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Sunday, October 31, 2010

BOO!!!!!!!

Trick-or-treat!!! Happy Halloween everyone! So far, this has been a fun weekend. We had our "A Very Merrie Halloween Tea" yesterday...it was great! Almost everyone came in costume and they all looked so good! A whole bunch of Witches...some rather elegant!! We had ham and cheese mummies, chicken parmesan "pumpkin" tea sandwiches, little spinach quiches and "eyeball" bruschetta...then there were "monster toes" scones with apple butter and maple-walnut butter...and "mummy" pumpkin cupcakes, soul cakes, fudge brownies topped with cookie dough "spiders" and peanut butter white chocolate truffles. We played several games of Halloween bingo and the winners received some Halloween prizes. It was really fun! I think I will write down everything I did this year...It will make planning easier for next year! There are some great pictures on our facebook page...and I hope to get some more on soon! I have to get to work...I have lots of treats to prepare for Brunch...have a great Halloween!! Watch out for all of the ghosts and goblins....

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tea Time Tomorrow....

I spent the day preparing for our "Very Merrie Halloween Tea"...it is tomorrow afternoon!! All I need to do, tomorrow, is make the food. All of the "craft-y" stuff that needed to get done, did!! I am excited for this party...we haven't done a Halloween Tea in a little while...things don't always work with my schedule, for one reason or another...but this year I wanted to do one, so I made it work. The timing was perfect, with Halloween falling on a Sunday. I am already thinking about next year's theme. I don't know how many will come in costume, but that's OK. I want everyone to be comfortable and enjoy themselves...that's all that matters! When I do a "Tea" I have a tendency to push the envelope (what else is new?) No pomp and circumstance at Sweet Memories. No rules~~~just fun!! Shoot, you can even eat dessert first if that rings your bell!! I would love to give details, but some of you may have reservations for this event...and I don't want to ruin it!! I am whipped, anyway, and am off to bed to dream of ghosts and goblins and things that go bump in the night...I'll tell you all about the Tea, tomorrow...hopefully accompanied by some pictures...I have been very lax about that of late~sorry~ I'll see what I can do!! Night All!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Apple Class....

The Apple Class, last night, was well attended!! The biggest one so far!! It was fun and we had some great recipes. We made a soup~zucchini-apple~ that would be a very nice addition to a Thanksgiving menu. We decided that the addition of leftover turkey would be really good, too! I also showed a recipe for a custard side dish with apples, leeks and cheddar cheese...another Thanksgiving possibility! Of course, all of the apple desserts have "The Holidays" written all over them!! I did a pumpkin pie bar for the pumpkin class and we did an apple pie bar last night...I told everyone not to mess around with a "real" pie...if you make bars, first of all they are easier...and then when everyone says "I would just like a sliver of each..." they can get a bar and you don't have to massacre your creation trying to cut "slivers"!!! Who says holiday cooking can't get a little easier?? This class was the last of the Fall schedule. Now we are on to gingerbread houses...next week AAAHHH!!!! It will be fine...once I start to unpack all of the amazing  new Christmas merchandise and get the shops, upstairs, all decorated, I will be in the mood for a little Christmas!! Today, however, I am off to work to bake witch fingers, broomsticks and mummy cookies...among MANY other things...The bakery has been CRAZY for weeks....I would say I dream of sugarplums...but it's really just sugar!! I blew through 40 pounds of flour, this week! When I start to make the gingerbread...it's going to be twice that...note to self...double the order for next week, and make sure to order a gallon of molasses!! 'Tis the season....and I love it!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Trendsetters...

We attended a meeting this evening that may have gotten the ball rolling!! I am excited, but don't want to jinx anything...so I will have to elaborate later. If this does get off the ground, there are a whole lot of you who will be excited. That's all I'm saying! When we got home we watched a special on the history channel about the history of Halloween...so interesting!! The way traditions and customs evolve...really, really cool!! They said, in the show, that the first Halloween parade was in 1905 in Allentown! I thought that was pretty cool!! It is nice to be the trendsetters...instead of the followers (or lag-behinders, sometimes..) which, ironically, ties right in to the meeting, tonight...now that really IS all I'm saying...for now!! It was a long day, and we have the apple class, tomorrow night, so I am going to say "Good Night"....but I will keep you posted!!! It's news worth waiting for!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Decisions....

