DIY Terrariums: Put Some Spring in Your Step!

Happy March! We’ve entered the final stretch of winter—some areas are still experiencing cold temperatures, but spring officially begins this month.

Now is the time to reintroduce green to your life by building your own terrarium. This simple and low-maintenance indoor garden will freshen up your home and spirit for the upcoming season.

What You’ll Need:

  • Sturdy, clear container
  • Pebbles for drainage
  • Potting soil or sand (no fertilizer)
  • Plants (succulents or mosses work well)
  • Decorations (optional)
  • Water and spray bottle for maintenance

 

What to Do:

 1. Consider using fun, unique containers to house your terrarium. Unexpected displays such as a domed glass cake tray, large conch shell or even a hollowed lightbulb can make your mini-garden reflect your style and fit in wherever you need more greenery.

2. Layer the bottom of your container with pebbles. This creates a drainage system for plant roots in case of overwatering. Adding potting charcoal can also be beneficial to some terrarium styles. This layer will help keep water free of impurities and prevent mold growth.

3. Fill your container with soil or sand, leaving enough space to house your plants or any decorations you plan on using. Fertilizer is not recommended for terrariums, since plants need to adjust to permanent soil and have limited space to grow.

4. Pick your plants. While many types of plants can thrive inside a terrarium, they have vastly different needs in soil, sunlight and water. It’s important to pick plants that best suit your living environment for stress-free care.

5. Make it your own! There’s an endless amount of accessories that can bring some personality to your new terrarium. Consider a woodland fantasy or Easter theme for spring. 

Aquatic Tips and Tricks

Keep a spray bottle full of water nearby to hydrate and refresh your plants. The force of water can easily disturb terrarium settings when it is poured from above.

Closed terrariums thrive in a humid environment. While some plant varieties can be fully self-sustaining, it’s important to keep an eye out for mold and occasionally allow the container to air out.

For a more aquatic look, plants like Anubias can be planted in tall vases and submerged in water. Once spring flowers begin to bloom, you can also preserve them in water and bring their beauty inside. 

How will you personalize your spring terrarium? Share your homemade ecosystems with us!

 

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5 Iconic Aquatic Scenes in Romance Films

 

Happy Valentine’s Day! We hope, no matter how you choose to spend your day, it is made up of various expressions of love. One way we like to celebrate is with the classic romance film. If you are like us, cozy up with a blanket, some popcorn, and anyone special who also loves romance films, and prepare for a film binge. A romantic, water-themed, film binge.

Has anyone else noticed how many iconic romance scenes in film history have taken place in or around water? If you hadn’t, don’t fear: We’re about to run through five of the all-time bestwater-related love scenes.

Cozy up with a blanket, some popcorn and your Valentine’s Day sweetheart (whether that’s your significant other or your cat) and prepare for a film binge.

 

Titanic (1997) — “I’m Flying, Jack”

It’s impossible to talk about romantic movies without noting one of the most famous of all time: Titanic. Who could forget the moment Rose decided to trust Jack to hold her up on the bow of a massive ship overlooking the ocean? Plus, a first kiss with Celine Dion singing in the background can’t get any more romantic.

 

Spider-Man (2002) — The Upside-Down Kiss in the Rain

 

How about this for romance? The water factor may not be the most romantic element of this scene, nut it undoubtedly makes the moment even better. After Spider-Man saves Mary Jane’s life, she thanks him with an upside-down kissthat respects Spider-Man’s wish to keep his identity hidden. A kiss in the rain is iconic in and of itself, but an upside-down kiss in the rain is a whole new level of romance.

 

The Notebook (2004) — Rain Scene

Speaking of kissing in the rain, no romance film binge-watch session is complete without The Notebook. The movie’s most romantic, water-soaked scene is emblazoned across every advertisement for this film.

Not only does this scene begin with Allie and Noah in a boat on the water, but it also ends with the two sharing a kiss in a torrential downpour. If you weren’t teary-eyed up to this point in our list, the waterworks (no pun intended) are sure to come out when watching this film.

