Radiating Sunshine: June 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

Tips On Making Your Flowers Last Longer

Are you tired of fresh cut flowers dying after a couple of days? Flowers can really spice up a room and add color to your life but what good are they when they are wilting way to quickly?

 My boyfriend bought me a bouquet (above) almost a week ago
and my flowers are still looking beautiful!
I have found a pretty good method on how to keep your flowers pretty and fresh for as long as possible.  I have only tried this on two different types of bouquets but I have seen positive results. It has made them last about 8 days without drastic wilting, I am not positive if this method is the reason for long lasting flowers or the bouquets I have gotten have just been really lucky.

Let me know if you have any other tips to add!

The Prep:

First, make sure you are using a clean vase. Then, fill the vase with warm water. I read that warm water allows the stems to absorb the water easier and quicker!

Cut the flower stems diagonally. By doing so it allows the flowers to absorb more water which thus keeps them fresher longer. It is also a good idea to prune your flowers, which basically means cut the lower leaves that aren't going to be seen so more nutrients can go to the flowers directly

If your flowers came with flower food you can definitely put some into the vase; but note you still want to continue to change the water to avoid the water from going stale so put the remainder flower food in a plastic bag.

Lastly, add water every day and change the water every two days or when needed. Don't put your flowers in direct sunlight but don't put them in a closet either... just make sure they get adequate light without being scorched! A cool-climate is also best for long survival.

Enjoy long-lasting flowers!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Thelma's No Bake Cake

This recipe was created by a very special mother/grandmother, Thelma Russell.

I never got the chance to meet Thelma, but from the stories I have heard I just know she was a remarkable woman and a great mother and grandmother. 

Thelma is my boyfriend's mother's mother aka his grandmother; and from the stories that have been shared I wish I got the chance to meet her. However, one day two summers ago my boyfriend's mom shared with me this no bake cake recipe that her own mom shared with her. 

This cake takes about 15 minutes to prepare, so if you are just craving something sweet or preparing for a party and don't have time to bake something, here is the easiest recipe you don't want to miss!

My boyfriend and his nanny, Thelma!

The Ingredients

- 1 Sara Lee poundcake from the freezer section
- 2 cubes of bittersweet chocolate
- 1 tub of Coolwhip
- 5 tablespoons give or take of jam that's a berry based -- I used raspberry jam
- And fruit to decorate the dish


Step 1: Shave the 2 cubes of bittersweet chocolate and combine with 5 tablespoons of jam; mix together well.
Note: Remember to save a bit of the bittersweet chocolate shavings for decoration

This is how mine turned out!

Step Two: Cut the poundcake into thirds

Step Three: Apply the jam and chocolate mixture to the first layer and then repeat with the middle layer. 

Note: You are not applying any jam to the top of the poundcake

Step Four: Gently stack the layers on top of each other

Step Five: Spread the Cool-whip evenly over the entire cake and sprinkle some leftover bittersweet chocolate shavings on top. 

Note: I didn't use the entire tub of Cool-whip

Step Six: Serve then or refrigerate until ready to be served. 

So easy to package!
Step Seven: Enjoy!

We also made this cake for my boyfriend's 20th birthday and trust me there were no leftovers!
I had some fun with decorating the cake!

This recipe and cake is dedicated to Thelma Russell, a wonderful mother and grandmother. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Useful Tips

Here are some helpful hints that can make your life a lot easier, save you money, and time! 

I will be updating this post as I discover more tips!

Watched pots never boil... 

Here is a helpful hint that can really help if your trying to multi-task in the kitchen and don't have time to watch the pot.

Just put a wooden spoon on top of the pot and it won't boil over! 

An easy way to scrub a pan...

Are you tired of spending so much time scrubbing leftover food off the bottom of the pan after meals... Well I am! Doing clean-up after dinner is already a drag so why make it any worse?

Just mix 1 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, pour it into the pan, and apply a low amount of heat and there ya go! The leftover food that is stuck to the pan will come off smoothly and make the clean-up much easier and faster!

Mascara dries up, No problem...

Mascara is my go to make-up product and I go through it fast! So, I decided to test one way to help extend the life of my mascara and make my money go further. 

Just add a few drops of saline solution to the tube... I use Revita Lens but Opti-Free or any other saline based solution will work... and watch how those drops will extend your mascara a little bit longer! This is great if you don't have time to run to the store to get more!

One of my most common- laziest infractions when it comes to cleaning is not properly cleaning out my flower vases. I have a pretty nice collection, courtesy of my boyfriend... but I have never given any of them a proper scrub down! I usually just do the quick run under water and lay them to dry but that doesn't remove the gunk that is stuck to the sides. So I found a quick and easy solution I wanted to share with you all!

How to Clean Your Vases...

Alls you need is 2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar + the vase filled with warm water and then let it sit for an hour or two and voila! The gunk should come out when you dump the water out and then I just put the vases in the dish washer and now they are sparkling!

For full flower care check out this link, here. 

How to Take off Residue from Stickers...

I bought these photos from Good Will and they came with green stickers and the price tags on them! When I tried to pull them off it left an awful residue! But, I remembered reading that nail polish remover will take the residue right off! And boy did it work! It was so easy and now my frames look brand new!

Greasing Pans?

If you're a crisco user or only keep it around for the occasional pie crust (like, me) then getting a sandwich bag will help you grease the pan without any non-stick spray! Definitely would recommend this handy trick for baking or really anything. 

Your Air Freshener Has Run Out?

No worries! Just add a little bit of water and its as good as new! Shout out to my friend, Alex who discovered this nifty way to re-use her air freshener and save a few bucks on buying a new one. 

Hope you all love these useful tips! If you have any you want me to add please let me know! I love to learn new things and who doesn't love tips to make life a bit more easier!

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