Pregame Your Thanksgiving: Part One

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Crimson Cornucopia

 

When we go out for the evening with our buddies, we “pregame”, right? Why should it be any different for the one day of the year we get to get “wasted” on yummy goodness? The same way we plan our outfits, hair and makeup for the ladies, Imbibe in our choice of “refreshments”, plan our transportation and decide weather we need a designated driver or we’re Ubering it, we believe that Thanksgiving deserves the same enthusiasm and excellent planning.

This week we’ll focus on the not-so-fun but could be fun aspect of “Thanksgiving pregame”. The preparation. Make a list of everything you need from the guest list, to the decor, to the menu (therefore ingredients), to the anti-acids and the “cleanup crew” (the younger guests are perfect for this). Thanksgiving is the season open of the holiday season. So this is the time to dust off your cookbook and your dinner party planning skills.

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It’s My Party

If you want to make a dish that you’ve never made before and you are experimenting and you know it will be complicated, we suggest you try it first now. Your family and your friends can taste tasters, giving you the opportunity to practice , know what works and what doesn’t, feed your family and friends and have the confidence that you will not end up with inedible lump of something or other that your guest will talk about till next Thanksgiving. Also, plan your drinks for both your adult and minor guests. This week, buy all the ingredients that can be stored and stay fresh till the big day like your spices, dry ingredients etc, so that you are not overwhelmed and can be sure you haven’t forgotten anything on the day of. If you start now then you know what you have and what you need to get and there is still time to go out and buy it without fighting the late shoppers later on, there is nothing worse than being in grocery store on a holiday.

Plan your table setting. Take your time to inventory your plates, water and wine glasses, serving dishes, cutlery napkins etc. This is your opportunity to replace the wine decanter Uncle Bob broke last Thanksgiving while telling that funny joke (again). Call your florist and order your centerpice(s) for your dinner table, buffet table, powder room, kitchen, mantle, foyer, and coffee table. Remember a good flower arrangement can help you hide imperfections in your home. You have a glass ring stains on your wooden coffee table that that guest made by not using the coaster (Uncle Bob has destroyed your home, we get it), plop a beautiful arrangement on it. The fireplace mantle paint has chipped? Place a long and low centerpiece on it. Powder room is going to get a lot of action so place a fragrant arrangement by your sink (again, Uncle Bob). Plan on some entertainment for the young guests and for those that don’t have the desire to unbutton their pants and luxuriate with a happy tummy in front of the tv watching some pigskin action.

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Now you know if that croquembouche recipe you wanted to try will work, you already know what you need to buy (food or otherwise) and how your table will look. You know where to sit Uncle Bob (away from the flammables, breakables and down wind), and you already feel the weight of the holiday stress falling from your shoulders. You can now strut your stuff knowing you’ve got it this year. You’re welcome.

 

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Luxurious Living

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You work hard to make a living for yourself. To be able to pay your rent or mortgage, to be able to feed yourself and your family, to make sure your bills are paid, and have all of life’s necessities fulfilled. And that is great. It means you are a responsible adult. But while you are being responsible and doing all the things you are suppose to do, you may be neglecting doing the things you want to do. those things that you may now think frivolous because there are other more important priorities in your life that you are focusing on. But guess what, once in a while you NEED to treat yourself. Reward yourself for being so good and do those things that bring you joy and freedom and help you unwind.

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Magnificence

Now we are not saying that you’ll need to empty your savings account and cash out your 401K to do it. but we urge you to find those small things that make you feel good. It could be going to a spa and getting a good massage, a facial and getting pampered, or buying a new outfit that is worth 10% more than your usual budget for cloth, or a luxurious many and pedy beyond the regular soak feet in some water and slather pain on your nails, or buying those gold club sets you’ve always wanted, or buy yourself some lush flowers to put on you coffee table just because you love hydrangeas, roses and callalilies. It’s the small things that will make your feel that you are not simply working hard during the week and sometimes weekends and sometimes evening, and sometimes through lunch to make ends meet or to plan for a better future when you retire.