I feel like I am in over-drive...so many things going on in the next two weeks. I just finished typing up the recipes for the "Apple Class"...that is on Wednesday night. But...no rest for the weary! Our Halloween Tea is on Saturday and the 1803 House candlelight dinner is next Saturday night. I am trying to keep them all straight in my head, because they are all VERY different menus. I need to make sure that each of these events are amazing...that's that type "A" coming out again...but it is, also, what we are all about...and what we try to do for everything. The tea menu was a little challenging because I didn't want it too "cute"...we have more adults coming than kids...but I still want it "spooky" and full of Halloween spirit! The dinner at the 1803 house is always a challenge, because I have to come up with a menu that a group of people will all like. There is no "choosing" here...everyone gets the same meal! I have those two menus about 99% there. I always go right down to the wire with a little piece of every puzzle. If it is all written in stone early on, I might have a creative burst, all of a sudden, and I won't be able to use it!! Most of the time, my best stuff comes to me when there is a little pressure....so bring it on!! I will update you on the final outcomes when we get there...in the meantime...should I make a tart, cheesecake, pie or cake? Eyeballs, spiders or fingers....hmmm, decisions, decisions, decisions!!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Getting close....


I can't believe Halloween is only a week away!! It just goes SO fast!! I baked a whole bunch of Halloween goodies, again, yesterday...and have lots more on my list for this morning, but I am starting to get excited for the Christmas cookies! I made some of our "famous" chocolate dipped orange cookies, yesterday...they always show up in the bakery case for Christmas...but I thought the chocolate-orange combination worked for Halloween too! They are a customer favorite, so I don't think anyone will argue with me! I made pumpkin-pecan rugelach, too...again, more of a Christmas offering...but I put a Fall spin on it! I think I am, technically, cheating a little bit...but I am allowed, one of the perks of being the boss!! I think I will make another batch of Witch fingers and peanut butter mummies...and maybe some more "cutout" cookies, today. I would assume everyone is really in the spirit, now, so they should be in high demand...and I don't want to run out!! So...yesterday was "full moon"...enough said!! I thought this picture was appropriate...there are so many "witches" around when there is a full moon!! (maybe it wasn't enough said...just had to add a little more!!) It is supposed to be a beautiful day, today!! We have been very busy in the gift shop, but it is pretty funny to watch what is selling...still lots of Halloween, but with a healthy dose of Christmas mixed in! I was expecting more merchandise, this week, than we received. I am sure that means we will be bombarded this coming week!! Oh well...the Christmas candy order will be here soon...THAT is exciting!! This display does NOT look like this anymore!! The candy has been selling like crazy...which is awesome!!! However, I am really looking forward to making it look fantastic, again!! I have chocolate Santas, candy canes, lollipops, hot chocolate mixes...even chocolate advent calendars! I, also, have some more candles, kitchen goodies, gourds...the list goes on and on. I just hope it doesn't all come at once!! I am off to work...have a great Saturday!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mmmm...I smell pumpkin pie....

I have baked so many sweets this week, I think there is sugar in my veins...maybe a little butter, flour, eggs and throw in a little pumpkin for good measure!! There are moments in my day that I realize how lucky I am to have this business...I get to do what I love every single day! Of course there are days when I have to do stuff that I don't love very much...but that's the price you pay for the good parts!! There is nothing in the whole world that's better than the smell of pumpkin pie baking...unless it's in the oven with pumpkin bread at the same time!!! It was on the cool side, today, with a breeze blowing...add in the Fall color and the smells coming from the kitchen...all of that equals a good day!! The Christmas tree is decorated (just one of many more to come...) and it is all decked out in Old-fashioned ornaments. It looks really good! I have "themes" planned for all of the trees...I'm excited about getting the Christmas done. We have some great stuff this year...but I am also, thoroughly, enjoying this October. Such a strange life!! Exciting...but strange! We had Halloween AND Christmas merchandise selling, today...so I guess I'm not the only one who is trying to do ALL of the Holidays at the same time!! Stay tuned...I keep forgetting to take the camera with me, but I will try to remember, tomorrow, so that I can get some new pictures on here!! I will include one of the new fireplace and the Christmas tree...just in case you want a little taste of Christmas...it's just a little taste...it won't interfere with all of that Halloween candy you are going to sneak out of the kid's haul!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sweet tooth days....

