Spring has Sprung for Vibrant Weddings

 

Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal – a perfect time for the new adventure that a marriage brings. Yet in the race for most popular time of year to get married, spring is a distant third place behind summer and autumn. This is good news if you're planning a spring wedding, as more top-notch vendors will be available, and you may be able to get discounted rates, especially on sites and travel. 

If you're leaning towards a spring wedding, begin the process by thinking about what you like most about the season. Is it the young flower buds emerging from the earth? Perhaps you'll want to have a wedding early in the season, and offer the respite of floral abundance and warmth when guests come in from the cold. If it's the emerging sunshine, choose bright colors and May weather. Here are a few ideas to get you started on planning your spring wedding:

 

Wedding Dresses - Many more brides these days are opting for a hint of color in their wedding dresses – be it a lime green sash, an allover hint of pink, or light colorful embroidery. These touches will look perfect at a spring wedding.

 

Menu Ideas- Celebrate spring in your menu with fresh young vegetables such as baby carrots, asparagus, potatoes, sugar snap peas, and fresh corn on the cob. You could also include an assortment of carrot cupcakes. Strawberries, plums, and apricots are delicious at this time of year, and mangos and pomegranates may work as well.
 
Wedding flowers & decorations- What an assortment to choose from! Flowers in bloom include roses, tulips, hyacinth, lilies and Gerber daisies. Multi-colored calla lilies are very popular and look beautiful in a spring arrangement. Accent your reception tables  with baskets of flowers as centrepieces. They also  make great takeaways for your guests.
 
 

 

Gift Giving Returns with the Spring !

It really never left!

Just when you think you are out of the woods with gift giving, the spring season returns with all kinds of holidays: Easter, Mother’s and Father’s Day, Graduations, and all those spring birthdays!

 it would be nice if we could just give the gift of love or a hug and pretend that it will make our families and others happy during this time. But while I’m sure they wouldn’t mind the gesture, they would probably prefer to also receive a new video game, an iTunes® gift card or a designer bag.

If you want to give a gift they will appreciate (and it doesn't necessarily have to be a Gucci bag), here are a few options that will put a smile on your gift-receivers’ faces.

If you’ve got a fashionista on your shopping list, she might like something  like a 100% organic cotton cardigan, a silk blend blouse, or a floral scarf. Whether your gift-receiver is a trend-setter or a laid-back, hobo-style chick, there are a number of items for you to give based on their personal style.

Don’t forget the music lovers. An I-pad or i-phone with an i-Tunes or HMV gift card, tickets to see their favorite band or if they play an instrument, a new guitar or drum set may be something they would absolutely flip for. 

Jewellry anyone? From watches to bracelets and pendant necklaces, there are a wide array of keepsake pieces you can bestow on that special someone to congratulate them on their achievements or show just how much they mean to you.

Now, don’t forget the kids! Children are the ones who cherish gift-giving the most, so why not surprise them with any of the following:

Goggles Umbrella by 25ToGo

A lookout window and a plastic “periscope” lend Cold War intrigue to a rainy day. Sized for big kids.  ellaumbrella.com.

Lego Sort and Store

Make cleanup time a snap: Toss in a handful of Lego blocks, then shake. The bricks sift through grids, separating into groups of small, medium, and large.  shop.lego.com.

Spiketus Rex Half Pack

Sized to fit little kids, available in reptile prints or bright solids, and monstrously awesome. madpax.com.

 Last and certainly never the least, Gift Solutions by Blossom can help you build a special custom basket filled with the recipient's favorite things! We can purchase the gifts/items in line with your vision and budget and even deliver to the recipient.

The Benefits of Generosity

 

Generosity is an expansive energy. You receive as you give. Stinginess is constrictive. If you're on the cheap side, don't worry. But wake up! Realize it's a huge drawback; take contrary action. How? If someone gives you a nickel, give them a dime. Gradually, try to let go of the tit for tat mentality, a small-mind approach that sabotages abundance. Be the bigger person: that's generosity. Also, help people out. Charities, tithing, donations. Give what you can; it doesn't have to be a lot. Feel the growing sense of abundance it produces, an energy which circulates far and wide. It'll find its way back to you. Maybe you'll win a jackpot, or perhaps you'll just feel better about yourself. However generosity plays out, you can't lose.

