DIY Mother’s Day Craft: How to Make a Floral Hot Air Balloon for Mom

Pink and Orange Hot Air Balloon Place SettingMom does so much for the family throughout the year: No matter how long her to-do list is, you know you can always count on her for anything. Because she means so much, let her sit back and enjoy herself on Mother’s Day, and show her how appreciated she is. Treating your mom to a nice brunch is the best way to make her feel like a queen bee: Since you?ve already taken care of everything, Mom doesn?t have to lift a finger. To make her day even more special, pick a fun and truly original theme for your luncheon: hot air balloons!

This beautiful hot air balloon arrangement adds a whimsical take-me-away touch to any Mother?s Day table setting. As soon as she sits down, Mom will feel like she?s floating among the clouds without a care in the world! This Mother’s Day craft is really simple to make, so you can make a big, loving statement with minimal effort. Here?s how to make a floral hot air balloon for Mom on Mother?s Day! Read more »

Create Fun and Simple Easter Decorations

Easter Tree with Egg Ornaments
You can create simple Easter decorations that are simply beautiful and inexpensive by using seasonal flowers and re-purposing hard goods that you already have around your house or from other holidays.

Easter Tree

Easter Egg Tree
Making simple Easter decorations couldn’t be easier! Take out your tabletop faux ?Charlie Brown? holiday tree and dress it up with Easter egg ornaments and fresh flowers. For this arrangement, I placed floral foam around the base of the tree and created a burst of spring with hydrangea and statice. I then used floral adhesive to attach individual blooms of lavender stock to the hydrangea florets. I did the same thing with little clusters of baby?s breath. Bring a little bit of the color and texture of the fresh flowers up into the tree in the same way or attach with small pieces of craft wire. I included petite sprigs of solidaster into the tree branches for its sunshine yellow color. All of these flowers will air dry nicely, so you will be able to enjoy your Easter tree for a few weeks.

Blue And Green Floral Cornucopia

Spring Cornucopia

Who says a cornucopia is only an autumn decoration. I love the beautiful blue color of this vintage ceramic cornucopia. To make it a truly spectacular vision, all you need are a few stems of coordinating blue/green hydrangea. First, place a piece of wet floral foam in the cornucopia and insert the hydrangea stems into the foam. The foam will keep the hydrangea fresh for about a week ? you can add water to the base and sprits the flowers with water to help them stay fresh longer. After about a week or so, let the hydrangea air dry and enjoy for a few more weeks.

You can also incorporate some decorative Easter eggs and seasonal fruits and veggies into the design. Just use your imagination!

Easter Still Life

How sweet is this Easter display! And it?s easy too. To create the hydrangea eggs start with a faux egg (plastic, wood, ceramic) and spray it with craft adhesive. Snip individual florets from a hydrangea and attach to the egg. This project hardly uses any flowers ? you can make it with florets snipped from hydrangea that you have used in another project such as the cornucopia!

Easter Flowers in Egg Holders

Egg Cup Place Setting

I believe you can make a big difference with little details. Use an egg cup filled with sprigs of fresh flowers to decorate each guest?s plate instead of or in addition to a traditional centerpiece. This is especially sweet for an Easter brunch.

Yellow and Blue Flowers in an Easter Egg Cup

Festive Fall & Thanksgiving Table Settings

Creating a decorative detail on each dinner plate is an easy and inexpensive way to add a personal touch to your Thanksgiving table. While you don?t necessarily need to add a place card, it is a nice touch to create a more formal sit down meal for you and your guests. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices going.

Savory Succulent Table Setting

Succulents are on trend right now in gardens, home décor and even for weddings. You can enjoy these luscious plants either potted succulents or as fresh cuts. The plant is so easy to care for and the cut version lasts for weeks!
Elegant name cards for fall table settings with succulents!

Read more »

How to Make Halloween Centerpieces

Halloween is arguably the most DIY friendly holiday. Between costumes for kids and adults, décor and spooky-inspired parties, the options are endless!

 

DIY Halloween Candy Vase

Halloween M&M Arrangement
Personally, I love the purple, lime green, orange and black combination for the holiday, so when I saw Halloween M&M?s in the store, I immediately bought a few bags. Just another reason to buy candy!

To create this look, I used a nested vase, which allows the filler to rest between the walls of two containers. You can make your own by putting a narrow vase or glass inside of another large glass container. Ideally, you would want both glasses to be the same height, but if not, the inside glass can be slightly shorter than the outer one. For the floral, I used shamrock spider mums and purple statice. Not only do they look great, but both flowers are hardy and will last about two weeks.

Read more »

Make Your Own Spooky Spider Tree Halloween Centerpiece

Here?s a ?spider tree? that is very simple to make and will look great in a picture window, on a table in the foyer or as a centerpiece for a Halloween party. Begin making your own spooky spider tree Halloween centerpiece by starting with a store bought tree made from papier-mâché and pipe cleaners. Then I just glued black feathers, green millet and green spider mums to the pipe cleaner branches. I used a floral adhesive for the spider mums and it looked great, without water, for over a week!

Spooky Spider Tree Centerpiece

If you want to turn the creepy scary up a notch wrap the entire tree with spider webs. These spider webs are so easy to make and can be put almost anywhere. Just take two small pieces of Styrofoam – just about 3? – 4? in size – and put a dollop of hot glue on one of the pieces. Put the two pieces together and slowly pull apart. You will see the spider strings start to form. Take your arms and go around the tree and press the two pieces of Styrofoam together again and then pull apart and bring your hands back around the tree and meet again in the front. Continue to do this until you are satisfied with the amount of spider webs you have created. To remove the spider webs, just spray with a hair dryer and they will melt away!

Spooky Spider Tree with Cobwebs

DIY Sunflower Crafts for Fall

How to Create Autumn Sunflower CraftsMake Your Own Sunflower Candles, Wreaths & Pencil Case Vases

As we head further into Fall, the colors of the season are reaching their peak. Rich reds, yellows and oranges add beauty to the landscape. Also at their peak are gorgeous golden sunflowers. Their brilliant shades, large blooms and sturdy stems make them the perfect choice for a wide array of floral crafts.

Whether you?re looking to create an elegant tablescape for an upcoming dinner party, the perfect gift to kick off the school year or just looking to add some seasonal décor to your home, here are some of my favorite sunflower DIY projects that are both fun and easy to make. Read more »

Be Happy: Work on Your Own Personal Happiness Project

All Smiles Cookie Gift Box and Gift Basket

I’m still thinking about this whole feeling good and being happy thing. Of course, I immediately think of the power that flowers have on one’s well-being and state of mind, but there are so many little ways and things we can do each day to make a difference. Read more »

Show Your Valentine’s Day Flowers Some TLC

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

How to Host a Luau Party

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. Read more »

Create Your Own Dramatic Candle Centerpiece

Think Fire and Ice

Why purchase a centerpiece when you can create your own dramatic candle centerpiece?  This is a fabulous look for any special occasion during the winter and creating the dramatic effect of fire and ice couldn?t be easier.

Here?s what you need:

  • Double sided tape and/or spray adhesive
  • Glass votive candleholders
  • Plain clear glass beverage glasses
  • Container of stardust glitter

For the raised candle centerpiece, first I sprayed the outside of the votive holders with spray adhesive and then dusted them with stardust glitter. After I sprinkled faux snow on the glass top of a pastry stand and placed the candles in a line down the middle of the stand. For a little more sparkle weave a strand of crystals around the candles. The flickering light of the candles reflects in the crystals ? the look is stunning. It?s so simple, yet so elegant.



Create coordinating vases by placing a band of double-sided tape around a beverage glass and sprinkle the tape with the glitter. Drop a few stems of white tulips in the glass and you?re good to go! Place several of these beautiful vases around the dining or buffet table for maximum impact. When the party is over and you need drinking glasses, simply remove the tape and they?re as good as new!

Sophisticated Soiree

For a look that is clean, elegant and sophisticated, use a single variety white flower such as the tulip, a lot of sparkling clear glass vases and candle holders, and add a couple of chandelier crystals. The result is breathtaking. This is a perfect look for celebrating the start of a brand new year with all its limitless possibilities.

A Meaningful Memento

Since ancient times, evergreens have been a symbol of life, rebirth, and the stamina needed to endure the winter months. Use sprigs of evergreens tied with silver ribbon and a sparkle monogram to create a place card with a message.

Wishing you good health and peace in the New Year – remember that every day is a gift to be cherished!

Great New Year Decor Ideas!

Ring In The New Year With Style!

Whether you are planning an intimate dinner for a few close friends or going all out to ring in the New Year you?ll want to have party décor that will set the mood.  If you are looking for great New Year’s decor ideas, look no further. Two key elements for your New Year’s decor are candles and a bit of sparkle. I?ve included these key elements along with natural elements, such as, evergreens, birch branches, and pinecones to create a few sophisticated styles. It?s not too late to pull a few of these ideas together. Even though these styles look fabulous, they are all very easy to do. Not to mention you probably have most of the elements needed. Add a few fresh flowers and you?re all set!

Icicle Splendor

I absolutely love the way it looks when the bare tree branches of winter become covered with ice. You can easily create that same dramatic look in your home using birch branches and acrylic icicles. First, I filled the cylinder with a strand of clear lights and pinecones, before I inserted the branches, which gives this arrangement even more impact.

New Year?s Wishes

A nice touch for a New Year?s party is to have small cards and a pen set up near a tree. During the night, encourage your guests to write down their wish for the New Year on one of the cards and hang it on the tree. At midnight gather around the tree and make a toast to all of your hopes and wishes for the New Year that lies ahead.

Up next, a few last minute ideas including using chandelier crystals and how to get a lot of sparkle from a little bit of glitter! Think ?fire and ice?.

Orchid Care & Decorating Tips for Different Types of Orchids

Exotic Breeze Dendrobium Orchids from 1800flowers.com In the past few years we?ve seen the popularity of orchids, both potted and cut, skyrocket! It?s now one of the most popular flowers that we carry at 1-800 Flowers. Orchids are simple and pure with an air of sophistication and elegance.  And because of their long shelf life as a cut flower, they?re also a very good value.

 

The dendrobium and the cymbidium orchids are two of the more widely recognized varieties.  Growing in popularity are the Vandas and Mokaras.  Each has its own special qualities and can be displayed and enjoyed in so many different and exciting ways!

DENDROBIUM ORCHIDS

A symbol of wisdom and beauty, the dendrobium is native to Asia, Australia and the Pacific Islands. On the beautiful islands of Hawaii, they?re often used to make leis, which people wear as a symbol of love, friendship, celebration, honor?or as a way to greet visitors.

Making a floral lei from dendrobium orchids is extremely easy and is a wonderful and unexpected way to honor someone for a special achievement or just to let them know how special they are.  Watch my video to see just how easy it is to do.




CYMBIDIUM ORCHIDS

A symbol of strength and nobility.



VANDA ORCHIDS

The Vanda is considered to be the most highly evolved of all orchids and is very highly prized for its showy, fragrant, long-lasting and intensely colorful flowers.                                                 



MOKARA ORCHIDS

The Mokara orchid is a hybrid orchid, a cross between the Arachnis, Ascocentrum and Vanda families.  Like their parents, Mokara orchids come in a variety of vibrant colors.


 

 

How to Make Your Own Homemade Christmas Wreaths

One of my favorite traditions during the Holiday season is taking a day to decorate the house. While it may feel like a chore for some, I have always enjoyed putting a lot of creativity and effort into my décor this time of year.

Personalizing the front door wreath is one of my favorite ways to help set our home apart from others in the neighborhood. Years ago, people would put wreaths on their front door featuring different floral arrangements or crafts to identify their individual families and house?similar to the way we use house numbers today. Once I learned this, I couldn?t wait to create a few different Christmas wreaths for my friends and neighbors!

The wreaths shown below were inspired by each recipient?s hobby, but you could create one for just about anything?a new baby, a friend?s favorite movie or even a family?s heritage.

DIY Christmas Wreath for Knitters
Christmas Wreaths for Knitters

Read more »

Fall Reception Décor Ideas

The personal and the décor flowers should complement each other. I suggest having 3 different centerpieces in varying heights instead of having the same centerpiece on every table. It creates a much better rhythm and flow in the room. Various size tables are also nice if your venue can accommodate it. Here are three fall reception décor ideas that work with the look and feel of the bouquets I have featured so far.

Wreath Centerpiece
I love this fresh flower wreath. Incorporating lots of texture with the pods, berries and kale, make it a feast for the eyes. I particularly like the use of the cut succulent, which is currently one of my current favorite ?flowers? to work with this year. An amber glass cylinder and pillar candle in the center of the wreath adds a warm glow to match the warm glow in your hearts on this special day.

Iron Pedestal
This pedestal is adorned with chandelier crystals, candles and has a very romantic feel to it. The green hanging amaranthus is a nice dramatic touch.

Metal Twig Tree
Branches are extremely popular for weddings and special events right now. In this case, I started with a metal twig tree originally designed to display ornaments. I added a few stem of fresh birch branches to give it some visual movement and a more natural fuller shape. The metal branches provide an excellent base for hanging votive candles on and the cymbidium orchids can be strung on the more delicate birch branches. When the lights are turned down and the candles are lit these trees add a magical touch to the room!

How To Create A DIY Autumn Leaf Table Runner

Fall is here, Thanksgiving is slowly approaching… What is better than an inexpensive, easy and creative autumn leaf table runner to bring the outside beauty of fall, inside your home? Your friends and family will feel as if they are sitting right in your backyard.

Try it out yourself and remember, just have fun with it!

DIY Autumn Leaf Table Runner

Materials Needed:

  • Clear cellophane cut to the size of your table.
  • Fall leaves from outside, or preserved leaves from a craft store.
  • Scissor for any trimming needed.
  • Tack 2000 spray adhesive.
  • Newspaper to cover your work surface.

Create a DIY Autumn Leaf Table Runner in 7 Easy Steps:

  • Start with a piece of clear cellophane cut to size.
  • Gather leaves from outside or buy preserved leaves at a craft store.
  • Cut the leaves off of the branches and trim the stem from the bottom of the leaf. If the leaves are a little wrinkled you can iron them – it looks better if the leaves lay flat.
  • Cover your work surface with newspaper and place your piece of cellophane on top.
  • Have your leaves ready and spray half of the cellophane with Tack 2000 spray adhesive.
  • Simply place the leaves onto the cellophane one at a time, starting at the edge and overlapping the previously placed leaves.
  • Spray the other half of the cellophane with the adhesive and finish adding leaves.

Create A Festive Table Display With Filberts and Mums

Thanksgiving is only a few days away and if you?re still looking for a centerpiece to make your festive table display elegant this season, try using filberts and mums.

I prefer to use multiple smaller floral accents as opposed to one large centerpiece. Using smaller centerpieces will allow you to easily move the arrangements around the table when different courses are brought to the table. These arrangements couldn?t be easier to do!

I chose small square vases and tall cylinder vases. Another idea is to use unique containers or glassware you may have around your house.

Steps:

  • Fill the vases with filberts (hazel nuts)
  • Once the vases are filled with filberts, fill the vessels with water.
  • Top the arrangement off with a single mum – in this case a copper disbud.

I love the monochromatic look and the use of various textures.

Filberts & Mums

Create Festive Floral Place Settings

Creating a decorative detail on each dinner plate is an easy and inexpensive way to add a personal touch to your Thanksgiving table. You don?t necessarily need to add a place card, especially if your family is a ?first at the table gets their choice of seat? type of family! It is a nice touch though. Here are a few ideas to help you create festive floral place settings for your next holiday gathering.

