Walking Through a Winter Wonderland

Oh, hey. It’s just me, slinking back into the blogosphere with my tail between my legs. I wish I could say I was off doing something cool, like some kind of top secret government super awesome ninja mission. Alas, twas not anything cool or exciting. There have, however, been some cool and exciting things happening at the Flower Shop. We have some great new stuff for the holiday season: bears and penguins and gnome armies galore!  To make up for my absence I made a thing! Take a virtual walk with me through all the latest and greatest Christmas goodies and do-dads we have to offer. Like what you see? Give the little thumbs up button a push. Until next time, friends.



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45 Years Old!

45 years ago today, my grandparents, two of the most adorable people to exist, opened Bakanas Flowers with one pocket full of dreams and the other full of ambition. Actually, I have no idea if that’s true. I wouldn’t be born for another 23 years. But this post isn’t about my birthday, which is in 88 days if anyone was wondering, it’s about the shop’s. What started out as a garden store operated from my grandparent’s garage has become one of South Jersey’s top florists. It took a lot of hard work and dedication to get the shop to where it is today. There were plenty of ups and downs; no idea if that’s actually true, again wasn’t born. I just thought it sounded catchy.

As a third generation Bakanas, I’ve spent most of my life in this store. My family likes to tell stories about the days when I was shorter than the workstations and how cute it would be when I stood on them. As a 5’ 7” adult in my early 20s, apparently it’s not cute anymore. I remember playing “Chex Quest” on the only computer they had. The back design room seemed magical to me; maybe that’s because that’s where the magic happens? Or maybe it was because I was told to stay out of there so many times. It was probably the latter. Saturdays were spent coloring in the office. The delivery vans and undersides of desks quickly became the “Millennium Falcon” and empty flower boxes, forts. The back lot behind the building was were my brother and I would have snow ball fights in the winter and caterpillar races in the summer. We’d watch the minnows dance along the ravine’s surface and in the spring, we’d watch baby geese take their first steps and swims. Eventually I took my place behind the counter and while there have been plenty of dull moments, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I often get asked what it’s like and how I like working with my family. Why wouldn’t I like it? I get to work with the people I love. I even consider some of my coworkers family, I’ve known them most of my life. Even though this crew can’t tell the difference between Star Wars and Firefly, I couldn’t imagine a shift without them.

Bakanas Flowers has been around for 45 years, my entire life, I couldn’t and can’t imagine the building, the people, and the flowers not being apart of it for a second. Here’s to 45 years and 45 more!

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Why You Should Go To The Philadelphia Flower Show


Click the image to see the Flower Show Website and view their promo video!

1. The theme this year is Great Britain. All the British things.

2. There is an Alice in Wonderland themed Garden Party.

3. Sherlock Holmes, Jack the Ripper, and Shakespeare will all be featured.


4. It’s family friendly! There are DIY demonstrations, A Bernstein Bears Kid Zone and Family Day is March 10th.

5. If you like wine, cooking shows, and Real Housewives you won’t want to miss Ramona Singer and Sandra Lee’s bottle signing and wine tasting.

6. If you’re more of a beer person there are at least three different pubs and taverns to grab a bite to eat, and more importantly… a drink! Sample some of the finest views from across the pond.

The Philadelphia Flower Show starts today and run until next Sunday the 10th! It promises to be a good time for all. I’m most excited to see the Shakespeare, Sherlock, and Jack the Ripper exhibits. What would make the show really awesome is a Harry Potter exhibit. There has to be one, right?! I mean, it’s Harry Potter! Guess the only way find out is to go…

Stop by the shop to pick up YOUR tickets! Maybe I’ll see you there!

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Surviving V-Day

All right gang, 48 hours until this nightmare of a holiday will be over and you won’t have to gaze upon red and pink hearts and/or listen to sappy nonsense for another 364 days. I’ve some survival tips so that we can make it out of Valentine’s Day with minimal casualties. Here we go!


