They are grossly unhealthy but so worth the calories. I love love love the salty sweet combo.

Ok. Close your eyes and put an imaginary salty ruffled chip in your mouth. Now pour the most delicious milk chocolate in there too. Mmmmmm. Are you drooling yet? I know I am just from writing this post. I may need to pick up a bag of these right now.

Linking up with some of my fave mama bloggers for their Can't Live Without It linkup! Check out their blogs below and make sure to send them some love:

Stephanie @ Newlyweds: North
Laura @ Happily Ever Parker
Cait @ Home Sweet Ruby

Have a fab weekend!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Behr Swatching

... you know, like bear watching? That's a thing right? I don't know. I'm a city girl... and I think I just failed my first attempt at a punny post title.

Moving on.

I have mentioned a couple times that we are painting almost our entire house. Basically, everything but the bedrooms and bathrooms. We have a very open concept floor plan, making it hard to paint various areas different colours. On top of that, our house has rounded corners -- or bullnose corners in the interior design world -- and this prevents us from stopping one colour at an outside corner and starting a new colour on the adjacent wall. It would only look decent on inside corners. So we decided to paint all open areas one colour. It's a huge commitment.

Let's rewind a little. When we first bought this house, it was a dark shade of beige. I knew right away that I wanted to brighten up the walls so we hired painters to come in prior to moving our stuff in. It wasn't cheap, but we wanted to move in and enjoy right away. Not to mention, we were getting married within a month of closing on the house so definitely no time for big painting projects. Here's a photo from the MLS listing before we made any changes.

It was just too dark for me. I chose a lighter cream colour. But after living with it for 2.5 years, I just couldn't fake my happiness anymore. I am very ashamed to admit that I made a mistake. An expensive mistake. I thought I wanted cream walls, but I was wrong. It took a little bit of convincing, but I got Mike to agree that we needed to repaint. To be honest, I still think he thinks it was fine the way it was, but, you know what they say, happy wife happy life!

I was drawn towards shades of light grey and white. Like this, or this, or this. I picked up a bunch of swatches from Home Depot to throw up on the walls. We spent about a week deciding which one we should go with.

See the lighter cream colour? It doesn't look that much lighter than the above photo, but I promise it was. The swatches we got were all Behr because that's the brand our Home Depot carries. From top to bottom, they are: White, Maui Mist, Bakery Box, Tin Smith, Silver Polish, Frost, and Ice Sculpture.

After days of staring at the little papers taped to various walls in the house, we bought a test pot of our favourite one. We painted little squares in a few different spots just to really make sure this is the one. I didn't want to make the same mistake twice. Can you guess which one we chose?

The second one, Maui Mist! I'm so happy with it! It is the perfect mix of grey and white, with a touch of blue. Very airy and bright and happy-looking.

I have to work on my photography skills, but I promise that it is perfect for us. So far, we are done the kitchen, dining room, and living room. Up next is the main floor hallway and after that, the stairs and upstairs hall. My body pretty much permanently aches these days but it's so worth it!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

TV Potpourri

I don't think of myself as a TV addict. But when it comes to my shows, I have to watch them. And as I recap my favourite ones, the list seems pretty long. And somewhat embarrassing. Some are shows that I have been watching since I was in my teens. We all have guilty pleasures though... so be kind!

I just got into Big Brother a couple years ago. Ooooooh my goodness, where have I been all these years? I LOVE this show. The strategies, crazy personalities, and twists keep me on the edge of my seat. Canada now has their own version, so I happily indulge in a double dose every year.

I have been watching DWTS for years. I took dance classes when I was younger and love seeing all the celebrities go through the strenuous process of learning how to dance. It's not easy! The professionals are so talented and come up with amazing choreography! My favourites are Mark Ballas and Val Chmerkovskiy (special shout out to Maks!) As for the contestants, this year I am rooting for Nastia Liukin and Rumer Willis.

For similar reasons, I love So You Think You Can Dance. The talent on here is Same goes for choreography. It really makes me wish I stuck with dance. Lots of the contestants end up as pros on DWTS or dancing on tour with musicians. I saw them live on tour and it's even better in person!

This is the only talk show I watch, but I love Jimmy. I thought he was great on SNL and he's even better as the host the Tonight Show. I dream of going to see a live taping one day! We record it the night before and watch when we get home while cooking dinner. It's one of my favourite routines of the day.

This is a new show that has really caught my attention. I started watching it after Gina Rodriguez won a Golden Globe and it's turned out to be so addicting! It's cute, funny, and I can't wait for the season finale! Highly recommended.

Girls. SO good. Kind of like a younger, crazier version of Sex and the City. Lena Dunham is everything.

This family gets a TON of hate. But I love them. I think they are good people. So say what you will, this show is a must every Sunday night. And I may or may not follow them all on IG.

The Royals airs after KUWTK and has only had a couple episodes but I think it will become a cult favourite. It's about a fictional modern-day British royal family. I love anything to do with the British monarchs, and even though this is a far stretch from the actual family, it is really good.

