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Simplify Thanksgiving with the 4 Fs

by Leanne Kesler on November 20, 2014 at 8:44 am

fallleavesAcross the country, the temperature has plummeted. Colorful leaves litter the ground, and the sound of Christmas carols fill the stores. STOP! Don’t fast forward to December quite yet. Let’s keep the focus on cinnamon spice, apple cider, candlelight, knitted scarves and cozy visits with family and friends. It truly is best to prepare and enjoy one holiday at a time. November brings us Thanksgiving — the perfect holiday to gather together and celebrate the abundant blessings in our lives.

With the busy frenzy of life, preparing for Thanksgiving can seem daunting. It’s not. The perfect holiday takes just four things. Yes, just four. Narrowed down, that makes it super easy to fit into your schedule. What, you ask are the four things? Pour yourself a cup of hot cider, sit down and I’ll share my tips for a successful Thanksgiving holiday. It’s ok, I’ll wait — go get yourself a cup of hot cider.

Thanksgiving requirements, listed in order of importance:

  1. Family. Surround yourself with “your people” and everything else will fall into place. With technology, geography does not have to limit your options. Set a place for grandma and include her in the festivities via Skype. Children grown up and moved across the country are just as close as the iPhone. Gathering family from various time zones can add a bit of fun to the day. One tip for the “world-wide bunch,” be sure to designate the time zone you will be using as you schedule your virtual guests.
  2. Friends. Expand your family with special friends. Thanksgiving dinner can easily accommodate more guests. Not sure if you should invite someone? Do it. They’ll be grateful for the invitation, and you’ll be happy you did. Promise. In fact, one more person (or two or three or more) can change the family dynamics and reduce the emotional drama of “family.” Yes, we all have a dreaded and difficult loved one. Change the attention to the new guest, and experience the wonder of a happy holiday.
  3. Flowers. What is the main difference between eating and dining? It’s the flowers. Anytime you add the beautiful touch of flowers, everything becomes more special. Even the simplest meal can become a feast. For the centerpiece, the iconic cornucopia can be done in a traditional or contemporary style. Which one will match your personal style the best?
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    A place setting with each person’s name will make guests feel extra special. Mini flowerpots make beautiful festive place settings. Have a couple extra on hand to recognize last minute guests. You can easily add their name to the flowerpots with a felt tip marker. My personal favorites are the metallic pens in gold and silver.Mum-Placecards-FDI-KeslerIf you are the invited guest, bring flowers to the hostess as a thank-you gift. That will ensure you’ll be invited back again. Something tall and simple with a little creative flair — your florist can create the perfect design. Read More
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Pets + Plants = PURRR-fect Success

by J. Robbin Yelverton on November 16, 2014 at 1:19 pm

ChurchillScenario: A young couple meets, cupid shoots an arrow, they fall in love. They move into a downtown loft or apartment and set up housekeeping. After much discussion, they decide to have their first “child” — a rambunctious boxer bulldog named Trooper. They elect to have no plants in their home for fear the plants would put the precious fur baby’s health in jeopardy. What with all the TV segments and Internet blogs on the hazards of dangerous plants and pets, why bother, right?

This scenario or one similar happens countless times everywhere.  But does it have to? The answer is a resounding “No.” You can have cool plants and a happy healthy pet co-existing in harmony.

Flowers and plants are decorative and not meant to be eaten. As with any non-food product, some flowers and plants can have varying effects on pets if ingested. However, there are many others that are perfectly safe to have around Spot or Fluffy.  Read More

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Ordinary Blooms, Extraordinary Designs

by Carol Caggiano on November 12, 2014 at 8:41 am

As florists, we often hear from our customers that they prefer more high-end flowers in their bouquets. Carnations, chrysanthemums and gladiolus seem old fashioned in today’s market in favor of peonies, tulips, roses and orchids, which have a greater, perceived value and are more trendy. Yet as often with other materials, how you put them together makes all the difference. Every now and then we have a creative client who wants something special and to create these one-of-a-kind designs, we immediately gravitate toward our traditional favorites.

A young lady made her Bat Mitzvah and in lieu of gifts she requested donations be made to the ASPCA as she loves animals. To decorate the table that was set up for guests to leave their notes, cards and donations, we created the “coolest” dog ever made mostly from white carnations. It was such a nice touch and brought attention to something that was very important and personal to the teenage girl. That puppy was certainly the most popular guest at the event.

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The Perfect Tribute to Honor Our Veterans

by Brian Wheat on November 5, 2014 at 10:31 am

VeteransDay-Collage-fbAs a U.S. Air Force veteran, artist and flower shop owner, I’ve always known the positive power of flowers. From my youth on the flat farmlands of Illinois to the alpine flora in the great state of Colorado, I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by Mother Nature’s bounty and beauty for most of my life.

The relationship between flowers and life’s events are like peanut butter and jelly, heck, they just go together. Any celebration or holiday from birth to death is a cause to receive or give flowers. Memories of prom, homecomings, Valentine’s Day, weddings, funerals, Mother’s Day, Christmas and Thanksgiving are just a few of the important times and chapters of our lives when flowers impact our thoughts and feelings. Their sights and fragrances forever embedded in our memories. I can still remember the smell of that carnation on my tux lapel in ’78. As life got more complicated and I moved on into the military, I still felt the need to stay connected with family. Sending flowers home was a way to accomplish that, those blossoms served me well to convey my thoughts and feelings to the ones I cared about most. Read More

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Grow New Buds

by Christine Arylo on November 1, 2014 at 2:05 pm

SAF_LLAF_GrowBuds_404X404Did you ever notice that most women have friends, but few of us have been educated on how to grow and cultivate friendships that nourish, grow deeper over time and ultimately give more than they take? Even if we have friends we’ve known for years, or we have a lot of friends in number, most women lack – and crave – deeper soul sister connections. In my work with women around the world as a coach and relationship expert, I hear again and again how lonely women are for meaningful, truly supportive friendships, or how often they hang onto the wrong friendships, just like staying in the wrong romantic relationship, and so there is no space for new buds to come in.

The truth is that just like things in nature, like flowers and plants, there is a season for everything. Annuals come back year after year, while some only bloom once. And we are okay with that, because we know if we plant new buds in the ground, new flowers bloom. We could learn a lot about friendship from flowers. Every friendship has a season, some a lifetime, others years and some just a few months — and when we let one friendship go, another will bloom in its place. Some flowers go together better than others, just like people, and the best flower arrangements come from intention and creativity. Flowers do better when loved and cared for, and when they are planted or presented in bunches, or grow together in fields or gardens.  Read More