Introducing Hand-Tied Rose Bouquets

Introducing Hand-Tied Rose Bouquets

Roses are red, violets are blue, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, here’s something new! Introducing hand-tied rose bouquets for our “What’s New?” feature. Did you know that the best time to cut roses is after 3 PM in the afternoon when they are highest in food reserves? For instance, here at GiftTree, we have plenty of tips and tricks on how to trim and arrange your florals, especially roses. We also found some great resources on how to choose the perfect vase and more for your flowers. Whether you are a green thumb or prefer to pick your florals up at the local market, knowing how to treat roses can be tricky. Below are some useful tips we’ve found to help your blooms last even longer:   When choosing from your garden or market, pick rose buds that have visibly begun to open but that are no more than one-third to one-half fully open. For example, the best cut roses will have just begun to unfurl. Always use clean, sharp pruners to prevent damaging the rose canes and spreading disease. This won’t affect your cut flowers but you don’t want to harm the plant in the process of cutting. Leave at least 3 leaves on the stem to feed the plant. Get the roses into water as soon as possible. If pruning from your yard, bring a bucket of water with you when you cut. If you do cut the roses outside without water, make sure to re-cut the stems indoors either underwater or immersed. Use either the floral preservative they come with or you can add...
Easy Ways to Add More Movement to Your Workday

Easy Ways to Add More Movement to Your Workday

Ladies and gentleman, welcome to a new decade! 2020 is officially under way and you know what that means? Resolutions are in full swing! Whether your focus is on healthy living, reading more, or trying something new, the new year is always exciting to start fresh! For example, one of the many things we like to do here at GiftTree is take group walks to a local park. It is essential to get away for a few minutes, grab some fresh air, and when the sun is out, get some much needed Vitamin D. Here are some creative and easy ways to add more movement to your workday!   11 Creative Ways to Incorporate Exercise Into Your Workday   Take the stairs – Throughout the day you should try and find as many ways to move, get up from your desk, and/or take the stairs if you can; even if you work on the first floor! Go for a walk outside – Take 10 to 15 minutes to walk outside, breathe some fresh air every day (weather permitting) and get re-energized for the rest of your day. Take advantage of an onsite or local gym during your lunch break – Many offices and campuses now offer onsite gyms that are either free or discounted. If you do not have access to one, check out the area to see if there are any studios or gyms for a quick sweat session! Sit on an exercise ball – Good posture while you work is a form of exercise. It can increase blood flow, improve your balance, and strengthen your core. Walk around...
Brain-Power Snacks for the Desk & Backpack

Brain-Power Snacks for the Desk & Backpack

Here it is – 2:00 PM. Whether you’re sitting in a lecture at college, at the office or just trying to keep up with little kids, the afternoon sure does have a way of bringing on that… sludgy feeling. It’s difficult to concentrate. Motivation and productivity take a nose-dive. We may look to snacks to get us through the final hours of the day, but often times, we reach for the wrong things, like chips or a Diet Coke, and it seems to help, at first. But before long we’re right back to that heavy, drowsy feeling, only worse. Do you have a hard time getting through the afternoon slump? If so, you’re not alone. And fortunately, there are tons of great snacks that are healthy, energy-boosting and good for your cognitive function. Here are some brain-power snacks for the desk and backpack that you can bring to work or school and get that boost of mental and physical energy!   Healthy, Energy-Boosting Snacks for Brain Power   Berries Blackberries, blueberries and strawberries have all shown to have a positive effect on brain function. Loaded with antioxidants, berries improve the communication between brain cells. Keep a baggie of these in your lunch box and you’ll be firing on all cylinders.   Nuts & Seeds Nuts and seeds (especially pumpkin seeds) are packed with Vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids. Both of these nutrients have linked to better brain function and improved cognition!    Dark Chocolate Chocolate’s main ingredient, cacao, is good for your mental health! According to this study, cacao flavonoids encourage neuron growth and blood vessel function (which increases blood...
Give A Home Spa Day

