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What Is Your Opening Day Tradition ?

Posted by Rick Canale on Sun, Apr 02, 2017


From 1979 to 1987, I collected a lot of baseball cards. I ran to the corner store to see the first packs arrive or sat inside the store waiting for the stores to reload their inventory. Topps baseball cards always sold out and I could not never get enough of them. I devoured the statistics on the back. Did you know that Bill Buckner struck out only 26 times in 657 at bats in 1982? I did and still do. I still have many of these baseball cards and grab a handful almost daily and still read those stats. As long as my eyesight will allow, I always will.
Opening Day is here and I could not be happier. Baseball is on the television, the pc, the Pixel (never been an i-phone guy), the radio and in the air. It's likely that you are not as enamored with the game as myself, but baseball connects us.

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Please celebrate Opening Day with me and open a pack of baseball cards. This is my Opening Day tradition and I am honored to share it with you.
see you at Fenway !
Rick

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Tags: Baseball, Traditions, Spring, Opening Day, topps

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

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

Christmas Flower Sugar Cookies

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Dec 09, 2016

Bakers love the holiday season because there is a vast assortment of ideas to create delicious edibles including cakes, pies and particularly, sugar cookies!  After all, you can’t have Saint Nick make his annual visit without leaving a few morsels of yummy sweets, right?  

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photo credit via sweetsugarbelle.com

Christmas cookies are by far the most fun and certainly the most beautiful out of all traditional seasonal desserts.  Creative chefs can let their imaginations fly when coming up with new shapes and images, making their presentations even more impressive.  


Although snowflakes, pine trees, ornaments and stars are among the most popular themes during this month, garden lovers will be overjoyed to see the new trend of “flower sugar cookies” climbing in demand! From happy daisy faces to poinsettia plant designs, horticultural elements are beginning to turn up in several Boston bakeries and floral shop owners couldn’t be more excited!  Not only are upscale supermarkets and restaurants using the new fad to gift patrons with samples but florists are also jumping on the bandwagon and adding satchels of these cookies to holiday orders.  Pretty smart, huh?


For the experts, this is an easy task but for those who neglect culinary brilliance, baking can seem a bit overwhelming.  Honestly, who hasn’t burned a cookie sheet or two in their day?  Thankfully, there are hundreds of recipes that are simple to follow including this one from the Food Network.  Grab your aprons and rolling pins and lets get baking!


Ingredients:  Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter 1 large egg

1/2 cup light brown sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups flour 1/4 teaspoon salt


Ingredients: Icing

1/4 cup water 2 cups confectioners' sugar

3 tablespoons egg white powder Candy, sprinkles, dots, chocolate chips, ANYTHING SWEET!


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat the butter with vanilla extract, egg and brown sugar until blended.  Slowly add the flour and season with salt to make the dough firm.  Freeze the dough for 20 minutes and then begin to carve and shape cookies with cutters or free style.  Place in oven for 20 minutes and watch their edges turn golden brown.   Cool cookies for another 20 minutes before decorating.


Whisk together the water, egg powder and confectioners’ sugar until smooth.  Add desired coloring of food dye to create color and immediately apply to cookies.  Decorate with candies and let them sit for an additional 30 minutes icing to set.  

Tags: Traditions, Christmas, Holidays, cooking

Baseball, Family, Flowers and Thanksgiving

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Nov 23, 2016

"The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time."



Dear friends,
I am fortunate to share your special moments with you. Sending flowers for births and anniversaries is something I cherish and gives my job meaning. I like to share my special moments with you too. This Columbus Day weekend, my family went to Niagara Falls and Cooperstown.

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While family time remains my favorite pasttime, baseball is my second favorite. The Baseball Hall of Fame's mission statement includes a focus on connecting generations through by baseball by tellings its stories and using its artifacts to bring generations together.
Isn't that what the holidays and Thanksgiving are all about ? We connect generations through our traditions and our stories. Our artifacts are the flowers on the table. We're grateful for your place at the table.

