A DIY Guide to pretending it’s spring

  • By lemaster
  • 14 Jul, 2016

All over the country, this winter can be described using two words: The Worst. In Buffalo especially, it seems we’ve been faced with one of two weather situations for the last few months:

  1. The high temperature is in the single digits and the wind chill takes it low enough that it starts to feel like each time you leave the house you are stepping into a vat of liquid nitrogen.
  2. The temperature rises to a balmy 27 degrees, which is just warm enough for the skies to open up and dump three feet of snow on top of the thick layers of ice that cover the Great Lakes regions.

Buffalonians are tough, and we can certainly handle more than our share of cold, snowy weather. But after Polar Vortex take II hit last week, even some of the toughest Buffalo denizens started to waver in their tolerance for driving through weather that nearly every other part of the country would call “The Apocalypse.”

If you’re sitting at home longing for some real signs of spring (and wondering how Punxatawny Phil had the audacity to suggest that there might only be six weeks left of winter), here is a Do It Yourself guide to pretending it’s already spring.

The nerve of that groundhog!
  1. Astroturf can look surprisingly like real grass. Thinking of replacing a carpet or area rug? Try laying down some turf for a springy/NFL look. Warning: dogs have been known to think turf is real grass. But hey, if it fools the dogs, surely it can also fool the majority of humans.
  2. For many people, the first robin sighting (or hearing) signals that spring has begun. Because birds migrate according to the actual weather, it’s unlikely that you’ll spot a robin for a few more weeks. But that doesn’t mean you can’t hear a robin before then. There are many birdcall apps available to smartphone users. Download one of these, set the robin call to “loop,” and leave it running on a windowsill. Bonus points if the windowsill is above the freshly laid turf.
Press to activate “spring”
3.  There are many aromas that signify that spring has sprung. Flowers. Fresh dirt. Sometimes, skunks. All of these smells can be replicated in your home. Potting soil is available year-round at most home supply stores. Fresh flowers can be found at any florist (especially Elaine’s Flower Shoppe!). Quintessential spring blooms? Lily of the valley, crocuses, and daffodils. As for the skunk smell, you can purchase Skunk Scent at many hunting supply stores at a surprisingly low cost (who could believe that people aren’t wiling to pay a fortune to smell like a skunk?).
4.  Another sound of spring is the lawnmower. But just because the grass is still covered in fourteen feet of snow doesn’t mean you can’t hear this sound of spring. Start your lawnmower and leave it running in the garage (with the door open!) or in the driveway. This way, all your neighbors will get to hear the sounds of spring (and we bet they’ll really thank you!)
5.  For many people, spring means allergies. Allergies tend to mimic the symptoms of a common head cold. There are many ways to pick up germs. Use your imagination. Another option would be to find a dusty area and breathe deeply. Bonus points for rubbing something near your eyes to make them water uncontrollably.
6.   BBQ season. This is a big one, and unfortunately it has some potentially dangerous side effects if attempted indoors. A better option might be to set up a George Foreman grill on a card table on the turf you’ve installed. Your family can play a mini game of bocce while you barbecue up some spring favorites.

    You can attempt any or all of these DIY steps toward pretending it’s spring. When all six are done simultaneously, you and your family will be so convinced it’s spring that one of you might accidentally run out to get the mail in sandals and a t-shirt. With the family gathered playing spring games on the turf while the smells of fresh dirt and flowers mix with barbecue sauce (and maybe skunk, for those who desire authenticity over enjoy-ability); listening to the sounds of robins and lawnmowers close by, the biggest surprise will be when you get your heating bill at the end of the month and are rudely reminded that it’s still four degrees outside.

    By lemaster 14 Jul, 2016

    Moms are special. That’s why we have a day to celebrate them. No one will ever love you like your mother does. She deserves something special this Mother’s Day, don’t you think? Anyone can go online, find a stock bouquet that looks kind of pretty, and send it to her mother on Mother’s Day. And your mom would love it, because she loves you. But your mom is unique. Your mom deserves a bouquet that highlights whatever it is about her that makes her so unique.

