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Monday, January 30, 2012

Springtime?!?!?!?!

50.....that's how many days until the first day of Spring.....50. If you are planning a visit to Sweet Memories in the near future.....you will notice that it has already sprung. I NEED Spring. First of all.....this has been a very trying week....I need to shake things up....or out...like rugs when you are spring cleaning. Clear the "dust and cobwebs" so to speak. But there is more to this than just the drama of this past week. I had quite a few conversations about this "Winter" this past weekend....the jury is, somewhat, "out".... I mean, really....what Winter?? I am not complaining....who can complain about 50 degree weather in January?? I am thrilled. From a business standpoint, limited nasty weather is wonderful!! However....I think the unusually warm weather has made it worse somehow. Normally, by this time, we have endured the cold and a few bouts of frozen something or other....but we have gotten used to it....adjusted. But, this year, there hasn't been anything to adjust to...at least not so far....so we are all ready for it to be over. I mean...if it's going to be in the 50's and 60's....lets get on with it, already!! I say....grab the sunblock and the picnic basket!! However.....we all KNOW that this won't last for the next 50 days....and the waiting and wondering what is around the corner....is worse. Add to that all of the rainy, wet, soggy, dreary and depressing....although not frozen....days that we have had....and I am ready for color, warmth and Springtime!!! SO.....I am heading to the shop, this morning, to bring Springtime to Sweet Memories.... When I get all of the Halloween out, for all of my collectors, at the end of August....I hear "Halloween already??" for weeks. When I get all of my Christmas merchandise out, right after Halloween....I hear "Christmas already??" until the day after Thanksgiving (although.....quite a bit has sold by then so I don't really get it....I digress....) But, I am willing to bet, that I don't hear one, single "Spring already??" this week.....because I think we are ALL ready for this next 50 days to fly by.~~ So....I am off.....to spend the day with happy harbingers of Spring (all of my Easter merchandise is arriving, too....but, as much as I would LIKE to put all of that out, because Easter merchandise makes me happy....I will wait until after Valentine's Day....) anyone up for that picnic????? Don't forget the sunblock!!!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

I need a little Spring...and for this week to end!!!!

I think I need a little EASTER....or at least a little Spring!!! I know that we have been "lucky" so far this Winter....and we have been enjoying "Springlike" weather....but this week has really been one for the books....one that, if I had been given a little "heads-up" I may have chosen to skip altogether!! So, while I don't have any control over people....their behavior, attitudes, thoughts or actions....and I don't have any control over the weather....OBVIOUSLY....I do have control over other things....like what to bake for the bakery case, what to put on the menu for the restaurant....and when to "roll-over" into Spring merchandise in the gift shop!!! SO.....we will be having pie (making pies makes me happy....) in the bakery case.....macaroni and cheese and baked potato soup on the menu for supper, tonight....a little "comfort" to help END this week (please!!!!!) and I think that Spring will have sprung before next Tuesday rolls around.....hopefully ushering in a new and MUCH IMPROVED week!! If you are having the same kind of "fun" (and, yes....that is classic sarcastic Jamie....) that we are...I am really, truly sorry.....but, in the words of a very wise friend of mine....chin up....and may it be covered in pie!!!  :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happiness is...........

Happiness is.....how would you finish that sentence??? What is your happiness trigger??? We all have them....not all the same ones....but we all have them. For some it's staying home....for others it's going away. For some it's working in the yard....for others it's sitting and doing nothing. For some it's cooking a big meal....for others it's going out to eat. The fact that we all have different triggers is what makes the world go 'round.....makes us all who we are. So what is yours?? I have a whole slew of them....but I must say....what you see in this picture is one of my favorites (especially on a cold Winter's day like this!!!) My home and garden (and pool) are at the top of my list....and, pretty much, contain most of the rest of my, more specific, triggers. My family (most of the time :)...), my collections, books, flowers, birds, herbs etc. etc. etc.... although I have another trigger....my business. Now...I don't want to paint a "perfection" picture, here....of course there are days that are a challenge....(and that is an understatement.....) but I am very lucky. I get to entertain....well....throw a party really.... every day. I get to cook and bake (two of my happiness triggers...) all day long, I get to decorate (yup...another one...) and decide which awesome, new merchandise to carry in the shops...(that's a tough one....looking at all kinds of things that I, hope, will trigger YOUR happiness and having them delivered....like Christmas!!!) It used to be a little intimidating....I mean I know what I like....but will you all feel the same???? But....along the way I realized some things. There is enough merchandise available on the market to fill, literally, 100's of stores. No one shop will ever make everyone happy. And, most importantly, if I don't LOVE everything that comes in.....if I order ONLY because I think I can make money....I am doing an injustice to myself and my customers!! When I get a delivery, I have, already, spent hours dreaming of where I am going to put everything and what I am going to display it with...if I order the "latest" thing....all I can think of is "what am I going to do with THAT"???? When all of you, who consider a visit to Sweet Memories to be YOUR happiness trigger, come for a visit....I want you to be wowed....and I can't do that with stuff I am just so-so about. So, basically, I order what I would be only too happy to have in my own home, or give, proudly, as a gift....and pray that you feel the same way!!! So far....it seems to be working out just fine!! Now, having said that....I have some new things on their way (and a VERY LONG journey they have....) and I hope you all love them as much as I do!!! I, really, want this line to join our "happy" little store and become a "trigger" for all of you....I am not going to tell you any more....yet!! While I am NOT a fan of surprises, myself.... I love to surprise other people!! It's just another one of my happiness triggers!!! Stay tuned and have a GREAT Monday.....another one of my triggers....hey, I did say we don't all have the same ones :):):)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Little Winter Dreaming.....