Rick Canale

Tags: Baseball, Family Business, Traditions, Family Time, Thanksgiving, Baseball Hall of Fame

Asking Your Date to the Prom

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Apr 06, 2016

It’s one of the biggest nights of the year for seniors and probably the most exciting as well.  Everyone will be dressed in their best, sporting flashy tuxedos and ballroom gowns fit for princesses while they groove the hours away on the dance floor.  Limousines will pull up to the curb and flash photography will be illuminating the skies as dates promenade proudly wearing corsages.

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Any guesses what this special event might be?


That’s right- it’s Prom Night!  This late spring gala ends the year for the triumphant graduates and allows them to celebrate their experiences in the last four years with one last evening out together.  The wardrobe, decorations, music, food and after parties make this one of the most anticipated functions of a senior’s high school career so its important to go with just the right person!  It’s no wonder it can be nerve racking when asking a special someone to accompany you so how do you do it without breaking a sweat?  There are several ways to accomplish this task, depending largely on your personality and/or the nature of the relationship to the person you’re asking.  Here are some suggestions on how to break the ice and find your perfect date for the senior prom!

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You’ve Been Dating Awhile…

If this is you, than you really have nothing to worry about.  Simply saying at an opportune time, “Will you go to the Prom with me?” should do the trick.  Just make sure you ask and don’t assume they’ll agree with no formal commitment.  You wouldn’t want them showing up with someone else over a miscommunication and after all, there’s no one better to go to the prom with than your significant other!


You’ve Never Even Said Hello…

There is always that girl/guy that you’ve had your eye on that you’ve never even spoken to but are dying to ask out.  Well, here’s your opportunity and seriously at this point, what do you have to loose?  Send her/him a note in their locker or bribe one of their buddies into giving you their cell number.  Write a text or better yet, CALL THEM!  Surprise invitations from admirers have an alluring appeal so just go for it!

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It’s Your Best Friend…

Sometimes, a prom date is the best when you’re totally comfortable with them.  You can wear what you want, make goofy faces in front of the cameras, not worry if you’ve got dip spread on your chin and basically just be yourself.  In this case, a bestie is a welcomed commodity because there’s no real pressure to perform any other way than who you naturally are.  You are although, going to attend a formal function together so make sure your efforts in asking are more than, “So you want to go or what?”  Grab their favorite latte or make some other nice gesture than means

Tags: Prom Flowers, Traditions, Romance

Popular St. Patrick's Day Traditions

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Feb 29, 2016

Saint Patrick’s Day is on March 17th (which falls on a Thursday this year), a holiday long associated with luck, fun and Irish tradition.  Customarily, Boston is just the place to celebrate the festivities, often hosting thousands of visitors who sit, drink and be merry within one of our many local pubs.  Granted, the green beer is fun but did you know that alcohol was originally banned on the holiday, forcing restaurants and bars to be closed? This is just one example of the trivia and customs associated with Saint Patrick’s Day that few even know about.  Test your Irish history and see if you’re aware of these true facts about an authentic Saint Patrick’s Day celebration!

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  1. Saint Patrick was not from Ireland, as many believe.  He was originally born in England and was captured, then enslaved to Ireland as a sheepherder. Once he escaped, he returned home to become a priest and then travelled back to Ireland to pass on his teachings.  

  1. The story about Saint Patrick chasing the snakes out of Ireland is almost impossible to be true according to experts from National Geographic.       These slithery critters are almost never seen in this area because the geographical composition is post glacier.   

  1. The official Irish color is not green but is in fact BLUE!  Most of Ireland is not as lush as most people believe accept for the Emerald Isle.  The blue is significant because it is the shade featured in many of the country’s flags.GREEN_ROSES.jpg

  1. Even though the four-leaf clover is a wonderful find since they are extremely rare, they are often misconceived as the country’s symbol.  The harp is actually the official logo of Ireland, although clovers remain the more popular notion.

  1. Corned beef and cabbage might be the sought after dish on the menu this holiday but did you know that bacon was actually the original protein cooked during this holiday?  Because many settlers who came to America could afford so little, this inevitably led to a substitution using a cheaper product than pork.  

