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Floral Occasions & Holidays

All About Kwanzaa

December 20, 2015

A Kinara Lit for KwanzaaIt’s time to honor family ties, community bonds and African-American culture: Kwanzaa 2015 begins Saturday, December 26, and ends on Friday, January 1!

Kwanzaa History and Traditions

Kwanzaa began back in 1966, when Professor Maulana Karenga of California State University, Long Beach, created the holiday to reconnect African-Americans with their cultural roots and traditions. The word “Kwanzaa” comes from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza,” which translates to “first fruits.” The first harvest has been celebrated in African history since ancient times, beginning with the Egyptians. It has been commemorated as a time to strengthen bonds between people, give thanks for the bountiful earth, honor past generations, commit to self-improvement, and rejoice for family and the many blessings of life. Continue Reading…

Floral Occasions & Holidays

Fun Family Activities for Hanukkah, From Dreidel to DIY Menorahs

December 8, 2015

Jewish Family Celebrating HanukkahHanukkah (חֲנֻכָּה), also known as “The Festival of Lights,” means much more than exchanging Hanukkah gifts and lighting candles eight nights in a row. It’s a celebration that brings families together to share and enjoy age-old customs that have been passed down from one generation to the next. So start some new and exciting traditions with your loved ones this holiday season; try out these fun family activities for Hanukkah!

DIY Menorah

ballet menorah for chanukah
Gather everyone ’round the kitchen table and have each family member create their own menorah out of any supplies you have lying around the house: food (apples are a great option), glass bottles, clay, Play-Doh or paper towel tubes. It’s the perfect opportunity to get your creative juices flowing!

Playing Dreidel

Play a Traditional Game of Dreidel: The traditional game of dreidel is probably one of the most well-known Hanukkah activities to play with the family! There are four Hebrew letters on the dreidel to go along with the game, including “nun,” “gimmel,” “hey” and “shin,” each with a different meaning. Not sure how to play dreidel? NYC’s Temple Emanu-el has a great how to play dreidel article to help you learn and start having some fun!

Dreidel Spinning Contest: Add a “spin” to the traditional dreidel game! As a fun change of pace, hold a contest to see who in the family can whirl a dreidel and make it spin the longest.

Hanukkah Gelt (Chocolate Coin) Scavenger Hunt

What is Hanukkah without the gelt?  Have fun with Hanukkah chocolates! Before your guests arrive, hide those delicious little chocolate coins throughout the house.  After dinner, break everyone up into teams and search for them. Whoever finds the most coins wins a prize, in addition to the chocolate.

Hanukkah Bake-Off

Find some Hanukkah-themed cookie cutters and whip up some yummy holiday desserts with your kids. Put your own personal touch on the cookies by decorating them with blue and white icing and sprinkles.

Make-Your-Own Hanukkah Magnets

Hanukkah magnets not only make the perfect kitchen decorations for the holiday season, but are also fun to make with the family! Set out some wooden craft sticks, children’s paint, glue and glitter, and have your kids make the Star of David by gluing the sticks together and decorating them.  Stick an old magnet behind the star and display the kids’ art on the fridge.  Menorah magnets are another fun option and feel free to be creative with the materials used! Continue Reading…

Floral Occasions & Holidays

Why Christmas Poinsettias Are THE Holiday Flower

December 2, 2015

poinsettia-plant-3187lNothing conjures up images of a traditional Christmas celebration quite like the rich, velvety poinsettia plant. Since these blooms have become so tightly connected with the winter holidays, we bet you didn’t know they’re actually tropical! Here’s how Christmas poinsettias became the ultimate holiday flower.

The History of Poinsettias

The Aztecs once called poinsettias “Cuetlaxochitl,” which meant “mortal flower that perishes and withers like all that is pure,” and used them to dye their clothing and cure illnesses. They believed that red was the color of wholesomeness, so they often included poinsettias in their religious rituals.