 

Dirty Dancing (1987) — Water Lift

As evidenced in Dirty Dancing, you can perform some pretty advanced dance techniques in the water. In this iconic scene, Johnny attempts to assist Frances (“Baby”) in perfecting her form during a lift with the help of the water. It may not be a classic display of romance, but this iconic movie scene remains just as adorable.

 

The Little Mermaid (1989) — "Kiss the Girl"

How could we forget The Little Mermaid’s unforgettable “Kiss the Girl” sequence? Considering the entirety of the story revolves around water, it’s difficult to choose just one scene to encompass the romantic, aquatic elements of this cinematic masterpiece. Despite Eric and Ariel’s devastating inability to seal the deal with a kiss during Sebastian’s “Kiss the Girl” serenade, there will likely never be a boat ride as romantic as this one—fictional or not.

Feel free to wipe the tears away, take a drink of water and allow the swooning to subside. Who knew a natural resource like water could be so dreamy?

Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at Aqua!

 

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Building with Water: An Icy Endeavor

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Say it with us: Ice is the new brick! It may seem physically impossible, but some of the world’s most breathtaking structures consist entirely of frozen water.

Whether permanent, semi-permanent or temporary, these renowned structures push the boundaries of traditional architecture and have us wanting to travel the world just to catch a glimpse of their beauty. 

 

Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel — Finnmark, Norway

Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel rests in the county of Finnmark, Norway and was first introduced to the world in 1999. It is the largest, northernmost ice hotel in Europe and the second ever constructed in the world.  

Like Sweden’s IceHotel, the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel is reconstructed annually. The hotel consists of 30 rooms, a chapel and ice gallery, all of which adhere to a new theme each year. Sorrisniva is open for reservations from mid-December through the beginning of April every year.

 

IceHotel — Jukkasjärvi, Sweden

Sweden’s IceHotel—the first in the world—was founded in 1989 and has been rebuilt every year since its inception. With 55 rooms, 10 restaurants and an ice chapel, the IceHotel undoubtedly attracts a lot of attention. In fact, artists from all over the world apply for an opportunity to contribute to the hotel’s building and design every year.

The hotel, built naturally with ice and snow from the nearby Torne River, is open annually from December through April and ultimately melts in the summer—only to be rebuilt again the following year. Those who book a stay at the incredible IceHotel in the winter months have a chance to see the Aurora Borealis firsthand.

 

Hôtel de Glace — Quebec, Canada

The Hôtel de Glace (“Ice Hotel”), originally built in 2001, was the first ice hotel in North America. This 44-room hotel is furnished with deer furs for warmth and contains a chapel, spa and even a slide constructed of ice. It generally requires 50 workers and an estimated month and a half to construct the building, which consists of 30,000 tons of snow and 500 tons of ice. The hotel is available for booking from January until March, and rooms start at $450 per person.

Winter Carnival — St. Paul, Minnesota, United States

After a New York reporter referred to Saint Paul, Minnesota as “another Siberia, unfit for human habitation” in 1885, the city’s population decided to take a stand. They created what is now known as the Saint Paul Winter Carnival and have since constructed a total of 36 ice palaces as chief attractions to the annual carnival. Unfortunately, the city is unable to build an ice palace for every carnival and the latest structure was constructed in 2004—nearly 13 years ago!

Ice Palace — St. Petersburg, Russia

Image via pxhere

In 1740, the world’s first known ice palace was commissioned by Russia’s Empress Anna Ivanovna to celebrate Russia’s victory over the Ottoman Empire. The empress requested the construction of an enormous ice palace to commemorate the victory. In 2005, Russian historians teamed up with ice sculptor Valerij Gromov to recreate the ice palace.

From hotels to palaces to everything in between, buildings made from ice are impressive both as works of art and feats of engineering. For more winter wanderlust, check out our guide to water-tastic vacations

 

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5 Keys to a Safe, Stress-Free Bath

Nothing quite beats a relaxing bath to unwind after a long day. But before hopping in the tub, remember to put safety first. There are potential hazards that could arise during bath time such as slipping, falling, or even drowning.

