Pinterest Thanksgiving and Fall Decorations

Who doesn’t binge on Pinterest every once in a while? I had a major thanksgiving decorations and crafts binge yesterday that has spilled into today.

There are just so many good ideas that are simple and easy to create that make your house look so decorative. I love it. I get a lot of inspiration and ideas for floral and decorations from Pinterest as well.

I don’t know what I did before this awesome site. I use it to decorate, for recipes, workout tips, to get in the trendy “know,” and so much more!

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I made a few DIY Thanksgiving decorations yesterday and today, there are so many things I want to make I just don’t have enough time. Here are some of the great pins I found that I made, I want to make, or has inspired my creative work at the floral shop!

What are your favorite DIY fall and Thanksgiving decorations? I love getting ideas and channeling my inner creative child! 😉

Happy crafting my friends,

Nancy

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Everyone Wants Pretty Hands

Unfortunately, no one had found the fountain of youth yet. Today, while I was having my coffee, Clara was “Snap Chatting” me photos of her newly decorated living room. Yes, I said “snap chat”. She downloaded this app on my phone where you can send photos back and forth that only last for a couple seconds. I don’t really understand it, but she loves it. Anyway, I sent her a photo of me holding my cup of coffee and couldn’t get over how “old” my hand looks.
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I have never really spent much time looking at my hands, but I understand why they say your hands show all the signs of aging. I couldn’t stop looking at them in awe. I know I don’t look like I have aged as much as my hands show.  So I jumped on the internet to find some ideas how to get rid of these “aged hands.”

I read that hands really do show the signs of aging more than most parts of the body. The years of sun exposure, the exposure to the elements, hard work, and constant washing and scrubbing really take a toll on our hands. The skin on hands thins with all the exposure to daily life and more veins become visible, age spots appear, and it is common for hands to become dry. All of this information was pretty much common sense to me, and I wanted to know how to reverse that aging.

I found this website saying that taking care of aging hands is similar to the skin care during menopause; a subject I am pretty knowledgeable on. It suggested exfoliating your hands to remove all the dry skin before moisturizing. Buffing your nails also helps make your hands look younger. I never really thought about moisturizing my hands specifically, I just put lotion on them when they are dry, so this was a new concept for me.

The site also said the moisturizing and protection are the most important in having beautiful youthful hands. It said to use a good quality hand cream and apply it throughout the day to rejuvenate your hands.

After reading all of these articles I have decided I need to find a good hand cream to reverse aging. Do you use anti-aging hand creams? If so what kind do you use and is it effective?

Until Next Time,

Nancy

Seasonal Floral Arrangement Fun

Today at the floral shop we were unexpectedly busy in a great way.  We had a ton of people walk in and call to order arrangements to be delivered and picked up later in the day.  My boss and I were scurrying around making fabulous spring and summer arrangements and bouquets.  Today at the floral shop we were unexpectedly busy in a great way.  We had a ton of people walk in and call to order arrangements to be delivered and picked up later in the day.  My boss and I were scurrying around making fabulous spring and summer arrangements and bouquets.

seasonal-flower-arrangement-nancy-bell

I love it when people call or walk in to order because it often gives us the freedom to use flowers that are in season and create a unique seasonal arrangement.  Today was no exception, I created about 7 arrangements that were all seasonal flowers and they turned out so gorgeous.

Sometimes we have clients ask us what flowers are in season to decide what they want the main focus of their arrangement to be.  Right now is my favorite part of the year for flower availability and the aurora they give off.  The flowers are bright, crisp, and have a wonderful smell…and, in my opinion, the best to work with.In case you were wondering here are the flowers that are in season during mid-June-

• Peonies

• Roses

• Tulips

• Yarrow

• Pomegranates

• Calla Lilies

• Lilies

• Viburnum

• Pincushions

• Veronica

• Chocolate Cosmos

After days like today, I am very grateful to have my couch at home to kick my feet up and relax.    It was such a busy day but I had a great time.  It amazes me how much I can learn each and every day from just working and practicing alongside my boss.

beautiful-flower-shop-arrangements-nancy-bell

Working with flowers all day really puts you in a good mood too.

Until Next Time,

Nancy

Baby Shower Flowers

This week brought, yet another fun event I was able to help create beautiful floral arrangements for. This week my boss and I made arrangements for a baby shower, a girl. After I found out we were doing a baby shower, I connected the dots and realized it was for one of my friend’s daughters. It was an exciting little surprise.

Because I know the family personally it was really easy talking with them deciding what they wanted and how I could make it happen. My boss lets me, partially take the lead, it was really exciting!