Savory Succulent
This cut succulent looks good enough to eat. Luckily with all of the food you?ll be serving at dinner no one will be tempted to eat it.

Succulent on Plate

Krazy for Kale
This kale is grown to be enjoyed as a cut flower and really makes a statement when placed on a dinner plate. Use one of the leaves as a place card.

Kale Place Setting

The Colors of the Season
Wrap a few sprigs of colorful fall flora and fauna to bring the vibrant colors of the season onto your table. A few leaf shaped cards from craft store (or you can cut them out yourself) are the finishing touch.

Flora, Fauna and Grapes

Zen Style
Create a sense of peace this Thanksgiving with a Zen inspired holiday table. Keep the look clean and simple with minimal elements. Now let?s mediate on all we have to be thankful for!

Zen Table Setting

Thanksgiving at the Shore
Whether you?re having Thanksgiving at your home on the beach or you just wish you were there, create the mood with sand dollar place cards with a single orchid tucked in for a look that?s simple and elegant.

Sand Dollar Place Cards and Orchid

Picture Perfect Place Settings
Give each guest at your table their own floral arrangement with petite colored bottles holding a single flower. For a truly personal touch attach a special note to each bottle telling that person what you are thankful for about them. Add a copy of a photo of them on the front of the note instead of just writing their name. I particularly like the look of photos from the past. It adds a sweet nostalgic feeling that is perfect for Thanksgiving!

Floral Picture Place Setting

Have a Beach Inspired Thanksgiving!

While many of us associate Thanksgiving with crisp cold air, berried branches, turning foliage, and chrysanthemums, not everyone has to go over the river and through the woods to get to grandmother?s house. Some just take a barefoot stroll along the beach, perhaps collecting a few shells along the way. If I were spending the holiday at my house in Florida here is how I would like my table to look.

Beach Inspired Table Settings

Sand Dollar and Orchid Centerpiece

Not only is it coastal inspired, but it is a cleaner, less cluttered and simpler look. This also matches our lifestyle down in Florida which is completely opposite from our hectic, fast-paced life in New York.

Use found objects as well as treasured keepsakes to create the look you want. Keeping the colors soft and using monochromatic single variety flowers will provide a sense of calm.

White Roses in Sea Shell

Write each guest?s name on a sand dollar and tuck a single cymbidium orchid behind it for a chic place setting.

Personalized Sand Dollar and Orchid

Have a beach inspired Thanksgiving!

Sweet M&M Halloween Table Centerpiece

Halloween is a great opportunity to have some creative fun! Make it sweet and simple with this easy M&M Halloween Table Centerpiece craft.
The Crow Ate My M&M's
Here?s a quick centerpiece idea for your Halloween festivities?

I love the purple, lime green, orange and black combination for the holiday, so when I saw Halloween M&M?s in the store, I immediately bought a few bags. Just another reason to buy candy! I developed a nested vase for one of the products in my collection, The Sweet Heart Bouquet, and knew it was the perfect container for this M&M project.

You can make your own by putting a narrow vase or glass inside of another large glass container. Ideally, you would want both glasses to be the same height, but if not, the inside glass can be slightly shorter then the outer one. For the floral, I used shamrock spider mums and purple statice. Both flowers are hardy and will last about two weeks.

Would you believe it, right after I made my arrangement, a crow flew in the window and started eating my M&M?s! I named the crow Russell and told him he could stick around, so look out for him in future images!

If you are running low on time, check out a similar product here from 1-800-FLOWERS.COM.

Make Your Own Fall Wreath

Wreaths can be used in so many different ways to decorate your home and are very easy to make. Here are three options, in three different sizes, using three different bases. Which one are you going to create this Thanksgiving? Maybe you?ll do them all!

Grapevine Chair Wreath
Here?s an unexpected touch for your Thanksgiving table (or chair in this case).

Grapevine Chair Wreath

  • Start with a 5? grapevine wreath, which you can get at any craft store for under a dollar each.
  • Glue a base of autumn leaves, a bit of berries, and assorted foliage such as eucalyptus and magnolia leaves. I used a hot glue gun.
  • Attach a cymbidium orchid with a dab of floral adhesive.
  • Attach the finished wreath to the back of each chair with a beautiful ribbon that coordinates with table linens.

Magnolia Wreath
Magnolia wreaths have always been popular in the South. However, we northerners are being lured by the dark glossy beauty of the two-tone magnolia leaf (the back of each leaf is brown). Making a wreath using just the leaves with a simple ribbon creates a look that is fresh and sophisticated.

Magnolia Wreath

  • Start with a pre-made wire base or create your own using heavy-gauge wire.
  • Cut the magnolia leaves from the branch.
  • Wire small clusters of 3-4 leaves together.
  • Wire the individual bunches of leaves onto the wire wreath form, making sure to overlap them so that their stems don?t show.
  • Spray your wreath with artist?s fixative or hair spray, and hang it on a wall or door.

Fresh Sunflower Wreath
This wreath is made with a floral foam base and is designed entirely with fresh flowers and foliage. The focal flower is a sunflower, which is perfect this time of year with its chocolate brown center and golden yellow petals.

Fresh Sunflower Wreath

A fresh flower wreath makes a beautiful centerpiece with a pillar candle and hurricane lamp in the center. Follow these simple steps to create your own fresh flower wreath.

    • Thoroughly soak the wreath form.
      Rinse Wreath Form
    • Create the initial shape by inserting short stems of foliage into the foam.
    • Add the sunflowers even spaced around the wreath.
    • Fill in the wreath with the other flowers that you have chosen.
    • Fill in any gaps with oak leaves, raffia, and other assorted foliage such as salal leaves or pittisporum.

 

Make a Fun Candy Corn Inspired Centerpiece

From now until the end of the year is a crafters dream. From Halloween through Thanksgiving and right into the holiday season, there are more reasons to decorate and create than any other time of the year. Make a fun candy corn inspired centerpiece and let the creativity begin!

Candy Corn

This ubiquitous Halloween candy was the inspiration for this floral centerpiece. It is made entirely out of carnations with a floral foam base. Since carnations come in so many beautiful colors, including orange and yellow, and are long lasting they were a natural choice for this project.

Candy Corn Centerpiece

Remember to check back on a regular basis, because I will be sharing many ideas for decorating, gifting, and creating with flowers for all of the upcoming seasonal celebrations.

Make Delicious Apple Centerpieces For Any Occasion!

Big Apple Centerpieces

I was recently asked by a New York bride and groom to incorporate apples into the place card display at their Manhattan reception. They had many guests coming in from out of town and wanted to visually welcome them to the Big Apple.

You can easily make delicious apple centerpieces for any occasion! I filled varying size glass cylinders with small lady apples and used large deep red apples as votive candleholders. The look was clean, modern and had that person touch they were looking to include in their special day!

Apples in cyllanders

Vintage Halloween Centerpiece

Vintage Halloween Pumpkin

Give your table a vintage makeover with this vintage Halloween centerpiece.  This original papier-mâché pumpkin from the 1950?s is my favorite Halloween decoration. My mother-in-law gave it to me a few years ago. She finds the best stuff and knows my style to a tee!

With a few cuttings from your fall garden ? here I used dahlias and asclepias ? this old pumpkin becomes the happiest jack in town! While not vintage, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM offers a great alternative here.

Vintage Halloween Centerpiece

Dazzling Dahlias, Flowers of Fall

As I?ve said many times that having flowers in your home or office is just plain good for you. It?s such a simple thing to do and yet makes such a difference. Take advantage of the different floral varieties that are available each season. Dahlias will only be around for a little bit longer, so don?t miss out on them. They are so dramatic and visually interesting and come in an array of extraordinary colors. Don?t fuss – just fill a vessel with warm water, snip the ends of the stems, and drop them in.

Happy Fall!!

Pink Dahlias

Celebrate Love Note Day This September!

Note Ideas For Love Note Day!

The month of September continues to fly by, but I wanted to take a moment and share one of the sweetest holidays I have ever heard of! Love Note Day falls annually on the fourth Friday in September and was created to encourage people to share their feelings for the ones they love with written words.

In honor of this holiday I wanted to share just a few of my favorite love notes:

If thou must love me, let it be for naught except for love’s sake only. - Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Love doesn?t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile. - Franklin P. Jones

Love is a friendship set to music.E. Joseph Cossman

Love Note Pink Rose Bouquet

Have a wonderful weekend!

How to Preserve Flowers with Wax

Create Your Own Wax Flowers

Wax Roses as Centerpiece Around a Candle on purple table clothJust when you thought your Valentine flowers were done here are two more tricks and tips to make the last few blooms more then just a memory. Waxing fresh flowers is a craft that dates back to the Victorian era. It?s quite easy and inexpensive to do. It just takes a little practice, because the most important part is getting the temperature just right for the types of flower that you are waxing. Almost any type of bloom can be waxed so go ahead and experiment.

Wax Flower Materials Needed:
* Fresh flowers
* Paraffin wax
* Double boiler
* Wax or Parchment Paper
* Empty vases or bottles for drying the flowers
Read more »

How to Make Back to School Flowers to Start Their School Year Off Right

mason jar with handpicked garden flowersBack to school flowers can help everyone start the new school year off on the right foot! According to research conducted at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, the presence of flowers triggers happy emotions, heightens feelings of life satisfaction and affects social behavior in a positive manner far beyond what is normally believed. “Flowers bring about positive emotional feelings in those who enter a room,” said Dr. Haviland-Jones. “They make the space more welcoming and create a sharing atmosphere.”

Here are some creative ideas that you and your child can put together the day before school starts. Your child might be a little nervous about the first day of school and spending time with you, putting a floral or plant gift together for the teacher will relax them and get them excited about giving their new teacher such a beautiful gift. Read more »

How to Make Flowers Last Longer

Make a Simple Floral Bouquet Last Up to Three Weeks

It has been scientifically proven that flowers make people feel good. According to behavioral research conducted at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, nature provides us with a simple way to improve emotional health – flowers. The presence of flowers triggers happy emotions, heightens feelings of life satisfaction and affects social behavior in a positive manner far beyond what is normally believed.

By following the simple flower care and handling tips that I have provided, you can get those good feelings to last longer! Read more »

Fall Wedding Flower Ideas, Trends & Themes

There are so many options for flowers and décor for fall weddings that it can be difficult deciding on one theme or direction. Here are just a few fall wedding flower ideas to help you with the perfect autumn combinations to delight and inspire.

Rich Hues and Lots of Texture
Bold Fall Wedding FlowersTap into what?s in season in the world of flora and fauna for bouquets and centerpieces that are unique and visually stunning. Read more »

Caring for Cut Flowers in Five Easy Steps

Care for Cut Flowers In Order to Keep Them Fresh 

Step One: Always use clean vases or containers. Bacteria in the water will shorten the life span of your flowers. Household bleach is an excellent cleaning agent for your floral containers.

Caring for Cut Flowers by Cutting Under Water

Step Two: Have your vase ready before working with the flowers. Fill the container about ¾ full with warm water and floral food (according to packet directions). Of course, I always have extra packets of floral food at my house, because I always have fresh flowers. If you buy flowers from a florist they will give you packets to use at home ? why not ask for a few extra so that you have them on hand too. If you find yourself without a commercially prepared food click here for a version that you can make yourself. Read more »

Homemade Floral Food

How to Make Your Own Food For Flowers

There are 3 ingredients that are helpful when trying to keep your flowers fresh and long-lasting. They are:

  • Sugar – provides nutrition for flowers
  • Citric acid – acts as an acidifier and lowers the ph level of the water
  • Bleach – prevents bacteria growth in the vase

Here are a few do-it-yourself options that I have come across:

  • One part lemon lime soda (7-Up, Sprite) to 3 parts of water
  • Two tablespoons lemon juice, one tablespoon sugar, one quarter teaspoon bleach to one quart of water
  • Two tablespoons of white vinegar and two tablespoons of sugar to one quart of water

How To Create a Love Altar

Dog-able made out of flowers getting married

Did you ever want to tell someone just how much they mean to you and how much joy, comfort, and passion they have brought into your life? Sometimes it?s easier to show someone how much you love them than to try to put it into words. A love altar is a wonderful space for manifesting this desire, passion and adoration. Read more »

How To Host A Wine Tasting Party

Not too long ago, I was asked to put together an elegant wine tasting event. It was such a treat to design a party with the sole purpose of saying ?Thank You? to some of our local 1-800-FLOWERS customers!

I quickly got to work, planning and designing. The results, I must say, were spectacular! The theme naturally took on the feeling of a relaxing, sunny afternoon in Napa Valley. Needless to say I was very happy that I was asked to host a wine tasting party.  Even on short notice, I was able to collect a number of unique pieces that could be repurposed to fit the theme perfectly. Most of the items used throughout the space were pieces I had collected on vacation, received as gifts, or picked up at yard sales.

Wine Tasting Grape Barrel

Many of the materials, like the soda crate and barrel, came from flea markets that I love to frequent throughout New England!

Wine Tasting Crate Platter

In addition to the props and fabrics, food was also used to tie in color and theme. Grapes, for example, made a great accent to the room décor by incorporating them into an arrangement.

Wine Tasting Floral Basket with Grapes

To enhance the vineyard feeling of the evening, I used wine corks as filler in the bottom of a clear vase. Simple, elegant and eco-friendly!

Wine Tasting Cork Filler

One of my favorite elements of the evening were the ?wine corsages? that were created as decorative accents to some of our favorite bottles of wine.

Wine Tasting Wine Corsage

Along the same lines, ceramic baskets were used instead of ice buckets to chill the white wines. Flowers, like roses, carnations and hydrangeas, were arranged to decorate the wine baskets and make them more appealing.

Wine Tasting Wine Cooler Decor

The more fun you have with putting all the elements together, the better it will turn out. I had so much fun putting all the pieces together — I even hired a musician to play for the duration of the party to add warmth and ambiance to the room! Sometimes it?s the smallest detail that completes a party.

Floral Cupcake Party!

Cupcakes, Cupcakes, Cupcakes!

I had such a great time last Friday afternoon at Hotel Giraffe in New York City. I had the opportunity to participate in a ?Cupcake Party? to celebrate the launch of the NEW! Cupcake in Bloom from 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, as well as, the fresh baked and delicious edible cupcakes from Cheryl’s.

1-800-Flowers® Cupcake in Bloom
Cupcake in Bloom
Everything Cupcake! – Birthday
Edible Cupcakes

 

Sometime ago, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM asked me if I would help design a floral cupcake. The Birthday Flower Cake has been such a success for so many years that I knew it was time for the 2.0 version – so to speak. Now that it was time to unveil my cupcake creation, who better to have a cupcake coming out party with, then some of the most diehard cupcake lovers. These cupcake lovers share their passion (or should I say obsession) of cupcakes with us everyday through their blogs. Some of the guests included: Cupcakes Take The Cake, the one and only Milwaukee Cupcake Queen from No One Puts Cupcake in the Corner, Melissa Cohen from MetalSugar and Lisa Lillien from HungryGirl.

There are so many aspects of the ?Cupcake Party? that I would love to share with you, so let?s start with the decorations?

We started off with a theme and the location. What?s better than a chic modern hotel, such as, Hotel Giraffe in New York City? At this event, I worked with a great stylist, Laraine D’Elia. We wanted to keep the look of the party as simple and sophisticated as the room, but of course we wanted to add a touch of sweetness! One of the focal points of the décor was the oversized floral cupcake that I created. Here are some photos of the oversized cupcakes, as well as, other shots of the day.

