Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The Passions: A Novella on love, passion and flower cards-Part1

Fresh As A Daisy Cards presents The Passions, A Novella on love, passion and flower cards. 

By Jannet Ellis,
(Publishers's Note: This is an original work of fiction. No characters represent any client of Fresh As A Daisy Cards; it is purely for your enjoyment and is subject to copyright.)

 The day started like any other for Josh Hardgrove: an early morning run and a quick protein shake. Josh, a hard-nosed investment banker at Goldman Sachs, knew that a healthy body allowed him to stay sharp and focused at a job that was very competitive, and at the age of 30, he was considered one of the ‘old’ boys. But nothing worried Josh; he was young, successful and, most importantly, rich. Most would consider him arrogant, but he didn’t care. He had more money in his bank account than his father ever had in the thirty years he worked in northern England’s coal mines.

'Nope- too mushy' says Josh

Josh also knew he was good looking. He was lean, 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, with dark hair and eyes and a dimple on his chin that most women couldn’t resist. He liked the women—all of them—and was in no way willing to settle down. Married life or even a steady girlfriend was the equivalent of being sent to prison, in Josh’s mind. It would also be the death of his trading career, which he so coveted. He saw what happened to traders when they got married—they either ended up divorced for neglecting their wives so badly or consumed with day care and potty training, neither of which really appealed to the playboy bachelor.  

Josh also didn’t want to share, and he didn’t have to. His sixteen-bedroom mansion on Hill Street had plenty of room, but it was for the ‘boys’ and the lavish parties that drew London’s society women who liked to live and play hard. It was not for baby bottles, nappies and nurses. Josh’s life was good—and that is what he believed.
'Nope- not the right colours' thought Josh

Josh jumped into his Ferrari and headed to the office. Cooper Shefield was already there, hammering the phones and deals for the day. Coop yelled out from his office, ‘Josh, come in for a sec.’ Josh happily complied, for the two of them were inseparable since they both started at Goldman’s. ‘What’s up?’ 

‘Tonight, we are going to hit one of the hottest parties of the year at McQueen’s. I just got off the phone with His Highness.’ As Coop said ‘His Highness’, Josh rolled his eyes. ‘I know,’ said Shefield, ‘but he has scored us in invite to Lady Sarah’s gig at McQueen’s.’ 

Shefield went to public school with one of his Highness’s sons and was considered part of the inner circle. Josh was left to private school and managed to get to Oxford on a scholarship. But he loved Shefield and didn’t begrudge that he had a better start in life. Shefield showed him how to manage being part of ‘society’ once Josh started to make his fortune—where to live, what to drive and where to shop for his suits and shirts. And Shefield had enough class to never make him feel like an outsider.
'Blue-no!' Josh dismisses

Lady Sarah was the daughter of one of England’s earls—but who knew which one? Josh thought to himself. He considered himself a ‘republican’ largely. If he didn’t make the kind of money he did, in English society he would be considered a ‘no one’, though an outsider with unfathomable success and wealth at such a young age. 

Josh nodded at Shefield and said ‘cool’. Then he walked into his office to begin a day of making more money, which got Josh’s blood coursing through his veins.

The day went on: equities were traded, mortgages were syndicated and bonds were sold. All and all, Josh estimated that he did about £50,000 in commission that day. Not one of his best days, but things had been a little slow since the 2008 crash. Josh saw the crash coming early and moved his money in exchange-traded funds (ETF) and bonds and avoided any personal harm. He also managed his clients’ money in the same way, which left a number them much better off than their counterparts. Josh knew he did well by them, and he demanded their loyalty and any extra investing. ‘Tit for tat,’ he thought.
'Maybe', says Josh

Shefield showed up at his door at 9:30 p.m., which was quitting time at Goldman’s. And then it was off to McQueen’s. His Highness met them at the door with a few others who made up his inner circle. Everyone greeted each other and in the door they went.

