how to

HOW TO: Know the difference between Succulents & Cacti

Hey, do you know the difference between a succulent and a cactus? This question is a pretty common one among our customers at Establish. So we thought we’d take a moment to let you know what are some of the similarities and what are some of the difference. Knowing some of these will definitely help green your thumb!

First off, all cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti (say that 10 times fast)! 

Succulents are known to be moisture packed due to storage of water. Succulents store water in their leaves, stems or roots and the arms - thus they can survive quite a while without being watered. Cacti have small, round, cushion-like structures called areoles in which flowers and hair can grow. Areoles usually look like small, fluffy, cotton like lumps on the body of the cactus. It is where the pricks grow out to get ya! Cacti usually have a tough, thick skin and seldom have leaves. If a succulent does not have any of these noticeable features, then it is not considered a cacti.

Planting is a key ingredient to the success of whether a succulent or cacti can survive. A clay pot is recommended with a hole in the bottom that is covered with rocks or broken clay pieces. The pot should be ½ the width of the height of the plant that is to be potted. Make sure you use a soil that is meant for cacti or succulents. You can mix your own, but you need to mix sand with soil. This can be tricky, so make sure you follow some key instructions from a nursery. When you first buy your plant, do not water immediately – wait a week and then just dampen the soil, do not soak it. *Stay tuned for our next posting about watering tips for cacti and succulents. One quick hint: when planting cacti, wear leather gloves to protect yourself from the pricks!

When taking care of cacti or succulent, remember they are water-filled plants so when looking at your plant it should look plump and filled with water. If not and it looks puckered, then water it but remove any standing water that has developed in bottom of the cactus stalk.

And don't forget - if you still have questions or need advice on what to plant or where to put your new buddy - we are here to help. Just ask and we will help you create your perfect desert oasis.

HOW TO: Shine Your Brass (and copper)

If you've ever been into Establish, you are well aware that two of our favorite metals are copper and brass. For one, they look rad. Secondly, they are (fairly) inexpensive metals. So it's really a win, win combo. 

As with all metals, we know with wear comes tarnishing. A lot of times, the tarnish and patina looks amazing. We often wouldn't change a thing. But sometimes you want a little extra sparkle in your life and for that, there is cleaning! We also love life hacks to cleaning, organizing anything and everything. After some research and experimenting we found some great home remedies providing instant gratification and a mostly minimal mess.

Just a quick tip before cleaning your metals: determine if your item is actually made of brass, copper or if it's plated.

Test for Brass or Copper. Hold a magnet to your piece of jewelry. If the magnet sticks, the item is not brass, but most likely brass-plated. If that's the case, use water and mild detergent to clean, anything more abrasive (such as methods below) could damage the plating. If the item is brass follow the steps below! You can try the same magnet method for copper. If the magnet does not stick and you still aren't sure you can usually tell by the color. Copper tends to be a redish color that tarnishes and oxidizes to a greenish tone known as patina. It's also a softer metal that can dent or bend fairly easily. 

METHOD 1: Lemon & Salt

1. Cut the lemon.
2. Sprinkle salt on lemon.
3. Rub salty lemon on object.
4. Rinse with warm water.
5. Dry with clean cloth. 

METHOD 2: Ketchup OR Worcestershire

1. Dampen a cloth.
2. Squirt a quarter size of the ketchup or worcestershire on cloth. 
3. Rub into brass or copper.
4. With a clean cloth, rub dry.

*This next remedy is for someone with a little patience, takes about an hour...and we didn't have the patience, so no photos. But we know it's a sure thing! And the best things are always worth waiting for, so...here it is: 

METHOD 3: Salt, Vinegar, Flour

1. Mix equal amounts of the three ingredients.
2. Apply the paste with fingers.
3. Let sit for 1 hour.
4.  Rinse with warm water and rub dry with soft cloth.

Now that your item is clean and shiny you must be wondering, 'how fast can I dirty it up again'... We're doing the exact same thing! Keep ya posted.