May I suggest a little Winter dreaming.......It WILL be here before you know it!!!!   :):):) Plus, dreaming about your Springtime garden doesn't involve any ACTUAL back pain, sweating or blisters and doesn't require any watering or weeding.....just saying :) Have a great Thursday!!!!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Just settling down for a long Winter's nap.....

before
After.....
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and after......  



           


"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home." ~~ Edith Sitwell

  All Done!! The house is clean, comfy, cozy and all decorated for Winter. This round of decorating is, actually, enjoyable.....not NEARLY as huge a job as decorating for Halloween and Christmas!! It only took about 4 hours....not including the cleaning!! I feel like I am all ready for Nesting Season....all I need now is a good book and a quilt to cuddle under...and I am set!!! We have been getting all ready for Nesting Season at the shop, too. New candles, new cookbooks, new nightlights, new cookie cutters, new gourmet foods.....can you see where my head is, right now???? The candles make the house (that is shut up tight against the Winter winds...) smell good, the cookbooks, gourmet foods and cookie cutters are because it's cooking time (or as a friend of mine called it "weight gaining season"....) the nightlights are because it gets dark so early.....you get the idea!!! I have a lots more new and wonderful merchandise on it's way, too.....just because you make your home all cozy doesn't mean you can't leave it, once in awhile, for a little retail therapy.....making your house a home is an ongoing project, after all, and NEW things bring great joy!!!!! Happy Monday everyone!!! :):):)

Monday, January 9, 2012

A little dreaming.....

Today was "pack all of the Christmas decorations at home" day. I spent all of last week getting the shop in shape....the shop comes first. Next Monday I will get all of my Winter decorations....snowmen and Valentine's day....out and get the house all cozy....ready for Nesting Season :) !! In our business, the "holiday season" starts in August. We spend many, many hours getting everything just right for Halloween...then the Fall baking starts...then the classes, then the Christmas decorating and merchandise displays, then the Christmas baking, parties and get togethers....and, of course, the shopping....then the gingerbread house classes....it's a whirlwind. I always say....once we get to September 1st....we hold on to our hats, because all of a sudden...it will be January. See. I love all of the above....really...ALL of it. But, this time of year holds a special place in my heart, too. This time of year I have the "luxury" of dream time. I have time to think....think about what's next....what needs to be spruced up, what new merchandise to carry, what furniture should be moved around, what new classes I should offer,what new menu items to offer, what special events I should plan....what flowers to plant in the front garden come Spring. I am a dreamer....and a doer.....but the dreaming needs to come first. After the dreaming....you plan....and planning is VERY important. Without a plan you find yourself making mistakes....and mistakes are frustrating....and frustration causes you to abandon projects. Once you have a good, almost foolproof, plan in place....the doing can begin. I find that if you are "doing" something that started out as a dream....it doesn't feel like work. Don't get me wrong....we work hard. We get tired....and, now and again, we need a break. But we are, without question, living our dream. So...I am going to enjoy these few weeks ahead and spend some time dreaming....because....before you know it....it will be time to get the Easter and Gardening merchandise and displays done, plan the Spring classes, do the Easter baking, plant the gardens....oh, and then we have Mother's Day.~~~ Excuse me.....I am going to make some tea....and do a little dreaming :):):) Have a great night!!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Nesting Season.......

It's Nesting Season. That time of year when your thoughts turn to making your home warm, inviting and cozy. It always comes right after the Holidays. During the Holidays all of your attention is given to the 100's of things that you have to get done....and the warm, inviting and cozy thing is, sort of, a given. Your decorations are out, everything is pretty because of the lights and the house smells great because you are cooking and baking yourself silly. But, like it or not, the Holidays do come to an end....and then what?? I have had several conversations, this week, about how sad it is that it's over. I know.....but, I have to be honest, it seems (at least to me...) like it's been Christmas for months.....and, as much as I hate to see it end....it's time. So.....now it's Nesting Season. This is the time of year to spruce up your space, do a little re-decorating....add something new. Get an amazing smelling candle (one that smells like you are still baking cookies...) get some new cookbooks and spend some time in the kitchen, make a cup of tea and read a good book, start a new collection, feed the birds, watch some old movies.....NEST. Here in our house....when we take down the Christmas decorations....I move on to my next collection. I decorate for Winter. Snowmen, snowflakes, ice skates, mittens....you get the idea. It's not that Winter is my favorite time of year....because it's not....but, if you can't beat it...join it!! So....a few years back, I separated my Christmas and snowmen. It gives us something to look forward to....and when I am done with that job (which will take the next couple of weeks....) I can enjoy my "snow" until the end of February/ beginning of March.....when it will be time for the Easter Bunny!! Actually....I guess, for me, Nesting Season is year round.....because, as much as I love the Holiday we are leaving....I can't wait for the next one!!! Have a great night....and Happy Nesting!!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!!!!

I hope all of you had a wonderful Holiday Season.....that is was full of family, fun and all things that make you happy.......but it is January 2nd....and time for the next big adventure!!!! We are heading over to the shop for a day of re-arranging, cleaning up and sprucing up....it's time to get all of the new merchandise, that I have been saving, out and ready for you to enjoy!! I have a whole bunch of new and exciting stuff on it's way, too!! I will try to have the energy :) to take pictures so that I can do a little "teasing" when we get home!!! Go out there and start your 2012 off right....have a great day!!!!!