 
Dare to be unconventional in your giving. Rise to the opportunities presented. For instance, recently while I was on the checkout line at a local supermarket, the woman ahead of me in paying for her groceries had come up a few bucks short. I felt the impulse to pay for her. Should I? Shouldn't I? Thank God my mouth opened before getting mired in that mental debate: "I can give you the rest," I offered. She lit up, "Oh my God, thank you!" As if to say, do people still do this sort of thing? And on and on she went, "Thank you, that's so kind of you. I really appreciate it!"  "Amazing," I thought. She was smiling. I was smiling. The cashier was smiling. All around, warm fuzzy feelings. And it took so little to get it going.
 
 My aspiration is to encourage you to push past social norms. Jump on all chances to be generous, large and small. Even if you're shy, try to do it anyway. He that giveth receiveth!

Great Places to go for a February Wedding

Outside of the summer months, February is one of the most popular times of the year to get married, and thanks to Valentines Day it really is the winter month of love and romance. Once upon a time a couple would live in the same town, fall in love and get married in the local church, reception in the village hall and take a honeymoon in the Mediterranean. These days things are very different,There's a whole world out there of exciting, exotic, challenging and picture perfect places you could get married. So here's our guide to the best overseas wedding holiday venues to help you plan if that is the direction you are headed in!

 

EXOTIC SOUTHEAST ASIA

Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos were challenging destinations to visit until fairly recently, but now the increasing numbers of visitors falling in love with the colourful landscapes of rice fields, rolling hills, rainforests, mountains and fabulous beaches has meant that staging weddings in these exotic parts is becoming quite the thing. February is a great time to visit these countries as the weather is a cooler and the monsoons are less humid and drier than in the uncomfortable May-October wet season. Siem Reap in Cambodia is an especially good place to get married with some wonderful luxury hotels in the city and the beautiful ancient ruins of Angkor Wat making the perfect backdrop for your wedding photos.

This is also the peak time for tourism so the cities across the region are lively, but if you prefer some seclusion there are plenty of isolated beach resorts to check out. The offshore island and beaches at Mui Ne in Vietnam, Langkawi in Malaysia and Lombok in Indonesia are amongst the many popular locations for peak season breaks in S.E. Asia, and make great alternative destinations for weddings in February.

FIJI THE UNFORGETTABLE

Fiji is renowned the world over as a Polynesian tropical paradise, and for once the cliché is appropriate. It has some of the finest sandy beaches in the world and is especially good for diving amongst the fantastic coral reefs. Venues like the Wakaya Club are great for arranging a tropical wedding here, with a small church and some exotic local ceremonies thrown into the mix to make it that much more special. The bride, for instance, will get to the church on time carried in a traditional sedan chair rather than rolling up in a limo, carried along by a dedicated team of Fiji warriors to her appointment with destiny. The temperatures in Fiji reach 31 degrees Celsius in February and you get the best romantic sunsets as well.

ICE HOTEL IN SWEDEN

Swedish Lapland offers the perfect setting for that supremely special day. With the Northern Lights putting on pyrotechnic displays above and the champagne glasses clinking below, this will be a memory to treasure. There are some great winter wedding venues in Lapland and in February the weather is at its coldest and crispest, guaranteeing perfect snow conditions and you could do no better than book into the awesome ice hotel in Jukkassjarvi for the big event. Covering 5500 square metres, this is the biggest ice hotel in the world and is also a prime location for viewing the Northern Lights.

 

 

Sharing Some Love: Valentine's Day Client Appreciation

Valentine's Day is generally characterized for personal relationships and uncelebrated in the business world.  However, using it as a day to connect with customers and acknowledge your best clients is another opportunity to differentiate your company from the competition.  Basically, use Valentine's Day as a means to expand and develop great business relationships.

No matter what your business resources are , start by taking advantage of using what you've got.   As gift and appreciation consultants, we're always looking for ways to integrate sustainability concepts into the workplace; instead of purchasing something new, start your business Valentine's by utilizing your current email system and generate a marketing campaign.

Your campaign can be anything from thanking your customers for their continued loyalty, an introduction to new products or services, or an opportunity to receive valuable feedback: send polls, questions, "we're listening”.   Another idea would be to bundle a product/ service at a savings and offer it as a business Valentine's Day gift.

The next step in your campaign is making the customer experience more relevant.   Behind every e-mail, Tweet, and Linked-in message in our high-tech global marketplace is a human being. Pick up the phone and get to know your clients as people -not just for businesses purposes. Position your mindset to one that allows for relationships beyond networking.  