Some days are "sweet tooth" days...today was one of them!! It always makes me happy to see lots of white boxes leaving the shop...making people happy is my job, and most of the time....all it takes is a piece of cake!!! (or a cookie, scone, brownie...maybe some cheesecake or pie!!) I had a pretty ambitious baking schedule for today and got it all done. I am going to see if I can top it tomorrow!! All of this baking made me realize just how close Thanksgiving is...only 5 more weeks! Thanksgiving is one of our biggest "order" holidays. Easter is right up there too. Christmas is very busy, but it is spread out over more than one day...it's more like two weeks of really busy...but, for Thanksgiving, everyone has their "party" on the same day!!! I would love to be able to deliver the same top quality, old-fashioned, scratch baking that I do now in "bulk" and fill every order that comes in....but the truth of the matter is that I am NOT superwoman and can only do so much...so I take orders until I am slightly uncomfortable (as opposed to complete P-A-N-I-C ) with the amount I need to get done...and then say "I am so sorry...but I am completely booked" over and over....not my favorite!! I must say, though, everyone who has heard that phrase learns a lesson for the next holiday!! That would explain why I have had some Thanksgiving orders for weeks!!! (and some Christmas, too...) If you would like to place an order...you should give us a call, sooner rather than later!! And, to answer an often asked question...there is no such thing as too early!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Slowly...slowly...getting there!

This was a long day! Actually, I think it always feels that way when I work on my day off. I took some of my Christmas stash with me to work, this morning, and put the finishing touches on the faux fireplace that my husband built, yesterday. It looks so cool!! I have stockings hanging on it and the "mantle" all decorated...I even have a teddybear sitting in a little chair next to the fireplace waiting for Santa...one project down....actually, I accomplished several of my to-do list projects, yesterday!! I shuffled things around a little and made room for the Thanksgiving/ Fall Harvest merchandise to have it's own place. I have some really pretty walnut, acorn and pinecone ornaments (glass..) and they're all on a tree that I put in this little wheelbarrow that I found in an antique shop. I don't have a ton of Thanksgiving merchandise...to be honest, there isn't a whole lot of great stuff available...but the things we have deserved their own place!! I, also, rearranged the "baby" area. I have a pink Christmas tree that is now the centerpiece of that part of the store...it is covered in "baby's first Christmas" ornaments...I can't seem to NOT buy these things, now, because of my grandson!! It looks SO cute!! I replaced some burned out lights this afternoon, too...all of those little lights make a huge difference!! Slowly...slowly...getting there!! However the backlash of all of this is that I, seriously, can't remember what month we are, actually, in!! I find myself thinking~~albeit briefly~~"why is the Halloween still up when it's Christmas..." and this afternoon I almost wrote "February" on a sale slip! Oh well...this, too, shall pass!! So far I have resisted the temptation to listen to Christmas music...mostly because I am genuinely concerned for my sanity....This is a big sacrifice, though, because I am a Christmas music fanatic!! I bought a new CD, to play at the shop, when we were in Lancaster a few weeks ago. There is a rendition of "Green Sleeves" on it...I got a lot of flack from my kids, they thought it was "What child is this.." they are still skeptical that it's not...they seem to think I have found a way to "sneak" Christmas music in before Halloween....now, I mean, would I do that?? Dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh...you won't tell, right???

Monday, October 18, 2010

Projects...and The Grinch!!