1. Fellas: Surprise your cuddle muffin and send flowers to her office early! She can then enjoy them for the whole week. Since she’ll probably be the first in the office to get flowers, you’ve set the bar. You’re the standard! All the other office ladies will have to sit and stare at the flowers you’ve sent and hope theirs are as nice as the ones you picked out. Your significant other can mess with her co-workers minds!

2. Did you guys know there are flowers other than roses?: Roses symbolize passionate love, and are the clear front runner for Valentine’s Day; but lilies, tulips, hydrangea, orchids, and gerbra daisies are just as nice. mix it up! Send your pooky something different.

3. Ladies: Men (apparently) like flowers too!: If you’re stuck on a gift for your spider-stomper send him a tropical plant. Cut flowers in bold colors like orange and red are another option if he doesn’t have a green thumb. Did you know that more than 1/3 of married women get their hubbies some form of floral gift for the 14th of February.


4. On a budget?: Order a few weeks early, before holiday pricing hits, and ask about Valentine’s Day specials. This doesn’t really do anyone much good now, but there’s always next year. Another cost saving option is to pick up your arrangement and deliver it to your lady love in person. You’ll save on the delivery charge and get to see her reaction first hand!

5. Don’t forget mom!: 1/5 of American adults give their mommies floral something or others for Single’s Awareness Day. Send her flowers in her favorite colors, a nice mix to brighten up her table and her day!

6. Now this is important, so pay attention. ORDER. LOCALLY. I cannot stress this enough. Make sure you know where your flowers are coming from, know what you’re getting. When ordering from an order gathering site like 1-800-Something or Pro-Something you would assume you’re getting an arrangement in a vase all nice and pretty, but sometimes that’s not the case. A box of unarranged flowers on your doorstep is what you could end up with. I did a post on this almost 2 years ago, which you can check out for more information HERE. If your expectation is to give a gift of flowers that are professionally designed and delivered to your Valentine’s door or office, make sure you’re ordering from a full service, professional florist.  And if you’re sending flowers out of the area your local florist should be able to help you find a full-service shop in that area.


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Huck It Chuck It… FOOTBALL!

Come Monday there will be a sigh of relief from women (and probably some dudes too) around the U.S.. With the conclusion of Super Bowl XLVII, football season will “finally” be over. Not this chick, though. I love football and have always looked forward to the Super Bowl, if for nothing else than the commercials. I was told that I am supposed to root for the Ravens tomorrow, our town’s mayor is a Kicking Consultant (no idea what that means) for Baltimore. But since I was a kid, I’ve really liked David Akers. I’ve never liked the Philadelphia Eagles, just Akers.

Fun Facts: David Akers used to live down the street from the flower shop, he used to order flowers for his wife from us. According to wikipedia, he now resides a town over. And the best part, he’s left-footed, like me!

When Akers signed with San Fran I could finally root for him… and Kaepernick, and Crabtree, and the rest of the team! It’s been a blast watching them on their “Quest for Six” and tomorrow should be a great game (as long as Kaepernick stops those stupid delay of game penalties). Baltimore’s one of those teams I really don’t have much of an opinion about. I don’t dislike them the way I do the Patriots, Eagles, and Seahawks; but I don’t necessarily like them either (though I do like that they beat the Patriots). Regardless of who wins tomorrow both teams have had great seasons and I think they both deserve their spots in New Orleans.

I think I might be more excited for the game than the commercials. They’re usually the highlight of my super bowl experience; but this year I don’t really care. Most of the ads can already be seen on YouTube, which to me ruins the whole point of having specialized ads. The other day I also came across a link for a teaser clip of the Iron Man 3 Super Bowl Ad. I just could not think of valid reason to have a sneak peek clip for a 30 second- 1 minute tv spot. I also don’t really understand Beyonce doing the half time show, but the half time show hasn’t been good in years. But if you are a Beyonce fan, don’t worry, she will be singing live. I guess the lip syncing thing was a one time deal. And as an added bonus we’ll probably get to see a Destiny’s Child reunion. Their new song sounds like something played over the loud speakers at a department store so that’ll make for a great show.