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Tropical Sail

But life is going on right now. Don’t you think you should accumulate enough luxurious memories now that you can look back to in your twilight days? Don’t you think you deserve to be spoiled now? We do. No one needs flowers, no one will be hurt or suffer because they didn’t buy them or have them in  their homes. That’s what makes our business one of giving and providing luxury. When you buy yourself a beautiful bouquet of flowers for no other reason than to brighten your day and your environment and have something fresh and pleasant to smell you are simply pampering yourself. You are allowing yourself to enjoy something that is short lived but will give you immense pleasure. You are saying to yourself “self, today i love you so much that I think you deserve these glorious lilies. Enjoy!”. Why wouldn’t you want to do that? Why wouldn’t you want to love yourself and give yourself what you know you love? There is no reason why you shouldn’t. So, do it!

Shhh… It’s a PARTY!!!

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In life, there are a lot of celebrations. Those that that call for big parties, loud music, banners confetti and noisemakers and those that call pretty china, dainty snacks, polite conversations and mild music and everything in between. Whether you are celebrating a milestone or a Wednesday, it doesn’t matter: a party is fun (or is suppose to be). Some are a surprise and some are not, some are big and some are intimate but all should be fun and planned well. Today we’ll discuss surprise parties for best of life’s celebrations.

3-Key-lime-cupcakesIt is easy to be overwhelmed by the whole party planning process. The first thing you’ll need to do is get a theme for the party and set a budget understanding that the largest chunks of the budget should be for the venue, decor food and entertainment. Once you have that the rest will fall in place. And when planning a surprise party there is the added pressure of planning something that someone else would enjoy while keeping it hush hush. Not an easy task.

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Giggles & Smiles
  • When thinking of surprise parties, the first thing that we thing about is birthday parties. They are tricky to plan because you know that the birthday boy/girl knows when their birthday is so it is easy for him/her to be suspicious that someone is planning something. This is why we suggest that you don’t wait for the BIG milestone birthday to throw one; like the 21st of 30th or 40th etc. Plan the surprise birthday party on the “regular” birthdays like 27th or 42nd. This way it will REALLY be a surprise.
  • Another popular event that warrants a surprise party is a baby shower. It is also an event you don’t want to scare the expecting mother into an early labor. It’s true she may be expecting to have a baby shower some time during the pregnancy but she won’t know when.
  • Bridal shower are another occasion that call for surprise parties. Just like a baby shower, the bride to be may suspect she will have a party at some point. She may assume that she will be included in the party planning but we think it would be awesome if the bridal party and her family planned a party that catches her off guard.

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When planning to have a surprise party, the first thing you will need to think about is if the person you are throwing the party for would enjoy being surprised or how s/he will handle it. Remember, not everyone likes surprises nor will know how to respond to it so be careful that your plan doesn’t backfire on you.

Make sure that your guest know that it is a SURPRISE party so they don’t ruin it. You would assume that they know not to tell the guest of honor but some people are simply clueless about these things. Prime example of a ruined party: Guest gets invited to attend a bridal shower. guest couldn’t attend so proceeded to text the guest of honor to apologize that will not be able to make it. Guest ruins the aforementioned party. so it is imperative that you and you minions are the only people that the guest and anyone involved with the party will communicate with weather to RSVP or send gifts to.

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You’ll also have to remember that you are throwing a party for someone else. so your taste and likes and dislikes do not come into play. It’s about what will wow the guest of honor. If you like chocolate cake for your birthday, the birthday girl might like carrot cake, you might like an explosion of pinks for a baby girl’s baby shower decor but the guest of honor might enjoy shades of oranges and yellows, you might like a fancy tea party for your bridal shower complete with cucumber sandwiches and dainty hats but the bride-to-be might like to have a casino themes shower. You may like a vase full of peonies and hydrangeas but she may like sunflowers and daisies. The surprise is not only for the part where the person you are celebrating doesn’t know you are honoring him or her but it’s also in knowing what exactly with please him/her and providing it making the whole to-do a memorable and enjoyable day.