The View from Hotel Giraffe
Hotel Giraffe Terrace


A Chic Cupcake Party with Oversized Cupcakes
Cupcake Party with Oversized Cupcakes


Oversized Cupcake


Me with the Milwaukee Cupcake Queen
Me with Milwaukee Cupcake Queen


Rachel and Nichelle from Cupcakes Take The Cake with Elisabeth and Lindy from Cheryl & Co.
Rachel, Nichelle, Elisabeth, Lindy


Melissa from MetalSugar and her cupcake tattoo!
Melissa from MetalSugar
I?ll be sharing more details from the party soon. I will give you details on how to make this oversized cupcake and some other great ideas for your next Cupcake Party!

A Mother’s Day Gift Right in Your Backyard

SPOTTED NEW MOM: Dina from Momformation is dedicated to keeping parents informed on all things kids; from tips on parenting, to which shoes are best for your child. A great website for all Moms! Check out her blog.

I think Erin really hit the nail on the head with her choices for great Mother?s Day gifts that she as a new mom would like this year. My suggestion would be to give the lady what she wants – she deserves it! There are so many colorful and fragrant blooms in season right now, so you have lots of options and price points to choose from.

My top flower choices are:

Tulips
Lilies
Hyacinth
Lilac

You might even be lucky enough to have a lilac bush in your own backyard (or your neighbor?s or friend?s)! It probably has just started to bloom. Snip a few branches and put them in a simple container like this old blue Mason jar for a fresh and fragrant breath of spring!

And whether you are giving the new mom a full day of pampering or a gift certificate for a ?mani/pedi? or a facial and massage, don?t forget to include a coupon for free babysitting services to be used during her treatments. Tie them around the vase or bouquet with pretty ribbons and you can?t go wrong! I sure don?t fall into the new mom category, but I?d love this gift myself – hint, hint, guys!!

Beach Themed Wedding Ideas

If you are interested in having a coastal themed wedding, here are a few beach themed wedding ideas that can help you. You can go tropical and colorful or coastal and serene. Here I took the serene path and worked primarily with blues and greens.

Find a floral designer and/or event planner that can be a true partner throughout the process. Talk about your vision and your budget. Show them as many pictures as you can of things that you like. One way for you to make your décor unique and economical is for you to source and buy most of the hard goods (vases, candles, etc.) for the floral designer to use.

Tabletop

Tabletop Beach Decor

Linens can add a real customized feeling to the whole look. If the reception site doesn?t have the choices that you are looking for then I recommend visiting a local large fabric store. That?s where I found this perfect seaside stripe cotton material that I had a friend sew into a table runner.

Next stop was a large discount home goods store that has many options for vases, candles, etc. The retail prices in this type of store are unbelievably low (usually below typical wholesale pricing). The total cost of the 5 containers used for my tablescape is under $20!! I chose green cymbidium orchids for the oversized shell bowls and bear grass for the smaller green containers.

Green Cymbidium Orchids in a Shell Vase

If you prefer to go with more of a Cape Cod/Nantucket coastal vibe then use Nantucket style baskets filled with hydrangea. Lots of candles and randomly placed shells complete the look.

Green Hydrangeas in a Nantucket style basket

Bouquets

For the bridal bouquet I went with white peonies and green cymbidium orchids. Peonies are perfect wedding flowers – they?re lush, romantic, and fragrant. Unfortunately, they have a relatively short growing season so I always try to use them when I can.

The bridesmaid?s bouquets couldn?t be simpler or more beautiful. A few stems of blue/green hydrangea tied with a ribbon and you?re set to go!

Hydrangea Bridal Bouquets

Check back for the details on the Wedding Day Daisies – a fun and modern look for that special day. If you are in NY ? look out for me on the PIX Morning News. I will be talking about wedding day flowers! Can?t wait.

Make The Most Of Your Graduate’s Corsage

Tips on Choosing Your Grads Corsage!

The summer weather is here and that can only mean one thing; graduation time! Whether graduating kindergarten or college, it is a blissful, bittersweet celebration. This is their day to shine, and what is a better way to make the day even more memorable then giving them a one of a kind wrist corsage that will complement their personality and spirit. Here are a few tips on how to make the most of your graduate’s corsage!

  • Flower buds are good choices when creating wrist corsages. Buds are beginning to bloom retain color and scent for a longer period of time
  • Depending on what kind of look you?re going for, for a dramatic look, one large flower such as the Catteiya, is a classic type of orchid available in practically every color except true blue.
  • The more colors in the corsage, the more lively the corsage will look.
  • Durable flowers, besides the regular roses or carnations are orchids, calla lilies and daisies.
  • Gerbera daisies and carnations are the least expensive, and come in a large variety of colors that make them perfect for any occasion.

Hope these tips help make the most of their (or your own) special day!

Our Pet Loving Mom: Wendy from Paw Luxury

Spotted!

I?m so excited to share with you one last mom! Wendy from Paw Luxury is a Pet Loving Mom!

How cute is this super creative floral arrangement? Phil, one of the talented designers at 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, has been revisiting a design style – ?the poodle? – that was very popular in the florist world back in the day. I talked to Phil about Wendy?s blog and asked him to create a unique doggie design with an updated style in her honor.

Playing on the trend of carrying your doggie in your handbag, Phil used the tote from 1-800 FLOWERS.COM Handbag of Blooms bouquet as his base. He then fashioned a sweet little doggie from fresh carnations and nestled him in bed of fresh cut blooms. I think this is absolutely charming and I hope you do too!

Doggie Floral Basket

Q&A with Wendy from Paw Luxury

What is the greatest lesson your mom has taught you?

My mother has taught me the importance of perseverance and faith. Being a single parent of 5 children she taught how not to give up on my faith in Christ in the midst of adversity and to overcome obstacles with courage when life?s roadblocks get in the way.

What?s one lesson you hope to pass on to you children?

Everyday as parents we leave out fingerprints on our kids. When I do become a parent I want my children to have a positive example of healthy and godly marriage and friendships. I want to teach them how to nurture healthy marriage, relationships and friendships through unconditional love, respect and admiration. There is definitely power in the tongue and it is important to speak words of affirmation by choosing words that encourage not discourage. Also, that marriage is about love and commitment, ?till death do us part,? and perseveres in the hard times.

What?s your favorite Mother?s Day memory?

Since I am not a parent yet (only to a dog), my most memorable Mother?s Day memory has to be when I was 13. My siblings and I decided to make my hardworking mom breakfast in bed and had worked a few days on a song we had written about our appreciation for being the best mom ever. Til this day my mom talks about what that meant to her, giving love back is what Mother?s Day is all about.

Check out Wendy?s Paw Luxury Blog or her eco-friendly, organic, natural dog products made in the USA at Pawlux.com! Follow her on twitter @PawLuxury to see why Wendy is today?s Doggie Loving Mom!

Wendy,Our Doggie Loving Mom!

Wendy, Paw Luxury – Pet Loving Mom

Simple Ways To Say I Love You

Show Your Love And Appreciation To Your Special Someone

As summer comes to a close and we look towards the holiday rush, it is easy to get engulfed in the everyday ?routine.? There are many simple ways to say I love you to your loved one. This September do not forget to take time to show your appreciation to the one you love in Celebration of Pleasure Your Mate Month!

According to Chase?s Calendar of Events, Pleasure Your Mate Month is the perfect time to think about the one you love most and what they mean to you. Remember to celebrate them on a regular basis to find new ways to bring happiness together.

Here are a few quick and easy ways to show your love and appreciation to your special someone:

Picture Perfect Place Settings
For simple ways to say I love you, set the mood with a beautiful, simple table setting. For an easy floral arrangement, place a single rose in a petite colored bottle for a splash of elegance and color. For a truly personal touch attach a special note to each bottle telling that person what you appreciate most about them. Add a copy of a photo of you children or even a pet to enhance this truly sentimental gesture.

Elegant Rose Place Setting With Photo Attached

Oysters on the Half Shell
How?s this for a romantic way to serve oysters?! Simply fill a tray with crushed ice and line the sides with red roses ? the flower of love and passion. Cut the stems very short and place them right into the crushed ice and lay the oysters over the ?bed? of ice. A beautiful way to serve these delicious appetizers!

Romantic Rose Oyster Tray

Chocolate Strawberries and Champagne
Enjoy strawberries dipped in rich dark chocolate with a light bubbly glass of champagne ? this is a sweet and sensual way to end the night.

Campagne and Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Fresh Floral Wedding Table Centerpieces

There?s a reason for the saying ?Fresh as a Daisy.” Check out these great fresh floral wedding table centerpieces featureing the gerbera daisy with its wide selection of bold colors and its long green architectural stem adds a modern funky vibe as well. Gerbera daisies look best when used sparingly with no additional foliage both as a bouquet and in an arrangement. I?ve used a vibrant striped ribbon as a band on the stems for this bouquet – perfect for the bride or bridesmaids.

Daisy Bouquet

I love decorating a tabletop with multiples – vases, candles, etc. The look works great on either a round or an oblong table. Choose a modern shape glass vase like the unique fish bowl shaped one I used here. Two or more work best for an oblong table. You can get a nice dramatic look by lining up candles and floral arrangements right down the center of the table. Don?t the orange slice candles look fabulous! And in this case, the oranges were a personal shout out to the groom?s home state of Florida.

Daisys in a Vase

To make these candle arrangements, start with varying size glass cylinder vases. Place a pillar candle in the center. Fill the remaining area in the vase with orange slices and add water. Leave at least the top quarter of the pillar candle exposed for burning.

Orange Sliced Candle

How To Keep Your Valentine Roses Alive For Weeks

If you were the lucky recipient of a beautiful floral arrangement from someone special this Valentine?s Day, you want the flowers to last as long as possible. Learn how to keep your Valentine roses alive for up to two to three weeks with these simple steps:

  • After 2-3 days it is best to change the water and re-cut the flowers for maximum longevity. I recommend removing the entire bouquet from its original vase and placing it in another container while you change the water. Read more »

The Power of Scent and Color!

Both color and scent have emotional components to them. They can help to cheer you up or calm you down. They can trigger a memory or help to bring balance to your life. Here are a few facts about various colors and scents that you might find interesting along with fresh floral examples of each.

COLOR

Yellow Tulip Arrangement in Yellow Vase

YELLOW

  • Yellow wakes up the room like the rising sun and is the feng shui color of sunlight. It is cheerful and uplifting. Yellow always lightens and brightens any space, as well as creates a cozy and welcoming feeling.
  • Any dull, dark room with little sunlight will greatly benefit from yellow. It can help compensate for the lack of light and bring in the gentle warmth of the sun.
  • Color researchers believe the color yellow increases self-esteem and can strengthen the overall well-being.

 
Read more »

The Perfect Irish Supper

This time last year we were celebrating St. Patrick?s Day with a feast of beer, potatoes and a healthy side of? flowers!

I can?t help but smile when I see these festive place settings that are just perfect for a St. Patrick?s themed meal. Mashed potatoes, corned beef and cabbage will all be served at my table this year!

Potato Place setting created with Green Spider Mums for St. Patricks Day Read more »

Host The Perfect Irish Dinner Party

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

A six-pack and a potato please! Whether you are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day or throwing a fun Irish dinner party, I have the perfect touches to make it special.

Of course with a name like McCann-Mulligan I can get away with a joke like that! With that said, here?s a creative twist on two Irish staples ? beer and potatoes:

Beer Mug O? Blooms

This fun floral arrangement makes a great decoration and is a perfect gift to send to anyone on St. Patrick?s Day ? after all everyone is Irish on March 17th! The beer is actually acrylic crystal nuggets and the beer foam is white floral foam.

If you don?t have the time to make a Beer Mug O?Blooms at home, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM has a version of their own. Check it out here!

Mug O Beer

Irish Potato Appetizers

Salmon, another traditional Irish food, brings these potato appetizers up a notch. They?re very easy to make, look pretty, and you don?t need two hands to enjoy them which means you can hold onto your beer!

Potato Apps

Directions:

  1. Coat small red potatoes with olive oil and sea salt.
  2. Roast in oven until fork tender (about 45 min).
  3. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
  4. Cut a small cross in the top of each potato and press sides to open.
  5. Put a dollop of sour cream in each potato.
  6. Top with a slice of smoked salmon.
  7. Garnish fresh a fresh herb such as rosemary.

Where?s the (Corned) Beef?

Probably the most popular meal to serve on St. Patrick?s Day is corned beef and cabbage. Think outside the box (or pot in this case). Leave out the corned beef and create a unique centerpiece with the cabbage, potatoes, and fresh cut Bells of Ireland. To create the ?cabbage? vase simply remove a few outer leaves from a head of cabbage and place around a short beverage glass.

Cabbage and Potatoes

This Spud?s for You!

OK, one final creative use of a potato! Scope out the center of a large baking potato and fill with 2-3 stems of green spider mums. Insert a nametag and place on each guest?s dinner plate.

Potato Place Setting

Remember what I always say, – ?Just have fun with it? – and you can?t go wrong!

Erin Go Bragh!

Prepare A Traditional Irish Breakfast

Top of The Mornin?

Tea & Scones

March 17th is a grand day and what better way to start the day than with a traditional irish breakfast of a plate of hot homemade scones and a cup of irish tea?  In this case, the tea is a bouquet of fresh ?green tea? roses. However, the scones are piping hot and ready to eat.

Tea and Scones

Here?s a traditional raisin scone recipe that you might want to try. Let me know how they turn out!

Scones

 

Traditional Irish Raisin Scone Recipe

Ingredients:

1 lb. flour

¼ pint of buttermilk

1-cup raisins

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1 teaspoon of baking powder

2 tablespoons of sugar

2 oz of Irish butter

Directions:

Sift the flour, baking soda and powder into a bowl. Rub in butter. Add in the sugar and raisins. Stir with a wooden spoon. Make a well in the mix and work in the buttermilk. Turn on to a floured board and knead briefly. With a wooden rolling pin, roll out the mixture till it is one inch thick. Use a cookie cutter, or an upside-down plastic tumbler, to cut out the scones from the dough. Glaze with a beaten egg. Bake in a hot oven (425°F) for 15 minutes.

Tricolour – The National Flag of Ireland

I?m embarrassed to admit that I never knew the meaning and lasting relevance of the Irish flag. I?ve held it high on many occasions without even knowing what the three colors represented. In case there are any others of you like me, let me take this opportunity to share my newfound knowledge, as well as, my floral tribute to this piece of Irish hope and pride.

The three equal stripes illustrate the Irish political landscape, as accurately today as in 1848, the year the flag was first unfurled.

  • Orange ? standing for Irish Protestants
  • Green ? signifying Irish Catholics and the republican cause
  • White ? representing the hope for peace between them

Irish Flag

The Wearin? of the Green!

Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn in celebration of St. Patrick?s Day as early as the 17th century. Keep the tradition alive by having green carnations available for your guests to pin on when they arrive at your St. Patrick?s Day celebration. Fill an interesting and appropriately themed container, such as the old Bailey?s tin that I used here, with green carnations that are cut short and ready to be adorned with a ribbon or pinned on a lapel. The carnations I?ve used are a natural green variety called Prado. It is one of my favorite flowers, because of its beautiful pale green color and its availability year round.

If you really want to impress your special Irish lad or lass, look into their eyes as you pin on their carnation and say “Tá tú go h-álainn” (You’re beautiful).

Irish Baily Bouts

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling!

Your guest?s eyes will surely smile when you serve them a pretty green cocktail in one of these beautiful Waterford goblets available by the pair at 1-800-FLOWERS.COM. This cocktail is called Irish Eyes and is similar to the vodka based White Russian. Crème de menthe adds just a hint of mint and gives the finished drink its light green color. A few of these and you?ll all be singing ?When Irish Eyes Are Smiling? and no one will care what key it is in!

