10 Occasions for Giving Flowers

Perhaps the number one gift of all times are flowers, any kind of flowers, from bouquets of long stemmed roses to potted plants. It just takes a moment or two to consider all the flowers you’ve seen as gifts in your lifetime and look at the myriad of reasons for giving flowers and you could almost say they are the ‘universal gift.’ Here are the top 10 occasions for giving flowers as gifts.



While today, it is mostly considered an obsolete gesture to bring flowers on a first date, the idea of giving flowers to someone you've gone out with a few times is still a good one.

Flowers for a first date should not be overwhelming. Tulips, orchids, and dandelions are not intimidating to your new object of affection. If you’ve been going steady for some time, nothing is better than the traditional red rose.


Speaking of red roses, shades of red for love, pink for elegance, and yellow flowers in general for affection and joy are the perfect mix for a Valentine’s Day bouquet. Avoid yellow roses alone, however, as that represents friendship, not love. A yellow rose with a red tip, however, can symbolize both love and joy. For a newer relationship, purple roses signify enchantment in the budding couple. If you have been together a significant amount of time, or your spouse isn’t thrilled with roses, pink tulips are the perfect replacement.


Seasonal flowers go best with anniversaries, to represent the time of the year you are celebrating. For spring, choose pale, delicate flowers, such as the peony, peach blossom or cherry blossom. Summer flowers should be bright and vibrant – think yellow, gold or pink roses, or a bouquet of sunflowers.

Fall flowers are darker, but with rich colors, such as a lily. Gold roses come back into play here, matching the changing trees. Flowers blooming in winter include chrysanthemums, orchids, and pansies. Winter flowers bridge the rich colors of autumn with the pale colors of spring.

What is most important, however, is choosing a flower that represents your relationship. If your spouse particularly loves a certain flower, it’s best to showcase their favorite in a bouquet. There are also flowers that represent certain anniversaries: daisies for five years, daffodils for 10, roses for 15, and asters for 20.


Reds and pinks to show love and admiration are the perfect touch, though it is hard to go wrong here with any choice you make. Carnations, roses (especially pink), and gerbera daisies can combine with yellow tulips or lilies – representing joy and affection – and make a vibrant bouquet any mother in your life will enjoy.


Need a sophisticated way to say thank you to a colleague or good friend? Your best bet is their favorite flower, but if you are uncertain, go with a pale flower. Whites, pinks, and yellows show your appreciation. Carnations, lilies and daisies fit well into this category.


Once again, if the recipient’s favorite flower is known, start with that. However, there are also flowers that correspond to each month. In the U.S., the flowers are carnation and snowdrop for January; primrose for February; daffodil for March; sweet pea for April; hawthorne and Lily of the Valley for May; rose and honeysuckle for June; water lily and delphinium for July; poppy and gladiolus for August; morning glory and aster for September; calendula and marigold for October; chrysanthemum and peony for November; and holly and narcissus for December.


The first question regarding sending flowers to someone who is ill is where they are resting. If they are in the hospital, flowers should not be overly fragrant. Irises and tulips can be vibrant and add a touch of color to dreary hospital rooms. If they are at home, marigolds represent resilience while yellow flowers, such as daffodils representing rebirth, are bright and cheery. Avoid yellow daylilies, however, as they are associated with funerals.


Funeral flowers are typically sent directly to the funeral home and serve as a tribute to the deceased. The size can vary, however, large and formal arrangements are most common. Colour matters alot as well. Blue, white and green are colours of peace, humility and calmness and are comforting during a sad time. Orange, white  and red can invoke energy and passion and should be sent when one is celebrating a life inspite of mourning the departed. Yellow daylilies represent the soul leaving the body, and are thus often found at funerals. 


Sympathy flowers are different from funeral flowers in that they are usually sent to the home of those grieving. Generally it is never too late to send these. Bright flowers, such as lilies and daisies, are recommended. Purples and blues can also represent hope and rebirth. If done in a bouquet, these are generally smaller than those meant for funerals.

