It’s up!! The new website for Tina’s Gift Baskets is UP and LIVE and ready for you to view, comment and shop!


Here are a few pictures that aren’t yet on the site!

easter basket 2014

Fun and Dandy Easter Basket

Easter basket with bunny

Easter Floral Basket with happy bunny

short erica short short for mcmurray

Happy Spring!


Are you using the blog?

I spent some time last week asking myself why we blog.

I came up with 3 main reasons

1. We blog to sell a service.

2 We blog to sell a product.

3. We blog to post ideas, recipes, fun times with family and friends.

Does your blog fit into one of those main categories? And even more importantly, are you actually USING the products and services offered on the blogs?


I am happy to tell you I am using the products and services offered by bloggers I know!

Oils! Have you checked out the oils? Loretta Smith and  DoTERRA Essention Oils 

Cypress Essential Oil

I have peppermint. WOW! It works for whatever ails ya!

And then there’s Send Out Cards. I LOVE Meli Horwitz and Send Out Cards! Have you tried them yet?    send out cards logo They’re perfect for thank you cards (I send them out regularly) and reminders, birthday cards, sympathy cards and, my most recent find: Oops, when you need just the right words to apologize!

Everyone knows I’m crazy about Harper! She’s my granddaughter. Yes, we all brag about our grandchildren, don’t we? (That’s part of #3 listed above!!). harper 11-13

So, here are 2 items I purchased for Harper.

The Harper Doll. From Real Sisters Gifts & Accessories. Check out their facebook page! They custom designed this doll to look like Harper (red hair and all!)

Harper doll

The Harper Bear! From Hand Knitted Dolls & Teddy Bears. Talk about a great teddy bear!

harper bearKathleen custom designed this one for Harper, too! Lots and lots of pink and she even put her name on a banner across the bear’s chest! How adorable is this!

Norma. What can I say about Norma? If you haven’t joined Norma’s business group, you are MISSING OUT! It’s luv luv luv. And I’m honored to tell you she designed the cover pages for my facebook and blog pages, too! Want great coaching on social media? Norma’s your gal!

the best is yet to be

Then there’s us, Roadrunner Florist & Basket Express.  When is the last time you called us (or your local florist) to send flowers to someone you love?

OK, I’ll admit it. I’m going to be using more and more businesses on these threads in the future. Don’t be surprised if there’s a present in there for you, too!

Sympathy tributes

Today I want to spend a little time writing about appropriate sympathy tributes.

Although many obituaries say something like “in lieu of flowers”, we have learned most families appreciate the beauty and softness flowers provide at a funeral or memorial service. The obituary request, often suggested by the funeral director, is more a suggestion than a demand, and people are certainly welcome to send condolences in whatever manner they deem appropriate.

Funeral flowers come in all styles and colors, multiple colors, red, white and blue, or all white. Ranging from large funeral sprays and casket covers (sometimes called blankets), they are expressions of sincere loss. Here are a few examples of funeral sprays and casket covers designed by Roadrunner Florist.

Image Image ImageImage



Another very popular floral arrangement is the traditional basket. These can be filled with flowers or all types and designed in all price ranges. Here are a few examples of traditional funeral baskets.


Many people choose to send green plants to funeral services as a long lasting tribute to the deceased.


Appropriate for Jewish funerals are fresh fruit and goodie baskets.

Image Image


It is important that each of us convey our condolences in our own special way.

Let us help you send your thoughts and prayers to a grieving family with fresh flowers or a gift basket from Roadrunner Florist & Basket Express.

You Flipped

When you flipped your calendar this morning what did you see? February! 

It’s time to order your Valentine’s Day roses! Why? Because your local florist has to order them, bring them in, process them, cut them, de-thorn them, hydrate them, and yes, arrange them and get them into the delivery queue!

doz super red roses

What is the most important part of this process? No, it’s not the one you think it is! It’s the COLD CHAIN. That’s the part where the roses are cut at the farm (usually in South America), brought into Miami or Los Angeles and then placed into a cooler. Other than the short time the roses are in customs, they are continuously in a cooled environment, from the port to the airport to the flower shop to you.

No, Fed Ex doesn’t provide this service. Neither does UPS. Or the US Mail. The flowers you get for cheap when you shop on the ‘net and they’re shipped in a box don’t go through the Cold Chain.  Even the flowers you buy at your local grocery store don’t have the benefit of the Cold Chain.

That’s why you need to buy your flowers from your LOCAL FLOWER SHOP!

Who, What, When, Where and Why?

#flowers #florist #giftbaskets

I love to talk about flowers & gift baskets! I love posting pictures of our designs and sending them to you for your perusal.

But do you know who we are and when we started doing what we do?  Let’s see…

Pamela E Smith was born in Detroit, MI in 1944. Her dad was born on a street corner (honestly!) and was a policeman for the City of Detroit for almost 30 years! Her mom was a homemaker and a terrific cook. Pamela attended Michigan State Universitymsu logo

(Go, Sparty!) where she received a degree in Floriculture in 1971. She then opened a flower shop in Oak Park, MI, which she sold to move to Phoenix in 1979. That’s where she opened Roadrunner Florist and she’s been here ever since.

