Archive for May, 2009

Anniversary Time!

Happy Anniversary CardToday is my (OUR!) One Year Anniversary- yeah!! We are celebrating tonight, but in thinking of what to get my man, I realized how many Weddings there are this time of the year, sooo therefore how many Anniversary’s there must be too! We got some great new Anniversary cards in (including the one above from Hello! Lucky, $4.50) and so I also thought I would pull together some thoughtful and clever present ideas that won’t break the bank. I took the Traditional Anniversary gift guide as a starting point and went from there…

ONE YEAR……PAPER

So, I obviously got Rob a card (maybe Rob will make me one!!) but I also got him this cool NYC graffiti coloring book. All the pages are left b&w so you can color in as you like (the back shows them all complete as they are on the streets). $15.75.

Street Art Coloring Book(only going to do the major anniversaries folks…)

FIVE……WOOD

Knock on Wood we will make it to (atleast!!!) number five, but in the meantime I thought this one up on the fly for a customer who was going to visit a couple who had just moved into a new apartment and it was also there anniversary– check out the cute card from Seltzer ($3.50) & the E-Z Chopsticks (held together with a silver wire, like long Laundry clothespins) we paired with it (4 sets in a a nice silver bag, $9.95).

Chopstick card

Ez Woods ChopsticksFYI– year six is candy– that is right up my alley! can’t wait for 2014!

TEN……TIN (um, Tin? what is up with that)

Tin LanternThese Tin Lanterns are made from Recyled Metal Cans– very fun and colorful and the little doors open for you to put candles inside- $49.99.

TWENTY……CHINA

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Hmm, well since we are going off a bit here, I found something cool that is MADE IN CHINA (designed in Japan, assembled in China)! It is an awesome Black Bird, Fly twin- reflex camera to document the second half of your marriage. The two of you, two lenses…. something like that. It uses 35mm film and takes amazing pictures.  $130 (also available in white, red and orange).

Food from friends–

I love how at the shop we have developed a real sense of community and over the past 1 1/2 years I have gotten to know my customers well, and now consider them my friends. I have seen babies born, weddings (and break ups!), kids birthday parties (I remember what we put in the goody bags last year vs. this year…).  We talk about how their sick Aunt is doing (the one they bought the lavender eye pillow for), or how their vacation with the whole family went (and if the travel games were a hit)– you get the idea. I love it- EVERY MINUTE!  Anyone that has spent time with me at the shop always says how nice all the customers are, and I am so grateful of the community we have built both at the physical shop as well as online (last evening I had a fun email exchange with a customer in Winston-Salem, NC– she actually wrote about us on her blog- All Things Considered). Yesterday I was lucky enough to get two amazing gifts from 2 of my favorite customers– the word must be out that I love food treats, because they both bought me lovely edible gifts. In the morning Ken, a great customer who lives out in Long Island but comes through the LIRR near the shop about once or twice a week (more on him in another post!), brought me a “Long Island delicacy” Pretzel Rolls! Have you ever had such a thing? They are made of pretzel dough rolled into the shape of rolls-delicious! You can eat them as is, or use them for sandwiches. What a nice treat!

pretzel rollLater in the day, another wonderful customer, Iris, brought me some home made sourdough with Black Caraway Seeds. YUMMM!!! She started a little cottage industry from her home and sells to local shops and I can say first hand it is Out of this World (look for it at Jesse’s Boerum Hill Market, etc.- it is called Wild Mountain)!! Rob made a big breakfast this morning of eggs, avocados, etc. and we had some of this delicious bread on the side (the pretzel rolls did not make it past lunchtime yesterday). Iris is such a fun woman and has a great sense of spirit. She is always very giving and buys lots of treats for many different family members, but she also usually buys something fun for herself too (like silly chattering teeth!)

Wild Mountain logo001I am so grateful to count these two wonderful people as friends now, as well as so many of our other customers!! Thank you all for your wonderful support and friendship. Gotta run now, have to eat my sandwhich made of sourdough!!

Play ball!

East Harlem Field of Dreams

Photo from www.nbcnewyork.com

I woke up super early this morning and watched the local NYC news for two hours, and was touched by a very sweet story about a Field of Dreams up in East Harlem. Jon Frankel, a journalist, drive by the empty lot in East Harlem (112th St.) last fall and was sad to see it was in such poor shape that no kids were out playing on the field (250 kids had to be dropped from Little League in 2006 since they had no place to play). He took matters into his own hands and raised money and dedicated tons of time and effort  to overhaul New York City’s newest ballfield*. Many wonderful people turned out to help him bring this dream to a reality, including the Heads Groundskeeper from Yankee Stadium, a local Wood-working teacher who built the Scoreboard, Engine Company 58 (busiest Firehouse in the city) who kept the freshly laid sod well- watered and a business man (Cliff Asness) who donated $50k for the new sod after volunteers cleaned up the lot (money he was going to use for premium seats at the new Yankee stadium).  Mayor Bloomberg even came out to throw the first pitch! What a lovely and inspiring story about community involvement and what one person (with lots of drive and determination and HELP) can do! It also reminded me of the Wiffle Ball & Bat sets we just got in at the shop– so you can have your own Field of Dreams for $7.50 (shameless attempt to bring this amazing story “back” to the shop!). Extra balls also available for $2.25, as recommended & requested by a customer/mom of 3!

