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Posts in Special Occasion

01
Thursday November 1st 2018

Flannels in November

Photo by Alisa Anton

“How Beautiful the leaves grow old. How full of light and color our their last days.” - John Burroughs

It’s so easy to get caught up in the fast-paced chaos of the holidays. We unintentionally set our expectations high trying to overload so much into our days that we lose sight in the wonders that surround us. We look into our backyards and see chores of having to rake up all of the fallen leaves, but if we could just slow down for a moment we would be able to see the leaves dancing in the wind.      

November is a month of self-reflection and preparation for the new year. It’s a month where our appetite for gratitude grows wild like the manly beards of Movember. Chrysanthemums bloom with loyalty and love while pumpkins magically turn into pies. Friends and family gather around backyards and bonfires sharing stories that we have all heard a hundred times yet they never get old. That faithful flannel manages to make its way out from the back of the closet and onto your arms still smelling like Grandma’s last hug.

Photo by Leon Contreras

Be still this month. November can be a great force of nature. Stop and acknowledge the beauties in life. Write down what you smell, what you hear beyond the noise, share a smile over some roasted marshmallows, take more walks, post more pictures, sing out loud, and embrace the very essence of you. Do what makes you happy and then do more of it.

We are so excited to celebrate November with you! We hope to contribute to some everlasting memories with you and your family over the holidays. Stay tuned in the following weeks for our DIY tutorials on how to use Pumpkins & Flowers for your Thanksgiving Decor.

Photo by Pro Church Media

Posted by Mike Bulaon in Special Occasion
06
Monday August 6th 2018

5 plants your cat will love you for this World Cat Day

It’s World Cat Day! The day to forgive your cute four-legged friend that wakes you at stupid o’clock for food, simply because he was hungry and just not satisfied with the leftovers in his bowl (I mean, who does that?!). You’ll also forgive his temperament and how he ignores your affection one moment and then begs  for a little belly rub the next.

Of course you will, because you’re a total cat person and you could spend all day rubbing and hugging and squeezing and petting your cutest little ball of fluff. And your cat has won the Cat of the Year title anyway (he actually wins it every day, doesn’t he? ;) ). You could have also spared him the lunch visit to the feline spa, but who doesn’t deserve a little hair trim and manicure every now and then?

I may be laughing just a little, but not at you; at myself. Sometimes I used to go over the top with kitty-cat love before I found out that some plants are natural pet charms. Did you realize that some floral species attract cats because of their pleasant smell? That they make cats happy? That kitties sometimes prefer to lie down next to a fragrant plant instead of your keyboard while you’re typing vigorously because you have a deadline in an hour ?

Here’s a list of plants -- to keep at home or in your garden -- that your cat will love you for. Observe increased rate of rubbing against your legs and belly-rub requests once placed in or near the household. Purr, purr, purr… please don’t mind the occasional bites on leaves and stems though!

  1. Nepeta, or catnip: the unbeatable winner in this category. This plant is rich in nepetalactone, a substance that is a feline pheromone. Most cats are obsessed with this flowering plant and will keep on rubbing, biting and playing with it to release the fragrance.

  2. Actinidia kolomikta: commonly known as variegated-leaf hardy kiwi, this is a gorgeous vine of pink and green leaves. Your cat will love to nap around this green vine because it’s rich in actinidin, which works just like nepetalactone in catnip

  3. Valerian: this perennial herb actually makes some cats go coo-coo once they get a whiff in their nostrils, but what they love most is biting on the roots.

  4. Wheat grass: it’s not only a feline delicacy but also what helps digest those pesky fur balls. Wheat grass is also full of nutrients, which is great news, because a healthy cat is a happy cat.

  5. Spider plant: this one works similarly to catnip, thanks to its beautiful but subtle smell. Just place one in your living room and observe.

Posted by in Special Occasion
23
Monday July 23rd 2018

What Plant Does Tequila Come From?



There’s more to know about tequila than if you should have it in shot form or in a yummy margarita. The origin of tequila is a fascinating one that involves the agave plant. While liquors such as whiskey, vodka and scotch are made from plants like wheat, barley or corn; tequila is derived from the agave plant.


The agave plant is a succulent that grows in the desert. This succulent is native to Mexico and is also known as maguey. The easiest way to understand where the agave plant comes from is to know that it is part of the lily family. While there are around 166 different species of agave, the only one that can be used to make tequila is blue agave (or agave tequilana weber azul).


