Just a Touch of Nature Helps Lower Stress

Small Peace Lily in Silver Tin Pail in McLean VA, MyFloristWe have talked about this before, in fact we have talked about so many times that it seems that’s all we talk about. Flowers are awesome. Not because they are pretty and colorful, smell wonderful and make great gift but because they help us become happier. We have shown you finding from scholarly research’s conducted in Universities about how flowers alter a person’s mood for the better. We find that the same is true for nature in general. Yes flowers are part of nature. A beautiful part, but a part nonetheless. Think about it: when we go to on vacation or a retreat we normally go somewhere where the glory of nature is flagrantly displayed. To the beach where the majestic oceans, seas and lakes are, to the mountains where we marvel at their awesomeness, or to the woods or forests where it looks like even the tall trees know their impact of us. This is because we know that nature is powerful in its ability to relax us and center us. We don’t go to the hustle and bustle of a metropolitan city when we need some R&R. we go to where nature is present in full force.HW0_34687

There are, of course times that we cannot go out into the wild or into nature and have it surround us so we can soak in all the good it does to our state of mind. This is why we need to bring nature to us. This doesn’t mean that you have to plant a forest in your yard or cover each square inch of your home or workplace with shrubbery. All you will need to do if have some element of nature close to us as a way to help us focus and relax. It could be a small dish garden on our desk at work or a green or blooming plant in the corner of our office or home, and you will find that where ever they are will pull on your focus and become your corner or zen and help you lower stress whenever life throws you a curve-ball. So go ahead and get yourself some beautiful flowers, lush plants and any other element of nature that brings you peace and surround yourself with it.

5 Best Gift Ideas For Your Administrative Professional

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There you are sitting at your desk thinking, contemplating your next world take over when your calendar reminder pops up to tell you that you have a meeting tomorrow at 10am that you set up months ago while playing golf and rubbing elbows with who’s who of the industry and had forgotten all about. And your eyes go wide open and bug out and you think “Yawza! Forgot about that!” Well guess who didn’t forget. That’s right! Your Administrative Assistant. Your fabulous AA set up you calendar reminder and confirmed your appointment, prepared your PowerPoint presentation, pulled all the data and pertinent information, prepared your report, printed it collated, made copies arranged it perfectly and professionally in presentation folders. All while s/he ordered your office supplies, made your traveling arrangements, arranged catering for your lunch meetings, sent flowers to the employee who just had a baby AND remembered your mother’s birthday and sent her flowers too, arranged pickup and delivery of those important time sensitive documents, and made sure that you did what you did best without having to worry about all the other details. So you tell us, does your Admin deserve a thank you? We think a resounding big fat YES is the answer you are looking for. Your administrative Assistants are your soldiers and you are their general. Their success is your success and vice versa. Their reward is your reward. So tell us big boss, what are you rewarding yourself….er we mean you super-duper assistant with? We have some suggestions.HW0_647405

