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Easy to Make Floral Gifts for Christmas

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Nov 27, 2017

Christmas is a wonderful time of year when we rejoice with others to spend time caroling, feasting and swapping gifts to express how much we care for one another.  For some, this season is a joyous time when the spirit invokes an ease of generosity towards family and friends while others have a hard time keeping inline within budget and cost restraints.  It can be stressful to say the least but the truth is, there are other ways to wrap our presents without succumbing to stress and guilt over our leftover credit card receipts.  Christmas means more than how much money we spend and it is high time we manifest options where we won’t have to break the bank to please those on our list.  One area that is beginning to look promising is the expansion of ideas coming from Boston florists who say “they know how to impress at a price much less”.  Here are some of the clever gift giving notions designers are pushing for customers who are seeking reasonable expenditures for this year’s December festivities.

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Personalized bud vases

This is a really neat idea, particularly for those who like to collect mason jars or other small bud vases to save for later use.  Well, here’s your chance!  With a touch of art, these tiny vessels can be transformed into wonderful gifts just by adding a little personalized touch along with a few sprigs of beautiful blooms.  First, you’ll want to check the containers to make sure there are no cracks or holes which will dribble water once they are filled.  Next, it’s important to clean the inside and outside of the lids until the material is sparkling.  After you are sure they are dry, use a permanent marker to write a cheerful message or print their initials on the side to make it special.  Don’t forget to insert a date on the bottom of the base that will remind friends and families of your thoughtful gesture years later.  If your vases are now ready to be filled, visit your local flower shop and purchase sweet blooms of roses, freesia, ranunculus or aster.  You want them to look airy and natural but if you prefer a more festive appeal, mix in a sprig or two of pine to spruce of the seasonal theme.


Pressed Flower Bookmarks

This is another fabulous trick for flower fans to gift to loved ones and you’ll be thrilled to know it won’t cost a whole lot from beginning to end.  All you need are some stems of blossoms that prefer to be dried such as lavender, violets, pansies, daisies or heather that will have no problem being easily flattened.  You also want to make sure they have small centers and petals with minimal bulk because these are the species which usually are troublesome for this type of project due to water retention.  Once you’ve chosen your selection, lay them in between two pieces of wax paper and press using a hot iron.  After sealing the ends, cut the paper into attractive strips similar in sizing to a bookmark and slide it in between a favorite book you already own.  Gift the entire present to someone special and watch them adore the time you’ve taken to make them feel special.

Tags: Christmas, Christmas Flowers, Gifts, Christmas Ornaments

Different Ways to Gift with Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Jan 04, 2017

When we meet that special person, we often seek ways to impress him or her in order to show them how we feel.  Maybe it’s a dinner to a fancy restaurant or maybe it’s a Hallmark card that’s says just the right sentiment, but whatever we decide, we want it to be a perfect match for that individual.   If you’re a flower lover, you probably choose to send flowers that perhaps might consist of a dozen roses, a bouquet of favorite blossoms or even a single stem of buttercup or daisy.  Yes, flowers have been the most popular way to connect with a person and have continuously been an effective conduit to show them how you feel.  

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photo credit via aboutflowers.com

Here’s an idea… what if you could be a bit clever on how you gifted them? Instead of just wrapping up any old bunch of flowers, how about using your noggin to think of interesting ways to impress their unique sense of self?  What are their likes, dislikes, hobbies or dreams?  As soon as you figure that out, you can implement your creativeness to really give them something special!  No two people are the same and neither are two roses.  Here are a few ideas to get the wheels really turning towards impressing the love of your life!  


For Those Who Love to Bake

A colleague recently told me about this movie she watched where a baker was wooed with a case of “flour”-you know, the cooking kind?  I thought this was so brilliant and really showed his love for her individuality while still sticking to a traditional gesture.  By making a pun based on her occupation, he was able to connect with her in a deeper, more meaningful way as well as show a sense of humor.  Sure, she probably would have kissed the guy anyways if he handed over a pile of orchids, but the effect wouldn’t have been nearly as strong, nor would have been the scene.  If you’re trying to get a special baker’s attention, this might be the “sweetest” way to do it!

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For the Book Lover

If you’re trying to get the attention of a book lover, you’re going to have to use your head.  Although a vase full of wildflowers will surely be adored, why not pick out a few titles that are written about flowers instead?  You can either grab a few floral designing books, gardening manuals or even a novel such as, “The Language of Flowers” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh or “Flowers in the Attic” by V.C. Andrews if they like a good thriller.  Your courtship will be extra intellectually sentimental as well as useful reading material for the future!


