Monday, April 23, 2012

Let's Pin!

Pinterest is popping up everywhere… we’ve been hearing about it on tv, reading about it in blogs and magazines, and everyone is buzzing about it at the shop! Well what is it? It’s awesome, that’s what it is!!

Seriously though, according to Wikipedia, Pinterest is a pinboard-style social photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies and more. Users can browse other pinboards for inspiration, 're-pin' images to their own collections and/or 'like' photos. Pinterest's mission is to "connect everyone in the world through the 'things' they find interesting" via a global platform of inspiration and idea sharing. Pinterest allows its users to share 'pins' on both Twitter and Facebook, which allows users to share and interact with a broad community.

So basically, rather than tearing out magazine pages of the things you love and saving them in judiciously organized binders… Or carefully copying the recipes you want to try into your cookbook… Or even keeping those messy folders of poorly titled favorites at the top right-hand corner of your internet browser, you can simply use Pinterest. Pinterest allows you to organize all the things you love via pictures, which neatly link back to their source, to enjoy whenever you like, as well as, share them with all your friends and online family (and you check out all the cool things they like too).

We have to say, we’re very impressed with Pinterest… Not just with how simple it is to use, but how practical it is in this digital, go- green, social age and especially with how remarkable all the things people pin are! We have seen some stunning photography, great DIY ideas, trendy fashions, and so much more! Well we are not going to let all this awesomeness pass us by!! We have launched our own Pinterest page to share the great things that we love. Stop on by for a visit and let’s pin! Need an invite? Send us an email at and we’ll be sure to send you one, happy pinning!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Shopping Green

Upcycled handmade notepads made
from vintage Monopoly game
pieces by Stein Your Florist Co. 
“Our planet, our home is being neglected. Climate change continues unabated. It seems there's a new ecological disaster happening almost daily. This Earth Day it's time to mobilize the planet from the ground up to send a message that the Earth won't wait!”

This powerful statement is from the Earth Day Network, which is committed to diversifying and mobilizing the modern environmental movement. At Stein Your Florist Co. we love the Earth, it gives us the wonderful gift of flowers! This Earth Day, and everyday,  we want to share a few simple shopping tips that are sure to make the Earth happy :)

Complete the loop, buy recycled!

Handmade upcycled greeting card gift boxes
by Stein Your Florist Co.

Recycling is a 3-step process. That’s why the recycling symbol has 3 arrows that complete a loop. The 1st step is collection – that’s when you put your recyclables into your curbside recycling bin or take them to the drop-off center. The 2nd step is manufacturing – that’s when they’re processed into raw materials to make new products. The 3rd step is buying recycled – that’s when you complete the recycling loop. Even better is to buy upcycled products.

Handmade upcycled gift bows made from
magazine pages by Stein Your Florist Co.
Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value. Upcycling tends to avoid manufacturing processes that can be environmentally detrimental and you always get a wonderful product and interesting conversation piece.

Go Green and Buy Handmade!

Upcycled and handmade shirt pillows, reusable
cloth napkins and hand towels, and fair trade journals
covered  in sari cloth scraps by Stien Your Florist Co.
The accumulating environmental effects of mass production are a major cause of global warming and the poisoning of our air, water and soil. Every item you make or purchase from a small-scale independent artist or crafter strikes a small blow to the forces of mass production. We love handmade products… we’ve been hand making beautiful flower arrangements for 125 years! Wonder if Abraham and Bertha Stein realized way back in 1887 that they were part of a green movement when they opened Steins…

Handmade flower arrangement in a
recycled glass vase designed with
organic flowers by Stein Your Florist Co.
Go green and buy organic!
Keep chemicals out of the air, water, soil and our bodies. Have a healthier happier life and a more diverse, healthier, greener planet! We love when we get in organically grown flowers and shop for them whenever we can.

Buy air purifying plants!

Handmade terrarium planted with air
purifying plants in a vintage pickle jar
by Stein Your Florist Co.
Indoor air contamination is more wide spread then most people realize! The good news is that NASA studies found that common houseplants were able to remove up to 87% of air toxins in 24 hrs! The recommendation? Use 15 to 18 "good-sized" house plants in 6” to 8” diameter containers for a 1,800 sq ft house.

