Day of the Dead or “Día de los Muertos” is an event that is commonly celebrated throughout the central and southern regions of Mexico. It is a celebration of deceased loved ones as their souls are welcomed back to Earth for twenty-four hours. This tradition is thousands of years old, dating back to the pre-Aztecs. Day of the Dead is celebrated with food, rituals and flowers. That’s right, flowers are used during Day of the Dead as a guide for souls looking to find their families. This is because of their vibrant and beautiful colors and decadent scent that flowers are a key component to this celebration. More specifically, the marigold or “flor de cempasúchil” is a popular flower for this celebration as its notorious musky smell is strong enough to lead souls to their families. Though marigolds are popularly used for Day of the Dead, there are plenty of other flowers that are used to decorate during the celebration for a variety of reasons!
Marigold: Marigolds are known for their musky smell and vibrant colors that flourish in the fall time. They’re an easy choice as they are beautiful and fairly inexpensive to cultivate. Besides their beauty, many of the flowers used during Day of the Dead have symbolism that makes them popular choices for commemorating deceased family members. Historically, marigolds are known to ward off evil spirits and symbolize positive energy and are referred to as the “Flower of the Dead.” Marigolds usually range from oranges to yellows as they are often compared to the sun (or light) to guide during Day of the Dead!
Chrysanthemums: Mum are a widely utilized flower during Day of the Dead as well. They represent friendship, trust, and optimism. More specifically, white mums are commonly used for this holiday. Their pure white petals and earthy scent is enjoyable on its own, but commonly white mums are used to decorate during the celebration because they represent purity and trust.
Baby’s Breath: Baby’s Breath is a classic accent flower, especially during Day of the Dead. These flowers are small and simple, but that doesn’t take away from their beauty. They’re a classic staple to bouquets and arrangements as they add a pop of color, and accent other flowers, such as marigolds! Their pure white petals in contrast to a marigold’s vibrant yellow and orange petals create a wonderful spectacle to the eye! These flowers are perfect for Day of the Dead as they represent everlasting love.
Cockscomb: Lastly, Cockscomb is a popular flower used during Day of the Dead as they are a vibrant red and used primarily as a religious symbol, as it’s referred to as the “Blood of Christ.” These add a beautiful pop of color to floral arrangements and withstand the hot heat for eight weeks!
Happy Halloween! Considered one of the spookiest holidays of the year, it is understandable that one would want matching décor to go along with the theme. That being said, there is no such thing as a pure black flower to match the Halloween aesthetic to a spooky bouquet . . . until now! Lucky for you, there is a simple (and easy) way to achieve a pure black flower for the Halloween season.
This Halloween, we are changing it up and dying flowers. I know what you’re thinking; how can you dye flowers? Well, it’s much easier than you think!
What you need:
- White flowers (They don’t have to be just roses, they can range from daisies, lilies, roses, baby’s breath, tulips and more.)
- A knife
- Food dye (Both gel and drops are fine, just make sure you warm your water to melt the drops.)
- A cup
Let’s Get Started:
Step One: Take your flower of choice and clean the stem of all leaves. Other than the stem, we want no greenery on the actual flower itself.
Step Two: Once you have cleaned off your flower stem, make an “X” symbol at the bottom of the flower with a knife (be careful). This will encourage a better flow of water to the stem and petals itself.
Step Three: Now, this is where the craft could become messy! Once you have decided on a black food coloring, place 7-8 drops of dye into your water. I prefer room temp to slightly warm water, but it’s up to you!
Step Four: Once your water is dark in color, place your rose(s) in the water and let them soak for—at least—24 hours. After they have soaked your white flowers should be a dark shade of gray to black!
TIP: Make sure you leave your flowers in the water even after they’ve soaked.
There you have it! A super simple way to create a beautiful and spooky bouquet for the Halloween season. Don’t want black flowers? No problem, you can choose practically any color to dye your flowers with. Follow the same steps for an array of unique flowers that are sure to catch anyone’s eye!
