Barbara's Custom Floral & Gifts, Inc.
 Your Local, Friendly Florist
In This Issue: Creative Party Ideas

September's Special: Zinnias  

When most people think of zinnias, they think of garden flowers -- flowers grown in their own backyards.  I know that I notice them in gardens gracing community entrances and parks.  Zinnias are really popular because they bloom for the entire summer season and they attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
Some homeowners I've talked to say they never cut garden flowers to bring them in their homes. So they wouldn't think of bringing zinnias indoors, especially when they begin to look scraggly toward the end of the summer season.   
But guess what? We have a variety of zinnias that are bred for indoor use and will decorate the best of tables. Their vibrant hues are especially effective in fall arrangements. These beauties come in bright yellow, orange, red, rose, purple, lilac and white. By processing them correctly, changing out their water and cutting their stems every other day, they will last 5 to 7 days.
With our September special of $3.50 a stem, it's a great time to enjoy a gorgeous arrangement at a great price. 
You can't beat our September special: $3.50 a stem.
Dear Barbara:
I wanted to thank you and your staff for doing such a wonderful job providing the decorations for the Northrop Grumman event. You were so flexible throughout the creative process and were willing to come back with multiple ideas, and price points to fit within our budget.
The day of the event, everything was completed on time and looked wonderful. The client expressed their approval of the décor and it contributed to the event's success. I will recommend you to colleagues and plan to use your business in the future for our decorating needs.
Jeizel Pickett
Account Coordinator
Peter Webb Public Relations, Inc.

Making a Child King at His Party
When you think of fall, children, and back to school, what comes to mind? Parties, of course -boy as clown birthday and Halloween parties. 
As parents, you always want to give your children birthday parties they will never forget. Fortunately, it only takes a little bit of planning to transform an ordinary birthday party into a day filled with fun and fantasy.
Here are just a few tips on how to make that special day memorable:
Pick a theme that reflects your child's age, interests and personality. In fact, ask your child to help you pick the theme. He know best what his friends enjoy.
Enhance the party atmosphere by exaggerating the theme. Then start with the invitations. Invitations excite children and remind them of the theme. To enhance the party mood, plan to fill the room with balloons and streamers. Look for mylar balloons that match your theme. Then add latex balloons of coordinating colors. You can also use party hats and favors, table decorations and covers, and plastic dishes, depending on your budget. Extend the theme to the end with matching thank-you notes, which you and your child can write together.
Keep refreshments simple. But make them fun by giving them special names that go with the day's theme. For example, if your theme is clowns, you could serve clowning around hot dogs with big red nose lemonade and circus cupcakes.  
Keep games simple and wrap prizes in gift wrap that matches the day's theme.
Pick a time and day that is most likely to fit into family and school schedules.
Inform your neighbors about the party, so they will be on the lookout for children playing outside as they drive through the neighborhood. This also will help them understand additional noise or outside activities, as well as extra cars parked along the street.

Planning an Office Party

christmas partyWith the beginning of autumn, our thoughts begin to turn toward the holidays and office parties. If you are the one who is in charge of this year's office festivities, it's best to start your planning as early as possible. That way, you will have the best selection of venues, as well as caterers and florists.
The budget and invitation list are among the first items to consider. You will want to schedule the party at a time when most of the invitees will be able to attend.
Depending on your budget, you might want to ask some of your fellow workers beforehand if they would prefer an evening or daytime party and whether they want to include significant others and children.
Here are some suggestions for planning a smooth, successful event that everyone can enjoy:
  • Suggest appropriate attire to help people make tasteful choices.  
  • Include ways for people to mingle with fellow workers from other departments and to talk with the CEO or vice presidents.  
  • Provide alternatives to alcohol that are attractive and enticing.  
  • Prepare ahead of time for people who might arrive early or on-the-dot. Perhaps invite several of your co-workers to come early so that they can entertain others who are ahead of schedule.  
  • Envision an event that puts the company in a good light. Factors that should be considered are employees' interests, as well as the party's location and alcohol flow.  
  • If appropriate, offer guidance related to gifts.
Birthday Gift Advice
woman with gift
Buying birthday gifts can often be a difficult task. Many people select gifts that they would like to receive. But that's not really the best approach to use. The recipient of your gift may not have the same taste as you.
Perhaps the best advice is for you to think about the personality of the person who will be receiving the gift, as well as his or her likes and dislikes. Consider their hobbies and things they enjoy. For example, a fisherman might like a new fishing rod or lure. A sports enthusiast might like sports memorabilia, tickets to a sporting event or an invitation to play their preferred sport. A gardener might like some special lotion for dry hands.
Don't underestimate the value of homemade presents. These are often the most precious gifts a person can receive, whether it's a scrapbook or photo album made up of items from a special time in that person's life or a homemade card and brownies.
The best gifts - even if small, inexpensive or homemade - are the ones that let the recipient know you were thinking about them on their special day.