  1. Flowers. Yes, yes, we know we are a florist and surprise surprise we would suggest flowers. Shocking! We know. But seriously, what’s more perfect? You tell us what would say “thank you” better than flowers. Nothing, that’s what. Unless you want to hand your AA handful of raw cash but that’s not classy, and we know you are one classy human. The beauty, colors, and ability to cheer even the grumpiest of humans that flowers possess is the best way to say “thank you, you are as delightful to have around as a bouquet of these blooms”. We honestly think that they are the easiest yet the perfect most excellent way to express your gratitude. Flowers are a gift that keep on giving. Win-win we think.
  2. HW0_64857Gift baskets. We understand that not everyone is into flowers. We think that’s just coo-coo, but we won’t judge. And for those that don’t get gooey feelings over flowers, we suggest something with gastronomic appeal. A basket laden with fresh, juicy and refreshing fruit with yummy gourmet cheeses, chocolates nuts and other delectable hand-picked and arranged to make the perfect gift that will make your Admin Assistant feel appreciated. In fact they will feel so appreciated and valued they may even want to share what’s in the basket with you.We told you a reward for them is a reward for you, didn’t we? You can actually throw in a bottle of wine or bubbly in there too! HW0_417674
  3. Now you are thinking, well flowers are pretty and all but might die and your sentiments of thanks will wilt and evaporate along with the blooms and the water they are in. And Gift baskets are fine but your admin is a picky eater and you don’t want to offend her/him by giving her/him non-gluten free, non-GMO, non-organic product that s/he is trying to avoid or items that are counter productive in her pursuit to maintain her/his figure. Well fine, we can work with that. We present the potted plant. This, as long as maintained well, is a gift that will last for ever and ever and ever or until that month your assistant gets too busy with organizing that conference you will be speaking at on top of his bazillion duties and forgets to water his/her plant. You can choose a fabulous blooming plant like a Phalaenopsis orchid or a melange of small green in an exquisite dish or a lush full plant s/he can put in the corner of her/his office or cubicle. Whatever you choose will send a truly lasting message of thanks for all the s/he does for you and the success of the company.
  4. 6454m_Balloon-Bouquet12-MylarPerhaps your AA just about kills every plant s/he so much as looks at and flowers are just not her/his thing and a gift basket will just ruin his/her healthy living road s/he’s on. Now what? Remember this is a day of celebration of a true professional. A party in a way. And no party is a happening party without balloons. You can embarrass (in a good way) the living staples out of your AA with happy, floating, mass of your herald of your thanks in the form of mylar balloons. Just imagine them hovering over his/her desk saying to every on looker and passerby that your AA is the BEST Admin Assistant EVER! Your AA will be the envy of the office, and rightly so! S/he works for a boss that recognizes and appreciates her contribution to her/his success. That’s you champ.
  5. AdminBlog REThis last suggestion may not feel like an actual gift, but it may be the most honest and probably the one that will truly speak the most. Literally. Either in the notes being delivered with your gifts or in person or both, tell your assistant that s/he is a truly valued member of your team. That what s/he does for you has not gone unnoticed, unappreciated and undervalued. Your AA may simply find reward and satisfaction in a job well done or may not expect or need an atta’a boy or a pat on the back for nailing that report for you. But how cool is it to just shock them  with a heartfelt thank you. We promise you that it will give your AA an extra boost to do even better for you and work with a ginormous smile on his/her face and feel like what s/he does actually makes a difference (s/he may already know this but it is good to be reminded sometimes). THANK YOU is a very powerful sentence. People take it for granted. Don’t give a passive meh-thanks-meh, but look your AA in the eyes and give him/her an honest, heartfelt, meaningful “THANK YOU”!

 

 

When “Thank You” Is Not Enough…

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Sometimes, when someone does something truly spectacular that knocks our socks off, a simple “thank you” feels inadequate. Even an “OMG, Thank you so so so much!” is sometimes insufficient. At times, we are at a loss for word and we feel anything we could possibly say, wouldn’t fully express our gratefulness effectively. This is where we need to be creative and think of a way you make the person feel like s/he is just about the best thing that’s happened to you in a long time. It’s time to show her/him s/hes the cat’s meow, the bee’s knees, the cat’s pajamas, a peach, in short the awesomest thing since kale chips.

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Gourmet, Fruit & Flower Basket

We’ve been taught to say please and thank you and it’s become part of our DNA. An automatic response to people when they do something for us like holds the door open for us, lets us pass first while driving, gives us a cup of coffee in the morning, hands us a news paper etc. “Thank you” “thanks” “‘preciate it”  or ‘thumbs up’; so simple that we don’t even think about them anymore. Let’s consider for a moment what we are thanking them for. Their simple acts of kindness makes a difference in our day. it may be something the person does without actually consciously thinking that s/he is doing something kind, it may be second nature, but when we do thank that person let the words be sincere. Let the person know that you are in fact thankful for the simple deed.

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Dish Garden 14A with Fresh Cuts

And then there are those superhero size actions that have us collecting our jaws from the floor; we need an equally grand way of showing the person exactly how grateful we are. Granted that the person may not expect anything in return but we believe that EVERYONE wants to feel appreciated. It is our duty to  make that happen. Yes, we can dedicate prime real estate on our Facebook status and go into full detail with pictures and tags and gush about what s/he did for you so the whole world know what a great human being s/he is. That great but sometimes we just need to go a step above and beyond publicly singing praises.

