The Iris

Iris | Hannah & Husband

I took a picture of this iris the other day and couldn’t resist posting it here. I have always been in love with these flowers, which happen to be the Tennessee state flora. They come in a variety of colors, but the deepest purple is my very favorite. Recently I learned something new.

The flower was named for the Greek goddess Iris who was said to be the personification of the rainbow and a messenger of the gods to humanity. Isn’t that lovely? Each time I see one of the delicate flowers, I’m always infatuated, but now I think I will pause and see if there’s something else I should be noticing at that very moment.

“I am going to try to pay attention to the spring.
I am going to look around at all the flowers,
and look up at the hectic trees.
I am going to close my eyes and listen.”
-Anne Lamott

Spring has a way of awakening our senses and waking up our brain cells. What is it trying to tell you?

Getting Ants Off Peonies

Get the Ants Off Your Peonies | Hannah & Husband

True Story: The first Mother’s Day lunch in our new house, I’d set a beautiful table and was so excited to add a bouquet of fresh-cut peonies from the backyard to the centerpiece. Then, about halfway through the salad course, we noticed a mass exodus of ants from the flowers that were scattering all across the table. Trust me, sharing your luncheon with ants is not nearly as adorable as cartoons would lead you to believe!

Get the Ants Off Your Peonies | Hannah & Husband

As it turns out, ants are attracted to a sweet juice found in those round peony buds right before they open. So if you’re going to bring the flowers inside, remember to get the ants out of the center first! Here’s how…

Get the Ants Off Your Peonies | Hannah & HusbandGet the Ants Off Your Peonies | Hannah & Husband

Fill a large bowl with water and plunge the flowers in bud first. Soak the flowers for about 5 minutes. This will force the ants out.

Get the Ants Off Your Peonies | Hannah & Husband

After 5 minutes, just give the flowers a gentle shake and flick off any ants you see. Then, they’re ready to display.

Springtime on My Mind

Springtime on My Mind | Secrets of a Belle

One of my friends came up to me yesterday and said that he felt Spring coming. Personally, I think it was wishful thinking, but I will admit that I have had Springtime on my mind lately too. I keep being drawn to florals. There may be no flowers outside my door, but they are definitely appearing in my closet. So when I was in Target yesterday and saw these pants, I couldn’t resist! One thing led to another… you know how that goes…

(As a side note, the girl in that picture doesn’t look nearly as happy as that shirt will make you feel. My tailored shirt from Banana Republic is a favorite in my closet right now.)

Now a small disclaimer, my obsession with Springtime may have a little bit to do with our latest site release at work: HGTVGardens! It is such a cool site, and I was super honored to work on the design team. Be sure to click over and take a look!

Living a More Beautiful Life…

Always keep fresh cut flowers around the house. They make everything feel brighter and add a touch of glamour to every day.

A few tips:

– Keep a good assortment of old jars (from jelly, juice, moonshine) around the house. They make great vases and don’t cost anything extra.

– When you bring flowers home from the store, trim the ends and put them in room temperature water. If the water is too hot or too cold, it may shock the flowers.

– If you put in any of those little packets of preservative, don’t use the whole packet for one vase. Use a little bit and mix it well with the water before putting in your flowers.

– Buy what you like. Consider them a gift to yourself and to the mood of your home!