Wiffle Ball and Bat

* for those of you not in NYC, we have had two big stadiums open this year as the new Yankee Stadium & the Mets Citifield both opened this season. Millions of Dollars (or billions?) later, this story is the sweetest of them all. Thanks to links from NBCNewyork.com and CBSnews.com (Evening News with Katie Couric online) for help piecing this story together after watching it this morning on Local NBC 4 Morning News.

Never too late for some Spring Cleaning–

Dust BunnyIt’s never too late to do some Spring Cleaning, and maybe our Dust Bunny will help get your motivated!! As we say on our website (and from the packaging of the cute little rabbit) “Dustbunny is not only adorable, but downright attractive- to dust, that is! This hard working hand puppet is made from genuine high-tech, dust-gathering, machine-washable, high-pile microfiber, right down to the fluffy chenille tail, so that you can fight allergens with a smile. So cute you might be able to con the kids into helping!”  $16.50.

THRILLED to be on Thrillist today

BBQ sword in use- DCICheck out our clever and cool Barbeque SWORDS that also function as Forks and Spatulas for the grill. I love these, and so does everyone in the shop! They make everyone chuckle! We are THRILLED that THRILLIST chose to write about them today in “The List”. They come with a Muskateer mask so you can really pull the look off, or hide your identity when you’ve burned the sausages!

Barbeque spatulaSpatula (above) or Fork Swords. Great Hostess/Host Gift for your next BBQ, or perfect gift for Father’s Day. $29.50 each.

Mustaches, mustaches, mustaches…

Kate with mustacheLately the most requested item in the shop has been MUSTACHES!!! Check out my former colleague and friend (and super cute girl!!!) Kate wearing one above– they are soo fun and make every event into a party! People buy them for kids parties, adults buy them on the way to brunch to liven up the conversation, people bring them to family outings to lighten up the mood, etc. I particularly think it’s funny when 6 year old girls buy them (VERY popular amongst this age & gender!! who knew?!). So, WE HEARD YOU PEOPLE– we have LOTS of mustaches now– check out these Stylish versions (also available on website)— 7 separate ones for every day of the week– $6.75.

mustachespencil thin mustachePencil thin variety- $4.95.

Party_MustacheAnd the infamous Party Mustache- $2.95.

mustache mugWe even got in a funny mug with lots of mustaches on it (great Father’s Day Gift!)- $12.95.

Also-  here is a fun idea from a Designer friend/customer/vendor- Jill Kotulka/ Punkahontas— involving mustaches .  For her wedding their invitation said “Dinner, Dancing and Mischief” and  after their pretty formal wedding they told everyone to look under their chairs and there were boxes of Mustaches, Tiaras, Feather Boas, etc.  No one knew- not even their parents! Here are some pics- looks like it was a hit, and a fun way to end an otherwise very formal affair. That Jill, she’s soo clever 🙂

Jill's wedding photosJill's wedding photo- 1wedding photos by Mike Kehr Photography

I must give Jill credit for even having mustaches in the shop right now because she was the final straw in people asking me for them (we had them for Halloween, but did not realize they were a year round thing!). She pointed out that mustaches are always more fun when lots of people have them…. and her friend needed them for a high school reunion. Apparently MUSTACHES ARE ALWAYS IN SEASON!!!

p.s. we also got a little shout-out about these on Daily Candy New York last week-very exciting!

Memorial Day with Sweet Melissa-

Melissa at shop

My friend Melissa stopped by the shop the other day to say hi and see what was new and as always, she LOADED UP at the store buying fun treats for everyone in her life. As I write this I realize she bought lots of presents for everyone, but nothing for herself– she is such a giving person. I love Melissa’s excitement as she checks out all the goods at the shop– she appreciates the thought in each one and takes equal consideration in thinking who to give to each one. She got baby presents, engagement presents, dog treats for a friends Golden, Birthday presents for her nephew, etc. etc. I had to take a picture of her with all her bags, but also because I had given her my lovely poppy that I had gotten from the Veterans at the Bank.

Today is Memorial Day and we should all remember what this day really means as we appreciate and remember all those who have died in our nation’s service. Originally called Decoration Day, women in the South decorated graves before the end of the Civil War. The first declared Memorial Day was in May 1868 when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soilders at Arlington National Cemetary. New York was the first state to officially recognize it in 1873, and by 1890 all Northern states celebrated it and it grew from there.

I grew up going to the Memorial Day parade in my little town each year (marching in it for several years in the Brownies and Girl Scouts too!). It would end in the Park in town with a special Service honoring those we lost in the Wars and then we would all go back to the VFW for Root Beer and hot dogs. I haven’t been back for that in several years, but my Mom told me the crowd has all changed as the older soldiers have passed on and we now have soldiers from the Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan filling in their spots. I bought a Poppy this year (and gave it to Melissa, above) to honor the Vets and did a little research to learn what this tradition really meant. The paper popies were inspired by all the soldiers that died in WWI in the Poppy Fields in Belgium. Death and destruction set amongst the beauty of the Poppy fields. Read more about this here too