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Holiday Decorations

Holiday Decorations

Labor Day: A Time to Honor the American Worker

August 6, 2015

The History of Labor Day

While Labor Day signals the end of summer for many—and the weekend is often filled with beach parties, barbecues and picnics—I’m guessing that most people don’t think about the historical and lasting significance of Labor Day.

Celebrated since 1882, Labor Day became a national holiday in 1894 to honor the contributions of the working men and women who built this country. Indeed, laborers are the backbone of this nation, and Labor Day is a time to recognize the dignity of work and the belief that honest, fairly-compensated labor gives meaning and structure to our lives. This is, and always will be, a core American value.

Celebrating the American Worker

This Labor Day, I want to honor Mary Doyle Keefe. As the model for Norman Rockwell’s “Rosie the Riveter,” Mary Doyle Keefe became the symbol of American women working on the home front during World War II. Ms. Keefe died recently at her home in Simsbury, Connecticut at age 92.

There was another image, similar to that of Rosie, at the same time that was part of a nationwide campaign to sell war bonds. While not the same character, the message was the same: “We Can Do It.”

Rosie the Riveter Flower Arrangement

I created this beautiful bouquet for Mother’s Day one year using an old galvanized toolbox as the container and filled it with a variety of garden flowers. There are many versions of the original “We Can Do It” image. I loved this version with the baby being held in the strong arm of the working woman. To me, it says so much about the many roles a woman plays.

Labor Day Gift Ideas

Isn’t there someone in your life whom you should honor this Labor Day? These are the kind of gifts that are so meaningful—the unexpected gestures that truly speak from the heart.

Tomato Can Flower Arrangement

For instance, you might let your grandmother know—in a fun way—that all of those big Sunday dinners with the whole family are some of your best childhood memories! And that you now realize how much work went into them. She just made it seem effortless!

Here are a few more ideas to inspire your creativity:

Milk Man Gift Ideas - Milk Bottle Flower Arrangement

Sewing Basket Gift - Celebrations E-card

If you can’t make up a one of a kind gift for someone that you would like to honor this Labor Day, it’s easy to reach out with a digital card, like the one above, from Celebrations.com.

Flowers: Born in the USA

Another way to honor the American worker—and to do your part in supporting companies who grow, produce and manufacture products right here in the USA—is to choose a bouquet from our Fresh Cuts Collection. All of the flowers in this collection are proudly grown on farms in California, picked when your order is placed and shipped directly to your recipient. Not only will you be sending smiles, but you will also be doing your part to keep our nation strong! Here are a few of the beautiful California grown bouquets.

fresh-cuts

Holiday Decorations

Sister’s Day and Friendship Day

July 30, 2015

This Sunday—August 2nd—is both Sister’s Day and Friendship Day. Peggy is my sister, and she’s also my best friend… and I can’t imagine my life without her. One of the things that I love most about Peggy is her laughter and how much we laugh when we are together. She’s just like our mom was in that way.

Sisters Day Quote and Flowers

This post is in honor of my sister. The photo was taken on a recent road trip along the California coast. Our husbands are the two men in the picture who are oblivious to the fact that Peggy has fallen! Peggy and I were laughing so hard we could hardly breathe, but I did manage to capture the moment! The fresh cut flowers in a vintage blue mason jar and the Sandra Magsamen artisan plaque are the perfect way for me to send a smile to Peggy this Sister’s Day!

Let your sister(s) and your very best girlfriends know how important they are to you.
1-800 Flowers.com makes it easy with a collection of gifts starting at as little as $10 including delivery! Here are a few of my favorites. Go to our Sister’s Day or Friendship Day Collections to see these products and more!

 

Blue flowers, sandra magsamen quote plaques

Holiday Decorations

DIY Red, White & Blue Floral
4th of July Crafts

June 22, 2015

Fourth of July celebrations (and decorations) are the best! Whether you’re celebrating America’s birthday with friends and family on the beach or in your backyard, here are some easy ways to add little patriotic touches of red, white and blue with these fun DIY floral 4th of July decoration ideas!

DIY Mason Jar American Flag Vase

mason-jar-stars-and-stripes
Seriously, is there anything you can’t do with a few mason jars? I took three small, clear mason jars and painted them in a stars and stripes tribute to Old Glory. One stem of blue hydrangea in each and you have a beautiful, fun, inexpensive centerpiece. You could paint a couple more while you’re at it and use them to hold cutlery or straws, or even tea lights, creating a festive look for evening festivities.

