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How to Deck the Halls “Bad Moms 2” Style

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Nov 24, 2017

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If you’re a mom, you might have already seen the movie, “Bad Moms 2” where our favorite off tilt mommies are at in again with their shenanigans.  It’s definitely a decent sequel to the first which continues the storyline to include their mothers on the train wreck to parenthood.  Yes, the film is pretty funny but being a previous florist and decorator, I couldn’t help not to notice the beautiful staging used to create Christmas displays within the homes.  Throughout the flick, there is a constant battle between mother and daughter to solve the question of who does it better when sprucing up for a Christmas holiday-the root of the plot’s conflict.  While one depends on a traditional look of a simple lights, homemade cookies and a stolen tree from Foot Locker, the style is vehemently opposed by dear mom who prefers to kick things way up into an affluent ordeal.  Think crystal, matching wrapping paper, blue tinsel and a musical display of “Twelve Days of Christmas”.  Yep-this one was a little over the top for even me but it was really interesting how the set designers contrasted the two different styles while keeping them both stunning for visual appeal.  Which Bad Mom are you?   Take a look at the trends to see which yuletide decorating fashion suits you!

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Traditional Daughter

You’re probably low key in nature and like to reuse ornaments from previous years over and over again to memorialize past Christmas’s ago.  Red, green and white are your go-to colors for palette and multi- hued lights with the big bulbs are favorites to load onto the tree and outside the home.  Other designer preferences that you adore are homemade crafts from the kids, fresh pine roping to hang in every corner of each room, newspaper for wrapping and cut-out white snowflakes you also cut out on your own.

 

Contemporary Grandma

You’re in this holiday season to make a big bang and to let every neighbor out there know- you own this holiday thing! There’s no way you’ll rely on the same ho-hum trinkets you’ve used in previous years because whatever is the hot trend seen in Times Square is what you’ll be replicating for family and friends.  Silver, gold and blue turn you on since red and white have been done to death and there will be no strings of tinsel that will make your tree appear unkept. You’ll also like roping made of faux material because those needles will make a mess when they drop and untidy the presentation you’ve worked so hard to propel.   Clear crystal glassware will be a necessity for dining as well as for lighting which will be strung in perfect ringlets across tree(s) and living space.  

White bulbs are all you’ll tolerate to keep things looking crisp and immaculate so don’t even think about flashing rainbow lights!

 

Best Case Scenario- The Compromise

Truth be told, both of these styles are really beautiful but when put together, the result will be even more gorgeous than expected.  Compromise by allowing some homemade personal touches accompanied with fashionable baubles that modernize the look.  Remember, the holidays are meant to be spent with family and friends so don’t waste every moment trying to perfect decorations that will only be taken down in the end.  

Tags: Movies, Holiday Movies, Holiday Decor, Christmas

The Old is New this Christmas

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Nov 20, 2017

Each yuletide season, trends continue to change from everything to lighting, tree decorating and even celebratory cuisine.  As we prepare to take on the 2017 holiday whirlwinds, it’s fun to invest a little time in learning what’s hot on the menu for designers.  While many of us are not partial to hiring personal chefs and decorators to whisk are homes into a cheerful state, there’s no reason why we can’t take a peek to find out how to copy their taste on an affordable budget.  There’s no rule saying hosts must break the bank to recreate looks seen in magazines and lucky for us, this year’s theme relies heavily on the recycling of already owned items.


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Experts say that acclaimed designers are heavily relying on the idea that “Old” is the “New” when mapping out their selections for décor this Christmas and Hanukah.  Instead of purchasing contemporary lines of modernized props, they are hunting yard sales and online auctions for previously owned memorabilia which dates back to more than a few decades ago.  Trunks, basements and attics are also busy places where professional decorators are scavenging to find old boxes, milk containers and other reminders of years past.  Remember that ancient train set you stashed in the closet years ago?  Or maybe you just couldn’t let go of a teddy bear from your childhood?  Well, now’s the time to pull them out of retirement because these are the exact props designers are looking for!  Think small trucks, wooden toys, antique dolls and wool hats for possible accessories to place amongst poinsettia plants, Christmas trees (used as ornaments) and outdoor urns where they will turn a plain arrangement into a real conversational piece!  Don’t worry if they have chipped paint or missing parts since this will only add to their authentic appeal.  We’re going for a “traditional” appearance this year so make sure to select pieces that you have warm memories associated with.  


Once you’ve collected your things, now what do you do with them?  That’s a very good question…  Creating your own displays can be as easy as investing in some seasonal roping and strategically placing the trinkets within the beautiful the pine.  Hang on banisters and lay across the hearth to make a merry presentation for family and friends or attach to wreaths on the outside of your door.  If you are interested in applying this technique to your floral arrangements, you can use the same application process as long as the items are small enough not to distract from the blooms in the vase.  A little goes a long way with this style so don’t cramp containers which will make them look junky and less professionally done.