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Ryan Gosling Was Robbed: Men More Deserving of Sexiest Man Alive

Welp, the wait is over (for those of you who were waiting for it anyway); People announced the Sexiest Man Alive (this may be old news to some, but I’m usually behind on “People” news). And the winner is not Ryan Gosling as ladies all over the world wanted, but Channing Tatum. Where’d he come from? I’ve never really found him attractive, he’s sort of meat heady and has a thumb-like quality. It seems there are many women out there disappointed by this news. But, you know, good for him. It’s a silly magazine anyway. Just for kicks here are some dudes I think are “sexier”. Maybe next year fellas!

Note: These are in no particular order.

1. Ryan Gosling: Two years in a row he was robbed of the title and the ladies are NOT happy and they have every right to be. He’s a great actor, I enjoy most of what he’s done; though I’ll never be a Notebook fan, sorry I can’t do it. He’s extremely handsome, it’s like he’s photo shopped! He looks great in a suit, and he’s Canadian, eh.

Bonus points: Gosling is currently filming a movie with Rooney Mara (Best known as The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), whom I also love.

2. Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Joseph Gordon-Levitt has a lot going for him. He’s another great actor with two Christopher Nolan movies under his belt who can dress well, can also sing, and (DARK KNIGHT RISES SPOILER ALERT), he’s Robin! But what I admire most is his dedication to creating. hitRECord.org is a site he founded where people all over the world can contribute and collaborate to all sorts of projects, from drawing to film, to writing, to music. His passion is sexy.

3. Nathan Fillion:  They don’t call him Captain Tight Pants for nothing. Captain Malcolm Reynolds is one of the sexiest nerds alive. He’s just a lovable goofball! I love watching him do Firefly panels at Comic Conventions, and even ten years later he still gets emotional about his time on board Serenity. He warms the hearts and weakens the knees of nerds everywhere. Plus, he, too, is Canadian. Gorram shiny.

4. Zach Levi: Here’s another nerdy guy who has charmed his way into my nerdy heart. Probably best known as Chuck (another show that went the way of Firefly, cancelled far too soon, if you ask me) Zach Levi’s eyes seem to stare straight into your soul, they are such an awesome shade of dreamy brown. His dedication to all things nerd is also highly attractive, his site thenerdmachine.com serves as an online community for nerd culture. Nathan Fillion is a celebrity supporter.

5. Daniel Craig: While we’re on the subject of eyes, have you seen Daniel Craig’s? He is one of, if not the best James Bond ever. He can wear the heck out of a suit on screen and in real life. His English accent, the best of the accents, is just the icing on the cake. But he’s more than just Bond, James Bond. He’s also Mikael Blomkvist in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and even without the mega muscles, he’s still crazy good looking. You just can’t hide those baby blues behind glasses. (Quick side note: Mr. Craig, if you could light a fire under David Fincher and get The Girl Who Played With Fire rolling, a whole lot of people would appreciate it. We’re waiting for another “feel bad movie of Christmas”, thanks!)

Probably one of the most iconic scenes in Bond history almost wasn’t. The script originally called for Bond to be swimming in the ocean and only visible from the neck up. Luckily Craig hit a sand bar, forcing him out of the water and they kept the shot. Thank you Sand Bar.

Ryan Gosling AND Daniel Craig? Rooney Mara has great taste in co-stars…

6. Alexander Skarsgard: This fella and his inability to keep his shirt on is the only reason I still watch True Blood. But I also like his eyes and his voice.

7. Michael Fassbender: Continuing down the line of well dressed men with nice eyes and even nicer accents (are you beginning to notice a pattern?), Michael Fassbender has one of the best smiles, and jawlines, around. He also has a great sense of humor, as witnessed at the MTV Movie Awards where Charlize Theron beat him up on stage.

Bonus Points: He is also starring in the previously mentioned Rooney Mara/Ryan Gosling project. I cannot wait for that to come out. Again, girl’s got taste.