January is nationally recognized as Bath Safety Month, so there is no better time to read up on our complied tips for keeping your time in the tub relaxing and safe. 

Keep an Eye on the Kids

Obviously, small children should never be left alone or unsupervised while in the tub. Kids aged four and under are at the greatest risk for bath-related accidents and should remain under guardian supervision at all times. Ideally, children should bathe with some degree of adult supervision until they have reached at least seven or eight years of age.  

Rinse Away Those Suds

A sudsy bathtub floor is the perfect surface for slipping. To prevent an unpleasant and dangerous fall in the bath, rinse away as much foam, bubbles and sudsy bath residue as you can before standing up and exiting the tub. If the floor remains slick, proceed with extreme caution and consider installing a handrail to make bath time safer.

Traction Prevents Tripping

One effective strategy for preventing a sudsy slip is to invest in a traction pad or adhesive for the tub floor. These affordable, easily accessible items reduce the risk of falling by creating friction for the feet and prevent the potential of leaving behind a slick surface. Implementation of bathtub traction pads is beneficial to bath-goers of all ages, since everyone from toddlers to senior citizens can potentially suffer from a fall. 

Soothing, NOT Scalding

Hot baths are lovely, but it’s important to remember baths are intended to be soothingnot scalding! When filling up the tub for a bath, make sure to check the water temperature several times before climbing in. If it is too warm for comfort, run a bit of cold water, and then check the temperature of the bath again before you enter.

This advice is particularly important when preparing a bath for small children, since they are more likely to jump right into a hot bath without considering the temperature. Additionally, children do not have the same capabilities as adults when it comes to handling extreme temperatures. Bath water that’s just hot enough for you might be too warm for a little one, so use extra caution when preparing a child’s tub. 

Steer Clear of Sharp Edges

It’s easy to forget that sharp edges can act as a bath safety hazard. Bathtub faucets, drains and showerheads could pose a risk of cuts or scrapes, and become dangerous when accompanied by a slip or fall.

To reduce the potential of a scrape, use rubber faucet and drain covers and hide any sharp edges with a towel or soft material. If you have young children, steer clear of any bath toys that have harsh edges or are made of hard plastic—nobody wants to land on those in the event of a stumble.

The next time the January cold gets to you, we hope you’ll keep these precautions in mind before indulging in a warm, relaxing bath. Don’t forget your rubber ducky! 

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Hydration Habits for the New Year

3… 2… 1… Happy New Year!

Yep, it’s that time of year again: resolution season. We know how these New Year promises often go. We’ve also been guilty of breaking a few, or all, of them in the past. So to help you ease into the new year, we’ve compiled some easy, achievable and water-tastic resolutions to make 2017 a great year.

Health

Hit the gym

But make sure to bring a water bottle, and use it! If you’re serious about the “new year, new me” mentality, then keeping hydrated is a must. According to WebMD, choosing foods with higher water content or drinking more throughout the day helps control calories.

Clear your head

Drinking water is good for your body in every way. In addition to flushing out bacteria, staying hydrated can alleviate headaches. Keep your mind active and sharp by drinking just a few more cups a day.

Avoid Colds

Need another way to stay healthy? Consuming water regularly throughout the day boosts your immune system, which helps keep colds at bay.

Wealth

Like fish in a barrel

Save money like a pro. Install a rain barrel or bucket, it’s as easy as that. Collect rain water to water your garden and inside plants with.

Scrap the tap

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget. Turning off the faucet when you’re brushing your teeth or cleaning your dishes saves a ton of water and money.

Ditch the disposal

Even if you have a garbage disposal we recommend putting your food in a compost bin instead of dumping it down the drain. Not only will your pipes thank you, but so will your garden.

No matter how you choose to ring in the new year, we hope you have a happy, healthy and hydrated 2017!

 

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