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The Significance of Flowers on #ValentinesDay

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Feb 10, 2016

Most of us associate Valentine’s Day with cards and roses, gifting these treats to those who are or would like to be in relationships.  Teddy bears, chocolates and fuzzy romantic packages are exchanged on the 14th to signify couple’s love for one another as well as those who seek to find companionship.  The tradition started back in the Roman times and is still celebrated today becoming one of the largest retail holidays during the year, particularly for Boston florists.  

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But what is the significance of February 14th in terms of historical importance?  You would be surprised to learn that there is a fascinating story, which is believed to be the real meaning behind Valentine’s Day (and that doesn’t include Cupid’s arrows or other mythical characters).  In fact, the ritual can be traced all the way back to 200 AD Rome when it was under the control of a brutal ruler named Claudius II.

 

Claudius II was a fierce emperor who believed that any romanticism, which encouraged his young and single soldiers, was only a distraction and curtailed the strength and brutality his army to become weakened.  So much so that he banned all future marriages for those who remained unwed and illegalized any other rites that could be seen as similar.  

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For Priest Valentine who had performed all of the matrimonial ceremonies for several years, this became an outrage.  Ignoring Claudius’ orders, he performed these ceremonies in hiding until one day he was caught and arrested.  During his incarceration, he met the jailor’s daughter who was blind (he later healed her sight) and fell in love.  Soon afterwards, the jailer’s family secretly converted to Christianity but was unfortunately captured by the emperor’s soldiers after learning of their treason and they too were sentenced to death. Although the tale has no happy ending (both lovers were executed by clubbing and decapitation), Valentine left a note to the jailer’s daughter before his death reading, “From Your Valentine”.  Later, Valentine became a Saint and was idolized as the patron of this holiday.

Thousands of years later, we still recognize February 14th as a time to express our feelings of adoration for one another and utilize Priest Valentine’s gesture by presenting cards, roses and other sweets to our loved ones.  



Tags: Flowers as Symbols, Valentine's Day, Valentine's Roses, Valentines Day

Purple Is The New Red For #ValentinesDay

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Feb 08, 2016

Valentine’s Day flowers have usually been associated with the colors red and pink. There’s nothing wrong with this but wouldn’t it be nice if we could shake things up a bit?  Don’t get me wrong, a bouquet filled with these two tints, which signify love and sweetness are very pretty and complimentary to one another but it would be fun to add a pop of color every now and then?  Really, why limit our selves to red roses and pink tulips when there are so many stunning varieties to choose from that are equally beautiful.  Thankfully, Boston florists are recognizing a need to switch up a few of the customary blossoms this February and go for a fresh array of product that will hopefully please and excite their customers.  

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One trend that is beginning to make headway is the replacement of rouge with lavender.  What’s pushing purple to be used more often than red?  There’s a good few reasons why… For one thing, orders that are created with traditional shades are twice as expensive as opting for a less seasonal color.  Purple roses can be significantly less expensive than a box of long stem red roses and in many cases will last longer, too.  A second reason why lavender is being seen more often in Valentine’s Day pieces is because the color is both sultry and sexy-two prominent themes we like to see in romantic arrangements.  The last reason is because there’s a lot more to choose from in this color giving patrons a broader spectrum to select from.  As found in other industries, it’s a simple case of supply and demand.  There’s less availability of an item when the need suddenly spikes causing the price to increase.

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So if your starting to change your mind about red versus purple flowers this holiday, you’ll be happy to know that designers are already lining up their carts with stunning flavors other than roses. Holding the desirable pigmentation, all are available through your local florist this Valentine’s Day so be sure to say it with flowers and say, “I Love You”.  



Tags: Valentine's Flowers, Valentine's Day, Valentine's Roses, Valentines Day

Things To Do During February School Vacation

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Feb 05, 2016

Oh God, say it isn’t true?  There’s another school vacation coming up?!  Weren’t the kiddies just out for the holiday break, clamoring around the house, bouncing off the walls, frantic to be entertained every second of the day and now they’ll be let out again!  

 

If you’re anything like me, I’m a mom who loves her children but when it comes to these adorable little weeklong breaks from the classroom, I panic just a bit.  Every other month it seams as though I’m pulling out the activity section of the paper or scrolling down local events on Google searching desperately for something that the three of us can do.  If you’re a family who goes away skiing or flies off to a warm beach, you wont know what I’m talking about but for those of us stuck in the trenches we’re most likely calling “S.O.S.”