8. Jon Hamm: His Don Draper is so smooth and charming, it’s hard not to swoon. Real life Jon Hamm is equally swoon worthy. Whether he’s “killing it” hosting Saturday Night Live, or guest-starring on 30 Rock, Hamm looks good and his charisma is hard to beat.

9. Colin Meloy: Colin Meloy is probably the least well known of the bunch, but one of the most talented. The front man for The Decemberists is one of my favorite lyricists of all time. The way he can tell a story within the songs is nothing short of brilliant. I’ve seen The Decemberists perform three times, and each time there is the same level of energy and passion. And those side burns and glasses and those suits…

10. Stephen ColbertStephen Colbert is another nerd after my heart. He’s a big Tolkien Fan, fluent in Elvish which is totally rad. He sings, he writes, he’s hilarious, and, based off The Colbert Report, he doesn’t take himself too seriously. He was also voted #69 on Maxim Magazine’s Top 100 Women. What more could you want?

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Of All the Gin Joints, In All the Towns, In All the World, She Doesn’t Need to Walk Into Mine Again

There are a few things in this world that you just do not mess with: Jed Bartlett, Mr. Rogers, bears, John Hughes, Yoda, and… Casablanca. While I am veeerrryyy slowly growing less wary of Disney’s purchase of Star Wars (I don’t agree with the creation of more movies. I just can’t fathom how that would work. But I’m all for a Star Wars theme park. Especially if it looks like this.) Something I can not and will not EVER get behind is the rumored sequel to the 1970s classic Casablanca.

Sadly, it was only within the last few months that I had watched this classic for the first time. I guess because I was told so many times that I “had to see it” I was worried once I finally watched it, I would be disappointed. I’d been burned before. Yeah, that’s right, I’m talking about you Dirty Dancing. I’d shove Baby in a corner with that lackluster line. However, Casablanca was not Dirty Dancing. Casablanca was beautiful (and there aren’t many movies I would classify as beautiful. The only other one that comes to mind is Pan’s Labyrinth. If you haven’t seen it, you need to remedy that ASAP.) Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman are perfect. And that’s the main reason this modern endeavor would never work, they’re TOO perfect. None of today’s stars could match their performances. I’m by no means saying there are not amazing actors and actresses out there, there totally are. But they aren’t Bogey and anyone who tried to take on that role would have incredibly huge shoes to fill.

They’re called Casablanca Lilies, not Return to Casablanca lilies!

The idea of a sequel had been pitched before, in the 80s. But I think there’s a reason it didn’t get the green light: Casablanca is a classic movie meant to stand the tests of time as one of the greatest movies ever made. To add to the story, remake it, or modernize it in anyway would be like rebuilding the Colosseum. It’s unnecessary, both are perfect the way they are.

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Howdy All,

I just wanted to take a quick minute to thank you for reading. On Wednesday there were over 100 views to this little blog. I can honestly say I was quite shocked and honored (You like me! You really like me!) to sign on that morning and see the view count well into the 80s. Especially, since I don’t update this thing all that often. By the end of the day the views were well into the 100s and I couldn’t be happier. It’s a great feeling and a huge ego boost to know people are actually reading, and liking, the stuff I write.  So, from the bottom of my heart I thank you. And as a thank you I am offering this special reward for being dedicated readers: Come in before 6:00pm today with a can of ground coffee, as large as possible, for the shelters in Ocean County and take home a free rose (I may even be present to sign autographs, and I’m only half kidding!); tomorrow I will be taking it all to the Office of Emergency Management so get in here today! Just think of how thankful the people will be to have something warm to drink after the snow comes.

I hope everyone stays safe and warm. Again, thank you for reading and keep it up!


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Monday Mashup

“Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
the Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes,
‘Twas his intent.
To blow up the King and the Parliament.
Three score barrels of powder below.
Poor old England to overthrow

By God’s mercy he was catch’d with a dark lantern and lighted match.

Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!

Hip hip hoorah!”

Lots of things to be discussed today. Let’s dive right in!