Give A Home Spa Day

It’s HOT. We’re getting into what they call the “Dog Days of Summer”. When the temperature soars like this, if you’re anything like me, you get to feeling kind of… sticky and just not fresh. So what is the best way to feel refreshed? A home spa day of course! Home spa days are perfect to hit the reset button and feel your best. If you know someone who deserves a pick-me-up, spa days also make the PERFECT gift! So invite over a friend who needs a little pampering and indulge! Here is my step-by-step process to a home spa day.   🧖‍♀️  Home Spa Day  🧖‍♀️ Step One: Set the Mood What helps you feel relaxed? Maybe it’s some relaxing music! Spotify has lots of chill playlists, from acoustic folk to chilled-out lounge beats. I also like to use essential oils in my diffuser for some calming aromatherapy. My personal favorite is lavender, but eucalyptus is also a popular calming oil. Step Two: Hydrate Since you’ll be heating your skin up, stay hydrated and cool down with infused water and lots of ice. Slices of citrus, strawberries, cucumbers, blueberries, basil and mint are good additions to ice water. Some people like to use Infuser Pitchers, but really, dropping the produce into any large glass or mason jar will do, too. And if you feel inclined, a little glass of Champagne never hurt anyone, either! 😉     Step Three: Get Steamy It’s time to open up those pores. Draw a hot bath with plenty of bathing salts, oils and maybe even a bath bomb or bubbles! Have a nice long soak...
Pack the Perfect Picnic Basket

Pack the Perfect Picnic Basket

It’s SUMMER! The sun is out, the breeze is perfect and since we’re not in the dog days of summer quite yet, it’s not too hot or buggy yet. Therefore: it is picnic season! Picnics are so awesome – what a great way to relax and enjoy nature! But a fun picnic can go south quickly, when it’s discovered that some key equipment or ingredients were missed. To help avoid that, we’ve come up with the Picnic Basket Checklist! It’s a great way to learn how to pack the perfect picnic basket. The Ultimate Picnic Basket Checklist ⬜ Lightweight Basket, Tote, or Cooler Make sure it is easy to carry, waterproof and durable. ⬜ Blanket to Spread Out You’ll need it if there are no picnic tables at your destination. A table cloth will work, too! ⬜ Low-Seated Beach Chairs Not needed – only if you prefer, but we love having a backrest! ⬜ A Trash Bag or Two Makes cleanup SO much easier! ⬜ Paper Towels Double duty – cleaning up and mealtime napkin use. ⬜ Moist Towellettes / Baby Wipes If there are kids, sauces or both in the picture, you’ll need these. ⬜ Plates Lightweight and eco-friendly are the way to go! If you must get disposable, try compostable bamboo! ⬜ Utensils Depending on what you’re having, you may need serving ware, too. The link above might be perfect! ⬜ Cutting Knife, Small Cutting Board You can pre-chop everything if you’d like, but you may want it for cheese and salami. ⬜ Corkscrew or Bottle Opener If your picnic destination allows alcohol, these are essential! ⬜ Shatterproof Glasses...
Dining Al Fresco: Tip, Tricks & Recipes

Dining Al Fresco: Tip, Tricks & Recipes

Ahh, summer. Nothing beats dinner on the patio on a balmy summer evening. But there are a few things you need to know! Here are some helpful hints, tips, hacks and even a couple meal plans to make your backyard dinner extra special. TIP #1 Take It Easy Dining outside is all about letting the atmosphere set the tone for the evening, so keep your recipes simple (and you’ll be able to relax and enjoy yourself more, too). Dining al fresco usually means that there’s lots of fresh produce in season. Therefore, showcase it by preparing it simply. Grilled corn on the cob with butter, crisp asparagus with sea salt, and a colorful, flavorful caprese salad come to mind. TIP #2 Make It Sustainable Yes, it is a little more work, but glass plates, cloth napkins and heavier glasses are much better for the environment than one-use picnic supplies. Plus, everyone hates how those cheap paper plates go limp immediately after dishing up. This tip is actually a two-for-one deal – since you’re not using paper plates, paper napkins and disposable cups, congrats! You’ve wind-proofed your outdoor meal, too! TIP #3 Light It Up If you plan to eat outdoors during the evening, some nice lighting will be needed. There are lots of ways to set the mood – candles, lanterns and string lights come to mind. Get creative! Check out Pinterest boards for patio lighting and have fun. If you can keep the scent of the candle or torches away from the table, citronella does double duty of repelling mosquitoes and adding light. Which brings us to our next...