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Poinsettia Heaven

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Nov 30, 2015

Pretty soon, we will be entering the season of poinsettias and this year you will be pleasantly surprised by the incredible varieties that will be available!  The plant otherwise known as the “Christmas Flower” has long been a true symbol of the yuletide holiday and is still ranked as one of the top items bought for gifts.  If you’re not familiar with the poinsettia, here are a few facts that you’ll enjoy learning, which make this plant so special.

Boston Poinsettias

Photo credit: flower factor

* A poinsettia’s leaves are bright in color and can be white, red, pink, red or peach.  New species are cultivated yearly so be sure to check with your florist about any new shades that may be soon available.  

Poinsettias in Boston

* The leaves are called “bracts” because they are tinted instead of simply being green.  The reason why the bracts are colored is to attract pollinators to the plant’s flower.

* Although the poinsettia looks like only a plant, there is a small bloom located in the middle of the plant bracts.  The bloom has a special name called “cyathia” which is where bees and other insects produce pollen.

* The poinsettia actually dislikes the cold weather even though it is primarily popular during the icier months of the year.  Originally, the plant was found in Mexico by a botanist named Joel Roberts Poinsett in the 1820’s.  With the specimen, he returned to his home in South Carolina and began to cultivate the plant.  

* and no the plant is not toxic to cats or people.



Tags: Poinsettia, Holiday Decor, Christmas, Holidays, December

Ways to Make this Holiday Season Happy and Healthy

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Nov 25, 2015


The holiday season can be a wonderful time but for some people like me, it can also by a tad bit overwhelming.  There just never seems to be enough time to get all my errands done including planning dinner menus, sending out cards, decorating and the most anxiety driven task- gift buying for all of my relatives and friends.  Really, how are we supposed to accomplish this unrealistic whirlwind of activity in only a few weeks?  It’s almost impossible if you plan on keeping your sanity throughout the month.  After all, aren’t the holidays actually supposed to be…FUN?  For millions of us, this is a laughable concept so this year I’m planning on using a few tips to relieve tension and possibly enjoy the month of December!  Seem like a bizarre concept?  Skim through these ideas and see if any of them might help increase your health and happiness this season!

Eat Well

There are thousands upon thousands on studies documenting the importance of a well balanced diet, particularly in times where stress is at a high.  By adding more fruits and vegetables and eliminating starches and fats, your body will actually run at an improved rate while also upping your serotonin levels.  Why is this important?  Serotonin is what makes those happy little bubbles float around inside you, making your attitude and emotional state positive rather than negative.  Of course we’ll need a few of those Christmas cookies to get us through but swapping your meal intake with an improved group of foods will do magic for holiday disposition.


I know that sending out those pesky postcards of you and the family are detrimental to saving face with the neighbors but at the end of an exhausting day, it’s not really that important. Give yourself a break and hit the hay so that you can rebuild the strength needed to stay on top of your game!  Eight hours of sleep is the recommended daily amount of time needed to adequately repair and revive the body.  When we are feeling symptoms of uneasiness or nervousness, it becomes even more important to add as much time as possible to your nighttime clock.  There’s always the next day to finish projects so stretch these tasks out and make the effort to rest.


It might seem that every chore on your list is of the utmost importance but realistically, the only thing that matters during the holidays is spending time with your loved ones.  Not everything that you have planned is going to be perfect so instead of creating ridiculous work for yourself, only complete tasks that are needed!  Choose the things that you truly want to accomplish and stick to that.  Let go of the Martha Stewart arts and crafts projects that are time consuming when you really don’t have the extra space in your calendar.  If stringing up the house with lights is number one for your family, get that done and forget about baking the gingerbread house.  Whatever is left behind just remember that there’s always next year!