The plant wasn’t introduced to America until the 19th century, when U.S. ambassador and botanist Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett traveled toMexicoand discovered it in the Mexican wilderness. He was so enamored with the leafy blossoms that he sent some to his home inSouth Carolina. As time passed, the poinsettia—which was officially named after its American founder—caught on and became a staple of Christmas celebrations in homes all over the country. An official holiday was even created in honor of the wildly popular plant: National Poinsettia Day, which is celebrated on December 12. Continue Reading…

Birthday, Floral Occasions & Holidays, Gifting

November Birthday Gift Ideas for Him and Her

October 26, 2015

november-birthday-gift-ideasThe crunch of freshly fallen leaves under your boots. The scent of warm apple pie wafting from the kitchen. The crisp, invigorating air tingling at your fingertips. What could be better than a gorgeous autumn day? Celebrating November birthdays, of course!

Now that November is just around the bend, it’s time to find the perfect gifts for your loved ones who were born this month. And with nature showing off her true golden colors, you can find inspiration for fall birthday gifts everywhere you turn. When you’re looking for your autumn birthday gifts, think warm, rustic, simple and colorful. To help you with your search, we’ve gathered a list of his-and-her November birthday gift ideas that your beloved will simply fall head over heels for!

November Birth Flower: Chrysanthemum

Pumpkin Patch Mum Plant

The official birth flower for November is the Chrysanthemum, so a lovely autumn arrangement of mums is the perfect way to wish any man or woman a happy birthday this month. The Pumpkin Patch Mum Plant is displayed in a wooden bucket planter and paired with a Pumpkin Spice Yankee Candle, bringing the beauty & scent of the harvest season indoors.

Continue Reading…

DIY Flower Crafts, Floral Occasions & Holidays

Last-Minute Halloween Costume Idea: How to Make a DIY Flower Costume

October 21, 2015

Last Minute Halloween Costume Idea DIY Flower CostumeLooking for a last-minute Halloween costume for you or your kids? Instead of dropping close to $100 at the Halloween warehouse, get inspired by your favorite blooms and make this adorable DIY flower costume instead. It’s fast, fun and cheap: If you don’t already have the supplies lying around your house, you can find them at your local dollar store! Just follow this simple tutorial and you’ll be blossoming in the spotlight at your Halloween party.

Flower Costume Materials Needed

Laundry basket*
Brown wrapping paper
6 long-stemmed flowers
12-foot pet tie-out rope (or regular rope)
Yarn
Adhesive tape
Scissors
Hot glue gun
Thick plastic headband

* You’ll be wearing the basket around your waist, so make sure it’s big enough for you to fit in it Continue Reading…

Floral Occasions & Holidays

What Is Sweetest Day?

October 8, 2015

Fannie May Champagne Celebration StrawberriesMark your calendars: Sweetest Day is on October 17, 2015!

What is Sweetest Day, you ask? It’s the sugary-est holiday of the year, and it’s celebrated on the third Saturday of October.

History of Sweetest Day

It all started back in the ’20s when Herbert Birch Kingston—a simple man who worked for a candy company—decided to spread a little love to the less fortunate who are often overlooked. So, he passed out heaps of candy to the orphans, the ill and the disabled in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Continue Reading…

Fun Flower Facts

How to Say Mom in Different Languages

April 27, 2015

mugable-mom-gift-143164There may be a million different ways to say her name, but there’s only one special mom your heart belongs to. So this Mother’s Day, show her how one-of-a-kind she is: Instead of calling her the usual “Ma” or “Mom,” impress her by saying her name in her native language! Here’s how to say mom in different languages:

  1. Afrikaans: “Moeder” or “Ma
  2. Albanian: “Nene” or “Meme”
  3. Arabic: “Ahm”
  4. Belarusan: “Matka”
  5. Bosnian: “Majka”
  6. Brazilian: “Mae”
  7. Bulgarian: “Majka
  8. Catalan: “Mare”
  9. Croatian: “Mati” or “Majka”
  10. Czech: “Abatyse”
  11. Danish: “Mor”
  12. Dutch: “Moeder” or “Moer”
  13. Estonian: “Ema”
  14. Filipino: “Ina”
  15. Finnish: “Aiti”
  16. French: “Mere” or “Maman”
  17. German: “Mutter”
  18. Greek: “Mana” or “Mitera”
  19. Haitian Creole: “Manman”
  20. Hawaiian: “Makuahine”
  21. Hindi: “Ma” or “Maji”
  22. Hungarian: “Anya” or “Fu”
  23. Icelandic: “Mamma”
  24. Indonesian: “Induk,” “Ibu,” “Biang” or “Nyokap”
  25. Irish: “Mathair”
  26. Italian: “Madre” or “Mamma”
  27. Japanese: “Okaasan” or “Haha”
  28. Latin: “Mater”
  29. Latvian: “Mamma”
  30. Lithuanian: “Motina”
  31. Malay: “Ibu”
  32. Norwegian: “Mamma” or “Mor”
  33. Persian: “Madr” or “Maman”
  34. Polish: “Matka” or “Mama”
  35. Portuguese: “Mae”
  36. Punjabi: “Mai,” “Mataji” or “Pabbo”
  37. Romanian: “Mama” or “Maica”
  38. Russian: “Mama”
  39. Samoan: “Tina”
  40. Serbian: “Majka”
  41. Slovak: “Mama” or “Matka”
  42. Spanish: “Madre,” “Mama” or “Mami”
  43. Swahili: “Mama,” “Mzazi” or “Mzaa”
  44. Swedish: “Mamma,” “Mor” or “Morsa”
  45. Turkish: “Anne,” “Ana” or “Valide”
  46. Ukrainian: “Mati”
  47. Urdu: “Ammee”
  48. Vietnamese: “Me”
  49. Welsh: “Mam”
  50. Yiddish: “Muter”

If you really want to show Mom that she means the world to you, find out how to say “I love you” in 50 different languages too!

In what language will you be telling your mom how extraordinary she is on Mother’s Day?

Floral Occasions & Holidays

How to Care for the Planet on Earth Day

April 14, 2015

Family Holding a Young Green Plant in HandsHappy Earth Day! It’s time to show Mother Nature some love. We have plenty of great ways you can celebrate … and help the environment at the same time! Read on to find out more about how to care for the planet on Earth Day.

Plant Trees Outside; Decorate With Flowers Inside

Flowers and plants aren’t just decorative items for our backyards. They’re like natural air purifiers: Through the process of photosynthesis, they remove toxins from the air we breathe. So to help make the environment a bit greener and cleaner on Earth Day, plant some trees outside with your friends, then buy flowers and plants for your home or office. No room for new plants? Find a local park or organization that needs some help with landscaping and lend them a hand, or make a DIY terrarium for your small living space. Check out the new 1-800-Flowers.com Greenhouse page to find out more about how plants help purify the air.

Make Eco-Friendly Crafts

Teach your kids all about preserving the environment … and have fun doing it! There are tons of great eco-friendly craft ideas out there for your children to enjoy, and most of them can be made with natural or reusable materials you already have at home. Here’s an easy one to try. To help support your neighborhood’s bird population, have your kids cover a pinecone with smooth peanut butter and then roll it in birdseed. Hang up the pinecone outside with a piece of string, and then watch the beautiful birds show up at your doorstep!

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

Commit to living by the three R’s—on Earth Day and every day. Avoid packaged and disposable plastic products, cut down on buying products that you don’t need, and use cloth shopping bags and reusable water thermoses. All of these strategies help you drastically decrease the amount of trash you produce at home and on the go. When you’re all done using your products, make sure to toss any paper, plastic, glass and aluminum items into a recycling bin. But before you throw it away, ask yourself: Can I use this for something else? You’ll be surprised at how many items have multiple uses. Just use your imagination or browse for some ideas on Pinterest to see how you can turn your trash into treasure.

