Why Did Yankee Doodle Call His Hat Macaroni?

Independence Day is one of the most cherished and time-honored holidays in the United States. This federal holiday is an annual celebration of American independence from the British Empire and is commonly associated with parades, picnics, carnivals, and concerts during the day – topped off with majestic fireworks displays after sunset. Of course, this year’s celebration may not be quite as robust as it has in the past and gatherings will be limited but the sentiment remains the same.

The firework shows are traditionally set to patriotic anthems including Yankee Doodle – a well-known American song that predates the American Revolution. We all know the tune, even if we don’t understand the lyrics. Why did Yankee Doodle go to town? Why did he call his hat “macaroni” after sticking a feather in it? And most importantly, how do such seemingly-nonsensical words play such a prominent role in our nation’s history?

“Yankee Doodle went to town
A-riding on pony.
He stuck a feather in his cap
And called it Macaroni.”

Before we find out why Yankee Doodle called his hat “macaroni,” we should probably back up and find out what the term “Yankee Doodle” means.

His Favorite Ford Pickup Truck by Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop

The term “Yankee” itself has several interrelated meanings depending on the context, however, all of them refer to people from the United States. Outside of the U.S., the term is used to refer to any American – including Southerners. Within the United States, however, the term is a derisive one which refers to all Northerners – especially ones from the Union side of the American Civil War. Some people go a step further and only view New Englanders as true “Yankees.”

The first appearance of the term “doodle” can be traced back to the early 17th century and is thought to be derived from the Low Saxon word “dudel,” which means “playing music badly,” or “Dodel, meaning “simpleton” or “fool.”

What Does That Have to do with Macaroni?

Today when we think of macaroni, we typically start salivating for the nostalgically-delicious childhood meal made of noodles and a cheese-like substance eaten from a box, but the macaroni in this instance refers to a fashionable man from the mid-18th century who spoke and dressed in an outlandish and epicene manner.

But why macaroni? Because young upper-class British men returning from trips to Italy developed a taste for the pasta that was hardly known in England at the time and were said to belong to the Macaroni Club because of their insistence on referring to anything fashionable as “very macaroni.”

’65 Ford Mustang Bouquet by Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop

It’s all starting to come together now. When British surgeon Dr. Richard Shuckburgh penned the lyrics, he was mocking Yankees by insinuating that they were low-class simpletons who lacked masculinity – as if simply putting a feather in one’s cap would make him sophisticated and noble.

That sure doesn’t sound patriotic, but the Yankees soon turned the tables by embracing the song as an anthem of defiance. Americans subsequently went a step further by adding additional verses mocking the British and shortly thereafter, the song went from being an insult to a source of national pride.

That was more than 200 years ago, and the song still stands as one of our nation’s most beloved and patriotic tunes. In fact, President John F. Kennedy once bought a pony for his daughter Caroline – and called it Macaroni.

If you’re heading out to celebrate Independence Day on July 4, or plan on hosting a celebration of your own – don’t forget the flowers! Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop is here to help you celebrate with a bang with a beautiful bouquet of red, white, and blue flowers – perfect for the 4th of July. Give us a call or stop in today to see what’s in store for you. If you find exactly what you’d like, we’ll make it for you! Have a safe and happy 4th from your friends at Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop.

Dad Doesn’t Want Another Necktie

Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 21, and we’re here to help you find the perfect gift for dad. This year’s version may look a bit different than most since you can’t take dad out to the ballgame this time around and may not even be able to visit. But you can express your gratitude and love by sending him a delightful gift and a thoughtful greeting from your friends at Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop.

Vintage Vacationer Bouquet by Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop

Of course, everyone loves to receive flowers – we all know that – but if they are not quite dad’s idea of the perfect Father’s Day gift, we still have many other wonderful options that he is sure to enjoy!

