• Sarah Centrella

Ladies, Buy Yourself Flowers!

The following is an excerpt from my new book All the Things I Wish I Knew, release date fall of 2022.





LESSON #15

Buy Yourself Flowers

No one else needs to buy them for you!


The other day I was at Trader Joe's picking up my weekly haul of fresh flowers and as I approached the cashier to check-out, her face lit-up with animated joy. “Wow! These are so beautiful, who are they for and what’s the occasion?” I smiled and replied, “They are for me, and I’m the occasion!” She laughed. “Oh, I just love that!” She said, scanning then loading each bundle carefully back in the cart. “Don’t ever wait for anyone to buy you flowers, treat yourself.” I told her, as she chatted on about how she’d never thought of buying flowers for herself.


Fresh flowers are one of my passions and something that brings me great joy, and for the majority of my life, I thought it was someone else’s job to buy them for me. But it’s not.


Flowers are not an extravagance; they are a necessity! Every woman should feel free to treat herself the way she wants to be treated and get her own bouquets. Even when I was on a very limited income, I’ve always had fresh flowers in the house, they are a small way to show love, bring happiness and add a warm, homey vibe.


Here are five tips for arranging a store-bought flowers to look like they came from an upscale florist:


1. Get new vases. My guess is that the ones under your sink are not it! They should be short and fat, no more then 5-6 inches high with a wide mouth. You don’t buy flowers so you can see the stems, you want the flowers to be the attention grabber, and lower is better.


2. Choosing your flowers: If the pre-mixed bouquets look ok, you can jazz them up by grabbing a bunch of a single flower, ideally one that is already in the bouquet and is the same color. This way you can remove some of the greenery and add in more flowers. Also, monochromatic colors are always a great choice, all white with a little greenery is my go to. My favorite supermarket flowers are tulips, roses (white or pink), hydrangea’s and something wispy.


3. Cut the stems. Just because flowers are sold on long stems does not mean they should ever be put into a vase that way! Take 2-3 stems at a time and cut them nearly in half, enough so they will only be 6 inches or so above the top of the vase. Once they are all cut and, in the vase, start arranging each flower and cutting the stem as needed so that there is height in the center and it decreases from there. Hight and variation is important. Then cut some shorter to show just above the vase rim, this gives fullness and presentation style marks from any vantage.


4. No leaves in the water. Cut off all leaves from the stems so there are none in the water. The leaves are what makes the water brown and the stems rot.


5. Change the water every three days. I like to just tilt out the old water from the side of the vase and then refill from the sink faucet, that way it doesn’t mess up the arrangement buy removing and replacing the flowers. They should last you a week.


COACHING ADVICE

Grab a bunch of tulips or hydrangea’s each week at the supermarket, play around with arranging them and take fresh flowers as a hostess gift the next time you swing by a friend’s house. There is just something universally wonderful about keeping and giving fresh flowers. Don’t wait for anyone to give them to you, give them to yourself!


PRO TIP: Flowers don’t need to be spendy. I love getting mine at Trader Joe's, because they are so inexpensive and they offer a great variety of interesting choices, I can easily make four or five beautiful bouquets for the entire house on about $40 a week!