Red Hot Summer Romance and Roses

2016-08-16-BLOG

Once upon a time, a long long time ago, we were called Exclusively Roses. Infact some of our long time customer still know us as Exclusively Roses. And all we sold were roses. As a business that sold roses, exclusively, we are seasoned pros at handling them. We design them in so many different ways to show their beauty. We know what they symbolize and what about them makes them attractive to our customers and their recipients. One of their many meanings is LOVE. Especially red roses. They are the universal flower for communicating the deep romantic sentiment. The Hot Red color makes them the special flower for any romantic occasion.

HW0_65675 (1)Flowers in general are a great way to communicate romantic sentiments or really any occasion. You know what else communicates your feelings? Words. Yes, shocking isn’t it?! Yes, the right, honest words are what you need to makes sure your loved one knows how your feel. The don’t need to be flowery, poetic words laced with words you looked up on a thesaurus. they can be simple, short and sweet. To the point even. We get it, sometimes, it is difficult to put deep feelings into words. Some words may feel to weak or inadequate or mediocre to really show how you feel. Or sometimes the feeling is so deep you get tongue tied. It’s ok when that happens. This were ACTION comes into play. When words fail you, show your love with action. Remember it doesn’t have to be a grand display. you don’t have to pour your life savings and cash out your 401K to do it. It doesn’t have to show it in the important ways. Sometimes, the simplest actions are the most effective ones. You could get you honey a pint of her favorite ice cream on your way home when you know she’s had a long day. You could pick his favorite movie on netflix order some meaty pizza and get some beer and make the evening about him when he’s had a rough day. Leave her a sweet post it message on the bathroom mirror. You’ve noticed that his favorite running shoes have seen better days, find the same ones and get him new ones. These aren’t grand gestures, but they are the ones that speak to the heart, that show you care.

Send flowers. We know that this is something a florist would encourage, but seriously, do it. And since we are just wonderful people we are going to make it easy for you without breaking the bank. We’ve already said that Red roses are the best way to communicate deep romantic feelings. Well, friends, we have a deal for you. Click here and find out! This deal expires soon so don’t miss out. It’s summer time, it’s hot out, it’s time to turn the heat up on your romance now.

Summertime Romance

Romance in the summer is the funnest of all. Dates can be filled with many activities. Those awkward silent moment you would normally have sitting at a table at a fancy restaurant while quietly chewing on your stake and thinking on what to say next to fill the baby elephant size void in the air. In the summer you have the luxury of arranging fun activities to do. Which is a great way to get to know each other, learn each other’s personalities, temperaments, “fun levels”, and simply have a good time without the heaviness of sitting and talking.

HW0_500847And we are here to facilitate your summer romancing. First you see a pretty lady that works at the office 2 floors down from you (you know this because you saw her riding the elevator and she gets off 2 floors below your floors, obviously) and think to yourself “I would like to get to know her” then you use your charm to get her name from the office’s front desk. next you call you call your trusted florist and arrange a same day delivery of beautiful flowers saying “hey saw you in the elevator this morning and wanted to know if you’d like to grab some lunch at the taco food truck tomorrow at noon” make sure to include your phone number and full name in the note so she can say “Um, yeah sure  but can we make it @ 12:30?” (most likely answer since people can’t say no to flowers) or “no, you are sweet and all but I’m married, but thanks for the flowers” (in which case you should be happy knowing that you made her day and next time to check for rings). And most importantly so she can google you and do some “social media stalking” to make sure you are not a nut case; a girl’s gotta protect herself. Flowers are a great ice breaker. They will promote happy feelings in whoever receives them, so, in our humble opinion, are a great way to seal the date.

HW0_65675 (1)The next day make sure you look you best and meet her at the location you both agree on, buy her the tacos and drink and sit at a nearby bench and get to know each other a little. Ask silly questions, talk about your favorite food trucks, enjoy the lovely day, do some people watching, then walk her to her floor and wish her a great afternoon. When you get to your office text her with a short not that you had a great time and hope to see her again. If she feels the same was she will let you know. If she doesn’t then she will let you know too. Because you sent her flowers to ask her out from the very start, she knows you are a nice guy, this is a good thing and highly likely that she will agree to meet you on a second date – unless of course you chewed you taco with your mouth open or smelled like sewer backing in the sun, in which case we suggest you don’t do that anymore, not even the best arrangements from the best florist can help you there.

