Decorating with Color (And Flowers)

When it comes to decorating, there are many different little things you can do to subtly change the overall feel of the room.  Changing and mixing colors is one of these little tricks.  While the major colors of a room are what gives it its overall look, it’s the small secondary colors that can give it a personality.

If you’ve got a room with white walls, color is going to be very important.  Adding a large colorful rug or furniture done in a bold color will catch the eye.  Adding decorative items or wall decorations in matching or complimentary colors will help.  You can also go with stark white furniture and carpet.  Then add a few splashes of color here and there.  A bouquet of bright yellow flowers, for example, would stand out and look very nice in a room predominately white.

If you’d like to have colorful rooms, remember your basic color wheel.  Cooler colors are purple, green, and blue.  This make your home feel more soothing, plus they can actually give the illusion of distance.  Cool colors can be used to make a small room feel somewhat larger.  On the other side are the warm colors, red, yellow, and orange.  They make a room feel more alive and give it more energy.  They can create a feeling of intimacy in large rooms.  If your house is drafty, or in rooms that face north, you can actually use these colors to balance out the temperature.

If you want to go with two different colors in a room, it’s best to go with complementary colors.  These are colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel, like red and green or blue and orange.  While it might seem like they would clash, flowers tell us differently.  Think of the beautiful red rose and the bright green stems it grows on, for example.  In fact, red roses look great in a room done mainly in green.

If you go with colors that are next to each other on the color wheel, you’ll create a softer look that appears more harmonious.  Nothing will jump out at you like a room done in complimentary colors might.  However, you can use softer shades of these colors and then really accent a room with a bold color.  Do a room in soft yellows, for example, but add bold, bright red curtains.  For flowers, think of yellow daisies a room done in red.

Where do you begin creating your color scheme for a room?  There are a few places.  If you have furniture that you know you’ll be using, you can start there.  Another option is wall color or carpet color.  If you’re redecorating and have neutral-colored walls, look at what artwork you’re going to use.  You can also decorate a room with your favorite color.  No matter what you choose, take a few moments to imagine how the colors will look together before you start decorating.

Find Flowers to Decorate With in Washington DC.

Flowers Reduce Stress, According to a Recent Study

“Stop and smell the roses” has long been a saying associated with slowing down and getting rid of the stress of rushing around.  However, did you know that it’s actually more than a saying?  Several recent studies have shown that certain scents can actually alter gene activity and blood chemistry, resulting in reduced stress levels!

You’ve probably heard many people say how happy they were to receive flowers or that they just love the sight of fresh flowers in their home.  But why?  Why is it that flowers seem to make people happy all the time?  Is there really a type of “flower therapy,” or is it just wishful thinking?  According to the study, flowers can actually trigger happy emotions.  For several months, the researchers studied the emotional and behavioral responses of people who received flowers.  From their reactions, they drew several conclusions.  First, flowers can have an immediate impact on our happiness.  When the subjects received flowers, they smiled and were genuinely happy to get the flowers.  But flowers do more than make us momentarily happy.  The study also showed that the participants tended to feel happy over a number of days, especially when they saw the flowers.

Participants also reported feeling less lonely even after the flowers had wilted and were gone.  This is because receiving the flowers helped them to make connections with other people.  Receiving flowers says that someone is thinking of you, and that can mean the world.

So does this mean that you should buy yourself fresh flowers every week?  Well, it couldn’t hurt!  But truthfully, it means we all need to slow down and smell the roses every now and then.  Stop to take a moment to enjoy flowers and forget about your stress and your problems.  Flowers smell great, look great, and truly brighten up our lives, and if we just take a few minutes to enjoy them, we will also enjoy the benefits of flower therapy.  Next time you know someone needs a little pick-me-up, send them a great arrangement of flowers.  You’ll make them happy for days and forge a stronger relationship with them as well.

