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Monday, February 23, 2015

Come On Spring!!!!

25 Days....Spring arrives, officially, in just 25 Days.

We all know that doesn't automatically mean warmth and sunshine, the disappearance of all of this cursed frozen stuff and the magical appearance of green grass and flowers....but it DOES give us something to look forward to...a light at the end of the tunnel!!

There are a few things that puzzle me about the coming of Spring...

Somewhere around the middle of October...definitely before Halloween..."Christmas" starts to show up in our lives. Television commercials, decorations, movies and specials, cards and gift wrap...and the population goes berserk!! It's too early...why do we have to "rush" it...why can't we just enjoy the moment...etc. etc. etc.

BUT....somewhere around the middle of February...if we even make it THAT long...."Spring" starts to creep into our lives...and I don't know one, single person who isn't over the moon to see it happen!!!!

Hmmm....Is there a reasonable explanation for this?? It can't be because Christmas brings a "to-do" list along with it...because so does Spring!! I can't wait (she says sarcastically...) to see all of the damage that will need to be fixed thanks to old man Winter!!! So what is it about the coming of Spring that is met with nothing but applause and enthusiasm??

I decided I had had enough Winter a few weeks ago...and promptly starting turning the gift shops over to Spring and Easter decor...it has been met with much...SHOPPING...clearly I was not the only one who has had enough!! There is more wonderful merchandise on the way...including the Easter candy (by far one of my favorite shipments of the year!!) so if the beautiful taste of Spring weather that we enjoyed, yesterday, has the Spring fever running high...be sure to come in and visit us...soon!!

And...if you have a reasonable explanation...I'd love to hear it!! As for me...I get just as excited when the first commercials for the Christmas specials start to show up as I did when I saw that first robin in my crab apple tree, this morning!!! On second thought...I think the robin was much more exciting than the Grinch...Come on Spring!!!!!!

Monday, February 9, 2015

A little garden magic....

So...there is a new trend in gardening! Have you jumped on this yet? Fairy Gardening is all the rage!

I am thrilled to see it "come into fashion"...because I have had a fairy garden for about 23 years!

For me...it all started with the herb garden. Our home was built in the 1800's and when it came time to do a little landscaping (everyone who knows me (and knows what our gardens look like) will understand how funny the term "a little landscaping" is!!)I wanted whatever we planted to "belong".

Once I started to research herbs...I was hooked. Not only because of the understated beauty of herb plants...and, of course, the usefulness...(fresh basil in that tomato sauce!)but all of the "meanings" of the plants. You have heard "rosemary for remembrance" but many other herbs have meanings as well. Sage...wisdom~~~Thyme...courage~~~Basil...wealth~~~Dill...protection....even Roses...love, of course!!

We planned out the herb garden in a formal pattern...four "L" shaped beds around a center rectangle. But, just because the layout is formal, doesn't mean the garden is...there is nothing stuffy about this herb garden! In fact...it is full of magic!

The first time I unveiled all of the magic was at our youngest daughter's fifth birthday party. We had a "garden party" theme. Each of her friends decorated their own garden hat and we had garden inspired party foods...and then I took them all on a tour of the garden. I showed them where the fairies lived...where they had touched the foxglove (you can see their fingerprints on the flowers..) which petals they used for clothes and where the gnomes lived. I let them touch, and smell, the mint, basil, dill...and the lamb's ear! I must say....they were a captive audience!

With each addition to the landscaping there has been additional magical touches. We don't put any of them out in the open...you have to search. There are fairy houses, doors, mushrooms....even the magical creatures themselves! Many of the original touches we made ourselves. But now....because of this "new" trend....EVERYTHING is available for you to have all of this magic in your garden, too!

And....I have ordered ALL of it for the "magical" shops at Sweet Memories!! Benches, chairs, tables, stepping stones, birdhouses, birdbaths, gates, scooters....the list goes on and on!! It's really easy to get started...just find a spot and create a beautiful place for the fairies to live! Then...sit back and wait for the magic! Is this a great project for the kids? Absolutely!! But...trust me....YOU need a little magic, too!!!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Looking for Spring.....