I know in the "real world" you guys are not ready for Christmas! You are still putting the finishing touches on Halloween costumes and parties, buying candy for trick-or-treat night (which should be on October 31st...again, that's my opinion...) and you, probably, still haven't carved your pumpkin!! I am living in that world, too...at home, but the truth of the matter is that in my head....I am in full-blown Christmas mode! Our project(s) for today include some pre-Christmas preparations. There are a couple of projects that I have been asking my husband to do for me for awhile. He is an amazing craftsman (if you have admired the ladder arbor or the white bench inside the front door, the chairs out in the garden or our witch...you have gotten a taste!) but time is not something we have an over abundance of, and these things take time! So, today is the day! I won't give any details, yet....Christmas magic begins with the surprises...all I'll say is that he is taking over his saw, drill, power nailer and shop-vac! I've promised not to rush the season...and I am not going back on my promise...it's just that getting the shop ready for the holidays is a HUGE job!!  I need to break it down into smaller jobs that can be done a little at a time... I was looking at the calendar the other day and realized that Halloween falls on a Sunday...so I will be able to "change over" the shop and make it all Christmas-y the day after...which is great! That is November 1st...November 3rd is our first gingerbread class (which means a late night November 2nd...I have to make all of the houses so they dry...they need to be very "set" to handle the weight of all the candy decorations.) and then November 6th is the 1803 candlelight dinner that we cater. When all of that information sank in I REALLY started to break this down into smaller, do-able now, projects!!! You know what they say...that which doesn't KILL you makes you stronger....by the end of the first week of November, I should have the strength of "ten Grinches...plus two" (I think that's the quote...see, now I want to watch "The Grinch" and make sure it's right!! Quite the can of worms!!!) Ha ha ha ha....or should I say Ho Ho Ho!!! I will keep you posted on the progress...I hope everything gets done today. Go out and enjoy this beautiful Fall day...and if you find yourselves humming a Christmas tune or two....you know who to blame!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

She is on her soapbox...again!

The Emmaus Halloween Parade 2010 will be one to be remembered. Most of the family was able to make it...some were missed, but busy schedules can't be helped (I should know...) There were friends there, too. Quite a few kids...which was nice! My grandson, the trooper, stayed awake for the whole thing!! So...the tradition continues....It IS a tradition. This is,  literally, the only Halloween parade I attend....(partly to keep an eye on the property, partly because of that busy schedule I mentioned...) The kids have gone to other Halloween events over the years, but this is the one our family does together. I mentioned, before, that I have become disenchanted with the whole thing....and I was hoping that last night would change my opinion....unfortunately, it didn't! We had a good time, I mean it really is about the company and what you do as a group that makes any event fun, but the reality of it is...other people CAN spoil things for everyone else. We were all standing outside watching the parade, I was holding my grandson...when my husband pulled me out of the path a little bit. I wasn't, really, standing in the middle of the path to begin with...so I looked at him questioningly...he said "that guy is loaded and I thought he was going to run right into you."...instead, he just fell into my flower bed (damage to be determined by the light of day...) A few minutes later, the ambulance came up the street, sirens blaring....parked in the middle of the road...the parade (full of KIDS) continued around it. They "worked" on him for a few minutes, then loaded him in the back. I thought a Halloween parade in a quaint small town was geared for the kids...I, really don't understand when this became another excuse for an adult drinking bash. All of us were commenting on how wonderful an example this was for all of the kids who got to witness it. As I said~~~disenchanted!! Sometimes it is extremely obvious that I don't see eye to eye with the people "in charge"...whoever they may be!! I have always marched to my own drummer...and I am proud of it!! I think it is time for someone to step up and reclaim family values and speak out against disgusting behavior!! I will see what I can do about that...maybe after I finish fixing the flower bed and cleaning up all of the trash that everyone just dropped on the streets and sidewalks last night!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Parade time...

Boo!! The Halloween parade is tomorrow night. It's a big deal around here. All of the houses on the parade route are decked out...the homeowners spend as much (and sometimes more..) time and energy on their Halloween decorations as they do on Christmas...that's how BIG a deal it is!! Some of the houses are sweet and pretty...some kind of gruesome and spooky...but all are worth driving around to see. Sweet Memories is no exception!! Our porch is all decked out and the witch and her cat are in their rightful place...and there are a few new additions, this year...my husband made two rats to join the party!! It, really, looks great!! Our whole family comes to watch the parade. We have quite a few of our "Sweet Memories" family that will hang out with us, too! It's usually a chance to see some old friends as well. We have food (although, it has become a pizza kind of event...Saturdays are long and busy and the idea of cooking and cleaning up does not appeal...) and we will have treats, too!! This year it looks like there will be a lot of little ones...which makes it FUN!! I think my grandson will be in bed...but next year he will get a big kick out of the whole thing!! My kids have been coming to this parade since they were babies...strollers, snowsuits...I remember it like it was yesterday!! I have been a little "disenchanted" with the parade,as a whole, the last few years...it seemed to have lost it's "hometown" charm....but, I think, the addition of kids will change that, for me anyway!! So, I am looking forward to the evening...and trying to figure out what treats to make!! Hmmm....cookies, brownies, cupcakes...all of the above??? If you're not busy...stop by and see us!! Bring the kids!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pumpkin class...and we all learned something....