Here?s a special deal! Use promotion code: IRISHEYES to receive 30% off these beautiful goblets.

*This offer expires on April 30, 2010.

Irish Eyes

IRISH EYES COCKTAIL RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz Irish Whisky
  • ¼ oz crème de menthe
  • 2 oz cream

Preparation:

  1. Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Shake well.
  3. Pour into glass

Learn about Shabbat, A Jewish Holiday

Celebrate Shabbat!

Recently, I was told that this Friday, March 5th, the Jewish holiday of Shabbat will be celebrated across America and Canada. For those of you who don’t know what the holiday Shabbat is, take a moment to read the following and learn about Shabbat!

Like any good holiday, Shabbat is generally celebrated with a meal shared with family and friends. Reconnecting with friends and within oneself fulfills the commandment to Remember Shabbat. 1-800-FLOWERS.COM has partnered with Jewish Treats to make this Shabbat Across America extra special. So, this made me do a little research to find out just how flowers play a role in the holiday.

With the help of Jewish Treats, I learned some basic facts when it comes to bringing flowers for a Shabbat celebration.

Bouquets of flowers are certainly thoughtful, but putting those flowers into water during Shabbat can be a problem, as this falls into the m?la?cha (creative work prohibited on Shabbat). As you know, cut flowers will not continue to grow, but they will last longer in water and possibly blossom.

If you intend to bring flowers for your Shabbat hosts, it is very important that they are brought into the home before Shabbat. A flower arrangement may be placed on the table as a centerpiece and even moved about the house, as long as they remain in the same vase of water (and are not placed in a specific location where they might blossom better).

The fact that flowers can be moved distinguishes them from potted plants. A potted plant is already planted and growing. And remember, just as one may not put cut flowers into water on Shabbat, one may not water a potted plant– but what could be the problem with moving it? The answer is sunlight. When a person moves a potted plant on Shabbat, they directly affect the amount of light the plant receives, and, therefore, its ability to grow.

Wow! I can tell you I learned a lot about what to do (or not do) when it comes to flowers during Shabbat. This is very helpful whether you are celebrating the holiday or helping make this holiday special for others.

In honor of this Friday night’s Shabbat Across America and Canada event, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM is offering a 15% discount.

Use Promotion Code: SHABBAT
*Cannot be used on promotion code restricted items

Don?t forget to schedule your arrangement to be delivered Friday afternoon (before Shabbat) to wish someone a special Shabbat Shalom.

For more information, visit Jewish Treats and follow them on twitter @JewishTweets for a chance to win one of eight $40.00 gift cards to 1-800-FLOWERS.COM.

How to Dry Flowers

Create Your Own Dried Flowers

Framed Dry Rose in a White Frame surrounded by beautiful candles

There really isn’t any easier way to preserve flowers then to just let them dry. I think flowers look beautiful when they are dry; they take on such a romantic vintage feel. And while the flowers that your loved one sent you were beautiful, the message that was sent with them is just as beautiful.
Why not frame a few of the flowers that have dried and the sentimental card?
By framing the flowers and card, you are able to get the same good feeling that you had when you first received the gift!

Baby Shower Ideas For “Nesting” Mothers

Bird?s Nest Themed Baby Shower

With so many baby shower ideas out there, my favorite one just had to be a bird nesting themed baby shower. At this point the new mom?s nesting instinct is in over-drive so why not make ?nesting? the theme for her baby shower. I did just that recently for my niece?s shower, but also included pears, as they were a theme from her wedding, which my sister creatively incorporated into the baby shower invitations. And as luck would have it, I found these fabulous pear shaped glass votive candle-holders on clearance at one of my favorite home good stores. Instead of a candle, I filled the pear with a fresh cut rose ?nesting? within a green hydrangea.

Rose and flowers inside glass pear invite

Décor

There are many nest themed home décor and entertaining pieces in the market right now. Think outside the box and incorporate flowers in containers that might originally be intended for other purposes such as this iron and twig dip dish. I think the addition of the faux egg really plays into the baby shower and nesting theme.

Flower and Faux egg nest arrangement

For the buffet table, I placed a fresh flower arrangement inside of a bird cage with birch branches ?growing? through the cage where a motherly little bird built her nest of straw!

Bird in Nest On Cage

Favors

My niece and her husband gave each guest at their wedding a fresh orchid nestled in a ceramic pear vase by ceramist Barbara Eigen with a tag that said ?Julie Anne and Tom – The Perfect Pear?. For her shower, each guest received a miniature pear nestled in a tiny nest with a card that said, ?The Perfect Pair is Nesting?!

Pear Nest Favor

How to Preserve Flowers

Waxed Flowers

Just when you thought your Valentine flowers were done here are two more tricks and tips to make the last few blooms more then just a memory. Waxing fresh flowers is a craft that dates back to the Victorian era. It?s quite easy and inexpensive to do. It just takes a little practice, because the most important part is getting the temperature just right for the types of flower that you are waxing. Almost any type of bloom can be waxed so go ahead and experiment.

What you will need:

  • Fresh flowers
  • Paraffin wax
  • Double boiler
  • Wax or Parchment Paper
  • Empty vases or bottles for drying the flowers

How to:

  • Melt two blocks of paraffin wax in the top of a double boiler. Using a wax or candy thermometer to measure temperature, heat the wax to 150 degrees, and maintain temperature throughout the process.
  • Cut the flower stem to about two inches. Holding the flower by the stem, dip the flower head completely into the wax. Immediately lift it out, allowing excess wax to drip into pot. Let wax harden 30 seconds, then place blossom on its side on a parchment-lined tray to harden completely for about 5 minutes. For large multi-petal flowers such as a fully open rose, I prefer to place it into a bottle so that it can dry while upright.
  • Repeat the dipping process once more, allowing the wax to fully cool and harden between each step. Be sure to handle waxed flowers carefully to avoid cracking them. Use your waxed flowers to make beautiful arrangements or to decorate a basket or a wrapped gift.

Wax Roses

Dried Rose Framed Art

There really isn?t any easier way to preserve flowers then to just let them dry. I think flowers look beautiful when they are dry; they take on such a romantic vintage feel. And while the flowers that your loved one sent you were beautiful, the message that was sent with them is just as beautiful. Why not frame a few of the flowers that have dried and the sentimental card? By framing the flowers and card, you are able to get the same good feeling that you had when you first received the gift!

Framed Dry Rose

Great Ideas For a Romantic Valentine’s Weekend

With the craziness of Valentine?s Day officially over and a holiday weekend quickly approaching, I thought it might be a great time to do a round up of some of my favorite romantic ideas for those of us who may be celebrating their love for each other this long weekend!

Have a lovely Valentine’s weekend, and remember: Valentine?s Day is just one day of the year ? don?t forget about the other 364! Read more »

Setting the Mood with Food, Flowers, and Candles

Set The Mood on Valentine’s Day

Valentine?s Day is all about love and expressing your feelings, so I prefer to keep the event itself low key and comfortable. At the same time the mood should be sensual, encouraging contact and communication. There are a few key elements that definitely help you to create this vibe: flowers, candles, and food that can be eaten (and fed to each other) with your fingers!

long stem red roses in glass  vase

Food and Flowers

The simple act of sharing food has long signified trust and bonding. There are however, certain foods that are know to be natural aphrodisiacs for various reasons. Fruits are said to entice passion with their sweetness and succulence. Oysters have been linked with love and sexuality for thousands of years. ?Aphrodisiac? was born from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, who was said to have been born from the sea, causing many types of seafood to have reputations as aphrodisiacs. According to the website Alternet.org, the top ten aphrodisiac foods are: honey, oysters, garlic, figs, chocolate, basil, bananas, avocado, almonds, and asparagus.

The presentation of the food itself can be the strongest aphrodisiac. Here are a few ideas to help you set the mood this Valentine?s Day. Read more »

An Evening of Love with Robin Thicke

I recently had the honor and pleasure of hosting a Valentine?s event for 1-800 FLOWERS.COM at the Gibson Guitar Showroom in New York City. The event featured a performance by the Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter, Robin Thicke. Robin and I led guests through the essential steps for ?Setting the Mood? for Valentine?s Day. We shared everything from choosing the right bouquet of flowers and divine treats, to creating romantic vignettes, and selecting the perfect love song that would sweep their Valentine off their feet.

During the event, we featured two star bouquets, The Sweetest Love, inspired by Robin?s hit song and one from my collection, True Love.

?The Sweetest Love? is a classic, yet modern, bouquet that is combined with contemporary and trendy packaging. It consists of one dozen red roses, presented in the hand-tied European tradition and accented with hypericum, plumosa and salal. “The Sweetest Love” bouquet has attributes that appeal to all.

My ?True Love? bouquet gives a nod to the ever-growing tattoo trend. A ceramic heart ?tattoo? is tied around a graceful black matte ceramic vase with a silk cord. The design of the bouquet of romantic roses, lisianthus, and orchids follows the graceful lines of the vase. This arrangement speaks to both the soft and the more rebellious side of love!

Take a look at my photo album from the evening and check back for Valentine how-to?s that I shared at this event and other ideas for setting the mood!



Click below to see a video from my evening with Robin Thicke!


Dining in the Garden of Eden

Romantic Dinner Ideas

Isn?t it wonderful that Valentine?s Day is in the middle of the winter? It?s such a great excuse to shut out the rest of the world and create a sanctuary where you and your loved one can reconnect. One of the most romantic ways to do this is by creating an indoor Garden of Eden. While this can be put together at the last minute, the more prepared you are ahead of time the better it will be in the end.
Romantic Picnic Dinner setup for Valentine's Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a list of items that will make for a smooth romantic evening set in your very own Garden of Eden (fig leaves optional).

Important elements:
Picnic basket
Blanket
Oversized pillows
Plants
Flowers
Candles
Champagne or wine
Ice bucket
Glasses
Music
Sensuous finger foods

Read more »

Create Your Own Unique Valentine Love Note

Flowers have a magical way of saying what words sometimes cannot. The words that accompany the flowers can have a power all their own. Those words can be heart wrenching or funny, a simple ?I love you? or something a bit more complex such as those the great Irish writer and poet James Joyce wrote to his wife:

?You are my only love. You have me completely in your power. I know and feel that if I am to write anything fine and noble in the future I shall do so only by listening at the doors of your heart. I would like to go through life side by side with you, telling you more and more until we grew to be one being together until the hour should come for us to die?. Read more »

Super Bowl Party!

Make A Touch Down At Your Super Bowl Party!

A Super Bowl party is not the time to fuss too much with decorations – food, drinks, and of course the game will take precedent for this occasion. However it?s still a theme party and what?s a theme party without themed decorations! Just keep it simple and make it fun. I decided that in honor of the sport I would use only white ?football? mums. White flowers will work with all color schemes, whether you decide to go with the official navy blue and bittersweet orange colors of Super Bowl XLIV or your favorite team colors. Game Day Parties (www.gamedayparties.com) has a great selection of Super Bowl XLIV paper goods, as well as, solid blue and orange so you can mix and match.  These Super Bowl party ideas

DECORATIONS

Bloomin? Football Koozie

These fun little arrangements are so inexpensive and you can put them all around the house, on the buffet, even in the bathroom. The container is an actual can or bottle koozie that I found. I lined the koozie with the bottom half of a disposable water bottle. You can even give one to each guest at the end of the party as a parting gift!

Beer Mug Arrangement

Can you believe that this mug of beer is actually an innovative fresh flower arrangement? You can find this Beer Mug of Blooms at 1-800-FLOWERS.COM. It would be a great, unexpected gift to send to a friend that you are unable to be with on Super Bowl Sunday. Let them know that you are together in spirit!

Did you notice the arrangement in the background using the referee bottle koozie? Fun, simple, inexpensive, and easy – that?s the way I like it!

Super Bowl XLIV Centerpieces

I love the graphics and the colors for this year?s Super Bowl. To create these themed vases, I scanned the image on the napkins that I ordered from Game Day Parties and sized the image accordingly for the glass cubes. For the smaller version with the single football mum, I used double-sided tape and attached the image to the four sides of the cube. With the larger version I had a smaller cube inside the larger one and placed the super bowl image on each side between the two vases.

FOOD

I am trying not to think too much about all of the Super Bowl type food right now. I am trying to eat healthy and in moderation (of course I am – it is still January), but I still love all of the chili cheese dogs, hot wings, nacho type of food that is standard Super Bowl style grub. What I plan to do is make a few of my favorite dishes healthier. For example a quick, easy, and delish dip is:

Chili Cheese Dip

Ingredients:

1 – package of cream cheese softened

1 – can chili

1 – 8 oz. cheddar cheese

Directions:

Spread the cream cheese around the bottom of a baking dish

Top with the chili.

Cover with shredded cheddar cheese.

Microwave for 2 minutes or until cheese is melted

Serve with tortilla chips.

This year I am going to use fat free cream cheese and cheddar cheese, salsa in place of the chili, and baked pita or tortilla chips. There are so many sources for making your traditional Super Bowl food healthier. Websites like Weight Watchers and Hungry Girl, as well as, new books from Bethenny Frankel and Rocco Dispirito are a few to check out.

Football Cake

For a dessert that is as much fun to look at as it is to eat, make a football cake using a football cake pan. To display the cake, I used a Clementine crate. The ends of the crate reminded me of goal posts. I reshaped the scanned image of the Super Bowl XLIV napkins and scaled it to fit the sides of the crate. You can fill the crate with wheat grass or green paper shreds to mimic the football field. And if you wanted to continue with the lower calorie versions of your favorite recipes, you can try a diet soda cake recipe. I?ve never actually tried it myself, but I have heard that it is quite good!

Additional Super Bowl Party Tips:

  • Play CD?s from The Who to get everyone psyched up for the group?s performance during the half time show.
  • Order yourself something football themed, yet feminine to wear to the party. The NFL Shop has a nice selection of clothing, including a few hot items from Touch by Alyssa Milano. You could encourage your friends to order something for themselves and put on your own half-time fashion show!

Arrange Your Own Bouquet With The Perfect Pitcher!

Pitcher Perfect!

Now that you?ve put all of your holiday decorations away doesn?t your home look so plain, empty, and boring? Arrange your own bouquet starting with a simple bunch of fresh flowers! Try it – you?ll be amazed at the difference they make to your home. Pick up a bunch of flowers while you?re out or take a minute and order some online. You deserve it! I?d recommend getting a single variety or a mixed bouquet of loose stems that you can display in one of your own vessels. Make lots of smaller arrangements that you can place all around the house or make just one perfect bouquet that will welcome you home the minute you walk through the door.

One of my favorite vessels to display flowers in is a pitcher. Pitchers are both practical and pleasing to the eye. They are made from many different materials and come in all shapes and sizes. I have lots of different pitchers that I have collected over the years. I?m always pulling one down from the shelf to drop a few stems in and I?m always so pleased with the way they look. Here are a few photos that might inspire you to dust off that old silver pitcher from up in the attic or take the ice tea pitcher from the kitchen cabinet and create your own stylish bouquet!

Silver Pitcher with White Roses

Bronze Pitcher with Peach Roses

Blue Pitcher With Hydrangeas

Green Porcelain Pitcher with Green Roses

European Inspired Pitcher

Clear Pink Pitcher With Pink Roses and Hydrangeas

Simple White Porcelain Pitcher

White Country Pitcher

When choosing flowers to place in your pitcher, I would recommend these three blooms in particular for different reasons (besides being a great value):

Tulips, one of my favorite flowers, are the easiest flower to arrange and they come with their own foliage attached to each flower!