Flowers are as beautiful to the eye as they are to the soul! Did you know that flowers and plants affect your mental health in numerous positive ways? If you didn’t, that’s okay, that’s why I’m here to explain. There are various ways that flowers aid your mental health, which is in part why we love them so much here at Price Chopper/Market 32. According to Texas A&M University, surrounding yourself with plants, foliage and nature has many benefits that range from stress reduction, increased creativity and even reduction of depression. Though flowers can aid mental health, there are a wide variety of flowers, and it may seem overwhelming to understand certain flowers and their abilities. Here is a breakdown of flowers’ specific roles in impacting mental health:
LAVENDER: This flower is popular for its infamous stress reducing properties! Primarily, we utilize lavender in essential oil and candles. According to the NIH, smelling the floral scent of lavender can reduce stress as the scent relaxes the brain thanks to the Linalool within the plant. Linalool is an aromatic alcohol found in plants that is used in many beauty products. It is a natural therapeutic and can most likely be found in many essential oils. Lavender is suggested for all types of stress, but especially insomnia and post childbirth stress. Smelling this scent before you go to bed, or during a restless night of childcare, has been proven to aid stress reduction and happiness levels over the course of four or five weeks. Click here for all-things lavender!
SUNFLOWER: A fan favorite in August, the sunflower is known to increase a positive outlook as well. Much like mums, these are the perfect flower for happiness due to their bright colors and health properties. Their oils can help reduce stress and, henceforth, put you in a much better mood. Thanks to NIH we understand that along with its stress reducing benefits, sunflower oil consists of an abundance of essential amino acids, vitamin B and minerals. Click here for all-things sunflower seeds!
ROSES: Are you looking to reduce stress, but you don’t like the scent of lavender? Don’t worry, roses serve the same purpose. According to the NIH, inhalation of rose essential oils can be used to reduce stress and act as a natural antidepressant as the flower has a strong floral scent that releases endorphins in our brain that makes us feel relaxed. Along with its stress reducing properties, roses also are used as a natural muscle relaxer as you can use the oil topically. Both lavender and rose can aid in overall stress levels and positive moods. Click here for roses!
While distinct flowers offer particular health benefits, Rutgers University has substantiated that the mere presence of any flowers can promptly enhance positive emotions. Although this insight provides only a glimpse into the world of flowers and their connection to mental health, it’s a wonderful insight into flowers’ benefits and all they provide to us.
Happy August! Even though summer is slowly starting to wrap up, weddings are still going strong this month. Planning a wedding can be stressful, especially not knowing how to decorate in a “trendy” way. There’s such a push to have unique wedding decor, but inspiration to decorate and collect out of the box ideas can be difficult! What if I told you that creating wedding décor that is out of the ordinary is far easier than you may think?
Floating candles are a novel way to have add an elegant flare to your wedding; they are eye-catching but reserved. Though floating candles are beautiful, they can tend to feel boring depending on the theme and selection of decor you may have. That being said, there is a very simple way to fix this issue!
Let’s Make Floral Floating Candles!
What You Need:
- Flowers! Make sure the flowers you use won’t immediately brown when submerged into water (avoid African violets!)
- Flowers I recommend: Roses, Water Lilies, Orchids and Daises.
- Glass vase (The size is completely up to you, but make sure it is as tall as your flower and there’s extra room on the top for the candle.)
- Flower frog (Check out the link below for the Flower frog. These are used to keep bouquets upright in the vase!)
- Accent gems or rocks (See link below!)
- Floating candles (See link below!)
- Hot glue gun
Step One: Take your flower frog and flowers. I recommend using a maximum of four flowers (all differing in height) for this or else the vase may be too crowded. Using the stems of the flower, place them in the flower frog until you find a look that you like! If you need help using a floral frog, click here for a great video to help you out.
Step Two: Once you have created your bouquet, place a dollop of hot glue on the bottom of your flower frog and place it into the bottom of the vase. Let this cool completely before you continue the rest of your DIY.
Step Three: Once your bouquet is in the vase, take your rocks or accent gems and very carefully place them on the bottom of the vase. You’ll want to completely cover up your flower frog when this is over!
Step Four: Once your flower frog has been covered you will want to take water (room temp or cold water is preferred) and submerge the entire flower. Make sure your vase is tall enough to submerge the entire flower while leaving room for your floating candle!
Step Five: Once you’ve filled your vase with water, take your candle and place it on top of the water. Make sure you have a few back up candles. If they get wet, they won’t light up again! Now, you can light your candle and admire your beautiful floral floating candle!
