Flowers Are The Perfect Valentine Gift

The days leading up to the Valentine’s Day, the men are almost always stumped for ideas. When they are married, there are certain traditions that need to be followed. However, if this is a new relationship, understanding the likes and dislikes of the other person can take up a long time. If Valentine’s Day comes before that person ever getting to know about the likes and dislikes of the other person in a relationship, giving a gift can become a very big problem. So, in order to play it safe, men almost always revert to the one thing that guarantees them a smile; a flower bouquet.

A flower bouquet always accompanies a lot of thought behind that particular floral design. So, when it comes to extracting smiles from the opposite person, a flower bouquet is the perfect gift. Moreover, the best part about giving somebody a flower bouquet is that it is passionate, while at the same time being safe, without so much as a problematic situation on the part of the man. Everything needs to be planned out meticulously within the flower bouquet arrangement to ensure that there is nothing out of the blue.

Flowers gifted during Valentine’s Day symbolize beauty, love, and elegance. Flowers gifted on any other day makes the person smile, but during a Valentine’s Day, that same flower bouquet turns into the bedrock of emotions. Moreover, they end up showing the amount of love that you have for the other person, as well as showing an interest of remaining in their lives and making it all the more beautiful.

There are certain typical ways in which Valentine’s Day flowers can be arranged. One of the most common floral designs is that of red roses in a heart-shaped basket. It is a tried and tested design that has been able to elicit a lot of positive responses from women and men across the world. So, in order to play it safe, this is the perfect flower bouquet that you could get for your loved one.

For those that like a bit of an adventure in their choice of a gift, getting a flower bouquet that consists of wildflowers along with a single stem of a red rose will definitely be a beautiful way to cap off their Valentine’s Day present. It is a wonderful, thought-provoking, and intricately designed flower bouquet that is going to win you a lot of favors from your other half; it is best that you apply your best charm and give them Valentine’s Day to remember along with a beautiful gift of a floral bouquet.

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Valentine’s Day can also be a pressure situation; most of the men end up making mistakes that they regret by the end of the day. Therefore, simply gifting someone flowers during Valentine’s Day is not going to cut it; you have to go the whole nine yards by booking a dining reservation, and then going to the movies in order to end the day on a positive note. You might end up getting lucky or not, but what you would have done is cement your position in the heart of the other person.

Bed Bugs Prevention Tactics

Follow these simple rules and sleep comfortably and without being bitten by bed bugs.

Routine Tasks to Keep Bed Bugs Away

Add a Good Dose of Sunshine & Fresh Air. Let the sun shine in and open the windows to air the home. Bed bugs do not like light or fresh air; make sure the home has plenty of it. In the morning, do not leave sheets rumple in bed, instead fluff the pillows, throw back the sheets and covers to let air to circulate.

Care for Bed Linens. Change sheets once a week and put in the wash immediately. Wash sheets, pillowcases, blankets, and comforters in hot water adding 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar to the last rinse. Another solution for really clean sheets is to use ½ cup of ARM & HAMMER Baking Soda with a ½ cup of bleach. Wash pajamas or any other bed garments too. Dry laundry in the clothes drier at the highest setting; make sure the lint filter is clean.

Isolate Mattress. Invest in a mattress protector create a barrier between a sleeping body and the mattress. A mattress protector can be easily laundered every week. There are many types of mattress protectors available in stores, among the brands are Allergy Luxe® Bed Bug Mattress Protectors from Bed Bath and Beyond or SecureSleep™ 4 in 1 Mattress Protector – Certified Bedbug Barrier at Linens & Things. In addition, get pillow protectors as well as box spring protectors.

Tend to Dirty Laundry. Do not throw dirty clothes on the floor or leave them piled up on the bed. Use a clothes hamper until ready to launder. Do not let hamper remain full of clothes more than five days. When hamper is empty spray with Lysol and a sprinkling of baking soda. Make dirty clothes a difficult place for bugs to hide.

