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Administrative professionals loyal, social media savvy: survey

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When bosses want to tweet, they only need to turn to their administrative assistants for help.

Some 84.3 percent of administrative professionals are social media savvy and are generally more tech-savvy than their bosses, according to Staples’ fourth annual survey tied to Administrative Professionals Day on April 22.

Among other survey highlights:

  • Admins also rated higher than bosses when it comes to creative problem solving, sense of humor, being a team player, and likelihood of being described as a friend.
  • Nearly 46 percent of admins have been with their companies for six or more years.
  • When admins were asked who they would most enjoy as their boss, historical figures topped the list in the United States. Movie stars were preferred by their Canadian counterparts.

Meanwhile, nearly eight out of 10 survey participants said their company does a good job of making administrative assistants feel appreciated. April 22 provides another opportunity.

Connells Maple Lee Kids Club spring reading list

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Every November, Connells Maple Lee holds a weeklong children’s-book drive to benefit area public libraries. To encourage the reading habit, we include a reading list in each quarterly issue of our Connells Maple Lee Kids Club newsletter, Buds.

Many baby animals arrive in spring, which is the focus of our latest reading list:

“Little White Rabbit” by Kevin Henkes
This story about a bunny exploring a garden in the springtime is a perfect read-aloud.

“Smick!” by Doreen Cronin
Can a big dog be friends with a little chick? Find out in the newest book by the author of “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type.”

“Animal Babies” by Harry McNaught
Readers will learn the names of 20 different baby animals in this beautifully illustrated classic.

“Deep in the Swamp” by Donna M. Bateman
This counting book features animal families that live in the Okefenokee Swamp.

“I Hatched!” by Jill Esbaum
A baby killdeer chick pecks its way out of its shell and discovers a wondrous world.

“Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White
Older children will love reading about a baby pig who starts out as the runt of the litter but grows up to become friends with a savvy spider.

The Connells Maple Lee Kids Club is free to children ages 5 to 12. Membership benefits include a membership card, Web site activities, giveaways, contests, member-only events and the Buds newsletter. Click here to register.

 

To get the best value, buy from a local florist instead of a wire service

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There are lots of statistics out there about the economic benefits of buying local. When you buy from locally owned stores, the money stays in your community and puts your neighbors to work.

It’s true whether you spend your money at a local restaurant, hardware store or florist.

Speaking of flowers, buying directly from a local florist rather than through a national wire service such as FTD (which last year bought ProFlowers) or Teleflora can put money back in your pocket, too.

That’s because the wire services are middlemen, adding another layer of charges that consumers pay for without realizing any added value in return. The wire services are marketing companies that hand orders over to local florists, who make the arrangements and deliver them to your home or office.

CNN Money, in a story timed to Valentine’s Day 2013, noted how FTD had advertised a glass vase with roses and mini-carnations for $44.99. However, to send that arrangement to Reno, Nev., FTD’s service charge bumped to price to $65.

By comparison, that same arrangement ordered directly from a Reno florist: $53.

“If all orders came in this way, our business would not be sustainable,” the florist said.

Of course, this begs the question of why they stick with the wire services if florists have trouble making money on incoming orders.

Greg Royer, president and CEO of Connells Maple Lee, said that FTD and Teleflora are generally well regarded; they have been in business since 1910 and 1934, respectively.

“We also want to be able to send orders to other florists, so accepting orders via the wire services is only fair play,” he said.

However, he noted that from a consumer perspective, it’s a better deal to work with a local florist. You’ll be dealing with the same people who are going to arrange and deliver your flowers.

And you’ll avoid the added fees associated with the wire services.

Photos from another egg-cellent kids club event

Things really got hopping at our March 14 Connells Maple Lee Kids Club event, as evidenced by these photos from our Powell store.

We had a great turnout as the kids made carnation Easter bunnies.

We certainly had a terrific time, and we look forward to more fun down the bunny trail as we have three more kids club events this year:

  • June 20: Help us kick off our annual food drive, “Connells Maple Lee Stems Hunger,” and enter our kids club birthday card design contest.
  • Aug. 22: Summer vacation is coming to an end, so we’re going to help ease you back to school.
  • Oct. 31: It’s Halloween, so be sure to wear your costume as we celebrate the holiday and kick off our annual “Bouquets for Books” children’s book drive to benefit area public libraries.

We’ll share more details closer to each event, of course.

In the meantime, we wish you and your family a Happy Easter!

  • Put our free March 14 kids club event in your Easter basket

    Easter fun is just a hop, a skip and a jump away for Connells Maple Lee Kids Club participants.

    Kids Club Spring 2015 #2

    On March 14, children ages 5 to 12 will have an opportunity to create a carnation bunny, complete with greens, an egg-and-ribbon stick-in, and pipe cleaners (for ears). Participants also will receive a balloon.

    Time slots are available at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

    Admission is free but registration is required by calling one of our Columbus-area stores:

    • 2408 E. Main St. (Route 40), Bexley, 614-237-8653;
    • 2033 Stringtown Road, Grove City, 614-539-4000;
    • 8573 Owenfield Drive, Powell, 740-548-4082.

    For more information about the kids club, click here.

    Valentine’s Day survival guide: 5 tips

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    A local florist will give you the best value for your money, according to NBC News.

     

    Love is all around at Valentine’s Day, but you never want to take matters of the heart for granted.

    Our survival guide is here to help, before, during and after the holiday. And it’ll help you whether you’re giving or receiving flowers — or both.