HW0_352191Now that you have your second date and agreed to meet up on saturday afternoon you can plan a fun activity for you both to do. You can go to Treetop Adventure Course in rockville MD and show off your tarzan-esque skills ziplining through canopies of trees and man-made obstacle course. Or do a bit of scavenger hunting on The National Mall. This could actually be a great double date idea. Since this is your first official date part deux, you both probably would feel more comfortable if you had your buddies and their significant other tag along and make it a group outing. You can split in pairs and hunt for whatever is in your scavenger hunt list is like finding a Monet, the statue of a typewriter eraser, a moon rock, etc and taking a selfie with your finding. Person to fin all the items in your list first wins. Perhaps you can go to Art Jams for their Paint and sip date night where you can show off your creative side, sip on some vino and just have fun. You can tease each other about your brush strokes and stick figure level painting skills, peek at the other dater’s work of art, have fun light conversations getting to know each other more. Have a blast!

When the date is over and you all go back to your respective homes with a smile on your faces and think about how this all started with a beautiful arrangement of gorgeous flowers. Remember that flowers are not just at the beginning of relationship but the middle too. they are a great way of saying “Thank you for a great date” or “How would you like a repeat of our first date next week” or “I want to tell you that I love you but don’t want to scare you off too soon so here are some red roses to open the door to what’s coming”, “You are the love of my life”, “I want to spend the rest of my life with you” “We are married!”,”Happy anniversary”, “You are as beautiful today as the day I first saw you” and much much more! Flowers are the language of romance so don’t do romance without them.

 

Summer Hot Spots In DC

2016-07-13-BLOG

HW0_372948We are deep into summer now and it is gooooorgeous out! Sure is is humid some days, sure we get a little rain here and there but we have to admit that our city is beautiful and vibrant in the summer. And since we don’t get these beautiful days 365 days a year, we need to make the most of these few days of perfection. AND take advantage of the warm days and go to all the outdoor cafes and rooftop bars, lounges, restaurants, and cafes we could possibly squeeze into these few months. Because , we at MyFlorist are good people (toot toot) and we love our customers, we’ve searched high and low for the best places to go and soak up some Vitamin D. Remember, all these places are great for socialising, family time, throw small celebratory dinners and parties, romantic dates or even networking for work. Remember, just because you are technically “working”, doesn’t mean that you need to miss out on the lovely summer.  There is a way to incorporate sun time and work time. And we’ve got the places for you!

HW0_197669

Our favorite top roof-top lounge/bar /restaurants are the DNV Rooftop lounge at the Donovan where there is a pool bar (yassss!!! so much yasss!). It’s located right on Thomas Circle and is open on Saturdays and Sundays for brunch from noon to 4pm, or go after work for happy hour from 4-7pm or enjoy the bar between 4pm to 1pm on fridays and Saturdays. Looking for something a little shmancy-er? How about the POV at the W Hotel on 15th St NW between F and E Streets where you can feel like a VIP with bottle service or host a small party. Restaurant Marvin (named after Marvin Gaye) on U Street Corridor right on 14th and U Street NW is another option for a great bar/restaurant for social time while still enjoying the summer warmth. And for good food and great view of Adams Morgan head on to the Roofers.

HW0_242773Sometimes you just want to sit down with your friends and family and enjoy your meal and great conversation while just wearing your shorts and flipflops. If you find yourself on 17th St NW between Riggs and P st NW (yes that’s 4 blocks), then you will have a choices of restaurants offering a variety of cuisine AND spacious outdoor sitting. Perhaps you want to play Bocce while you sip your Vino. Well then, Vinoteca is the right place for you (get the Who Dat Doggy, you must). Then there is the Tabard Inn in Dupont Circle. This place is a little oasis, so charming and so continental looking that you may feel like you transported somewhere out of DC. It’s a perfect place for a date, we promise. Of course there is the Georgetown area, with it’s river side restaurants like Sequoia or Nick’s Riverside Grill. But go to Farmers Fisher Bakers and get the fruity drinks like the Mai Tais and Scorpion Bowls and Daiquiris and… you get the point. It’s like going to a tropical vacation but not really. And it’s right on the river so you get to add that water element to the whole experiences. Win win win we thinketh.

So here you are. Go forth and enjoy yourself. Or not, it’s ok to POMO too. Speaking of POMOing (see blog directly below this) we are generous people so we are extending the competition for another week.