First: Happy Guy Fawkes day to all! For those of you unfamiliar with today, you’d be surprised how many people think today is just a Monday, Guy Fawke’s Day goes by many names, The Gunpowder Plot of 1605, Gunpowder Treason Plot, Bonfire Night, or Firework Night. The Gunpowder Plot was an assassination attempt on King James I. The plan was to blow up Parliament during the State Opening on… you guessed it! The 5th of November! Guy Fawkes was the man in charge of setting the charge of the gunpowder. He was found guarding the explosives, arrested, and eventually hanged with the rest of his co-conspirators rendering the attempt a failure.

He sings “Monster Mash” with his pumpkin buddy!

Second: Happy Halloween New Jerseyians! And a belated Happy Halloween to the rest of the world! Sandy’s mischief pushed Halloween back a few days but I’m sure your kids are ready to get out there and show off their costumes! We had a good turn out on Friday when Marlton held its Halloween Festivities.  If you are out Trick-or-Treating today, stay safe, and warm!

Third: It seems strange that just a week ago the state was shut down, and I was hunkered down in my room catching up on The Walking Dead wondering if and when the power would go out. Luckily, it didn’t. And also luckily, everyone at the shop made it through unscathed. But there are many who didn’t. Sections of Marlton were without power for days and there are many in New Jersey and New York who are without homes and power for who knows how long. It’s surreal to think that the communities devastated by Frankenstorm are a measly hour away, and it could have just as easily been us. We got lucky; we have heat, power, and gas. There are many ways we can lend them a helping hand. The local Wawas are collecting donations to benefit Sandy Victims. The Red Cross is also collecting donations via their website or simply text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to Disaster Relief efforts. If you’re looking for something more local The Rotary Club of Marlton is collecting cans of coffee for the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management.  Donations can be brought here, to our shop. Evesham Township will be holding “Towns Helping Towns” from November 5th- 8th. Collection Sites will be placed at -Evesham Township Schools: Beeler Elementary, Demasi Elementary/Middle, Evans Elementary, Jaggard Elementary, Marlton Elementary/Middle, Rice Elementary, and Van Zant Elementary; Evesham Municipal Building: 984 Tuckerton Road; Gibson House Community Center: 535 E. Main Street; and any of the Evesham Fire Departments: 26 E. Main Street, 150 Merchants Way (Kings Grant), 498 Hopewell Road; Indian Spring Country Club: Elmwood Road 8:00am-8:00pm; Shop Rite of Marlton: Route 70/73 7:00am-12:00 midnight, and all Evesham Voting Poll locations 6:00am-8:00pm. They are collecting new or gently used: Blankets, Coats/Jackets, Gloves, Scarves, Baby Formula, Baby Diapers, Hand Sanitizer, Flashlights with batteries, D cell Batteries, Granola/Breakfast Bars, and Juice Boxes. More information can be found on the Evesham Fire-Rescue facebook page.

The Mt. Laurel Fire Department (69 Elbo Lane in Mt. Laurel) is also holding “Stuff a 45-Foot Tractor Trailer” from November 8th to the 9th for 24 hours from 6:30am-6:30am or until the truck is full. They are collecting Cleaning supplies: Mops, buckets, rubber gloves, trash bags, towels, and paper towels. Toiletries: Soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste. Clothing (New items): Socks, Sweatpants/Sweatshirts Men’s Women’s and Children’s sizes. Baby: Diapers, wipes, blankets, and formula. Food: non-perishables and water. More information can be found on their facebook page as well.

These people need our help, let’s all do what we can to get through this. We’re Jersey Strong.

Finally: Don’t forget to vote tomorrow! It is an important election and our civic duty. I expect all of you who are eligible to get out to the polls, it doesn’t matter who your vote for, just do it. None of this “I don’t vote because it doesn’t matter.” It matters, and by not voting you are voting, so you might as well go all in.

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The Perks of Being Pitch Perfect

I saw a couple of movies this past week (the perks of also working at a movie theater, free tickets) and I wanted to share some thoughts with you all, just for funsies. They both were great fun and had something for everyone. Enjoy!