Clean Carpets. If possible, get rid of wall-to-wall carpeting. Opt for area rugs that can be cleaned and aired outside the home on sunny days at least once a week. Remember Bed Bugs don’t like fresh air or light. If area rugs are not cushiony enough, purchase rug pads that can be washed. Steam clean carpets or have them professionally cleaned at the beginning of each season.

Vacuum Often. Vacuum at least every other day. If there’s not enough time to vacuum often, purchase a robotic vacuum like Roomba that can be programmed to vacuum when no one is home and vacuums both carpets and floors. Just make sure to empty the bin or change the bag often. It’s important to keep vacuums clean so as not to create a new home for the bugs.

Steam Clean.Steam cleaning does an excellent job at killing dust mites, mold, germs, spores, bacteria, and bed bugs cannot survive a jet of hot steaming water. There is a wide range of steam cleaners, from hand held under $50 to industrial size for higher prices. Choose the one that fits your house and budget. Steam Cleaners are sold at stores like Home Depot, Amazon, Wal-Mart, and many others.

Attend to Pets. Keep pets off the bed! A fluffy kitten or dog are bed bug attractors. Get pets their own bed and vacuum and air outside often.

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Keep Bed Bugs Away by Avoiding Certain Habits

  • Do not eat in bed, if you do clean up after by removing sheets and vacuuming.
  • Do not bring food, or leave dirty plates and glasses in the bedroom.
  • Do not bring into the bedroom dirty shoes or sneakers, shopping bags, or anything that hasn’t been cleaned first.

Preventing bed bugs is easier than eliminating them. Keep the bedroom as a place for relaxation and sleep. A clean, fresh, and uncluttered room can have an amazing influence in your life. Try it and enjoy a life free of embarrassing and annoying bed bugs.

Bed Bugs – What Are They and How to Get Rid of Them

For many younger generations, ‘bed bugs’ were simply a myth. They were yet another childhood tale to scare children and delight parents. Unfortunately, bed bugs are real – and they’re making a huge comeback. Counts of bed bug infestations are going up and many areas are reporting the highest numbers of infestations in nearly 60 years.

What are Bed Bugs and Where Do They Come From?

Bed Bugs, (also referred to simply as ‘bedbug’,) are part of the Cimicidae family of insects. In order for bed bugs to survive, they need to feed on a warm-blooded host; such as a human or a family pet. Bed bugs have been known to live in mattresses, sofas and various other furniture and generally are noted to be most active during night hours.

The pesky bed bug is easily recognized: the body is flat and has a red-brown tint. They are approximately the size of a small, single grain of rice. Bed bugs can be seen with the naked eye. They are also easily spread in areas such as apartment buildings, college dorms and even hotels.

How Can I Get Rid of a Bed Bug Infestation?

The old fashioned way of killing off bed bugs is fairly simple. On a bed (or other piece of furniture,) each leg is placed into a bowl or tin can. The legs are then coated with petroleum jelly (which is not harmful to woods, stains, paints, metals and various other materials.) The petroleum jelly prevents the bed bugs from escaping the bed. By cutting off the food source (ie: you,) the bed bugs simply die off after a period of time.

Most pesticides no longer work for eliminating a bed bug infestation. The species has become immune to pesticides due to over-use of many for other various bug infestations. Steam cleaners have also been shown to help reduce or eliminate bed bug infestations if used on a regular basis. However, if not done frequently, it does not prove to be a long term solution.

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Unfortunately, bed bugs live up to their pesky name because they have been known to live up to – or past – a year without feeding. If you have a bed bug infestation, it may be best to seek out professional help through an experienced exterminator.

You can prevent a bed bug infestation in your own home through awareness. By being more aware of your surroundings (especially when traveling,) you can reduce your chances of carrying bed bugs into your own home. Check for droppings, eggs, blood stains or even the bed bugs before sitting or laying down in an area you are unfamiliar with.

Sleep tight, and don’t let the bed bugs bite.