 

Food, Drinks, Entertainment and Decor For A 4th of July Celebration

2016-06-29-BLOG

When planning a party or any kind of celebration, there are four elements that are a must: Food, Drinks Entertainment and Decor. And for the 4th of July celebration, when we get to celebrate the birthday of our country, it is important we do it with lots of pizzazz. It’s the country’s big day after all, so it’s a given that the theme is red, white and blue. Here are some of our fun ideas that can help you plan your celebration.

HW0_223817Food

BBQ is the go to. It’s hot out, you want to soak up some vitamin D, you have the day off so it’s a perfect excuse to grill al fresco. Plus it a very easy and stress free way to feed your guests that will show up with their friends and their friend’s friends and their cousins, so a lot of people. But you might want your food to follow in the patriotic theme so there are fun of ideas to help you. You can incorporate fruits and vegetables and deserts for the reds whites and blue elements. You can make some fruit salad with strawberries blueberries watermelons and bananas and throw in some mint leaves because yum. if you are baking a cake the you can decorate it and use blueberries and bananas for the stars in the American Flags and white icing and strawberries arranged in lines for the stripes. You can also make red velvet cupcakes with white buttercream icing and plop a blueberry (or three) on top. For a healthier options you can make individual frappes in clear cups and layer with ripe strawberries or raspberries yogurt and of course blueberries. We’ve decided that blueberries should be the fruit of the day!

DrinksHW0_474725

It’s hot outside so you will need to hydrate. Now, what you choose to hydrate with will depend on your age and choice of beverage. Fourth of July is usually a family holiday, so there most probably will be small children, teenagers and adults of a legal drinking age present, it’s, therefore, important that they can all enjoy themselves, responsibly. Here are some cool ideas you can use to incorporate the theme of the day into your drinks. Since it’s july and undoubtedly hot out it’s important you have ice. Ice doesn’t have to be boring cubes of just H2O. You can get creative. Cut cubes of watermelon and freeze them. YES! They  are juicy watery fruit so they are perfect for freezing and they will add flavor to your drink whether it is just water or otherwise AND they will not water down your drink (if you are not drinking water of course). you can make smoothies for the younger crowd. We suggest you blend the different color fruits separately and layer them so they can show the distinct color in the glass you pour them in. If you are serving the fruity deliciousness to an adult then you can pour in some adult liquor stick in an umbrella and tiny American flag, dip your feet in the kiddie pool sit back and enjoy. If you are mixing some cocktails then here are some drinks that will add color to your drinks: the blue Gatorade which is hydrating, refreshing, delicious, and blue, Hawaiian Punch for your red, and Pina Colada mix for your whites.

HW0_430699

Entertainment

Well it’s a party after all, your guest have to enjoy themselves and a great way to do it is to plan games. you can buy red white and blue balloons to stay in them and play water balloons or balloon pop. Or play American history trivia, pictionary or charades (you’ve got to keep the kids brain working in the summer wink wink). Capture the flag with American flags is another good one. Baseball is after all THE American pastime, so you can’t go wrong there. Bocce is another game that is getting some serious popularity these days and a perfect outdoors game for all ages. All these are games that both the younger and older crowds can play and really enjoy.

Decor

We’ve touched on some things already, like little flags for your drink and the patriotic color balloons. But there are so many different ways you can liven up your place to really add some fun to your party. Of course flowers are number one. You can contact a knowledgeable florist and they will guide you through what would look great. And by “they” we mean “we”. There aren’t very many blue flowers and a  plethora of red and white ones. But there are many ways to incorporate the color while adding spark to an arrangement that would make them perfect for a party. Blue vases, blue ribbons or bows, stared confetti centerpieces and many more and be arranged together to give your party the oomph it deserves. You may think, “why would I get flowers to put outside to bake in the sun”, and you would be right to think it but remember your guests are not only outdoors. They will be congregating in your living room and your kitchen and will use your bathroom. Flowers will help you spread the festive decor you have outdoors merge seamlessly indoors and do it with class. And you get to enjoy the flowers long after the party is over, the last of the guest has been shoved out and  there aren’t’ any more hot dogs left. So Bonus!

We hope you have a fantastic holiday weekend celebrating the country’s birthday! Have fun and stay safe!

Our Favorite Summer Vacation Spots In The DMV

2016-06-22-BLOG

Our Nation’s Capital has been a major vacation destination for many, many maaaany years thanks to the many museums, monuments and historical locations the city is #blessed with. However, we, the residents of the DMV, don’t really take advantage of the many fun things that our city offers. When was the last time you played tourist in the city? Have you seen all the monuments, museums, historical homes, and parks the area we live in offers? Maybe not. We take the fact that we live in the area for granted and  we put off the plans to visit for another day. Well, guys, “another day” is here. Let’s make this summer the summer we get to know our area better and enjoy what it has to offer. Play tourist, walk around and talk with an accent if you like and make it fun!