In fact, Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop has as incredible selection of amazing gifts that you will not find anywhere else and best of all, you can have it delivered today! One of our most popular gifts for dad is the Delicious Delights Basket – complete with apples, pears, dried cranberries, cheese, summer sausage and crackers in a wicker basket that he is sure to love!

Zen Artistry by Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop

Dads come in all different varieties, but one thing they all have in common is they all love to eat! If your dad is no exception, treat him to a gourmet basket filled with his favorite treats, or a fruit basket if he wants to keep it healthy. For dessert, we also have an amazing assortment of delicious chocolates and candy to help celebrate his special day.

If you would like to go with a more traditional gift, we offer a wide variety of long-lasting plants that are easy to care for and look beautiful in the home or the office. If flowers are more dad’s style, there are many handsome options that dad will love. Sunflowers and tropical flowers like birds of paradise and anthuriums are popular choices for Father’s Day. To make your gift extra special, you can have it designed inside a ’65 Ford Mustang keepsake container.

If dad doesn’t have a green thumb, we still like his chances with a hearty succulent garden or another easy-to-care-for plant like bamboo which look great and add a terrific focal point to any home or office.

No matter what dad’s style, we can help you make this year’s Father’s Day unforgettable with a gift that he is sure to love! We can even send his gift out of town so he can enjoy it no matter where he is located. We offer same-day-delivery across Milwaukee or anywhere in the U.S. Give us a call today at 414-475-7080 or order online 24/7. Happy Father’s Day from your friends at Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop!

Our Favorite Flowers of Summertime

Summertime is back again which can only mean one thing – the sun is shining bright on some of the most beautiful flowers we have seen all year! Here are some of our favorites:

Lush and Lavender with Roses by Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop

Peonies: Because of their large, soft, silky, and romantic blooms, peonies make wonderful cut flowers. They can be found in a range of soft colors – and a few brighter ones – making them ideal for weddings, as well as for the home. In many ways they are better as cut flowers than roses, but the season is very short. Peony flowers are only available from late May and through June. But, in water they will last far longer than a rose.

Lavender: Cut lavender flowers to bring indoors for making beautiful arrangements. Lavender bouquets can use fresh or dried flowers or savor the best of both worlds by arranging fresh stems and letting them air dry in the vase. The secret to success with lavender bouquets is harvesting flowers at the right stage. Lavender is an easy-to-grow herb, and it is also an easily handled cut flower. Harvest it fresh and use it fresh or dried to create pretty lavender bouquets.

Dahlias: Dahlias are one of the best garden plants for growing to use as cut flowers. They have an outstanding vase life. There’s a huge amount of different types to choose from with flowers in various forms and a spectrum of colors. While all dahlias are good for cutting, some types are particularly so, with long stems and extra-large blooms that will dazzle in any indoor posy.

Upsy Daisy by Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop

Hydrangea: The beautiful flowers produced by this plant are what makes these so popular. Most put on a showy display from early spring all the way into fall. The large flowers come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. The name hydrangea comes from the Greek words “hydor” meaning water and “angos” meaning vessel. Which together roughly translate to “water barrel.” This is because of the fact that hydrangeas are notorious for needing lots of water and the cup shaped flowers.

Daisies: As cut flowers, daisies work well in homes that have a casual, country feel. The best daisies for cutting have long vase lives, colorful flower heads and sturdy stems. White daisies are also an excellent way to accent other cut flowers in a bouquet. They may be small blooms, but they make up for their diminutive size in group volume. Daisies make up almost 10% of the world’s flowering plants.

Lilies: Cut lilies add graceful color to indoor flower arrangements. Native to the Northern Hemisphere, lilies have been seen as a flower of significance for thousands of years because of the extensive symbolism that surrounds them. The lily represents femininity, love, purity, and a sense of transience.

Sunflowers: With brilliant yellow petals, also known as “rays,” sunflowers have an unmistakable sun-like appearance that has made them a crowd favorite, especially in the summer months. Sunflowers commonly symbolize adoration, loyalty and longevity.

