There's nothing like the satisfaction of giving the perfect gift. The Society of American Florists has developed this convenient guide on how to give great gifts and when to give them.
Prioritize special dates on your calendar. Stay on top of your gifting needs by checking your calendar at the beginning of every month. Better yet, solicit the help of your local florist. All you have to do is tell your florist the important dates you would like to be reminded of. He or she will contact you ahead of time with gift suggestions for the upcoming occasion, and can even make suggestions or remind you what kind of flowers you sent last time.
Take the time to find something that is perfectly suited to your recipient's interests, personality and style. These tips can get your thinking on the right track:
Does he or she have a special hobby or interest? Add to an antique lover's collection with a vintage vase filled with flowers (a florist can create the perfect arrangement to complement the vase).
Would he or she prefer a quiet and romantic celebration? Try tickets-for-two to a special event. Send a dinner invitation delivered to his or her door in a bouquet of flowers.
Does he or she deserve some special pampering? Ask your florist to help you create a special spa kit in a basket with goodies like bath beads and oils on one side and a beautiful arrangement of flowers on the other.
Remember Special Days All Year Round
There are many occasions throughout the year when gifts are traditionally given and received, but don't forget those special days that celebrate personal milestones.
Anniversaries, birthdays and holidays are special occasions, but they're not the only times when giving a gift brightens the day. Celebrating a long friendship or shared accomplishment can renew and strengthen relationships with friends and family.
Don't let personal milestones go by uncelebrated. Be sure to note upcoming events like graduation, new baby, new home, new job, promotion or well-deserved retirement on your calendar. Be sure to add new occasions as they occur. Personal milestones such as a first recital, finishing an important work project, quitting smoking, losing weight or passing the bar exam deserve a gift of recognition. A personalized gift adds to the sense of accomplishment and increases the enjoyment of a job well done.
Gift Giving Tips:
Don't just consider what you like to give...think about what they would like to receive...it's their gift!
Do ask what they really want - don't assume anything!
Don't give up until you get an answer or snoop around enough to know what they like.
Do listen out for hints, and don't believe them if they say they don't want anything. There's a great gift for even the hard to please and you'll discover it if you put forth the effort.
Do know that there is a perfect match for everyone and what one person considers a purposeful present is another person's dust collector. Make a match!
Don't give up until you know what they need or collect or love to receive!
Do keep in mind that gifts should be something that makes someone feel adored and treasured and cared for...it's not the amount you spend but the time you spend searching for the gift.
Do remember that your presence is the best gift of all...add your feelings, thoughts, tell someone how much they mean to you and transform your gift into a treasured memory
Do take the time to present your present creatively. If you are giving a piece of jewelry, hang it on a stuffed bear, wrap it up in style and add a card that says you can't bear to be without them! Go to great lengths to surprise your gift recipient with a very special delivery!
To make sure your present is a good match, do consider offering the gift's receipt in a sealed envelope to your gift recipient. Write 'Just In Case' on the envelope and tell them to use it in case it's the wrong color or size! They'll think you thought of everything!
Since a rug can be an expensive or long-term investment, you should choose a rug that can be maintained easily, so that its original beauty lasts for years of enjoyment. This is our guide to choosing low-maintenance carpets and keeping your area rug looking beautiful, new and clean for years after your original purchase.
Regular vacuuming is most important for rug maintenance. Area rugs receive a lot of abuse from everyday dust and dirt accumulation. Sand and dirt grind down the pile of rugs and abrade their foundations. It is best to remove this sand, dirt and grime before it makes its way into the base of the rug, where it will be more difficult to remove. Surface soiling is best lifted by slowly pushing the vacuum a few feet with the nap of the carpet and then slowly reversing direction. In higher traffic or particularly soiled areas of the rug this process may need repetition to be fully effective.
Using a good vacuum with strong airflow and adjustable rotating brushes will remove the greatest volume of particles from the rug. The vacuum should have a good filtration system that will prevent dust from recirculating into the air.
Cut Pile rugs are generally well constructed and durable. A vacuum with a rotating beater bar to agitate the area rug pile and strong suction to remove loose particles is well tolerated by these types of rugs. Without a beater bar, you may only remove surface dirt, but leave embedded soil that can damage rugs through abrasion.
Looped texture rugs should be vacuumed regularly with suction, but can avoid damage by steering clear of vacuums with beater bars.
How Often is 'Regular'? : High traffic areas of rugs should be vacuumed daily, or at least every other day. The entire rug should be vacuumed at least twice weekly.
Some Vacuuming tips: - Keep the vacuum's brushes clean and replace them when they wear down. The beater bar should vibrate the rug, but not cause the vacuum's motor too slow. Raise the beater bar above the rug to just barely skim the fibers of the rug, otherwise pilling may occur. - It is best to vacuum in the same direction as the pile. - Be careful of fringes when vacuuming; don't let the vacuum pull them, lest they actually be ripped off over time. - Make sure that the beater bar actually rotates when it is in contact with the rug; a worn belt in the vacuum may cause the bar to slow down and stop rotating. Belts should be inspected frequently to be certain they are working properly. - Make sure that the vacuum bag isn't too full. When the bag is over half full the vacuum's efficiency is reduced. - Always make sure that the vacuum's hoses and attachments are free of airflow obstructions. - Vacuum across both directions of the traffic pattern to prevent matting.
Occasional Maintenance Practices
In addition to vacuuming there are a few other steps that should be considered to keep your rug looking it's best.
Every so often it is a good idea to flip your rug and pat it down to shake loose dirt particles that have worked their way into the carpet's loops. Sweeping or vacuuming the back of the rug once a year is the most effective way to dislodge worn in particles.
Airing your rug by taking it out of doors occasionally and laying it flat on the ground, especially on damp, foggy days, will help to keep dry burlap backing supple and flexible. Though the efficacy of this method is debated, some people even suggest placing rugs face down in fresh, powdery snow and then gently brushing it off. This technique is also intended to restore moisture to brittle rug backings.
Rotating the rug will prevent foot traffic from wearing the rug pile unevenly. The rug should be rotated once every six months if the carpet is in a high traffic room. In addition, heavy furniture like pianos and sofas should be moved occasionally, even if only slightly, to prevent excessive pile crushing. Floor protectors can be used under legs of tables, chairs and other furniture to help distribute weight. Spraying pile crushed by heavy furniture with a little bit of water and then brushing it with a soft brush can restore the pile's height.
It is preferable to keep your area rug safe from exposure to direct sunlight that could cause the colors to fade. Do not expose the rug to sunlight on a regular basis. Too much sunlight causes the colors to fade which in turn creates unevenness in the colors of the rug. Silk is especially vulnerable to sunlight. Using drapes or blinds to shade the rug during hours of direct daylight and occasionally rotating the rug will help to preserve a rug's color and keep it even.
Some Rug Maintenance Myths - Myth 1: You should shake or beat your rug to remove dirt. Shaking or beating your rug is actually more destructive than beneficial. The shaking strains the rug's backing, and with an old rug this can be disastrous to the integrity of the rug foundation. - Myth 2: You should air your rug by hanging it outside. Hanging a rug over a clothesline or hanging it on a wall can also cause stress to the rug's foundation and shape. It is best to keep the rug lying flat and simply turn it and rotate it occasionally, even when airing the rug outside.
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