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August 26, 2017

how to pot succulents

How to properly pot succulents
Windowsill buddies. How to plant and care for succulents.
Whichever color is between brown and green (green-brown?), that is the color of my thumbs. I still have lots to learn about the plants I've brought into my home, but I've mastered some. Most of the tropical-type plants in my house are suffering my ignorance the hardest. I just love them so much and want to water them all the time! This, as it turns out, is the opposite of love. Of all the indoor greenery, I have the firmest grasp on succulents, and feel confident that I can share how to properly care for and pot succulents.
If you're a long-time reader, you know I figured out how to propagate succulents a while back. Since discovering this trick, I have propagated the same plant 2-3 times. I've also ended up with a few random succulents, plus my fiancée Heather's aloe plant that made the trek with us from Florida to Minneapolis. Essentially, there were a lot of random pots with random plants hanging in all the windows. I recently gathered them all up in a simple window box, and here's how I set them up in their new home.
What you need to properly pot succulents

You'll need: 

Step 1: Fill with rocks
When choosing a planter to pot succulents in, pick a low container, preferably with draining holes. Succulents hate sitting in water, so it's important that moisture can move through the soil and away from the roots of the plants. In the bottom of your planter, lay down a layer of pebbles. This will aid in proper drainage. 
Step 2: Fill with quick-draining soil
Next, fill the planter 3/4 of the way full with potting soil. I like using the quick-draining variety for added protection against root rot. 
Take your plants and shake any loose dirt from the roots. Arrange them inside the planter. Don't squish them down into the dirt, just lightly set them in place. You don't want to cause the dirt to be compacted, nor do you want to tussle the roots too much. 
Step 3: Fill with a variety of succulents
Fill in any empty space in the container with more potting soil. I added a handful of river rocks on the topsoil too, just because I thought they looked cute.
Grab the spray bottle full of filtered water, and mist your plants. I recommend using filtered water only, and here's why: tap water is full of fluoride, which is great for humans (it protects our teeth and makes them stronger), but bad for plants. I have made the switch to watering my plants entirely with filtered water, and the difference has been significant. Fluoride is harsh on plants, and if you've noticed the edges of your plants leaves turning yellow or brown, I would recommend making the switch*. I also recommend using a spray bottle, as it cuts down on the tendency to just completely soak plants. 
*When using filtered water, make sure the water is room-temperature before you spray your plants. Don't shock them with cold, Brita water from the fridge!
Happy plant gang.
How to fill a windowsill box with succulents
Succulents love bright light, so a windowsill it the optimal place for them. Make sure to water them frequently - I like to mist them 2-3 times per week, less in the winter. 
How to fill a windowsill box with succulents
My plant-loving home.
I keep finding ways to bring plants into the kitchen, and I think that's because it's my least favorite room in the apartment. These succulents are definitely cheering it up, though.


P.S. If you have a busy houseplant schedule to keep track of, use this free printable to-do template.

August 9, 2017

the dress | chapter four (a.k.a. decision-making time)

DIY Wedding Dress, Chapter 4
In all honesty, I have not been a diligent bride-to-be. I've been procrastinating with the work I need to do on my handmade wedding dress. I'm at this crucial stage where all the steps remaining are definitive and seemingly irreversible, and it's daunting. The due date is coming up fast, so in spite of my insecurities and fears, I need to bite the bullet. The last thing I want is to be sewing buttons the day before my wedding. Hence the quote on my letter board. 

Here's what I have left to do. I need to:
  • Put in a zipper (definitively determining waist size!!)
  • Cut the skirt to the proper length and hem
  • Add detailing and buttons

DIY wedding dress to-do list
Even though I'm terrified of making these final moves on my dress, it's simultaneously exciting. I temporarily pinned the zipper in place (which, after I did, made me realize my zipper is way too long), and put the dress on. Oh baby, this thing is awesome. It's like a real dress! And I'm still in love with the pockets. It feels pretty damn good to be this far along. 
Details on my handmade wedding dress
As far as tackling my to-do list, I'm feeling more positively about some things versus others. The zipper I feel pretty good about, I just need to pull the trigger and stitch it in. 

The details are what I'm most excited for. I'm absolutely swooning over the sheer top I picked for this gown, but after hemming it, I'm realizing I need some sort of trim around the neckline and the arm holes. Nothing crazy, just something to hide the hemline. I also need a small, rounded button for the neck hole, plus an additional button for the top of the zipper. A shopping list is forming in my head...
Details on my handmade wedding dress
Details on my handmade wedding dress
Regarding the length of the gown, I'm totally stumped. How do you determine how long to make a dress when you haven't even decided what shoes you'll be wearing?? I'm getting married in the middle of the winter, which means some of the time I'll be wearing flats (for the sake of my fiancée who is shorter than me and feels a little self-conscious about it), but other times I'll probably be wearing boots in the snow! I still have some research to do, but any input would be seriously appreciated. Do I buy the shoes now? Do I make the length reversible in case something changes? Help!

Aside from finishing the gown, I still need to gather accessories, like shoes, earrings, and some sort of wrap (because, winter wedding =  brr). I also need to figure out what in the world I'm doing with my hair, and whether or not I can pull off lipstick. Stay tuned!


P.S. There's a mini-chapter of the dressmaking adventure ahead, plus see the previous chapter in this DIY wedding dress series where I share the wonder of pockets. 
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