A final thought for business Valentine's is engagement.  Companies looking to build business endurance should consider partnering with clients and prospects and collectively volunteering together for a common cause in the community.  You  harmonizing your client relationships as well as contributing meaningfully in your community. 

HAPPY BUSINESS VALENTINE'S DAY1!

Why Chocolate is Good for You & Them too

Mmm... it sounds too good to be true but chocolate - including that which you are planning to bestow on that special someone for Valentine's Day - may actually be good for you. In fact, the health benefits of chocolate are many. Did you know that chocolate is one of the top antioxidants? 

I am assuming we are talking about the same thing, that is chocolate in its purest form - as close to the bean as you can get. If you want me to tell you that a Snickers bar is good for you, you will most certainly be disappointed! That doesn't mean, however, that there aren't any chocolate bars that are good for you. The key is to find a bar with high cocoa content. The higher the cocoa content the less room there is for vanilla, sugar, lecithin and all that other stuff that ends up making chocolate less of a vegetable and more of a candy.

Chocolate is absolutely one of my favorite things to indulge in and one of the reasons why is its antioxidant properties ( and taste!!) . Antioxidants help rid the body of free radicals in your body which have ben known to be rwesponsible for aging and disease. Antioxidants bond to free radicals and expel them from your body via digestion or other means.

Writing about the health benefits of chocolate makes me think I should go eat some right now... but you can keep on reading. 

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/03/28/11-reasons-chocolate-is-good-for-your-health.html

 

 

 

 

Getting Ready for the Holidays -Last Minute Christmas Gifts

If you are reading this, I already sympathize with you. You have forgotten Christmas gifts for someone, and are trying to salvage the situation searching for some last-minute gifts. Fortunately, that is exactly what we are going to be listing here - a few of the most popular last minute Christmas gift ideas - to save you time and the embarrassment of not having a gift for someone.

When it comes to last minute gifts for Christmas, the time constraint usually means that you end up choosing something tacky just to save face. All the regular Christmas gifts are out of the question, as they will either take too long to shop for, are not easily available, and of course, there is simply not enough time. Well, you will have to make some sacrifices and compromises when you want to buy last-minute gifts, but that does not mean that there aren't any good gifts available. Here is our list of gifts for Christmas, and yes, if you are wondering, everyone happens to forget, even us!

Gift Baskets
A box of chocolates, gourmet foods, and sparkling wine can be combined and used as a last-minute Christmas gift. Gift Solutions by Blossom can customize baskets for those on your list at a moment’s notice within your budget as well as deliver them to your recipients. We are kings at making you look good at last minute gifting.  


Gift Certificates/Cards
Obviously the easiest choice when it comes to last-minute gifts. Gift certificates can be for any amount and from anywhere, preferably the closest store to your house. If you are unable to do that, or there is no store where you can get a gift voucher from, there are many online sites that you can get a gift voucher for. This is an easy option as a gift for Christmas.

Online Shopping
Besides looking for gift cards online, there are many sites that specialize in Christmas shopping. From clothes to gadgets, these sites cover everything. Sure, they may charge a fair bit for that last-minute delivery, but it will be worth it. Before you place your order online, make sure that the site will deliver the gift before Christmas, else your purchase will be in vain.


Christmas Decorations
Homemade Christmas decorations can also be a good last-minute gift. Beautiful and specially crafted Christmas ornaments will add to the festive cheer. Besides, homemade Christmas gifts will fetch you more appreciation from others!

Games
If it's gift ideas for children you are looking for, then board games, books, game CDs, etc., all make good gifts that can be purchased easily and more importantly fast. They can be bought online, at your local retailer and delivered in time for Christmas.

Besides these there are a few other things that you can get as gifts for Christmas. These include photo frames, gadget accessories, headphones, bath and body sets, candle holders with aromatic candles, etc. Flowers and wine can also make for a last-minute gift if you have absolutely no time to do even any of the above.

If you have left it to the last minute, don’t worry. Review my suggestions , and you will surely find something suitable to give someone. At the end of the day, it's the thought that really counts, so as long as they know you cared enough to remember them, everything should be peachy! If all else fails, celebrate the Christmas spirit with lots of love and cheer anyway, for Christmas isn't just all about gifts! It’s about celebrating the One who gave us the greatest gift!

Wishing all of you a Very Merry Christmas!

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