Monthly Archives

January 2013

Floral Occasions & Holidays, Valentine's Day

20 Tips on How to Plan a Romantic Valentine’s Day Dinner for Two

January 28, 2013
Valentine's Day Dinner Place Setting

Valentine's Day Dinner Place SettingWith the noisy swarms of couples and the irrationally high menu prices, going out for Valentine’s Day is more of a hassle than a luxury. Who needs that when you can create a five-star experience right out of your own kitchen? Here are 20 tips how to plan a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner for two at home!

Valentine’s Day Dinner Tip No. 1: Prepare your food in advance.

The No. 1 mood-killer for your Valentine’s Day dinner? The stress of rustling up a last-minute meal. Don’t waste precious together time scuttling around the kitchen. Instead, prepare and cook all of your food well in advance. That way, you can sit down and truly enjoy the most important part of the night: your sweetie.

Valentine’s Day Dinner Tip No. 2: Cook together.

There’s no rule that says cooking a Valentine’s Day dinner has to be a one-person job. Consider making your meal together as a couple. You can have fun playing and experimenting with the ingredients, or you can get sensual and feed each other as you go along. Whatever you do, you’ll be creating some unforgettable memories … and food!

Valentine’s Day Dinner Tip No. 3: Ignite your passion with food.

Love potions aren’t just a bunch of fairy tale fluff. They actually exist! Certain foods are known as romance-boosting aphrodisiacs, including oysters, saffron, ginger, asparagus, garlic (we’re not kidding!), basil, figs and strawberries. You can find a full list of sensuous eats on Celebrations.com. Be sure to incorporate some (or all!) of these into your menu to heat things up on V-Day.

Valentine’s Day Dinner Tip No. 4: Keep it simple.

Only two words describe the perfect Valentine’s Day cuisine: light and simple. You want your meal to fill you up—not weigh both of you down. Try these delicious yet delicate Valentine’s Day dinner recipes that’ll satisfy you both … and save you the hassle of whipping up a complicated feast.

Valentine's Day Gourmet Pretzel RodsValentine’s Day Dinner Tip No. 5: Make dessert easy.

To save you even more trouble, simplify dessert time by serving a combo of homemade and store-bought treats. And think small. Just a few itty-bitty desserts will do the trick. Try on these perfectly portioned sweets for size: Love Note Conversation Heart Dipped Oreo Cookies, Fannie May Love & Romance Chocolate Strawberries, Valentine’s Day Gourmet Pretzel Rods, Cheryl’s Hearts Cookie Flower Pot.

Valentine’s Day Dinner Tip No. 6: Give your dining space a quick makeover.

Celebrating V-Day in the same kitchen or dining room that you eat in every night might be anything but exhilarating—unless you think outside the box. Change the everyday scene by simply rearranging a few pieces of furniture. You’ll feel like you’re in a brand-new home or, better yet, a fancy restaurant (minus the crowds)!

Valentine’s Day Dinner Tip No. 7: Make a keepsake Valentine’s Day menu.

Give your feast some true restaurant appeal: Print out your menu on Valentine’s Day themed cardstock, or create your own chalkboard menu sign. You can keep the menu card as a precious token of your night together, or you can reuse the chalkboard sign as a menu for your weekly dinner specials.

Wine & Chocolate Romance for 2 Gift BasketValentine’s Day Dinner Tip No. 8: Enhance your food with wine.

True love is like good wine; it gets even better with age! So go ahead and spoil yourselves: Complement the exquisite flavors of your Valentine’s Day dinner with a bottle of fine wine. Your sweetheart is definitely worth it.

Valentine’s Day Dinner Tip No. 9: Break out the fine china.

If ever there is a more perfect occasion to put that fine china to good use, it’s Valentine’s Day. Lay out some gorgeous linens in shades of red, white and pink, and then set the table with your best dinnerware, glassware and silverware. Then comes the pièce de résistance: an eye-catching floral centerpiece. Your honey will feel like royalty when they finally settle down at the dinner table.