HW0_197665Here are some of our favorite destinations:

  • As we’ve mentioned, we as residents don’t take the time to visit the many wonderful things that the city has to offer but many of those beautiful things are also usually overlooked. Yes we all know about The Monument and Lincoln and Jefferson Memorial but did you know there is and FDR memorial on  a 7.5 acre land? Or that when you sitting in traffic in Logan Circle either driving or taking the 54 bus, that there is a guy on a horse in the middle of that roundabout? That’s General George Henry Thomas if you’re interested. If you find yourself on 22nd St NW and Constitution Ave NW you can find good Ol’ Al (as we like to call Albert Einstein ’cause we are cool like that) sitting with a book looking pensive. If you take a stroll down Water street SW admiring the boats and yachts docked at the various marinas and yacht clubs you will find yourself at the Titanic memorial. Yes, that ginormous ship that buttheaded with an iceberg. Aaand you will find a statue dedicated to the men who sacrificed their lives to save the women and children in the ship. The fun part of this statue is that it is standing like that scene from the movie when Rose and Jack spread their arms and felt like flying. Exactly like that. We know about the Vietnam  Veterans Memorial, but do we know about the Vietnam’s Women Memorial. How about the George Mason Memorial where Mr Mason is sitting on a bench admiring the little fountain in front of him right on East Basin  Dr SW and Ohio Dr SW behind the Jefferson Memorial. And did you know there is an Air and Space museum in Virginia? These are just a few of many that many don’t visit but now you can.HW0_533036
  • You are at home so you are saving money that you’d have otherwise spent on travel and lodging. This means you get to splurge on other touristy things that you wouldn’t normally do. Like the Big Bus Washington DC Hop-on Hop-Off tour or The Washington DC By Moon Light Night Tours or go up the Washington Monument or take a day trip to Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello. Just do completely touristy things like you are new to the area knowing that when your adventure is over you get to go home and sleep in your own bed  and not worry about how clean the TV remote is (because you know exactly how “clean” it is).
  • Take advantage of the summer festivals around the city. Summer and BBQ go hand in hand and this weekend June 25th and 26th you get to enjoy the Annual Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle. Droooool…. And every Friday this summer you can head on to the Fairgrounds and take advantage of all the food truck foods Truckeroo brings. Double drooool….. If you love music (who doesn’t right?), check out the Maryland Music Festival at the Merriweather or see what’s happening at the Wolf Trap in Vienna VA this summer.
  • We are a florist, so anything to do with flowers is like heaven to us. So it’s not a surprise that this is one of our favorite destinations, the Botanical Gardens. They offer guided tours and exhibits. But nut just that, friends. They also have concerts. We suggest you go to their website and see what they have going on. Such fun!
  • For some family fun, head on to the Tyson’s Corner area for some happy times and create great memories with your family and friends. This July you can head onto Jones Branch Drive for the Slide the City Slip and slide water party event. Or take the Silver Line to the Tyson’s Corner Metro Station where Cirque du Soleil will be end of July and most of August. And while you are in the area come visit us!

HW0_474502

So here you have it. You don’t have to venture too far to vacation and you really should take advantage of the city you’re in. We live in lively, vibrant, diverse metropolitan area, we should absorb it all and enjoy it. Plus, it’s good to know a little bit more about our city than tourists do, don’t you think? And all these place are right within our delivery area!!! (see bellow for map)

Delivery Area

Overcoming The “Summer’s Over” Blues

2015-09-16-BLOG-Header

We got the blues, The “I can’t believe summer is over” blues, the “I don’t want to put away my shorts and flip flops and unpack my sweaters” blues, blues. And we got the cure for’em in the form of bright happy flowers.

HW0_216252
Summer Breeze

Yes the hot 90 degree days and balmy night are behind us. Yes, we no longer find iced coffee quite appropriate choice of drink in the cool early mornings. Yes, we have swapped the light airy blouses for knit sweaters. But, no, it doesn’t mean the mere change of temperature and the shift of season shout affect our mood when we can bring our own farm and fuzzies indoors. And as a florist, we think the best way to do so is through flowers. You may say we are biased because we are a florist or just out of our mind; both may be true but think about it: you look out of your window and you see the strong autumn winds shaking the leaves off the trees, the rain heavy clouds. We can’t lie, the thought is “sigh” inducing. It makes us shake with summer days withdrawal. And what is the antidote? Bright colors! And where do we find bright colors? In flowers. You want a beautiful flower arrangment of hot pinks, bright yellows, flaming oranges and lush greens to catch you eyes as they start to wonder. We guarantee they’ll turn your frowny face into a miley one.