Let Flowers Speak For You

 

The Language of Flowers
The Language of Flowers

 

Sometimes finding the exact words for a situation is difficult.  Sure, things like “Happy Birthday!” or “Congratulations on your baby boy!” are easy enough, but it can be difficult to put some of your feelings out there.  On Valentine’s Day, for example, you may not be sure if you’re ready to take the plunge and say those three little words, but you might have been thinking about it.  How can you put your feelings out there if you’re not sure if the words are right?

One way to state your feelings without speaking is to let flowers speak for you.  We often do this on anniversaries, birthdays, and Valentine’s Day.  On Valentine’s Day, for example, we give our significant others red roses to signify love.  In fact, any time red roses are given, they are almost always whispering “I love you.”  You don’t need to speak the words when presenting a single red rose or a bouquet of a dozen.

But flowers can say more than just love.  You can let flowers speak for you in many occasions.  You can tell your friends, relatives, and co-workers how proud you are of them by sending a huge congratulations bouquet.  Flowers can express your joy at a new baby or your sorrow at the loss of a friend or relative.  Flowers have a huge vocabulary and can say just about anything!

What flowers say what, though?  This can be difficult.  You probably wouldn’t want to use red roses to tell a co-worker “thanks for helping me on that project.”  They might hear the wrong thing.  A mixed arrangement featuring daises or brightly colored flowers, however, may be exactly what you want.  If you’re in doubt, ask your florist.  He or she knows a lot about the secret language of flowers and can help translate exactly what they will say to the recipient.

Of course, you don’t always have to let flowers do the talking alone.  Back them up with a small gift or two, plus a card always helps reinforce what the flowers are saying.  Speaking up and adding your voice to the flowers’ is also a great idea, especially if you really want to make it clear what you’re feeling.

Mother’s Day Flower Traditions

There are many different traditions on Mother’s Day: giving your mom flowers, taking her out to eat, spending the day visiting and catching up…but did you know there are some specific Mother’s Day traditions tied to flowers and their meanings?  Here’s a quick run-down of some of these Mother’s Day flower traditions.

The official flower of Mother’s Day is a red carnation, not as rose as you might think.

If you see someone wearing a pink or red flower, it means their mother is living.  If they’re wearing a white flower, it means their mother has passed on.

Many people place white carnations on their mother’s grave on Mother’s Day.

During the middle ages, children were often taken on as apprentices by tradesmen who lived in neighboring towns.  These children were allowed to visit their parents after Easter (a traditionally busy time for tradesmen).  While walking home, they often gathered wildflowers to give to their mothers when they arrived.

In France, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the last Sunday of May.  At dinner, mom is given a cake that looks like a bouquet of flowers.

In Thailand, children present their mothers with white jasmines on August 12, the Thailand Mother’s Day.  The white jasmine is the symbol of maternal love.

In Finland, families take a morning walk to pick flowers for mom.  One particular favorite is the small white flower called the valkovuokko, which has a very pungent smell.

In Sweden, Mother’s Day has an interesting focus on charity.  The Swedish Red Cross sells small plastic flowers in the weeks before Mother’s day, and all proceeds go to help struggling mothers.

A Little Appreciation Goes a Long Way

Saying thanks or showing someone how much you appreciate them can truly make someone feel good.  But your shows of appreciation don’t have to be huge or over the top.  A little appreciation, in fact, can go a very long way. 

One little way of showing appreciation is to smile and say good morning to your co-workers.  This can turn someone’s horribly bad day around, especially if they’ve just had a few minor annoyances.  They may even carry your good mood with them throughout out the day, passing along the smile and the cheery hello.

Taking someone out to lunch or just buying them coffee is another small token of appreciation that can go a long way, especially if, again, it occurs on a bad day.  What’s great about these types of appreciation is that you get to enjoy them, too.  You get to visit with your friend or co-worker, and that really helps cement the bond between you.  This is a great way of getting to know new co-workers if you’re new to a job, too.  You might see the effects of this little show of appreciation for years to come.

Naturally, flowers are a good way of showing a little appreciation, too.  Small bouquets can mean just as much as huge arrangements, so don’t worry about size.  Sending someone flowers might seem like a small token, but it goes way beyond just the arrangement itself.  There’s the surprise of getting the flowers, the sentiment expressed in the card, and the fact that the flowers will stay fresh for a week or so, really stretching your show of appreciation a long way.

