Pencils of Promise 2014 Gala

Education Sunflower Pencil Floral Centerpiece

Education inspired centerpieces with sunflowers and oversize pencils donated by 1-800-FLOWERS.COM. Crafted by The Plant Shed.

NEW YORK, NY – On October 22, 2014 Pencils of Promise (PoP) celebrated their 4th annual Gala at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. “Everyone has a promise” is the organization’s mission as they help raise funds for education programs and operations in locations where it is needed the most such as Ghana (Africa), Guatemala (Central America), and Laos (Southeast Asia). PoP also encourages young leaders around the world to take positive action both locally and globally.

1-800-FLOWERS.COM has been thrilled to work with the organization for the past five years including the support of all four Galas, and was honored to be able to donate the education inspired floral centerpieces for the event.

“We are delighted to support Pencils of Promise, as we recognize the importance of education and training to help individuals grow both professionally and personally.”
– Chris McCann, President, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM

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Ideas for Honoring Veterans on Veterans Day to Show Your Appreciation & Support

honoring-veterans-dayEvery year on November 11th, friends, neighbors, and family members gather to honor those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. From veteran parades to gatherings in remembrance, there are many different ways to join the Veterans Day festivities to honor the brave men and women who have served.

Not sure where to start? Here are some ideas for honoring veterans on their special day. To add an extra special touch, we even asked some of our very own veterans at 1800Flowers.com how they celebrate fellow veterans.

Attend a Veterans Day Parade

Does your town or city have a special Veterans Day Parade? If so, grab the whole family and be sure to show your support by attending. To be even more festive, you can wave American flags and sport a red, white, and blue outfit! VetFriends may be able to help you find the parade closest to you. Continue reading

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Take a Turkey-Sized Bite of Knowledge with the History of Thanksgiving

history-of-thanksgivingEvery year on the fourth Thursday in November, friends, neighbors, and families gather together to celebrate and give thanks. They fill their homes with decorations reminiscent of fall, relive favorite memories from the past year, and sit down for a traditional feast featuring the star of the show – a turkey sized for sharing. But where did these traditions and the holiday we now know as Thanksgiving stem from?
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Quotes About Gratitude for Thanksgiving

thanksgiving-quotes-about-gratitudeThanksgiving is a time of reminiscing, reflections, and of course – recognition for all of the things and people we have to be thankful for. In honor of this gratitude-filled holiday, we’ve compiled a list of 14 inspiring quotes about Thankfulness.

Use these for any Thank You cards you are sending, Thanksgiving speeches you are giving, or simple share with someone who could use a little bit of inspiration.

Get Inspired with these 14 Thankful Quotes

“Be thankful for what you have, you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

“We must find time to stop & thank the people who make a difference in or lives.” – John F Kennedy

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” – William Arthur Ward

“If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily. – Gerald Good

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” – William Arthur Ward

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” –William Arthur Ward

“The root of joy is gratefulness.” – David Steindl-Rast

“I can no other answer make but thanks, and thanks, and ever thanks.” – William Shakespeare

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” – Thornton Wilder

“There are two kinds of gratitude: the sudden kind we feel for what we take; the larger kind we feel for what we give.” – E.A Robinson

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” – Epicurus

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” – A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

“Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.” – Henry Van Dyke

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Diwali, The Festival of Lights: How to Celebrate

What is Diwali?

how-to-celebrate-diwali-candlesOnce a year in autumn, during the darkest new moon in the Hindu month Kartik, Hindu communities and temples will shine bright with millions of candles and lamps. This celebration, known as Diwali – or the festival of lights – dates all the way back to ancient times! Diwali 2014 is celebrated on October 23rd and for several days after, depending on the family’s religion and traditions.

The traditional name of this holiday, Deepawali originates from the Sanskrit words deep, meaning light and avali, meaning row. Depending on the region and religion, the duration of the festival (3-5 days) as well as the history and origin of the holiday may vary. Although Diwali is mainly a family affair, Diwali is also a religious day for many Hindus. Many celebrate the holiday to bring prosperity and good health to their families.
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Petal Talk Chats with Sunnyvale, California Florist Joseph Edwards

local-exclusive-rosecartAs a 1-800-Flowers.com franchise shop partaking in the 1-800-Flowers.com Local Exclusive program, local florists have the opportunity to showcase original, one-of-a-kind designs that can be ordered online through 1800flowers.com.

Local Sunnyvale florist Ali Arbabi of Rose Cart sat down with us to discuss some of his favorite floral memories and Local Exclusive flower arrangements!

How did you get into the flower business and what do you love best about being a florist?
After working many years in the tech industry, I needed a change to be more connected to my community and to have meaningful face-to-face interactions. As a florist, I love being able to put a smile on someone’s face.

local-exclusive-rosecart-sunfloral-embrace

Sunflower Embrace

Local Exclusive Product Names:
Our local exclusive product names are the Candle Lit Dreams, Wonderland in a Vase, Tropical Paradise, Vibrant Fields Centerpiece, and the stunning Sunflower Embrace.

What inspired you to design your local exclusive arrangements?
Some customers come in with such vivid ideas that I feel inspired by their creativity. I do my best to bring their wishes to life and create a beautiful, quality product

What do you love most about your local community?
My local community is full of creative ideas, and the flower selections are always unique.

What are your favorite flowers?
Gardenias, orchids and tropical flowers are my favorites. I love the pure white color of the gardenias. Tropical flowers and orchids are so exotic and colorful – they’re symbols of paradise.

local-exclusive-rosecart-candle-lit-dreams

Candle Lit Dreams

What has been the most rewarding experience during your florist tenure?
The most rewarding experience is actually the dozens of calls and letters. Each time a customer calls ecstatic about their flowers, I am reminded why I got into this business. The small tokens of appreciation from customers truly make my days worth while..

