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Winter Bridal Bouquets for this Christmas

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Dec 20, 2017

Believe it or not- Christmas is a very popular time of year for couples to take the plunge down Boston’s wedding aisles.  There are several reasons for this phenomenon, one being the most obvious-it’s a striking season here in New England where the weather has created your own natural backdrop for a beautiful bridal platform.  Snowy hills, crystal snowflakes, glistening icicles and boughs hanging with twinkling lights all add to a stunning theme that brides just can’t resist.  A second reason lies within the fact that quite often, expenses can be slightly lower compared to costs associated with the popular June wedding making it another enticing issue when planning a matrimonial date.  A third attractive pro for throwing a yuletide wedding affair is the abundance of gorgeous flowers such as amaryllis, white roses and a plethora of imported orchids that talented florists can arrange into memorable centerpieces and hand-held bouquets.  Speaking of winter bouquets…

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photo via Pinterest

2017 seems to be no exception for the busy season many wedding planners are gearing up for as well as floral designers who are creating seasonal masterpieces for brides to showcase on their special day.  Traditionally, you may have seen a ton of flat, red rose arrangements but now there’s a contemporary approach to matching December’s theme with a list of fresh, alternative blossoms.  Trending this month is a sophisticated color mix of burgundy and cream, white with pine cones and seasonal greenery, exotic tropicals and also a wintery combination of white, gray and green.  All very different from one another in style, check out these exquisite bridal bouquets which might just be the ideal vision of bridal bliss you’ve been looking for!

christmas bridal flowers.jpg

photo via Pinterest

This is one of my favorite examples of how to ditch the standard white, green and red motif for something far more interesting…  In this bouquet, we see white and green striped cyclopediums enhanced with white hydrangea, seasonal foliage and ruffled green gerbera daisies to finish the piece.  This is for the bride who isn’t afraid to walk on the edge of wedding traditions- a bride who dares to be different and isn’t at all inhibited to have all eyes glued on her.  Yes, this is going to run a little pricey but the good news is, these species should outlive other alternatives because of their sturdy stems and heads.


 

Tags: Wedding Flowers, December, Weddings, Bridal Flowers

December Birthday Flowers versus Holiday Centerpieces

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Dec 18, 2017

There are many people out there who have been given the birthdate placed in the very special month of December.  For some, they relish in the notion of being surrounded by seasonal festivities of lights, trees and wreaths and believe this only accentuates the happiness of celebrating a birthday.  For others, there’s quite a different story…  For those who lie on the latter side of the fence, you may feel cheated by the idea of having to share a day which was supposed to be dedicated to you and only you with heavy hitters such as Christmas or Hanukkah getting in the way.  Have you ever perceived your birthday as being seemingly less important and perhaps experienced with less enthusiasm due to the busyness of the season?  What about the terrible gift labeled, “For Your Birthday AND Christmas” that’s supposed to be perfectly acceptable as a combined present for both?  Face it- you’ve probably felt robbed at one point or another and can sympathize with new babies born on December 28th.  

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In my family, we actually have a triple header in this department with three birthdays all falling just before and after Christmas.  My husband, who observes the earliest of the trio on December 4th, constantly grudges about his youthful disappointments of having his day meshed with other yuletide fetes and reminds us annually of the importance of throwing a proper ceremony dedicated solely to a birthdate.  The second to place is my youngest falling on December 11th who relishes knowing the holiday tradition of putting up the tree will always happen on his birthday.  Last but not least is my oldest son who even though had the due date of December 25th, didn’t officially arrive until two days later on the 27th.  He doesn’t seem to mind in the slightest bit of his post-holiday remembrance and instead chooses to use the celebration of the season to his advantage.  After all, it is the happiest time of the year and who wouldn’t look forward to and encore of presents?