Tags: Christmas, Holidays, December

The First Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Nov 23, 2015

New England is the absolute best place in the world to be when celebrating Thanksgiving!  Not only do we have the historical background such as Plymouth Plantation and Plymouth Rock, but we also have fabulous crisp and cool weather that is the perfect compliment for Turkey Day.  Bostonians have loads of decorative options available to dress up their homes and dining tables including a vast assortment of flowers that might well have been the same that the pilgrims placed on their tables!  

May Flower ?


photo credit:

So what do you think?  Did the pilgrims really have the creative touch to arrange a few bouquets for their first November feast in America?

Gooseberries ?

photo credit: wikipedia

I would have to agree they did!

Bittersweet Vine ?

photo credit: marbleheadconservancy,org

With so many natural flora and fauna growing wildly around them, why is it so far fetched that they too, might have chosen a centerpiece to accessorize their festive gathering?

Wheat ? Beach Roses ?

After some careful research, these are a few of the possibilities that the Massachusetts settlers could have used on Thanksgiving.  If any of you are history buffs and want to make your holiday as authentic as possible, try digging up one of these for your floral displays!

Tags: Thanksgiving, Holiday Decor, Holidays, November

Top Thanksgiving Day Movies

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Nov 20, 2015

I love movies.  I love movies so much that I have a collection for each special holiday and occasion.  Doesn’t matter if it’s a rainy day, the first day of school or Halloween, I’ve got something for everything.  That’s why this Thanksgiving is going to be filled with hours upon hours of watching my favorite flicks associated with the infamous turkey day!  I bet you didn’t know that Thanksgiving is only second runner up to the top cinematic holiday blockbuster, Christmas!  It’s because of the increasing popularity that we have dozens and dozens of films to choose from, offering both options for adults and kids!  (Check the ratings carefully because some of them are inappropriate for younger audiences.) I mean who hasn’t seen the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown?  It’s a classic!  Here are a few more of my top Thanksgiving Day flicks that I’ll be enjoying this season.


Tags: Movies, Holiday Movies, Thanksgiving, Holidays

How to Fight the Bulge During the Holiday Season

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, Nov 19, 2015

The season of merriment, the season of joy, the season when our pants feel a size too small.  Yes the holiday season has arrived, luring us in with decadent dishes and rich cuisine.  I mean who can resist the pumpkin pies, the mashed potatoes or the highlight- the beloved turkey?  There’s food everywhere and most of us (including myself) find it difficult to resist taste testing a few sugar cookies here and there.  Oh, and don’t forget the “stress” issue that comes into play when our relatives are literally driving us towards that extra glass of wine or slab of cake.  Yes, according to research, the average Bostonian packs on an extra five to ten pounds during the months of November and December, hence the popular New Year’s resolution promise to get “in shape”.  

But here’s my question to you…

Why must we continuously get back on the hamster wheel of holiday diets when there are perfectly good ways to steer clear of your scale’s needle bouncing back and forth?  Is it viable that by introducing techniques that are successful in curbing our appetites might we miss that rush to join any gym we can find on January 2nd?  I dare to think we have a shot if we follow these tips that will keep us on track without eliminating the holiday season’s tasty treats all together!


Smaller Plates Mean Smaller Consumption

This works particularly well if you’re the one who is hosting the feasts this year because that gives you control of selecting dinnerware.  Studies reveal that by serving meals on smaller plates, it gives the illusion that you are eating the same amount of food you would be on regular dishes.  It is also documented that people feel more “filled up” when emptying their plate no matter what the size of the dinnerware may be.  That means that you can feel equally satisfied while cutting back on unnecessary indulging calories. Portion sizes will be cut in half and you’ll be pleased to know that this compromise will allow you the room you need for a regular sized dessert!

Don’t Forget to Move

Looking back on my favorite holidays that I’ve celebrated, I can’t help but to remember that I was always moving!  Talking with Aunt Kay about her summer gardening plans and then offering to help clean the kitchen with grandma, I realized that I was constantly walking from one room to another.  What does this mean for our waistlines?  It means that I was exercising!  Moving about the room is important because it burns calories and helps to digest your food better.  You’ll be the hit of the holiday party for your impressive social skills and be able to slip back into those skinny jeans without any problems at all!