Pumpkin class 2010 is in the books. It was a success...but not the smoothest night in history! When I am coming up with the recipes that we do on class night I am looking for a whole bunch of things. I want them to taste amazing, obviously, but I also want them to be fun, somewhat easy, relatively quick and painless and something you will want to try at home (and, hopefully, make again and again...) The tricky part of that is that I am, pretty much, entertaining you while you are learning...so I can't have everything "done" ahead of time. If I cook everything and just throw it together in front of you...I don't feel that is very interesting. So begins my dilemma. Last night I wanted to do unexpected recipes for the pumpkin class. So we made corn pudding (with pumpkin, of course) a southwestern chicken soup, pumpkin sloppy joes, a creamy pumpkin-sausage pasta, a pumpkin pie bar (much easier than a pie for the upcoming holidays) a pumpkin spice cake (which was served with pumpkin ice cream and drizzled with caramel.) and a pumpkin cinnamon roll (yes, a yeast recipe!!!) You can see it was pretty ambitious...but, again, I didn't want to do too much ahead of time. So, I made the pumpkin pie bars and the cake....that way we could serve them when we were ready. I, also, did them in front of the class...but you cannot serve them hot out of the oven. I made the cinnamon rolls. Then, about 1 1/2 hours before class started, I made the dough, again, so it would rise. Then I made it, again, in front of the class. All of these logistical things take place for all of the classes...it is part of the process. The "hold-up" last night...the "hiccup" in the schedule??? The onion and meats that needed to cook for the "main dishes"!!!! Note to self...it does NOT take away from the learning experience to have meat cooked ahead of time....no one, actually, needs (or, probably wants) to watch meat cook....right up there with drying paint!!! So, I guess we ALL learned something last night!!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

pumpkins and Christmas trees....

The pumpkin class is tomorrow night. I, finally, narrowed the recipe choices down and now I need to get them all typed. It is a good menu and we should have a lot of fun!! There are so many things you can do with pumpkin! I tried to put a whole bunch of unexpected dishes in this class...I won't say any more...I don't want to spoil it for those of you who will be there!! I, also, have a master inventory list of all of the different Christmas merchandise that is in storage right now...and I am pretty sure of how I will be setting everything up. So...those are two big things on my list that I can stop worrying about..I am living in the moment and enjoying the Fall weather and the beginnings of the Fall color...everyone has their homes decorated...I really do love this time of year...however, I have to be honest...I am starting to get excited about Christmas!!! My husband is going to the store, any minute, and get me a new Christmas CD that is available, today...he is also going to look for some lights for the trees up in the gift shop...they need to be replaced and I want some multi-colored...because they look Christmas-y!!! I have big plans for some new displays and I bought a new piece that will look really cool when I get it set up...It's no wonder I'm never sure what season it is!!! I have a lot to do with all of this typing...so I am going to go and get that done! Have a great night...maybe visions of sugar plums???? (or candy corn???)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Every light in the house is on....

This week we have our pumpkin class. I should be thinking pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin...but, unfortunately, that is not the case. I AM thinking about pumpkins...but I am also thinking about Christmas displays, orders that are still coming in, when I should change things around, gingerbread house classes, which design to do for the houses this year, the dinner we cater at the 1803 house and what to put on that menu....the list goes on and on. I think all of this contributes to my out-of-sorts mood this week. So, I have decided that I am going to sort through the Christmas I have in storage here at home so that I know exactly what I have. I am also going to finalize the pumpkin class so that I can stop thinking about it. I am going to make some notes and some lists, because that always makes me feel more organized, and then take a little time this afternoon to stop thinking all together!!! It will all get done...it always does...so it is pointless to get over-whelmed...but, sometimes, my best ideas and most creative thinking happens when I am swamped! Anyone who knows me knows that I do not relax well...and having a lot to do is OK with me. More often than not, I have well meaning customers who make "I feel sorry for you" faces because we work 6 days a week. It REALLY is OK. I wouldn't change a thing....really!! It's just that there are times when it would be nice to be able to turn some parts of my thought process off. Just leave one or two lights on...instead of the whole house!! I think I will go find a piece of paper and a pen...and get a little organized...that should do the trick!! Have a great ~relaxing~ day!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Lots of fun things....