This specific green succulent that has a tint of blue to it can grow to be around six feet tall. If you are looking for blue agave, you will find in specifically in Jalisco, Aguascalientes, Colima and Nayarit. The best time to plant the blue agave is during Summer months and is harvested during the first half of the year.



Since Tuesday is National Tequila Day, we thought that it would be fun to share some random facts about tequila and agave.


  1. 1. Agave is an asexual plant.

  2. 2. The name agave derives from a Greek word that means ‘noble’ or ‘admirable’.

  3. 3. Blue agave is the only plant of its species that can legally be used to make tequila.

  4. 4. All tequila is mezcal due to the agave plant, but not all mezcal is tequila, due to the fact that tequila can only be specifically made from blue agave.

  5. 5. Blue agave grows well in volcanic soil.

  6. 6. Tequila does not have to be 100% agave to be considered tequila. Legally, tequila only has to be 51% blue agave.

  7. 7. It takes agave five to eight years to mature.

  8. 8. Tequila blanco is only aged 0 to 2 months; tequila reposado is aged 2 to 12 months; tequila anejo is aged 1 to 3 years.

  9. 9. Tequila needs to be twice-distilled before it is ready to consume.

  10. 10. Tequila is made by flattening and steaming large pinas.


So whether you are a tequila connoisseur or a novice, it’s great to know a little bit of history behind tequila and the agave plant.

Posted by in Special Occasion
17
Tuesday July 17th 2018

History of Emojis on Emoji Day


In this time of ever-evolving technology, the use of emojis has become second nature to many of us. Through texts and email, tiny pictures of faces and symbols are a key form of communication. While emojis and emoticons are often confused, emojis are their own separate entity and have been around since 1998. We have Shigetaka Kurita to thank for the creation of emojis.


During Kurita’s time working for a Japanese phone company, he wanted to create a quicker form of communication for customers. This is where the origins of emojis come in. “E” in Japanese translates to 'picture' and “Moji” translates to 'character'. Kurita felt that, in some cases, little photos conveyed more emotion than select words.


We have evolved from 176 emojis to well over 1,000. Kurita got the idea of creating emojis from things such as bathroom signs, reading different manga and characters from the Chinese language. What’s great about emojis is that there are so many options that not only portray emotion but also the fun display of food or random house items.



Despite Kurita being an economics major, he put his creativity to the test in helping to create emoji images. These pictures were originally created by hand with intentions of having emojis be 12 pixels by 12 pixels in size. While many Japanese phone carriers originally rejected Kurita’s emoji idea, they wanted in once they saw his images. This concept eventually blew up to the point where it grew beyond carriers in Japan and became an international obsession.


Now we have emojis for almost every occasion. We have faces that can portray pretty much any emotion, from happiness to being sick; food items like burritos and yams; clothing items; flags and eight different flowers. I personally like to use emojis whenever possible. If I’m short on time and can’t fully express my point through a text message, I know that there’s usually an emoji that I can count on.


When it comes to flower emojis, the hibiscus is my favorite. It reminds me of Hawai'i and brings back many great memories. And you can't go wrong with any of the food emojis. Shigetaka Kurita probably had no idea that his concept to expand customer communication would eventually turn into such an important part of everyday life and conversation.

Posted by in Special Occasion
09
Monday July 9th 2018

The Psychology of Flowers and our Happiness



Can you remember a moment when someone gave you flowers? Or else a moment when you’d given someone else flowers? Do you remember how this made you feel? I personally have never met anyone who isn’t instantly cheered up by a gift of flowers. The sight and smell of flowers bring us instant happiness. The impact of giving or receiving flowers is worth some thought.


Our emotions are so important, and sometimes it’s hard to be in tune with them when we lead such busy lives. Flowers can be an instant mood lifter. Brain chemicals such as oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin are released when you have a positive reaction to flowers. These happy brain chemicals trigger feelings of bonding, excitement and genuine happiness.




There are many ways in which flowers can bring us joy. I like to bring my mother flowers on random occasions. This spontaneous act makes me feel happy because of how she reacts when I give them to her. It’s a great sign of appreciation for someone who is important to you. I even think it’s great to get yourself flowers. Whether you’re buying flowers for your home, or just to treat yourself, this is a wonderful form of self-care.