10. Weddings


There are many traditions surrounding who gets what flowers in a wedding. The bride can choose a bouquet of any  type of flower of any colour she likes. Bridesmaids usually get a smaller version of the bride's bouquet. The groom and his groomsmen wear  boutonnieres that match the bride's bouquet. It is typically a no-no for guests to SEND flowers to the bride and groom as a gift on their wedding day.


Making your New Year’s resolution stick

Lose weight? Check. Start exercising? Check. Stop smoking? Check.

It can be daunting when your list of New Year’s Resolutions is as long as your holiday shopping list. In addition to the post-holiday slump, not being able to keep your resolutions by February, March or even late January may increase your anxiety. When your holiday decorations are packed up and stored away, the frustration of an unused gym membership or other reminders of failed resolutions can make the later winter months feel hopeless. 

Culled from American Psychology Association


Getting Ready for the Holidays- Part 1

It’s that time of year! 

While most of us love the holiday season, we can easily do without the crowds, the commercialism, and the associated pressures.  In a few days many of us will be celebrating Remembrance Day, followed by Thanksgiving (for our American friends), Christmas and New Years while others may be celebrating Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. In addition to those of you who will be travelling to visit family or having family come visit you, many of us are generally involved in additional activities that revolve around work, the kid’s school events, and miscellaneous charities.There is only so much time available, so by simplifying and getting organized you can actually have some time to enjoy the upcoming holidays.

Late October, Early November

  • If you are traveling for the holidays, make sure you have started to finalize your travel plans; if you are driving make sure the vehicle has been tuned up, oil changed, & antifreeze levels and conditions have been checked
  • Start working on your gift giving lists, Holiday card lists, check up on your gift wrap, and shipping materials you have on hand / need
  • Set a Realistic Budget and write it down along with where the money is allocated
  • Post a Master Calendar with all the Holiday Events on it, where it is visible and able to be updated by all family members (make sure you add some down time for yourself)
  • Finish off your Menu Planning for each specific meal and get together at your place, or what you may be bringing to others
    • For the wine connoisseurs – select your holiday wines (including the ones that will be given as gifts) and purchase by the case to help save money
    • Inventory your pantry, refrigerator and freezer – make a comprehensive shopping list of necessities needed through the New Year. If you can buy everything upfront with the exception of perishable products (i.e. dairy, fresh meat, fruits and vegetables) you will save yourself a lot of aggravation.
    • While trying out a new recipe is great, you should try it out before hand – not on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
    • Order party trays and specialty foods at least two weeks in advance.
    • Prepare as much in advance as you can, then freeze it if possible.
  • If you are planning on eating out, or having the meals catered – make sure you lock in the reservations as early as possible, if you wait too long you might be enjoying TV dinners or scrambling like mad.
  • Time to de-clutter your house; get it ready for your guests, give you room for your decorations, etc…

 Culled from the HRTC 2009



Enrich Your Soul: Adopt a Pet

Are you part of the two thirds of Canadian or American households that have one or more pets? If so, consider yourself fortunate, as the health benefits of pet ownership are astounding: Rover, your beloved family dog, may extend your life expectancy! In fact, recent research from the University of Pennsylvania showed that among a group of seriously ill patients, only 6% of those who owned pets had died at the end of the study period, as opposed to 28% of non-pet owners.

Good for Your Heart and Soul

Rover offers you many other benefits—besides fetching your slippers and cleaning off your dinner plate. Pet owners typically have lower blood pressure, and stroking your pet’s soft fur is calming, both for you and him. Taking him for walks gets you moving and even socializing. Dog owners walk about 300 minutes per week. Widowed seniors in particular can benefit from the companionship of a pet. And pets can bring families together and teach children responsibility.

Incredibly, dogs can even detect cancer. Dogs have sniffed out skin, lung, bladder, and colon cancer. And British researchers have found that about a third of dogs display changes in behavior when their diabetic owners’ blood sugar drops. Your pup could save your life one day.