HW0_372672
Sunny Sunflowers

There is something about flowers that has that give instant cheery. Whether they are a massive elaborat arrangement, or a small bud vase of daisies, it doesn’t matter. They are a fool proof, no side effect having, low cost-high yield blues chasers your doctor doesn’t have to prescribe therefor no co-pay needed medicine for your “I can’t believe it’s not summer anymore” blues.

Try it, serious do try it, they give your heart a warmth when you know it’s not outside. Surround yourself with sunflowers and lilies and beautiful hydrangeas and it’s almost like you have your own personal sun smiling at you then the real one is sleeping on the job and had one foot out on it’s way to a looooong vacation.

HW0_216247
Heat Wave

There are other way, of course, to combat the end of  summer blues. You can move to warmer climates, you can take a nine month vacation chasing the sun, you can just close the blinds turn the thermostat up, redecorate your house with sunny beach wallpapers and just never leave the house whilst ordering deliveries, netflixing and telecommuting till the summer of 2016 comes around. But all these are not the most cost effective, reasonable or “normal” solutions to be expected from norman, reasonable human being such as yourself (although the whole hibernating till next summer bit is preeeeeetty tempting). Don’t you think? So, go the flowers route.

Romance Recipe: Al Fresco

Blog-HeaderAugust evenings are just about the loveliest. And the loveliest of the evenings are meant to be enjoyed with those we love. So this week we will give you everything you need, to have a romantic evening al fresco. Yes, you have a plethora of restaurants with outdoor dining that you can take your honey to for a romantic evening out. But how much privacy do you think you’ll get, among the other patrons only 2 feet away from your elbow and pedestrians zipping past you on the sidewalk. We think that you can be as romantic as you want in the privacy of your own backyard, patio, balcony, or rooftop.

The Food:

When you are planning your meals, think simple. Remember that this is outdoors and you don’t want to keep going in and out of the house or apartment to get your 6 course meal. The idea is to sit back relax and enjoy each other’s company and take in your beautiful surrounding not stressing over the complicated meal.

If you feel you must cook for your honey, because, let’s face it, nothing says “I want to take care of you this evening” than actually getting down and dirty with ingredients and producing a yummy meal, we suggest this simple recipe for two of Bistro Roast Chicken we found on My Recipes. Honestly, yummy chicken made this simple should be illegal, but here it is:

roast chicken

2 chicken leg quarters (about 1 1/2 pounds)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried basil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 whole garlic heads

Preheat oven to 375°.

Rinse chicken with cold water; pat dry. Trim excess fat. Loosen skin from thigh and leg by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Combine basil and next 5 ingredients (basil through pepper). Rub herb mixture under loosened skin. Place chicken on a broiler pan. Insert meat thermometer into meaty part of thigh, making sure not to touch bone.

Remove white papery skin from garlic heads (do not peel or separate the cloves). Wrap each head separately in foil; place on broiler pan with chicken. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 450° (do not remove chicken from oven). Bake 30 minutes or until thermometer registers 180°. Cover chicken loosely with foil; let stand 10 minutes. Discard skin. (or eat that too we don’t judge).

But not all of us can work in the kitchen without it ending up with our house smelling like smoke and an impromptu visit from the fine gentlemen from the fire department. For those of us that are charred food experts there are God sent delivery services like GrubHub and Seamless that will bring you food from just about any restaurant of any cuisine in any part or your city. Just download the app, choose your dishes (including dessert), time your delivery and bam you’re food if on it’s way and you didn’t have to slave over a stove and you have to do is dish it onto a plate and make it look pretty.

Wine

The Drink

You will be out on a warm evening so you need something refreshing and light. We suggest a nice cool and crisp Sauvignon Blanc. Get an ice bucket and stick a bottle or two (or four, again no judgment here) in to chill and make sure to take the bottle(s) out in the bucket. Nothing as unappetizing as a warm white wine. And no matter what you do, do not ruin a good wine by adding ice in your glass…just don’t. We love the Robert Mondalvi Fume Blanc Sauvignon Blanc, but to be completely honest you can’t go wrong with a good Chardonnay or even Rose.  Just chill them, always chill them.