Be sure to check out Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop for all your summer favorites! Give us a call at (414) 475-7080 or order online 24/7. We offer same delivery across town or anywhere in the country. 

Can’t Be With Your Loved Ones? Say Hello With Flowers!

Looking back, it seems hard to believe that just over two months ago we were planning our summers, booking weddings, visiting relatives, and going about our lives the same way we do every spring. That feels like such a long time ago and the world as we knew it back then has been completely turned upside down by this devastating pandemic.

Happiness Bouquet from Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop

Since then, everyone of us has been forced into a new way of working, a new way of living, and a new way of interacting with even our most intimate friends and family members. Online meetings have replaced office conference rooms and shopping for goods and services are now handled through a computer screen. Certain aspects of life have become incredibly convenient, but those conveniences come with a cost as we isolate ourselves by staying home.

As we continue to make sacrifices and search for new ways to live and work, we find ourselves missing some of life’s most precious moments – senior proms, graduation parties, spending Mother’s Day with mom, and especially the comfort of being close to those we love.

Just Because

We send flowers for wide variety of special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, new babies, weddings, and even funerals. Each of those monumental life moments has their own category of flowers to choose from on our website and those are the most popular by far.

But there is another category alongside all the rest that is simply called Just Because. It certainly isn’t utilized as much as the others, but in times like these it couldn’t be more appropriate.

You’re Golden Bouquet by Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop

“Just Because” we cannot be together does not mean we need to stop celebrating, it simply means we need to find new reasons for joy and cheer. And finding new reasons to celebrate and be happy leads to better emotional health, less stress, and overall wellness.

Coincidentally, a study of behavioral research at Rutgers University found that flowers also triggers happy emotions and have long-term positive effects on moods for both the sender and the recipient. Every participant in that study expressed true or excited smiles when they received flowers which demonstrated extraordinary delight and gratitude.

Fairy Garden by Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop

The study participants also reported feeling less anxious, depressed, or agitated after receiving flowers which researchers identified as a higher sense of enjoyment and life satisfaction – which lasted for several days after the flowers were delivered.

With the state of the world today, there are many things we cannot do, but one of the things we still can is making people happy with flowers. Now, more than ever, we really don’t need a reason for that other than “just because”!

Spread some much-needed joy and comfort to your friends and family members with the help from your friends at Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop. We not only specialize in delivering happiness and joy, but we’re also taking extra precautions to make sure your flowers are delivered with the utmost care and safety including contactless same-day delivery on every order. Give us a call today at (414) 475-7080 or shop online 24/7.

Window Shopping for Mom Has Never Been More Fun!

Are you still searching for the perfect gift for Mother’s Day? Now is the perfect time to get out for some fresh air and window shop like never before at Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop!

All week long we will be featuring special items and Mother’s Day products in our windows at 7001 W. North Ave. (at the corner of 70th and W. North) in Milwaukee.

It’s just like shopping online with a much larger screen – but without having to wait days for delivery! In addition to flowers and plants, we have tons of giftware, outdoor metal art, boutique items and so much more!

We’re constantly changing the displays so every day will be a brand new experience! We invite you to come back often and check out all the new items, or perhaps discover something that you’ve never noticed before.

Our doors may be closed, but our windows are wide open and we can’t wait for you to see what’s inside!

Goodbye April Showers – Hello May Flowers!

Early 2020 will forever be remembered for terrible pandemic that has touched nearly every part of the globe. It has forced businesses to close and most people to isolate themselves for the greater good. Because of that, days often run together and the lines on the calendar separating the dates tend to blur and run together. If you haven’t checked lately, you probably wouldn’t even realize that May is here already – and we couldn’t be happier, because April showers always bring May flowers – especially this year!

In order to get the most bang for your buck this Mother’s Day, consider a “designer’s choice” arrangement and leave the rest up to us. We promise you’ll be happy with the result!