 

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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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Romance Recipe: Hawaiian Style

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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:

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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

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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.

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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!

 

 

 

 

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SAVINGS

Summer Party Decorating Ideas

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LET’S PAAAARTYYYY!

Now that we’ve done our spring cleaning and our homes and yards look spotless, it’s time to throw some funtabulous parties to show them off. This is the season for the bridal showers, engagement parties, barbecue parties, pool parties, “it’s awesome out side so let’s take avantage” parties, “warm weather is entirely too short so let’s enjoy” parties, “we’ll have a party because we wanna” parties. Any reason is a good reason for a party, right? Right!

When planning a party we need to think of a theme and color palettes that matches the occasion to help us better choose our decor and accessories. Disposable (or reusable, let love our planet) plates, cups, napkins, utensils, table cloth or covers, balloons, hats, sashes, banners, confettis, favors, and centerpieces. Now, we can help you with any centerpiece questions you may have and will try to address them today.

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Burst of Beauty

First, being that it is warm out, we understand you want to take your parties outdoors, or even partially outdoors. Here is where your choice of centerpieces will be decided. How warm is it outside? A lovely 72 degrees or a balmy 95? Is the area covered and air conditioned or open with plenty of sunshine? Of course, if you’re having your party outdoors in the open in a 90 degree weather, you do not want to have centerpieces with fresh cut flowers. Instead, we suggest beautiful potted flowering plants. You get the flowers and you won’t see them wither as the party progresses and you get to have pretty plants once the party is over (you can use them again so whoop whoop) or you can give them away to your guests as a gift! Our favorite plants that are perfect for centerpieces are: African violets, Hibiscus, Begonias, Kalanchoes, Azaleas and Cyclamen. These plants are easily found in small sizes making them the perfect centerpiece plants. You can choose beautiful rustic tiny pail buckets, or pretend you are in a vineyard in Tuscany and put them in earthy terracotta pots or class them up with fancy ceramic containers. And you can find them in a variety of colors to match your theme.

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Turn Up The Pink

If your party is partly indoors or in air conditioned area, you can tie in the decor and theme outside and follow thru with more plants or decide on fresh cut flowers in the same colors of your plants. The best part is that there are many colors, shapes and sizes fresh cut flowers come in. They can also be designed in any size. you tant tall arrangement that you want to put in the foyer of your house? You want long hanging ones you can drape over the mantle of your fireplace? You want the tiny arrangement with a few flowers to brighten up your powder room? Or perhaps you want to sprinkle around your living, dining and kitchen area, beautifully designed pave arrangements in modern cube vases? Everything you desire is only a phone call away. Call your florist and tell them what colors you want your flowers to be and where you want to put them and they will create designs that will make your heart sing, do cartwheels, backflips, hula hoops, the running man, the water sprinkler, and the cha-cha all at the same time.

You may not think that having flowers for your party is unnecessary. We think that when you look back at the pictures, sure you will laugh at the memories of the people, but, there, in the background, will be the beautiful flowers that will bring whimsy to the photo. Trust us, we know that we’re talking about.

Flowers as Decorative Accents

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Orchid Sherbet

At times it is important to go to the basics. To the simple thing that bring us beauty, pleasure, joy. It’s the small details we surround ourselves with that matter the most and add spice to our lives. With that said, we believe that what we surround ourselves with will dictate our state of being. The people we keep around us, the the music we listen to, the books we read and the decor around us affect us. It is our duty to choose them well.

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Calypso

As we are a florist, we will help you choose your flowers better to accentuate your space, home or office. When choosing flowers for your office thing of the available space. Decide your budget and your commitment to the flowers. This will help your decide whether you want a potted flowering or green plant or a fresh cut flowers with a shorter life span. Whether you have a very limited space of a cubicle or your very own office. there is always room for flowers. We suggest you choose flowers arranged in a container that is not easily knocked over. tall decorative vases (unless you have a credenza with very little traffic) are not the ideal for an office space. we suggest containers like cubes or fish (bubble) bowls sat sit low. this way you avoid elbowing them and have water spill all over your files. However, to bring some color and life to your office lobby or reception area we suggest the tall elaborate arrangement that say “WELCOME!” to both the employees and the clients.

