Saturday, November 22, 2014
Actually, I guess that's a multi-part question. First...when do you decorate? Second...do you enjoy it...or is it just another "chore"....just something else that has to get done??
A few years ago, because of the crazy schedule that we have, we decided to get the inside of the house all ready for Christmas somewhere around the middle of November. I asked all of my family members if they had a problem with Santa Claus watching them eat their Thanksgiving dinner and no one did...so the "job" got rescheduled.
I just want to make something very, very clear...while it IS a job...(I am a serious collector...of all things that make me happy...and I have a SERIOUS (huge) collection!!!) it is a job I love!! And....there are several really good reasons why this works out brilliantly for us!
I love the Holidays. Love ALL of the Holidays...I have to say, Halloween is a particular favorite of mine...but, without a doubt, Christmas is number one. As far as I am concerned...it goes much too quickly!! One minute...the Thanksgiving dishes are just about done, and it's time to go outside and view the "light show" (the outside of the house gets decorated on Thanksgiving day...while I am cooking!!) for the first time...and the next minute the dishes from Christmas dinner are washed and put away!!
There is so much about Christmas to enjoy...the lights, the music, family, friends...all combine to make it such a wonderful time of year. I think making it "last longer" was one of the best decisions we ever made!! Don't get me wrong...I love pumpkins and bittersweet and acorns and pilgrims...and turkey...as much as the next guy....but there is nothing better than coming home, after a long day at work, to a glittering, glistening home all ready for Christmas.
Of course...the shop is ready even earlier...it has to be. We get everything out immediately after Halloween. That is the way retail works...all of the merchandise is ordered (and in storage...) months and months ahead of time. And we hear about it. Most of you can't wait...and that's awesome, because I feel the same way...but, occasionally, we hear the "Christmas already"...which makes me sad. I still get excited when the first of the "Christmas specials" come on television (even though they are all on DVD and you can watch them whenever you want to!!) I love when they play Christmas music on the radio, I love to look at ornaments and decorations ANYtime of the year...I love to look at other people's "light displays" and see their tree in the window!! Christmas already?? No....how about...is it time yet??
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.....and that is okay by me!!!
Posted by A piece of cake at Saturday, November 22, 2014
Monday, October 13, 2014
A wedding is a big thing. It's a big decision, a big commitment and a big celebration! I don't think there is a better way to start a life together than for that celebration to have "you" written all over it!!
My daughter has always had a "thing" for another time...she loves the old music, the cars, the clothes, the colors...the decor (especially 50's kitchen stuff....she has a huge collection!!!) so it was only natural that she would think about a wedding with a 50's feel. Of course, thinking about it....and pulling it off...can be two different things!!
After many, many plans....and even more "plan B's"....my daughter and SON-IN-LAW, finally, found EXACTLY what they were looking for!! There is a diner outside of Lancaster called "DJ's...taste of the 50's". We have checked out many, many retro diners, in our day, but this place has it all!! Including some very accommodating owners!! They opened on their day off...just for us...made us all burgers (with or without cheese...as noted on the place cards!!) and french fries (in the red baskets with black and white checked paper!!), milkshakes (flavors also noted on the placecards!!!) and made everyone, not only feel at home, but feel like we were in the 50's!!!
They were surrounded by people who make them happy...family, friends...both old and new...and everyone got into the spirit!! Her dress was very appropriate...tea length, dotted, just "poofy" enough...but she wasn't the only one with the "50's flavor" in their outfit!! Lots and lots of "polka dots" and red lipstick!! Add that to the music playing in the backround...and the totally perfect decor....and it was a party to remember!! Just the way it should be!!
Was there an isle to walk down? No. The wedding march...a flower girl...rice...bouquets...a bridal party? No to all of the above!! There wasn't even a cake....it was all PIE (I mean....come on...a 50's diner!!!!) But there were two very happy people....doing it their way....and a celebration that we will still be talking about when they celebrate year number 10!!
Last year....when our youngest daughter got married....I told you all about that unique wedding celebration and strongly suggested, if there was a wedding in your future, to do it YOUR way! After last night....I am going to say it again...I hope that every "bride and groom-to-be" has as much fun as our daughter and son-in-law did....and all of the special memories, too!! What a great way to start their life together!!
"Won't you wear my ring around your neck? To tell the world I'm yours, by heck...let them know I love you so...and let them know by the ring around your neck" (....well...okay....finger!!)
Congratulations Heather and Dave!!!
Posted by A piece of cake at Monday, October 13, 2014
Thursday, October 9, 2014
I thought I was done....but it turns out...I have a little more to say!!
Earlier this week I posted, on Facebook, about an unfortunate encounter with a customer. I said what I needed to..and I was done. I really was....
I didn't post it to "vent" I posted it because I think it's important....REALLY important...for all of us to realize that we all have our mountains to climb!!