Deck the halls with boughs of holly Fa la la la la....sorry...we had a HUGE Christmas order delivered, yesterday!! I will NOT be putting it out, yet, because it is Halloween....however, we are talking a few weeks....and then it's Christmas time!!! This is one of my biggest suppliers of AWESOME and AMAZING Holiday merchandise and it IS very exciting...you all have a treat coming (no tricks!!!) I am trying to get the displays in my head...figure out the placement and such...it is half the battle!! I had a little bit of time, yesterday, to get the calendar out and take a look at December. Last year we had a Christmas Tea the weekend between Christmas and New Year...I thought it would be nice for several reasons. First, it is over...so you can relax and enjoy yourself. Second, you have worked so hard for weeks and just like that...nothing. No more music, no more specials, nothing. I thought it would be nice to "extend" the Holiday...have something to look forward to. It worked out very well. We had a lot of reservations and everyone really enjoyed themselves. Of course, this year, Christmas Day falls on a Saturday!! I have been trying to work out when to have this tea, because I'd like to make it a yearly tradition (I've told you how I am about traditions...) and then, yesterday, I decided to have it on December 26th. It is a Sunday...but I think it will work!! I will be briefing everyone on the details this morning...so if you have any questions, or would like to make a reservation, please give us a call!!! I, also, decided to reinstate the Halloween Tea this year....we will be serving that on October 30th...lots of fun things on the horizon...I hope you will join us!!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Some time with my grandson....

The pool is closed. It is safely asleep until next year. It is, literally, the ONLY thing I don't like about Fall. Oh well. We had some time with my grandson, yesterday...he is getting so big! He will be 8 months old soon, and he is going to take off at a run any day! He loves my rubber spatulas and was very entertained with a coffee cup for quite a while...we have been Christmas shopping for toys, already, but I'm thinking that I should just give him cups and spatulas!! Oh...he was also interested in the cash register...it took about 3 seconds for him to learn which button to push to make the drawer open!! (a sign of things to come....) We put him in our huge mixing bowl and took a picture...I posted it on our facebook page and said "It's only a matter of time and I will be helping too..." this is going to be a fun Christmas!! I have been told that he will be a farm animal for Halloween...can't wait!!! He, also, discovered the glass fronted bakery case...it has a mirrored back, so the little ones discover, pretty quickly, that they can see themselves. They, also, enjoy licking the glass...of course at that age EVERYTHING goes in the mouth!! However from our viewpoint...it was very funny!!! We could watch in the mirror and he was "squishing" his mouth on the glass...it was a "funniest home video" moment!!! It really is amazing how time flies...it seems like yesterday that he was brand new... then you can't even remember what it was like before they were around!! This "Mom Mom" thing ROCKS!!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Rushing...and missing out!!!

So...I have a question. How do you guys feel about retail and rushing through the Holidays?? I am in a strange position. I am in retail. No two ways around it. However I am also in the restaurant business. In the food world you live in the moment...it's called "fresh"....In the retail world you are several months ahead of the rest of society. You have to be or you get the left-over merchandise that no one wants. Since I am in BOTH businesses I find that I want, probably even more than the average person, to enjoy "now", and I, also, find that to be even more difficult!! I find my mind wandering off to the next big project when I am supposed to be enjoying the moment!! I don't have much free time....I am not complaining...it is part of small business ownership and I wouldn't trade this in for anything! When I do find a little free time I enjoy going to other businesses...I have touched on this before...I love to see what merchandise they decided to carry, and how they displayed that merchandise. It, usually, gets my creativity going...I don't copy things...I just get ideas in weird ways!! Anyway...you all know how I feel about Fall! I get so excited when all of my Fall responsibilities are done (the shop and home...) and I can go out into the world and see what others have done to celebrate...well, others have started to clear it up to make room for the next Holiday!! There is a very small window of opportunity when it comes to the Holidays. We all, really, move very quickly from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas...but I don't think Halloween should be yesterdays news at the very beginning of October!!! We are feathering in Christmas merchandise, slowly. I know some people want to get a head start...I understand that...but we continue to celebrate Halloween...and re-arrange the Halloween displays so that they continue to look great!! I am just wondering if this mentality of go-go-go and not enjoying the "right now" is becoming "normal"??? When you come in to see us in the month of October, are you happy that we have the Halloween spirit...or do you leave disappointed that the whole place wasn't done up for Christmas??? I would really love to hear from you!! I am thinking, after two some-what disappointing day trips, that I will need to find some free time in August if I want to enjoy Halloween...I, for one, am NOT OK with that!!??? Thoughts????