Our creations for the baby shower were fun, elegant, and girly 😍

We focused on the simplicity and beautiful aspects of having a child. We used roses, cut off the stems and put them into small glass votive candle holders. They were beautiful. In taller skinny glass vases we put a variety of long stem flowers in shades of pink and white. We also made a large piece for the head table.

table-center-floral-arrangements

Since working quite a few events now, it is clear to me that a well-designed table centerpiece has the ability to pull a whole party theme together. The freshness of floral arrangements adds an element of delicacy from nature into a static indoor setting.

Helping create these beautiful pieces and know that I am actually going to the shower tomorrow makes me reminisce about Bobby and Clara and their baby showers. It seems like it was just yesterday my husband and I got the news we were going to have our first baby girl. Just thinking about it brings a smile to my face. 😊

I love creating arrangements for events like these. The energy and level of happiness that goes into creating them is reflected in the joy it brings to our clients. I can’t wait to find out the next event I’m going to help work.

Until next time,

Nancy

Clara’s New Beginning

Today was the start of a new chapter for Clara, she moved into a new “big girl” apartment. She had been living in an apartment that needed a revamp about 20 years ago, so moving into a new complex is a huge step up for her. The new apartment is closer to her work so she will be able to walk to work every day; saving money for this fancy apartment complex. Helping her move the past couple days have been quite the adventure, to say the least.

claras-boxes

I had no idea what I was getting into moving my daughter into a new apartment. I remember moving her into her dorm room and not being bad, moving Bobby into his dorm was a piece of cake; but moving Clara into an apartment after some time being on her own already…that was a challenge. How much can one girl accumulate? ….much more than I thought.

Being the mother I am I insisted on packing everything according to room and what it was. If Clara had packed everything herself, everything would be shoved together and unorganized. Even though she was complaining it was taking too long to pack, it was so much easier once we got there to unpack and organize it.

Her previous apartment was about half the size of her new one, but after we moved everything in it looked the same size. I can’t get over how many pillows my daughter has. I am not over exaggerating when I say she at 9 pillows…9. Who needs that many? She says they are just for decoration to make her bed feel cozy. I could only laugh, she is one of a kind and I love her for it.
Even though she asked my husband and me to help, she was complaining the entire time that we were “doing it wrong.” Oh girls, they never change. 😀 She won’t admit it but she was very thankful we helped pack, move, and unpack all her stuff. It would have taken her and her boyfriend so many more trips.
I am excited for her to begin a new chapter in an awesome apartment that is so close to her work. Once she gets everything unpacked and organized it is going to look so nice, it really looks like a “big girl” apartment. I am so proud of her.
Goodbye old apartment,

claras-old-room

Hello bright new apartment!

claras-new-room
Have you ever helped a daughter move? So much more work than a son… 😀

Until next time,
Nancy

GARLIC, GARLIC, GARLIC -with a recipe!

its-only-garlicIf you know me, you know I love garlic! Thank goodness my husband likes garlic as much as I do or he would never want to kiss my permanent garlic breath or eat my fabulous dinners every night. 😀 Ever since I can remember I have always loved garlic, it was one of the only things that my taste buds never grew out of and I hope never will.

This afternoon I made “Artichoke and roasted garlic” dip for my hubby and his friends that were over and they loved it.

As I grew older garlic became more than just something I loved to add to foods because of the taste, I began adding it for healthy benefits. I consider myself a bit of a garlic enthusiastic and history buff. Way back in the ancient Greek civilizations garlic was prescribed to treat a variety of medical conditions. I agree with the Greeks and believe that garlic can do wonders for your body when you consume it the right way.

Here are some of my favorite benefits of garlic

• Garlic might help fight against hair loss because it has high levels of allicin, a sulfur compound that was found to treat thinning hair. To reap this benefit, rub sliced garlic cloves on your scalp or add it to oil and massage it in.

• I always turn to garlic when I feel a cold coming on. It is full of antioxidants to fight off your illness. I find that eating it raw in a salad or other recipes is the best way for it to boost your immune system. Garlic tea is also a good choice.

• There was also a study done a while ago that said that garlic could help control your weight. Even if it is just an idea, I am going to try it.  😛

• Raw garlic or garlic extract can help reduce blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels lowing the risk of heart disease.

• Garlic is very nutritious and it has very few calories…so start eating your garlic!

There are so many benefits from garlic, I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to eat it every day!

