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Raising Boys Who Love Flowers

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Sep 01, 2017

I’m a mom of two boys and also a big lover of plants and flowers so the question is, “How do I combine them both?”  It’s a stereotype that boys don’t belong around the frilly stuff and should instead be committed solely to the “manly” rough and tumbling activities associated with the outdoors.  Flower designing may as well be stricken right off the list as something the male species should be attracted to and to put it simply… That’s just isn’t right.  Although admittedly, times are getting better in terms of it being socially acceptable to wipe clean the lines drawn for “girl hobbies” vs. “boy hobbies”, I still find this particular stereotype a frustrating issue to bend.  Even though girls have been thankfully increasing the ratios as athletes found within hockey, football and baseball- the male species seems to be having a more difficult time adapting to activities, which have previously been seen as “chic stuff”.  As you can imagine, flower arranging is right up on the top of the tier and I for one feel this is a shame.  Is there a way to attract more boys to the floral world?  I believe there is. lance c.jpg

One way of encouraging a healthy connection to plants and flowers is to partake in hikes where wildflowers are prevalent, visiting preservation areas where plant life is abundant and reading about horticulture together.  By exposing boys to the beauty of flowers, we can stimulate growth that reaches far beyond what we could ever imagine.  Did you know that males who possess a connection to both plants and flowers have a greater likelihood to become compassionate, giving and understanding?   Did you also know that boys who have an early education about horticulture possess stronger skills within creative thinking, planning and organization?  Really, it’s true!  Others believe that it may also advance early development of coping skills as well as fuel a longer and happier life in general.  Now these should be reasons enough alone why we should be fostering this important connection to flowers!  So how should we go about it?  Try these simple ways to support a lasting relationship, which might stimulate positive outcomes throughout a boy’s entire life.

  1. Nature Walks
  2. Family Gardens
  3. Simple Flower Arranging
  4. Cooking with Flowers
  5. Artwork Mirroring Flowers

suzie c.jpg


Tags: Family Business, Family Time, Suzie Canale, Kids

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.


photo credit via

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.  


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

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.

ryan and lance canale.jpg
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

How To Beat the January Blues

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Jan 09, 2015

The holidays are over, the decorations have been put away for another year and while some find relief in this fact, others can’t help to feel a little blue once January rolls around.  If you’re living in New England, you are well aware of the frigid temperatures, which can be troubling to handle as well.  It’s darker, snowier and most of us are still buffing back our bank accounts from December’s season of spending so it’s no wonder why some of us might struggle through this month.  I know that I was certainly one of them, that is, before I changed my outlook with a few tips and tricks.  This is what worked for me but don’t hesitate to add your own ideas that will lift your spirits and get you back on the happy trails once again!


New Years Resolutions




                                    photo credit: Huffington Post

New Year’s resolutions can actually cheer a person up believe it or not if the goal works to strengthen your serotonin uptake.  Now you may feel the aim has to shoot for the moon but the simpler the better.  Erect a resolution that focuses on positivity such as stopping yourself when trouble arises and utilize problem solving skills instead of giving up or inhibiting a depressed emotion.  Easy change ups in our reactions from positive to negative can do a world of good in alleviating constant non-preferable feelings. Every year, my family and I write our resolutions down and send it out to sea as a message in a bottle.



readers_digest                                     photo credit:

It’s a proven fact that physical activity disperses anxiety and depression so if you’ve been hesitant about exercise, now’s the time to get up and moving!  For some people, joining a gym might be the answer but it doesn’t have to be that expensive.  Although Boston has a tendency to be icy which may dissuade from outdoor activity, take a trip to the mall and walk the circuit before stores open.  Another approach could be to watch exercise TV shows, which are prevalent on both local access and On Demand viewing.  Completing a few stretches and leg lifts can even help to get the blood flowing and you’ll be amazed just how bright your outlook begins to escalate!

 Surround Yourself With People



          Sometimes we become down and not realize that the real reason is lack of human contact.  It’s easy to bunker down in our homes when the sky is gloomy and the weather is not ideal.  What we don’t see is that our levels of communication and sense of touch deplete, shutting down the part of the brain that craves social processing.  Without this, the body looks for other ways to satisfy this need such as binge eating and drinking; things that we all know are bad.  Instead, look in your local paper and attend craft shows, bingo games, and community get-togethers or just call a friend up for a warm cup of coffee and the new café in town.  Pretty soon you’ll find your spunk again and be ready for when the spring arrives!




