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Log Cabin Inspired Floral Creations

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, Jan 19, 2017

Last weekend, my family and I foraged into the great outdoors to spend a couple of night’s winter camping in Vermont.  There was beautiful forestry with trails all around us, winding roads that led you down miles of countryside and the simple sound of silence that living near a city, we can all take for granted.

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It was spectacular.


All of our surroundings alluded to a natural beauty that made just being there, relaxing and peaceful.  Trees, snow drifts and the scent of wood burning fireplaces set the stage for a place to reconnect with nature without complication.  

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After returning home, I wondered if there was a way to collect and replicate the picturesque aura of Vermont so we could continue the Zen sensation long after the vacation ended.   After a little thinking, I decided to try using flowers as my muse and see if I could come up with a few options that would mirror the “log cabin” appeal.  What I found was that species such as wild flowers and fern like foliage work really well for this style and are easily found in Massachusetts, probably even in your own backyard.  Clippings from your summer garden will also breathe a rustic statement when placed in containers like mason jars or old ceramic watertight bowls and cups.  If you’d like to amp it up beyond your capabilities, ask for the services of your local floristwho’ll be able to transform your home into a cozy, cottage retreat.

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Tags: Flower Arrangements, outdoors, Outdoor Living, hiking, Log Cabin

Making New Year’s Special

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Dec 26, 2016

New Year’s day is the perfect time to reinvent yourself and improving certain areas in your life that might need a little attention.  For many, it starts by making a long list of resolutions, usually having some realistic while others are not. Typically, the most popular are losing weight, getting more exercise and spending more time with those you care about.  We start of with good intentions but many times after week four, those resolutions are merely pleasant afterthoughts of the celebratory season. Why do we forget what we’ve promised?  The answer is that sometimes our ambitions are too difficult to manage or possibly even dull or boring. By using a little creativity, we can make our New Year’s aspirations both plausible and enjoyable!  


The official kick off is on January 1st so it’s important to plan ahead with an activity that will promote your resolutions in a positive and entertaining manner. It’s essential that whatever you do on this holiday will set a solid stage for the eleven months that follow.

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photo credit via http://anima.lemerg.com/

Put Your Resolutions in a Bottle

This is a great idea and one that my family engages in annually.  Have each person write down one or two goals for themselves on small pieces of paper.  Roll the paper up and place inside a glass bottle such as an empty wine or coke container.  Cork the top and either bury it in the backyard or toss it in the ocean where it can travel across the world with your hopes and dreams for the upcoming year!  If you’re curious whether you’ve reached those goals by December, simply keep the bottle for yourself and place on the mantle to be opened on New Year’s Eve.  

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Get Outdoors

Sure, working out in a gym is good but heading for the great outdoors is even better.  Lucky for us Bostonians, not only do we have a whole new selection of sports to choose from with each change of the season, we also have stunning forests, seashores and mountain ranges to explore!  Hiking, biking, snowshoeing, skiing, skating and ice fishing are all activities that the whole family can enjoy and none of them require hefty membership fees.  Do your homework beforehand to select proper trails and reservation locations and bask in the fresh air and healthy exercise!



Invite the Fam’ Over

Sometimes a good New Year’s resolution starts with promising to spend more time with friends and family.  I like this thought and agree that it should be one of the most important goals for society in general.  You don’t have to hire a caterer or rent out an expensive function room to accomplish this either.  All you have to do is pick up the phone (no texting, please-might be time to cut back on this as well?) and invite your loved ones over for a simple gathering.  Make sandwiches, easy appetizers or better yet, request guests to bring over a small dish.  Lay back, relax, chat, visit, laugh and socialize by simply being with one another!

Tags: Traditions, Family Time, New Years Resolutions, hiking

Flowers Found in New England Forests

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Jun 24, 2016

I have two boys and happily, they are extremely active kids who love the outdoors.  We typically make several visits to places that encourage fostering this relationship with nature and one of those locations is the forest.  Hiking has become a favorite pastime for the whole family, which gives us our exercise and allows us to explore stunning woods and everything that grows within it.  We talk about the birds we see, the sounds we hear and the plant life that decorates the landscape everywhere from the ground to the trees.  It’s extraordinary what you can learn by only taking a thirty-minute walk through a nearby forest, including several different floral varieties that exist in our very own woodlands.  Thousands of species sprout wildly every year with some being protected and others just being discovered for the first time by botanists.  If you are looking for something fun to do during the next few months of fantastic weather, grab a notebook and write down all of the flowers that you notice along the forest path.  If you feel like it, doodle a quick picture so that it will make it easier to identify once you get home and Google what you’ve found.  Here is a list of common flora typical to our New England forests and some great places to visit to get you moving on your way.  Happy Hiking!

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photo credit: www.gardenia.net

                                                        Northeast Woodland Flowers

Nightcaps Anemones, Hooked Agrimony, Spreading Purple Aster, White Baneberry, Shrub Yellowroot, Tickseed Sunflower, Sessileleaf Bellwort, Cobbler’s Pegs, Water Lilies

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photo credit: www.lookfordiagnosis.com

Recommended Hiking Grounds


Hale (Westwood, MA)


Harold Parker State Forest (North Andover, MA)


Walden Woods (Lincoln, MA)

Tags: exercise, Plants, outdoors, hiking, wild flowers

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