Romance is Timeless. How to Keep it Fresh

Without romance, where would we be?  Romantic relationships drive us, give us a reason to deal with the everyday grind, and make us happy.  Romance is timeless, but sometimes it can get a little stale if you’re not careful.  Even the most passionate relationship can fall into a rut from time to time.  If you notice that happening with your relationship, you need to do something to freshen it up.  Here are a few ideas.

•    Take a spontaneous weekend vacation.  You don’t have to go far, just get out of your usual surroundings.  A night in a hotel room in a different city can work wonders.  Try a new restaurant, see a play or concert, and enjoy a night away.  This can be especially nice if you have children since parents rarely get to have date night.  Of course, you’ll need to find a baby sitter with short notice, but that’s not impossible.

•    Try new things.  Go to a different restaurant or check out a new attraction.  A change can often really help a relationship.  If most of your activities together are indoors, try going out for a walk under the stars.  If you’re always out doing things, set aside an evening to stay at home.  Whatever you do, mix it up a little.

•    Surprise her.  Make dinner reservations at her favorite restaurant without telling her, or show up at her office to take her out to lunch.  Send her flowers at work.  Buy her a gift when she’s not expecting it.  You don’t have to wait for her birthday, your anniversary, or Valentine’s Day to make a romantic gesture.

•    Compliment her, especially when she’s not looking for a compliment.

•    Try doing an activity together that you haven’t done together before.  Try each other’s hobbies.  You might find that you enjoy them.

Keep the romance alive by surprising her with a bouquet of flowers in McLean, VA.

How to be Romantic in 5 Simple Steps

Being romantic isn’t always easy, and it’s not something all guys are good at.  However, it’s not that hard to learn to be romantic.  These five simple steps will impress your girlfriend, your spouse, or the woman you want to woo.  Once you’ve got this down, you can add your own little flourishes and ideas to it and watch her fall in love with you all over again (or for the first time).

1.    Be a gentleman.  They say chivalry is dead—prove them wrong!  Open doors for her (and don’t forget the car door), pull out her chair, and offer her your jacket if she’s cold.  These little things will definitely add up.  One bit of chivalry you might let die is ordering for her.  Most women don’t like that, especially if you don’t know what she might want and just guess.

2.    Give her flowers.  If it’s a first date, a dozen roses might be a bit much, but a single long-stemmed rose is perfect.  If you’re romancing your long-term girlfriend or wife, a dozen roses or a bouquet of her favorite flowers is perfect.

3.    Listen to what she’s saying.  This seems so simple, but many guys just don’t pay much attention.  Often, all it takes to be really romantic is to have a conversation.  It doesn’t have to be about anything important.  Also listen to her likes and dislikes so you don’t accidentally give her something she hates or is allergic to.

4.    Make it personal.  Sure, chocolates, roses, and a stuffed bear can be romantic, but they’re also somewhat generic.  Instead of any box of chocolates, pick up her favorite.  If she loves red roses, that’s great, but if she really like lilies, get her those instead.  Getting her something that she really loves instead of something generic shows that you listen to her and that you know her.

5.    Surprise her.  Every now and then, give her a gift just because.  Bring her flowers on days other than her birthday and her anniversary.  Take her out to lunch just because you were missing her.  Do the unexpected!

These five tips will help add romance to your life and show her just how much you care.

Order her flowers in Washington, DC, today!

Tales of the Blarney Stone

The Blarney Stone

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, and while it’s mostly connected to the story of St. Patrick, it also encompasses Irish methods in general.  One of these Irish stories is that of the Blarney Stone, a mystical rock that is supposed to grant those who kiss it the “ability to deceive without offending.”  However, kissing the stone isn’t easy!

The myth of the Blarney Stone begins with Cormac Laidir MacCarthy, who built Blarney Castle.  However, after he got embroiled in a scandal, he prayed to the goddess Cliodhna for help.  She came to him in a dream and told him to kiss the first stone he saw on his way to court.  He did, and he was suddenly able to elegantly argue his case.  He then took the stone and added it to the parapet of his castle.

Of course, there are other stories about the Blarney Stone.  Some say it was taken out of the castle and moved to Scotland at one point, but it was later returned to the castle in 1314.  Some also say the Blarney stone as a piece of the Stone of Scone, sometimes called the Stone of Destiny or the Coronation Stone.

