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Achieve Work/Life Balance

by Leanne Kesler on July 23, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Summertime. Parades, fairs, picnics, concerts. Even with the longer days, it can be hard to fit all the fun into 24 hours. Work and sleep, too. Unfortunately, the hours don’t always balance. Maybe it’s time to gather back-to-school supplies for the kids. (ALREADY?!) Maybe the house needs a bit of clean up. (Does it ever end?) It seems like there are always too many “maybes” to get in the way of summer fun.

It does not have to be that way. I’ll share a few secrets for squeezing more hours in the day and chasing away the “maybes” that eat up the fun time. How do you begin? Prioritize and simplify. As you begin this task, put a little vase of gerbera daisies at your side. A happy, simple flower to remind you “K-I-S-S” (Keep it Simple Silly). Whenever you get overwhelmed, gaze at the daisies for a moment and think, “KISS”! Then, back to the task at hand, prioritize and simplify.


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Summer is here, and the water cooler is buzzing with vacation stories. Relive your favorite destinations with flowers and plants. Harvard research shows having flowers in the home is good for emotional health, and Texas A&M research demonstrates flowers and plants make us work smarter. Here, I’ll share with you how flowers remind two good friends of their travels and creative ways to use flowers for your own getaway.

For spring break, my friend and her husband had a delightful holiday golfing in Phoenix. After returning home, my friend wanted to send her husband a surprise gift at work. She told her florist about the trip, and the florist custom designed the perfect floral arrangement. It had sand at the bottom of a clear vase, a layer of colored golf tees, a layer of colored golf balls, a layer of ‘Green Trick’ dianthus as turf and a ball of white carnations on top. When my friend saw it, she liked it so much she called the florist and sent one to herself.

Golf — Ardith Beveridge, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, CAFA

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Delicious is the word. Floral color trends for summer 2014 are inspired by the foods we love: lemons, limes, melons, tomatoes, artichokes, snow cones, popsicles and salt water taffy. Popular summer flowers come in an appetizing menu of blooming colors. Sweet or savory, the harmony palettes include both pops of bold color and softer pastel hues. These trends are so hot, you’ll want to cool down with a summertime beverage; lemonade, agua fresca, lavender mint iced tea, sparkling peach bellini or sangria.

Citrus Zest

Fresh fruits add zest to flower arrangements. Here vibrant oranges, lemons and limes are paired with sunflowers, roses, freesia and more. Mix and match the colors or choose your favorite. Pour yourself a glass of lemonade and enjoy.

Citrus Zest— Leanne and David Kesler, Floral Design Institute, Inc., in Portland, Ore.

Essence of Melon

Coral and salmon hues coordinate with most every flower. Add a pop of sunflower yellow or a lavender agapanthus and you have an easy picnic centerpiece. A fresh glass of homemade watermelon agua fresca is the perfect accompaniment for your summer barbecue.

Essence of Melon — Leanne and David Kesler, Floral Design Institute, Inc., in Portland, Ore. Read More

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Fantastic Florals

by Tim Farrell on July 9, 2014 at 4:24 pm

Flowers come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and as a floral designer it is great fun to create new and different looks and styles. There is truly something for everyone. This spring, I had the pleasure of participating in the Society of American Florists’ media workshop, where we educated national magazine editors on trends in floral design. For the workshop, I created the following eight floral pieces, depicting trends inspired by my esteemed floral industry colleagues, Bill Schaffer, AIFD, Kristine Kratt, AIFD, and Rich Salvaggio, AIFD.

Lush Oasis

Green and brown hues dominate in forest-like elements with accents of purples to create an eco-friendly look.

Mosses, barks, herbals and natural elements combine with shades of purple.

Lush Oasis

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by Jayme Barrett on July 5, 2014 at 5:44 am

SAF_LLAF_Pollinate_404X404Positive energy is positively contagious. Throughout my book Feng Shui Your Life and with each and every client, I offer practical techniques for bringing positive energy into their hearts, homes and lives. When you share this positive energy and happiness with others, you can uplift their lives in countless ways. As an added benefit, you’ll receive loads of it in return! Below are my simple tips to “live like a flower” and pollinate by transmitting your optimism, kindness and love to change a person’s day or quite possibly their life.

Radiate joy & happiness. Start every day in a good mood, and let your happiness uplift others. Make someone laugh with a funny joke, or share a hilarious memory on Facebook. Smile. Wear clothing with a positive message. If you need a jump start in the morning, think flowers. Research from Harvard shows looking at flowers first thing in the morning makes you feel less anxious, more compassionate and more energetic throughout the day.

Celebrate & acknowledge people. Make an effort to praise and compliment friends, family and co-workers. When you celebrate someone’s accomplishment or efforts, large or small, it can make their day and give them confidence to continue on. Taking special notice of unique qualities, hard work and time spent is a gift and a blessing. Marking those special times with flowers will keep you in their memories forever.  Read More