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I suppose we’re all different (what do I know?  I was born on April 5th) but wouldn’t it be nice to be given a few pointers on what these December babies feel is appropriate birthday etiquette?  For starters, presents should never be wrapped in Christmas paper because they feel that the wasted effort is an insult to their occasion.  Secondly (as I mentioned before) don’t even try to sneak past a gift (no matter how large or expensive) that is said to be meant for both a birthday and a holiday.  In their world, this is absolutely sacrilegious.   A third tip is to never bake them a Santa or menorah cake accept in the situation where the request has been made.  Although there typically tends to be tons of sweets and treats around this time of year that you could quickly pass off, most December partygoers really wants a typical cake.  The last piece of advice you should be wary of in case you are planning to gift flowers is nixing poinsettia plants or red/white arrangements for floral birthday gestures.  Stick to bright colors that are reflective of the celebration and wait to give these “Christmasy” displays of blooms until after their special day.  Everyone wants to feel special on their birthday so make sure to put in the effort by sticking to this guide if you have a loved one celebrating a birthday this December.

Tags: December, Christmas Flowers, Birthdays, Rick Canale, Suzie Canale

Dressing Up Your Doorsteps for the Holidays

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Dec 02, 2016

It’s time again to make plans for your holiday décor since the season is now upon us!  As you’re reading this, you’ve probably begun to make a list for garland, wrapping paper and maybe even a tree but please keep in mind that there’s plenty to do outside of your home as well.  Did “Christmas Vacation” just flash across your head, remembering the efforts of Clark Griswold blacking out his neighborhood with an extravagant light display?  Although hysterically funny, I’ll reassure you that decorating the outside of your home doesn’t have to be this elaborate…

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By using a few easy tips, you’ll be able to create a beautiful holiday presentation without spending gobs of money or using up precious time that could be better spent with family.   By “Recycling, Refurbishing and Reapplying” certain items that you already own, you can transform your plain entryway into a gorgeous welcoming display for friends and family.  Many people believe they have to be “Martha Stewart” in order to achieve a “magazine cover” appeal but judging by this guideline, you clearly don’t.  Shake off your worries and roll up your sleeves because it’s time to get going on your outdoor holiday decoration!

 

Recycling

Check in the garage and attic for anything that can be used to hold either small or large arrangements.  Iron cast urns, ceramic pots and metal containers are fabulous for holding pine and other seasonal greenery.  Next, poke around for last year’s lights and take a few minutes to both untangle and plug in to see if they still work.  Typically, the previous winter’s bulbs are tossed out for convenience but you’ll be happy to save a few bucks reusing rather than spending unnecessary finances.   

 

Refurbishing

Sometimes we toss out certain objects because they become a little shabby, worn or rusted, particularly things used in the yard such as planters.  Instead of automatically discarding them, we should be thinking first if they can be fluffed and buffed for future purpose.  When setting up an outdoor holiday display, these items become treasures by simply giving them a good cleaning and applying a fresh new polish of paint.  Marble, cast iron and metal materials are fantastic for this process and will come out looking brand new when placed on the doorsteps stuffed with pretty foliage.  

 

Reapplication

I love naturally growing outdoor foliage and even though the flowers have disappeared until spring, there is plenty still available for the picking.  If you live near wooded or forested areas, simply clip a few smaller branches from nearby trees and combine together in an outdoor pot.  Make sure you are collecting from a variety of species and you’ll soon learn that you don’t have to be a floral designer to make stunning arrangement both in and outdoors!

Tags: Holiday Decor, Christmas, Pottery, December

December Birthday Horoscopes for 2016

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Nov 25, 2016

Do you know that December has one of the highest rates for birthdays celebrated?  Some say it’s the spring fever that occurs in March or the desire of parents to give birth before the New Year but whatever the reason is, Christmas and Hanukah aren’t the only festivities occurring right now!  I myself have two children and a husband’s special days to celebrate this month, making it one busy, busy time of the calendar in our household.  