Aaaand Teen Mom. It follows four girls that got pregnant in their teens, as they navigate growing up, rearing their (adorable) toddlers and face tons of difficulties. Raising a kid isn't an easy task and they have so much other stuff to deal with. After so many years, I feel like I have gotten to know these girls and I'm really rooting for them to succeed in their lives. Well... most of them.

Other honourable mentions go to The Office (watched the whole series!), Jeopardy (my husband loves trivia and dreams of being a contestant), Full House (favourite show when I was a kid), Broad City, SNL, Blackish, Big Bang Theory, The Hills (#teamLC), and Orange Is The New Black. Oh, and HGTV. Anything on HGTV.

After writing this post, that's a lot. Maybe I am a TV addict? Especially a reality TV addict. Thank goodness for PVR (or DVR, or Tivo, or whatever it's called in your neck of the woods.)

What are your favourite shows? Current? Past?

Monday, April 13, 2015


Friday we did this after work all the way up until bed.

Saturday we did the second coat and put our living room back together.

Another room got checked off of the to-be-painted list. Hurray! But so exhausting. And the second the paintbrush comes out, the house looks like a tornado ran through it. I know it seems like Mike is doing all the painting while I sit back and watch, but I promise I was right in there too when not taking pictures.

To top everything off, we decided to wash our slipcovers on Sunday. With the walls looking so nice, we wanted to whole room to just be "done".

We were hopeful to get another zone painted this weekend but we were so pooped that it just didn't happen. Plus on Sunday we had some running around to do. And since it finally warmed up a bit around here, I was able to throw on a maxi! Guys, this calls for celebration.

Don't mind the painter's tape. We are tackling this area next.

Anyway, I had an appointment at MAC Cosmetics for the launch of their new spring line. They were offering free makeup application with the new products.

Overall, I really liked the look the makeup artist created. My favourite part was the peachy-nude lip. The lipstick she used is called Pure Vanity and I think I will have to buy it. Or at least a dupe of it. It's so pretty and perfect for spring! You can't really see what she did with my eyes because they are too open in this picture. It was a light bronzey-gold smokey eye. Loved it!

So, all in all, busy weekend. Ten years ago, the term "busy weekend" meant something so different. I like things better now :) How was your weekend?

Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Favourite: Spring Tote

I go hard for seasons. I always decorate for the seasons and especially, dress for the seasons. As in, in the fall I wear lots of dark colours, at Christmastime I wear lots of red, and spring is obviously pastels. I have a whole bunch of items in my wardrobe with an imaginary floral sign that says "spring only" hovering over them. So you can imagine my distaste when I was forced to carry a black purse around for the past few springs in a row. How absurd!

Haha I'm obviously being a little dramatic.

I'm a usually splurge-on-a-purse-and-wear-it-all-the-time kind of girl. I don't ever really switch it out until it gets ratty. And really, black purses are so versatile that they work year-round. My go-to purse dealer designer is Michael Kors. I just love his stuff. But this season, I really wanted a pastel purse. And since it wasn't going to be a purse that I was going to wear in the fall or winter, I didn't want to spend a lot. To be absolutely honest, I wanted something to go with my outfit for Easter.

I dragged my husband store-to-store until I found her. She was perfect and calling my name.


And at $40, how could I say no? I found it at Spring, which is a shoe store and similarly to Aldo, has great accessories. It's called the Sobieski. I love love love the mint colour paired with white and light brown. The black version is really pretty too. And the size is great because it fits everything I need in there, including snacks for work and a water bottle.

(Sorry about the awful iPhone picture. It has been raining here non-stop and I perched myself under a roof overhang to quickly snap this photo.)

I'm really a very picky person and I'm very pleased with how easily I was able to find this bag. My budget was around $50. I checked Aldo, H&M, Forever21, Sears, and a couple other stores in my mall. Not too bad.

So that's my favourite purse right now. I'm linking up with Stephanie, Laura, and Cait for their "Can't Live Without" series. Can't wait to see what other things people love! These posts are the best way to find great new products.

Happy weekend! We have more painting scheduled and I. Can't. Wait. #nojoke

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

To Do List: Spring 2015

Despite what the calendar says, spring only just sprung in these parts. Thus, I do not feel bad for not starting any of our spring cleaning chores. To be honest, we are not super gung-ho about chores. What? That doesn't surprise you? #homeownerproblems

To help motivate myself, I have come up with a little list of mishmashed tasks that I would like to accomplish this season. Some less fun that others. Here we go.
  1. make trellis for climbing flowers (rose + clematis) out of fishing line
  2. paint kitchen
  3. paint dining room
  4. paint living room
  5. paint hallway + stairway
  6. wash all windows
  7. fix up front garden
  8. clean BBQ
  9. get rid of dead bush in backyard
  10. reorganize front hall closet (put away winter gear)
  11. replace cream vents with white ones
  12. clean kitchen appliances
  13. wash couch slipcovers
  14. wash garage floor
  15. clean inside both cars
  16. put down fresh mulch
  17. reseed the lawns
  18. reorganize "receipt drawer"
  19. reorganize pots + pans cupboard
  20. hang pictures around vanity desk 
Mike and I got the kitchen and dining room painted on Saturday and the living room is taped up and ready to go. And I got the trellis up a couple of weeks ago. Hurray three things done already!