There’s another story that says Queen Elizabeth I sent a deputy to Cormac MacDermont MacCarthy, the lord of Blarney, demanding he give a portion of his lands to the crown.  MacCarthy decided to go before the queen to plead his case, but he was not very well spoken.  Along the way, he met an old woman.  She asked him why he was so sad, and he told her.  She told him that when Blarney Castle was built, its designer placed a stone out over a parapet where no one could ever touch it.  If MacCarthy could kiss it, he would be given amazing speech.  He leaned out and kissed the stone, and the Queen listened to his speech and decreed that he would never have to give up the rights to his land.

Today, visitors can tour Blarney castle, its gardens, and even see the Blarney Stone itself.  However, kissing it is not easy because one has to climb to the top of the castle, then lean over backwards out onto the parapet’s edge.  While there are a number of railings and safeguards in place, it’s still somewhat difficult, if not quite as life-threatening as it once was.

Millions of people have supposedly kissed the Blarney Stone, but few of them seem to have magically received the “gift of gab” like MacCarthy did.  But it’s still a very fun legend.

Send St. Patrick’s Day Flowers in Washington, DC.

Spring Flowers for the Garden

Is your flowerbed ready for spring?  There are a number of different flowers that grow in the spring.  Some are well-known and very popular, while others aren’t grown that often.  Will you grow any of these spring flowers in your garden this year?

Azaleas are large, gorgeous flowering shrubs.  In some areas, huge azalea festivals are held.

Birds of Paradise are an exotic flower resembling a flying bird.  It has a very uncommon shape and look to it, making it a popular flower for those who want to grow something a little different.

The Cherry Blossom is a beautiful flowering tree that explodes in white and pink during the spring.  The tree is very popular in Japan, and today, cherry blossom festivals are held all over the world.  One great festival is held in Washington, D.C.

Dahlias are large blooms that come in many different colors and shapes.  They’re great flowers to grow if you don’t have a lot of space because they do well in containers.

The Daffodil is a popular flower that grows in many areas.

The Gardenia is a very aromatic flower that lasts for quite some time when cut.  It’s also sometimes used as hedges or as part of ground cover.

The Glory of the Snow isn’t as well known.  It blooms in the early spring and is a pale blook color with some darker purples along the edges.

Then there’s the Hyacinth, an amazing pillar of flowers that comes in many different colors and smells great.

People love Lilacs!  They smell great and look incredible.

The Marigold, which usually comes in yellow or gold, is a pretty common flower in many areas—so common that some people start to think of them almost as weeds!

Naturally, the beautiful rose starts blooming in the spring.

Another amazingly colorful flower is the Tulip. It comes in many different shades, sizes, and height.

Which of these flowers do you love the most?  Let us know and then send flowers in Washington, DC, to your loved ones.

Leap Year Fun Facts

Happy February 29, something you only get to say every four years!  Leap year was inserted into the Gregorian calendar because its standard 365 day year was actually about 6 hours shorter than the solar year.  Because of this, we have to play catch up every four years or slowly get off, which would move things like the solstices.  Want to know more about leap year?  Here are a few fun little facts.

•    If you can divide the year by 4, it’s a leap year…except not always.  Adding a day actually means the Gregorian calendar gets ahead of the solar calendar!  This means that years that are evenly divisible by 100 are not leap years unless they’re also divisible by 400.  Confused?  This means that 2000 was a leap year, but 1900 wasn’t.

•    The Chinese calendar is a lunisolar (uses both the phases of the moon and the time of the solar year), so instead of adding a leap day to the calendar, their leap years have an extra month!  It’s very complicated, to figure out when this month is added because the 11th month of the Chinese calendar must always contain the northern winter solstice.

•    Egyptians were the first people to actually add a day to the calendar every four years, but it was the Romans who first observed February 29th as leap day.

•    Leap years were started in the 16th century.

•    A person born on February 29th is called a leapling or a leaper.  They can celebrate on either the 28th or March 1st.

•    About four million people in the world have a Feb. 29 birthday.

•    In the Gilbert and Sullivan opera The Pirates of Penzance, the main character Frederic is a leapling.  His contract states he must serve the pirates until his 21st birthday, but since he only has a birthday every four years, he’s bound until his 84th year!

•    According to an Irish tradition, on February 29, women do not have to observe the tradition of men proposing.  Instead, they can make the marriage proposal themselves (which is commonly done now, leap year or not).

•    A Greek superstition says it’s bad luck to marry during a leap year.  Supposedly, at least one in five couples in Greece will put off their wedding by a year if it’s a leap year.

•    Leap years are also called intercalary years or bissextile years.

Who was born on February 29?
Antonio Sabato, Jr. (actor)
Dinah Shore (singer)
Tony Robbins (motivational speaker)
Ja Rule (rapper)
Joss Ackland (actor)

Make her leap day a fantastic one by sending flowers in Washington DC.