Tags: Family Time, New Years Resolutions, exercise

Making New Year's Resolutions

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Dec 31, 2014

It's that time of year again when we count our blessings and get ready to make a few changes for New Years!  Resolutions have been a traditional gesture for many to seize the opportunity towards improving ourselves within physical, financial or emotional areas.   The most common resolutions are to lose a few pounds, increase our lucrative value and to expand social circles.  While these are certainly appropriate goals that pertain to a wide demographic, how about making things a bit simpler?  We don’t necessary have to be skinnier, worth more or popular to be happier in the New Year.  Resolutions can be better attained if we choose to diverge into activities and opportunities that already exist in our daily lives.  Joining a gym or scanning the want ads may not lead to a healthier and happier 2015.   Melioration can be achieved by taking smaller steps.  Here are my top resolutions that can be utilized everyday throughout the changing of the year. 

 new years diet

We don’t necessary have to make the resolution to drop twenty pounds in order to like ourselves more and we certainly don’t have to succumb to outrageous and even sometimes, dangerous diets to fit into a pair of skinny jeans.  Even if we do decide to spend our Christmas bonuses on fancy memberships, lets face it, most people stop using them by the end of January.  It’s a waste of time and resources and there are easier ways towards achieving a loser belt strap and a youthful glow.  Try swapping one meal a day with a plate of fruit and vegetables.  Chopped watermelon, cantaloupe and mixed berries contain a satisfying taste while bumping up your antioxidant immunity and lesser calorie value.   Vegetable soups such as cream of broccoli (made with a low fat dairy), salads and sautéed root vegetables are also excellent substitutions for sandwiches, pasta and other common dinner/lunch entrees.  You will be amazed how fast your body adapts and how quickly you’ll see results without having to bow down to inflated gym costs and grocery bills.

 saving money simply

                                                   photo credit:

Having goals of finding riches in the future is a standard resolution but most find disappointment when at the end of the year, they haven’t found their pot of gold.  How about using a simple savings plan to create volume in your bank accounts without falling for “get rich quick” schemes that almost promise failure.  Instead, try using a coin jar where you can put pennies, quarters, dimes and nickels.  Whether it’s from buying a coffee, toys furniture or anything, insert the change and watch the levels of finances grow!  You might think that the amount will be low but I’ve tried this before and managed to pay for entire vacations with the money collected within one year.


                              Lance, Rick, Ryan & Suzie Canale -Rehoboth Beach, DE August 2014

We all want family, friends and loved ones but somehow believe that by making a New Years resolution to be popular, things will instantly change. It just doesn’t work that way.  Expanding social circles takes effort on our part and requires us to make the initiative to engage with others.  If you have high social anxiety, attempt to participate in low stress events where it is easy to strike up a conversation.  Coffee shops, restaurants and grocery stores are excellent places to start.  Again, take simple steps like offering to shovel a neighbor’s sidewalk after the next snowstorm or signup at your local library for paint classes where you can mingle within your community.  Figure out what your interests are and search for local and free opportunities to partake in these activities where you can meet others who enjoy the same things that you do!  Remember, the key to living a long and happy life is still up for debate but most agree that having a loving surrounding of people is definitely a big part of the recipe!

- my best wishes for a Happy New Year.

Suzie Canale, Westwood, MA 

Tags: Family Time, New Years Resolutions, cooking, #EXFL

Boston Florist Learns from Six Flags New England

Posted by Rick Canale on Tue, Jun 28, 2011


If you know me, then you can often find me working on Saturdays. No worries, it is retail. Once you sign on for retail, you know weekends are imperative to your business survival. Unfortunately, working Saturdays often infringes on family time. Spending time with my family is my favorite past time.

This past Saturday, June 25th, 2011 my wife Suzie was treated by her company to free passes to Six Flags New England. What a treat. Not only did my son refer to it as the best day ever, my entire family had a blast.

Not only did the trip recharge my batteries, but Six Flags New England also provided valuable business lessons that all retailers should aspire.

1. Recharge your batteries: It is good to get away, take time off and spend time with family. Family is why we work so hard and we can never lose sight of how much they mean.

2. Cleanliness: From the parking lot - to the theme park - to the staff; the grounds are immaculate. No litter anywhere. The restrooms are cleaned often. The staff is well groomed and polite. No gum chewing, cell phone chatting, odd piercings or visible tattoos. All the attributes we hope to see in a retail store, but rarely do.

3. Enthusiasm: the energy in Six Flags New England is infectious. The staff is high energy and young at heart. For the most part, the staff is young. But all staff members are upbeat. From the continued hawkers dribbling basketballs to the constant requests for High Fives. Six Flags England gets it. Human contact, smiles, energy, positivity and good music make an ordinary amusement park a great memory. Retail stores, are you listening ? Do you wonder why clients are taking their sales on line ? As retailers, we need to create positive memories.


4: Superman & Batman and the power of branding: Contrary to what one might think, Six Flags Amusement Parks are not owned by Universal Studios or Warner Brothers. Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Tweety walk throughout the park for photo opportunities, high-fives and autographs. Rides like Bizarro and the Gotham Gauntlet are gate attractions. Six Flags New England embraces their partners. They realize the importance of working with name brands and not for them. As Boston florists, Exotic Flowers works with Teleflora and FTD. Exotic Flowers is proud to offer FTD and Teleflora items in the Exotic Flowers design style. Exotic Flowers works closely with Teleflora so that spokesperson Faith Hill offers Boston flower buyers one of our best selling collections.

5: Fair compensation: Six Flags New England is not cheap. They charge a premium for parking, carnival games, tickets and food. Six Flags New England realizes that for a business to prosper, it must charge a fair price for its good services. Remember, 'Cheap products make for a cheap company.'

Tags: Six Flags, Retail, Family Time, Faith Hill

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