Happy August! As the excitement of summer starts to dwindle down, kids prepare to go back to school, and the air slowly starts to feel crisp and cool. You may be thinking this is the time when flowers are beginning to wither away and prepare for the colder season. Well, think again! Flowers can grow successfully until mid-October and for specific months such as August, flowers are just beginning to flourish! One of summer’s most beloved flowers is the sunflower, which, coincidentally, is the official flower of August! This beautiful and vibrant flower has a rich history that has made it a staple flower in gardens over the decades.
This flower originated over four thousand years ago when indigenous peoples started to cultivate this crop for its health benefits and cooking uses. Though this flower was once previously used for its practicality, once it was brought to Europe many people ignored its health and culinary benefits and used the sunflower for its decorative nature.
As the sunflower migrated throughout Europe and into Asia, many other places in the world started to adapt to this flower. The most notable country is Russia. Russians learned how to extract the sunflower’s benefits while utilizing its beauty in decorations. Because of Russia’s popularized multi-uses for sunflowers, foods like sunflower seeds and cosmetics such as sunflower oil are popular to this day!
That being said, growing these beautiful flowers doesn’t have to be intimidating. Here are a few tips and tricks to grow sunflowers:
- As you’d guess, sunflowers flourish in complete sunlight. Bright areas outside are preferred, rather than any indirect sunlight. The barrier of a window indoors could affect the growing habits of a sunflower so make sure to avoid indoor growth.
- For sunflowers to flourish they need to be planted in well-drained soil. For those who are unfamiliar with what exactly “well-drained” soil is, don’t worry, I can help!
- “Well-drained soil” is almost exactly what it sounds like. For soil to drain well, it needs to be in an elevated container, whether that’s a pot, or a raised gardening bed. To go the extra mile, add compost to your soil to encourage draining.
- Water your flower regularly but wait to re-water after the first few inches of your flower’s soil is dry! Too much watering of your plant will lead to root rot, which no one wants!
- Lastly, these flowers can survive in various temperatures. On average, sunflowers thrive in mid-seventies, but can survive in hotter or colder temperatures as long as they’re planted in a well-drained soil and have a decent fertilizer.
There you have it! Follow these tips to growing a sunflower and you’re sure to grow and thriving and beautiful flower that’s equally has stunning as it is useful. Happy gardening!
Happy Summer! What better way to fight the heat on a warm day than an ice cream cone? Well, how about flowers? Okay, maybe flowers aren’t a great way to beat the heat, but they’re certainly beautiful. How fun would it be to combine ice cream and flowers? Well, now you can! In this blog I’ll be teaching you how to create a beautiful bouquet that mimics the look of a delicious ice cream treat! Crafting this beautiful creation is easier than you may think, and all the supplies can easily be found in the comfort of your home.
What you need:
- -Waffle cones
- -Glue gun
- -Styrofoam spheres (you can find these at Michaels, or Joann Fabrics)
- -Flowers of your liking (I recommend baby’s breath, greenery and flowers on the smaller side that are light and airy!)
- -Waffle cone sleeves
- -Ribbon (optional)
- You’re going to want to find a waffle cone that fits the size bouquet that you desire. Whether you want a bouquet that is smaller or larger, this is up to you. Remember, the smaller the cone the less flowers to work with. If you have a specific bouquet idea in mind, account for the size of it and what size cones you’ll be purchasing!
- Next, place a Styrofoam sphere into the cone (make sure it’s small enough to nestle in the bottom of the cone and you won’t be able to see it peeking out!) Once you have your Styrofoam in the cone, place some hot glue on its sides of the sphere and nestle it back in the cone and wait for it to dry. The Styrofoam will be used as a base for you to stick your flowers into. Remember, we’re using hot glue! If you’re planning on doing this with younger kids, make sure an adult is using the glue gun.
- Once you have your cone assembled, here comes the fun part! Take the flowers of your choosing. I recommend not using any large flowers like roses, hibiscus, or lilies. They take away from the actual “ice cream cone” and they’re simply too large sometimes. If you want to use roses, utilize mini roses instead! Some flowers that I recommend: baby’s breath, daisies, micro poms, greenery, and mini carnations. Of course, it’s completely up to you. There are no limitations to this bouquet!