Fall’s my favorite season, I think I’ve made that pretty obvious, and I was especially looking forward to this fall; mainly for two reasons. The Perks of Being A Wallflower and Pitch Perfect (click the titles for the trailers). I have been waiting for these movies to come out for FOREVER (at least that’s what it felt like), and finally my wait was over! WARNING:  There be some spoilers ahead!

Here’s the deal, I LOVE Emma Watson, like I’ll see pretty much anything if she’s in it. So as soon as she was announced for Perks, I was in. Didn’t matter what the movie was about, or who else was in it, I was pumped to see it. After months of the trailer being everywhere, it was time for the movie to come out, it was absolutely no where to be seen. This drives me nuts, if you’re going to advertise a movie EVERYWHERE and on EVERYTHING, it better be playing EVERYWHERE! Don’t get my hopes and rip them out from under me. “I hate being titillated”. Luckily, after a week or two it came to a theater near me (This also applies to Moonrise Kingdom, and For A Good Time Call, shame on you all!)

Perks tells the story of a group of social misfits trying to navigate the choppy waters of high school during the 90s. It’s told from the perspective 15-year-old Charlie (Logan Lerman), an endearing and naive outsider, coping with first love , the suicide of his best friend, and his own mental illness while trying to find a group with whom he belongs. The introverted freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors, Sam (Emma Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller), who introduce him to the real world.

After seeing the trailer and reading the book, I was a little worried. I really like the book,  the ending is so brilliant.  I was concerned that Patrick was going to be too stereotypically gay, the book character is totally opposite. I was also concerned that film was going to make them too “out there” to emphasize the wallflower-ness. Once the opening credits started and I saw the author, Stephen Chbosky, was also the director my worries melted away. I knew I was in good hands. Ezra Miller and Emma Watson were great as the eccentric siblings. It was cool to such a departure from Hermione Granger, but at the same time there was still the same desire to protect her sidekicks.

The story also comes with a certain level of nostalgia, I think the way they captured it on screen is wonderful. Most of us can remember that first day of Freshman year, wandering wide-eyed through the halls, trying to avoid upperclassmen at all costs, and just generally not knowing exactly what you’re doing. There’s the fear of never fitting in, that you’ll have to go through the next four years alone, and then once you find that place you belong (for me, it was the tv studio… yepp, I was an AV Geek) there’s that feeling of acceptance, and you feel infinite. That’s one of the great things about the book and the movie, how identifiable it is.

Pitch Perfect, also (loosely) based on a book, centers on Beca (Anna Kendrick), a freshman at Barden University, who is bribed into joining The Bellas, her school’s all-girls singing group and hilarity ensues. The first time I saw the trailer, I got pitch slapped…hard. I’ve seen it way more times than I’d like to admit, it just so hilariously smart, and with that cast how could it not be awesome? And it was, I absolutely loved it!

The film is made up of a great cast; Anna Kendrick is quickly rising up the ranks of actors I will see movies just because they’re in them. She’s already in some of my favorite movies (Up in the Air, 50/50, and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World). She’s just adorable and super talented (both Oscar and Tony nominated) and has great timing. Rebel Wilson as Fat Amy has some of the funniest lines in the movie; and if color commentators were more like Elizabeth Banks, I would watch more competitions. Each cast member brought some spark to the film, and they all had great chemistry.They also captured the inner-workings of competitive collegiate a cappella: the rivalries, and the clicks and demonstrated how, in every group no matter how nerdy (this was also true in the TV Tech world) there are popular kids, who believe they are the kings of campus, and your not so popular kids.

I learned that a cappella can be totally cool, romantic issues can always be solved by John Hughes, and “aca” can be used a prefix to just about anything; you’d better aca-believe it! Pitch Perfect is a ton of fun, and even holds up a second time. It also affirmed my belief that The Proclaimers (I’m Gonna Be) 500 Miles can be used in just about anything.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and get pitch slapped too!

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