Do something. Something that will say “The english language (or any other language) does not have enough superlatives to fully express exactly how much I appreciate what you did for me so I needed to show you”. Something less embarrassing than a singing telegram but more expressive than a post-it note with “thanks” on it…we, of course being a florist, think flowers are a great balance. And if the person is not a flowers person (no such thing) you can send a beautiful plant that says THANK YOU FOREVER or a delectable fruit and gourmet basket. Seriously….do it. Thank someone today.

 

The Heroes Behind The Curtain At Work

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It’s natural that we recognize the people sitting in the big chairs behind the intimidating big tables with their names on the signature part of our paycheck. Yes they are hard working people and deserve all the recognition they get. However, have we stopped to think about the many many many administrative professional that work just as hard behind the scenes? the many bricks that make up the great wall? The ones that take care of the miniscule details to present the finish product. The ones that make sure the ‘i’s are doted and the ‘t’s are crossed. the ones that coming before the boss comes and leave after s/he leaves. the ones that keep the boss on schedule and make her or him look good. the real backbones of the company. Yes, the administrative assistants are usually the unsung heroes that, it you’re lucky enough to have chosen them right, will make you and your company a well oiled machine that runs properly towards prosperity.

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Recognized

This is why we believe that every year, we need to remind you to never ever forget your Admins. At the matter of fact we believe they should be thanked, appreciated, encouraged, rewarded for their hard work every day. However, as everything else, we had to have a week specifically intended to celebrate these magnificent people. We like reminding you of this day every chance we get, because, trust us, you don’t want to forget. We don’t want you to have an unappreciated or under appreciated Admin.

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Nine to Five

There are many ways to make sure that you Admin’s thank you tank if full. Make sure that s/he knows that her or his great work has not gone unnoticed. Say a genuine “thank you” when s/he hands you a finished work that will make your work a thousand more easier. Every so often call her/him in your office to say that you are grateful and appreciative of the extra effort s/he puts in he/his work. Your admin may work hard simply because it is in her/his nature to work hard and go the extra mile and may not expect a “thank you” or even a recognition for the work, because s/he will do it because it is his/her job. But hearing that the boss has noticed his or her toil will give him/her the extra fuel to do even more.

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Classic Fruit and Gourmet

So, we encourage you to go the extra mile this coming week to make sure that you admin know just how much you value his/her hard work. We can help you. If you are on a budget and you have a ton of admins you want to send a gift or flowers to? We’ve got you back. You have superduper admins that you know you couldn’t accomplish your daily task without their help? We know exactly what you should send.

Five Ways to Thank Someone TODAY

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Saying the words “thank you” is an excellent start. But words can feel inadequate sometimes. At time, only the words don’t seem enough to fully show our sentiments for the magnitude of what someone did for us. We want something solid and tangible to make up for the seemingly light words.

 

Flowers never fail. Sending a beautifully and professionally arranged bouquet of bright colored flowers will alway communicate your appreciation. Flowers have a very innocent way of expressing sentiments like no other. Trust us, we would know.

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Around The World Gourmet

A basket of goodies. Delicious fresh fruits and delectable gourmet cheeses, chocolates, nuts and more displayed in a basket complete with a big bold bow will say “thank you” in the yummiest way. You can  include a bottle of wine or  of a bubbly too to class it up a bit (wink wink). This especially a great way to say thank you to a group of people, like to an office. Very shareable.

Take the person to lunch or dinner (choose the star of the restaurant in proportion to how grateful you are). This would be a gastronomically excellent way to say thank you to a person with finer taste of foo or a foodie.

Sent a potted plant. Live plants could be the most permanent way of saying thank you repeatedly. Weather it is a blooming plant or a green plant, the person will always remember your “thank you” every time s/he waters it or when the plant blooms or just looks at it. We recommend an orchid plant or a medley of lush green plants in a dish garden.

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Dish Garden

Social network can assist in allowing you to say thank you publicly. you can show your friends and family and her/his friends and family just how great s/he is by detailing what s/he did and thanking her/him.

 

These are all great ways of showing a person that you are thankful now. and we can help you with 3 of the 5 ways. We’ve got the flowers, we have the basket full of yummy goodness, and we’ve got the plants. You want to say thank you today? We can make it happen for you TODAY.