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Make A Wish

When choosing flowers for your home decor, don’t limit yourself to the living or sitting room. There are more opportunities and areas in your house to put a beautiful flowers on other than your coffee table. Think of the areas you spend more time in: the Kitchen perhaps? Ahm… the bathroom? Definitely the bedroom. When you are mixing your famous recipe of tuna casserole, wouldn’t you enjoy seeing a happy arrangement of brightly colored daisies? Wouldn’t your bathroom feel like a spa if you added a few stems of sweetly fragrant (wink wink) sweet peas and hyacinth in a budvase? Wouldn’t you want a vase of beautiful peonies, hydrangeas and orchids to be what you see before you fall asleep and the first thing when you wake up? I bet you would. There is not rule anywhere that said your dining room and coffee table are the only ones lucky enough to be blesses with flowers. No rules…we checked. And is someone made such a rule then they would be wrong and we wouldn’t be afraid to fight it.

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Zen Artistry

Even in feng shui, flowers have purpose and a role in bringing good in our lives. Peonies are considered a cure for love and romance and orchids are a sign of fertility, beauty and and purity soooo, guess you should put those in your boudoir. The chrysanthemum, in feng shui, symbolizes good luck and an easy and balanced fe. By all means put them EVERYWHERE in your house, car, office, yard, hair and pin them to your lapel.

There is so much beauty in flowers it would be silly to pass up on all the loveliness that they bring them and use them as a finishing touch when we are arranging our homes and work areas. They come in many colors and looks to match any theme you’ve decided to have.

 

The Scent of Christmas

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Peaceful Blessings

We associate scents special scents to special occasions. and during the Christmas season we definitely associate many things that wake up our olfactory sense and remind us of wonderful childhood times during the holidays. Number One on our list of the ultimate christmas scent is the Christmas Tree. That almost spicy citrusy woody smell of evergreens trees is the reason many brave the pointy needles of the tree that give us ouchies and refuse to get the fake ones. The fact they have poured this intoxicating fragrance in diffusers and candles and air fresheners is testament to just how much we love it.

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Peppermint Posies

Then there is the smell of peppermint candy canes. Not only are they delicious and we love walking around with them hanging from the corner of our mouth like a delicious extension to our face, but they make fun ornaments. Ornaments that don’t make it through the end of the season, but ornaments no less.

Cinnamon is the other smell that give us the warm and fuzzies of the holiday. we find them in our drinks, in our desserts, in our potpourri, as a special tough to our decor, just everywhere.

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Holiday Spice

The smell of baked goods, especially the smell of freshly baked gingerbread. First of, YUM, and secondly, nothing says welcome or feels as cozy as the smell of delicious cookies right out of the oven. and they are especially fun to decorate, and eat. We like starting at the leg when we munch on the gingerbread men.

The fun part of being in a flower shop during this season is being engulfed in all these scents. Our centerpieces full of winter evergreens, pines embellished with cinnamon sticks and candy canes make our days dreamy and festive.

10 People Who Need a Holiday Somethin’-Somethin’

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Silver Lining

We made our list, and checked it twice, we’ve kept up with who’s been naughty and/or nice, because this is the real world and we are Santa. We don’t have elfs that help with the making and the building and the creating and the wrapping and the taping and the bows and the ribbons and the signing the cards and the….Just the thought of it is exhausting isn’t it?

But in our gift buying and sending to our friends and family frenzy we forget those people that are in the background in our world. Lets take a moment and think about those people that make a difference in our lives.