The act of giving and receiving isn’t the only way flowers bring us a sense of pleasure. The smell of particular flowers can have quite the euphoric effect on us. Gardenias and jasmine are my personal favorites, specifically because of their aromas. If I’m walking around I’ll instantly stop if I get a whiff of these two scents. What’s great about flowers is that each flower has a distinct fragrance. The fragrance alone can be so likeable that we often find perfumes to wear that reflect our prized favorites. We essentially walk around smelling like our favorite flowers.


I think the best thing about flowers is that you don’t always have to buy them. They grow in nature all around us. We can truly enjoy them almost anywhere. The delight that comes with flowers can easily be achieved for free. Wildflowers can be found on a morning hike or an afternoon walk. Either way, if you asked a random person if flowers make them happy, the answer will most likely be yes.


(We’d love to see how you use #AvasFlowers to make your special moment extra-special. Share your pictures on social using “#AvasFlowers” for a chance to be featured on our social channels!)

Posted by in Special Occasion
25
Monday June 25th 2018

Summer Flowers for Date Night


While date night is not exclusive to just the Summertime, it can be the perfect excuse to take time away from your busy schedule to spend some quality time with your significant other. Date night can always include giving flowers to your special someone. Being Summer, why not give them flowers that thrive during the Summer months? Roses tend to be a common go-to date flower, but there are many options during this time of year that will allow your date to cherish their gift for a longer period of time.


Some flowers that thrive in the Summer include daisies, dahlias, marigolds, peonies, zinnias, shrub roses and hydrangeas. All of these flowers could easily be incorporated into your date night. Not only are they flowers that flourish in the Summer but they could also help nurture the romance during your date.


If your date night is a simple night in with your long-time significant other, why not cook her a creative meal and set the table with some zinnias? Zinnias come in vibrant colors and can add the bright Summer mood to your dinner table. You could even give a bouquet of zinnias to your sweetie and have a nice vase prepared once you’ve surprised your significant other with them.


If you’re about to go on a first date with someone and you aren’t sure what flowers would be just right for the occasion, you could always give your date some daisies. There are various types of daisies like black-eyed susans, shasta daisies or gerberas. Gerberas are a popular purchase and can easily be picked up right before your first date. Either way, any type of daisy would be a nice way to help impress your date and ease those first date jitters.


If you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous to go with your even more adventurous date night idea why not try hydrangeas, marigolds or peonies. These flowers have a more distinct look to them and can really help you stand out during date night. All three of these blooms are very full-looking flowers with voluminous clusters to them and would be sure to thrill your date.


These Summer flower options are just a few of many ideas to start you off on a great Summer date night. So step away from the roses and give these bunches a try. Who knows, you could have an entire Summer of date nights and try them all!


(We’d love to see how you use #AvasFlowers to make your special moment extra-special. Share your pictures on social using “#AvasFlowers” for a chance to be featured on our social channels!)

Posted by in Special Occasion
11
Wednesday April 11th 2018

Earth Day 2018


Photo contributor: Slava Bowman at Unsplash

“Earth laughs in flowers.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happy Earth Day, world! March 22nd marks a day to appreciate Mother Earth! If you’re reading this, it means that you want to know how to celebrate Earth Day and tend to our precious home. Haven’t done it before? Let 2018 be the year that you go out, enjoy nature’s gifts and sow what you reap.

Earth Day was founded in 1970 by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson. It was created as an initiative to protect the Earth. It now is observed in 192 countries. Earth Day is now the largest secular holiday in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people every year.

Flowers are some of nature’s gifts and appreciating nature is the easiest way to celebrate Earth Day. Share some flowers with a loved one. Let them hold onto a bit of nature. Allow it to be a reminder of all the things the world has to offer.

Photo contributor: Ashim D. Silva at Unsplash

What can you do for the planet?

What’s a great gift for Mother Nature? Like any mother, Earth loves new flowers. Consider planting something native to your state’s climate -- something low maintenance like a succulent -- or be ambitious and plant your favorite harvestable. If you can dedicate the time to tend to a garden or plant something new, Mother Earth will be grateful.

However, if you don’t have the time to plant anything this Earth Day, that’s okay. There are other ways to celebrate.

Turn off the TV! Get outside!