Romantic-heart-trim-candleValentine’s Day Dinner Tip No. 10: Set the mood with candles.

To create a softer, more enchanting ambiance, turn the lights down low (but make sure it’s still bright enough to see!) and scatter plenty of romantic candles across the tablescape. Continue Reading…

Valentine's Day

Show Your Valentine’s Day Flowers Some TLC

January 28, 2013

How to Make Your Valentines Flowers Last

Most of us look forward to feeling special and loved on Valentine’s Day, and of course receiving Valentine flowers is the perfect way to know you are adored! Flowers represent love in many ways, with their natural beauty, fresh scent and uplifting effects. So, once you receive Valentine’s Day flowers, be a flower “caretaker,” not a “heartbreaker” by giving your flowers plenty of TLC!

My team and I at 1-800-FLOWERS.COM are SO passionate about flower care that we put together a video of Top 10 Flower Care Tips on how to keep your Valentine’s Day flowers looking fresh and beautiful this Valentine’s season. Check out these tips and more below!

 

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Make Your Valentines Roses Last and Here is How to:

1. After a few days, we recommend changing the water and re-cutting the flowers to ensure longevity. Place the bouquet in a separate holder, while you add warm water and flower food to its original vase. Be sure to follow the mixing directions on the flower food packet.

2. With a sharp knife or clippers, re-cut the stems by cutting one to two inches off on an angle, but be careful not to crush the stems. We find it best to hold the stems under water. Return the bouquet to its vase with fresh water.

3. Once your flowers are down to their last stem, get inspired and get creative…especially with roses! Don’t believe us? You’d be surprised how long you can make a rose last, even if it is fully open. Look around the house for DIY décor-worthy items (glass containers allow for endless creative possibilities).

We’ve included some beautiful ideas to display short, fully open roses below. The shorter the stem, the easier it will be for the water to reach the rose and will last longer than you would expect.

Rose in Glass Apothecary Jar

Romantic candles with rose petals

Floral Occasions & Holidays

5 Unique Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for a One-of-a-Kind Sweetheart

January 24, 2013
Lucky in Love A-DOG-Able Arrangement

Lucky in Love A-DOG-Able ArrangementYour Valentine is like no other. After all, that’s why you love them! So grabbing any old heart-shaped box of chocolates off the drugstore shelf simply won’t do. You’ll need something extraordinary—something that’s truly original, just like them. But don’t worry; hunting down a one-of-a-kind V-Day present isn’t as difficult as you think it is. We’ve already done all the work for you! Here are five unique Valentine’s Day gift ideas that will show your sweetheart just how rare of a catch they are!

The Pick of the Litter

It’s not just puppy love; it’s something much more than that. It’s that feeling you get when you know you’ve found your pick of the litter—the love of your life! That’s what you tell your sweetie when you give them the Lucky in Love A-DOG-Able arrangement. We bet you’ve never seen flowers like this before: Two pooches handcrafted from the freshest carnations, roses, statice and waxflower, and all dressed up with rhinestone-studded ribbon. This exclusive basket full of cuteness excitedly yells out, “I really woof you!”

Sweet-heart-bambooAn Unexpected Token of Love

Bamboo isn’t exactly the first thing that jumps to mind when you think of Valentine’s Day, but this out-of-the-box gift has plenty of qualities that make it just right for the occasion. The plant is known worldwide for its strength and durability, and it’s a universal symbol of good fortune. Present your Valentine with the Sweet Heart Bamboo planter—specially trained to grow in a beautiful heart shape—and they’ll know that your love will never be broken; it’ll flourish forever.

Love Potion Flower ArrangementA Toast to Your One and Only

If you’re punch-drunk with love, raise a toast to your irreplaceable romance with the fun and flirty Love Potion arrangement. It’s filled to the brim with gorgeous red roses, pink calcynia and heart-shaped bear grass, and the fun oversized martini glass can be used for crafty DIY projects well after Valentine’s Day. Your special someone is sure to be intoxicated with joy when they receive this exotic libation.