Shop antiques, collectables, and vintage items!
Vintage pottery at Stein Your Florist Co.
It reduces the impact of big industry’s creation of new items and reuses or repurposes these wonderful treasures, giving them a second life, and keeping them out of landfills. When we cleaed out a location we used to have on Front Street in Philadelphia we found thousands of vintage ceramics and collectibles that Steins bought in the 40's, 50's and 60's. We are now sharing these treasures... woderful pieces from McCoy, Roseville, and Occupied Japan pieces.

Buying fair trade is socially & ecologically responsible!

Fair trade recycled wrapper purse and fair trade
gourd maracas at Stein Your Florist Co.
Purchasing fair trade products helps producers in developing countries obtain better trading conditions & promote sustainability. It advocates the payment of a higher price to producers as well as high social and environmental standards.

Fair trade telephone wire bangles at
Stein Your Florist Co.

We love carrying an array of unique handmade fair trade products from around the world, including Africa, India, Mexico and parts of Asia. We also make every effort to purchase fair trade flowers whenever we can... it's just the right thing to do and the quality is always perfect!

Handmade all natural soy Wickie
Candles at Stein Your Florist Co.
All the products you see in this post can be found at Stein Your Florist Co. and Steins at Sunset Florist. Stop in one of our stores today to see all our awesome eco-treasures!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Lovely Lilacs

Lilac flowers are one of our favorite harbingers of Spring. Days spent this past week walking through our neighborhoods and driving around town, we are already seeing it beginning to blossom in backyards and it is arriving at our flower shops by the bundle. As soon as it’s processed and in water our designers descend on it like ravenous wolves, incorporating its delicate blooms into a bevy of arrangements. Lilac is fragrant, beautiful, and one of our preferred flowers of the season.

Lilac, botanical name Syringa, is the state flower of New Hampshire, said to symbolize the Granite State’s citizens’ hardy character. And hardy is a perfect way to describe to the plant; draped with a cloud of aromatic blooms, these long-lived shrubs reliably scent the Spring countryside year after year. The timing of their blooms is said to signal whether Spring will come early or late and the beginning of the Vernal planting season.

According to Greek mythology, the story of lilac originates from a beautiful nymph named Syringa. Her beauty captivated Pan, the God of the forests and fields, but Syringa was frightened by his affections. When Pan chased her through the forest she escaped him by turning herself into a sweet-smelling bush, the flower we now refer to has lilac.

In the language of flowers purple lilacs signify the first emotions of love, perfect for the 8th wedding anniversary flower, while white lilacs symbolize youthful innocence. They have a vase life (life as a cut flower) of approximately 6-10 days. They consume large amounts of fresh water, so be sure to add water to your lilac arrangement at least daily and do not smash the stems (a popular misnomer for woody stemmed flowers is that smashing or pounding the stems aids water uptake; however, it simply damages the vascular system of the stem which will inhibit the absorption); rather, your flowers will enjoy a very steep angled cut along the stem or if that isn’t conducive to your arrangement, a cross-cut (like a plus sign +) on the bottom of a straight cut stem.

Besides being beautiful to look at and amazing to smell, lilacs also have a delightful edible aspect. The flavor of lilacs varies from plant to plant, but is typically distinctly lemony with pungent floral overtones. It’s great in salads and crystallized with egg whites and sugar. We discovered the tasty combo of a few lilac blooms with a lemon zest sorbet, whipped cream and some sugary sprinkles, a refreshing combo for warm Spring days.

Lilac tea can also be made from the flowers, leaves and thinner branches of Syringa vulgaris (common lilac), and common white lilac, which has a floral flavor. Claims have been made that this tea has shown some signs that it may produce a light euphoria in higher amounts (3+ cups of strongly brewed tea), but this is relatively unverified with no scientific backing. Some find the white varieties of common lilac to have a sweeter and more pleasurable flavor, but both white and purple seem to produce more palatable tea with more flowers and only a few leaves.