Thinking of adding a pet to your family? A pet is a lot of responsibility, but with this responsibility comes rich rewards. Some things to consider before choosing a pet include:

  • If there are any allergies in the family (if so, consider a turtle or fish)
  • How much time you have to care for the pet (dogs require training and daily walks)
  • If you travel frequently, who will care for the pet?
  • If you have young children, what type of animal or breed would be best around youngsters?
  • What is the cost of food, veterinary bills, and any medications your pet may require?

If it’s time to add a pet to your family, there are many wonderful animals at your local OSPCA or ASPCA. Many pets are euthanized or die in gas chambers everyday, even puppies and kittens Please consider adopting a pet instead of purchasing one through a breeder. Teach your children about how to care for the animal. Show them how to clean litter boxes, groom, and hold the pet. If you pick the right animal you will add a loving and longtime member to your family.

15 Things to Put in Summer Gift Baskets

Summer with its longer days and warmer temperatures calls people to get outdoors and explore. It is prime travel season and a popular time to cook out. With all that in mind, here are 15 ideas about things that you can put in summer gift baskets for your friends and family to enjoy.

    • Beach Towel
    • Sunscreen
    • Flip Flops
    • Insulated Cup. I love Tervis Tumblers as they keep drinks cool for hours and don’t leave the dreaded drink rings.



    • Summer Scented Candle (Coconut, Lime, Fresh Linen, etc…)
    • Sunglasses
    • Spray Mister Bottle
    • Pool Float/Pool Noodle
    • Swim Goggles
    • Bug Spray
    • Color Changing Straws
    • Bubbles
    • Drink Mix (Lemonade, Hi-C)
    • Travel Pillow. This Mood Neck Pillow is just the ticket to comfort.
    • Shampoo/Conditioner Bottles (TSA Approved Size)

11 Father's Day Activities That Are Better Than Gifts

Dads often get the short end of the stick when it comes to gifts. Ties, ugly sweaters, soap on a rope, you name it.

Here are two secrets about Father’s Day presents: first, nobody has ever actually wanted soap on a rope and second, what your father really wants on Sunday, June 15 is the gift of your time. So forget getting him the latest biography by a retired athlete, and make some plans for activities instead.

We’ve got 11 ideas for great ways to spend Father’s Day with your dad. There’s definitely something in this list that will fit his interests, and none of it requires you to remember whether or not you got him a blue tie or red tie last year.

1. Play Golf
Hit the local driving range or play a full 18 holes with Dad this Father's Day. For those of you who are up to it, you can relive your childhood and hit a local mini-golf course for a fun afternoon. The great thing about mini golf is that even the less-than-stellar courses are fun, but that doesn't mean there aren't some impressive options out there.Monster Mini Golf in Edmonton is indoors, so you won’t get rained on, and Dinosaur Adventure Golf in Niagara Falls doesn't skimp on the kitsch.

2. Take Him To A Baseball Game
The Toronto Blue Jays are out of town on Father’s Day, but you could give Dad an early outing and catch them the week before when division rivals the Baltimore Orioles are in town. If you aren't in Toronto, you don’t have to miss out: check out CanAm League teams  or even find a pick-up game at a local park.

3.Have A Meaty Brunch
Brunch is a Mother’s Day classic, but you can do it Dad style too. The Father’s Day brunch at the Gasoline Alley Museum in Calgary features a carving station with Alberta beef and gammon ham. And Toronto restaurant Barque has items like smoked duck pancakes and biscuits with chorizo gravy on its brunch menu. Mmm... meat.

4.Go Hiking 
Wherever you are in the country, there’s somewhere you and Dad can go for a leisurely hike on Father’s Day. Newfoundland’s East Coast Trail links 32 communities in the St. John’s area, and the prairies aren’t known for their hills, but Wanuskewin Heritage Park near Saskatoon has scenic valley hiking that documents the area’s First Nations history.