Somewhere along the way the world has become a very, very rude place to be. A place where everyone has the right to "tell you what they think" and treat those of us "in the public eye" like garbage. Sweet Memories is in it's 20th year at 180 Main St. My business, however, will be 27 years old next month. That's a long time. That's a lot of energy and time and hard work...and I think I have gained a lot of wisdom over those 27 years!!
I, also, think that after that long....I should have the right to decide how much is too much. That phone call (actually 3 of them) was way too much!!
No one...for any reason...has the right to totally disrespect another person. No one. To be talked to the way we were talked to...and not listened to the way we were not listened to...and then hung up on...repeatedly...is complete disrespect.
I heard from an awful lot of you...and I read all of your comments!! I just want to go on record here...I was not "uncalm". I did not...and will not...allow that encounter to spoil my day or my daughter's wedding. I totally appreciated all of the kind words....but I wasn't "fishing" for them!! And...if you think it was wrong to use social media to "vent"...I just want to assure you..that was NOT venting!! I chose my words very carefully....and omitted quite a few of the ones that were swirling around in my head!!
Basically....the reason I shared the encounter, at all, was to...hopefully...stir up some awareness!
I am going to pass along some of the wisdom I have gained in my 27 years in business....You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. Think before you speak. Do unto others....oh wait....this isn't MY wisdom...it's been around forever!! Too bad the world is forgetting all of it!!
NOW....I am done!!!!
Posted by A piece of cake at Thursday, October 09, 2014
Monday, September 29, 2014
And nothing makes me happier than making mine as cozy as possible!!
I know that is not at the top of each and every list. That's okay. If we were all the same it would be a boring world...but, for me, it is as important as breathing!!
I think roots are very important. I think traditions are important, too...although I believe they can be tweaked, as necessary, and new ones can be created without upsetting the balance of things!!
We have made our "antique" house our home for the last 30 years....and that means a lot to me!! I never stayed anywhere for any length of time, growing up. I don't have any "place" that I can call my childhood home...but my kids do!!
We started making this house a home long before we even moved in. We painted every square inch (literally) of the inside...along with a whole bunch of other projects....and I was in my element!! Those sorts of "home improvement" projects still make me happy...along with decorating for each and every season and Holiday! I love to find "stuff"....unique, nostalgic, cool decorations...that makes me happy and starts conversations!! Some of it is vintage....some new...but when it's all mixed together it says us!! (Hmmm....perhaps this explains WHY there is a "Sweet Memories"?!?)
There is nothing better, at the end of a long, long day (and when you own your own business...that's EVERY day!!) than coming home to the place that makes you feel happy...and comfortable...and rooted!! The place where you can recharge...the place where you are safe!
This world is a little crazy...and getting crazier by the minute!! So many horrible things...so much to worry about! It just seems like a good idea for all of us to try a little harder...be a little nicer...and, maybe, feather our nests a little more than ever!! If you are rooted....that "nest" will get you through all kinds of things (including feeling REALLY under the weather!!!!) and will make you a much happier person!!
So...today...on my day "off"...I am running all of the errands that I couldn't run because I was "under the weather" (so far behind!!!) trying to clean up some of the yard, get a few little projects done around the house, planning to grab a few pumpkins to finish decorating outside and maybe poke around an antique shop or two...see if I can find anything!! All of which falls under the category of "nest feathering"!! Here's to Monday...and fellow "featherers" everywhere!!!
Posted by A piece of cake at Monday, September 29, 2014
Monday, August 18, 2014
This has been one odd Summer! Don't get me wrong.... I am not complaining...we work in front of ovens all day long! But, still, it was a little bit of a let down, especially after the winter we had. Even parts of my garden didn't seem to know what to do. Quite a few of my flowers seemed slow to take off, the vegetables (and my birdhouse gourd) took their time setting fruit. Odd....
But....like it or not...Fall IS right around the corner!! And, contrary to what some might think, it isn't the retail communities fault!!
It has become something of a "sport"...bashing the retail world for the "rushing" of the seasons. Is there Halloween candy in the stores "already"? Yup....but, in all fairness, you don't have to buy it!! However...if you are one of the millions of people who adore candy corn...this is the ONLY time of year you can "get your fix". So...clearly....the stores are catering to YOU. Are the stores selling their Summer clothes at a reduced price...yup. Would it be smarter to sit on the inventory and hope that you, the consumer, won't notice that the same clothes are out next year?? Are the Fall and early Winter clothes taking their place on the racks...yup. Are you shopping for back to school?? Will you be purchasing shorts and tank tops...nope!
So....here we are....at the end of August...and the Fall and Halloween decorations are showing up, in the stores!! Is it "rushing" the season? Does time go faster when there are decorations and candy in the stores?? Should we be sad that Summer is coming to an end...or does it give us something to look forward to??