Besides enjoying lilac flowers in their purest form, we also enjoy including their scent and color in other aspects of our lives. Lilacs and lavenders have long been a favorite color of sophisticated ladies, exuding femininity. This shade of purple suggests refinement along with grace and elegance. Add a little lilac to your look with nail polish, makeup, sparkly jewelry or a lilac cami under a sleek gray jacket. Mix up lilac with other colors for fun combos. Lilacs with pinks are very feminine, or add some mint green for a Springy look. Keep lilacs cool with grays and blues for a sophisticated look or take a modern earthy approach with light browns. Add warmth and romance to lilac with reds or burgundies. And don’t forget that heavenly lilac scent. Perfumes, soaps, incense and candles are all perfect when our beloved blooms are no longer in season. You’ve simply got to love lilac!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

For the Love of Lucky Bamboo

It is estimated that bamboo has been a symbol of good fortune in the Asian culture more than 4,000 years. Lucky bamboo is one of the plants recommended by Feng Shui masters to improve Feng Shui and create a space where you feel safe and more energized.

Feng Shui is the ancient practice of bringing the natural elements of water, fire, earth, wood and metal into balance in our surroundings. This is believed to produce greater harmony and a more positive life experience.

Because lucky bamboo is able to thrive in many areas of the home or workplace where other plants would not, it is valued as a means to enhance the positive flow of energy or "chi" in these areas.

The Chinese have given gifts of lucky bamboo for centuries with significant meanings attached to the number of stalks. Special arrangements also have special meanings.

3 stalks are given for happiness,
5 stalks are given for health,
6 stalks are given for harmony, and
8, 18, 28, or 38 stalks are given for prosperity.

Lucky Bamboo Towers are also a popular choice. Whether 2-tier, 3-tier or more, lucky bamboo towers anchor Feng Shui and light up the future.

Lucky Bamboo Trellises are used in Feng Shui to prevent bad energy flow. A trellis is also symbolic of the ladder of advancement.

Braided Lucky Bamboo Canes are made into beautiful sculptural arrangements like pillar and pear-shaped trees. Double braided canes bring good news. Triple braided canes bring new development in business and life.

If you’re looking for a great gift or something to set off a room in your home or office choose Lucky Bamboo! Right now, all our Lucky Bamboo is on special, 20% off at Stein Your Florist Co.!

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Petal for Every Wedding Season

So you’ve chosen the date, the venue and the dresses; you know what colors you like, the wedding theme, and the tone you want to set… and now for the flowers. With thousands of varieties and colors available, choosing the proper blooms can seem like a daunting task. Luckily, your local florist is an expert in this arena. At Stein Your Florist Co. we have been assisting brides in these careful decisions for 125 years and our first bit of advice is always the same, choose what you love. Sometimes this is easily accomplished, many popular blooms are available year round, while others are a bit more season specific. It is never impossible to procure out of season flowers, they may be specially grown just for you; however, seasonal flora is typically less expensive and of better quality.

Florists import flowers from around the world, acquiring much of their inventory from South America, California, Hawaii, Holland, Asia, and Africa granting a bevy of beautiful blooms in all seasons. Among the most popular are roses, many varieties of lilies, alstroemeria, bouvardia, carnations, chrysanthemums, freesia, gardenias, snapdragon, stock, gerbera daisies, liatris, iris, lisianthus, stephanotis (a wedding classic), veronica, many varieties of orchids, and tropicals, such as ginger, birds of paradise and protea. These seasonless standbys combined or standing alone create stunning bouquets, centerpieces and venue d├ęcor for your wedding day. Consider your colors and theme and have fun designing your dream wedding.