    SHOP EARLY

    One of the keys to a successful Valentine’s Day is not forgetting that it is Valentine’s Day. Order your flowers early and even have them delivered early. This way, you’ll be sure to stay ahead of any snowstorms, and the recipient will just have longer to enjoy the flowers.

    What’s more, Connells Maple Lee offers a special incentive: Have your Valentine’s Day order delivered Feb. 12 or earlier, and the delivery will include a coupon for a free dozen-rose bunch redeemable in March.

    SHOP LOCALLY

    The big national retailers will spend a lot of time and money bombarding you with their offers, but you’ll get the most bang for your bouquet when you purchase it from a local florist. Don’t take our word for it, though. Just watch this story from NBC News.

    DON’T LET THE ‘DOGS’ OUT

    Be wary of “deceptive order gatherers,” or DOGs, that often make it look like they are local florists but aren’t. They might even be located out of state. And if they sink their teeth into your order, they’ll take an unnecessary bite out of your wallet. Click here for details on why you will want to avoid them.

    PICK YOUR PRICE POINTS

    It’s the thought that counts, so you don’t have to spend a lot to show that you care about someone. From a single rose or a stuffed bear to a mixed bunch or mixed-color roses, you can find many options for below $50.

    HANDLE WITH CARE

    Given proper amounts of water and cool-enough temperatures, high-quality roses from a local florist can last a week or longer. Just follow these easy steps.

    With these tips, you’re not just going to survive Valentine’s Day, but you’re going to thrive.

    And what’s not to love about that?

    How to care for fresh-cut roses

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    We’re on a mission to turn Valentine’s Day into Valentine’s Week.

    No, we’re not talking about a loved one having to send you flowers for seven days in a row. Rather, we want to make sure that you get a week’s worth of enjoyment out of those beautiful fresh-cut roses you just received.

    With just a little bit of effort on your part, high-quality roses from your local florist should open and last at least five days, and many times for seven days or more.

    IF YOU RECEIVE ROSES IN A VASE

    • They will use more water than you think, so add water pretty much daily.
    • If after five days or so the water is getting pretty dirty, pull the roses out, re-cut the stems and put them back in the vase with fresh water. Add a packet of floral preservative, available from your florist.
    • If the water is relatively clean, it is best to leave it alone as it will have some preservative left in it.

    IF YOU RECEIVE ROSES LOOSE OR IN A BOX

    • If the roses came with tubes on the stems, remove the tubes and re-cut the stems about 1 inch from the bottom. It is best to cut at an angle, which creates more surface area for water intake.
    • Place the roses in a vase with water that is room temperature to a little warm.
    • Add floral preservative to the water; you should have received a packet with the delivery.
    • Only change the water if it becomes noticeably dirty.

    IF YOUR ROSES DON’T BEGIN TO OPEN

    • Within a day or two, your roses should begin to open. If they don’t, remove them from the vase, re-cut the stems (at an angle), and return them to the vase.
    • If they still do not begin to open, re-cut the stems but this time also float the flowers in a bath of water for an hour or two to rehydrate them. Then return them to the vase. Most times, this will bring the roses around.

    KEEP THEM COOL

    • Keep roses away from a heat source, such as a vent or direct sunlight.
    • When they aren’t on display, or while you’re sleeping, you can even place the roses in an unheated room or garage.

    Here’s to a Happy Valentine’s Day or, better yet, Valentine’s Week.

    We’re in South America getting your Valentine’s Day flowers

    Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and so are your roses.

    Connells Maple Lee is on site in Colombia, South America, where our flowers are being cut, processed and shipped for delivery to our Grove City distribution center. This hands-on approach ensures the highest quality product will be in our stores and delivered to homes and businesses throughout Valentine’s Week.

    Connells Maple Lee Kids club announces 2015 event schedule

    Another new year of fun, free Connells Maple Lee Kids Club events is upon us.

    The kids club is open to children ages 5 to 12, with the events held in each of our stores, usually at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

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    The 2015 schedule

    • Jan. 17: There are many more weeks of winter to come, but we’re turning our attention to spring.
    • March 14: Our Easter event is just a hop, skip and jump away.
    • June 20: Help us kick off our annual food drive, “Connells Maple Lee Stems Hunger,” and enter our kids club birthday card design contest.
    • Aug. 22: Summer vacation is coming to an end, so we’re going to help ease you back to school.
    • Oct. 31: It’s Halloween, so be sure to wear your costume as we celebrate the holiday and kick off our annual “Bouquets for Books” children’s book drive to benefit area public libraries.

    Kids club registration is free and may be completed by clicking here or by visiting any of our stores. Membership benefits include a membership card, website activities, an e-mail newsletter, giveaways, contests, and, of course, our events.

    Jan. 17 kids club event kicks off 2015 schedule

    Jan 2015 Kids Club

    There are many more weeks of winter to come, but we’re turning our attention to spring with the first Connells Maple Lee Kids Club event of 2015.

    On Jan. 17, children ages 5 to 12 will have an opportunity to make a vase arrangement featuring carnations and daisies, similar to the ones above. Participants in this fun, free event also will receive a balloon to bring home along with their floral creations.

    Time slots are available at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

    Registration is required by calling your nearest store: 2408 E. Main St. (Route 40), Bexley, 614-237-8653; 2033 Stringtown Road, Grove City, 614-539-4000; and 8573 Owenfield Drive, Powell, 740-548-4082.