Archive for January, 2009

Store Adore


Check out the latest cool write up about the shop- on–

Everyone loves a good old-fashioned general store—the kind you’d always see when you went on family camping trips to the mountains as a kid. The ones with the penny candy, hand-formed bars of soap and all the fun kitschy toys and knick knacks your parents gladly bought you just so you’d stay quiet on the long car ride. Ann Lopatin, owner of Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store, has transformed her 500 square-foot space into the modern day urban general store in order to satisfy those with sophisticated taste, along with an affection for the simple life, with a smile. Neighborhood locals, all of whom know Ann by her first name, walk in to pick up their New York City home necessities. Items such as Meyer’s soap products, Nellie’s laundry nuggets, Harvey & Strait cocktail napkins and pocket-sized sewing sets fly off the shelves. But so do the whoopee cushions, the Woolly Willies (remember him?!) and the wonderful party items. The shop is split up into easily navigated sections including (but not limited to!): candy, cleaning, pets, games and toys, party supplies and wall art. Apartment walls looking a little too drab? Pick up some Butch & Harold wallpaper. In-laws coming to visit so you have to retire the ratty t-shirt and boxers combo (or maybe you wear the sexy stuff)? Either way, Needham Lane Pajamas will do the trick for something that’s cute and appropriately conservative. In need of a fun birthday treat for your favorite kid-at-heart? Try the Message Bean, a plant that actually grows beans with the word Happy Birthday lasered onto them. For the kids, there are the too-often-overlooked classics like silly-putty, pick-up sticks and magic trick sets. Acting like a kid on vacation never felt so good.

Thanks for a great write- up Lexi!

My favorite new thing in the shop–

is not actually for sale! ha! I got this great new doormat that is a total lifesaver. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to mop the floor on foul weather days lately but now that I have this trusty new doormat right at the shop’s entrance I am in much better shape to handle the bad weather! You can get one too- at Rolands Gifts-


How great is this– a fun bargain for $3.75

People always ask me at the shop if I have fun picking out fun new products for the store and the answer is a Big YES!! I have soo much fun pouring through catalogs, websites, customer requests, the Gift Show (going on now, btw)– to find cool fun and functional items for the shop. If I like it, I figure (and hope!) that everyone else will too. So, it is with particular glee that I present you my latest funny find– Space Ice Cream For $3.75–


Kung Hei Fat Choy!

year-of-the-oxHappy Chinese New Year! It’s the Year of the Ox! (It officially started yesterday 1/26) Since this year looks its going to be challenging for everyone, I find it interesting that the chinese interpretation of the Ox year is one of hard work and fortitude, it represents honesty and openness, calmness and dependability. It seems quite in line with what we are all experiencing right now, and as always I appreciate and value the Chinese Astrology. So as they say in China- Kung Hei Fat Choy! Happy New Year!

Personal note here- I often do not make (or keep!) my New Years Resolutions, but by the time Chinese New Years rolls around, I use this opportunity to make my Chinese New Years Resolutions.  So, in case you have already fallen off the wagon from your promises from 1/1, here’s your chance to try it all again!

LOTS more love—

We’ve got  the cutest  (and some very humorous) things in the shop for everyone’s favorite holiday (!?) – VALENTINE’S DAY!!

here’s a sampling of some of my favorites–

message-bean-lovemessage-bean-love1jpgThis is a little Message Bean plant that has LOVE lasered on to the little sword bean seed and when it grows (up to 20 feet tall!) your Valentine will always know you are thinking of them–

spanish-heartsI think these Spanish Sweethearts are hilarious– can’t go wrong for 65 cents! Te Amo! (um, I had to look most of these phrases up, or my customers filled me in because I tool Latin for 7 years and don’t know one word of Spanish, sadly, except for Cerveza, but hey- it’s still funny!)

frog-to-princeYou can get these silly “Frog to Prince”‘s for all your single friends dreaming of a Prince… this will be the most direct route, rather than kissing too many frogs!

valentines-surprise-ballsAnd one of our best sellers, the famous Surprise Balls- all dressed up for Valentine’s Day. Complete with 10 different treats inside to make your Valentine smile.

check them all out- AND MORE at–

Spread Love, it’s the Brooklyn Way–

My favorite saying is Christopher Wallace’s (AKA Notorious BIG) “Spread Love, it’s the Brooklyn Way”  So in honor of Valentine’s Day I had some pins made up to give away (and therefore Spread the Love) at the store– check them out. Stop by the shop to pick yours up (we only ordered 100- and I know there is lots of love to give).

spread-love-pinIn a typical Annie Lo maneuver,  I had NO IDEA there was a Notorious movie coming out when I had these made up until someone mentioned it last night when I got these in. My friends say I live in a Pop Culture time warp, stuck in the 80’s.

It’s a New Day- have you seen this video?


Have you all seen this great video from I love it!

Thanks to my friend Eleanor and her Creative Times Blog for turning me on to this!

Go Obama!

obama1It’s finally here! We have a new president and I think we are all breathing a collective sigh of relief that Obama has finally taken office. I get soo emotional about him and his presidency- for so many reasons, the most important being the Hope and Optimism that he is bringing to our soul starved country. We will all remember where we were today watching as our 44th President took offfice- whether it was lucky enough to be in DC (!) or in front of your office’s television set- I hope this sense of togetherness and optimism continues as the work begins to bring our country back to life.

All the Way from Brooklyn–

We have a lot of great artwork at the store (if I do say so myself)- but we were moving some stuff around the other day and also adding stuff to the website- and wanted to share this new favorite with y’all– All the Way from Brooklyn we have the red/ gold one framed at the store- love it

3009we have this one framed at home over Rob’s desk.

The prints are $60 unframed, $130 framed and are available at on our website and in the shop! (16″ x 24″ – printed on 50 lb stock semi-gloss paper)- both colorways available.

Boca Grande- the cooler Boca


One of my FAVORITE places in the world was written up the other day in the NY Times. My best friend Janet sent the article my way– she actually introduced me to the place when she got married there over 10 years ago. It is magical old school florida- with the center of the fun being the Gasparilla Inn (pictured above).  Here’s a link to the article- called The Other Boca, The One without the Flash NY Times Article- Boca Grande

but here are some more pics of Boca Grande- makes me feel dreamy especially since its 10 degrees outside at the moment in NYC!

boca-grande-lighthouseBoca Grande Lighthouse



January 2009