Tags: Holiday Decor, Christmas, Holiday Memories, Christmas Flowers

Thanksgiving Floral Favors

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Nov 15, 2017

Some of you will be hosting Thanksgiving Day dinners this November and are already busy planning the menu, decorations and seating arrangements hoping this will be one holiday not to forget!  The theme is “Giving Thanks”, where gatherings are representative how much you all mean to one another so it might be nice to send your guests home with a small token to remind them of this!  One example of a gift that is sure to be appreciated is a bud vase filled with seasonal flowers that you can either buy from a florist or make yourself.  There’s no need to spend an exorbitant amount of money or give up hours of time preparing these lively baubles because realistically, we’re all too busy with other holiday chores to add more.  You’ll be happy to know that these specimens displayed below can all be created as fast as 1-2-3 and won’t take up more than an hour of your time to design.  Choose the one you like most and surprise your friends and family with a take-home Thanksgiving treat.

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photo credit via aboutflowers.com

Roses are a fantastic choice when deciding what varieties will work will within small arrangements because they stand alone perfectly by themselves, are available in a multitude of sizes and contain a sweet fragrance that will intoxicate the room.  Roses are also imported and grown within a thousand shades of color so you’ll have no trouble finding hues reflective of the New England autumn we’re known for. Think oranges, yellows and greens to mix together or order this presentation of a two-toned head such as the one featured in this picture.  Adding a bit of brown fabric to create a rustic feel is another great accessory and can be found by shredding scraps of burlap or similar material.  Make sure the container is simple like this glass jar so that there is no distraction from the blossoms and watch your guests melt with appreciation.


This is another great idea to brighten the moods of the people who will be sitting around your table this Thanksgiving!  Simple and seasonally authentic, ranunculus, rose hips and rosemary are stunning when arranged together and will definitely appeal to those who love herbs and garden growing.  Two out of three of these flowers can be dried as well leaving this memento the chance to remind others of happy times spent together long after the holiday is over. Remember to stick with a plain but elegant vase to showcase the design and leave at each table setting as a personal centerpiece for everyone who attends.  This design is also interchangeable with other flowers of the same tones so don’t be afraid to replace the rosemary with lavender, sage or other greenery if you have something special in mind.

Tags: Thanksgiving, Hostess Flowers, Holiday Decor, Holidays, November

What Flowers Are the Best for Thanksgiving

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Nov 06, 2017

The holiday season is upon us and first up is our favorite turkey time of the year- Thanksgiving Day!  As we get reading to shove the birds into the oven, iron our table linens and pick up that special case of wine we’ve been dying to try, we mustn’t forget the beautiful floral centerpieces we look forward to each year. This is the season where Boston florists can really show you what they’re made of so don’t wait too long to put in your request for a spectacularly designed vase stuffed with November’s top pick varieties.  Luscious, rich and decadently hued, you’re going to love these beauties which are sure to awe and stun your guests this Thanksgiving!

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photo credit via Flower Factor

Green, Gray and Cream…  It’s In.

That’s right!  The shades green, gray and cream are the highlights to this season’s floral splendor and surprisingly so, there are a ton of different blooms which will do the spectrum justice. Succulents are one plant that is a must-have that blends beautifully with softer shades and can create interesting texture in bouquets.  Traditionally we see a lot of red, orange and brown combinations so it’s refreshing when a twist occurs in the floral trend that brings an attractive look.  Gray might seem like a funny color to hope for in a vase but honestly, the shade works wonders when using lamb’s ear or spring pussy willow in combination with lighter tints of pink, white, peach or in this case- cream.  Roses are the obvious choice for the latter segment but you can also use hybrid delphinium, gerbera daisies, stock or hydrangea as supplements.  

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Red, Gold and Peach…  Perfect!

This is another design that’s certainly eye catching for dinner parties and adds a bit of mystery and depth to an evening’s presentation.  Red mango callas mixed with peach roses and seeded eucalyptus are too die for when placed together in a clear glass vase and will last long after the holiday meal has ended, giving hosts an extra bonus for all of their culinary efforts.  

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Flip the Red for a Shade of Pink!

If you’re a little sick and tired of the dark orange and red contrast within Thanksgiving arrangements than you will be happy to know that a few minor tweaks can change the whole presentation.  Swap out the deeper shades and replace them with blush pinks and peaches which will soften the ambiance of your gathering while still keeping in theme with the season.  Strategically place gourds around the base and you’ll have one heck of a conversational piece to talk about at dinner!