 

 

Growing Plants Indoors

HW0_417674Flowers, we love them, everyone loves them. Yes, even that girlfriend that said “Oh I really don’t like flowers” likes flowers and wants you to get them for her. However, the sad thing about flowers, is that they don’t live forever. You know what lives forever? Plants. Well maybe not forever, but for a very very very long time if we know how to take care of them. And do you know what some plants give us? FLOWERS!!! And when we have plants that live a long time and can produce flowers, we can have flowers all the time, or at least often. The question now is what plants should we get that will yield flowers and how do we take care of them? Our favorites are Phalaenopsis Orchid, African violet, and Peace Lily plants.

Most people cringe at the thought of taking care of an orchid plant. They think they are difficult to maintain. We assure you, they are not. In fact they are so low maintenance you might even forget that you have them. Especially Phalaenopsis Orchids are the least needy of all orchids that you will be surprised how they manage to survive after so much neglect. They need medium indirect light and need to be watered once a week and be allowed to dry out completely before watering, which makes them perfect for those of us that tend to forget our plants or those that travel often. If you need to re-pot (when the roots start vacating their current home) make sure to  add some new moist moss and bark chips to the new pot and you will not need to add fertilizers (score!). The plant should bloom 2-3 times a year; and once the flowers die cut the stem about 3-4 inches from the pot to allow a new healthy stem or stems to sprout out. Sometimes new stems will spring out of the “joints” of the old one, and when that happens do a happy dance for the bonus blooms.

African violets are another that requires little to no attention. They do not need direct sunlight but need to be in a well-lit area so that they keep blooming. Water the plant properly when soil is dry but be sure to let it drain well. Fertilize every so often and when re-potting. African violets bloom quite often and quite prettily and they are the perfect size for small office spaces.

Peace Lily plants or Spathiphyllum as the professionals like to call them, are a broad-leafed green plant that spring out some white blooms that look like a cross between an anthurium and a lily. And we think anyone capable of killing a Peace Lily plant should just give up on owning a plant all together. They require indirect light and need to be placed in an area that is neither too hot nor too cold, therefore, a perfect indoor plant. Keep the soil moist and never let it dry out.

By the way, just in case you were wondering, we have all those plants. In fact, all the plants we have are indoor plants.

 

 

 

D.C. Garden Inspirations

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Since spring has sprung and you may be itching to go out and get your hands dirty in your gardens, be it the size of a pot or the FedEx field, you might be looking for inspiration. Well, we will help you find said inspiration while helping you discover the city’s hidden gems for an outing on a lovely spring day. We generally don’t associate a metropolitan city like D.C. with perfectly manicured gardens or acres and acres of land comprising exotic gardens and woodlands open for the public to explore, but they do exist. And if it rains, as it is known to do in the spring, remember that all these locations have indoor gems to be enjoyed. Here are some of the gardens for you to visit during the warm spring days:

  • Hillwood Estate Museum and Gardens located near Howard University is, in our humble opinion, D.C.’s jewel box. It sits on 25 acres of land; 13 acres of which are dedicated to the beautifully maintained gardens that complement (dare we say even rival) the mansion and its extensive collections. Once thoroughly overwhelmed by its breathtaking rose gardens, orchid greenhouses and waterfall and the equally breathtaking interior of the mansion, you can rest your feet at their charming cafe. We also suggest you visit their calendar for their many events throughout the year.
  • The Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America is our runner up for the District’s well hidden treasure with a beautiful interior of the main church and a glorious serene garden with over 1200 plants, herbs, and flowers including many different kinds of roses on 40 acres. They are open Monday through Sunday for select hours, so be sure to visit their website for their times.
  • Sitting on 444 acres of land is The National Arboretum, where you can find various trees, herb and flower gardens, bonsai museums, the Capitol’s original columns, and much much more. You can walk or bike on the trails or drive to the various spots or just sit on one of the many benches along the trails to explore the various flora and enjoy the scenery. The National Arboretum is open to the public Friday through Monday and it is right on New York Ave NE.
  • The Tudor Place Historic House and Gardens is another gem that offers guided tours through the gardens where you learn the history of the century old trees, plants and flowers including a Japanese tea house on 5.5 acres. They also offer a “Tea and Tour Package” where they treat you to a traditional Victorian tea and delicious accompaniments. When you leave this delicious experience and you still feel like you need more gardens in your day, remember you are a stone throw away from the historic Dumbarton Oaks, home of yet another of D.C.’s exquisite gardens.