- Once you’ve chosen your flowers, stick the stems into the Styrofoam sphere! If this is proving to be difficult, take a push pin or paper clip and poke a hole where the stem would go. Once you’ve created a shape that you like, it’s time to make the finishing touches. Like I said, this bouquet is completely up to you but if you’re struggling a bit, I made a guide for bouquet creation: Click Here!
- After you’ve completed your bouquet, place the cone into an ice cream sleeve (see the link below!) If you’re feeling super crafty, add a cute ribbon around the cone.
It’s wedding season, which means it’s time for unforgettable memories and an endless supply of pictures, videos and . . . flowers! Without fail, most weddings utilize flowers in center pieces, bouquets, and floral arrangements. Though these beautiful floral pieces are stunning in the moment, they tend to wither away after a few days. Well, what if I told you that you can preserve your wedding flowers for years on end! Though this task may sound labor intensive, truly it’s so simple and easy that anyone can do it.
- Though it may seem silly, for the best results of your pressed flowers, you’ll have to condition them. Conditioning is simple; cut your flower stems at a 45-degree angle and place them in water for 24 hours. This way they will be fresh and ready for you to press the next day!
- Once they have been conditioned, you’re going to cut your flowers, so you’re only left with the tops. You can utilize any part of the flower as well; Use the leaves from the flower’s stems! Add greenery to create dimension to your pressed bouquet as well. Have fun with this part as these are your wedding flowers and you want to remember the best aspects of your bouquet! (Remember, the larger the flower the harder it is to press. If you have a large focal flower you want to press, try using individual petals instead.)
- Once you’ve chosen and cut your flowers, you will want a heavy stack of books at the ready! Laying a piece of parchment paper down on the inside of your book, you will place your various flowers on the parchment. The order doesn’t matter as you’re going to move these after they’ve been pressed. Once you’ve arranged the flowers to your liking, place parchment on top of the flowers as well. You will have two pieces of parchment in total, sandwiching your flowers.
- This is the hard part! Close your book and layer two or three heavier books on top (if you don’t have books at the ready, you can use glass pans, bricks, or heavy rocks!) Now, leave your flowers in a dry and dark space for two to three weeks.
- After two to three weeks, carefully open your book and look at your beautiful, pressed creation. These flowers should be flat and dried out completely. If they’re not yet, close your book and keep pressing!
Now, this is where the real fun happens! Use your flowers to create a dried floral piece that can be used for decoration to remind you of your special day. Arrange your flowers in a design that you like and if you’re feeling extra crafty, add a beautiful photo from your special day. Nestle the design into a picture frame. There you have it, a beautiful, pressed creation to decorate your home with for years and years!
Happy July! Summer is a wonderful time of year for so many reasons; the sun is shining, the air is warm, the sky is blue and it’s the perfect season to tend to potted plants. Caring for plants is a great hobby for the summer, but it may be overwhelming to decide which plants to tend to successfully. If you’re a beginner in plant care, fear not, I can help! Here is the beginners guide to (successful) plant growth.
African Violets: A beautiful flower for the summer season that is easy to care for! The African Violet requires a lot of bright indirect sunlight, as it enjoys warm temperatures and minimal water. It’s better to have slightly damp soil, rather than soggy soil as it will rot the roots of your plant! Though the flower’s needs are minimal, make sure you don’t water the petals of your African Violet, or it will brown and wither. Focus solely on the soil! Fertilize your flower every other week to ensure proper plant health.
Peace Lilies: Who knew Peace Lilies were an easy flower to tend to? Well, now you know! This beautiful and elegant flower requires warm weather, but not direct sunlight! Find a good spot that’s near a window, but not directly in front of one. Peace Lilies don’t require constant watering; they require water once their soil has dried out from their last watering. While watering your flowers, make sure your soil is damp, not soaking! Over watering will rot the roots of your flower, which will inevitably kill the plant. Your Peace Lily also requires fertilization every two weeks.
Ivy Plant: Last, but definitely not least, is the Ivy plant! This beautiful plant is growing in popularity as it’s used frequently for its “aesthetic” look. If you’re looking to follow a popular trend right now, or you just think it’s beautiful to look at, caring for Ivy is simple! This plant requires a lot of indirect sunlight. If you’re a beginner plant owner and don’t know what the term “indirect sunlight” is, it’s okay! Indirect sunlight is something that interferes between your plant and the sun itself. In most cases, your “medium” or barrier between the sun and plant will be a window. If you find that your plants are drying out and withering, use sheer curtains as an extra barrier. As well as a barrier, your Ivy’s soil will need to be watered once your topsoil is no longer damp. Don’t over water though, as it will lead to root rot. Fertilize every month, and voila! Ivy maintenance has never been this easy!