What is your favorite floral occasion?
Even though it isn’t really an occasion, my favorite would be the surprise gift. It makes me so happy to be a part of such a spontaneous act of kindness. Other occasions are fun to design, but nothing quite compares to knowing I helped make someone’s day.

What is the weirdest thing you have seen or experienced during your floral career?
One day, my employee was unloading a fresh order of plants in the back. I heard her scream, and she said she saw a giant bug in the box. I went to go help her, but when she showed me the box, a tiny frog jumped out! It was a funny little surprise and very unexpected.

local-exclusive-rosecart-lush-tropical-garden

Tropical Paradise

What are some “Fun Facts” that your customers don’t know about you?
I keep a small catalog of hammocks in my desk drawer. When I’m having a tiring day, I look through the pictures and fantasize about my time off.

What makes you smile?
When regular customers come back to check in or call to thank me for their arrangements, I can’t keep the smile off my face.

In the California area? Visit this San Jose florist:
Rose Cart
1679 Hollenbeck Ave
Sunnyvale, CA 94087
408-732-7673
http://www.rosecart.com/

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How to Make a Trendy Mother Nature Costume

diy-mother-nature-costumeShow off your love for all things natural and floral with your very own DIY Mother Nature costume! Using inspiration from the glorious untouched forests and nature’s stunning masterpieces, we’ve creates this whimsical costume celebrating the unmatched beauty of the great outdoors. This costume is a perfect alternative to generic Halloween costumes and is sure to be a conversation starter!

We used oversized shirts (the largest sizes available at the store) to ensure a length large enough to wear as a dress, but this costume can also be turned into a shirt with accompanying dark pants if the weather calls for a warmer outfit. Additionally, we cut out leaf shapes out of the top layer for a unique “peeking-out” look. However, if you want to ditch this part of the costume, simply use just 1 shirt in dark green or black and omit the first two steps of this craft.
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DIY Fall Decorations: How to Make Flower Pumpkins

diy-flower-pumpkins-2 Once fall comes around, the topic on everyone’s mind is pumpkins! Everything from pumpkin recipes to pumpkin crafts and of course to pumpkin decorations. Put a floral touch on this seasonal icon with your favorite fall flowers (we used mums) and a glue gun.

Make several of these in different shapes (don’t forget the gourds) and sizes for a beautiful and trendy fall spread. You can even tie nametags around your mini flower pumpkins and turn them into place cards for a stunning fall tablescape – the possibilities are endless!

Because you are dealing with fresh flowers and pumpkins, plan to create these beauties one to two days before those guests arrive.
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How to Make a DIY Candy Corn Vase

how-to-make-a-diy-candy-corn-vase-halloweenGive old glass bottles new life in time for Halloween with a little bit of creativity and spray paint! Using just white, yellow, and orange spray paint, we turned potential (recyclable) trash into festive treasures that we used to showcase our stunning orange roses in.

While the actual painting of the bottles took under fifteen minutes total, please plan to do these at least one day before use to allow ample time for drying.

To ensure a steady, even coat, please follow these general spray painting guidelines:

- Paint using long, steady strokes from one side to the other side
- After reaching the end of one spray line, let go of the trigger and continue with your next stroke.
- Avoid spraying the entire bottle with one “spray.”
- If your bottle starts to spit paint, clean out the nozzle before proceeding.

Bonus Halloween Party Tip: Use festive place cards or similar to label the “sections” of your party spread – such as spooky snacks, creepy cocktails, and Ahh-inspiring Activities. We used these Mini Chalkboard Pumpkins (pictured) from The Popcorn Factory and they worked beautifully with the spread. Continue reading

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Celebrate Sweetest Day with Quotes About Sweets

Chocolates and candies and desserts, oh my! There’s nothing quite like a sweet treat at the end of the day to melt away all of the day’s stresses and sorrows. That’s why we love holidays like Sweetest Day, where we get to surprise our friends and families with the gift of desserts to make their day a little bit sweeter.

Sweetest Day 2014 is October 18 – surprise someone special with a sweet treat paired with one of these oh-so-sweet quotes and sayings. Learn more about Sweetest Day here!

15 Sweet Quotes About Desserts

“A balanced diet is chocolate in both hands.” – Author Unknown

sweetest-day-quotes-about-sweets“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.” – Linda Grayson, Printwick Papers

“You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy chocolate, and that’s kind of the same thing.” – Author Unknown

“Chocolate is the answer. Who cares what the question is.” – Author Unknown

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” – Charles M. Shultz

“Sometimes I think that the one thing I love most about being an adult is the right to buy candy whenever and whenever I want.” – Ryan Gosling

“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread and pumpkin pie.” –Jim Davis

“As with most fine things, chocolate has its season. There is a simple memory aid that you can use to determine whether it is the correct time to order chocolate dishes: any month whose name contains the letter A, E, or U is the proper time for chocolate.” – Sandra Boynton

“Put “eat chocolate” at the top of your list of things to do today. That way, at least you’ll get one thing done.” – Author Unknown

“After about 20 years of marriage, I’m finally starting to scratch the surface of that one. And I think the answer lies somewhere between conversation and chocolate.” – Mel Gibson

“You can tell a lot about a fellow’s character by his way of eating jellybeans. ”
― Ronald Reagan

“Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” – Ernestine Ulmer

“A party without cake is just a meeting.” – Julia Child

“Let them eat cake!” – Marie Antoinette

“Embrace a new challenge like your favorite desserts. Look forward to it and savor every minute like you savor every bite of your sweet treat.” – Mary-Frances Winter

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