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Holiday Decorations

It’s Dad’s Turn to be
the Guest of Honor

June 8, 2015

Celebrate Dad with a Father’s Day Beer Tasting

We received such great feedback on our Wine Tasting for Mom event that I thought, why not plan something similar for Dad? This time we’re going with a beer tasting event in dad’s honor!

Thanks to an increasing appreciation for quality beer production, there are new breweries popping up all over the country. There’s a good chance that there’s one right in your neighborhood or close by. If possible, hosting your Father’s Day event right at the brewery can add a unique feel and make it more fun for everyone. Leaving the beer to the experts gives you more time to focus on the decorations and the fun details that make Dad feel loved and honored for all he does!

I reached out to Gretchen Schmidhausier, a friend of my sister, who recently fulfilled a lifelong dream and opened a microbrewery in her hometown of Neptune City, New Jersey, on the Jersey Shore. The Little Dog Brewing Company was named after Gretchen’s dog Quincy, a basenji, who is also the face of the brand!

Current Beers- What's On Draft?

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Mother's Day

Mother’s Day Wine Tasting

May 7, 2015

A Unique Mother’s Day Activity to Wow Mom

Spring is here and Mother’s Day is right around the corner. Have you started to think about how you can show mom just how much you love her and how special she is? How about getting together with a few of your friends to plan a Mother Daughter Wine Tasting party. The planning and preparation can be as much fun as the event itself.

mom-cheese-fruit-wine-hedge
A rustic, natural Napa Valley-inspired wine tasting is the perfect setting to incorporate so many of the most popular trends: burlap, chalkboard, mason jars, monograms and Made in America!

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Holiday Decorations, How-To's, Mother's Day

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

April 23, 2015

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! Continue Reading…

Holiday Decorations

Cinco de Mayo Decorations & Party Ideas

April 21, 2015

Our country is rich in many different cultural traditions, with celebrations focusing on specific groups growing and becoming more popular every year. And who doesn’t need another reason to party!

Cinco de Mayo is one of my new favorites! The food and the colors of Mexico are made for celebrating – bright, spicy, and flavorful! Here are a few ideas to try for your Cinco de Mayo celebration.

fiesta-pitcher

Fiestaware pieces are the perfect container for a few cut flowers. While dahlias are pictured here and are the official flower of Mexico, they aren’t available until late summer. Any colorful bloom will work perfectly.

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Easter, Holiday Decorations, Julie's Blog

Burlap Bunny Wreath

March 19, 2015

bunny-burlap-wreath

Burlap continues to be a very popular material for home décor and crafting. It’s inexpensive, easy to find, and there seems to be an endless number of ways to use it. Case in point – this Easter themed wreath was inexpensive and easy to make. And with a few simple changes this one wreath base can be updated throughout the year to celebrate the season, a holiday, or any special occasion.

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Holiday Decorations

Prepare A Traditional Irish Breakfast

March 10, 2015

Top O’ The Mornin’ To Ya!

March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day and what better way to start the day than with a plate of hot homemade Irish soda bread scones, a cup of Irish tea, and an Irish Eyes cocktail? Add some unique Irish inspired floral decor and you’re ready for the perfect Irish breakfast!

“Green Tea” Roses & Irish Soda Bread Scones

In this case, the tea is a bouquet of fresh “green tea” roses, to go along perfectly with the Irish breakfast tea of your choice! Match your tea and the tea cup of green roses, with Irish Soda Bread scones (recipe below), and you have the perfect start for your Irish breakfast!
Irish Breakfast Green Roses in Tea Cup

Traditional Irish Soda Bread with Raisins Scone Recipe:

Here’s a traditional Irish soda bread scone recipe with raisins that you might want to try. Let me know how they turn out!
Irish Soda Bread 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.

Tricolo(u)r – The National Flag of Ireland

Irish Flag Made of Green, White & Orange Flowers
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 Irish 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


The Wearing of Green!


Irish Baily Bouts
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 the Gaelic phrase, “Tá tú go h-álainn” (you’re beautiful).

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling!

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 be singing “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” and no one will care what key it is in!
Irish Eyes

Irish Eyes Cocktail Recipe

Ingredients:
* 1 oz Irish Whisky
* ¼ oz crème de menthe
* 2 oz cream
Preparation:
* Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice.

* Shake well.
* Pour into glass
* Enjoy and may the luck o’ the Irish be with you!