Friday, September 15, 2017

Jewish High Holy Days


September marks the arrival of the two highest holy days, Rosh Hashanah (starting at sundown September 20th) and Yom Kippur (beginning at sundown September 29th).   Rosh Hashanah is the day that marks the beginning of the universe.    Yom Kippur is the highest holy day, also known as the 'day of atonement'.  Both holidays involve beautiful rituals and plenty of good food.  And of course, anywhere that a festive meal is served, flowers and/or fruit only serve to make the remembrance more enjoyable.

Great ideas for Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur gifts:
* An all white centerpiece for the dining table.  Traditionally, white linens and china grace the holiday tables and an all-white arrangement would be a wonderful finishing touch.
* A festive entry table arrangement in fall colors, done centerpiece style to incorporate pomegranates or apples as part of the design.  These two fruits are an important part of the holidays.  (This choice would be better suited for Rosh Hashanah, but not for Yom Kippur which is a much more reserved holiday)
* A fruit basket, including apples and/or pomegranates, or an all-apple basket with honey.

Things to avoid:
* General gourmet gift baskets--it is against Kashrut law to allow meat (as in sausages) and dairy (as in cheese or milk chocolates) to be in the same proximity.
* Non-kosher wines
* Blue and white flowers--these are the colors of Hannukah.  (White flowers are fine, as are autumn colored flowers to reflect the season.)

When placing an order for Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur, please advise your CSR that it is for one of the High Holy Days, or if placing online, note this in the Special Instructions area of the order form.  For Rosh Hashanah, all items must be delivered by sundown on September 20th.  For Yom Kippur, gifts must be delivered between September 22nd to September 29th (excluding Saturday, the Sabbath) and it must arrive before sundown on the 29th.

If you have any questions regarding gifts for Rash Hoshanah or Yom Kippur, contact us at 480-948-1130.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Don't Forget Nana and Pop! Grandparents Day is Sunday, September 10th!


Some of you may be thinking, "Oh, good grief, not another 'Hallmark Holiday'" (term used by those who are certain greeting card manufacturers make up holidays just to sell greeting cards.  Since there are seven BILLION greeting cards sold annually in the US alone, the card companies really don't need to make up fake holidays!)  However, Grandparents Day is nothing new.  In fact, it has been a legally recognized holiday in the US since 1978.  In a calendar full of special recognition days, Grandparents Day stands out as one that is severely under-celebrated.  I mean, it's Grandma!  And Grandpa!  Surely they deserve a bit of pomp and circumstance.  After all, there's a National Cheese Doodle Day (May 5th), a Garfield The Cat Day (June 19th) and International Yada Yada Yada Day (July 23rd, for those lovers of Seinfeld).  Two days we can all really get behind fall in November--the 2nd is Men Make Dinner Day and the 4th is Use Your Common Sense Day.  And what about December 6th, National Read A Book Day, which is followed on the 7th by National Buy A Book Day.  If the creators of the last two days had utilized the Common Sense Day, they'd know that perhaps they should BUY the book first, then READ it.

However--GRANDPARENTS DAY--what a wonderful reason to celebrate. Whether you are fortunate enough to still have both grandparents, or you want recognize that special person who has shouldered the grandparent job alone, this is a perfect way to make a fuss over people who generally prefer to fuss over others. 

Great Ideas for Grandparents Day:
*If you are miles apart, CALL THEM! But before you reach out, write a list to refer back to.  Make note of the reasons your grandparents mean so much to you.  Perhaps Grandma always made you a new dress for the first day of school.  Maybe Grandpa taught you how to fish.  Were they your regular after-school caregivers?  Did they offer up their home to your family during times of transition? Or did they become your parents when your own were not able?  Let them know. Tell them now, while they are still around to hear this and be blessed by it.

* Give your time.  Offer to do yardwork, painting, little chores around the house.  Drive them to doctor appointments, on shopping excursions, to their favorite restaurant for lunch.  As people age, it gets harder to do the things they used to take for granted.  However, older folks are generally prideful of their independence and simply will not ask for help, no matter how much they need it.  Grandparents Day gives you a reason to help without making your loved ones feel as if they are a bother.

* Take them somewhere they wouldn't normally go...to a museum, the zoo, the Botanical Garden, to see a concert, to visit any one of the many cultural goings-on in metro Phoenix on any given weekend.  This gives them a chance to get dressed up, get out of the house and see something new.  Not to mention, they'll be enjoying your company while doing so.