McQueen’s, which is named after Steve McQueen, the actor, is a chic and sexy night club that only holds about 200 people. Josh had only been to it one other time and was impressed.  

The ‘boys’ went into the club and saw that most guests had already started to arrive. His Highness brought his group to meet Lady Sarah. Forever aware of his position and manners, His Highness introduced them to the hostess of the evening. When Josh was finally introduced, he was tongue-tied and actually shy. Lady Sarah was ‘lovely’, he thought to himself as he watched her gracefully welcome the group. Her tall sculpted body, sun-like hair and deep blue eyes made her attractive—but the way she held herself—poised and graceful—added to her allure. There also was a gentleness in her manner that made her all the more appealing. 

Josh managed to squeak out a ‘hello’. She held out her hand for a shake and Josh panicked as he realized his palms were now sweaty. She said ‘hello’ back in a voice that Josh thought sounded like the sweet chirp of a singing bird.

The boys went to their reserved table and bottle service was already there. Josh couldn’t take his eyes off Lady Sarah. He watched her every move. Shefield noticed Josh’s focus on Lady Sarah and said, ‘She’s a winner. She is not like these other aristocratic women who just expect the world to bend over backwards for them and that everyone in the world is there to serve them. “Lady” suits Sarah. I have met her a few times. She never overdrinks; she doesn’t put anything up her nose; and she is not bombastic or demanding. Why don’t you go talk to her?’ 

‘I can’t’, said Josh. Shefield, stunned, let out a little laugh. ‘Oh, Superman has found his kryptonite.’ 

With that, Josh got up and began to walk over to her. As he approached, he noticed the beautiful curl to her nose, a little brown mole on her cheek and beautiful full pink lips. Before he said hello, she noticed him and offered a gentle smile. He was now sweating profusely. And to make matters worse, His Highness showed up to join the conversation. 

'Would orange work?' he asked

 Through the conversation, Josh learned that she lived at the Stanley estate with her parents, the Baron and Baroness Stanley. She had a master’s degree in fine arts and worked at the London Design Museum as junior curator. His Highness demonstrated his impeccable pedigree of education and all things artistic. Josh couldn’t even tell you who Van Gogh was. Defeated, Josh thanked her for the party and said he needed to leave since Goldman Sachs calls start early. 

After bidding them farewell, he jumped into his Ferrari and drove off—to the big, beautiful home that now seemed so empty.  He went to his den, but all he could think of was her.  He had to send her something. ‘You know, a thank-you note’, he said to himself. He searched online: ‘Should I send an e-card? Nope, tacky’, he thought. ‘A bouquet of flowers? Nope, too pushy, and I don’t want her to think I’m a stalker.’ Finally, he came across a flower card web site: Fresh as a Daisy Flower Cards—Handmade, Personalised Flower Cards. 

Great, he thought. ‘It’s the perfect way to say thank you for a lovely evening. It’s not pushy or gushy.’ So Josh began to fill out the screen to send his perfect thank-you. He picked a crafty flower card with white lisianthus and then tried to compose a message. ‘Wow, this is hard.’ Short and sweet seemed best. 

‘Dear Lady Sarah, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for a lovely evening. It was a pleasure to meet you and I do hope I will see you again. Best Regards, Josh Hardgrove.’ He sat and thought to himself, I’m crazy; why am I sending this?’ He waited a few more minutes, but something in his heart said, press the button. He did so. His destiny was now in the hands of Fresh as a Daisy Flower Cards. ‘Flower card—I just sent a flower card’, he said to himself. 

What will Lady Sarah do? Will she remember Josh? Will she like the flower card? Did he send the right flower card? Will a romance blossom?

 Stay tuned for next week’s blog to find out.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

The History of Giving Flowers As A Gift.

