Thank you to every man and woman who has given their lives for our country and freedom. We remember and honor you.
To each and every mother — thank you for making our lives better and brighter! We appreciate everything you do.
Part 2 – The transition phase
Spring delivers so much beauty! Thankfully this includes seemingly infinite flowers that are fond of cool yet temperate conditions, not the least of which are Easter Lilies. They sure are lovely but if you’re not a gardener you may be baffled about how to care for them, so we created this two-part guide. In Part 1, we discussed the flowering phase. Now, let’s discuss the transition phase.
The Easter Lilly will have dead blooms throughout its flowering phase. When this occurs be sure to promptly remove any dead blooms. This ensures that your plant will remain focused on nurturing its existing buds, rather than turning its attention to toward next year which requires it to nurture the bulb from which it grew.
You can enjoy the flowering phase of the Easter Lilly into summer. As summer ends and fall approaches, you have three options. Plant the bulb for next spring, give it to someone with a garden if you don’t have a place to grow it, or be happy that you enjoyed it for a long time and be done. If you have the opportunity to replant your Easter Lilly it’s a fairly easy task for which to prepare.
Near the end of summer and the beginning of fall, the blooms will have ceased and the foliage will begin to turn brown. This doesn’t mean it is dead! It just means it’s ready to go into “hibernation” until next spring. Once the foliage begins to brown (but not die entirely) ensure it gets approximately six hours of sunlight each day. If you live in a cold climate, do this indoors until any threat of frost has passed. Refer to your local news weather reports. They typically keep track of frost activity. Once temperatures outside are warm enough you can move the plant outdoors to finish its transformation. Leave it in the pot for a short bit if you like, and then it is ready for planting!
Part 1 – The blooming phase
Spring has made her grand debut! As such, there’s a very good chance that you just received the gift of an Easter Lilly. While its trumpet shaped quirkiness may amuse and delight you, you might find yourself wondering, “How in the world do I keep this thing alive?” It’s actually quite easy! Just follow our guide.
To start, determine which room in your house offers up the best environment for your new plant. Easter Lilies are most comfortable at cooler indoor temperatures. A good zone during the day is 60-65 F, and at night 55-60 F. Heat in general is not conducive to a happy lilly so keep the plant away from drafts of hot, dry air. Avoid areas near home appliance, HVAC vents, fireplaces, etc. Next, consider light. This plant will positively thrive in plenty of indirect light. Never place it in direct sunlight as this will quickly cause it to wilt. Since bringing your Easter Lilly home you may have noticed that it is rather fond of leaning. Simply turn it each day so that it gets 360 degree exposure to light, which will curb it’s inclination toward the light source.
The big question we typically have about caring for any kind of plant is, “How much do I water it?” Basically this plant likes average amounts of moisture in the soil. Not too wet, not too dry. It does not respond at all well to overwatering. It’s especially important to avoid leaving it sitting in standing water. Most flowering plants are sold in a pot that is covered in a pretty foil wrapping. Be sure to remove it each time you water, or transfer the plant to a proper flower pot. If you don’t do this, the Easter Lilly will essentially drown in the water trapped at the bottom of the foil wrapping. If you aren’t yet ready to pot the plant, it is okay to return it to the foil wrapper but only after the water has drained. To water it properly, place it in the shade outside or in the sink. Saturate the soil, let it drain, and then you can put it back in the foil wrapper. The flowering part of the plant is also fond of a bit of humidity. If you happen to live in a dry environment you can try keeping it in a well ventilated bathroom that will provide moisture. There is also another little trick for simulating humidity. Place the flower pot on a saucer that has a layer of small stones in water. With the appropriate amount of moisture the new, unopened buds will be sure to reach maturity.
Next read Part 2 – The transition phase
Few holidays rely so much on musical inspiration as Saint Patrick’s Day. The parties, the parades and the people are all of alive with the sounds of frivolity! Ireland is also the home of some of the most famous musicians in history.
Some are punk-rock party bands, some write serious songs about love and strife, and some were one-hit wonders who managed to author one track so impactful that it stood the test of time. You’re sure to find a song to fit any mood on our list of 18 of the best songs to come out of the land of endless green beauty! Get comfy, grab a cup of Irish coffee or handful of rainbow Twizzlers, and enjoy this sound journey to a magical and far away!
- The Irish Rover – The Pogues
- Rose Tattoo – Dropkick Murphy’s
- Dreams – The Cranberries
- If I Ever Leave This World Alive – Flogging Molly
- Jackie and Wilson – Hozier
- Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
- Beautiful Day – U2
- The Emperor’s New Clothes – Sinead O’Connor
- I’m Shipping Up To Boston – Dropkick Murphy’s
- Will You Come and Marry Me – Irish Rovers
- Seven Drunken Nights – Dubliners
- Alternative Ulster – Stiff Little Fingers
- Get Down – Gilbert O’Sullivan
- Into The Mystic – Van Morrison
- Fallen Embers – Enya
- Hall of Fame – The Script
- The Unicorn – Irish Rovers
- The Boys Are Back In Town – Thin Lizzy
After you’ve had a chance to listen to them all, don’t forget to make a hit list for your St. Patty’s Day party. You’ll have to add to it because we didn’t want to leave out the more serious, ethereal songs on our list. But you’ll have a great start and bit of inspiration to guide you!