Enjoy the day. Go out and appreciate nature’s offerings. Although this seems obvious, today’s kids spend about 52 hours watching a screen each week. So, taking the initiative to get outdoors is important. We recommend you go out on a hike, get some exercise and take in the views. Learn to appreciate what is typically taken for granted.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Learning about climate change and renewable energy allows people to be proactive in preserving the Earth’s natural resources. It wouldn’t be an Earth Day blog if we didn’t tell you to reduce, reuse and recycle. There are many things one can do in one’s daily routine to significantly improve the conditions of the environment. To name a few examples: take shorter showers, carpool to work or use public transportation, invest in a reusable coffee thermal. Simple solutions like these help expand the world’s life cycle.  

(We’d love to see how you use #AvasFlowers to make your special moment extra-special. Share your pictures on social using “#AvasFlowers” for a chance to be featured on our social channels!)

Posted by in Special Occasion
19
Monday March 19th 2018

6 Popular Easter Flowers and What they Symbolize

Photo contributor: Gary Bendig


Easter, the celebration of rebirth, is upon us! As your family embarks on the search for Easter eggs, look around and take in nature’s gifts. There are so many Spring plants traditionally associated with the Easter Season. Here’s a look at some of our favorites along with the symbolism behind them.



White Easter Lilies

Photo Contributor: unknown

The quintessential Easter flower is, of course, the Easter Lily. White water lilies are trumpet-shaped white flowers. They are symbolic of purity, virtue, innocence, hope and life, which makes them the go-to flower of Easter.



Tulips

Photo Contributor: Krystina Rogers

Tulips are a classic Spring bloom. They are often called the harbingers of Spring, as they are among the first flowers to bloom. Spring flowering bulbs such as the tulip seem to come back from the dead, which is one reason they are associated with Easter. They have a unique bell-shaped blossom that resembles the spherical shape of an Easter egg.

Daisies

Photo contributor: Kris Atomic

Daisies are small delicate flowers often blooming in white or yellow colors. Daisies are thought of as the floral archetype and are often the first thing children learn to draw. Daisies symbolize purity, innocence, gentility and loyalty. This flower can be found growing wild on grassy fields and will likely be cradling hidden Easter eggs during your egg hunts.


Azaleas

Photo contributor: unknown

Azaleas are evergreen shrubs with generous flowers growing in many colors including white, pink, salmon, lilac, purple and red. They are interpreted as having many different meanings, but the most relevant Easter meaning is, “caring for the family and self.” It’s no wonder these are associated with the lovely family gathering of Easter.

Daffodil

Photo contributor: unknown

Daffodils, along with other floral bulbs, are symbolic of rebirth and new beginnings. These are also known as “Lent lilies” in England because of their long association with Lent.

Hyacinth

photo contributor: unknown

There is nothing quite like the sweet scent of hyacinth flowers. Another early Spring-blooming bulb, the hyacinth can be given as a potted bulb and be planted in the garden after the blooms die. They come in pink, yellow, white and shades of purple, which are also the classic colors of Easter. You will see them widely available in stores in the Spring. In the language of flowers, the hyacinth represents sport or play, while the blue hyacinth means constancy.


Which ever bloom you choose this year, we hope you and your family have a fantastic Easter!

(We’d love to see how you use @AvasFlowers to make your special moments extra-special. Share your pictures on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using “#AvasFlowers” for a chance to be featured on our social channels!)

Posted by Ava's Flowes in Special Occasion
12
Thursday February 12th 2015

23 Valentine's Day Love Quotes to Make Her Swoon

Photo via maf04 (Flickr)

This Valentine's Day, along with the flowers, candies, and gifts, why not add a personal touch? There is nothing like the power of words, whether written or spoken, to make their heart flutter. Don't worry if you can't work magic with words: Some of the world's best writers have already done it for you. All you have to do is choose a quote that describes how you feel, and there are plenty to choose from. Cover the house in notes of quotes! Leave a romantic quote on their pillow or in their car; tuck some verses in with the flowers you send. Better yet, I recommend whispering some of these quotes to your special someone at the end of a romantic evening to show that you cared enough to commit the words to memory. I have compiled some of the most romantic quotes below for your perusal.

Posted by Ava Rose in Special Occasion
09
Monday June 9th 2014

Gifts Ideas for a Fantastic Father

I believe that the best way to find the perfect gift for Father's Day is to take a few minutes to think about Dad. What does he enjoy? What are his interests? What has he always wanted to do? By focusing on your father, you're sure to come up with a thoughtful gift that he will appreciate. Consider a few of these ideas for Father's Day gifts. You may find one that has your dad's name written all over it!

Posted by Sophie Pierce in Special Occasion
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