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Live Beautifully

by Vicki Norris on September 1, 2014 at 3:54 pm

SAF_LLAF_LiveBeau_404X404When people think about organizing their life, they often focus on the external value of a “makeover” to their space. Yet, taking the time to order your environment and your life has much greater internal value – both individually and communally.

An ordered life is one that isn’t just “organized;” it’s arranged around the things that matter most to you. It’s a life that puts first-things-first.

I’ve found that people who are just “organized” actually can become enslaved to keeping up with the never-ending needs of home and work. “Organized” is a fleeting state of a-place-for-everything; whereas “ordered” is a state of living life intentionally and with your values at the center of the equation.

To be sure, being “organized” is useful, too; our minds clear as our space clears. When your environment is sensible and simple, you’re open to hospitality and possibility. Just be sure that the end goal is not tidiness, but that the arranging of space and schedules actually makes the way for your true life priorities.  Read More

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Special Treat: Flowers in Your Kitchen

by Heather de Kok on August 24, 2014 at 11:00 am

Flowers in the Kitchen — Heather de Kok, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, of Grower Direct Fresh Cut Flowers in Edmonton, Alberta. are a lot of new interior kitchen trends today. Open floor plans, creative seating areas and huge islands. The No. 1 new trend is bringing nature into the kitchen, and there is no better way to do that than with flowers.

It doesn’t matter if you have a kitchen that is relaxing, stylish, functional, elegant or just family oriented, you can accent it with flowers to help inspire that atmosphere. There aren’t any rules, but here are some tips to help you get on your way.

Classic or strong colors and containers.

If you would like to be bold with color, choose two colors at a time. For example, yellow and orange flowers look amazing together.

Good Morning

Another thing to remember is that with flowers, green is a neutral while white is considered a color. Read More

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Enjoying the Flower Journey

by Brian Wheat on August 17, 2014 at 1:52 pm

As my wife and I traveled the highways and byways of the American Southwest during our summer vacation, one thing became apparent: The variety of flowers and plants are as diverse as the changing landscape. The trek took us from Erie, Colo., to Moab, Utah, then on to the Grand Canyon, Arizona, over to Mesa Verde and through Durango, Colo. Roughly a 1,650-mile, five-day journey to explore the great national wonders of America the beautiful.

As avid “flower watchers,” we are always on the lookout for amazing blooms, flowers, trees, shrubs and anything flora. We were not disappointed. Flowers complement every scene, around every corner, up every mountain, down every canyon, their presence complete the picture. Mother Nature sure had a good time painting them into every nook and cranny throughout our journey.

The flowers and plants growing in and around Moab, the Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, give a stark contrast to the backdrop of red and copper colored soils and rock formations, slick rocks, sand and boulders that look like they are from another planet, supporting plants that must survive temperatures over 100 degrees, arid environment, blistering sun and harsh weather conditions.

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Open Up

by Christine Arylo on August 11, 2014 at 8:58 am

SAF_LLAF_OpenUp_404X404As a person who has dedicated her life to teaching people how to love well, I can say that most people I meet admit to me they would love to have more loving relationships, in which they feel loved – appreciated, cared for, and seen. Just like a flower needs water and sun to flourish, we humans need to give and receive love in order to truly thrive. The challenge is that unlike flowers, who naturally open themselves up to receive the sun and water on a daily basis, we humans default to keeping our hearts protected, so the love we seek has a hard time getting in. While we desire love, most of us are too scared of the vulnerability that opening our hearts requires.

Wow, can we learn a lot from a flower! Those smart buds don’t think twice about letting the sun and water in, they just open up and receive what they need to be nourished. What would it be like for you to open up your heart more, so that when love does show up, you could receive the love you seek instead of pushing it away or only letting a little in?

Build your love receptor muscles little by little, starting with sources of love that are guaranteed safe. For example, start interacting with things that are naturally loving. Did you ever notice how when you are around babies, puppies or flowers, that your heart opens up almost automatically, and love just comes pouring in? This is because these things have no fear factor. You feel safe opening your heart.  Read More

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Campus Life

by J. Robbin Yelverton on August 6, 2014 at 3:32 pm

The bright greens of summer are slowly turning to the muted olives and sages of fall. It must be back to school time.

Yelverton-flowers inthe dorm-fbWhether it be dorm, sorority/frat house, apartment or shared house, students across the nation are once again furnishing their home away from home. For the finishing touches, flowers and plants in the decorating scheme can go a long way in keeping the living space cozy, homey and beautiful. Plus, flowers and plants will make your college student work smarter! Texas A&M research demonstrates that idea generation, creative performance and problem solving skills improve substantially in environments that include flowers and plants.

When selecting plants and flowers for your student’s space, factors to consider:

  1. Ease of maintenance (read: takes care of itself)
  2. Low light levels (students are creatures of the night)
  3. Air cleaning abilities (if you have ever been in a dorm room, you will understand)

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