And since there are apps for the food delivery, remember that your wines can also be delivered to your door and yes there are apps for that like Drizly and Minibar. Isn’t the modern days we live in just marvelous? No more going to sketchy looking liquor stores or fighting the checkout counters of grocery stores anymore. With click and click-click and clickety-click, bam bottles at your door.

HW0_389727
Sweet as Sugar

The Mood:

Lighting is what’s important when setting up a romantic environment. Yes, even outdoors. You need to fish out your christmas lights and hang them on your trees or anything you can wind them on. Get battery operated tealights you can float in a vases full of water and just spread them round your table, floor and anywhere and get lanterns to hang especially to illuminate your way back into the house. Make sure all the lights are soft and in only one color. Either golden twinkles or red but don’t go crazy with a whole bunch of different colors. It could make it look a little tacky and no-one wants that. We are going for elegance and romance.

Never forget the Dukes of everything romance and that is flowers. You need a small centerpieces to put on your table to tie everything together. Choose an arrangement that is in a small container that sits perfectly in the center of the table and will allow you to look at your honey. And just like the the food and the drink, flowers are only a few clicks away from showing up at your door.

Kate-Leopold

The Movie

When done with your evening romancing your love, and you’ve talked about everything and anything but you just don’t want to end the night yet, it’s time for an activity that required very little talking, and that is watching a movie. For an evening like you just had we recommend Kate and Leopold. This old fashioned romance in a modern world will conclude your evening with an exclamation point.

 

Button

Romance Recipe: Hawaiian Style

Blog

Aloha! Ahhhh…summer and summer vacations and all the romantic opportunities during these vacations…so many possibilities. Last week we went all continental and showed you how to romance your honey the italian way. This week we save you from all the spaghetti and wine carbs and replace them with fruity fresh drinks and seafood yum yums and show how to make it steamy…you know, like the Hawaiian volcanoes.

The Drink

Well, obviously, we are going with the authentic hawaiian signature drink: Mai Tai. First we need to appreciate the esthetic aspect of this deliciousness. The bright yellows and oranges and the dark amber are a representation of the very hawaiian sunset. This drink is a treat for the eyes and for the taste buds.

Here’s a great recipe for one  tall glass of the real mai-tai:

Main-Tai-Blog

1.25 oz  Light rum like Captain Morgan Light Rum

1 oz  Your favorite mai-tai cocktail mix (one with mostly passion fruit is important)

1 oz  Fresh pineapple juice

.5 oz  Orange juice and

3.25 oz  Dark Rum

To get that layered sunset look, make sure to pour each ingredient in the order listed. If you really want to go all out with the authenticity of the drink use Hawaiian rum Koloa Rum in both the dark and light. Then make sure to garnish with a wedge of cored fresh pineapple with rind on (because texture), an orchid loom (because so pretty) and a tiny umbrella (because you simply gotta, it’s the law…of mai-tai).

The Food

It’s still beach season so we want you to keep the gorgeous beach bod you worked so hard for the whole winter. So, even while you are having romantic meals, you can keep your it light without forgoing yummy flavors. With that in mind we present to you Shrimp, pineapple(because duh) and avocado on a bed of Arugula.

Here’s what you need to serve 2:

.5 lb Fresh uncooked shrimpshrimp_salad_with_arugula_grilled_asparagus_tomatoes_and_fresh_mango-Blog

2.5 tbsp Olive oil

.5 Lemon juice (or lime)

1 Clove of garlic finely minced (plan on some mints for after dinner of obvious reasons)

1 cup  Grape tomatoes, halved

1  Avocado sliced in wedges

.25  Ripe pineapple cored and cut in cubes

as much arugula as you want

salt and paper

First, in a bowl, mix half the lemon (or lime) juice, garlic, 3/4th of the cilantro and salt and pepper and let the goodness marinate in the refrigerator. While the shrimp is making friends with flavor explosions, mix all the remaining ingredients (minus the arugula) in another bowl and let those yum-yums make friends.  Now take the happy shrimps and saute them in a hot pan for a few minutes till they turn pink showing they are cooked. Lastly, pour the content of bowl #2 onto a bed of arugula and top it off with the shrimp in the pan. If you are not drooling right now, then wait for desert.

As we all know the Hawaiian Islands are volcanic in origin. Volcanoes mean hot lava. Hot lava means hot Chocolate Lava Cake. And that means decadent ooey, gooey, hot and melty chocolate that erupts from custardy cake. Yup we just drooled. For a very easy recipe go here. You’re welcome.

