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Do you grow the most beautiful flowers as part of the landscape and think, “Wouldn’t these look beautiful on the breakfast table?” And from the time you bring them inside the clock starts ticking because you know this simple farmhouse aesthetic is very short-lived. So how do you keep the flowers fresh for as long as possible? Let’s start with the way you cut the flowers, it makes a big difference. Use a shear or sharp knife and avoid smashing or tearing the stems. This interferes with the water uptake and can reduce the longevity of the flowers. Cut at an angle so the ends don’t sit flat on the bottom of the vase.

Steps to Take After Cutting the Flowers

Once you have cut the stems of your flowers, place them immediately into a clean container. Don’t be tempted to use a vase you just used without properly washing it, it may still contain bacteria that can multiply quickly and block the flow of water from the stems. Next, remove any foliage that lies below the water line. Decaying foliage shortens the lifespan of the flowers by contributing to the build-up of bacteria. Fill the clean vase with lukewarm water before placing the flowers in it.

At this point you can add either a flower preservative or this homemade recipe: 3 parts water to 1 part 7-up soda, plus a few drops of bleach. The bleach really helps to inhibit the growth of bacteria. A bit of sugar from time to time will help keep flowers smelling wonderful too. (Source: Huffington Post.)

Now since we’re talking about longevity, and as fabulous as a vase full of cut flowers looks in a bright sunny window, you probably should keep the flowers in a cool spot in your house and not expose them to direct sunlight. Also avoid placing the vase near hot drafts and heat from electrical lights or appliances as well. You may even want to consider placing your fresh flowers in the refrigerator overnight to extend their lifespan. Warm air and direct sunlight dries them out and speeds up the process of decay.

Continue to Recut the Stems

Cutting the flowers an additional one-half to one inch allows for a greater intake of nutrients as well. Plan to recut the stems every three days so they can continue to take in fresh water. Additionally, make sure that you change the water and add more flower preservative or the bleach and 7-Up mixture at the same time.

You took the time to plant, grow and care for your favorite flowers. Go on, bring those lovelies inside if you want to. They will brighten up your home for sure.

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3 Tools Every Woman With Long Natural Hair Needs

In some natural hair circles, growing your hair as long as possible is a huge priority. Natural hair YouTubers do frequent “length checks,” and it seems like the longer the hair, the better! But once your hair actually gets to an impressive length, you may run into another problem: maintaining it. Keeping waist length hair detangled is no small matter, and figuring out how to style all that hair can be daunting. Luckily, there are a few products that make it significantly easier.

A mist water bottle

Not all water bottles are created equal. Regular water bottles, that you can find at CVS or Rite Aid, shoot a single jet of water at your hair, which is pretty inefficient and somewhat annoying. With a mist water bottle, you get a sustained mist that actually wets your hair without soaking it. Plus, it produces more water at a time, so you don’t have to keep spraying and spraying at the same section. These water bottles are amazing, trust me. You can find one at Sally’s or other salon stores.

Ridiculously large hair clips

This seems so simple, but it’s easy to just keep using the same hair clips that you’ve always used and then getting frustrated that your hair doesn’t stay in one place for long. Rather than pile extra hair clips into your hair, just buy a few jumbo clips. I went ahead and got the ones that looked, to me, comically large — they were the biggest ones that they had at the store — and they’re perfect! I can actually put all of my hair up with one clip again.

Don’t throw your small hair clips away, though. I still use mine often to clip the front of my hair back, since otherwise, it gets in my face all day long.

A jar of deep conditioner

All naturalistas should have deep conditioner on hand at all times, especially in cold or dry weather. However, some women can get away with buying packets or smaller quantities. Not you with the long hair, my friend. You need an entire hefty jar. While you might technically be able to cover your head with a packet-sized amount, a jar allows you to apply the deep conditioner generously without worrying about running out, which is important when you have a never-ending supply of curls.


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