All of these small acts of appreciation and others can have lasting effects.  As mentioned above, doing something kind for someone can improve your relationship with them.  Little acts of appreciation can be used to mend fences if you’ve offended someone or to help create a new relationship.  You may find your show of appreciation reciprocated down the line, too.  Everyone likes to be appreciated and to know that others really do notice what they’ve done.  Your little show of appreciation can have lasting effects.

Moments are Bite-Sized Experiences

Every day is full of experiences.  Each tiny little moment can become a bite-sized experience that later becomes a treasured memory.  But some people don’t see it quite that way.  How can a normal, boring day full of work, chores, and other mundane things become bite-sized experiences that we will remember later?  Well, it’s true that not every moment is one to be treasured, but sometimes, we overlook the small things.

We might not consider every moment of our work day to be a true experience.  A lot of times it’s more just something we have to get through, and we watch the clock move slowly towards quitting time.  But there can be experiences in our work day, too.  When a co-worker says hello, your boss thanks for you a job well done, or you finally find the solution to something that you’ve been working on for several days.  These small moments turn into experiences that we remember.  True, they may not be experiences that will stick with us forever, but they’re often enough to motivate us.

There are other moments that can become bite-sized experiences that you might remember for years later.   For example, trying a new restaurant for the first time.  The first moment you bite into your food may become (pardon the pun) a bite-sized experience that could lead to many more experiences later.  It may become the restaurant you go to on your anniversary or where you and your friends tend to visit regularly. 

Another great moment can be found when shopping.  Finding that perfect gift for someone or that item you’ve been looking for for weeks is a great experience, especially if that item is something you’ll use daily.  Finding a great bargain is another nice little moment—seeing that sale sticker might become an experience that leads you to returning to that store again and again. 

Receiving a gift from a friend, especially a surprise gift, is a great moment, too.  Think of that moment when you open a birthday card, unwrap a present, or learn that the florist is there delivering flowers to you, not the person in the office down the hall.  These moments are great bite-sized experiences.  Some of them are even moments you can experience again and again every time you use the gift or by re-reading the cards.  A great way to cheer yourself up is to save all the cards you get in a box and then look at them when you need a boost.  Reliving all those small experiences is a great way of remembering how many people care about you.

During any day, any little moment might turn into a bite-sized experience if you let it.  Solving a difficult problem at work, being smiled at, having a good meal…you never know when a little moment will become one you treasure for years.

Madly, Deeply, Passionately in Love. How to Express Your True Feelings

Express Yourself!
Express Yourself!

Are you madly, deeply, passionately in love with someone?  Have you told them?  If you haven’t yet expressed your true feelings, you might be somewhat unsure of how to go about doing so.  Do you just come right out and tell them?  Well, you can, but you can also express your true feelings in other ways.  Here are a few ideas.

First, you can say it with a romantic, candle-lit dinner.  Soft music, low lighting, and a meal you cooked just for your significant other is a great way of showing just how much you care.  Follow this with meaningful conversation, a nice dessert, and a bottle of wine, and your significant other is sure to know just how much you love them.

Sending her flowers is another excellent way of expressing your feelings.  A bouquet of a dozen roses says “I love you” like nothing else.  You can make an even bigger statement if you send this bouquet of roses (or other flowers if she doesn’t like roses) to her workplace.  She will be the envy of all her co-workers and friends when the florist delivers a huge arrangement of flowers to her office.

If you’re a writer or a musician, express your true feelings by being creative.  Write your true love a poem or compose a song.  There’s nothing quite as romantic as singing a song you wrote and composed yourself to your love.  If you do any sort of arts, such as painting or sculpture, you can certainly express your feelings that way, too.

No matter how you express your true feelings, be certain it comes from the heart.  That’s all it takes.  Say it with words, in song, with a portrait, or with flowers—no matter how you express yourself, as long as you’re honest and sincere, your feelings will come across.