Exotic-Garden
Tropical Arrangments

The Mood

You have a porch? A back yard, a front yard, a balcony, a veranda, an outdoor space where you can set up a table and two hairs on (but away from prying eyes)? Excellent. Get yourself these items: 2 hula skirts for him and for her, tiki torches (can be artificial or the real ones you light on fire), tea lights, 2 leis, hanging decorations like brightly colored tropical birds etc, and orchid to put in the lady’s hair and most importantly call your florist for a tropical flower arrangement to add that exclamation point to your island decor. We recommend flowers like hanging heliconias, birds of paradise, a variety of orchids, anthuriums all put together and accentuated with broad-leafed tropical leaves. We urge you to find a florist that has tropical flowers and knows how use them, because not all have them regularly. And remember exotic doesn’t necessarily mean tropical in the world of flowers; exotic is subjective, tropical is not.50First-Blog

After dinner and a wonderful conversation, cuddle up with your honey and watch some RomComs like 50 First Dates, or Forgetting Sarah Marshal, Or South Pacific, or Blue Hawaii while sipping on your yummy mai-tai and munching on Macadamia nuts and slices of pineapple.

And with that we say Mahalo for spending time with us and a Hui Hou. Aloha!

 

 

 

 

Untitled-1

 

 

SAVINGS

Romance Recipe: Italian Style

Blog

It’s August, it’s hot and humid and steamy and heavy and smoldering. Much like an Italian summer romance in the hilly landscapes of Southern Italy among the grapevines, olive trees and terracotta brick homes. This is the time of the year romance is at its peak heat. And when we think about the ultimate fantasy of romance, we can’t not think about the richness of red wine, the sultry food, and the smoldering good looks of Raoul Bova. In short, we think Italy, with all its the culture, history, romance and sensory overload of everything combined. Think of the art and history of Florence, the breathtaking balance between the old and new of Milan, the whimsy and fairy tale you can conjure up reclining on a gondola and being serenaded in such a romantic language, the rich food the south of Italy offers that will make your taste buds explode with fireworks and the absolutely breathtaking rugged yet welcoming beaches of Sardinia that  will take your summer romance to the stratosphere.

Perhaps this year is not the year you can travel to Italy and experience it first hand…le sigh or rather il sigh-o. But that doesn’t mean you can’t bring it to you, right? Right! And we will tell you all you need to  bring Italy home.

The Wine

WineGet a fine Italian red…wine ahm. Like a Chianti, meaning produced in the Chianti region in beautiful Tuscany. It is a dry red wine with a bit or tart cherry flavor to it. And if you want to have that authentic Italian wine look, stick the bottle in a straw basket or  fiasco. Our favorite is the Ruffino Riserva Ducale Oro. Try it. And when you open the bottle quickly inhale the bottle’s first breath. That’s air from Italy.

The Food

Now that you have your wine, plan your meals to complement it. Our suggestion is a four course of the simplest Italian feast you can imagine.

For your Antipasto (appetizer) we recommend Prosciutto e Melone, that’s Italian for Prosciutto (a dry cured Italian ham that is very thinly sliced) and melons (that’s English for a yummy fruit).  Just slice the melon in wedges and wrap with prosciutto. The saltines of the prosciutto and the sweet juicyness of the melon will feel like you have a summer party on your taste buds.

Spaghetti

Spaghetti

For your first course all you need is spaghetti (preferably bucatini) fresh ripe tomatoes (on the vine), a handful of fresh basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic and onions (yellow is best) salt and pepper and Parmigiano reggiano to make a summer favorite Pasta con Pomodoro e Basilico (pasta with tomato and basil, but it sounds sooooo much better in Italian). First, saute the onion and garlic in olive oil in medium heat then throw in chunks of the ripe tomatoes with salt and pepper. Once the juices from the tomatoes start to bubble, throw in the basil. You don’t want the sauce to dry and the basil to wilt completely, you still want it a little watery. While preparing your sauce make sure to start cooking your pasta in hot boiling water and check periodically that you don’t over cook it. You want it al-dente, meaning you want it to stick to your teeth when you chew it. Right before the pasta is at the desired cooking level transfer it into the pan of your sauce and let it cook with it. This will help everyone in the pan to mingle and get to know each other and become friends and the pasta will continue to cook to the right al-dente. When serving add shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano.