If incorporating the season’s blooms is something you’d like or if the everyday flora just isn’t your scene, then consider the time of year and spice up your wedding bouquets with the finest flowers of the fields. Winter lays claim to stunning amaryllis, asters, daffodils, Dutch, French and Parrot tulips, hyacinths, poinsettias, ranunculus and sweet pea. Much of this flora may sound Springy (especially tulips, hyacinths and daffodils) since we associate them with Easter, but as soon as Spring hits it is simply too warm for these delicate blossoms, but they create a perfect combination for March weddings on the cusp of Spring. Following the vernal equinox we are offered beautiful anemone varieties, lily of the valley, peonies, Queen Anne’s lace, and scabiosa. These flowers offer a wonderfully rich garden feel to your Spring wedding. Summer brings cockscomb, cornflower, dahlias, and zinnias. Summer blooms are often very bright and fun, they lend a carefree hippie vibe to your otherwise formal wedding. Finally, Fall flora brings us a palette of rusts, reds, oranges, and terra cottas mirroring the trees’ metamorphosis. Summer’s tuberose remains and anemones of a different variety return, with camellia and cosmos. Autumn weddings have a welcoming affect, greeting your guests with a blanket of warm colors and boasting a bountiful harvest.

Your bouquet is your star accessory and one of the first things your guests will notice as you enter your ceremony, it will be in most of your photos and even get its own close up shot. Take time to consider your bouquet and work with your florist to create the perfect combination of blooms. No matter what you chose, the stunning beauty of flowers is always in season.

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Hunger Games Wedding

"The Hunger Games" has taken the world by storm! The series of books already had a massive following and after last week’s movie release "The Hunger Games" seems to be all anyone is talking about.  While the series doesn’t exactly scream romance, that isn’t stop some mega-fans from wanting to incorporate its dark themes into one of the happiest day of their lives, their wedding day.  

Inspired by Katniss’ proficiency with the bow, our designers have replaced the traditional bridal bouquet with floral adornment on the archer’s tools. Flower clusters, featuring calla lilies, hydrangea, and sweeteart roses, embellish the bow and a pair of arrows are accented by hydrangea, ribbon and assorted foliage. Her quiver is covered in plumosa and also boasts an elegant hydrangea bloom.

Please enjoy this photographic collection from our recent shoot. “Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor!”

Photography, concept and designs by Stein Your Florist Co. 
Model: Jessi Buyers as Katniss Everdeen

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring is Upon Us

By Jessi Rose - Stein Your Florist Co.

One of my favorite times of the year is finally here, Spring! I love Spring, for it brings us tons of beautiful flowers and gorgeous weather to enjoy them. With a warm breeze caressing the air and the sun in the sky, we can all spend more time outside in nature, before Summer’s hot temperatures drive us back indoors to our air conditioning. It is time to start forgetting the cold days of winter, and start warming up for Spring-time fun!

My most beloved Spring-time holiday is Easter, for all of the fun flowers that come with it. Lilies, daisies, azaleas, daffodils, chrysanthemums, tulips, and hyacinths… the list goes on and on. Though many of these flowers can be found at your local florist year round, they wait until the vernal days are upon us to being to show themselves in our backyards and public gardens. Their popularity peaks for Easter celebrations and we gather them from nature, bringing them into our homes. Centerpieces grace family dinner tables for holiday feasts and we decorate our houses with our favorites of these delicate blossoms to enhance Spring-time gatherings with loved ones. 

To extend the temporary beauty of Spring blooms I recommend starting a garden. While a cut flower’s life may be all too short, live plants growing and thriving will share their beauty much longer. Though this will require a bit more work than picking up a bunch of blooms from your local flower shop, the results will be lovely. One of my absolute favorite parts of Spring is seeing my garden come to life with white azaleas, red cosmos, pink begonia, yellow daffodils, purple hyacinths, orange gerbera daisies - a rainbow of blooms. There are endless possibilities when it comes to your personal garden, because you choose what flowers are grown. You can have an endless amount of flowers all through the season, and even through Summer. Take time to plan your garden well and you will be treated to lush blooms until the first frost.

Spring is a wonderful season when it comes to the beauty of the great outdoors. We watch Winter’s dreary trees transform into luscious verdant vegetation. Through the environment’s annual metamorphosis we are able to observe nature’s beauty as plants grow and blossom into the flowers we know and love. Before the, all too brief, days of Spring are taken over by the heat of Summer use this time to enjoy the floral bounty and the warm weather. Get outside as the sun glows longer, and the flowers grow bigger, and most of all just remember... to have a happy Spring!