Tags: Christmas, Holidays, exercise, outdoors

Is it Too Early To Be Buying Our Christmas Decorations?

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Nov 14, 2015

There’s been a lot of hubbub lately surrounding the issue of whether it is too early to be stocking up on Christmas fare when it’s only November.  Starbucks is the latest culprit who recently launched their “red cup” marketing ploy, which interestingly enough has attracted a large amount of controversial press.  Is it wrong to change all accessorized décor color to red and green?  Is it pushing things to be lighting up the trees with holiday bulbs?  Or how about this one- buying floral centerpieces designed to reflect the Yule Tide season?  Is it offensive or simply a show of our adoration for the merriest time of the year?  

photo credit: Flower Factor

Personally, my holiday spread is put up a couple of weeks into December and taken down one week after Christmas but that’s just me.  I understand that there are many people out there who want to grab every second they can out of the season and I admire you, I really do.  But you have to admit, there’s no doubt the ugly head of commercialism does play a part in the mass movement to put Santa Clauses in storefronts even before we’ve celebrated Thanksgiving.  Do we actually spend more when influenced by the merchandising of Frasier Firs standing in doorways and twinkling lights dangled across glass display cases?  Most advertising business experts agree that inarguable, we do.

photo credit: Flower Factor

So what does that mean for Boston florists who are beginning to bring in shipments of poinsettias, Christmas trees and wreaths?  I’d say it’s a pretty good prediction that there will be a solid sales base for the early bird shoppers who can't wait to stock up on seasonal festivities. If customers are eager for holiday pieces but are torn by the issue of the timing possibly being premature, offer them arrangements that include some identifiable props but still can be categorized as appropriate for fall.  By not overwhelming clientele with a complete switch to silver bells and frosted greenery, we can make the most of November and December by easing ourselves gently into the holiday season.

Tags: Holiday Decor, Christmas Wreaths, Christmas, Holidays, Christmas Flowers, December

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

Thanksgiving Day Décor

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Nov 06, 2015

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and many of us are already planning our festivities including our dinner menu, guest list and of course, the floral centerpieces.  Flowers are an imperative addition to your holiday dining atmosphere (to a florist anyways) but there are other ways to decorate your home using materials naturally located in your house or items requiring very little cost.  Zipping up your abode with color, texture and interesting accessories matching the Thanksgiving Day theme will enhance your celebration with more than just a full belly.  Try these beautiful arts and crafts for your holiday gathering and quickly watch them become a part of your annual traditions.


                       If You’re Into the Natural Thing…

thanksgiving decor 

Photo credit: Flower Factor

We’re in New England people, so let’s use the gifts that Mother Nature has bestowed on us and tweak both our outdoor and indoor living spaces using these readily available props!  Pumpkins should be number 1 on your shopping list because there’s a ton of ways to use these perky little darlings plus they’re cheap.  Try lining your walkway with an assortment of different shaded legumes or simply grab a bail of hay and place a few gourds and pumpkins on top to make a seasonal display.  Smaller pumpkins are also great to put here and there on your dining room table as part of the setting.  A spectrum of red, yellow and orange fall leaves are wonderful for garnishing platters and pinecones are stunning for making candleholders or wreathes.


If You Have Kids…

photo credit:

If you have kids than its time to put them to work!  Easy peasy tracing crafts such as drawing their hands and coloring them in to look like a turkey is one way to get art up on your walls ASAP.  Another fun thing for the tots to do is make a turkey body using anything from clay, Styrofoam, Play Doh or even paper and have them cut out feathers with different colored construction paper.  Make all of your guests fill a strip out stating what they are thankful for most this holiday and have them place them back into the turkey using toothpicks.  Put in the center of the table and Voila you have your perfect centerpiece!