 

Luckily, I’ve recently compiled a list of places and projects that might keep my six-year-old and eleven-year-old boys busy for the duration of their vacation.  New England is tough during this time of year making most activities housebound due to the weather.  Keeping this in mind, with a little research we can make the most of our time.  Don’t worry about horrendous credit card bill statements or empty pocket change in our wallets- where there’s a will there’s a way!  Check out these local family favorites and enjoy February break in a relaxing, anxious free environment.  After all, it is called a vacation so enjoy it!

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Places

  1. Visit your local library and sign up for their February break programs.  They’re really cool and FREE!
  2. Visit the Museum of Science and Aquarium.  

(Don’t forget to grab passes before from your local library!)

  1. Trampoline Parks are a great way to burn off energy and luckily, establishments such as Sky Zone and Launch are awesome indoor facilities that provide hours of bouncing entertainment.
  2. Go to an art museum-Boston has hundreds!  My favorite places include the Peabody-Essex, De Cordova, Isabella Stewart and Museum of Fine Arts.
  3. The Ecotarium in Worcester is having guests inventors show kids their wacky inventions.  Most related activities are free with the price of admission.

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Things to Do at Home

  1. Get out every art supply you own and let everyone paint, draw or sculpt.
  2. Let the kids choose their favorite recipe from a cookbook and have a day whipping up recipes and sweet treats to pass the time.
  3. Sledding and Snow Hiking can be a lot of fun if you’re located near the woods.  It’s great exercise and New England is so beautiful during the wintertime.
  4. Turn the house into a giant tent by tacking up old sheets and blankets to the furniture.  The children will adore camping while snug and warm in their homes.
  5. A Board Game Tournament is wicked fun and will create memories for years to come.  Top games for this include Parcheesi, Sorry, Guess Who and Clue.  

Tags: Kids, Libraries, Museums, February, vacation

Valentine's Day Getaways

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Feb 03, 2016

Valentine’s Day is all about hearts, chocolates and flowers but on the years when the holiday falls on either a Friday, Saturday or Sunday (this year the 14th is on a Sunday), Boston couples will be happy to know there are additional options available to say you “I Love You”… to make a huge impression.

 

Booking a romantic getaway is just the thing to spark the love in a relationship and lucky for us, there are plenty of great places that are in close proximity to the city. Without having the nuisance of traveling by plane, those wanting to escape for a couple of days can find the perfect hotel or inn that best suits you and your honey’s tastes.  Whether your interests lie in the country where you can enjoy romantic walks in the woods or a more urban approach of sipping martinis inside of a fancy nightclub, Boston has an extensive variety of places to choose from!  Many hotels will also offer package deals, which may include couple’s massages, champagne brunch or complimentary roses.  So if you’re interested in adding a bit more spice to the festivities this Valentine’s Day, visit these sensational locations to celebrate the day of love in style!

 

Lake Salem Inn, Derby, Vermont

Not only do the rooms have a magnificent view of Lake Champlain but visitors will also get treated for a romantic dinner for two, spa treatments and complimentary flowers. Oh, and make sure you try the Champlain chocolates-they’re delicious!

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Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa, Stowe, Vt.

I’ve stayed here before and boy did we have a great time appreciating the gorgeous mountain landscape as well as their indoor pool, outdoor Jacuzzi, spa, salon, restaurants and game room!  The hotel is affordable as well as an easy trip back to the city.

 

The Eastland Park Hotel, Portland, Maine

This is a great deal. You get breakfast in bed, truffles and a free set of pajamas for you and your sweetheart!

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XV Beacon Hotel, Boston, MA

This hotel is featuring two special deals this year, which both offer an incredibly menu of romantic enticing.  Breakfast in bed, late check out times, champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, rose petal bed turndowns and a warm fireplace right in the room are all a part of the inspiring possibilities for couples.   



Tags: Valentine's Day, Valentines Day, Romance, Travel, vacation

Chinese New Year – The Year of the Monkey

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Feb 01, 2016

The Chinese New Year begins on February 8th, the beginning of the Chinese calendar that is also referred to as the “Spring Festival”.  The date marks the start of the new lunar schedule as well as the reunion of family and friends to gather together at their homes the eve before.  The traditional meal served at this time is actually called Reunion Dinner, which kicks off the celebratory festival.  Typically red envelopes are given with cash as the whole house is decorated in similar colors to symbolize the hope of “wealth”, “happiness” and “good fortune”.  In order to encourage good luck to the family, a massive cleaning of the home takes place, ridding the space of dirt and other unhealthy essences.  Once the family is content that the abode is unblemished and cleansed thoroughly, it is the belief that luck will soon find its way through the doors.  