I don't know about you but I am really, really tired of Winter weather!! I think we need to talk about something else...anything else!!

There are lots of things that make me happy, but my garden...and gardening in general...tops the list!! Usually about the time that Mother Nature has decided to take a break...and turns everything gold and red and orange and the chill is in the air...I am ready for a break, too!

But...to everything there is a season...and, usually around the end of February...thoughts of my garden consume all of my "free time". This year I think the time has come...a little ahead of schedule!!

I feel that some of the "Winter-weariness" is still leftover from last year!! I was really hoping that this winter would be better...but alas!!

When you own a small business...and depend on customers coming in to visit...the weather (unfortunately) is, constantly, on your mind!! And thinking about it, worrying about it...and cleaning up after it...is exhausting!!

Add to that the fact that the stupid groundhog somehow managed to see his shadow (which...considering just how utterly miserable it is here in Pennsylvania today....I find a little suspicious!!!) so we will be "enjoying" 6 more weeks of this...I think it's time to think Spring!!!!!

I found...and ordered...a whole bunch of new, ADORABLE, decorations for fairy gardens (which is one of my many, many passions!!!) and they have been "out" (and selling briskly) for a couple of weeks...but I think it's time to pull out the "big guns"!! So...just to let you know...the Spring merchandise is on it's way to the gift shops at Sweet Memories!! I am going to get my Spring fix one way or the other!!!

Also...just to let you know...my next blog will be about  fairy gardens! There have been a few of you who are, sadly, misguided...and seem to believe that fairy gardening is for children!! While I wholeheartedly encourage planting these wonderful, magical gardens WITH kids...they are by no means "for children"!! Like I said...it is a passion!!

So...bottom line...if you are looking for Spring...(and think the groundhog is, in fact, JUST a rodent!!!) make sure you stop in and visit Sweet Memories soon...and keep an eye on this blog, too!!! I have all kinds of inspiration brewing!!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Goodbye Holidays....

Good Afternoon....and Happy New Year!!

I guess it is official...the Holidays have come to an end!

As much as I LOVE Christmas...I am ready for things to get back to normal. Well...as normal as they can get!

We have been closed, the last two days, and have taken advantage of it. New Year's does not require the same amount of work as Christmas does...so we have relaxed, did a few little chores that we didn't have time for (like hanging the Christmas gift pictures of our Grandson in their place of honor!!) I even did a little baking....can't seem to help myself!! I, also, have been thinking....the wheels have been turning...some new menu items are in the works and I have been plotting how to set things up in the gift shops!! I find that my mind starts to go into overdrive as soon as the hustle and bustle of December is behind us!!

One new thing that I have, already, put into place....the "cake list" is now available on my blog!! Just look in the upper right corner of the page. There are "pages" titled "For your information"...it's there!!! Hopefully that will make things easier!!

Stay tuned for updates on new happenings....my one and only resolution is to try to keep this blog updated!! We will see...sometimes there just isn't enough time!!

Thank you....all of our amazing, loyal, wonderful customers and friends....for a great 2014!! Here's to an even greater 2015...hopefully with blog posts!! Hahaha..... Happy New Year!!!!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Happy New Year!!

So....I have been absent way too long!!

The Holiday season is just SO busy...and time gets away from all of us!! I promise I will be more diligent about my blog posts...no, really!!

I hope that Christmas 2014 was  wonderful...and full of Sweet Memories!!!

I, also, hope that you have a fantastic New Year....

With the New Year comes all of the new ideas...so stay tuned!! There are all kinds of things "up my sleeve"...and I will let you know about all of them...right here...I promise!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

So...here we are...the weekend before Thanksgiving. You have turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes on your mind, I know, but I want to ask you a question...where do you stand on decorating for Christmas??

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!!!

Monday, October 13, 2014

A big celebration...their way!!

Another wedding in our family....another very personal celebration!! I don't think it should be any other way!!

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!!

This one...did!!

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!!!