For your second course we recommend Pollo alla Cacciatora (chicken cacciatore or hunter style). Our favorite recipe is the one Mario Batali so deliciously created here <—- seriously, you want to go to there and cook up that deliciousness. We would never steer you wrong.

For dessert, and in all honesty, in the world of romance this is the only meal that matters, we suggest you get your Bialetti percolator (this is the only way god intended for good italian coffee be made) and make yourself a deliciously strong cup of coffee (because you do not want to go into a food induced coma just yet). We like Lavazza Qualita Rossa for espresso. And make sure you stop by , in our opinion the best bakery in the Washington DC metro, Tivoli located in Ballston, and get yourself some of the decadent yumminess that they offer ahead of time and keep refrigerated till it’s time to indulge. Get the Tiramisu. Get it!

The Entertainment

TuscanMake sure to get some of the most romantic Italian movies to watch with you honey. Yes you can get Under the Tuscan Sun or Roman Holiday. But if you want to venture beyond the obvious try Il Postino, Bread and Tulips, Marriage Italian Style (or anything with Sofia Loren really). And if none of these movies with their music and sing-song italian language, high drama that is so typical of everything Italian don’t make you feel like you are in that exquisite Mediterranean country, then add the important finishing touches.

The Flowers

Flowers
Order Flowers Now from MyFlorist

Call your florist and ask for a wispy, rustic country-style flower arrangement with earthy bold colors with flowers like sunflowers, brassica, protea, bear grass, hanging amaranthus and coral roses all put together in a simple vase or a terracotta pot. Make sure to set that on your table to tie in everything together. Let some of that warm summer air freeze in by opening your window. And compile a fun play list of music with Andrea Bocelli, Ramazzotti, Paula Pausini, Tizziano Ferro and Nek. Learn some romantic italian phrases that you can whisper to your honey. Even if they sound silly say them. Some of our favorites are: “Ti voglio bene amore mia/o” which is I love you, or “senza di te la mia vita no fa senso” which means without you my life has no meaning. And here are a few pet names you can use to summon your babe: “amoruccio” which means love, or “tesoro mio” which mean my jewel or my darling.

There you have it. Romance Italian style at home. Here is all you need to bring that boot shaped romantic country home.

10 Summer Must Dos

41878607_m
SUMMER!!!

It’s July y’all! Which means we are in the heart of Summer! Aren’t you happy?! We are! What’s not to love about this summer month. We love it even when it rains because the rain is warm and refreshing and waters our plants without us having to do it. The only complaint we have is that summer doesn’t run for the whole year, which means we need to enjoy it and make the most of it while we can.

Here are a few things that we suggest you do to fully enjoy your short lived sunny season.

  1. Catch one or two or 15 outdoor movie at the various parks around town. Find the listing, there is one almost daily.
  2. Go to the beach. Duh, right? You’d be surprised how many don’t. It doesn’t have to be the ocean, find a lake, a river, a pond, something.
  3. Grill everything and anything. How many opportunities to you get to fire up your grill and eat some deliciousness out in the open? And it’s healthy because you are not using fatty oils to fry anything, just your proteins and veggies neanderthal style, therefor maintaining your summer bod.

    HW0_474534
    Summer Salsa
  4. Play a tourist in your own city. Go to all the monuments and parks and museums. Some of us only explore our city when we have out of towners with us. This time lets do it for us.
  5. Take the mundane task of “working out” out doors. find yoga instructors that teach in the parks or go biking and running on actually roads. None of that stationary machinery needed when you can soak up some sun and delight your eyes with gorgeous views.
  6. Go to an outdoor concert or music festival and dance to your heart’s delight (this will count as working out too if you do it right)
  7. Road Trip!!! Nothing beats a summer time road trip. it doesn’t have to be a long distance one. Just a day trip to a part of your state you’ve never been too.
  8. Kiss your honey in the summer rain. It looks so romantic and fun when they do it in the movies right? So why not?
  9. Go camping. Find a campground somewhere fun or do it in your backyard. No backyard? do it on your roof top, balcony, living room…just sleep anywhere but your bed.
  10. Learn something new. Like how to hula hoop, a new dance, a new recipe, to juggle, it really doesn’t matter what just have fun with it.
PHW_372672
Sunny Sunflowers

The important thing is that you enjoy this beautiful fun season. But don’t forget to hydrate. All living things need water…drink up! While you’re at it hydrate your plants, they are alive too, they have feelings, they’ll remember the day you forgot to water them (we think).