    This year for Mother’s Day, Elaine’s Flower Shoppe has created special arrangements to honor different types of moms. Does your mom love to garden? Is she constantly planning events and get-togethers? Is she happiest when she’s celebrating her loved ones’ achievements? This year, honor what really makes your mom special with one of these handcrafted arrangements.

    By lemaster 14 Jul, 2016

    Do you have support staff that helps you get through the day? Are you support personnel who helps someone else get through the day? Administrative Professionals’ Day is coming up April 23 and it’s a great opportunity to say thanks or be thanked.

    Did you know that there are more than four million administrative assistants and more than eight million total administrative support workers employed in the US? That’s a lot of people whose jobs are often to thanklessly ensure that an executive’s day runs smoothly.

    If you’ve ever worked in an administrative support position, you know that a typical day could include anything from coffee runs to office “security” to supply inventory and everything in between. If you forget to update a calendar an important meeting might be missed or double booked. If you wait one day too long to re-order copier paper, those super-important client memos might not be ready in time for the big meeting. And if you do everything right, and pay all the bills, and answer all the phone calls, and throw away all the junk mail, and keep an impeccable calendar, and record flawless expense reports, sometimes the best thing that happens is…no one realizes how much effort that took.

    If you’re a supervisor or manager and you have support staff working on all that “little” stuff for you, you may not realize the insane attention to detail and diligence it requires to do it well. Working an administrative role certainly isn’t the same today as it’s portrayed in an episode of Mad Men, but think about it – when is the last time you REALLY said thank you to the support staff who, if they’re doing their job well enough, you might not even realize are working so hard?

    By lemaster 14 Jul, 2016

    Who has the best April Fool’s prank story? Victim or perpetrator. Go to our Facebook page and tell us about it on the comments. Best prank wins free flowers.

    The contest starts now, and ends Wednesday, April 2 at 11:59pm. Get pranking!

    Fine print: Winner will receive a gift certificate for a mixed bouquet, valued at $30. Winner will be chosen at the discretion of Elaine’s Flower Shoppe. Delivery is not included. You can pick up your prize in store at 2365 George Urban Blvd. in Depew. Or, we can deliver it to your location of choice for an additional charge.

    This promotion is sponsored by Elaine’s Flower Shoppe, and is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. Any questions, comments or complaints regarding the promotion should be directed to us, the sponsor, not Facebook. But really, no one likes a complainer. Especially when you’re winning free stuff.

    By lemaster 14 Jul, 2016

    Elaine’s Flower Shoppe is giving away free flowers to everyone who wants them! Come. On. Down.

    April Fools!

    Don’t you just love April Fools’ Day jokes (when you’re not on the receiving end)? Just to be clear, we are NOT giving away free flowers to everyone. We do, however, frequently hold contests with flowers as prizes, so if this headline got your attention we recommend you pay attention to our Facebook page. In fact, we’re holding an April Fools’ Day contest this week. But you’ll have to visit our Facebook page for that.

    Ever wonder how the tradition of April Fools’ Day started?

    By lemaster 14 Jul, 2016

    This March has been more like “in like a lion, out like a different lion.” Things like longer days, warmer weather, and fresh flowers are helping to put a little spring in our step here at Elaine’s. What is it about this time of the year that helps put a little spring in your step?

    Go to our Facebook page and in a comment, tell us how you’re putting a little spring in your step.

    The contest starts now, and ends Monday, March 24 at 11:59pm. Good Luck!

    Fine print: Winner will receive a gift certificate for a mixed bouquet, valued at $30. Winner will be chosen at the discretion of Elaine’s Flower Shoppe. Delivery is not included. You can pick up your prize in store at 2365 George Urban Blvd. in Depew. Or, we can deliver it to your location of choice for an additional charge.

    This promotion is sponsored by Elaine’s Flower Shoppe, and is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. Any questions, comments or complaints regarding the promotion should be directed to us, the sponsor, not Facebook. But really, no one likes a complainer. Especially when you’re winning free stuff.
    By lemaster 14 Jul, 2016

    Spring is here! March 20 marks the first official day of spring. There’s an old saying about March – in like a lion, out like a lamb. Depending on where you live in the country, March has been more like a transmogrifying monster. One day a fiend, the very next day a friend. It 50° and sunny right back into 18 ° and snowy the next day. It’s kind of like the killer rabbit from Monty Python and the Holy Grail – just when you start to think how gentle it is, it tries to kill you.