Give to Those in Need

Overwhelmed by the clutter in your home? Instead of filling up your garbage cans, take Earth Day as an opportunity to donate your unwanted and unused belongings to a local charity. You’ll produce less waste, your stuff will be given a second life, your home will be more organized and you’ll be doing a service to the community. Need any more good reasons? Didn’t think so!

Organize a Litter Cleanup Crew

We all have that one neighborhood park, street or highway that could use a thorough cleaning. So on Earth Day, grab some garbage bags and gloves, rally up your neighbors and head out to rid your hometown of litter. Some companies even give cleanup supplies to cleanup groups, and you can schedule a time for the sanitation department to pick up the trash. You’ll make your community a cleaner and safer place to live not only for you, but for the local wildlife too. Continue Reading…

Floral Occasions & Holidays

Creative Easter Egg Hunt Ideas

March 28, 2015

Spice up Your Easter Egg Hunt With These Helpful Tips

Family On Easter Egg Hunt In Daffodil FieldThe hunt is on! This weekend, tracking down those Easter eggs doesn’t have to be a plain old game of hide-and-seek. Check out these creative Easter egg hunt ideas and show your kids a hopping good time!

Use Flower Trails

Mark a starting point in the middle of your yard. Using Easter flowers, create multiple trails on the grass that lead from the starting point to each hidden egg. Each individual trail is made with a specific color flower. To make things even more exciting, make a few “fake” trails that lead the kids away from the eggs, with some clues at the end of the trail explaining how to get back on track. The kids have to follow the flowers to find the eggs, and whoever gets the most eggs wins! The best part is that the kids can collect the flowers as they follow each trail, so they’ll have a basket full of candy and blooms when the game is over.

Go Candy-less

Candy doesn’t have to be the only prize for your Easter egg hunt. Fill those plastic eggs with something a little bit more healthy and fun. Here are some suggestions:

  • Money or loose change
  • Stickers
  • Flower seeds
  • Coupons that can be redeemed for fun activities (like a sleepover)
  • Miniature toys or trinkets, like Squinkies or toy cars
  • Hair accessories, mini nail polish or lip gloss for girls
  • Small magnets
  • Key chains
  • Bouncy balls
  • Plastic animals
  • Silly Putty
  • Costume jewelry
  • Movie tickets
  • Gift certificates

Glow in the Dark

Fill up plastic Easter eggs with glow sticks and hide them around your backyard. Once the sun goes down, you’re ready for a neon-themed Easter party!

Solve the Puzzle

Print out a photo of the grand prize for your Easter egg hunt. Cut out the paper into small puzzle pieces and put each piece into a plastic egg. Have the kids hunt for all the eggs and put the puzzle pieces together to find out what they win.

Get Color-Coordinated

Assign a color to each child, and then have each kid find all of the eggs in their specific color. Hide an equal amount of eggs for each color so everyone gets the same amount of prizes. Everyone’s a winner!

Find the Treasure

Draw a map of your yard and mark your egg hiding spots with an “X.” Have the kids dress up like pirates and use the map to find the hidden booty.
Continue Reading…

Floral Occasions & Holidays

International Women’s Day Celebrations Around the World

February 23, 2015

Every year on March 8, one holiday takes the phrase “girl power” to a whole new—and global—level. It’s called International Women’s Day (or IWD), and it applauds the achievements of women all over the world. The holiday was born in 1911 when women in Germany, Austria, Denmark and Switzerland rallied together in support of women’s rights. It wasn’t until 1975, when the United Nations began sponsoring the event, that International Women’s Day started to gain recognition. Now, the day is officially observed in 27 countries across the globe. International Women’s Day to Honor Women Continue Reading…