Roses are one of the most popular flowers for a wedding, and it is easy to understand why! Their vibrant colors, beautiful and decadent smell and variety of shapes make the rose an easy choice for any wedding décor. That being said, roses are only beautiful for a few days until they start to wither away and feel dry once they are cut. You don’t have to watch your flowers wither away to nothing; it’s easy to give your roses a wonderful and useful second life!
Roses have many benefits as their oils are wonderful for soothing of the skin and scalp, removing clogged pores, toning skin and are rich in vitamin A, B, C and E. Utilizing roses in your everyday routine is a great way to aid your skin care routine! Because summer is the most popular season for weddings, and roses are one of the most popular flowers for weddings, getting your hands on leftover roses may be easier than you think!
To make a hydrating and cleansing rose water, you’ll need:
- Rose petals (the more fragrant the better!)
- Distilled water
- A heavy bowl
- A pot
- A spray bottle
- Take your pot and fill it with distilled water (I would say 1-1 ½ cups)
- Once you have your water in the pot, pluck your rose petals, place them in the water and submerge them completely. (Remember, the more water the less fragment the roses will be! If you have one cup of water, add one cup of roses or more.)
- Now, you’ll place your pot of roses and water on the stovetop and place a bowl over the roses, so they won’t float to the top of the pot! Make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the bottom of the pot, it should be heavy enough to keep the petals submerged, but light enough to float.
- Then, turn on your stove but don’t bring your water to a boil with the flowers – we don’t want to burn the roses. Bring the roses to a low simmer for twenty to thirty minutes (or until your petals have lost color!)
- After you have simmered your roses, begin to strain them through a mesh or wired strainer into another bowl.
- Once your water has cooled you can transfer your rose water in a spray bottle to have it on the go!
There you have it! An easy and simple way to repurpose your wedding flowers that most likely would have been thrown out after your wedding!
Summertime is approaching faster than ever and what better way to beat the heat than with an ice-cold glass of lemonade? Nothing! Even though lemonade is a wonderful drink, it can taste a bit boring at times. Practically everyone knows the signature flavor of lemonade, as it’s a classic summer staple, so why not mix it up a bit!
Simple syrup is an easy and exciting way to create a different taste to any drink. The possibilities are endless when creating this quick simple syrup. Add virtually anything to create a fun and unique take on a drink that we all love! Add fruits, herbs, spices, and flowers to simple syrup.
That’s right, flowers can be used to flavor simple syrups! Their floral and decadent scent can easily be mimicked into any drink. Though not every flower can be used in simple syrup, lavender is a popular flower that is commonly used in lemonades, coffees, teas and so much more!
If you would like to try a fun simple syrup that adds some excitement to your summer, then follow this recipe that breaks down how to create the perfect staple syrup for your summer!
What You Need:
- 2 or 3 Teaspoons of Edible Lavender (Dried or Fresh)
- ¾ Cup of Granulated Sugar (You Can Use Honey as Well)
- 1 Cup of Water
- Pour your cup of water into a pot and bring to a boil.
- Once your water is boiling, pour your cup of sugar in the pot along with 2 or 3 teaspoons of lavender.
- Bring your mixture to a simmer. (You don’t want the sugar to burn as your lavender steeps!)
- Stir the sugar until it’s completely dissolved and let the liquid simmer even more.
- Wait 10-15 minutes to acquire the perfect lavender taste, best suited for you! (Feel free to taste test and play around with flavor intensity in this step.)
- Strain your simple syrup with a mesh strainer (double strain to ensure no buds!)
- Once your syrup has cooled fully, place the syrup in a bottle and store in the fridge. (Your simple syrup will last for two weeks!)
- Add desired amount of syrup to any beverage.
There you have it! An easy and carefree simple syrup that takes minimal time and adds an exciting, new flavor to any drink. Replace lavender with fruits and other (edible) flowers to create a variety of syrups all summer long! Shop all your simple syrup making needs at Price Chopper and Market 32.