Love Note Conversation Heart Dipped Oreo CookiesNot Your Average Conversation Heart

We all know about those tiny little conversation hearts that are passed around on Valentine’s Day. They’re a dime a dozen, and their flavor is anything but exciting. Not the kind of message you want to send to your honey! Profess your love in an even bigger and sweeter way with Love Note Conversation Heart Dipped Oreo Cookies. We’ve coveredAmerica’s favorite cookie in deliciously sugary confection and stamped them with a special love note that’ll make your Valentine’s heart melt.

A New Take on Flowers

Romantic-red-heart-wreathNot really into traditional flower bouquets? Forgo the typical arrangement and opt for a charming Romantic Red Heart Wreath instead. It’ll last all year long, and there are countless ways to decorate with it. You wear your heart on your sleeve, and now your darling can display it on their door!

For another truly original take on the usual Valentine’s Day arrangement, create a customized photo vase in which your bouquet can be delivered. It’s easy! Just upload your favorite photo of you and your Valentine, type in a short love note, pick a vase design and choose the type of flowers you want to send. There you go! Your sweetheart has a personalized and unique Valentine’s Day gift that will last them a lifetime!

So tell us: What makes your Valentine different from all the rest?

Floral Occasions & Holidays

How to Make a DIY Valentine’s Day Coupon Book!

January 22, 2013
Valentine's Day Coupon Book

Valentine's Day Coupon BookWhether you want to add a dash of excitement to your relationship or say a big thank-you to a beloved family member, spoil your Valentine with a fun DIY coupon book. It makes a cute and practical addition to the usual Valentine’s Day flowers and chocolates, and the vouchers can be redeemed at any time … so the lovin’ can last all year long!

The beauty of creating your own Valentine’s Day coupon book is that you can get as lovey-dovey, adventurous, sweet, funny or risqué as you like with your vouchers, and you can make them for anyone. Plus, making one is virtually effortless—especially with our FREE downloadable Valentine’s Day coupon book template. So go ahead and get crafty with your V-Day gift that keeps on giving! Here’s how:

Supplies Needed to Make Valentine's Day Coupon BookSupplies for DIY Valentine’s Day Coupon Book

Free downloadable and printable Valentine’s Day coupon book template
White cardstock
Red cardstock
Scissors
Marker
Glue
Hole puncher
Ribbon

How to Make a DIY Valentine’s Day Coupon Book

  1. Print out this free downloadable Valentine’s Day coupon book template onto white cardstock. Depending on how many coupons you want to give, print multiple copies of page No. 2 of the template.
  2. Cut out each coupon and the book cover along the faded outer black line.
  3. On the solid black line at the bottom of each coupon, handwrite what the coupon can be redeemed for. (See below for some Valentine’s Day coupon book ideas.)
  4. Take your red cardstock and cut out a rectangle that is slightly larger than the size of the coupon. Repeat for each coupon.
  5. Using glue, center and mount one coupon onto each piece of red cardstock. Allow      the glue to dry completely.
  6. Stack your Valentine’s Day coupons face-up in any order you like, with the book      cover at the top of the pile.
  7. Punch a hole at the top left corner of the booklet and loop a piece of ribbon through the hole to bind the pages of the coupon book together.
  8. Finally, give your coupon book a personal touch: Decorate the cover with glitter,      feathers, candy, rhinestones … your pick!