If You’re A Clever Art Lover…

photo credit:

If you love the idea of decorating but you like to keep things simple and uncluttered, you’re going to adore these fancy yet delicate little add-ins you can whip up for your home this Thanksgiving!  For dinner labels, I suggest you get some inexpensive pots and paint them with chalk paint ,which you can find at any hardware store.  Give them a coat of black and then with regular paint, outline a band around the middle and a gold square to become a buckle.  Grab some chalk, and write your guests names to place at their seats.  Now they won't only have a delicious meal to dine on but they can take home their own pilgrims hats as a party favor!  

Tags: Thanksgiving, Holiday Decor, Holidays, November

Safety Tips for Trick or Treaters

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Oct 23, 2015

Let’s face it…. There’s no better place in the world to go Trick or Treating other than New England and if you are lucky to be living in Massachusetts, you’ll experience double the fun!  After all, we do live in spook central being conveniently located close to Salem where the heart of witches and cauldrons were born.  Yes, Halloween is a wonderful and fn time for all of us but its important to keep in mind safety factors for our little goblins and ghouls.  This October 31st, make sure that you and your children go over precautionary tips that will help everyone enjoy Halloween to the fullest.

photo credit:

Safety Tips

* Never trick or treat alone!  Always find a group of Dracula’s and Frankenstein’s to accompany you

* Carry a flashlight with you at all times and wear glow sticks for extra luminescence.

*  Never run from house to house!  Enjoy the stroll throughout the night-it only       happens once a year!

*Look both ways before crossing the road!  People driving should be extra aware of the occasion and SLOW DOWN.

* Wear tight fitting masks and costumes that do not have material or other                                       accessories hanging that might cause an injury.  Let’s make sure you say BOO instead of Boo Boo.

* Walk on sidewalks instead of lawns and never get into a car with a stranger!

* Do not enter any homes without an adult.  Trick or Treating should remain outside and only visit houses that are well lit!

* Have your parents check all candy before eating and throw away anything that is hand made.  Grandma Jenkin’s cookies are ok but never eat anything unwrapped from strangers!

* If you have food allergies, be on the look out for teal pumpkins, which are a sign that the house is giving out gluten free, peanut free treats!  

* Trick or Treating in Boston is from 5-8pm so make sure you’re home in time for curfew since that’s when the werewolves come out!  

Tags: Holidays, Kids, October, Halloween

Best Costumes for Florists on Halloween

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Oct 05, 2015

The children of Boston are busy coming up with ideas for this year’s best Halloween costumes such as zombies, pumpkins, witches and other scary figures.  But is dressing up for the holiday just for kids?

I think not!  

Bean Town’s florists are also using their noggins to try and make the festivities a part of their establishments and why not?  There are several benefits to having your staff prepare a costume for October 31st including marketing tactics, demographic increase and most importantly, to have fun!  People want to know that the places they due business with can join in the spirit, which will make your shop a more enjoyable experience for customers.   Statistics show that businesses which incorporate creative tactics such as costumes see a substantial hike in revenue so why not give it a go this Halloween?

Ghosts, goblins, Dracula’s, they’re all appropriate choices but if you really want to wow your patrons, try implementing a theme congruent to the flower industry!  There are a ton of characters associated with blooms and plants that will match perfectly to your store’s product line and genre.  Here are some ideas to get you and your staff ready to celebrate the spooky holiday of Halloween in flower style!

The Lorax


Dr. Seuss’s adorable critter that taught us the importance of protecting our trees and plants makes a great “green” costume for the concerned environmentalist.  

                    The Giving Tree

Shel Silverstien’s poetry within The Giving Tree told the story about the beautiful relationship between man and nature.

                  Little Shop of Horrors

Become one of the characters from this hit movie about a plant taking matters into his own hands after being the star attraction in a little city flower shop.

                 Plant Book Encyclopedia

Dress up as your favorite flower and plant reference book to get a giggle you’re your brainiest patrons!

Tags: Holidays, October, Halloween, Costumes, Events

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