Tags: St Patrick's Day Flowers, Traditions, Holidays, Saint Patricks Day, March

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

The History of the Cornucopia

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Nov 16, 2015

 

The cornucopia has long been a significant symbol of the Thanksgiving Day holiday tradition.   Many of us recognize the decorative marker as a large basket that holds several different seasonal foods and flowers.  The most popular produce that New Englanders use to stuff the cornucopia are oranges, grapes, apples, bananas, gourds, small pumpkins, pears and artichokes while flowers usually consist of sunflowers, mums, hay, gerberas, calla lilies and mimosa.  Over hundreds of thousands of years, families select this centerpiece to be displayed during their celebratory feasts, enticing guests to pull out their preferred treats to enjoy during their visit.  Not only is this presentation both visually and tastily appealing, the cornucopia holds great historical importance when tracing back its origins.  Take a look where this customary relic came from and enjoy this tale, which will hopefully stimulate an interesting conversation between your guests.  


photo credit: Flower Factor

The cornucopia (or otherwise known as the “Horn of Plenty” ) has several different story variations explaining its beginning but because I love mythology, this is my favorite one I’ve found so far…


Allegorical depiction of the Roman goddess Abundantia with a cornucopia, by Rubens (ca. 1630)

Before Zeus was a mighty and powerful God, he was held in the woods to be protected from his father, Cronus.  His caregiver was a goat named Amalthea, who swore to keep the boy safe from any harm and raise him herself.  The goat nurtured him with milk, food and shelter until the day he was full grown and had received the strength to return to Crete.

 

One day, as the child was playing and laughing with his protector, Zeus accidentally handled Amalthea’s horn to roughly and broke it off leaving her with only one left.  Zeus felt so terrible about what he had done, he blessed the goat’s broken limb to always be filled with an abundance of whatever she might need for the rest of her life.  

 

Today, we celebrate the cornucopia as the plentiful horn shaped basket that is consistently filled with nurturing and bountiful gifts.  For some Bostonians, the basket has been passed down as a family heirloom and for others, the centerpiece is ordered annually from local florists.  If you are looking for some ideas on how to fill your cornucopia this Thanksgiving, here are some of the top requested styles for November 2015.  



Tags: Flowers as Symbols, The Arts, Traditions, Flower Arrangements, Thanksgiving, November

Thanksgiving Flower Arrangements

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Nov 09, 2015

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday, which is decorated elaborately in several different ways.  Turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes certainly do a magnificent job dressing our tables along with specially chosen linens and candlelight.  For New Englanders, we are blessed with the natural beauty of color that autumn brings us, a gift that is utilized not only within our cuisine and fabrics but also in our Thanksgiving Day flower arrangements!  Red, gold, orange and green varieties are specially chosen by clever designers looking to please their customers with seasonal centerpieces perfect for their holiday feasts.  


photo credit: Flower Factor

Typically, clients can be a bit anxious when placing an order during this time of year, fearful that a request for a festive creation will translate into a vase of mums and carnations.  It’s true, at one time this was the popular method for completely this November’s vase work but things have changed quite a bit.  Most top-notch Boston flower businesses now implement contemporary proficiency while planning their holiday product purchases from wholesalers to include modernized combinations of shade and texture.  This is a great thing because clientele has become more and more sophisticated within their taste and now demand a larger variety of Thanksgiving flowers for their celebrations.  The question is, what options will be the most popular for 2015?  


According to industry reports, Bean Town’s florists are going to need a whole lot of roses, gerberas, kale, calla lilies, thistle, Asiatic lilies, berries and fall foliage to get the job done right!  Because of the previous holiday’s trend of white, green and brown color palettes, customers are finding themselves reverting back to bright ad bold instead of soft and pastel.  Here are a few of the protocols that are predicted to be the top sellers this Thanksgiving!









Tags: Traditions, Flower Arrangements, Thanksgiving, Holidays

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