For the Gardener

I personally love this approach because not only will a gardener appreciate the message but they’ll be extra excited to have a head start for planting.  Seeds that are the most thoughtful would either be varieties of their favorites or choosing perennials instead of annuals.  Perennials will come back year after year and will remind them of you each time they bloom.  

Tags: Gardening, cooking, Flowers, Gifts, book

Why are Teddy Bears Such Great Gifts?

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Dec 21, 2016

You may have noticed an abundance of eye-catching baubles and trinkets in store windows over the past month, which have been displayed for the holiday gift-giving season!  From the higher end items such as sparkly jewelry to the less expensive options of aromatic candles, there’s something for just about anyone who’s name is on your list.  Just like Claus, himself-it’s important to make an adequate plan for your special someone’s this year in an effort to avoid over buying and unnecessary bleeding of financial resources.  Planning your Christmas shopping is just as important as devising a weekly grocery agenda so make sure that you take the time to do it right.  Okay, so maybe you know exactly what you’re getting for your husband (a new golf club he’s been eyeing) or are positive that Tropical Barbie underneath the tree will make your daughter flip but keep in mind, these are the simple cases… What if you’ve been invited to a Yankee Swap or perhaps visiting in-laws who you don’t exactly have any idea what their tastes are?  These are the situations where you’ll need help- a lot of it.

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If you’re pondering what might be the perfect gift this year for friends, families and kids who you don’t know very well, here’s a few suggestions to help you on your merry shopping way !


For the Boss:

You could do some spy stuff and break into the office late at night searching for clues as to what the guy’s really like when he’s not breathing down your neck but you might want to think about this first.  Going about this the easy way may include noticing what their habits are for example, if he/she drinks coffee, then get them a coffee mug!  If he/she is a Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts fan, slip a small giftcard inside the cup for a few extra brownie points.

Other acceptable Gifts:  Gifts Baskets, Luggage Locators, Desk Clocks  


For the Girlfriend’s Parents:

So this is already super awkward and I hate to be the bearer of bad news but you don’t want to bring them a stupid gift when you’re dating.  Forget expensive or glitzy and think thoughtful instead by giving them a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant or a beautiful flower arrangement for their holiday table.  This is your chance to be seen a good perspective for “future son-in-law” so don’t screw it up by handing over a 6 pack of beer!

Other acceptable Gifts:  a bottle of nice wine, a box of gourmet


Kids in General

If you didn’t see their Christmas lists to Santa, you probably won’t have a clue what to get a child your not familiar with so here’s a simple way to keep it straight.  From the ages of 10 all the way up to teens, stick with the “golden giftcard rule” to keep you out of trouble.  If you are stumped what storeto choose, pick up one from itunes or Amazon because they’re bound to find something on those sites they’ll want!  If you’re dealing with a younger crowd from the ages of 0-9, select a cool teddy bear because in all seriousness- what kid doesn’t like a teddy bear?

Other acceptable Gifts: Legos, board games, puzzles and books

Tags: Teddy Bears, Gifts, STUFFED ANIMALS

Holiday Gifts That Keep on Giving

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Dec 09, 2016

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “the gift that keeps on giving,” a million times before, particularly during the holidays.  You might even associate the term with cruddy presents like “cheese of the month club” and dread even the quickest notion of receiving one for yourself.  The funny thing is, this type of gesture is making a huge comeback this Christmas and with good reason why.  Instead of getting a year supply of dairy, clever givers are finding ways to make their gifts meaningful in the sense that they continue their value far after the season has ended.  Immediately gratifying trinkets such as sweaters, scratch tickets or bottles of wine are being replaced with longer lasting impressionistic expressions such as hand made items and thoughtful activities.  People can only have just so much “stuff” so many are welcoming this heartfelt trend and hoping to find other unique ideas to gift.  

 

Sometimes the thinking behind this notion is harder than the actual packaging.  We may become consumed and wrapped up with a concept that is overly complicated instead of putting thoughts into simpler terms.  You don’t have to be over the top with expensive presents or tokens either, so presents should reflect thoughtfulness instead of cost.  In an effort to pass along this wonderful way to show someone you care, here are a few great options that may fit perfectly underneath your tree this season…

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A Beloved Family Recipe

If you know of someone who loves to cook (or loves to eat) give him/her a framed copy of a special recipe you know they like!  Maybe Grandma Ester left notes on how to bake the perfect ginger snap cookie or perhaps Uncle Fred bequeathed his famous clam chowder recipe to you?  These are the dishes that are meaningful to gift upon someone who shares the same passion for cuisine and if you’re lucky, they might even give you a taste when they’ve tried it out.