When it comes to decorating, especially Holiday decorating, the rules have changed. If Christmas is "your season"...it is socially acceptable to "skip" the turkey decorations and go straight to Santa Claus. If Halloween is "your thing" there is no reason in the world to put any plain pumpkins around...go Jack-O-Lanterns all the way!! I think part of this is everyone's busy schedule....I know that's why I do it!! I only have so much time to get the decorating done...and not a whole lot of time to enjoy my collections....so I decorate early!! That way I have time to enjoy each and every season as it comes!!
Unfortunately...I am noticing another change in the world...and it's not a good one!! Somewhere along the line...it has become "okay" to voice your opinion...even when it's really not appropriate!! What happened to common courtesy? With "if you don't have anything nice to say...don't say anything"?? Or...how about..."treat people the way YOU want to be treated"?? Once upon a time....all of these fell under the category of "manners"....something I think the world is sorely lacking!!!
Hey....I have opinions, too....lots of them!! I have disassociated myself from people that I think are caustic, I have fought "the system" more than once...(when there is injustice...someone needs to speak up) I have stopped going into businesses because I don't like the way they treat people...but I have never questioned why people do things differently than I do because, frankly, it's not my place...and none of my business!! With everyone on at least one (if not ALL of them) social website...there seems to be a whole lot of unsolicited opinion giving...unsolicited, unnecessary, unwanted...opinion giving. If you do the best you can...and treat people the way you would want to be treated...there is only one opinion that matters!!
So....stepping down from the soapbox....in conclusion...if you are ready for Fall, know that you are not alone!! Go out (YES....to Sweet Memories...we have the BEST selection...anywhere!!!!) and buy that new Halloween decoration, or grab a bag of that candy corn and sit poolside to enjoy it!! Life is just too short to care what "people" think...you are the only one you have to answer to...
Posted by A piece of cake at Monday, August 18, 2014
Monday, July 28, 2014
Generally speaking, in the world of retail and small business, there are two times during the year that are a little "slower". January and February....and July (that's, I believe, where the "Christmas in July" came from...an attempt to get the consumers into stores to spend money!!)
Thankfully....we are not, in any way shape or form, "typical!!!!! We don't really have any "slow" times (thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!) we seem to be pretty steady (with amazing bursts of SOOO busy!!!!) all year long!!
However....during those times of the year that should be "slower"....I start to come up with BIG projects!!! It always seems that sometime in January, when we are supposed to be "recovering" (aka "resting") from the Holiday madness...I decide to redecorate or move every single piece of furniture in the whole shop!!! (My whole family will back me up, here!!!) And....July, especially THIS July, seems to be no exception!!
Not only did we repaint the entire front dining room...(and....I still have many, many, MORE projects that I want to get done!!) I have been rethinking the whole gift shop experience, too!! So....while for many....this month is all about relaxing and taking vacations...that is NOT what July is all about for me!!
Hopefully you had the chance to come in and see all of our redecorating in person....but, even if you did, make sure you come in again and again. There is a lot more magic up my sleeve!! And....Fall and Halloween are right around the corner!! This...our 20th year....is going to be one to remember!!! I hope you all come along for the ride!!
Posted by A piece of cake at Monday, July 28, 2014
Monday, July 7, 2014
But....the Holiday is over...and now we can get down to business!!
This month marks the beginning of our twentieth year in business!! I'll bet there are a whole bunch of you, reading this right now, who can count yourselves among our "originals"!! Just remember...if you do...you are "dating" yourselves!! hahahaha....
There is no question about it....we have the best, most amazing customers!! We, basically, invite you into our (second) home and consider you to be our extended family!!
So....I wanted to thank you...somehow!!
I decided to have a "sale"....a Christmas in July!! Now...I am aware that this is, really, not all that earth shattering. Everyone...everywhere...has sales (and Christmas in July)! But, around here....we don't!! I spend a lot of time picking out the merchandise we carry. Everything we have is something I would have in my own home (and probably do....) I try to stock only the best, the most unique, decor and gifts. And, of course, Holidays....ALL of them....are a soft spot for me...which is why we have a reputation for the best selection...anywhere!! Usually....the merchandise moves...WELL....and the little that is "left" just gets packed and makes a return visit (and is, usually the first thing that sells....) the next time around!! I love everything we carry....so I have no problem getting to see it again. It's a lot like unpacking my favorite decorations, here at home!! Deciding to have a sale is a big thing....and I wanted to do it just right!!
Now....you all know I can't do anything the way "others" do....so...this is a "progressive" sale. What does that mean??? Each week I am adding more to the list of sale items. By the end of the month there will be all KINDS of stuff discounted!! Just trying to keep it FUN!! But....don't wait until the end of the month!! You don't want to miss anything!!
Visit....actually GO to...our Facebook page. I will let you know what is on sale each week. You know what....better yet, come in and see for yourself!! Not only will we have new things discounted....we have new things coming in all the time!! Treasure hunting....awaits!!!
Come in and start your Christmas shopping......or treat yourself!! Just remember...we REALLY appreciate your loyalty!! I think our twentieth year will be the best one yet!!
Posted by A piece of cake at Monday, July 07, 2014