Tags: Flower Arrangements, Thanksgiving, Holiday Decor, Holidays

When is a Christmas Tree JUST TOO BIG!

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Dec 17, 2016

So, I’m writing this blog topic because it seems to be a seasonal issue that comes up in my household a lot.  Whether you reside in an apartment, condo, cottage or mansion, the size of the tree you select for the holidays should really be suitable for the space that you live in.  Why am I bringing this up?  Because many people become a bit overly exuberant when the time of trimming comes upon us, which can sometimes affect our selection process.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the crisp clean scent of pine wafting through the house for a couple of weeks and hanging heirloom ornaments that have been cherished over the years but isn’t the height and diameter of our Christmas stage a factor to consider?  With minimal space, you’ve got to be realistic and opt for trees that will ACCENTUATE not ARROGATE your living space.  I get it-you love the yuletide season and finding the biggest, baddest tree in the lot has become an activity you look forward to but you’ve got get real.  That sucker is going to be in a living room, dining room, sitting room or wherever for a good chunk of the month and finding the right size is imperative to continuing the household’s routine functionality.  Dragging home a whopper that is seven times the build of the dinky corner you’re planning to set it up in can only lead to disorganization, tipping accidents, dry out and even fires.  You don’t have to be Clark Griswold to celebrate the holiday in style by mowing down a fir that a cathedral couldn’t even host!  Think about where you’re really putting the thing and then browse your options from there.  You should also be thinking about the comfort of both you and OTHERS who you’ll be sharing the holidays with since someone’s going to be cleaning up a whole lot of needles for the next month.  

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If you’re not sure what the right size tree is, ask one of the guys that are working the lot because they have a pretty good idea when it comes to Christmas tree etiquette.  If you want, print this out and take it along with you to help make your decision easier and wiser!


My first apartment wasn’t huge but I always had a perfectly trimmed tree that fit beautifully in my living room.  This ½ pint adorable pine is all you need to dress your place up for the holidays!



If you are lucky to live in a warm cottage, you might want to think about this size since it is completely reflective of the charm of your home.  Not to big, not too little but          just right!




If you live here- GO FOR IT!  Go check out the monster trees that could only probably fit in the entrance of a mall and light that sucker up!

Tags: Traditions, Holiday Decor, Christmas Trees, Christmas

Trimming the Christmas Tree with Orchids

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Dec 14, 2016

Snowflakes are beginning to fall throughout New England and we are making our plans for our holiday décor!   We’ll be hanging wreathes, boughs and lighting throughout our homes in the hopes that these festive additions will bring joy to our family and friends.  For Boston florists, they’re making their lists as we speak to prepare for customers who wish to spread the spirit with decadent blooms.  Poinsettias, pine ribbing and myrtle garland always make the top of the list but this year, we’re seeing an interesting trend emerge…

 

A plentiful variety of orchids are being featured in designer magazines where their customary implant within urns and vases are extending into other areas of Christmas grooming.  While the tropical flowers still remain as a substantial part of December centerpieces, they’re also being used as trimming for the tree!  If you think about it, this is a clever idea for several reasons including their impressive longevity when placed in water tubes and the wide spectrum of color available from most species.  You may have seen flowers such as roses and baby’s breadth hung from balsam boughs in previous years but this new implementation of fancy fleurs is sure to turn heads and outlast past varieties. Flower lovers have always adored the idea of pruning with their favorite blooms but are often disappointed by the cost and maintenance.  If fussy flowers are chosen as ornaments, the upkeep to maintain a lively looking display for the duration of Christmas may prove extremely difficult. 

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photo credit via Cheyenne Tozzi's Instagram Page 

That’s why orchids are the solution to this problem and can be enjoyed long after the season if cared for properly.  Here’s a list of favorites that are sure-fire winners for vase and tree trimming this holiday season.    

 

Cypripedium

Not only are these orchids strong and resilient against heat and cold, but they are also grown in the perfect hues for Christmas-chartreuse green and white. The heads make them noticeable among other ornaments as well and provide an interesting conversational piece for guests. 

 

 Phalaenopsis

Phalaenopsis are one of the most popular orchids around the world and due to its impressive beauty, there’s little argument as to why.  A single head is large enough to be placed in the tree alone or you can choose large branches to drape across the branches.  White remains the most requested color, although this species also comes in shades of pink, yellow and peach.  If you really want to get creative, inquire from your florist options for dyed heads. 

 

James Story

This is another great option due to its coloring, which is deep red or crimson.  The florets are shaped as small stars that are delicately grown up a slender stem.  Designers are most likely to place James Story in water tubes and use along side other orchids that are white or brightly colored.   