Before I start gathering my list of presents for my family, I always take the time to look up their horoscope for the upcoming year.  I know it sounds silly, but often I can predict what their interests and hobbies might be in the near future!  As you well know, gift buying can be a difficult task so why not do a little research on what their horoscope has in store for them?


Horoscopes aren’t for everyone.  There’s a lot of questioning surrounding how accurate a fortune really is and the craft was historically referred to as being “make believe” or “superstitious”.  I am not one of these non-believers because I’ve always found that the descriptions in both personality and character usually string pretty closely to the person I’m reading.  Some examples are the Ares who are bull headed but great leaders, while Libra’s typically can be deemed as “romantic” although shallow and detached.  There’s something for everyone, making this a great way to get to know someone and plan ahead for his or her birthday!  


Here’s a quick foretelling of what’s in-store for December babies!

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photo credit via 

Sagittarius

November 22nd -December 21st


This is a big year for CHANGE for all Sagittarians, particularly those born from Dec 7-16.  You will be moving onto some exciting new job opportunities but be careful that you don’t become overly frustrated with co-workers.  They are watching your every move closely, so be on the lookout.  You will have a sense of continuous energy through 2016 but make sure you are careful with your finances because overspending can be a challenge for you.

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Capricorn

December 22nd – January 20th


This year is going to be an all around successful year for Capricorn’s but it won’t focus solely on career promotions and money benefits.  Slow and steady wins the race for this sign, which will carry them well through both the big and small projects that are ahead.  Romance is also on the upturn so be on the lookout for subtle hints given by admirers.  Although this year isn’t about the flashy and exciting moments of life, it will be a smooth sail, something that Capricorns just adore!

Tags: Horoscope, December, Astrology

What Do Your Christmas Lights Say About You ?

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Dec 21, 2015

I bet it’s no surprise that certain colors that you naturally gravitate towards can tell a lot about your personality. People who like red tend to be passionate and creative while those who gravitate towards shades of indigo and purple tend to be attracted to mystery and adventure. If yellow is your thing, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re upbeat and highly sociable or green can mean that you love the outdoors and are a free spirit.  Color can depict several aspects of a human being and can be used in areas of therapy, occupational advances and even relationship building.

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But here’s something I bet you didn’t know…

 

Christmas lights can also reveal a substantial amount of information just by your selection in variety, shape and lighting hue!  Since the choices have grown quite a bit since the days of the traditional rainbow strings, decorators are allowed to express themselves better and please customers more efficiently.  The Christmas lighting companies are well aware of this trend and have included hundreds of different models to opt from so you might want to do your homework!  Whether it’s to illuminate your house or to wrap around the tree, Christmas lights are the new and popular method of conveying your family’s character!  

 

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Tags: Holiday Decor, Christmas, December

Free Fun for Kids During the Winter School Break

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Dec 18, 2015

Kids will be starting their December vacation soon and Boston parents are beginning to feel the anxiety about how they will entertain them for a whole week!  I know some families solve the problem by simply hopping a flight to Orlando for a week but realistically, that’s not in the cards for everyone.  For most households, there’s a budget to follow, particularly after the season of giving has finally passed by.  Activities for children can be really expensive so how do we keep them happy without emptying our wallets completely? We get resourceful, that’s how!

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Boston has a lot to offer and if you look hard enough, you’ll find that there are quite of few places that are affordable during this time of year.  If you have an open mind and are ready to take charge of the “Winter Break Blues” than browse through these great ideas suggested by New England’s savviest families!

 

Hiking and Nature Walks

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When you live in the Boston area, you’re fortunate to have several beautiful hiking trails across both the north and south shores.  From Harold Parker State Forest in Andover to Hale Reservation in Westwood, there are plenty of paths to take your little ones adventure seeking for hours of enjoyment.  Not only is this a free outing, the whole family will be benefiting from the fresh air and brisk exercise!