Valentine’s Day Coupon Book Ideas

Valentine's Day CouponIf you’re not sure what you want to write on your Valentine’s Day coupons, here are some romantic ideas to get you started. (Hint: The tickets don’t only have to benefit the person who’s receiving them. Think of some activities that you can enjoy together too!) Fill in the “Good for One ____” blank with some (or all) of these suggestions:

  • Romantic Homemade Dinner for Two
  • Dinner for Two at Your Favorite Restaurant
  • Lunch Date (You pick the place!)
  • Half Hour Full-Body Massage
  • Movie Theater Date for Two (You pick the movie!)
  • Breakfast in Bed
  • Day of Watching Your Favorite Sport or TV Show
  • Ice Cream Date
  • Redbox Movie and Takeout Night
  • Household Chore
  • Bowling Night
  • Board Game Night
  • Video Game Night
  • Favorite Homemade Dessert
  • Free Car Wash
  • Day at the Beach
  • Guilt-Free Night out With Friends
  • Lazy Day of Doing Nothing
  • Bubble Bath for Two
  • Starbucks Date
  • Kids-Free Day
  • Spa Day for Two
  • Night of Stargazing
  • Fun Outdoor Adventure (Your Choice!)
  • Free Week of Laundry and Dishwashing Duty
  • Night of Dancing
  • Night of Snuggling and Kissing

How will you use your Valentine’s Day coupons to indulge your sweetheart?

Floral Occasions & Holidays

Love Quotes for Romantic Valentine’s Day Card Messages

January 14, 2013
Boy Hiding Valentine's Day Card From Girl

Boy Hiding Valentine's Day Card From GirlOne of the toughest things to do on Valentine’s Day is to put pen to paper and tell your sweetheart how much you love them. Why? Because, sometimes, words just aren’t enough. But even though capturing your most passionate emotions by stringing a few letters together can be a daunting task, it’s not an impossible one. All you have to do is be genuine and maybe even look around for some inspiration.

To help you bring your inner Shakespeare to the surface, we’ve gathered a few love quotes that make the perfect Valentine’s Day card messages for all of the loved ones in your life. Use these famous quotes as a starting point, and then sprinkle in some of your most favorite memories to create a truly personal and heartfelt love note for your Valentine.

Valentine’s Day Messages for Your Boyfriend/Girlfriend

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” – Dr. Seuss

“You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.” – Author unknown

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” – Mother Teresa

“If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden.” – Claudia Ghandi

“Love is just a word until someone comes along and gives it meaning.” – Paulo Coelho

Valentine’s Day Messages for Your Fiancé

“For you see, each day I love you more; today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.” – Rosemonde Gérard

“I don’t pretend to know what love is for everyone, but I can tell you what it is for me. Love is knowing all about someone, and still wanting to be with them more than any other person. Love is trusting them enough to tell them everything about yourself, including the things you might be ashamed of. Love is feeling comfortable and safe with someone, but still getting weak in the knees when they walk into a room and smile at you.” – Author unknown

“Your words are my food, your breath my wine. You are everything to me.” – Sarah Bernhardt

“When I say, ‘I love you,’ it’s not because I want you or because I can’t have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I have seen your kindness and your strength. I have seen the best and the worst of you. And I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are.” – Joss Whedon

“The minute I heard my first love story I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.” – Jalal ad-Din Rumi Continue Reading…

Floral Occasions & Holidays, Valentine's Day

DIY Valentine Gift Ideas for Him: The Man Bouquet!

January 11, 2013
DIY Man Bouquet for Valentine's Day

DIY Man Bouquet for Valentine's DayLadies, let’s face it: Men don’t look forward to getting flowers on Valentine’s Day as much as we do. So how’s a girl supposed to show her guy that she cares?

Make him a personalized man bouquet instead! Grab a few of his favorite macho drinks and snacks, toss ’em into a heavy-duty bucket (he can reuse it later) and you have a DIY Valentine’s Day gift idea that your husband, fiancé, boyfriend or dad will really LOVE!

Materials You’ll Need to Make a DIY Man Bouquet

  • Large galvanized bucket*
  • 6-pack of your man’s favorite beer (or other alcoholic drink)
  • 2 or 3 empty cardboard boxes
  • Tissue paper
  • Floral wire
  • Scissors
  • A few of your dad, boyfriend or husband’s favorite snacks
  • Filler paper

*If you want to make a larger-than-life bouquet, use a water cooler instead of a bucket. That way, he’ll have a place to store all those bottles of booze!