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Every New Year is dedicated to a specific animal, known to hold particular characteristics and fortunes for anyone born within the particular twelve-month segment.   2016 has been deemed the “Year of the Monkey” including the years 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992 and 2004.  If you have been born into this category, it’s a pretty safe bet that you are intelligent, curious, witty and a bit mischievous which can sometimes get you into a bit of trouble.  Your magnetic personality offsets this flaw because monkeys are often energetic, clever and creative although clumsiness is another trait most possess.  Due to your intellect, great jobs for you include banking and accounting but try to find a job closer to the city since it is also likely that you prefer urban living to the countryside.

 

Here’s what else you should look out for during the Chinese New Year of the Monkey!

 

Luck Days:  14th and 28th

 

Lucky Numbers:  9 and 4

 

Favorite Flowers:  Chrysanthemums, crape-myrtle

 

Best Colors:  Gold, White and Blue  

 

Best Advice:  Focus on your health this year and remember to take a vacation.  

 

Worst Advice:  Don’t take greedy risks or illegal advances where money is    concerned.  You’re going to get caught!

 

Best Love Match:  Rabbit/Ox

 

Worst Love Match:  Pig/Tiger



Tags: Chinese New Year, Traditions, Holidays, February

What Should A Valentine’s Day Card Reveal?

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Jan 29, 2016

Valentine’s Day is February 14th, the most popular day of the year to send flowers to loved ones.  It’s also the time when many people choose to reveal their feelings for a special someone, which makes sense since it is the holiday dedicated for “L-O-V-E”.  This can add a lot of pressure to those poor guys and gals who aren’t quite sure how to put their sentiments into words since there has to be a card attached to the arrangements sent by florists.  What is the right thing to write when you’re in this sticky situation?

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Well, it depends largely on what the circumstances are.  After all, you wouldn’t want to send a card that wasn’t appropriate because saying too little or saying too much can blow your chances in a heartbeat.  You have to be clever and creative when finding the correct words for Valentine’s Day, focusing on tailoring the message for that specific person.  If you’re stumped for ideas and are at a loss for words, here are a few funny, romantic, sweet and even poetic phrases to woo your love interest this Valentine’s Day!

 

Funny

  1. Meh…You’ll Do…
  2. I Love You More Than Pizza….
  3. I Way OveLay Ouyay!
  4. Flowers today. Fireworks tonight!
  5. Cupid's aim is still pretty good.

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Romantic

  1. I send a kiss inside the petals of each rose...
  2. Thank you for filling my life with love.
  3. If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden.
  4. Just because you’re amazing!
  5. Meeting you was fate, becoming your friend was a choice, but falling in love with you was beyond my control.

 

Sweet

  1. Your face lights up my world.
  2. I discovered true happiness the day you walked into my life.
  3. Thank you for coming into my life... I will love you now and forever!
  4. Have a beautiful day. I'll have one just thinking of you.
  5. You are in my thoughts, you are in my dreams, and You are in my heart!

 

Poetic

  1. I bet you a cuddle, I bet you a kiss, I bet you'll never guess, who sent you this?
  2. Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue, My Favorite Valentine is You!
  3. Roses are red, violets are blue, carnations are sweet, and so are you!
  4. A hundred hearts would be too few, to carry all my love for you.
  5. Even in a fairy tale where every dream comes true, I could never hope to   find a husband/wife as sweet as you.



Tags: Card Messages, February, Valentines Day

Flower Couture

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, Jan 28, 2016

The fashion world is getting a fresh taste of inspiration in 2016 and it doesn’t include a designer’s variation in fabrics.  Flowers of every variety and dimension are hitting the runway, featured in some of the most elite fashion events of the year.  Around the world, florists are becoming involved within this competitive industry where they are showing innovative techniques and presentations with the use of imported product.  Orchids, roses, willow, and an eclectic multitude of tropical leaves are being sewn, glued and stapled onto dresses, blazers, hats, pants, skirts, shirts and more!  Contributing a breathtaking flare and contemporary vision, models are strutting these striking concoctions adorned with lavish blossoms everywhere from New York to Paris.  According to reviews, the floral fascination is making a splash and is leaving their audiences in awe.  

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photo credit: franzgrabe.co.za/

Is this a fleeting trend?

 

A hoax?

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photo credit: architecturaldigest.com

A desperate attempt to re-infuse clothing with personality and intrigue?