I’m Tina Ashburn, a Denver girl, and a Denver Bronco fan!

  bronco logo

I attended Clark College (now part of the University of Washington) in Vancouver, WA, before moving to Tucson where I met and married Richard. We moved to Phoenix in 1984 and I gave birth to my beautiful daughter Lauren in 1985. I’m a grandmother now, to Harper, age 18 months. Photo

In 1992 I purchased Basket Express, and the previous owner introduced me to Pamela, who at the time was the full-time care-giver to her friend Lizzy, who had suffered a serious stroke a short time earlier. Lizzy wanted nothing more than to see the turn of the century, but alas she didn’t survive, and after her death Pamela and I decided it would be a perfect “marriage of 2 businesses” if I brought Basket Express inside Roadrunner Florist. So that’s how we became

Roadrunner Florist Basket Express, Phoenix, AZ

Over the years Pamela has received numerous awards for her designs and creativity, including a long-standing achievement award from the Society of American Florists .SAF logo

I have been honored to have had an article published in The Basket Whiz Report .

We are proud to be a small business working hard to benefit our community including Desert Mission Food Bank and Washington High School. I sing in the choir at North Phoenix Baptist Church and Pamela plays in the band at Phoenix College and the City of Glendale Summer Band.

food bank logo     city of glendale public art program

We strive to provide our customers with the freshest and finest flowers available (more about that later), custom designed gift baskets and terrific customer service.

Today we wished 3 people Happy Birthday! Here are the custom designed arrangements we made for them.

hb aunt elaine man floral hb tele bowl

And we shared in the loss of loved ones with these flowers to soften the sorrow.

funeral for Richard lav & white

We look forward to telling you more about us, including information about The Cold Chain! Stay tuned!

Yes, it’s a blog!

The votes are in!!


By an overwhelming 26-1 (the one being the lady who accused me of thinking this wasn’t a blog in the first place), the votes are in that this is indeed a blog! And as such I plan to continue to post pictures of our flowers & gift baskets, ideas for you and your friends, plans for holidays and experiences, and yes, more flowers & gift baskets! I’m so thankful to all of you who said I should ignore the lady who said “I found yours more difficult because it isn’t really a blog but a business website.” (you can read her comment and all of the follow-up comments here

Now, let’s get back to flowers & gift baskets, shall we? I want to post only one picture here today. It’s 3 dozen roses! Yes, you read that right! A man called from Ohio. He had forgotten his girlfriend’s birthday and he asked that we design and deliver 3 dozen roses (2 dozen red and 1 dozen pink). Here’s Pamela’s creation, which was delivered in less than an hour!

3 doz roses

Because we’re a local flower shop we can offer that type of customer service! No on-line order-gathering 1800 number could have filled this order as beautifully or as quickly as we did.

We need your help in supporting the local floral industry. Today, tomorrow and in the future, remember to contact your local flower shop for all of your gift-giving needs. We are your neighbors and friends, supporters of local schools, sponsors of little league, and Bronco fans!

Who are you going to call, click or come by the next time you order flowers?

Is it a Blog?

Those of you who know me are aware that Pamela E Smith, Michigan State University Floriculture Graduate owns Roadrunner Florist and I own Basket Express, 2 local Small American Businesses located under one brick and mortar roof at 2007a W Bethany Home, Phoenix, AZ.

New shop signs medium

We appreciate your reading about us, and commenting, and sharing, and being our customers and friends.

smiley face

Over the years we have developed amazing websites  and for your shopping experience.

We have a facebook page that you can Like!


I also created a WordPress blog (that’s this one) where I post pictures of the designs we create and reminders of upcoming holidays and other tidbits that I think you might find interesting.

I have an email blast that I send to customers who are kind enough to give me their email addressees (they do this because I send them a picture of the flowers or gift basket we design and deliver for them) and I have  joined several blogging threads to attempt to get our information “out there on the web”.

In a recent discussion about Google+, I received this comment: ” Tina Ashburn If you check the comments that both J**  and I left for you on the G+ thread we were doing,….  I found yours more difficult because it isn’t really a blog but a business website.” (Emphasis added).


After my tears subsided, I read this:


One thing I really love about this group is that there is a spirit of inclusion. There are many various types of blogging, blogs and bloggers here and we try to respect each other’s differences. Personally, I think it’s awesome that small business owners like Tina Ashburn take time to blog and connect with customers and potential customers. To say that it’s not a blog doesn’t seem fair. We all blog for diverse reasons and objectives. I’m just saying.”

I thanked her profusely and she replied: “Hi Tina, It was my pleasure to defend your blog. I’ve been in a few groups that judged bloggers who have a product to sell and a thriving business. It’s not right and I’ve been happy to find that this group doesn’t do that. Till I saw the comment about your blog. Hope that the confusion gets worked out and you get the hang of Google+ networking as a team.”

It helps to have friends who write things like this:  “you are a flower arrangement artist!” and this: “Gorgeous! Makes me want spring even more :)”

We take pride in helping our customers send the gifts they want to send. Like a dozen red roses. Or a dozen red roses and 2 white ones. Or a dozen red roses with sunflowers. Or a dozen red and pink roses.

doz super red rosesroses 12 red 2 whitedozen red and sunflowersred and pink roses

To the best of my knowledge, I have never tried to sell anything on this blog.

But I do post beautiful flowers (and gift baskets) and I invite you to comment on them.

So, the question remains: IS THIS A BLOG?