I tried to break it up into smaller tasks to feel better about myself when it's done. I know I'm not the only one that gets a high from crossing things off a list. Hopefully all of this will get done because, really, it needs to.

Am I missing anything?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Weekending: Easter

This weekend flew by. I was lucky enough to have four days off of work but we were so busy that I feel like I need another couple of days to recoup.

We went to my mom's house to celebrate Easter with my family. It was a calm day of eating, playing video games with my brother, and skyping with my family in Poland. We brought a ton of sweets over for my brother. He's almost ten I can't tell if he still believes in the Easter Bunny. When do kids usually figure things out? I don't want to blow it so we always play along. Maybe he's just playing along with us? I don't know. My mom got an iPhone so we were also trying to figure out Apple technology and switching things over. I love my iPhone and Apple products in general but setting things up is never easy. I know it's supposed to be simple but it's all above me and no matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to grasp it all.

We did some painting! Our house is very open concept and one colour flows through all of the house. Eveything except for the bedrooms and bathrooms is this creamy vanilla colour that just isn't my jam. Yes, I chose it just three years ago but I don't know what I was thinking. My only explanation is that I must have been unknowingly hypnotized into thinking it was a good idea. Don't worry. It's has started to be rectified. I may do a separate blog post about it, but for now we have split the job into 5 parts and completed part 1 on Saturday! I originally planned to do much more, but like I said, busy weekend.

Easter Sunday we went to my brother-in-law's house for holiday celebrations with my husband's family. We had a turkey dinner complete with stuffing, mashed potatoes, cannelloni, cranberry sauce, and so much more. I don't know what other people have for Easter dinner, but this is my favourite dinner of all time. And because we only have it for Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, it makes it so much more special. I could probably eat it everyday though. SO good! Oh and don't even get me started on the dessert. Ok. Enough about food. We got to see our niece Harper who is always the highlight of the holidays. That girl never runs out of energy. After dinner, the adults played the Game Of Things. Non-stop laughter and full tummies. We had a blast!

To  mark the start of baseball season, Mike and I went to an Opening Day party to watch the Blue Jays vs the Yankees game. Then later on was the college basketball championship game so my husband was basically in sports heaven all day.

Busy busy busy weekend! Almost none of our weekend chores got done so we will be playing catch up this week. BUT! I am very excited to report that I tried my first peeps this year! I must say that they are pretty tasty. Just no more than two at a time as I may fall into a sugar coma. Holy sweetness! I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend and that all the littles enjoyed their baskets!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Friday Favourite: Tulips

Growing up, my mom owned a flower shop and I used to spend a lot of time there with her. Given that it was a small business, she worked really hard and the hours were long. I have a lot of fond memories of going to wholesalers to help her choose the flowers and then helping her arrange them.  It always smelled so lovely in the store. It taught me not only to love flowers, but how to care for them as well.

She would often let me take home a bunch of flowers for my room. When springtime rolled around, I always chose tulips. Tulips are a seasonal flower for this time of year. While you can technically get any flower year-round, when they are in season, they are grown locally and have less travel to do, making them more hardy now. And cheaper. Win!

I love many different flowers but tulips definitely have a special place in my heart. They signify springtime and rebirth. After all the long months of winter we get here, I am always so excited to see the early spring flowers blooming. My grandmother always has them growing in her garden this time of year as well.

We all know that cut flowers don't last forever but over the years, I picked up a few tips on how to prolong their life in a vase.
  • When choosing tulips at the store, look for ones that have tightly shut buds. The more closed they are, the fresher they are. Obviously, the ones that are more open are further into their life cycle.
  • Stick them in water right away and keep away from heat when transporting. I often buy flowers at the flower shop in my local grocery store. I always make sure to buy them after buying all my groceries and then I head straight home to stick them in water. 
  • When you get home, cut about an inch off of the ends on an angle. The diagonal angle is important because it gives them more surface area to absorb water with. Do this with all cut flowers.
  • Tulips really like cold water and thrive in cold temperatures. Have you ever noticed that they bloom in early spring, right after the ground thaws? To enhance this cold environment, add a couple ice cubes to the water. 
  • Change the water and rinse out the vase everyday. All flowers release their own waste into the water that makes it turn murky and harmful to the plants. 
  • Recut the bottoms of the stems everyday or every other day: about one inch, on a diagonal. This exposes fresher cells of the stem to clean water. The very bottom often gets mushy and doesn't do it's job.

Hopefully these tips will help keep your tulips fresh for longer amounts of time. Unfortunately, they aren't a good candidate for drying so I always want to keep them on my coffee table for as long as possible before they inevitably get thrown out. For me, tulips average about 10 days after purchase.

I just love them. What are your favourite flowers? 

I am going to be off for Easter celebrations. I hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend! See you Tuesday!