By Jannet Ellis

There is no one date that anyone can point to saying “ this is the day civilization began giving flowers as a gift. But what we do know is that ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and Chinese all have stories and folklore regarding the use of flowers to express emotions. It was the Roman brides who first started to carry a wedding bouquet of flowers since it was thought to ward off evil spirit and promote fertility. The ancient Greeks associated various flowers and their meanings with their gods and goddesses.

The middle-ages really started the modern flower gift giving tradition. Carl II, of Sweden brought to Europe flowers and flower meanings after he observed the Persians in Turkey. The Persians mastered  the art of giving flowers and asserting meaning to the flowers. It was their way of expressing emotions and conveying messages. It said (whether legend or not) that Persians used flowers to covertly convey military messages. King Carl was so impressed he brought the meanings home.

The Persians’ mastery of flower giving was the starting point for the Victorian era style of flower giving. The Victorian era was a time where you did not express emotions. It was a society full of formality, protocols  and traditions. So the Victorians created not only meanings for each flower but meanings for how they were given. They even created meanings for combinations of flowers that were given. There were numerous books written during the time but there was not always a consensus on what a particular flower combination meant.

Though we do not have the same formality in giving flowers today, we do tend to use them to mark certain rights of passages like births, deaths, weddings, retirement, and graduations. And, we do use certain types of flowers to convey certain meanings such as the red rose. Nevertheless, there are some notable cultural differences on giving flowers in modern times. For example,  in Russia, you would only give a single flower to a person on their birthday. In China, you would not give a potted plant as a gift since it is considered to have a negative message of restrictions. White lilies to the romantic Europeans have a meaning of death and would not be given on festive occasion.

We hope that you liked our little history lesson today. Remember, we are here to help you in giving the  appropriate flower card for all your occasions. Our flower cards are delivered anywhere in the United Kingdom. You can shop directly for our flower cards  from our Facebook page or on our website at

Thursday, 13 June 2013

How to give a gift to your favourite teacher.

By Jannet Ellis, Owner of Fresh As A Daisy Cards

We all know what it means to have a teacher in our life that inspires, mentors and challenges us to become a successful citizen. When you have children, you want your child to encounter that teacher who will stir a life-long  passion of learning in your child and will inspire them to pursue their full potential.

So how do you say thanks  to these individuals who spend countless hours both in the classroom and outside of it to give you or your child a learning experience that you will never forget?

 Let’s start with why you give a gift?

Teachers don’t expect a gift. They teach for the love and passion of it. Nevertheless, it is nice to recognize the teacher and to say , thank you. You shouldn’t send a gift just because, or it is their birthday. There is fine line  between showing appreciation and brown nosing, and you want to ensure that you do not look like you are trying to court a favour from the teacher.

 When do you give a gift?

 It is normally done at the holidays such as Christmas and the end of the year.

What teachers should get gifts?

It is often preschool and primary school teachers who are the recipients of the gift giving, but it shouldn’t be limited to these teachers alone. Professors at higher learning institutions and high school teachers shouldn’t be ignored especially if they have done something extraordinary for your child like awakened a passion in them; identified their skills or nurtured one of their talents. You are not obligated to give every teacher or professor a gift but that one that has made a difference should not be overlooked.

 How much should you spend?

Gifts should be small, presonalised, and thoughtful but also what you can afford. The average is around £12.00 to £30.00.

 What should you get for this special person?

According to She Knows Parenting Online Magazine, you should NOT get them “mugs, the  iconic apple themed gifts, or trinkets.” Also; you  should avoid items like hand lotions and perfumes.

 So what’s the perfect gift?

So a flower card is the perfect gift for your award worthy teacher. A flower card is well within the acceptable limits of price. It can be personalised by you or your child to allow the teacher to understand how they helped. And the flower cards are beautiful and gender-neutral. The teacher can take them home or leave them on the desk.

 We make it easy for you to order, and we deliver the flower cards directly to your special teacher.

 You can either buy directly from our website or our Facebook page (shop tab). We would love to help you. 