May is the perfect time to celebrate with flowers – all month long! In fact, the very first day of the month is May Day – a celebration of spring that is traditionally celebrated by giving “May baskets” made up of flowers or sweets – or a combination of the two – that is usually left anonymously on the doorsteps of neighbors.

To many, this may seem like a strange way to celebrate a holiday, especially considering that the givers of May baskets would usually ring the doorbell and run away – leaving the recipient to open the door and find nothing but a basket of flowers!

In some communities, leaving a May basket at someone’s door was an excellent opportunity to express romantic interest because tradition called for the recipient to give chase and attempt to steal a kiss from the person who hung the basket. In other parts of the country, however, it was considered a disgrace if the flower giver was caught by the recipient.

May Day isn’t nearly as popular in this country as it was a century ago, and today the concept seems quaint and dated to many people in this era of text messages and Snapchat, but this throwback to simpler times is still an official holiday in 66 countries around the world. But with the current state of the world and social distancing protocols in place – this trend just might make a comeback!

While no longer as common in the United States, May Day celebrations still take place in some regions of the country. In Hawaii, May Day is known as Lei Day, which is a day to celebrate the culture of the island and Native Hawaiians.

 

Mother’s Day

Of course, the most obvious occasion for giving flowers during the month of May is Mother’s Day. This year we celebrate mom on Sunday, May 10.

Mother’s Day is one of the biggest days of the year when it comes to flowers, greeting cards, phone calls and (most years) restaurant reservations – and with good reason. It’s often hard to find appropriate ways to express gratitude to someone so important and dear to us as our mothers, but nearly everyone loves flowers!

For florists, Mother’s Day is one of our busiest times of the year, and also one of our favorites. Unlike many of the other holidays were certain colors or types of flowers tend to dominate, (like red roses on Valentine’s Day) Mother’s Day typically offers more freedom to design something special and truly unique – that mom is sure to love!

Here at Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop, we’ve been planning for this special day since the end of Valentine’s Day, and we’re ready to help you find something perfect for your mom. This year’s celebration is going to look a bit different than in years past because the worldwide pandemic has limited the types of flowers available from our distributors, so we’re encouraging everyone to consider a “designer’s choice” open order. Not only will this allow you to receive the freshest flowers available, but it will also help to eliminate any disappointment when the finished product doesn’t quite match up with the picture online due to substitutions. The great news is that our designers LOVE to freedom to design something totally custom for you so that you can truly give your mom a one-of-a-kind gift this Mother’s Day. We promise you won’t be disappointed!

 

But that’s not all…

Between Mother’s Day, May Day, and flowers popping up everywhere we turn, May is truly the month of flowers, but there are many more ways to celebrate with flowers this month.

Memorial Day is just around the corner – this year it falls on Monday, May 25. Traditionally observed as a day to honor those who have died in military service, this holiday also marks the unofficial start of summer. If you are attending a picnic or observance on Memorial Day, flowers are always an appropriate way to show gratitude and appreciation.

May is also the time for graduations for many students across the country, as well an excellent chance for a gift to say “thanks” to all those teachers and educators who worked so hard throughout the year. Obviously those graduation parties will be scaled back or even virtual this time around, but flowers are still an excellent congratulatory gift that will be extra appreciated.

Whatever your reason, say it with flowers this May with the help of your friends at Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop. No matter the occasion, we’re still here to help you find the perfect gift. Rest assured, our entire team – from designers to delivery drivers – are exceeding CDC guidelines for sanitation and safety to give you peace of mind knowing that you safely reach out and deliver a beautiful message to those you love and miss. Give us a call or come in and see us for all your floral needs – and we hope your May is beautiful and bright!

A note to our customers regarding COVID-19

We are closely monitoring all recommendations made by the CDC, as these are updated daily. Below are the adjustments we have made to ensure the well-being of our customers as well as our employees.