Here is my favorite Artichoke and Roasted Garlic Dip recipe-garlic-recipe

Ingredients-
• 2 heads of roasted garlic
• 6 oz. frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and drained, and chopped
• 4 oz. cream cheese
• ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
• ¼ cup mayonnaise
• ½ tsp. pepper
• 1 ½ cups shredded cheese, I like to use a blend of parmesan, asiago, and provolone

Instructions-
• Preheat the oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.
• In a large bowl or baking dish, mash the garlic until it becomes a thick paste then add and mix all the ingredients together, setting aside ½ cup of cheese for the top. After the mixture is thoroughly combined, top with the remaining ½ cup of cheese and pepper to taste.
• Bake for about 25-30 minutes and broil for about 5 minutes until the top is browned. Serve and enjoy your wonderful garlic dip!

What is your favorite garlic dish or side?
Until Next Time,
Nancy

Yearly Check-up, what I wish I knew when I was Young

yearly-checkup-important-fancy-free-nancy.jpgYesterday afternoon I had my yearly check-up at the doctors and I am very pleased with my health. I am very diligent when scheduling my appointments every year. I believe it is important to see a doctor and have tests done every year to make sure you are healthy and be proactive in keeping your body running well.

I was happy to find out that my blood pressure and cholesterol were normal, just a little on the high side but still normal, and that everything else is “A-Okay” and normal. I still have some hot flashes, but new-found healthy habits have helped me manage my menopause symptoms and actually lose weight and feel healthier.

My doctor was so happy that I have taken my health into my own hands and done research into healthy lifestyles for women over 50. It is such a rewarding feeling when the doctor compliments you on your health and tells you that you are doing a good job. He complimented me what I have done and what I am doing to continue my health journey and said it is exactly what I should be doing.

I want to share with you the easy things I have done that have helped me become a healthy woman over 50.

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• Making sure I get 7 or 8 hours of sleep every night has been one of the most important things I have done.

• Eating more fruits and vegetables has been one of the biggest changes in my lifestyle. I try having at least two veggies at every meal and at least three servings of fruit throughout the day. I have discovered a new love for cooking and baking with fresh fruits and vegetables.

• I just fully committed, but giving up soda will help me health in the long run. Soda is full of sugar and acids that are harmful for your body. I have really tried to drink more water and find ways to incorporate it throughout my day.

• Staring Tai Chi and walking has helped me found an appreciation for physical fitness. It is hard to explain the feeling of accomplishment after a good work out. I really enjoy exercise and try having fun with it.

• Spending time outside doing activities to keep me active is not only a good way to get exercise but get fresh air too. I feel so much calmer and relaxed after spending time outside in nature.

• Spending time laughing and enjoying the company of friends and family keeps me sane. As strange as it sounds, after spending time laughing and talking with my friends I feel healthier.

• Taking time each day to reflect and be thankful for the life I have has made me a happier and positive individual. It is so important to mental and emotional health to feel grateful and reflect on each day to see the positives.

I have made so much progress and transformed my life for the better over the past couple years. It is very rewarding hearing that it is all paying off. I never thought I would have become this person I am today. Each day is a baby step in the right direction, I just have to keep truckin’ along!

Until Next Time,

Nancy

Fall Wedding Floral Arrangements

Tomorrow our floral shop has a beautiful fall wedding to make arrangements for. We have been diligently working and designing the bouquets, boutonnieres, and centerpieces for the tables. Fall weddings are so beautiful with all the rich colors and textures making them so unique and warm.

I love working with fall flowers because they are typically a little more “hearty” than other seasonal flowers. I feel like I am able to manipulate them more to create the kind of arrangement that fits the client the best. Even though I have been working in the shop for a while, I am still learning and a hearty flower is more forgiving when I am trying to figure how to do something.

I was excited to find out that the bridesmaid dresses were brown and our bride wanted to have bouquets created with orange, yellow, and deep red flowers. She was not picky on what kinds of flowers so we made her a few samples a couple weeks ago and she loved them. She choose the bridesmaids and her bouquet. flower-shop-fancy-free-nancyI am in love with her bouquet, it has orange calla lilies, yellow and cream roses, and accented with twine…they are having a barn wedding so she wanted a little bit of country vibe. It is so beautiful! The boutonnieres match and have one orange calla lily and twine. We stopped at the venue today to get a feel for what we will need to set up, and it was already decorated so beautiful. It is always so much easier for us when we do not do the decorating. The bride seems very crafty and made all the decorations for the venue and even set them all up today. We met her right as they were finishing up, she is such a sweet young lady and so easy going.

I am sure she is going to have an incredible wedding tomorrow, she was glowing with excitement today. Weddings are so special, no matter how many weddings I go to as a guest or work each one has something unique and magical about it.

Until Next Time,

Nancy

Giving Up Soda for Good

I have decided today I am going to give up soda for good. I have really limited my soda intake over the past year or so, but every time I allow myself to have one I immediately regret it and end up paying for it. I love the taste of a fresh diet coke in the afternoon, but the coke doesn’t like me. I always end up feeling bloated and unhealthy. There are so many positives about giving up soda, I really need to commit and I know I will be successful.