*  Just talk.  We're all in such a hurry, with our kids and our jobs and spouses and busy, busy lives that sometimes, we lose sight of the things that should be most important.  Just listen to the stories the older generations have to tell. You'll be glad you did.

* And of course, send them something to let them know you are thinking of them. How often do your grandparents get a gift 'just because'?  It's exciting for them to hear that knock on the door and open it to see someone standing there, holding flowers or a nice green plant or a fresh basket of fruit!  Check out our website for great ideas for Grandparents Day gifts!

Our friends at Generations United invite you to #DoSomethingGrand in honor of #GrandparentsDay (Sept. 10). They’ve put together a host of ways you can get involved. Find out how at www.grandparentsday.org.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Back To School

Most Valley kids return to classes this month, and some parents think it's the most wonderful time of the year!  Just think of how quiet the house will be...how much work you'll actually be able to get done without someone yelling, "MOM!!"  Go ahead, take a deep breath.  Aaaaah--oh, wait, those poor teachers!  As the herds arrive en masse, we really need to let our favorite teachers know how much she/he is appreciated.  A sweet fun bouquet for the desk is a wonderful 'welcome back!' gift.  Succulents are still trending and are so easy to care for, with so many varieties! A fruit basket would be nice, too, especially if there was a bright shiny red apple on the top. Here are some ideas we can even deliver for you!

Here are a few great card messages for teachers and other school employees:

To a brand new teacher...funniest if he or she is a grade school teacher:
"Congratulations on making it into the 3rd Grade!"

To a long time teacher...
"Welcome back to another school year!  One day down, 179 more to go!!

Slight sarcasm for the teacher with a good sense of humor:
"I know you are really excited to be back to school.  I'm sure it was getting pretty boring at home.  You know, sleeping in and enjoying life and all that stuff..."

To express enthusiasm:
"May every teacher become a mentor, may every classmate become a friend, may every lesson teach and enrich.  Here's to the best school year ever!"

To cheer any teacher:
"It's the first day of school and you've already earned four A's....You're Astounding, Amazing, Awesome and Astonishing!"

And don't forget mom, she's held it all together with the kids bouncing off the walls for the past three months.  In fact, we've found the perfect card message to go with her Thank You flowers:
"If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers."

Sunflower: Bright and Sunny, But That's Not All


The sunflower is one of the most requested blooms by our customers. Once considered a fall flower, it is now generally available to us year-round, with supplies most plentiful from late July through late November.

*The sunflower is Kansas's state flower.  However, it is considered a weed by many farmers there, as it grows so fast and spreads so prolifically.

*The scientific term for the sunflower is Helianthus, with 'helios' meaning sun and 'anthus' meaning plant.

*There are about 70 known species.  Fun Fact: All but three of the 70 species are native to North America.

*Russia and Argentina grow the most sunflowers for floral and foodstuff production.

*The largest field of sunflowers is located in Tuscany, Italy.

*While most grow anywhere from three to nine feet tall, the tallest sunflower ever was produced in the Netherlands, at a whopping TEN FEET tall!

*The width of most sunflowers falls between five to twelve inches, so could you just imagine what the world's record 32" looked like?  It was grown in British Columbia.

*Sunflowers love the sun, but they are also huge water consumers.  When found in the wild, they are easy to spot near watery areas such as creeks, riverbeds, and the like.

*While growing, sunflowers raise their heads to track the sun, however once mature, most will face east.

*If you are a Leo (born July 23rd through August 22nd) the sunflower is your sign's flower

Sunflowers are a wonderful 'face' flower, as we florists like to call it.  A face flower is simply the focal flower, the star of the show, and few blooms do it with such panache as this big, bright yellow beauty.  Quite versatile, it can be it can be mixed with several other colors and textures to create a beautiful bouquet, but it looks even more stunning when the entire bouquet is of sunflowers.  Favorite greenery (other than good old salal, of course) is spiral eucalyptus, seeded eucalyptus, and gravalia.  Accent flowers that play nicely with sunflowers include solidago or Viking daisies (which look like tiny little sunflowers!) In nature, yellow's favorite contrasting color is purple--just try pairing with bright purple statice and you'll see what we mean!

And just why are we lauding the humble sunflower?  Why, it's the Cactus Flower Fresh Ten special of the month!  That's right, until August 31st, stop in at any one of out locations in the metro Phoenix area and pick up ten stems for just ten bucks.  Shop now.