Some of us apartment or condo dwellers, however, may not have an outdoor space to garden, or we may not have the desire to go out and ruin our manicures in the dirt. Well, we suggest you bring the already beautifully arranged (by someone else) gardens in a dish indoors. We can help with that too.

Create a Sunny Work Space

HW0_519772Working in a dull office is no fun at all.  This is especially true if you’re in a cubicle and have no windows.  But there are some ways you can create a sunny work space even if you’re in the basement and in the middle of a cubicle farm.  Here are a couple of tips for making your office into a bright, happy area.

•    Put up some photographs or posters on the walls.  These can be of anything that makes you happy, but if you really want to make your work space sunny, put up pictures of the ocean and other bright, happy places.

•    If you are allowed to paint, change up the colors of your office walls.  Make them something warm and inviting instead of that usually off-white or grey that most businesses seem to use.

•    Add some plants and flowers to your office.  You’ll be surprised at what a few potted plants can do to your area.

•    Bring a few different knick-knacks or other little decorations to spruce up your desk.  Pick things that make you happy!

Let us provide some great plants and flowers in Washington, D.C.

Why Talking to your Plants is Good for the Planet

Many people have said that talking to your plants is good for them, but is it really?  Is this just a myth or an old wives’ tale?  Well, many people swear that talking to their plants or playing music for them helps them grow.  In fact, according to one story, the man who grew the largest tomato in the world did so after putting headphones on it so it could hear soothing music!

But does it really work?  Some research says yes.  According to a German professor who did a study way back in 1848, plants do actually respond to attention and talk.  Of course, he also believed that plants had emotions.  There hasn’t been any conclusive evidence on that, but studies have shown that, for whatever reason, some plants do seem to grow better when talked to.  Of course, it’s possible other factors were involved.  People who talk to their plants usually take very good care of them than people who don’t really care about their plants.

Another study shows that plants and flowers do respond to music, but they have a preference: in one study, plants that were exposed to soothing and classical music grew better, but plants that had to listen to rock or loud, aggressive music, actually wilted and died.  Again, this study wasn’t conclusive, and there could have been other factors involved.

There might be a scientific reason behind talking to your plants—when we talk, we exhale carbon dioxide.  Since plants use carbon dioxide to grow, this extra bit of CO2 might help.  Now, researchers do caution that it would really take a few hours of talking to a plant in close proximity for it to really have a huge effect.

So it seems like science is telling us that no, talking to plants and playing music doesn’t help.  But then there’s that huge tomato to consider, and there are other examples of amazing plants and flowers grown by people who talk to them.  Maybe there’s something to it after all?  If you enjoy talking to your plants, there’s no reason to stop.  Just be ready for some people to give you odd looks, especially if you claim your plants are talking back!

Order a gorgeous green plant in McLean, VA, today!

The Poinsettia Tradition Continues

A Christmas Tradition: Poinsettias
A Christmas Tradition: Poinsettias

Christmas has a number of traditions: trimming the tree, singing carols, and looking at amazing light displays are just a few of them.  When it comes to flowers, traditionally at Christmas time we see a lot of poinsettias.  Of course, that tradition will continue with Christmas 2010 (and, of course, MyFlorist is standing by to handle all of your poinsettia needs!).

But where did this Christmas tradition come from?  It appears that the poinsettia originated in South and Central America and was a favorite flower of the Aztecs.  It later became associated with Christmas in Mexican culture due to its bright red color.  In the early 1800s, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Joel Poinsett, saw the flowers on a Christmas altar and asked to take some poinsettia seeds back home with him.  He then grew poinsettias for local churches to use on Christmas.  Soon, the tradition spread. 

The name of the ambassador and the flower are indeed connected.  When he first started passing around flowers, people referred to them as Poinsett’s plants, which later was shortened to poinsettia.