 

I don’t think so…  Talented designers are making serious headway by creating fashion forward ideas that will revolutionize what is shown on the cover of magazines and storefront windows.   Flowers have asserted themselves as being the new vogue when it comes to clothing and judging by these pictures, there’s no questioning why.  Take a look at these popular new looks and ask yourself if you see yourself dripping in daisies the next time you plan on attending a function!



Tags: Flowers, Fashion, Design, Couture

Valentine's Day Movie Humor

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Jan 27, 2016

Valentine’s Day is on Sunday, February 14th and there are millions of happy couples that are already planning their romantic getaways (it’s a long weekend by the way).  But for millions of other people, this holiday can be a real downer because the truth is-not everyone is involved in a lovey dovey relationship!  For those who find themselves in the thick of this category, you may not want to reminded by the bombardment of heart shaped cards, chocolates and roses being gifted to seemingly everyone but you.  It’s depressing, frustrating and flat out obnoxious to feel the emotions of being left out of an entire holiday based on whether you have a significant other on a single day of the calendar.

 

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That’s why I’ve decided to change my annual “Most Romantic Valentine’s Day Movie Pick List” to the “Funniest Valentine’s Day Flicks”.  That’s right!  I’m throwing out the tear jerking, steamy, love affair scenes for a more entertaining look at what really goes on between most couples.  Seriously, have you ever honestly been able to put yourself in the place of the characters in “The Notebook”, “Sleepless in Seattle or “Love Actually”?  Did you know that even the movie, “Titanic” is listed as one of the top most romantic movies of all time?  How about “Legend’s of the Fall”?  Have you seen that one where the women are fighting over hunky cowboys like Brad Pitt and making love in barns and haystacks?  Come on!  Let’s get real here people… It’s time to throw out some of the fru-fru fantasy and pop in a DVD that we can at least somehow relate to!

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So here’s what I’m advertising this year for Valentine’s Day flicks-movies that are comical, embarrassing, awkward and undeniably enjoyable.  These are for those who are married, divorced, coupled, single or anybody who simply doesn’t want to celebrate this year’s holiday covered completely in romantic sap.  



Tags: Movies, Holiday Movies, Valentine's Day, Valentines Day

Top Gifts for Valentine’s Day

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Jan 25, 2016

Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it and you don’t want to greet your sweetheart empty handed like you did last year.  As some of us may be forgetful about the holiday that occurs every February 14th, it’s helpful to have a reminder along with some quick gift suggestions.  Depending on whom you are planning to woo, Valentine’s Day presents should be suitable for their personality and character.   Gifts can be separated into all sorts of categories but for this purpose we’ll use the top five themes with the top five gifts to keep things simple; traditional, romantic, funny, cost efficient and of course- sexy.  Within each one of these segments, you’re bound to find the perfect something for your girlfriend that is just right for her! Try out these items that are sure to leave her bubbled over with love this holiday…

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Traditional

  1. Box of Chocolate
  2. A Dozen Red Roses
  3. A Bottle of Wine
  4. Perfume  
  5.  Jewelry

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Romantic

  1. Scented Candles
  2. Her Favorite Romantic Comedy on DVD
  3. Dinner at her Favorite Restaurant
  4. A Weekend Getaway
  5. “Why I Love You” Diary/Journal

 

Funny

  1. “Your Side My Side” Pillowcases
  2. Fuzzy Bedroom Slippers
  3. A Chocolate Game Controller
  4. Mug That Says “I Love You More Than Coffee”
  5. Condoms

 

Cost Efficient (Cheap)

  1. A Single Red Rose
  2. “Reasons Why I Love You” Message in a Bottle
  3. A Teddy Bear
  4. Handmade Coupon Book with Favors for your Sweetheart
  5. Her Favorite Lipstick

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Sexy

  1. Lingerie
  2. Kama Sutra Book
  3.  Silk Robe/Pajamas
  4. Bath and Body Gift Set
  5. Feed her a Favorite Meal Blindfolded

Tags: Chocolates, Valentine's Perfumes, Valentine's Flowers, Valentine's Day, Valentine's Roses, Valentines Day

Win Flowers & Free Tickets to Love Letters @CitiCenter #LoveLettersBos

Posted by Rick Canale on Fri, Jan 22, 2016

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With the romantic Love Letters show coming to the Shubert Theatre, we’ve partnered with the @CitiCenter to show you the love.  Share with us today what kind of flowers you like to get from your Valentine.  Tag #LoveLettersBos to enter to win two tickets to Love Letters and a gift certificate to Exotic Flowers.

Tags: The Arts, Valentines Day, Love Letters, Theatre

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