  • Our retail location at 7001 W North Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53213 will continue operating at normal hours (8:30 a.m – 5:30 p.m Monday, Wednesday, and Friday / 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday / 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday / closed Sunday) until further notice. We have taken extra precautions to protect the health and safety of our staff and our customers with increased cleaning and sanitation schedules and will additionally offer curbside pickup for customers who choose not to go inside the store. Our website is open and operating and ready to take your orders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are also providing FREE DELIVERY for on all orders until the end of the month!
  • To adhere to social distancing guidelines, our delivery team will leave gifts at the front door and follow up with an immediate phone call to notify the recipient. Please call us at (414) 475-7080 if you have a specific delivery request.
  • Some of our floral creations may require substitution if necessary. We hope you understand we are extremely limited with varieties due to supply chain limitations. We hope you will trust us to make the very best modifications as needed. Flowers are a gift of nature as no two are exactly alike. We will always do our best to follow the guidelines but keep in mind modifications will be necessary and considered as needed. We appreciate your understanding as we continue to attempt to exceed your expectations. Even during these difficult times.
  • Our goal at Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop is to convey thoughts through the beauty of fresh cut flowers and to “say it with flowers” at a time when it has never been more meaningful.

As always, we thank you for your continued support of Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop and other local businesses. We wish health and safety to you and all of your loved ones as we all come together to forge ahead. We are here for you and will keep you updated should any changes occur.

There’s something special about the month of March

Bright and Stunning by Alfa Flower and Wedding Shop, Milwaukee, WI

For many of us, March not only signifies the end of a bitterly long and cold winter. It serves as a warm (and welcoming) transition to spring, the season of growth and prosperity.

For sports fans, March signals the dawn of a new baseball season with the start of spring training, along with a thrilling end to “March Madness” and the college basketball season.

For outdoor enthusiasts, March offers a great chance to get outside of the house as local parks and green fields come to life with longer daylight hours and warm(er) temperatures.

For students (and teachers), March begins the official countdown to a much-deserved and well-earned “spring break.”

For gardeners and nature lovers, March signals a new growing season as we anxiously await Mother Nature’s’ first new sprouts to push their way up through the soil.

And who doesn’t love St. Patrick’s Day?! A whimsical day of celebration and parades – with a little luck thrown into the mix – always makes for a good day. That’s unless you forget to wear something green!

Simply put, March is a time for the senses to come alive!

Exotic Bells by Alfa Flower and Wedding Shop, Milwaukee, WI

It’s a time to bask in the bright, bold colors of spring and waft away at the unmistakably sweet aromas that only the current month can provide. March 2020 is busier than ever, with an early date for Easter on the calendar and the promise of a quick winter’s farewell from our beloved groundhogs. Whether your March came in quietly like a lamb, or it roared in like a lion, we hope you take the time to stop, take a deep breath, and smell the flowers!

If your blooms aren’t quite ready yet, or if you just want to get an early start by sharing some beautiful flowers with someone you love, Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop has you covered! We’re just as excited about spring and can’t wait to help you pick out some of nature’s most delightful floral creations. Give us a call today, and we’ll be happy to help you find something special!

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Sending a Message on Valentine’s Day

Be My Love bouquet by Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop, Milwaukee, WI

You often hear the saying, “it’s the thought that counts.” That may be true, but the thought isn’t the only thing that counts – especially not to your valentine on this special day.

Imagine a scenario such as this: your valentine is hard at work on Valentine’s Day when a delivery driver opens the door and delivers a box to a colleague’s desk. Your valentine looks on in excitement and a bit of envy as the colleague opens the box and begins pulling out roses one-by-one, before arranging them in the accompanying vase. It’s Valentine’s Day, do you really want your valentine assembling their roses at work?