Tags: Orchids, Holiday Decor, Christmas Trees, Christmas

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, December, Pottery

Ornamental Magic on a Budget

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Dec 02, 2016

hristmas time is here and the bells are ringing, music is flowing and the decorations are being hung with care!  One of the biggest yuletide displays is the beloved Christmas tree, which is customarily decked out with shiny baubles and lights.  This presentation is the focus of the celebratory decor so it’s important to take pride in choosing themes, color palettes and textures.  


But wait a minute…  This can be EXPENSIVE!

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photo credit via http://www.nomeatathlete.com/

Have you ever really done a good accounting check on how much ornaments, tinsel and lights can cost for only a single year?  Generally, tree accessories can be a fortune ranging anywhere from $5.00 to $50.00 for a single package.  Holiday companies have made a fortune over charging for personalized gifts and hanging tokens when realistically we’re only using them one day out of the whole year!  I mean come on!  How much is overspending when it comes to dressing up a tree?

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photo credit via http://www.bhg.com/

Through careful research, I’ve found some great ways to cut back on the elaborate ornament fees by just using a little imagination.  Make your tree gorgeous without having to tap into the kids college fund and show your guests you can still implement a look with style and taste!  Start checking in your closets, attics and basements because I guarantee- you’ll have everything you need if you do some prep work before hand.  Be sure to add both perishable and nonperishable items including dried fruits and antique relics that have been passed down for generations.  Select only materials that are small in size and durable enough to be featured on branches that might be whimsy.  This is a fun activity for the entire family so get together and raid the house for anything and everything that will make your tree uniquely spectacular!

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photo credit via http://stowandtellu.com/

Tags: Holiday Decor, Christmas, Kids, DIY, Christmas Ornaments, Crafts

Party Decor for #OpeningDay

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Apr 01, 2016

Spring is finally here and that means opening day at Fenway Park is just around the corner!  Popcorn, cracker jacks, hot dogs, peanuts, foam fingers and baseball caps will be sold by the millions inside the park but Bostonians are also gearing up to make their own plans… Team spirit runs rampant during this time of year in Bean Town, where fans are throwing parties thematic after our love for the Boston Red Sox.  Everything from the color scheme to the menu can be manipulated to include clever accessories and entertaining display décor.  All you have to do is use a little imagination and think “Baseball”!  Monday, April 11th is the official date when Fenway will be reopened to play a little ball against the Baltimore Orioles so why not have a few friends over to enjoy the game?  Here are a few party planning ideas fabulous for opening day soiree!

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Menu

You’ve got to have a lot of finger foods if you’re having a fete mirrored after the cuisine served inside Fenway and the good news is that most of these dishes are really inexpensive to make.  Think pigs in a blanket, popcorn, sliders, chips, dips and pizza.  You can also have a little fun with veggie and fruit platters if you arrange the food to look like a baseball diamond or even an outfield.  Don’t forget the dessert either, because a quick batch of cupcakes decorated with the letter “R” in blue and red frosting are the perfect sweet treats to compliment game day!

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photo credit: ChalkandPatina via etsy.com

Decorations

This is really simple because right about now, every grocery store in Massachusetts is stocking up with paper and plastic Red Sox dishware and cups.  If you don’t want to pay the extra to have their logo printed across your plates, just pick up plain white, red and blue Dixie brand ware, which works just as well.  Another great idea is to gather some old mason jars and paint them completely white and then add the small detail of red lining, much like an actual baseball would have.  Place candles or lollipops inside and watch how easy dressing up your Red Sox part really is!


Party Games

If watching the game isn’t entertainment enough, then you’ll want to have some party games to fall back on if things get a little dull.  “Cups” is one that comes to mind for adults, but for younger audiences, playing ”Pin the Tail on the Opposing Team” is also a lot of fun (particularly if the Red Sox fall behind).  If you have your own baseball bat, “Balance the Bat” relay races are also a good idea to get people moving as well as an egg toss game to see who has the best catching hands!

Tags: Baseball, Red Sox Florist, Party Flowers, Red Sox, Holiday Decor

Easter Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Mar 23, 2016

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Flowers are an enormous tradition associated with the Easter holiday.  For some, it’s because of the religious attributes and for others it’s the seasonal celebration of spring.  Whichever attribute resonates with you most, it is true that more than have the homes in the Boston area will feature a floral arrangement during the next few days of festivities.  As some are purchased in order to brighten up their dining room tables while some are otherwise gifted from a loved one, Easter flowers are the most beautiful presentations that mark the warmer weather of the year!  As the temperatures begin to warm, a brighter and bolder color wheel of options is renewed giving us a breathtaking palette to work from.  With options such as tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, hydrangea and other little bulbed beauties that are finally available, florists are whipping up sensational treats for you to enjoy.  

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Tags: Easter Flowers, Easter Traditions, Holiday Decor, Holidays, Flowers

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