How to Make a DIY Valentine’s Day Man Bouquet

How to Make a Base for Your Man Bouquet

  1. Place the empty cardboard boxes into the bucket. The boxes should be small enough to fit into the bucket but large and sturdy enough to support all the goodies you’re going to put in your bouquet. Stack the boxes flat and in a tiered fashion, with the highest point being the back center portion of the bucket. For even more stability, use masking tape to attach the boxes to the bucket.
    How to Fill a Bucket to Make a Man Bouquet
  2. Fill the bucket up to the rim with filler paper, making sure to completely conceal the cardboard boxes.
    Tissue Paper Flowers Used as Gift Bows
  3. Follow this tutorial and make six tissue paper flowers in the color pattern of your choice. Red and/or white tissue paper works nicely for the Valentine’s Day theme—without being too feminine. (Steer clear of pink!) Tip: Make some extra flowers and use them to top off your other Valentine’s Day gifts, like we did here. Continue Reading…
Floral Occasions & Holidays

How to Pick the Right Valentine’s Day Flowers for Your Sweetheart

January 8, 2013
Big Bear With Roses

big-bear-hugs-103247SRoses are red, violets are blue … and picking the perfect Valentine’s Day flower is so hard to do! Actually, it only feels like it is. When you’re looking for a truly original bouquet for your Valentine, it may seem like there are way too many options out there. But knowing what each type of flower symbolizes helps you choose the one that best represents your never-ending devotion. Not a flower expert? Not a problem! Here’s our guide to five popular Valentine’s Day flowers and their meanings so you can find the best way to say, “You make my heart bloom with passion!”

Blooming-love-premium-red-roses-in-red-vase-95285Roses

This one is a no-brainer. Roses can be found everywhere on Valentine’s Day, and for good reason. These radiant red flowers have been the ultimate symbol of romance and beauty since the ancient Greeks dedicated the flower to Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Their petals practically ooze passion, and their long, slender stems give them an air of elegance and grace. Roses show your loved one that they are a true classic, so opt for these buds if your Valentine is a traditional diehard romantic.

Bouquet You’ll Love: Blooming Love Premium Red Roses

Tulips

Tulip GardenRunning a close second in the race for most popular Valentine’s Day flowers, this beautiful red bulb is known all over the globe as the symbol of perfect love. It gets its starry-eyed reputation from a Turkish legend in which a prince, after finding out that the love of his life was killed, took his own life. The flower was said to spring from his drops of blood, and its dark center is the proof of his flaming passion. Other tulip color meanings: cream-colored tulips signify everlasting love; white, newness; pink, compassion and affection; orange, energy and desire. So if your sweetie brings nothing but fresh, colorful excitement to your world, give them a rainbow-like bundle of tulips to show them that your love will never grow old or stale.

Bouquet You’ll Love: Tulip Garden

A-DOG-Able Lucky in LoveCarnations

These fragrant little blossoms are the sweetest expression of pure love. The white variety is the symbol of good luck and innocence, and red carnations embody fascination, individuality and affection, making them the ideal gift for the adorable, one-of-a-kind darling who’s stolen your heart and run away with it.

Bouquet You’ll Love: Lucky in Love Continue Reading…

Entertainment

How to Host a Luau Party

January 2, 2013

Tips on Creating the Perfect Hawaiian Luau from Leis to Exotic Cocktails

Luau Themed Party

How to Host a Luau Party

Nothing breaks up the monotony of a long, cold winter like a fun and unexpected “theme” party! When the temperature outside is dropping, why not turn up the heat inside and invite your friends to spend a few hours on the island of Bali Hai. There are so many easy ways to set the mood—from the décor, to the food, and of course, the music!

Hawaiian Luau Décor

Transport your guests to the tropics with bamboo (placemats, shades used as wall panels, platters), tropical/island themed fabric (I prefer swatches of vintage fabrics), tropical scented candles, large tropical leaves like monstera and cordyline, and of course, orchids. Continue Reading…