Spray roses have multiple blooms on each stem and come in a wide variety of vibrant rich colors.

Alstromeria also have multi blooms per stem and come in a variety of different colors but the shelf life of a cut alstro makes it a real winner. Alstro will last an average of three weeks as fresh cut flowers!

Give A Personalized Wreath

Inspired by the ancient tradition of featuring a different floral arrangement in front of a home to identify the family and profession of the resident, I created these one of a kind designs. These are the kind of arrangements that I really like to create as gifts. They are so personal and take more thought then anything else. Give a personalized wreath to someone special, they are gifts from the heart. Read more »

Tips and Ideas For Creating Your Own Wreath

Here are a few basic tips and ideas for creating your own wreaths either as a gift to yourself or for a friend.

TRANSFORMED BARGAIN WREATHS

Keep your eyes open for bargains with possibilities. I always check out the clearance section at various stores for items that can easily be transformed with a few fresh flowers or greens. I purchased this grapevine wreath with silk ivy for $5.00. In order to create a simple fresh holiday wreath, all I had to do was add a few sprigs of white pine, pinecones, and a green grosgrain ribbon. You can use almost any variety of evergreens. Simply insert individual sprigs between the grapevine branches and attach the pinecones and ribbon with wire or hot glue.

Pine Wreath

Read more »

Great Holiday Flower Tree Ideas

The Christmas tree market was born in 1851 when Catskill farmer, Mark Carr, hauled two ox sleds of evergreens into New York City and sold them. By 1900, one in five American families had a Christmas tree, and 20 years later, the custom was nearly universal.

No one will have a tree quite likes yours when you create your own version of the Holiday Flower Tree. Here are four great holiday flower tree ideas I created just for you!

Modern Vintage
I found these sweet beaded flowers in an antique shop, and then came across the black & white polka dot vase. I think the finished product has a nice modern vintage feel to it. It also reminds me of Mary Engelbreit! When I was done I thought a bowl of cherries would be a nice prop and I could call this the ?Life is just a Chair of Bowlies? tree!

Red and White Floral Holiday Tree

Nantucket Christmas
With the traditional Nantucket basket as the base and natural decorations of pinecones, pods, and seashells this tree symbolizes the incredible natural rustic beauty of New England.

Read more »

Welcome the Holidays!

Now that we are in December I hardly know where to start. I have so much that I want to share with you, from ideas for decorating your home using what you already have to the hot new colors for Christmas, creative gifting ideas, and even more creative ways to wrap those gifts. One can take just one holiday icon, such as a wreath or a tree, and take it in endless different directions ? it’s all up to you.

I recently did a wreath-decorating workshop for a 50th birthday party that was held at a great new creative space in Rockville Centre, New York called A New Leaf. It turned out to be quite fun. I will post some of the photos and ideas in a few days, so keep an eye out for that. Right now, I am getting ready to host a hands-on holiday tree workshop at the 1-800 Flowers Carle Place retail shop for some of our favorite bloggers. We will be taping this event and will post that within the next week or so. Read more »

“Talking Pumpkins” and a Sweet Treat

You can carve more than just a happy faced Jack-o-Lantern into your pumpkins. Why not use these ubiquitous fall orange squash to spell out a special message? I set this vignette up to congratulate my niece and her then fiancé on their engagement.

Not up to carving your own? Find a great alternative here.

Sweet Treat Indeed

Who says that a floral arrangement should be just a feast for the eyes? This arrangement not only looks great but satisfies your sweet tooth too. I placed a smaller vase inside of a larger vase and filled the space between the two vases with Halloween M&M?s. Another great seasonal candy choice is candy corn. The arrangement features chartreuse speedier mums and purple statice.


Kentucky Derby Party Tips

Run for the Roses!

The Kentucky Derby is a great reason to throw a fabulous party. Here are some tips to help you create the feeling of fun and excitement in the comfort of your own home!

THE CENTERPIECE

Your centerpiece will represent ?The Infield?, which is the flat grassy area inside of the track. The infield is famous for hosting a large Kentucky Derby party. All you need is a tray of wheat grass, which you can get at any florist or floral market. The wheat grass can be placed on a tray or platter and looks great as is. Placing small plastic horses around the rim of the grass would look so cute! Or surround the grass with red roses – after all, The Kentucky Derby is called The Run For The Roses!

PLACE CARD

Extravagant hats are a staple at the Derby. Create sweet little place cards using mini straw hats that you can find at arts and craft stores. Decorate with ribbons and small flowers. Attach a nametag to the brim and you?re all set.

NAPKIN FOLD

The Kentucky Derby is part of The Triple Crown. A series of three races, the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes, that is run annually by a group of thoroughbred horses.

Give every guest at your party their own crown by folding the napkins in the traditional crown fold. Just follow these simple step-by-step directions:

  1. Lay the napkin face down in front of you.
  2. Fold the napkin in half diagonally.
  3. Orient the napkin so the open ends are pointing away from you.
  4. Fold the right-corner up so that the point rests directly on top of the middle-corner. The edge of this new flap should lie on the centerline of the napkin.
  5. Repeat step four on the other side, bringing the left-most corner up to meet the middle-corner, creating a diamond shape.
  6. Fold the bottom of the napkin up about 2/4′s of the way and press this fold down well.
  7. Fold the smaller triangle down so the point rests on the near edge of the napkin. Press.
  8. Curl the left and right sides of the napkin up so they meet in the middle and tuck one into the other.
  9. Stand it up and tug at it where needed to even it up and round it out. If your napkins are too limp then think of starch as napkin Viagra and make them good and stiff.

PARTY FAVOR

Petite floral arrangements made in silver julep cups would be perfect. Use fresh mint as the greenery and arrange with a few red roses. You can use these julep cup arrangements to decorate your table, either placing one at each guest?s place setting, or arranging them as centerpieces. At the end of the party give one to each guest as they leave and thank them for joining in the fun!

Nominate Your Favorite TV Mom!

Mother?s Day is coming soon! To build excitement for Mom?s favorite holiday, we?ve come up with a fun way to get excited and celebrate Mom?s everywhere!

We?ve collaborated with nine fantastic blogging friends who have each submitted their nomination for The Best TV Mom! Click on over to the 1-800-FLOWERS.COM Facebook page, click on the “asked” button in the upper right hand corner of the “quesitons” tab,  to vote for your favorite TV Mom as nominated by these blogs. Which mom do you think is the most iconic Mom ever to grace the television screen?

Here is a sneak peak of the nominated TV moms and which blog to thank for their nominations!

Blog Nomination
She Knows Joyce Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Nicoles Nickels Carol Brady (The Brady Bunch)
Lady and The Blog Elyse Keaton (Family Ties)
Mommy Mandy June Cleaver (Leave it to Beaver)
Mom Start Claire Huxtable (The Cosby Show)
Thrifty and Chic Mom Lucille Bluth (Arrested Development)
Eighty MPH Mom Roseanne Conner (Roseanne)
Outnumbered 3-1 Jane Jetson (The Jetsons)
Married My Sugar Daddy Lois Griffin (Family Guy)

Trending: Spring!

This spring there have been many great new styles for florists to take and interpret into their décor. My favorite trend by far is the vibrant colors and rainbow collections popping up all over!

The best part about this trend is how easy it is to do-it-youself. Simply choose a bright and vibrant color, and incorporate as many different flowers as you can for an instant pop of color.

My prediction for the hottest color this spring? Orange!

WETN Interview – Life is a Celebration!

Check out my interview with WETN where I share decor tips for upcoming events and holidays!

Spotted: Sentimental Mom

Today I?m spotting a Sentimental Mom. Her name is Jennifer and she is from the blog Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.

Jennifer is a girl after my own heart when it comes to her love of flea market finds and creating something beautiful out of found objects!  This enamel pitcher is one of my all time favorite finds. I have had it for over ten years and have used it so many times. I could have paid hundreds of dollars for it, instead of the $25 that I did pay, and still have gotten my monies worth.  It looks great all by itself, but drop in a few stems of seasonal blooms or flowering branches and you have a look that?s priceless.  This bouquet of white peonies flowing from the pitcher would look perfect on Jennifer?s mantel, along with her other all white fabulous finds.

Q&A with Jennifer from Balancing Beauty and Bedlam

What is the greatest lesson your mom has taught you?

My mother quantified the epitome of a servant. Not “servant” as in “wash my clothes, make my bed,” but she demonstrated servant leadership where kindness, generosity and an open heart, open home mentality permeated our family’s legacy. Hospitality was a theme that ran through my childhood and to this day not a month goes by when their doors aren’t open to anyone who needs a place to stay.

What?s one lesson you hope to pass on to your children?

I would be honored if my children would receive the same lessons that my mother taught me. A “Welcoming Home” mentality is what I desire, and I hope that they learn what it means to make home a haven – emotionally, spiritually and physically. Putting others first, while demonstrating servant leadership, are seeds that I hope are slowly being deposited.

What?s your favorite Mother?s Day memory?

Breakfast in bed has traditionally been our Mother’s Day ritual, followed by what ever “mom wants.” A few years ago, my family surprised me by buying everything needed to develop and plant a flower bed I had been wanting to tackle for years, but had never found the time.  Every year, we add more flowers to that bed and it’s such a wonderful tradition.

Check out Jennifer?s blog Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and follow her on Twitter – @beautyandbedlam

Jennifer, Balancing Beauty and Bedlam ? Sentimental Mom

Spotted: Green Thumb Mom

Wow! I?m excited ? I found a Green Thumb Mom. I?ve spotted Jane Marie from the blog Thyme-For-Herbs.

I know that Jane loves herbs, as well as cooking, baking, quilting, and reading.  I found out from her blog that one of her favorite books is ?A Prayer for Owen Meany?.  This book is also a favorite of mine and my daughter Meggie ? as well as the movie based on this John Irving novel ? Simon Birch.

I am sure that making the time to sit quietly and read a good book is very important to Jane and a time that she truly enjoys.  To make that time even more relaxing and rejuvenating for Jane, I have designed this petite herbal nosegay nestled in a terra cotta pot.  While this arrangement is visually pretty its fragrance is what really makes it special.  The scent of the rosemary and lavender will make Jane feel like she is sitting on a veranda in the middle of Provence while she sits and reads her latest favorite book.

Q&A with Jane Marie from Thyme-For-Herbs

What is the greatest lesson your mom has taught you?

My mother taught me what sacrifice is all about when it comes to being a mother. She always put me before her own needs. My parents didn’t have much money, but my mother always found a way to let me do whatever creative thing I wanted. I took 13 years of piano lessons, clarinet lessons, and dance lessons. She was a stay-at-home mom (although we didn’t call it that at the time), but sometimes she would suddenly take on a part-time job. Now I realize that it was so she could pay for new piano music, buy material for a new prom dress, or to help pay for band camp. She rarely bought anything new for herself. I tried to follow in her footsteps in putting my children’s needs before my own

What?s one lesson you hope to pass on to your children?

My children are grown now, and have families of their own. I hope they have learned compassion, and tolerance of others. To date I have not been disappointed. Though they both have completely different personalities, they are equally very caring individuals who will do anything for a friend or person in need.

What?s your favorite Mother?s Day memory?

I remember being about 9 or 10, so it was around 1956. I had some money of my own, I’m not sure where I got it, maybe piggy bank savings. I lived in a city setting and we had some stores within walking distance. I didn’t tell my mother, but I went to the dime store two blocks away. I had my own little purse with me, and I felt so grown up. I bought a teapot that my mother had admired when we there together a few weeks before. I think it cost about twenty cents! She was thrilled with the gift, she used it often, and kept it on the kitchen table for a few years after that. I think that was the day I discovered how much fun it was to give rather than receive

Check out Jane?s blog Thyme-For-Herbs and follow her on Twitter – @pianananna

Jane Marie, Thyme-For-Herbs ? Green Thumb Mom

Spotted: Tomato Soup Arrangement

I?ve spotted another Do-It-All Mom ? Robyn from the blog Robyn?s Online World.

I think Robyn would really like my tomato soup arrangement.  Not only does it speak to the ?foodie? in her, but I also noticed that tomato soup is popular with her and her family. Whether it?s a can of Campbell?s served with grilled cheese sandwiches for a casual and easy Monday night dinner or a made from scratch main event, you can?t go wrong with tomato soup.  My husband makes wonderful soups and has recently come up with a delicious tomato Florentine that?s a big hit in my house.

And even if you didn?t like tomato soup, you couldn?t help, but appreciate this tomato soup inspired bouquet.  Bon appétit’ Robyn!

Q&A with Robyn from Robyn?s Online World

What is the greatest lesson your mom has taught you?

The greatest lesson my mom has taught me is that there is no end to the amount you can learn. The world is endless and we can learn whatever we want!

What?s one lesson you hope to pass on to your children?

I hope to pass along to my son to have compassion for others and to share as much as possible.

What?s your favorite Mother?s Day memory?

I don?t really have a specific Mother?s Day memory that really stands out. It is always a day to spend with family and show our love for each other.

Check out Robyn?s blog Robyn?s Online World and follow her on Twitter – @RobynsWorld

Robyn, Robyn?s Online World ? Do-It-All Mom

Spotted: Traditional Mom – Stefany

I?m so happy to be spotting Stefany from the blog To.Be.Thode.  She is a Traditional Mom.

My inspiration for Stefany?s bouquet, came from this framed photo that I have with the saying ?Home is Where Your Story Begins?.   The bouquet complements the flowers and colors in the window box and I added sprigs of fresh lavender, because the scent is so relaxing.  The rosary beads were originally my grandmother?s and I have carried them everyday since she passed many years ago.  My grandmother took time every single day to be alone and sit quietly and say her novena.  I learned about living your faith from her. I often think about how important it was for her to make that time to be completely in her faith and one with her God, no matter how busy her day may have been.

I am sure that Stefany is teaching her children everyday, by example, from the little ways that she incorporates her faith into the fabric of her life.

Q&A with Stefany from To.Be.Thode

What is the greatest lesson your mom has taught you?

I really have struggled with answering this question.  My mom has taught me so much that the “greatest” lesson is one that I had to really think on.  My mom taught me everything I know about being a mother.  With children aged one to sixteen, her experiences have been invaluable to me as a mom going through things for the first time.  I would say the greatest lesson my mom taught me is to follow my instincts.  She was right about so many things that I disagreed with as a teenager and now I know that she was just following her instincts, instincts that were correct.  Now, as a mom, she has encouraged me to do the same with my own kids and it has helped so much.

What?s one lesson you hope to pass on to your children?

I hope to teach my children to believe in themselves and what they stand for.  As a mother, there are so many times that you have to stand up for what you believe in, with your children and others alike.  I want my kids to always have enough confidence within themselves to speak out when they are treated unjustly, to stand up for themselves and others that are needing it, and to feel the strength behind their voices to know they can make a difference if they try.  I never want my children to feel they can’t change a situation because they aren’t smart or strong enough to do so.  I want them to know that they can do anything they set their minds to.

What?s your favorite Mother?s Day memory?

I can’t say that I have a favorite Mother’s Day memory from being a mother myself.  Last year, my girls made me breakfast of cinnamon rolls and juice.  It was nice to just be recognized that I am a mom and that they care.  I am not sure there has been any other year that I can even remember the day being about Mother’s Day.  Although, I think my favorite Mother’s Day memory isn’t even mine.  In 1983, my little sister was born on Mother’s Day.  I remember seeing all the flowers that the hospital gave the new moms and thinking how special it was to have a baby on that day.  Even at seven years old, I knew that being a mom was a special blessing and should be recognized.
Check out Stefany?s blog To.Be.Thode and follow her on Twitter – @ToBeThode

Stefany, To.Be.Thode ? Traditional Mom

Spotted: Jolly Mom

Today I?m spotting Piera from the blog Jolly Mom.  She is a Traditional Mom.

