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Boo-ti-ful Halloween Parties

by J. Robbin Yelverton on October 24, 2014 at 8:35 am

Halloween-FBIt’s time to get your black and orange on, light up those pumpkins and sharpen those sweet tooth fangs. Halloween is hiding just around the corner! Planning a party with friends? Halloween can be one of the easiest and most fun events to pull out your decorating magic tricks.

Let’s first start with the front door. Creating a fun and freaky entrance always sets the mood for the party. Go traditional with corn stalks, jack-o’-lanterns and spider webs, or go all out with animated creatures, lighting and sound effects. It cannot be too over the top. Just be careful with actual live candles. Make sure you are fire-safe with candles in fire-resistant containers of glass or metal.

With a few well-placed accents, some sheer draping over lamps and plenty of candlelight, your living room can take on the look of a suitable “parlor” of horror. Hanging black sheer or lace over mirrors as they used to do back in the day for funerals also adds a spooky touch. Throw in a couple of inexpensive strobe lights, and your haunted home is set. Read More

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2015 Flower Trends Preview

by Leanne Kesler on October 22, 2014 at 8:48 am

I recently had the privilege of attending the Outstanding Floral Varieties Competition at the Society of American Florists 130th Annual Convention. With nearly 5,000 flowers in one room, it was spectacular! I saw some beautiful product and discussed trends with flower growers. Take a look at the following video and ask your florist to show you what’s new and different in their cooler.

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Baby Shower Party Animals

by Shelby Shy on October 20, 2014 at 11:40 am

Babies are such a joy! Decorating baby showers and sending baby shower gifts is so much fun. Florists can decorate any party, including baby showers. You know to turn to your local florist for centerpieces and hostess gifts, but florists also can create baby shower decorations and gifts such as storks for the front yard, ribbon wreaths, diaper baskets, diaper cakes and flower cakes. And of course, corsages for the new mom and grandmothers to wear to the party.

Elephant-FBOne of the hottest baby items we’re seeing today in the flower shop is animal grapevine baskets. The grapevine baskets come in an array of animals — dogs, frogs, bears, and cats. Fill the baskets with any plant you desire. Send them to new moms. They get excited about the plant being something they can keep and grow with their newborn babies.  Or use the grapevine baskets as cute baby shower party favors.

Next time you have a celebration coming up, talk to your local florist for gift suggestions and party decoration ideas.


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Mum’s the Word

by Brian Wheat on October 15, 2014 at 8:27 am

Mums-Thousands-FBChange of the seasons is one of my favorites of Mother Nature’s miracles. Fall, with all of its colorful foliage, cool crisp nights and shorter days lets us know winter is just down the road. As an avid gardener, it has a lot to offer in planting of mums and other beautiful fall flowers, plants and bulbs.

The wonderful and versatile chrysanthemum, aka mum, has been around since the 15th century. Cultivated in China as a flowering herb and used in Japan’s Festival of Happiness, it has been celebrated by many cultures. The name “chrysanthemum” is derived from the Greek works chrysos (gold) and anthemon (flower). Native to Asia and Northeastern Europe, there are over 40 species, and there are thousands of horticultural varieties and cultivars. It’s the official flower of Chicago and Salinas, Calif.  This flower of the month of November was brought to the United States in 1798, by Colonel John Stevens from England as a part of an effort to grow attractions within Elysian Field in Hoboken, N.J.  Read More

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Grow Roots

by Vanessa Diffenbaugh on October 10, 2014 at 9:19 am

SAF_LLAF_GrowRoots_404X404Four years ago I co-founded The Camellia Network, a nonprofit organization set out to change the way youth transitioning out of foster care are viewed and supported.  What I’ve learned through that experience, and through raising my two eldest foster sons, is that what foster youth need more than anything is a community that cares about them. No matter what your personal passion, the advice I offer below is how to grow roots in your own community.

Ask people to tell their stories. Everyone has a story, full of both heartbreak and triumph, but we can’t see their story just by looking at them. Asking people to share allows you to find common ground even when all you see—externally—are differences.

Be real. We have been trained to broadcast our successes and hide our failures. But the truth is this: our failures humanize us, and they connect us to one another. Being truthful about both sides of your story will help you form more honest connections with those you love and admire.  Read More