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Flowers and Your Health: How Flower Cards Can Change Your Mood.

We all know flowers brighten up a person’s day, and it is just not me saying it. It’s proven by research.

In 2005, Jeannette Haviland Jones and Terry McGuigre from Rutgers University, did a series of studies on people and flowers. The study was called An environmental approach to positive emotions:flowers.

They first study a group of females who were given flowers every week and those who were given a gift basket or a scented candle. The first showed women responded to the flower gift much more than any other gift. It also showed that when the women received the flowers the following weeks, their emotional response did not dissipate.

The second study was a group of men and women. The participants were offered flowers, pens or nothing. It was found that men responded to the flowers more positively than to the pen which was surprising to researchers since cultural norms may suggest otherwise. This is what the study said specifically, “Contrary to cultural expectation, both men and women presented with flowers (as opposed to a pen or with nothing) were more likely to smile, to stand at a social distance rather than at an impersonal distance and to initiate conversation. Men are not expected to prefer flowers, yet they show the same pattern of smiling and approach in Study 2 as women.

The third study was on a group of senior citizens which received flowers on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Once again, the study showed that seniors responded as the women did in first study, which was overwhelmingly positive not matter how frequently they received the flowers.

Further first and 3rd study showed that the more flowers a person received more the more happy they were. The study states, “The 3rd study replicates Study 1 in that people receiving flower bouquets are happier and perhaps less depressed than people who do not receive bouquets. People who received two may be happier than people who received one. This suggests that the effects found in Studies 1 and 2 are not due simply to surprise, nor do effects dissipate rapidly when more flowers are provided.”

This card can easily be personalised for
the gentleman in your life.

Further, the third study had added benefit seniors. It appears receiving flowers improved their memory. Here’s what it said, “Study 3 provides additional evidence that the increase in positive emotion related to the flowers will have secondary benefits. Participants who received the flowers had higher scores on the episodic memory task than those who had not yet received any bouquets?”

So there are great reasons to send a flower card to someone you love. It will improve their mood and memory. And as Father’s day quickly approaches you can certainly send a flower card to your  father, it appears that he will enjoy it. If you know a senior who lives alone or in a retirement residence, can you imagine what a weekly flower card with a personalised message will do for their well-being?

Handcrafted flower cards are a natural way to bring a smile to someone’s face and heart.

Let me know how I can help you bring happiness into someone’s life.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Popular Baby Names for 2012

Well, with all fury around the Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy, we thought it would be fun to look at popular baby names in the U.K for 2012.

For boys, the top five names according to the are:


Harry knocked off Oliver for the top spot.

For girls, the top five names according to the same source are:


The name Harry originates from Old German and means ‘home ruler’ appears to be only popular in the U.K. In the United States, Jacob is the number one name for boys according to the Social Security Office and in Canada, William is in the top spot according to Today’s Parents.

 The name Amelia comes from Latin and Old German and means industrious. In the United States, the highest name is Sophie, which comes from the Greek origin meaning wisdom. In Canada, the top name was Maya.

Now with all this information, you would think the London bookmakers would bet that one of the names the new royal baby would have would be in the top 5. Nope, this is not the case. According to the Associate Press, bookmakers are giving 2:1 odds that Duke and Duchess of Cambride will be giving birth to a baby girl,  and her name will be Alexandra.

What do you think? Be sure to take our poll today on Facebook where we ask you the question- will it be a Prince or Princess. Go ahead and add in the comment section your guess at the baby name? Or do you agree with the bookmakers?

Don’t forget; we  create handmade flower cards that can be presonalised to any baby’s name. You can also add a  handmade stuff toy to your card to give it that extra touch of care. We deliver anywhere in the U.K., And we would love to send the new baby in your life, a wonderful flower card greeting.

 Until next time, remember, a flower card brings a smile.

Have you heard you can order your card right from our Facebook page.