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Museum Passes

 

Our city has loads of interesting sites to see and some of the most impressive museums present in the art and science world.  The problem is that many of them can be quite costly, especially if you’re planning on buying tickets for four or more people.  Those fees add up so do yourself a favor and plan ahead.  Often websites such as Groupon will offer discounts or check out local companies who might be sponsoring coupons. 

 

Libraries

 

If you haven’t visited your local library, then you should because I’ll bet you find your new best friend pretty quickly!  Libraries are accommodating to all people of all ages and the best part-everything is free!  These media havens aren’t what they used to be when they only carried a few DVD’s and dusty books.  Most branches support a hefty amount of contemporary digital media, offer computer games, conduct story times and even hold special events during the school breaks.  You’re kids will love the experience and they also might learn something in the process! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: Holidays, Kids, Libraries, Museums, December

Boston Area Charities to Donate to at Christmas

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Dec 16, 2015

Sometimes the holiday season can be a difficult time for people.  I know the image of Scrooge just popped into many of your heads but those I really speak of are the homeless communities of Boston.  The temperatures are typically freezing, the days are shorter and everything seems to increase in cost by double.  It’s the sad face of December in the northeast for many and that’s without adding the factor of gifts to friends and families.  For some Bostonians, that’s not even a possibility…

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photo.credit; theguardian.com

Boston has always been looked upon as a melting pot, which joins together no matter how dim the situation might be, particularly when we’re talking about being cold and hungry.  Local shelters and day programs need our help to support those struggling and lucky for us-it is very easy to do!  Whether it’s donating a new blanket or offering to serve a Christmas dinner at a shelter kitchen, there’s a way for us all to help make this season jolly for everyone.  So if you’re looking for some cheer to spread around, try getting involved with these very special non-profit organizations located right in the heart of our city.

 

Rosie’s Place                                                           The Woods-Mullen Shelter

889 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA 02118                     794 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA

Phone:(617) 442-9322                                                  (617) 534-7101

 

The Women’s Lunch Place                                       Harvard Square Homeless Shelter

67 Newbury St, Boston, MA 02116                          66 Winthrop St, Boston, MA

Phone:(617) 267-1722                                               Phone:(617) 547-2841

 

Oasis Coalition                                                        Father Bill's Place

101 Arch St, Boston, MA 02110                             38 Broad St, Boston, MA

Phone:(617) 807-0940                                             Phone:(617) 770-3314

Tags: Charity, Christmas, December

Cool Christmas Centerpieces on a Budget

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Dec 14, 2015

Cool Christmas Centerpieces on a Budget

 

Christmas decorating is a lot of fun but it can also be really expensive, which puts a damper on things fast.  The lighting, linens and ornamental baubles throughout the home can be quite costly so where we can find a little room to save, we have to nab it!  One of these areas can be found within floral centerpieces.  By implementing creativity and imagination, you will see that you can design stunning arrangements that are both budget savvy and eye appealing.  There are a multitude of materials lying around our backyards, basements and attics that are just waiting to be reused for this year’s seasonal décor.  These are just a few ideas to get you started with your planning for the Christmas festivities!

 

Ornaments

ornaments center piece

photo credit: FlowerFactor

Ornaments can do more than simply hang on a tree!  Their intricate colors and designs are perfect for crafting such as this centerpiece made with ribbon, pine and round Christmas ornaments.  All you have to do is find a foam base and start glue gunning the materials in the desired format.  Oblong and circular work well but for those who are confident, try a box or triangular shape.   In no time at all you’ll have a pretty and seasonal presentation like this one!

 

Candles

 

Candles are a great investment because you’ll find that they have multiple purposes besides just lighting a room.  Select a low serving platter or a cheese dish and place white candles in the middle, leaving room in between.  Fill in the spaces with cranberries and place in the center of the buffet.  Not only will the glow compliment your dishes, but you’ll save a few bucks by utilizing what you already own in your home.  