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Double Poinsettia Basket
  • The barrista at the coffee place we go to every morning and greets us with a bright smile and know our names and puts extra whip cream in our coffee.
  • The manicurist that payed extra attention to your nails and spent extra 5 minutes massaging your hands.
  • The neighbor that watered your plants while you were away for a week in the summer.
  • That guy that works in the office downstairs that that helped you haul your pothos plant when you started your job in your new office.
  • The mom that took your kids to school that morning you had a bad cold.
  • The hairdresser that gave you a that special scalp massage that made you almost fall asleep.
  • The boy in your neighborhood that cleared your driveway during THAT snow storm we had last year.
  • The girl that always comes to you to play with your pup and gives him extra ruv and belly rubs.
  • The door man that always offers to help you carry your grocery bags.
  • The mailman that is always on time and is always cheerful.

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    Spirit of Christmas Centerpiece

You may say that some of the people in this list are just doing their job. That may be true, but look at how much positives warm and fuzzies they are adding to your life in the smallest way. The simplest gestures and the smallest acts of kindness without expectation of something in return are the ones that deserve a 10 fold return. You don’t have to go crazy with the gifts but a small acknowledgement from you will make their day. A greeting card, a small gift card, a poinsettia, a box of chocolates, a plate of cookies, small stocking stuffer is all that is needed to say “Thank you for your kindness”. Embrace the true spirit of the the holiday. It never is about what you receive. It is about spreading the joy, making someone smile and giving. Especially to those that won’t be expecting it.

Food & Flowers

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Elegant Traditions

When planning a dinner party, or a holiday dinner, or a romantic dinner at home, first thing you think about is, of course, the menu then the theme and how to put it all together harmoniously. The way we set our tables is what ties it all together and set the mood we want. It would be a simple relaxed dinner with paper plates and cups and disposable cutlery (because we just don’t have the time, the desire or the energy to do the dishes) or it could be so formal with countless fancy spoons, forks, knives, glasses and what-not in every shape and size it would make Emily Post weep tears of joy and Carson (from Downton Abbey) do a jig.

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Autumn Expressions

You play the music that will compliment the gastronomic treat and the occasion. We wouldn’t suggest you playing Black Sabbath at an ear-piercing volume during a candlelight romantic dinner…unless, of course, you prefer not to converse with your guest/s and have your face in your Osso Buco and stuff your face with baby potatoes and Black Sabbath just does it for you, then go for it. We recommend you choose softer music whether holiday themed or not (depending on the occasion), that will allow those at the table to converse and enjoy their meal and the atmosphere without the threat of pierced eardrums and a possible headache.

Find the right table dressing and ornaments that fits the reason of the special dinner. Pine cones and ornamental balls for Christmas, Pumpkins and decorative fruit for Thanksgiving, Crystals and floating candles for a romantic date night are perfect. However, nothing will come close to a perfectly designed and placed flower arrangement.

Flowers are definitely the exclamation point that will finish the look. Whether a round and low centerpiece or an oblong one perched in the middle of the table, or small pieces nestled between serving plates and bowls, or standing tall and proud at your buffet table, will help you set the mood for your occasion. Just remember you don’t choose flowers that overpower your food. If it is sitting at your table you want to be able to smell the food you’re eating not the Stargazers in front of you. So if your must have heavily scented flowers choose them for the buffet table or for another part of your home rather than on your dinner table.

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Crimson Cornucopia

Since this is Thanksgiving season, you probably are already planning your menu and your decor. If you are planning a large dinner with friends and family and their friends you are probably a going over minute details to make the day memorable and enjoyable. Here is how we can help: we the have flowers part covered. If you have a buffet table with all the food and the dining room table just for eating then we suggest a lovely centerpieces for the table, low enough for people to look over it but sizable enough for it to make a statement. Plan a taller one to put on your buffet table. If you have the food on the table your will be sitting at, then we suggest multiple smaller pieces you can place sporadically to bring some color to your table. Don’t forget to add some rearrangements around the house. Perhaps in your kitchen where you and your family will prepare the food and in the living room where your guest will sit and wait for the food to come out. Perhaps in the powder room (natural air freshener anyone?) and if you have a spacious foyer then add one to welcome your guests with.