I love the look and feel of Piera?s website.  It has a fun (or should I say jolly) vibe that?s both vintage and modern at the same time. I think this sweet teacup bouquet has a similar quality to it. And, I bet Piera could easily find a perfect spot to place it in, so that she could enjoy it throughout her busy day.

Mom?s days are so filled with responsibilities that we all have to remember to take the time to stop and smell the roses!

Q&A with Piera from Jolly Mom

What is the greatest lesson your mom has taught you?

My mother taught me to be independent and to think for myself – to find happiness within myself. Above all, my mother taught me about love, family, and friendship. She is one of my greatest supporters and my best friend.

What?s one lesson you hope to pass on to your children?

I hope to teach my kids that true success comes from love and living life to the fullest–not money and superficial things.

What?s your favorite Mother?s Day memory?

My favorite Mother’s Day was actually before I was truly a mom. I was 7 months pregnant with Lucas {my now 2 year old} and on Mother’s Day, Mike {my husband} surprised me with a bouquet of flowers, a children’s book, and a beautiful card written as if it was from our unborn son. It was totally unexpected and so sweet! Needless to say, I cried and cried!

Check out Piera?s blog Jolly Mom and follow her on Twitter – @JollyMom

Piera, Jolly Mom ? Traditional Mom

Spotted: Diane ? Green Thumb Mom

I?ve spotted a Green Thumb Mom ? Diane from DK Mommy Spot.

The first sentence in ?About dkM? states that Diane is a work-at-home mom who is fascinated with herbs, natural remedies, and healthy cooking.  What better floral bouquet to honor Diane this Mother?s Day than this creation made entirely of fresh cut herbs, nestled in a farm fresh country crock and decorated with a simple wooden spoon?  I love the natural beauty of this bouquet. The incredible fragrance of the lavender, rosemary, and spearmint is relaxing and yet invigorating at the same time.  Diane could simply enjoy this bouquet as is or she could keep it close at hand in her kitchen and break off a sprig of this or a snip of that to use while cooking meals or creating at home natural healing remedies.

Q&A with Diane from DK Mommy Spot

What is the greatest lesson your mom has taught you?

Stand true to yourself.  Sometimes our decisions are less than popular, and it doesn’t matter what the world thinks of you as long as you make the right choice.  Hold your head high and ignore dissenting comments.  They don’t even deserve retort.

What?s one lesson you hope to pass on to your children?

More than anything, I want my son to be able to think for himself and make his own decisions according to his conscience.  I guess that ties in with standing true to yourself, doesn’t it?  If he follows what he really believes to be right, he may not be popular, but he’ll be able to live knowing he’s doing the right thing.

What?s your favorite Mother?s Day memory?

Well!  This one is odd and doesn’t start out that good.  I once bought my mother one of those reclining lawn chairs that fold up for Mother’s Day.  While carrying it through the store, it popped open like it was alive and hit a guy on the knee.  He seized the opportunity and jumped and hollered – I mean loud – claiming he was going to sue the store.  He limped, carried on, insisted on seeing the manager.  He shouted dramatically and made a very embarrassing scene, and I had to sit there and wait for the proper authorities to arrive while all the shoppers stared at the horrid 20-year-old who apparently beat a guy twice her age with a lawn chair.  Right in the middle of his “show”, he suddenly stopped limping, paused a second, and said, “Naw, I’m fine,” and walked away.  Just like that!  It was like a switch was flipped – thank goodness – and I got to go home with the abusive chair.  My mom loved the chair, it never attacked her, and we all enjoyed a great laugh!  Told you it was a weird Mother’s Day memory!

Check out Diane?s blog DK Mommy Spot and follow her on Twitter – @dkmommy

Diane, DK Mommy Spot ? Green Thumb Mom

Spotted: Traditional Mom – Linda

Here?s to today?s spotted mom Linda Sellers from the blog LindaSellers.com. I?m spotting Linda as a Traditional Mom.

I love the way that Linda thinks!  She really knows about branding and has such a head for business.  She takes it all and wraps it in humor and creativity while taking us all along for the ride.  I am sure that her teens have learned many life lessons from watching Linda do her thing.

I added a spoonful of humor to this tea cup arrangement by making it with a ?tea bag? from the Linda Sellers Tea Collection!

Q&A with Linda Sellers from LindaSellers.com

What is the greatest lesson your mom has taught you?

My mom, Jeanne, taught me independence.  It was her drive and passion that instilled in me the ability to take on the changes life threw at me and make my own way in the world.  She also taught me compassion, as she was a social worker for years, and helped many get back on their feet.  She was my hero.

What?s one lesson you hope to pass on to your children?

If I can pass on that independence, I know my kids will do well in life. I feel it’s critical that they follow their dreams, become what they want to be, and I am here to support them in any way I can and guide them to their chosen paths.

What?s your favorite Mother?s Day memory?

The rule in our house was the best Mother’s Day gift was no kids fighting for the day!  Didn’t happen often, but I do cherish the days it worked!  I think the Mother’s Day I treasure most was shortly after my mom had passed away. I had asked for a certain flowering bush that was in my yard as a child.  Well, the family couldn’t figure out which one it was at the garden store, and bought 2 that were “educated guesses”, just to make sure they got one of them right!  They are lovely this time of year adorning either side of our sidewalk as a daily reminder of how wonderful it is to be their Mom.

Check out Linda?s blog LindaSellers.com and follow her on Twitter – @shortpumppreppy

Linda Sellers, LindaSellers.com ? Traditional Mom

Spotted: Sentimental Mom – Felicia

Today?s spotted mom is Felicia Carter from the blog, Go Graham Go. Felicia is a Sentimental Mom.

I know that Felicia will get a kick out of this Instructional Baby Bouquet of pretty white gerbera daisies. I found a really funny book called Safe Baby Handling Tips by Kelly & David Sopp.  Each page is like a graphic international do and don?t sign for the correct way to feed, lift, calm, etc. a new baby.  I decorated a clear glass vase with a page from the book and scrapbooking materials that I picked up a local craft store.  The innocence and simple beauty of the daisies makes them the perfect compliment to this instructional vase.  This is a great idea for baby shower centerpieces too!

Q&A with Felicia Carter from Go Graham Go

What is the greatest lesson your mom has taught you?

My mother was wonderful about making sure I was the best person I could be.  No matter what it was that I did or accomplished, I knew that as long as I did it to the best of my ability that it was going to be great!

What?s one lesson you hope to pass on to your children?

I hope that my children can learn to respect everyone, including themselves.  I want them to value their own unique selves and strive to do the best they can in every situation.

What?s your favorite Mother?s Day memory?

My favorite Mother’s Day memory was my first Mother’s Day.  It also happened to be Graham’s first day at church (he was a month old).  Because God is such a strong foundation in my life, it was a wonderful way to celebrate my first Mother’s Day!  When we came home we planted a flower garden that still blooms every spring and reminds me of the gift that God has given me.

Check out Felicia?s blog Go Graham Go and follow her on Twitter – @gograhamgo

Felicia Carter, Go Graham Go ? Sentimental Mom

Spotted: Children’s Book Floral Container

I?m excited to be spotting Dee from the blog Two of a Kind, Working on a Full House. Dee is a Traditional Mom.

Dee is all about her children and what is best for them.  I am sure that reading to her children is a special time for her and that she would encourage all parents to make this a priority.  Coming from the world of retail, Dee knows the power of merchandising to communicate a message.  This Poky Little Puppy container holds a vibrant mix of garden blooms that would look perfect in a home that values the beauty of nature, the importance of books, and the love of children.

I made the container by scanning an old copy of the classic Golden Book, The Poky Little Puppy, and sizing it to fit the container I was using ? in this case a square vase.  I also scanned the side of the book and repeated that image a number of times to make it look like the flowers were arranged in the middle of a stack of books.  You could also scan a few different book covers and put them on each side of your vase/container.

Q&A with Dee from Two of a Kind, Working on a Full House

What is the greatest lesson your mom has taught you?

To be nice to everyone.  To give whatever you can to the less fortunate and to do/say things to make other people feel good.

What?s one lesson you hope to pass on to your children?

I want them to live life to the fullest.  To reach for the stars and know that they always have my love and support.

What?s your favorite Mother?s Day memory?

I would for sure say it was my first Mother’s Day.  I got all teary eyed just thinking of what it meant to really be a mother and how it felt to love someone else that much.

Check out Dee?s blog Two of a Kind, Working on a Full House and follow her on Twitter – @twoofakind

Dee, Two of a Kind, Working on a Full House ? Traditional Mom

We Interrupt Spotting…

I realized that I didn?t get a chance to show my lovely creation for Christine Young our latest Do-It-All Mom from the blog From Dates to Diapers.

In reading Christine?s ?Top Ten Random Things You May Not Know About Me,? I learned that she loves the water (but has an intense fear of drowning)!  I think that this coastal inspired Nantucket basket with the beautiful blue and green hydrangea would be a perfect arrangement for Christine.

You can almost feel the ocean?s breezes and hear the waves lapping at the shore ? with absolutely no risk of accidental drowning!  Christine is a mother of six children that she home schools on top of it. I know that Christine would truly appreciate having this type of floral arrangement in her home.  It?s the type of beautiful visual that just naturally makes you stop, take a deep breath, and take a minute to appreciate all that you have.

Spotted: Recycled Can Vases

Here?s to another week of spotting moms! I truly love this countdown to Mother?s Day.

Today?s spotted Mom is Dana Adams, from the blog Mrs. Moneysaver. I know that Dana would appreciate this stunning bouquet nestled in an old tomato can.  I think that it would speak to her frugality in a way that highlights the beauty of recycling and reusing.  A motto of mine is ?If it can hold water, it can hold flowers.?  Once you start thinking outside of the box, you?ll soon realize that you can create beautiful arrangements for yourself or as gifts and never have to buy a vase!  Getting creative with the containers that you choose to put your flowers in makes the arrangement all that more personal.  The next time you make chicken soup for your ?under the weather,? child rinse out the soup can and drop in a few stems of flowers.  Place the arrangement on a tray with the bowl of soup.  Your little one will feel better even before their first spoonful of soup!

Q&A with Dana Adams  from Mrs. Moneysaver

What is the greatest lesson your mom has taught you?

For a number of years, my mom has struggled with various health issues stemming from a serious car accident.  In the face of these trials, my mom has shown such perseverance.  Seeing my mom fight her way through life?s toughest moments has taught me the value of perseverance.

What?s one lesson you hope to pass on to your children?

One lesson, among many, that I hope to pass on to my children is the importance of giving of both time and money.  It?s so easy and natural to go about our daily routines without thinking of the needs of others, so generosity is a habit of the heart that needs to be encouraged from a young age.

What?s your favorite Mother?s Day memory?

I have to say my favorite Mother?s Day memory is probably the first Mother?s Day after my oldest child was born.  Though we didn?t do anything particularly special that day, it was a special time to reflect on and soak in the role of being a mom.

Check out Dana?s blog Mrs. Moneysaver and follow her on Twitter – @MrsMoneysaver

Dana Adams, Mrs. Moneysaver ? Traditional Mom

Spotted: Do-It-All Mom

Today?s spotted Mom is Christine Young, from the blog From Dates to Diapers. Christine is beyond a Do-It-All Mom ? she is one busy mama with six children. Spending most of her days as a mom homeschooling her crew and then building a wonderful blog ? I?m sure life is never dull.

Read below to find out exactly what inspires her as a Mom.

Q&A with Christine Young  from the blog From Dates to Diapers

What is the greatest lesson your mom has taught you?

I am the oldest of five and learned many things from my selfless Mother. The greatest lesson, however, was to rely on God for strength throughout the day. It is through Him that I gain the peace and patience I need to teach and train my gaggle of children in the way that they should go.

What?s one lesson you hope to pass on to your children?

I hope to pass on to my children how important it is to never give up. Though we face trials and tribulations in this world, we must persevere and follow our dreams.

What?s your favorite Mother?s Day memory?

My only daughter was born on Mother’s Day almost 8 years ago. That day my favorite Mother’s Day memory was created!

Check out Christine?s blog From Dates to Diapers and follow her on Twitter – @youngmommy

Christine Young, From Dates to Diapers ? Do-It-All Mom

Spotted: Red Carpet Mom

Today?s spotted Mom is Audrey McClelland from the blog Mom Generations. In honor of Audrey, a woman who has gone from the world of high fashion in New York City, to raising four boys in Rhode Island, I present my version of a vintage handbag.

I hope that this floral handbag will speak to Audrey?s sense of style and her two worlds ? family and fashion. The handbag relates to the world of fashion and the pink roses symbolize the perfect happiness she has in her life now. What better way to play dress up?

Q&A with Audrey McClelland from Mom Generations

What is the greatest lesson your mom has taught you?

The greatest lesson my mother ever taught me was to always believe in my dreams. Throughout my childhood, my mother used to always tell me to imagine what I want to be…and go after it.  She taught me never to question my dreams, believe in them and go after them.  That advice has always lived within me, every single day.  As a student, as an athlete and as a mother, I’ve kept this lesson in my mind. I’m teaching my own children the same lesson.

What?s one lesson you hope to pass on to your children?

I hope to pass on to my children the beauty of believing in their dreams.  Children are so amazing… they want to be anything and everything.  My oldest son (I have 4 of them), he’s 5… he wants to be (and I quote) “a cooker” someday.  I love that he wants to be something, that he tells people and actually invents recipes.  I love to foster this in him and watch him get excited about it.  It’s a beautiful thing to see.

What?s your favorite Mother?s Day memory?

My favorite Mother’s Day memory is from last year.  It was the first time I wasn’t pregnant or trying to get pregnant.  I was with my 4 sons, and we just had a “nothing” day.  We didn’t have any set plans.  I loved that day and have the most beautiful memories of it, because it was the first time I felt true and utter contentment.  I felt blessed and very, very lucky to have all my guys!

Check out Audrey?s blog Mom Generations and follow her on Twitter -  @AudreyMcClellan!

Audrey McClellan from Mom Generations ? Red Carpet Mom

The 2010 Spot a Mom Movement Begins!!

The 1-800-FLOWERS.COM Spot a Mom Campaign was so successful last year that we decided to host it again. I can?t believe a year has passed, but I am so excited to be ?spotting? well deserved Mommy bloggers again this year!

My first ?spotted? Mommy Blogger is Louise Bishop from MomStart. Louise truly is a ?Do-It-All? Mom. She describes herself as ?mother of two, wife, money saver, business woman, teacher/educator, house accountant, maid, nanny and author all wrapped up into one.? Not only is she doing all of that, but she is using her blog to help others. Louise is a mom to recognize!

For Louise, our Do-It-All Mom, I created a bouquet that is as spirited and vibrant as she is, and nestled it in a galvanized old fashioned tool box.  In the spirit of Rosie the Riveter and the “can do” attitude, this arrangement describes moms like Louise. They inspire their children to get things done, to do whatever it takes to make a change and to make their lives better or to make the world a better place for everyone.  Here’s to you Do-It-All Moms – keep encouraging and inspiring everyday!

This year I thought I would feature a Q&A with each of my spotted moms ? I really wanted to learn about the lessons their Mom taught them.