Monday, October 4, 2010

Byers' Time...

Today was our Bucks County trip which included a visit to Byers' Choice for a retailers event. Once again we came home with a whole bunch of new pieces... We get to go back into the warehouse and hand- pick the carolers. We always take a little time and find the ones that are "speaking" to us!!! It is very cool, because to get into the warehouse you need to walk through the area where they are putting the carolers together! This time of year we are all gearing up for the up-coming Holidays...so I bought the new Santa pieces...A Magician Santa, a new Belsnickle (2010), Yes, Virginia Newspaper Man, Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig, and some great "shoppers"...but we also got two brand new witches that are SO cool!!! I have never seen anything like them and they will be in the store tomorrow!! We get to wait for the order to get packed (and Joyce signs every piece...) and then bring it home with us!! All of you Byers' Choice collectors out there...these pieces are very limited and first come first served...I am not a "high pressure" kind of salesman....just saying!! I don't expect them to be around for long!! We had a good time checking out some other places today, too....but it was a L-O-N-G day and I am beat...so I'll have to tell you about it tomorrow...Night All!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Halloween traditions....

Now this weather is more like it!!! It feels like Fall today...yeah!!! I really wanted to get some mums and finish my front porch at home....but the truth of the matter is I don't have the energy!! We were crazy busy again today, and I didn't turn the oven off until almost 3:00...baked and baked and baked...and now I'm whipped!! I have an idea how I want to set up the porch...that is half the battle anyway. Maybe tomorrow. We still have to get the porch at the shop done...just not enough hours in the day, (or energy in the hours?!?!) So, now that Halloween is, officially, here...I am wondering what MAKES Halloween for you and your family? Is it trick-or-treat night, the parades, a certain kind of candy, costume parties, pumpkins, the decorations??? I know all of those things are important pieces of the picture...but which piece is the MOST important to you??? I am a big fan of traditions. I think it is important to have some constants in our lives. There are so many things that are always changing...it is comforting to know that those dinner rolls that everyone loves will be on the table for Thanksgiving, and that you will sit and watch the Christmas specials (my favorite is the Muppets Christmas Carol...) and the tradition for Halloween is Rice Krispie treats. My Mom Mom made them every year...that was our "treat" when we went to her house in our costumes...and it was always better than the candy!! My husband is the Rice Krispie treat king. We altered the recipe a tad and he has more arm strength, so he does the stirring!! We make them extra thick, too....no whimpy treats for us!! He, also, enjoys carving the pumpkins...many years ago we bought one of those pumpkin carving pattern kit things...and he is very good at it, very patient....and the designs kept getting harder and harder...it's such a shame that they only last a few days!! We also have to watch Hocus Pocus (more than once, preferably...) I love that movie!!! I would love to hear all about your Halloween fun...post a comment, or tell me on facebook!! I am going to crash on the couch!!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Happy October!!

Happy October!!! I love this month!! I seem to be having some sort of problem getting to all of my pictures on here...so I feel like I am using the same ones over and over...I don't know what the problem is and haven't been home long enough to attempt to fix it!! I will give that some attention...or take new ones!! Are you all ready for Halloween?? It will be here before you know it!! They were running commercials for Halloween shows on TV last night...that is exciting!! It's like when you start to see Christmas specials advertised...it never gets old (even if you DO!!) I mean, who doesn't love The Grinch??? My favorite Halloween movie is "Hocus Pocus"...I am NOT into blood and gore...The kids love "Halloween Town"...and Disney used to have a special that was full of clips from their movies, which they also loved. They still sing some of the songs from it...like I said, it never gets old! My son posted some pictures of my Grandson with a pumpkin last night! I can't wait to make him a Halloween fanatic, too!! So much to look forward to!! Have a great Friday...and celebrate October...it will be gone before you know it!! BOO!