 

Fruits

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photo credit: myhomeideas.com

If you need a fast and workable arrangement this holiday, I highly suggest this ingenious idea of layering fruit in a clear glass vase.  The container should have sizeable width and accessible height to accommodate multiple shapes and sizes.  Raid your refrigerator for oranges, lemons, limes and berries (anything with bright color) and finish it off by clipping a couple of branches from your tree.  Voila!



Tags: Flower Arrangements, Christmas, December

December Weddings

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Dec 07, 2015

If you’re mulling over the idea of picking a wedding date before the year is over, you might want to contemplate saying, “I do” on December 24th or 25th.  Sound like a ridiculous idea?  There are actually several positive aspects of throwing a Christmas Eve/Day ceremony including wider availability, lower costs for reception halls and higher accessibility to bridal vendors (eg. wedding planners).   Another bonus is that you’ll be choosing an important spot on the calendar, which decreases the likelihood of one of you forgetting your anniversary (trust me, it happens)

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For many couples who debate booking their nuptials in December, fear commonly derives from the flowers having to be an all white, red and green color palette but I assure you there are other options.  While it is true that these shades are abundant during the yuletide season and more affordable, florists can still create bridal worthy floral work without making the church or event room look like a lit up Christmas tree.  Keep in kind there will be varieties intertwined that are accustomed to the holiday product line but use this to your advantage.  Foliage such as pine is a lot cheaper than other greenery such a hosta leaves or ruscus.  In the long run, it will save you money so be aware of what your florist is carrying this month and compromise additions within pew markers and boutonnières.  From bouquets to table centerpieces, let these stunning samples convince you of the vast possibilities that await a holiday wedding celebration!

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The trick to making a December wedding not look “Chrismasy” is to keep all three of the red, white and red color combination out of your bridal work.  One or two shades are okay but a third will bring you right back to the holidays and that’s what you want to avoid.  This bouquet features white ranunculus (luckily available at this time) and white hydrangea.  Place pearl pushpins in the center of the heads and you’ll dazzle with this stunning all-white-wedding theme. 

 

 

 

For those who desire a sultry style, you may want to go for the deep reds and burgundy color tone.  Not only is the look both wedding appropriate and beautiful, florists will be able to utilize the abundance of berries, amaryllis and roses that are popularly shipped into Boston during December.  Candlelight works really well against this sexy platform as well and inspires a romantic feel for both newlyweds and guests. 

 

 

You can’t get more glamorous than a thick bunch of green cymbidiums for a bride and her maids hand held bouquets.  These orchids are fabulous year round and also enhance an exotic appeal.  You might be worried that you can see white in the center as well as a touch of pinkish red but in no way does this pretend to be a Christmas inspired presentation.  The cymbidium bouquet is sleek and tropical so there’s no mistaking its bridal worthy effects.

 

 

 

 

Tags: Weddings, Wedding Flowers, Flowers, December

2015’s Most Requested Christmas Picture Books

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Dec 04, 2015

I love the holiday season and I appreciate all of the different decorations, lighting, snowfall and foods associated with this time of year.  Our brains actually recognize these as triggers, letting us know what we can expect.  When we see a pine tree on top of a car, we know that it will be soon be twinkling with ornaments and when we hear the jingle of bells, we know that Santa and his reindeer must be near.  We link these characteristics together as “hints” that Christmas time is approaching and we watch for more of these signals to guide us through the traditions and festivities.

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For some kids, these “hints” are harder to connect to so they need a little help identifying special traits to let them learn how to react to special occasions.  A great way to do this is to find children’s picture books, which teach them about what a holiday means and how we celebrate them.  Stories are capable of connecting ideas when associated with indicators illustrated on the pages.  

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Luckily, families will have a wide variety of new titles to choose from since this has been a very busy year of publishing Christmas themed books.  From picking out a wreath and tree to sending grandma a holiday card, you’ll be able to select any aspect you wish!  Vivid pictures, poetic phrases, funny storylines and magical adventures all await you so browse this list and find your perfect Christmas read!

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Tags: Books, Childrens Book, Christmas, Kids, December

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