Q&A with Louise Bishop from MomStart

What is the greatest lesson your mom has taught you?

The greatest lesson that my mother taught me would be, if you are unhappy with the way something is then do something about it. In high school I would complain to my mother about, my weight, the boys at school, my friends, or whatever I felt like complaining about. I think she was tired of me complaining and finally told me, do something then. This statement still rings true today.

 What?s one lesson you hope to pass on to your children?

I hope to teach my children to have strength and confidence in themselves. I want my children to be brave and face their fears and believe in their decisions.

 What?s your favorite Mother?s Day memory?

My favorite Mother?s Day memory was in 2006 it was right after my birthday and I just found out that I was pregnant. We were having trouble getting pregnant and had started seeing a fertility specialist and after the very first test/procedure I became a mother. It was the most exciting feeling I have ever experienced, well, until I held my child for the first time. That was even better.

Check out Louise?s blog MomStart and follow her on Twitter – @MomStart!

 

Louise Bishop from MomStart ? Do-It-All Mom

Chinese New Year – 2010 the Year of the Tiger

Celebrate Chinese New Year!

The Chinese New Year begins on the first day of the New Moon. This year, the year of the tiger, the Chinese New Year falls on February 14th – Valentine?s Day! So even if you?re not in a ?love relationship? you?ll have a reason to celebrate and host a party that weekend. There are some traditional Chinese customs, foods, and colors that can inspire you and point you in the right direction. Don?t be afraid to have some fun with it and use your imagination. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Decorations

The Chinese are fascinated by the color red, not only because of its intoxicating vibrancy, but also because of its rich meaning in Chinese culture and history. According to Chinese customs, red is the color of the soul of the nation. The color red signifies reunion, health, happiness, harmony, peace and prosperity. So guess what color palette I would suggest for your Chinese New Year?s celebration? That?s right – red!!

Flowers are an important part of the Chinese culture and New Year?s is the busiest day in the Chinese flower market. Flowers are said to bring good luck and are given when visiting family for the traditional New Year?s Eve feast. Pick up decorative take-out containers from a party supply store and fill them with flowers in shades of red, gold, and orange – both in honor of the New Year and the tiger. These sweet petite arrangements can also be given as gifts to your guests when the party is over.

Floral Decor

If you start to think outside of the box you?ll discover that Chinese take-out containers have a lot of uses. I used one to hold some bamboo handled cutlery. I cut off the top flaps and filled it half way with red paper shred. I scanned this colorful image of a Chinese tiger and attached it to the front of the container for even more ?pop?.

Utensil Holder

Food

Lettuce wraps are a fun, easy, traditional Chinese food. They are served at New Year?s, because the Cantonese word for lettuce sounds like rising fortune, and the wraps are filled with other lucky food such as noodles and peanuts.

Lettuce Wraps

Gifts

Hongbao, small red envelopes stuffed with money, are often given to unmarried children. You can find these envelopes at party supply stores.

Money Bags

Make Lemonade

And speaking of flowers in pitchers, have you seen the new 1-800-FLOWERS.COM commercial featuring the Make Lemonade in a Pitcher arrangement? If not, check it out here.

Make Lemonade

I love this product. It?s a bouquet of white and yellow daisies in a clear pitcher with floating lemon slices. It?s a fresh feel-good bouquet, which you can definitely see in the commercial. Flowers are a very simple and easy way to make someone feel better. Whether your problem is a Frank Lemon or a baby yellin?, flowers will bring a smile to your face.

Click here to see a few other beautiful bouquets in pitchers from 1-800-FLOWERS.COM!

Holiday Flower Tree Workshop

1-800-FLOWERS.COM and I recently hosted a DIY Holiday Flower Tree Workshop for some of our friends and fellow bloggers! I am so proud to be a part of this amazing community of women. The workshop was low key and intimate, which gave us all a chance to get to know each other and catch up, in a very creative and relaxing environment. Basic instructions for making a Holiday Flower Tree were provided, but each participant was encouraged to then take the instructions and run with them. Once you know how to make the base of the tree, you can make it any size, use any waterproof container, and add flowers and decorations of your choice. In the end, the finished trees were as unique as their creators.

Here are some photos from the workshop as well as the basic step by step instructions if you would like to give the Holiday Flowers Tree a try! If you do, I’d love to hear how it went and see some photos. I too created a few versions of my own that might give you a few ideas. I’ll be posting those photos shortly.

Thanks to my friends Tracy and Vilma: Ascending Butterfly – Katia: Skimbaco Lifestyle – Lisa: New York Chica – Nikki: Blasian Baby Notes for your continued enthusiasm and support. It was fun!

For all my Facebook friends, click here to see pictures from the event.





Warm Fuzzy Event Recap

Our “Warm Fuzzy Pay-It-Forward Experience” was a HUGE success. Everyone who attended really enjoyed themselves and best of all they will now keep that warm fuzzy feeling going when they share one of their floral creations with someone else. Conducting floral design workshops is one of my favorite things to do. I love introducing new people to the beauty of flowers and the good feelings they bring. I’m looking forward to hearing about everyone’s experience with paying it forward. I made a few arrangements myself that I will be dropping off to the Margert Community Corporation office in Far Rockaway, New York. Margert is an independent, nonprofit, charitable, community-based housing organization that provides neighborhood preservation services; housing assistance; energy affordability analysis; health & safety improvements; and client education and housing counseling to low to moderate income tenants, homeowners, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. When paying your basic bills is a challenge a fresh flower arrangement can be a luxury. I know these arrangements will definitely make a difference to a few families this holiday.

Here are a few photos of night’s festivities!



Share That Warm Fuzzy Feeling

1-800 FLOWERS.COM is committed to helping everyone get that warm fuzzy feeling this holiday season, so they are sponsoring a ?Share that Warm Fuzzy Feeling? event next Thursday night in their Bethpage, New York facility. I will be there along with other 1-800-FLOWERS.COM team members to help you create your own beautiful fresh flower arrangement. You will have fun learning a new skill, making new friends, and bringing home a beautiful arrangement to add warmth and cheer to your home. However, there is a catch! You will have to make another arrangement to give to someone that you know needs that warm fuzzy feeling too! It?s about ?paying it forward?. You might share that warm fuzzy feeling with an individual, a nursing home or hospice facility. Perhaps you know someone who might be a little down on his or her luck this year, or someone who is alone this holiday season. We just ask you to share the warm fuzzy feeling! After you share that warm fuzzy feeling, we would love to hear back from you about how it felt.

So come and join the fun, get some holiday spirit, and pass it on. It?s totally FREE thanks to the generosity of your friends at 1-800-FLOWERS.COM. Space is limited and sign up is on a first come, first serve basis. You must register in advance by e-mailing me at warmfuzzyevent@gmail.com. I know it would be nice to come with a friend or two, so please let me know how many people will be attending. We will notify you by Tuesday, December 15th if you are on the list.

Looking forward to seeing you!

Date: Thursday, December 17, 2009
Time: 6:30 p.m – 8:00 p.m.

Address:
1-800 FLOWERS.COM
700 Hicksville Rd.
Bethpage, NY 11714

PASS IT ON!

Wreath Party

My friend and kindred creative soul, Maggie Gray, recently asked if I would do a wreath-decorating workshop at her new space, New Leaf, in Rockville Centre, New York. I actually featured Maggie on my blog last Mother?s Day as part of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM?s Spot A Mom Campaign. Maggie designed an outdoor ?classroom? garden at the Long Island Children?s Museum. Maggie is still working with LICM but has opened a wonderful creative space in Rockville Centre, New York. It is a converted greenhouse and one of the services she offers in addition to garden design and various workshops is the use of the space for private parties. Check it out: www.newleafnewyork.com

The workshop was part of a 50th birthday party on a Saturday night and it turned out to really be a lot of fun with all joining in, including the men! Here are a few shots of the birthday girl and her friends getting into the creative spirit.




















I always do research before a workshop or presentation on the subject at hand. Even though you think you may know a lot about something, with the Internet you can always find new and interesting tidbits. In my research on wreaths before this workshop, I came to realize and share the beautiful symbolism of friends creating wreaths together to celebrate a friend?s long life. Wreaths have existed in various forms since the time of the ancient Romans with a long tradition of meaning behind it. The shape of the circle has no beginning and no end, representing the circle of life. The fact that evergreens live through winter signifies the strength of life. They are a sign of faith in humanity, life and of victory over life’s challenges.

In my next post, I will share some of the different wreaths I was inspired to create for that night, as well as, some fun uses for wreaths!

Cupcakes For a Cause at the Brooklyn Flea

I was so excited to have participated in the Cupcakes for a Cause event at the Brooklyn Flea this year. We had a great turnout and wonderful support from CancerCare for Kids, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM and Cupcakes Take The Cake.

More great news?
1-800-FLOWERS.COM was able to reach their goal of 6,000 Facebook fans and will be donating $2,000 to CancerCare for Kids.

Take a look at these great pictures from the Brooklyn Flea. I?m looking forward to next year!


Mmmm?good!


Nichelle from Cupcakes Take the Cake


Mandy, Tina and Erin

Are You Still In The Mood For Cupcakes?

The Cherry on Top

This super-size cupcake makes the best centerpiece for a young person or a person who is young at heart. Made with carnations and football mums it not only looks super, but it lasts a long time too. It?s a fun way to tell someone that they are the cherry on top of your life!

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry shortcake cream on top, tell me the name of your sweetheart! This floral cupcake makes me feel as nostalgic as that jump rope song that we used to sing. Remember, you would call out the letters of the alphabet and whichever letter you were up to when you stepped on the rope was supposed to be the first letter in your sweetheart?s name? Here?s to the good old days!

Chocolate Soufflé

If chocolate is your thing, you?ll love this chocolate soufflé with pink icing. Okay, I know that soufflé doesn?t have frosting, but work with me here. If you already have a soufflé pan why not use it in a unique way and just have some fun with it!!


Cupcake Inspired Centerpieces

As if a cupcake wasn?t a great thing already, along comes Cupcakes for A Cause by CancerCare for Kids. I first learned about this wonderful cause from my friends at Cupcakes Take The Cake. We first met at the launch for the 1-800 FLOWERS.COM Cupcake in Bloom event, and then I caught up with them again at the Brooklyn Flea for the annual Cupcakes for A Cause Bake Sale. It was a delicious experience!

I will be at the bake sale again this year (Sunday, Sept. 19th), but this time I will be helping Cupcakes Takes the Cake, CancerCare for Kids and 1-800-FLOWERS.COM. We will be selling the popular 1-800-FLOWERS.COM Cupcake in Bloom and the best part is that 1-800-FLOWERS.COM will be donating 50 of their Cupcake in Bloom arrangements to be sold at the event. In addition, 100% of all Cupcake in Bloom sales will benefit CancerCare for Kids. It just doesn?t get any better than that!! So stop by if you can and say ?Hello!?

If you can?t make it to the Brooklyn Flea you can still be a part of Cupcakes for a Cause. When you make a purchase from the Cupcakes for a Cause collection, 10% of the proceeds will be donated to CancerCare by 1-800-FLOWERS.COM to this worthy organization.

And to get you in the cupcake mood (as if that?s a hard thing to do), here are some creative and fun ideas for using flowers to create cupcake inspired centerpieces and other designs.

Red Velvet

Take a traditional red velvet cupcake, with its delicious cream cheese frosting, and turn it upside down! These luscious red roses with their velvety soft petals look elegant and beautiful nestled in a crisp white ceramic pleated bowl.

Dinner for Six

The black silicone cupcake holder was the inspiration for this trendy tablescape. I love a black and white decorating theme with a splash of lime green. It?s such a fresh look! It was easy to create using prado carnations to create the ?cupcakes? and topping them off with tall green candles.

Celebration Centerpiece

Cupcakes for everyone! Creating a magical cupcake centerpiece is much easier then it may seem. By using a large cupcake pan as the base, fill each section with a white carnation, trim with wired ribbon and top it off with sprinkles and candles. It?s a fun festive look for any celebration.

If you are looking for more fun ideas, take a look at my past cupcake posts!

Don’t Forget About Grandparents Day!

The Traveling Grandma!

Grandma and Grandpa are always willing to help baby-sit for the grandchildren whenever they?re in town. You?re really happy for them. They?ve worked hard all of their lives and deserve it, but that doesn?t mean you?re not a little bit jealous! Grandparents Day is the first Sunday after Labor Day. So, surprise grandma with a new travel bag perfect for her sunscreen, sunglasses, and great book. Make it more of a ?WOW!? by filling it with beautiful and exotic cymbidium orchids.

Grandpa?s Deserve Flowers Too!

Grandpa never look for any recognition, but give it to him anyway! I found this silver loving cup trophy at a church thrift shop. The engraving says that it is a trophy from a Pro-Am golf tournament in 1983 at Pebble Beach. Gramps may never get to play at Pebble Beach, but to you he?s the best Grandpa in the world as well as the best golfer! The ?blue ribbon? is an image downloaded from the Internet and a customized message added in Photoshop.

 


Grandparents Day

The impetus for a National Grandparents Day originated with Marian McQuade, a housewife in Fayette County, West Virginia. Her primary motivation was to champion the cause of the lonely elderly in nursing homes. She also hoped to persuade grandchildren to tap into the wisdom and heritage that their grandparents could provide. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter, proclaimed that National Grandparents Day would be celebrated every year on the first Sunday after Labor Day. This year, Grandparents Day falls on Sept. 13th.

This year, Grandparents Day takes on a very special meaning for me. I just became a grandmother for the first time on August 29th with the birth of Juliette Claire. Of course she is the sweetest most beautiful little girl in the world. It has only been a few days since she was born and yet she has already brought a whole new dimension to my life. I am embracing my role as a grandparent with all of my heart.

Great Gift Ideas for Grandparents

Being a grandparent is the ultimate gift. I know that any grandparent will tell you that he or she doesn?t need anything else. The love and support that grandparents give means so much and Grandparents Day is a great time to let them know. It?s not so much about the gift, but the thought and the sentiment that it represents. The best gift is one that is personal and speaks to the individual. Flowers are always a wonderful way to say what words cannot. Flowers can easily be sent to grandparents that aren?t lucky enough to live close to their grandchildren. When I am giving a gift, I always think about the person that I am recognizing and try to create something that speaks to his or her special interests, attributes and our relationship. Here are a few floral gift ideas for different types of grandparents. I hope one of them works for you or inspires you to create your own perfect gift for your world?s #1 grandparent!

It?s the Right of Every Grandparent to Spoil Their Grandchildren!

Often, parents have to set the rules and keep the treats to a minimum for their children. When children are at grandma and grandpa?s house, life?s a party full of indulgences! One of my favorite treats when I went to my grandmother?s house was a special ice cream soda that she made for me. I was so impressed with the ?real? ice cream soda glass that she used and the whip cream she made from scratch. My grandmother made me feel special, because she always let me put the sprinkles on myself. Growing up in a house with five siblings all close in age, really didn?t leave a lot of time for those extra little touches that grandma was able to incorporate into every visit! It was especially sweet if it was your turn to go by yourself and have grandma?s undivided attention!

I made this floral faux ice cream soda in honor of my Grandma McCann. She had 14 grandchildren and somehow was able to make each one feel like they were her favorite.

1-800-FLOWERS.COM Floral Design Council

This week I was invited to attend a design council presentation by the BloomNet, division of 1-800 FLOWERS. In their continued pursuit of excellence in the world of floral product development 1-800 FLOWERS reaches out to leaders in all areas of the floral industry and brings them together with other members of the 1-800 FLOWERS team to brainstorm, share, and create. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet some kindred spirits and to see what other designers are up to. While I can?t show you any of the designs that were presented at this time as they are in the early stages of the product development cycle I am happy to introduce you to the four talented floral artists who participated in this session. All four brought their experience and skill as well as their passion for floral design to this event. To find out more about each one you can view their full biographies below.