Sources:

“Boom in tiny bed bugs is causing big trouble” – by Barbara Barrett, McClatchy Newspapers and Yahoo! News
“Bedbug” – Wikipedia

Nature’s Toys: Encourage Imaginative Play with Natural, Homemade Toys

Before there were baseball bats and off road hoverboards, there were sticks. Indigenous children played with what was available in nature and their play was very creative. Parents, today, can guide children to use their imaginations by turning nature’s gifts into toys.

Create a Natural Doll

Make a tiny doll from flowers. A classic is a hollyhock doll created by turning the hollyhock upside down and attaching a bud for a head and tiny twigs for arms. Or, create a cornhusk doll with six green husks. Gather them with the tips together and tie twine tightly at the opposite end. Peel the husks back over the twine to create a head. Pull out a couple of tips and roll them back for arms. Use corn tassels for hair.

Take a Trip to Fairyland

A child’s imagination can take flight with a fairy home. Construct a tiny fairy home in a wooded area with twigs, and decorate with moss and flowers. Check the fairy home everyday to see if it has been visited. Creative stories can grow from this activity. Walnut shells rose petals and pieces of bark can become fairy boats that gently float down the stream. Construct a tiny raft with short, straight twigs tied together with twine.

Flower Jewelry

Wondering what to do with all those dandelions? Dandelions make wonderful necklaces. Trim the hollow ends and continue to place the smaller end into the larger until it becomes long enough for a necklace. To keep a few flowers for décor, pierce the stem without cutting off the flower. Dandelion stems also make natural straws. Be certain the dandelions come from organic gardens, however.

When the gardens are blooming, make a lovely spring crown by braiding willow vines together and weaving in lily of the valley and other spring gems.

Gourds Make Great Toys

Grow some gourds to create natural birdhouses or use the gourds as dwellings for little dolls. Just cut a small hole for the bird or doll to enter, let the interior dry, and shake out the seeds. Gourds also make great rattles, although it may take a few months for the gourd to totally dry. Experiment with different types of gourds to see what kind of sound they make. Some gourds may have a big enough stem to use as a handle; if not, glue on a stick.

More Natural Toys

Collect pinecones, walnuts, and acorns and keep them in a clay pot or other container. They can serve as currency or pretend food, for imaginative play.

Children can do many things with sticks. They can be bats in a game of stickball (the forerunner of baseball) or they can be field hockey sticks. Piled up sticks can be turned into a homemade fort.

Homemade toys that children help create are cherished. They offer a wholesome quality that a Bratz doll or a plastic, factory-made toy is lacking. Making simple, natural toys is a wonderful way to spend a warm afternoon creating good memories.

Three Ways Of Cooking Garden Nasturtium Leaves, Flowers and Seeds

Garden Nasturtiums are annual plants offering their leaves, bright flowers and seed buds of their trailing tendrils as culinary herbs from spring to frost.

Tropaeolum majus or Garden Nasturtium

Tropaeolum majus, commonly known as Nasturtium, Garden Nasturtium, Indian Cress or Monks Cress, includes varieties which are accepted as having edible flowers, leaves and seeds. Nasturtium Strawberry Cream (half-hardy annual 30 centimeters in height) and Nasturtium Salmon Mousse (half hardy annual, with dark green leaves and salmon pink flowers) are two varieties which are widely available and can be used safely as a herb for culinary purposes.

Cooking with Nasturtium Leaves and Flowers

Nasturtium leaves are paired with Gervais Cheese in Greet Buchner’s well established book Cooking with Flowers (1978), advising that once any morning dew has cleared, harvest Garden Nasturtium leaves with care and keep cool until preparing the cheese dish. A lighter alternative (without the mayonnaise and double cream) to Buchner’s recipe is to blend Gervais Cheese with a small finely chopped onion, juice of half a lemon, season with black pepper and sea salt and then add around two tablespoons of finely chopped Nasturtium leaves, mix throughly and then embellished with the edible Garden Nasturtium flowers before serving on the plate. Simplicity with the fine ingredient Gervais Cheese partnered with an individual taste from your kitchen garden.