As they think about you and wonder if a similar box will arrive for them, suddenly the door bursts open and someone in a Alfa Flower & Wedding shirt walks in with an eye-popping bouquet of the most vivid and beautiful long-stem red roses. Your valentine watches as the driver makes his way through the office, and tightly crosses their fingers in hopes of somehow willing the delivery driver to not make a sudden turn before reaching the desk.

Try as they might to hide the smile, it modestly grows wider and wider as the delivery driver approaches. By now, co-workers are peeking around office doors and over cubicle walls. The colleague in the front of the office takes a break from arranging the last of her flowers to see where the elegant roses are headed.

When the delivery driver finally makes it to her desk and confirms that she is indeed the recipient, her first thought will undeniably be of you – and just how special you made her feel.

When you send flowers, you’re sending a message. It’s easy if all you want to say with that message is: “I’m thinking of you.” A quick phone call or a brief visit to any number of websites will easily convey that message just fine. But doesn’t your Valentine deserve a stronger message than that – especially if it doesn’t take any extra time or effort on your part to let her know how you really feel about her? Send a message this year – a message that lets her know she deserves the very best.

A True Love’s Tulips by Alfa Flower and Wedding Shop, Milwaukee, WI

Sending roses on Valentine’s Day is a time-honored tradition, but not all roses are the same. Roses are beautiful, but fragile, flowers that need care and love – just like your Valentine. This year, think outside that battered box and send the very best message – by sending the very best roses. When you see or hear of roses being advertised at “special” prices, in most cases, you will need to add the shipping and handling along with some additional hidden fees. Suddenly, the remarkably-low price is no longer so low anymore.

At Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop, we would never stuff our roses in a box and drop them off with someone else to get delivered – we prefer to handle that ourselves. Grown only in the finest farms, and cared for by the finest professionals in the business, our roses are the finest and most beautiful roses you will find for your Valentine.

When you send flowers from Alfa, you can rest assured that not only are you sending the very best professionally designed and hand-delivered flowers, but you are always backed by an unconditional guarantee that is unmatched in the industry.

Exceed her expectations this year and leave the details to us. Call Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop today to make this Valentine’s Day one that will truly be remembered.

Looking for the Perfect Holiday Gift? Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop Has Your Answer!

Alfa’s Winter Glow

It’s beginning to a lot like Christmas here at Alfa Flower and Wedding Shop. We’re working hard to prepare for the holiday rush, but we’re never too busy to help you pick out the perfect gift for someone special on your list. Whether you’re shopping for a Christmas or Hanukkah gift, or just want to send a special treat, we have the perfect gift ideas for every occasion.

Hopefully, by now, you’ve crossed several names off your list, but chances are you still have at least one or two of those hard-to-buy-for people left. If you’re not sure exactly what you’re looking for, never fear – because we here to help you spread your holiday cheer! The possibilities are practically endless this time of year and we have an incredible variety to choose from. Whether you prefer a timeless classic like a festive poinsettia plant or something with a bit more flair like a beautiful hand-designed holiday floral arrangement, you’re in good hands at Alfa.

Alfa’s Fruit and Poinsettia Basket

Be sure to get your orders in early this year to avoid the rush. Not only will you get the best value and widest selection by not waiting until the last minute, but you’ll also be able to cross one more thing off your list and reduce your own stress levels a bit. In fact, you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your own home to have a beautiful gift hand-delivered by Alfa, we’re just a phone call away – or you can order online 24-hours a day. Are you sending the gift out of town? No problem! We can take care of that for you with the help of our network of associates located across the country.

In addition to our incredible selection of fresh flowers and plants, we also feature a fantastic variety of holiday gifts and decor that is sure to please anyone on your list! We’re also a great source for unique stocking stuffers and gifts for teachers, mail carriers, party hosts, co-workers, hair stylists, and more.

Leave the last-minute shopping to the amateurs this holiday season by trusting one of our professional designers to create the perfect one-of-a-kind gift. Give us a call today at (414) 475-7080 to check out what we have in store for you this holiday season!