Sometimes…Words Just Aren’t Enough

Express Yourself!
Express Yourself!

Sometimes telling someone thank you or saying “I love you” just doesn’t seem like it’s enough.  Words are, after all, intangible and ephemeral.  While it’s good to say these words, at times it’s even better to back them up with something physical.  Show someone how you feel in addition to saying it will really let them know you mean it. 

There are, of course, many different ways of showing someone how you feel.  One of the best ways of showing your feelings is to send flowers.  Flowers are especially useful in showing romantic feelings, such as on Valentine’s Day or on an anniversary.  They can also be used to show a family member how much you love them, such as on Mother’s Day or by giving flowers to a new mom

One of the nice things about using flowers to back up your words is that they can be appropriate for family members and close friends, but they also work for co-workers or acquaintances.  Giving a co-worker flowers for a promotion or for doing an outstanding job is an excellent way of telling them thanks.  You can also send flowers to a work acquaintance or someone at another office to thank them for helping you with a project.

If flowers aren’t exactly right, how about a gift basket?  Sending a basket of gourmet fruits, chocolates, or other snacks can have just as much meaning as flowers.  In fact, sometimes these gift baskets are even better than flowers for some people, especially men.

While you don’t need to give a gift or show your appreciation with something tangible all the time, every now and then it’s nice to do so.  This way, you can re-enforce your feelings with something the person can touch, smell, see, and keep as a memento.

March Madness Therapy

March Madness…for many men, it’s the highlight of the year.  For many women, however, it means dealing with what seems like 24/7 of basketball.  If you have a husband who is a sports fanatic, you might not be too happy this month.  However, why not take this time to get out of the house and pamper yourself?  If you’re not a big basketball fan, here’s an idea: have a little March Madness therapy to get over the constant sports!

There are a number of different things you can do for your March Madness therapy, some involving going out and some staying in.  If you want to get as far away from the sports as possible, you can make plans with your friends.  You can have a girls’ night out with dinner, a movie, or shopping.  You could also make reservations at a day spa and spend a whole day being pampered while the men enjoy themselves in front of the TV.

If you want to stay in, there are many things you can do besides watch the game.  You can curl up in bed with your favorite novel, take a relaxing bubble bath, or even sit outside and enjoy the warm afternoon sun.  You don’t even need to hit the day spa to pamper yourself at home.  Order yourself a nice bouquet of flowers, pick up a bottle of wine and some desserts from the store, and settle in for a relaxing afternoon or evening while your husband watches his favorite team.  He will never know just how relaxed and content you are…in fact, he will probably be so absorbed with the game that he might not even realize whether you’re at home or not!  But that’s OK—let him have his March Madness while you enjoy a bit of therapy

Yes, You Can Express What You Feel With Flowers!

Express Yourself with Flowers
Express Yourself with Flowers

For some men, expressing their feelings can be very difficult.  Women can also have this problem, but it seems like it’s typically the men who just can’t say those three little words or who aren’t sure how to tell a woman that she’s special.  One of the classic ways of doing so is with flowers, but some people wonder if it’s even possible to express your feelings with flowers anymore.  Has giving flowers become so mundane that flowers have lost their magic?  No, of course not! 

Expressing yourself with flowers is done in several different ways.  First, there are the flowers themselves.  Which flowers you select tells a lot about how you feel.  Roses traditionally say “I love you” while something like daisies may convey “cheer up!”  Don’t just pick the first arrangement you see.  You’ve got to think about which flowers you want to send, what color, what type of vase, etc. 

Second, how you send the flowers is telling.  If you send it to her office, you’re showing her and everyone there how much you care.  But some arrangements are a bit on the personal side, especially in certain circumstances.  In that case, sending the flowers to her home is more appropriate. 

Of course, you can always give her the flowers yourself.  This is the perfect way to start off a date or special day.  Giving her flowers on her birthday, Valentine’s, or your anniversary may be somewhat expected, but that doesn’t mean she won’t appreciate them or that they don’t convey how you feel.