DIY ALERT – VASES!

Let’s talk about – vases. Now there’s the crystal vase you buy for a wedding present for your 2nd cousin’s daughter, who has everything she needs and is planning a destination wedding in Tuscany. Then there’s the plain clear glass vase you buy in real life, which, of course, is where the THRIFT SHOP comes in.

There are so many creative things you can do with these vases, and the thrift ship ALWAYS has a great selection at LOW PRICES. Here are just a few ideas!

  • Make a terrarium with your kids (this is a great summer vacation project). Find a vase that’s wide but not too tall. You’ll need pebbles, terrarium soil, and some tiny succulent plants. Look for detailed instructions on the internet.
  • Air plants in glass containers are very trendy now. You can grow these indoors or outdoors, and they require virtually no water!
  • Fill your vase with alternate layers of different colored pebbles and sand. This requires NO artistic talent and makes a beautiful sculpture-like piece to display on your mantel or coffee table.
  • Your vase could also hold a collection of things with sentimental value – wine corks, shells, rocks and minerals, foreign coins. It’s a great way to display these small treasures that bring back memories.
  • On a purely practical note, a vase can hold those kitchen utensils that won’t fit in the drawer, or all kinds of miscellaneous bathroom items (think Q-tips or cotton balls). And clear glass works with any style of decor.

– It’s SUMMER. Keep that vase filled with flowers from your garden!

SKIP THE SUPPLEMENTS – VOLUNTEER!

The headline for an article in the June 2017 issue of the AARP Magazine read, “Planning to Live to 100? Volunteer!”

Now personally, I’m not sure I want to live to be 100. For one thing, I KNOW the DMV will take away my driver’s license by then. (On the other hand, I could find some cute guy from Uber to drive me around. I may have to rethink this.)

The real issue isn’t how long we live, but how well we live. And no matter how young or how old you are, volunteering does amazing things for your quality of life.

Eric J. Schneidewind, the president of AARP and the author of the article, writes, “A growing body of research tells us that those who volunteer have lower mortality rates and less depression, along with a greater sense of control over one’s life and high rates of self-esteem and happiness. Some studies showed that volunteers who devote about 100 hours or more per year to volunteer activities are the most likely to experience health benefits.”

If you’re serious about aging well (or simply living well now), add volunteering to your life. Find a cause you’re passionate about and join in. At Assistance League of Irvine, we’re passionate about our philanthropic programs – Operation School Bell, the Young Masters Art Show, and our Irvine Valley College Scholarships, to name a few. If we walk 10,000 steps while we’re working a shift at the thrift shop, so much the better. We’re not thinking about living to be 100 – we just want to give back to our community for as long as we’re able.