    OK, so that might be an exaggeration. But it’s no secret that this winter has been one of the worst in recent history, and the first day of spring still looks an awful lot like winter in most parts of the country. It’s giving a new meaning to the term “March Madness,” in that most people who check the weather in the morning are consistently mad about the reports. Especially in the Buffalo, NY area, the Elaine’s Flower Shoppe headquarters.

    A few weeks ago we wrote about ways to trick yourself, your family, and your home into thinking it’s already spring. Today is simply an ode to spring; all the things we love about spring that help give every day that little bit of extra cheer we’ve been missing since orange and red leaves starting falling from the trees. We’re ready for some spring in our step (and we don’t mean those sneakers that are supposed to help “shape” your rear end).

    By lemaster 14 Jul, 2016

    It’s hard to believe St. Patrick’s Day is only a few days away. The perpetual snow storms and cold temperatures have us feeling like we’re stuck in January. (If you’re sitting at home longing for some signs of spring, check out our Do It Yourself Guide to Pretending it’s Already Spring .)

    How many times have you thought “ just my luck ” as you’re stuck in a snow bank or another blizzard hits as soon as you get your driveway cleared?

    We know it’s been a long winter. We get it. That’s why we’re offering a chance for one lucky fan to win an Irish arrangement.

    Go to our Facebook page and in a comment, tell us your reason why you could use a little bit of luck.

    The contest starts now, and ends Monday, March 17 at 11:59pm. Good Luck!

    By lemaster 14 Jul, 2016

    All over the country, this winter can be described using two words: The Worst. In Buffalo especially, it seems we’ve been faced with one of two weather situations for the last few months:

    1. The high temperature is in the single digits and the wind chill takes it low enough that it starts to feel like each time you leave the house you are stepping into a vat of liquid nitrogen.
    2. The temperature rises to a balmy 27 degrees, which is just warm enough for the skies to open up and dump three feet of snow on top of the thick layers of ice that cover the Great Lakes regions.

    Buffalonians are tough, and we can certainly handle more than our share of cold, snowy weather. But after Polar Vortex take II hit last week, even some of the toughest Buffalo denizens started to waver in their tolerance for driving through weather that nearly every other part of the country would call “The Apocalypse.”

    If you’re sitting at home longing for some real signs of spring (and wondering how Punxatawny Phil had the audacity to suggest that there might only be six weeks left of winter), here is a Do It Yourself guide to pretending it’s already spring.

    By lemaster 14 Jul, 2016

    Even though Elaine’s Flower Shoppe made it our mission to make Valentine’s Day as easy as when you were a kid, we know that there are still occasions when people are the unfortunate recipient of a bad Valentine’s Day gift. Sometimes, significant others miss the mark. Or think Valentine’s Day is a funny time for a gag gift.

    Go to our Facebook page and in a comment, tell us about your terrible Valentine’s Day gift. One lucky winner will receive a free bouquet. Think of it as a consolation gift. The contest starts now, and ends Friday, February 21 at 11:59pm.

    Did your husband get you a weight loss drug? Did your boyfriend get you a little velvet box…with a keychain inside? If the answer is yes, you might be able to turn your misery into flowers!

    By lemaster 14 Jul, 2016
    Remember how easy Valentine’s Day was when you were a kid? More importantly, remember how stress-free it was? Your mom went to the store and bought a box of valentines with your favorite cartoon on it, and you gave one to everyone in your class. Maybe it was a classic, like Winnie the Pooh or Batman. Maybe it was something generic, with a clever pun to match the crafty design. When you were a kid, Valentine’s Day was easy because the hardest choice you had to make was whether to sign the cards in cursive or print. Cursive looks fancier, but print is faster and neater. Everyone in your class got a Valentine, and you got one from everyone in your class.
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