Even though I don’t drink soda often, it costs money that I don’t need to be spending. I saw a statistic once that if you drink just one soda a day it costs about $365 a year. I could use that money to treat myself or spend it on something healthier.

Not that I needed much motivation to stop drinking soda, I found some great reasons why giving up soda is great for you and your attitude. If you are a soda drinker, maybe you will find a few reasons why life can be better without soda.

• Giving up soda might actually help you live longer. Because of the high sugar content in soda, it causes you to age faster similar to cigarettes…yes, cigarettes. Reading this really made me want to give up soda and hydrate on fabulous free water.

• Soda has been connected to childhood obesity….not that I am a child but still very interesting, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, and gout. As an aging woman, I want to keep my body as healthy as possible to prolong my active life.

• It is known that soda is not good for your teeth because of the high sugar content, but the acid is also damaging to your smile. The acid causes your teeth’s enamel to erode and leave your teeth vulnerable to other health problems.

• We have all heard of vegetable oil, but have you heard about brominated vegetable oil? It is a chemical banned in Europe and Japan because it is used as a flame retardant and is linked to memory loss, nerve disorders, and behavioral health problems. Brominated vegetable oil is used in sodas like Mountain Dew and other fruity flavored sodas.

• Water is cheaper than sodas, better for you, and will actually hydrate you. I don’t need much more convincing.

I am excited to finally give up soda for good. Having a few sodas during week has been hindering me to live the healthy lifestyle I want to live. I don’t think it will be that difficult giving it up because there are so many other options that are better. Wish me luck!

Until Next Time,

Nancy

4th of July Fun!

Happy Fourth of July! This year with the fourth landing on a Monday, all of our parties and fireworks were on weekend. We were pretty busy the last weekend so, today will be nice just hanging out and relaxing on the day off. We attended two fabulous Fourth of July parties at my husband’s coworker’s home and my sisters. It was a really fun weekend party hopping and helping my sister decorate and cook for her barbecue.
happy-independence-day

My sister asked if I would help her decorate and make some of the food, of course I said yes. Over the past year or so I have really become quite the party decorator. It is always fun when I get to spend time with my sister, especially when it is something I am better at than her.

We came up with some simple party decoration ideas that wouldn’t cost a lot of money and were simple enough to keep the party relaxed. I had these big red and white buckets from a party I had a while ago for Bobby that we made into coolers for the drinks. We just filled them up with ice and put the pop in them. I also made cute little vases with red and white tulips for the tables. Tulips are very clean and crisp flowers that worked perfect for what my sister was going for. My sister insisted on using overhanging lights with red and blue bulbs to really give it a cozy feeling. It ended up looking very cute and patriotic.

After we decided on the decorations and got them all hung up and situated we began our kitchen fun! My sister assigned me to making desserts and snacky foods, my favorite. I made the cutest American flag fruit pizza, it look fabulous and tasted even better. I also made a grape salad, frozen watermelon drinks, and fresh salsa. Here are my super easy recipes I used for my Fourth of July concoctions.

Easy Grape Salad
easy-grape-saladIngredients-
• 1 lbs. seedless green grapes, stems removed, washed and halved
• 1 lbs. seedless red grapes
• 1, 8 oz. package of softened cream cheese
• 1, 7 oz. jar marshmallow crème
• 1, 6 oz. package of almonds, chopped or slivered

Instructions-
• Stir the cream cheese and marshmallow crème together until smooth and creamy. Add the grapes to the mixture and stir in. Fold in the almonds and stir until grapes and almonds are coated with the cream cheese mixture.
• Serve chilled, enjoy!

Frozen Watermelon Drinkseasy-watermelon-drink
Ingredients-
• 4 cups seedless watermelon chunks
• ½ cup sugar
• 1 lemon, juiced

Instructions-
• Combine all the ingredients together in a food processor and puree until smooth. Pout into a pan and freeze, about 1 hour. Rake the mixture with a fork and freeze for another hour, and repeat one more time. Then rake and serve in cups for a delicious refreshing watermelon drink, Enjoy!

Very Easy Salsa easy-salsa
Ingredients-
• 4 large tomatoes, diced
• ¼ cup chopped white onion
• 3 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
• 2 tsp. jalapeno, minced
• 1 ½ tsp. fresh lime juice
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• Salt to taste

Instructions-
• Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to let the flavors mix, and enjoy!

Hope you had a fabulous Fourth of July “pre-weekend!”

Until Next Time,

Nancy