5.Take Him To A Brewery 
Canada is enjoying a craft beer boom which means there are more options than ever for a brewery visit with Dad. The reasonable fee for tours at Yukon Brewing in Whitehorse supports charity, and Big Rock brewery in Calgary doesn't skimp on the details. If Dad likes wine and beer, there’s this Niagara Falls tour that combines the best of both.

6.When Was The Last Time Dad Went Fishing?
If you live near Vancouver, check out the family fishing day at Rice Lake in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve, The event features a salmon barbecue, hatchery tours, and license-free fishing. Of course, anywhere else in Canada you can still grab a rod and spend a day on the water with Dad.

7.Run A Marathon 
Marathon season has begun all over Canada, so there’s sure to be a local run or walk you and Dad can sign up for. And as a bonus, many of them support worthwhile charities that do good work locally and nationally. The Do it for Dads Walk Run is happening in cities across the country, from Victoria to Halifax. And the annualManitoba Marathon in Winnipeg raises money to support people living with intellectual disabilities.

8.Have A Daddy Spa Day 
Men are increasingly visiting spas, and in turn spas are offering more and more services tailored specifically to them. Even if your father has never visited a spa before, we bet he’ll be a convert after a good massage and a sauna session. Try the Moscow massage at the Stillwater at Park Hyatt Toronto, or sit in the baths at the Scandinave Spa at Blue Mountain in Ontario.

9.Take Him To A Car Show
If Dad’s a car buff, look for a local auto show that you can visit on Father’s Day. In Ottawa, check out the Father’s Day Car Show at Billings Estate National Historic Site. And the Coastal Cruisers Car Club in Bridgewater, N.S. hosts its annual AutoFest on Father’s Day, featuring vintage cars, trucks and motorcycles.

10. Visit A Classic Barber Shop 
Take Dad for a shave and a haircut — the kind he might remember from his own youth. The return of beards and moustaches means a revival of the classic barber shop. Visit a longstanding institution in your town, still staffed by the same barber who opened it decades ago. If Dad’s a modern fellow, he’ll enjoy something like the classic shave and manicure offered by MANN in Montreal.

11.Spice Things Up In The Kitchen 
If you have a local college that offers a cooking program, it probably also has one-day classes or workshops that can be taken by non-students. Many chefs and restaurants also offer cooking classes —check out Cook Culture in Victoria or Mengrai Gourmet Thai in Toronto are good examples.


Culled from Huffington Post Canada June 2014

Creating a Spring Cleaning Basket for Your Clients

Ahhh spring! The time of renewal and the time when so many people are thinking “spring cleaning”. This includes your clients.

This is also the time of year when more people are participating in diet cleanses and detoxes then any other time AND when they’re also looking around their homes getting ready to a do a deep clean there as well. Think these things are unrelated? Think again!

In traditional Chinese Medicine, spring is the season for cleansing… so it only makes sense that our attention and mindset are fixed there. As a business owner, fortune 500 company or even wellness practitioner, it’s smart to take advantage of this momentum and support your clients by offering tips, suggestions, or even samples of foods and habits that can nourish them the most.

Food samples are such an easy way to introduce something new to a client – they’re far more likely to try new recipes, explore things like tongue scraping and body brushing if you give them a head start! If you’re not offering samples to your clients, then you should! This is a missed opportunity to really engage with them!

In my work with health coaches, I love to offer ideas and suggestions of product samples to give clients to help them ease into making safer, non-toxic choices in their kitchens. Searching for safe, toxic free kitchen items, from dish soap, to water bottles, can sometimes be too much for clients. Solution? Give them some instead! Not only does these make them more open to talking further about chemical toxins in the home, it’s shows them that you’re committed to helping them transition to the healthiest life possible!

Here are a few gift basket ideas - all under $50!


Gift Basket 1

Set of 12 Glass Mason Jars – less than $15!
Better Life ‘Dish It Out’ Unscented Dish Soap – $7
Stainless Steel Strainer  – $15


Gift Basket 2

LunchSkins Snack Bags – $8
Reusable Bamboo Utensil Set – $13
Glass Water Bottle – $13


Article culled from Lara Adler 2013

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