Valentine’s Day playlists aren’t always easy to come by. Certainly there are endless songs about the topics associated with the holiday, but it’s still different from holidays like Christmas or The Fourth of July. They have very specific songs. So, we’ve created a playlist with a bit of inspiration in the form of candy and flowers – the two most popular gifts on Cupid’s big day. Before we jump in, though, we thought you might enjoy a little trivia.
Flowers: The red rose is the most traditional Valentine’s Day flower and the most common choice. Not only is the color perfectly matched to the sentiment, the red rose was considered the favorite flower of Venus, the goddess of love. This further strengthens its mythology that among all the beautiful flowers in the world, the red rose is the queen of love and passion.
Candy: Yes, chocolate reigns supreme above all candy on the planet. But wait! Is it really the #1 candy you think of among all of your Valentine’s experiences? Perhaps not. It’s more likely that you have myriad memories that include those tiny conversation hearts. The multi-colored hearts with the brief messages, such as KISS ME. Surprising though it may be, it turns out that these nifty messengers of love and friendship have been around since the American Civil War. That’s a mind boggling number of tiny little messages changing hands!
Alright, there’s your interesting bit of trivia for the day. Here’s your playlist. Enjoy!
- Candyman by Christina Aguilera
- Flower by Kylie Minogue
- Candy Girl by New Edition
- Flowers by The Emotions
- Candy-O by The Cars
- Flower by Moby
- Candy Man by Roy Orbison
- Flowers In The Window by Travis
- Candy Bling by Mariah Carey
- Dead Flowers by The Rolling Stones
- Candy by Mandy Moore
- You Don’t Bring Me Flowers by Barbara Streisand
- Candy by Gavin DeGraw
- Flowers In Your Hair by The Lumineers
May your holidays be filled with family, friends and memories!
We have collected several posts for reading over the holidays. Decorating, Dinner Themes and Tips on removing gravy stains are among them — we hope these are entertaining and useful during your celebrations!
Whether you’re having guests stay overnight for the holidays, or it’s just your family waking up to the festivities, treat everyone to a delicious holiday breakfast this year. These simple breakfast ideas are sure to get everyone up and to the table in no time.
Baked French Toast
Make this baked French toast layered with your favorite fruits for a new twist on an old favorite. Whip up the batter of three eggs, one cup of milk, and a teaspoon of vanilla and set it aside. Now layer several slices of bread along with fresh fruit like apples, peaches, or berries in a casserole dish. Pour the batter over the bread and fruit and set it in an oven preheated to 375 degrees. Bake for about 30 minutes or until all the batter has been absorbed and the fruit is soft. Serve with warm maple syrup and fresh whipped cream.
Skip the flavored coffees and make your own holiday spiced blend right at home. Put your favorite coffee grounds into the basket, and then add about a tablespoon of apple pie spice seasoning to the grounds. Run water through just like you ordinarily would for perfectly spiced and delicious coffee that is perfect for holiday mornings.
Sweet Potato Pancakes
This sweet twist on traditional potato pancakes makes them perfect for holiday mornings. It’s also a good way to use up extra sweet potatoes, as these are usually sold in large bags at this time of year. To make this recipe easier, prepare the mashed potatoes the night before and keep them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make the pancakes.
Then combine equal parts mashed sweet potatoes with grated raw sweet potatoes, and thin the mixture with a little bit of milk until it gets closer to pancake texture. Heat up some oil or butter in a skillet and drop the batter by the ¼ cup onto the hot pan. Cook on each side for about three minutes and transfer to a platter kept in a warm oven until ready to eat. Serve these with spiced apples and fresh sour cream.
If you’re hosting a holiday dinner this year, consider setting your table and the day apart from the others by incorporating a theme. Themes can be a fun way to bring everyone together; guests can be informed ahead of time so they can coordinate with food, clothes, gifts, and party favors to match. While a theme isn’t necessary to enjoy the day, it can go a long way toward making the holiday more fun for everyone.
One of the simplest ways to incorporate a theme into your day is through color. By picking a palette and running it throughout the house and the dinner table, you can produce a cohesive effect that is charming and polished at the same time.
Some color themes to consider include:
- Holiday lights – draw your inspiration from the colors used to light the season.
- Outdoors – look to the colors of the trees, sky, and surrounding nature to decorate your house in.
- Favorite color – the color theme you choose doesn’t have to be fall or holiday related; you can choose a favorite family color that your guests will embrace as well.
Does your family like to gather to watch the game after the meal? If this is a tradition that you already have as part of your holiday, why not take it a step further and make it the theme of the day. Decorate your table in your favorite team’s colors, and incorporate jerseys, banners, and helmets into your design.
If you live in an area surrounded by nature, why not bring some of it indoors to create an outdoor holiday theme? Cut armfuls of tree branches that still have brightly colored leaves attached, pine swags, and pinecones and bring them in to decorate your home with. You can take this a step further by taking these colors and using them throughout the table as well.
If there are going to be lots of kids at the table this year, why not make the whole dinner kid friendly? Incorporate a craft at the beginning of the day to decorate the house with – paper trees, stars, and or party hats all make great decorations. You can also include things like paper plates for easy cleanup, and some favorite kid foods like mac-and-cheese on the menu.