When edible Garden Nasturtiums are producing an abundance of flowers and leaves, then a Garden Nasturtium Salad is easy to prepare with other robust plants such as hardneck porcelain garlic scrapes or a young parsley finished with a dash of citrus juice, lemon or lime and a good oil such the nutty flavor of a cold pressed rapeseed oil like Summer Harvest, produced in Scotland, or favorite fruit vinegar. In Cookling with Flowers, Greet Buchner (1978) suggests four cups of nasturtium flowers and half a cup of nasturtium leaves with garlic, chervil, lemon juice and oil for a freshly picked salad.

Cooking with Nasturtium Seed Buds

Linda Gilbert (2011) writes that “I think I’d have to have a very large patch of nasturtiums before I’d sacrifice those beautiful dramatic blooms to eat the buds”. If your garden allows an investment of space in the Nasturtium varieties, giving a large supply of seeds buds which a cook can sub divide into smaller seeds, there are countless recipes: tpickling with dill and garlic in a jam jar, or adding to one pot dishes that tolerate spice and heat from herbs, adding to a chunky home-made mix of ingredients for a guacamole or even dropping into a seafood gumbo. Kitchen gardeners are advised to discard seed pods from Garden Nasturtiums that are turning a lighter green or look dried. Some varieties will have their green seed pods blushed with red.

Nasturtium seed pods raw will be very sharp and inedible to most individuals. Pickling with other herbs in vinegar will keep them in the larder for longer for little and often tasting.

Nasturtium Appetizers

Smaller bites using Garden Nasturtiums accompanied by alcoholic drinks are suggested by both Linda Gilbert and Greet Buchner. Linda Gilbert suggests guacamole appetizers with nasturtiums and margarita or a nasturtium flower blossom wrap around cream cheese, raisins, walnuts and orange peel. Greet Buchner suggests dropping nasturtium seed bud ‘capers’ into a white vermouth or gin and vermouth Martini.

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Geothermal Heating: A Cost Effecttive and Environmentally Friendly Energy

Geothermal heating is a rapidly growing industry throughout the globe. Governments, industry and consumers alike are now looking toward this new energy industry to help reduce carbon emmissions and provide cost effective and environmentally friendly heating. A number of companies have been established in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada to take full advantage of the rebate schemes that exist in these countries.

Geothermal energy was established as an alternative power source as far back as the beginning of the twentieth century when steam heated by the earth’s core was used to produce power for the first time. Geothermal heating takes advantage of heat stored deep within the earth, from radioactive decay of minerals and solar absorption.

Costs

It works through a process of drilling into the earth and extracting and transferring the stored heat through a conductor into a heat pump. Geothermal heating therefore uses much less energy in drawing heat from the earth and transferring it into a home, compared to traditional heat pumps that use cold air to be converted into heat. The constant heat stored in the earth means that the energy source is constantly available.

Recent advances in technology have made geothermal heating an attractive new source of alternative heating. Today the technology is able to produce electricity to meet the needs of 60 million people. In Iceland 87 percent of the countries heating needs are met by geothermal heating. It has been rated as the most environmentally clean and effective energy source by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Damon Milner installed geothermal heating in his new home. He said he heard about the technology while researching alternative energy sources to power his home.

“After I had looked into a lot of different types of alternative energy I decided that geothermal heating was going to be the cheapest in the long run as well as the most environmentally friendly,” he said.

“In terms of heating you can save up to 70 percent on your traditional electricity bill, it seems like a very natural way to heat a home,” he said.

In the next few years it is predicted that geothermal heating will become a prominent player in the international heating market. In the five years since 2003 the shipment of geothermal heat pumps surged by 40 percent. As costs for installation start to fall it is believed many consumers will switch to geothermal heating as a cheap and environmentally friendly source of heating.

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