Andrea Nordloh Ancel
Most recently Andrea Ancel was the founder and owner of Wild Poppy Inc., a highly successful event and floral design business regularly recognized by New York, Best of New York and Gotham Magazines. Previously she was manager and head designer for Renny, a nationally known New York event and floral design firm. During her distinguished career Andrea has conceptualized and coordinated special events for major clients such as The New York Times, The New York Public Library, Whitney Museum of American Art, MTV, Memorial Sloan Kettering and Estee Lauder as well as innumerable other organizations and private clients. She has traveled as far as the Mid East for large-scale installations. Andrea is known for her unusual use of color and textures in her floral arrangements, as well as always giving clients far more than they expected. Andrea received her BFA from the Parsons School of Design in New York and served a color/textile design internship in India. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children.

Frank Brice, AIFD, PFCI
Frank Brice, President and Owner, Rao?s Mattydale Flower Shop, Syracuse, NY, and BloomNet Professional Florist. Frank has worked in and contributed to the Floral Industry across the United States, Europe and Asia for over 40 years. Frank?s Educational background includes Associates Degree ? Ornamental Floriculture, Alfred State College, Alfred, NY, and Bachelors of Science ? Environmental and Consumer Studies, Buffalo, NY. Frank received a scholarship from the renowned Floral Art School, Maastricht, Holland and has attended classes at Sagetsu School, Tokyo, Japan as well as provided advanced commentating for the A.F.S. Education Center. Floral Industry Affiliations include – American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD), Professional Floral Communicators International, Society of American Florists, Knud Neilsen and Lomey Manufacturing Design Team?s, and World Flower Council. Frank has also served as a Contributing Designer to a number of highly respected Publishing Companies and Floral Industry Organizations such as Professional Floral Design Magazine, Michigan State Floral Magazine, Modern Bride Magazine, John Henry Company (Hot Display, Weddings), American Floral Services ? Flowers for you Wedding, Selection Guides, and Tributes and was part of the BloomNet Wedding Book Design Team. Frank has also served as a Contributing Writer and Educator for Tradeshow programs both Internationally – Holland, Taiwan, Japan, China, Canada, and within the United States ? Oklahoma City, OK, AFS Education Center, CT, NY, MI, W. TX, WI, and S.CA. Leverage his keen eye for function and design, Frank has participated in Product Development Projects for Smither?s Oasis, Lomey Manufacturing, Romance Silks, and Creative Distributors where he also served as their Creative Director for over 10 years. Frank is also responsible for award winning tradeshow booths and was the youngest designer for the Tricia Nixon & Edward Cox wedding.

Mary Linda Horn AAF, AIFD, OCF, PFCI
Mary Linda currently works as a freelance designer/consultant and has been in the industry since 1975. She has been a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) since 1989 and a member of Professional Floral Communicators International (PFCI) since 1999. In July 2007 Mary Linda was inducted onto the AIFD National Board as a Director at Large. In 2008 she was elected as a trustee to the AIFD Foundation. She is serving as immediate past Chairperson of the Student Membership Committee for AIFD National and as AIFD industry advisor to the Anderson Chapter of SAIFD at Ohio State University. She has served the North Central chapter of AIFD as board member, president, and Scholarship Committee member and Chair. Mary Linda works on several committees for the Ohio Florists Association, including the Ohio Certified Florist program, and the OFA Professional Floral Design Competition. She also teaches floral design at the Delaware Cultural Arts Center in Delaware, Ohio, and is one of the Leaders/Mentors for the ?Designing for Excellence? workshop held on the Texas A & M Univ. campus.

For the last ten years Mary Linda has studied Ikebana and holds the title of Kakyo, Assistant Professor of Ikebana, 3rd Grade with the Ikenobo School of Floral Art in Kyoto, Japan.

Awards would include Designer of the Year with Ohio Florist Assoc., Central Ohio Designer of the Year, Michigan Designer of the Year, the Teleflora Flowers & magazine contest and received the ?Chuck Bannow? award in 2008 from MFA. She served on the AFS Education Services Team for five years and was a featured designer in Professional Floral Design (PFD) magazine. Mary Linda participating on the BloomNet Wedding Book Design Team and currently she is working with BloomNet on tradeshow educational projects and is a featured designer in five issues of Flora magazine in 2008. January 2005 found Mary Linda working with SAF (Society of American Florists) on the Presidential Inauguration. In July 2004 she placed second in the Holland Cup Floral Design Competition and presented a main stage program in New York for the National Symposium of AIFD. She has presented programs and workshops across the country for the industry, garden clubs and the public.

Bryan Swann
Bryan Swann has been in the floral industry for 25 years, starting his career in Boston, MA. Here he had the opportunity to work at one of the largest florist in New England and with designers from around the world including France, The Netherlands and Germany. He started with BloomNet Florist, Karin’s Florist in Vienna, VA in 2006 and is currently the Sales and Design Manager. He leads a talented team of designers and sales agents. Bryan prides himself on keeping a balance of designs that are fresh, innovative and current with industry standards while maintaining a sense of tradition. He designs weddings and events for large ballrooms or intimate venues. His designs have won the ISES Capital Award 2009 for Team Design for The Elements of Surprise.

More Fun Ideas for the Dorm!

LUCKY BAMBOO

Known for centuries as Lucky Bamboo, the plant is not a bamboo at all (botanical name: Dracaena), but a resilient member of the lily family that grows in the dark, tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia and Africa.

Along with its ease of growth, Lucky Bamboo has long been associated with the Eastern practice of Feng Shui, or the bringing of natural elements of water, fire, earth, wood and metal into balance within the environment. Lucky Bamboo is believed to be an ideal example of the thriving wood and water element. Also, the addition of a red ribbon sometimes tied around the stalks is believed to “fire” the positive flow of energy or chi in the room.

The number of stalks also has meaning: three stalks for happiness; five stalks for wealth; six stalks for health.

FLOWERS TOO – OF COURSE!

You?ve heard so many times from me about the power of flowers. It doesn?t take a lot of flowers or expensive flowers to brighten a room and make someone feel good. At times, being away from home can be difficult for a college student. Surprising your special student with a simple bouquet, now and then, can really make a difference. Traditional vases aren?t necessarily the way to go in a dorm room. Remember if it can hold water it can hold flowers. This ceramic Chinese ?take-out? container is a fun unique vessel that can do double duty as a dinner plate or hold pens, pencils, hairbrushes, remotes, chargers, and of course flowers. The attached charm features the Chinese symbol for luck. And we all need a little luck!


Dorm Room Decorations

With everything else you need to buy when setting up a dorm room plants and flowers probably aren?t on the top of your list, but they should be on the list! They naturally clean the air by removing toxins and can actually fight fatigue and colds. Tending to a plant or a small garden can be very relaxing and rewarding. Plants brighten up a room, add fresh air, and can also be very useful to have around if you grow vegetables, herbs, or medical plants, such as Aloe Vera. Cactus and succulents are a great option, because they are cool looking and require very minimal care, but are still a living thing.

And don?t forget the flowers. Remember all of the benefits of having flowers in a room that I mentioned in the previous post. A dorm room can use all of those benefits in a big way.

Here are some small and simple ideas for bringing the beauty and benefits of plants and flowers into a dorm room.

SUCCULENTS AND CACTUS

Sempervivums (hen & chicks) are a hardy succulent alpine plant. The name sempervivum means “live-forever”. They are well adapted to survive in some of the poorest soil and drought conditions. They usually come already planted in terra cotta pots, which are a great natural look and are small in size, so they fit nicely on a windowsill.

ALOE VERA

As we all know accidents do happen. Having an aloe vera plant in your room has an added benefit of being medicinal in nature. As soon as you suffer a burn, break or cut off an outer leaf of an aloe vera plant, split it open with your fingernails, and squeeze the leaf gel onto the burn.

HERBS

Herbs are easy to grow and smell terrific. They can also be used as seasoning, which can make even the blandest college food taste a little better. Parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, mint, and oregano are just a few you can try. The grey green leaves of the oregano give a delicate appearance while the tiny pink flowers nestle in showy pale green bracts.


Keep the Classroom Green

Plants are like little mini air purifiers. They naturally clean the air by removing toxins and can actually fight fatigue and colds. In other words, plants are perfect for the classroom. The fun part about this coffee plant teacher gift is the decorated planter. Start with a solid color container and let your child decorate it with stickers, paints, or markers. Just remember that when you are using a planter without holes in the bottom, you will need to add a few rocks or pebbles at the bottom for drainage.

Remember: Just have fun with it!!

Back to School!

?Back to School? time is fast approaching, which is good news to some and not so good to others! Whichever category you fall into, it?s time to get the kids ready for school, but not without a party to soak up some nice weather just one last time!

As a contributor for Celebrations.com, I?m proud to announce our new BlogTalkRadio show, premiering tomorrow, Tuesday, August 11th at 3:00 p.m. EST. In this first episode, lifestyle party expert, Jeanne Benedict, will be discussing some Back to School ideas, as well as ways to celebrate the End of Summer. Check it out!

Also starting tomorrow, I will be sharing some simple and creative ways to use flowers and plants to make the transition easier for everyone from kindergarten to college!

A 60`s Centerpeace

“If someone thinks that peace and love are just a cliché that must have been left behind in the 60s, that’s a problem. Peace and love are eternal.”

  • John Lennon

?All we are saying is give peace a chance.?

  • The Beatles

“When the power of love over overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.?

  • Jimi Hendrix

To make this ?Peace & Love? centerpiece you will need:

  • Black ceramic cube vase
  • Floral foam
  • Peace and love decals or bumper stickers
  • Gerbera daisies
  • Optional – black tray and tea lights

Decades of Birthday Celebrations

Using icons from the decade in which the guest of honor was born, makes decorating fun and easy. Whether it?s the 50?s, 80?s, or 90?s, each decade has its own unique style and vibe. You can also mix it up and highlight the best of each decade throughout the life of the birthday celebrant. Here are some general ideas and guidelines to help get you started.

  • Make themed invitations and ask people to come in costume.
  • Pay attention to detail. Your food, decorations, and music should relate to the decade.
  • Not all of your guests will have necessarily been around during the decade you choose, so designate someone who will be able to demonstrate the dance moves of that decade.
  • Have a trivia contest.

The Internet makes this type of party planning so easy. All of your research is just a click away. Search the most popular fads from each decade and decide how you can incorporate them into your party. For example, for an 80?s themed party an oversized Rubik?s cube makes a great container for a centerpiece. For this one, I started with a square glass vase filled with floral foam. I downloaded an image of a Rubik?s cube, sized it accordingly, printed out four sheets for each cube, covered them with clear contact paper (to make them water proof), and glued them to the square vase.

Working with the bright primary colors of the Rubik?s cube, I chose gerberas, delphinium, button poms, roses, and soliadgo to create the fun floral arrangement. The tablecloth is a solid royal blue with crisscrossed ribbons of green, red, blue, yellow and white to further play up the geometric look. The overall look is festive, fun, and totally 80?s!!

Up Next: The 60?s – Peace, Love, & Daisies!

French Floral Designs

There are many styles of floral design. The one that I am naturally drawn to and inspired by the most is the French Country style. I think I enjoy this type of design, because the designs themselves are so artistic and expressive. I think Laura Dowling of Interieurs et Fleurs says it best! “The French approach blends the inherent beauty of flowers, gathered simply from the garden, with the personal vision and passion of the floral artist. It is this rapport between nature and artist that gives the French bouquet such a distinctive personality with a strong emotional impact. This season, be sure to look for inspiration from the garden, local Farmers? Markets, historical styles, and from fashion. All of these locations will help you create your own masterpieces in the French style.”

Here are two different approaches to French design that I have created. The first one is more romantic, rustic, and lusty! The use of deep red, blue and gold tones are very French as is the addition of fresh fruit. Incorporating fresh herbs, particularly lavender, not only will add to the visual beauty, but the fragrance is intoxicating. Also, red wine, brie, grapes and crusty fresh bread are natural complements to this design.

The flowers I used to create this bouquet are: peonies, roses, sunflowers, coreopsis, veronica, lavender, and ivy.

Nothing says French country like blue and yellow. This vignette honors that traditional color combination as well as Toile de Jouy.

The flowers I used to create this bouquet are: delphinium, peonies, ivy, and rosemary.


Don’t Forget Savvy Auntie’s Day – July 26th!

Isn?t it funny how things come your way at just the right time? I was introduced to Savvy Auntie?s Day a few weeks ago and the first person I thought of was my oldest daughter Meggie. She has always been savvy in my book and she is about to become an aunt for the first time in four weeks by way of my younger daughter Casey. I know that Meggie is going to take her new role very seriously and she will definitely appreciate having SavvyAuntie.com to go to share ideas, find answers, and get inspiration. She?s throwing a baby shower for Casey next week and I?m going to surprise her with a gift that I found on the site – the Savvy Auntie tank top. She?s going to love it!



Savvy Auntie-To-Be, The Original Savvy Auntie (me), and the
Mommy-To-Be on a pirate cruise recently in Clearwater, FL.

I personally have set the ?Savvy Auntie? bar pretty high – if I do say so myself! I have always cherished my role as an aunt to my 12 nieces and nephews. And I know that the feelings are mutual. They even have a song that they sing about me called ?My Aunt Julie – She?s so Special To Me?. OK, so I made the song up, but they do sing it!! I?m creative and crazy and they appreciate that.

I collect (and use) vintage handbags. A couple of my nephews in particular have picked up on this and get a kick out of seeing what purse I?m going to show up with at the next family function. If they saw this image of a floral design I created recently using a1950?s ?bakelite? evening bag as a vessel to hold fresh pink roses I know that they would immediately recognize it as one of my creations! Sharing my passions and interests with all of my nieces and nephews has always been something that I have appreciated and enjoyed tremendously. Learning about their interests and passions as well, allows you to get to know each one as an individual. Knowing each one individually also helps when it comes to gift-giving time. A ?Savvy Auntie? always gives the BEST gifts!

I?m excited to for the first ever Savvy Auntie?s Day coming up on Sunday, July 26th. Another reason why I love Savvy Auntie?s Day is because its official symbol is a bright, red flower ? a sign of warmth and love. In honor of the inaugural holiday, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM has dedicated its Elegant Wishes bouquet as the official ?Savvy Auntie?s Day? arrangement.

Dedicate Sunday, July 26th to celebrating ?Aunt-hood? and all the special ways your Aunt has affected your life!

The Perfect Margarita!

Margaritas and summer just seem to go hand in hand. Some prefer them straight up and others go for the frozen concoction! Well 1-800 FLOWERS.COM has a version that is neither and yet will still be the hit of any summer celebration. They have a super sized version that is perfect as a centerpiece and a smaller size that is great for an individual place setting. The smaller size can even make a fabulous take home party favor. Here are a few images of these terrific floral cocktails from the 1-800 FLOWERS.COM Happy Hour Collection that might also provide some inspiration for you to make your own floral cocktail decorations. Just let your imagination flow – no pun intended!


And just in case you need it, here is a recipe for a standard margarita. I like this one with an added shot of Grand Marnier!!

1 ½ oz tequila
½ oz triple sec
1 oz lime juice

Rub the rim of a cocktail glass with lime juice, and dip in salt. Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into the glass, and serve.

Enjoy!