Seeds

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I’m actually using this one for my mom who adores gardening as much as I do!  Although you’ll have to start collecting seeds from pods during the months of July and August, you’re efforts will be duly noted when your flowers bloom in their garden for years to come.  

 

A Coupon Book

Get a few pieces of paper, staple them together and make your own coupons that they can use whenever wanted or needed!  Create tickets that reflect the appropriateness of the relationship such as “1 Kiss” for your romantic interest and “1 Load of Laundry” for your parents.  Be careful not to mix them up because things could get a little uncomfortable if the wrong person receives the wrong coupon book!

 

Museum Membership

Sometimes the best present given are an activity like visiting the aquarium, zoo or a museum.  Memberships are an excellent way to give a gift that keeps on giving and they will long be thanking you throughout the entire year.

Tags: Christmas, Holidays, Museums, Seeds, Gifts

Christmas Gifts from the Heart, Not from Your Wallet

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sun, Dec 04, 2016

December is a great time to spend with friends and family but sometimes we forget what the holiday is all about.  Frequently, our concerns are focused on checking off our list of presents we feel we have to buy, complaining about the long lines in the department stores.  I’m not saying that our purchases during the season aren’t gifted with good intent, I’m just stating that much of what we buy to wrap up and put underneath the tree is unnecessary. Hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars later we are merely left with that feeling of “thank god that’s over” while we sweat over next month’s credit card statements.  

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It’s just not what Christmas is supposed be about so why not make real presents with our hearts instead of our wallets this season?  Not only will they be appreciated more, they won’t leave you fumbling to make January’s mortgage payment.  If you have little ones, you might really want to take this suggestion seriously.  One day they’ll be making holiday preparations for their own families.  Teaching them that Christmas isn’t about how much you spend early on is a life-long lesson that someday they’ll appreciate.  You don’t have to be overly crafty or talented to make beautiful presents either.

Tags: Symbols of Christmas, Christmas, Holidays, Gifts

The Best Birthday Flowers that Won't Disappoint

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Apr 20, 2016

How many of you out there have a special birthday coming up?  I know I do and one of my favorite things to look forward to is a special birthday arrangement from my husband.  Sometimes it’s a vase of a single floral variety and sometimes it’s a select few stems of stunning orchids.  Either way, I know that they’ll always be spectacular with little tidbits of sweet spring blooms or exotic blossoms.

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If you have a special someone’s birthday coming up and are unsure of how to order the perfect floral bouquet, you’ll be pleased to know that there are several tricks to assist you with your decision!  Sure, she’ll like what ever you buy her but wouldn’t you rather “wow” her by putting in a little extra effort in deciding which flowers are just right for her?  Florists will tell you that a pretty mix of fresh flowers is always the way to go and its not like this statement is entirely untrue.  All I’m saying is that if you put a little research into your ordering, you might be able to knock her socks off with maybe, the best birthday gift she’s ever received!  If you can achieve this-you might just be the most memorable gift-giver, which plays well on your side in the long run.  So take your time and sift through the many possibilities available to you from the flower world and make this year one she will never forget!

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Try these guidelines to help you through the process when speaking with your florist:


  1. What is her favorite color?

  1. What is her favorite flower?  Even if the variety is not available during the specific time of year, your florist will probably be able to help you select something close in appearance.

  1. What aromas appeal to her?  Maybe she prefers sweet as apposed to a musky scent, which you’ll be interested to know is not mutually exclusive to perfume predilection.  

  1. Does she rely on things that last or live in the moment?  This might seem like a silly question but it can heavily way on whether you choose a sturdy, long lasting gerbera daisy as apposed to a unique yet fleeting species such as chocolate cosmos which has a shorter life span (If you ask me, I always go for the chocolate cosmos).  

  1. Does she prefer a big splash or is she modest within her taste?  If big is always more, hydrangea might be the right ticket but if she loves small and delicate pieces, go for the stunning ranunculus that are both miniature and breathtaking all on their own.  

Tags: Flower Arrangements, Flowers, Birthdays, Gifts

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