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Thursday, March 29, 2012

The first class of the season....

What is the first class of the Spring schedule made of????......                          
Strawberry Cupcake Nests.......                
Easter Egg Cake Pops.......                  
And a whole lot of fun!!! This class was the "Easter Entertaining Class".....we had Bacon cheddar deviled eggs, pimento cheese spread, raspberry punch, tomato-herb tarts, ham and cheese pastries, the lemon coconut cookies.....and then everyone made their own nests and cake pops!!! I asked what you wanted to do in this round of classes....and you answered me!!! One of the requests was for more "hands on" stuff......ask and you shall receive!!! And, of course....once again....everyone did a great job!!! Already looking forward to the next class!!! :):):)

Monday, March 26, 2012

What a week!!!!

Well....what a difference a week makes!!! Last week, at this time, I was packing a picnic lunch to take on our Buck County/ Byers' Choice adventure....and this week the North wind doth blow!!!! Oh well....such is March I suppose. This has been an interesting week all the way around. A week of lessons, conversations, evaluations, commitments and invitations. We went on our adventure into Bucks County and we took our nieces with us (grown up....not children). It was the first visit to Byers' Choice....and Bucks County....for one of them!! We didn't need to be at Byers' until 5:30....so we took our time and meandered. We hit all of my favorite shops....and helped the small business economy...along the way. We visited gift shops, food establishments and greenhouses....like I said...all of my favorites :) It is refreshing to me to see what other small businesses are doing from time to time....and I notice EVERYTHING!! From what merchandise they decided to carry, to the displays, to the way they "bag" their sales....and, in the case of the food establishments...what they have decided to "carry" (or cook and/or bake) their displays and the way they "bag" their sales ;)!!! It's kinda like a "working" vacation :):):). Then we headed out to Byers'. This is always an interesting experience, too. They really know what they are "doing" both for their retailers and their customers....a trip through the Emporium is a real glimpse into their retail philosophy. When people come in they are there for the Carolers....but all of the merchandise that's for sale is complimentary to the Carolers and the "kind" of customer who buys them....always an interesting study for me....a learning opportunity. I have a tendency to turn everything into a learning opportunity...(aka...I think too much....which is a major contributor to my sleep deprivation...) but, I think it's important to learn!! So...on that note...what did I learn on Monday?? That I am pretty confidant that I am holding my own in the retail world. Nice. But....we cannot rest on our laurels!!! So.....a little evaluation into what merchandise has arrived, is about to arrive....or still needs to be ordered....for the spaces that will be left behind after Easter....check!! We are in good shape!! And then...conversations about us....and a few about "them" ( I never initiate those..or, really, "talk" for that matter...we must be good listeners....) what we are doing right (almost all of the time....thank goodness...) what "they" are not :( ....and, on occasion....what someone "thinks" WE are not....(I know the enchiladas are not "authentic"....I don't apologize for being different ...or doing things "my way".....I take PRIDE in it!!!! L-o-n-g  story!!!) A little more thought about this week's class....the first one of the Spring schedule....I take my commitments seriously....and we are seriously going to have FUN with this one....some major "hands on" stuff!!! :) And then, as if the week hadn't given me enough to think about (well into the wee hours....) invitations!! We will be joining the "Art in the Garden" event....and, if my good friend has her way...the Great Allentown Fair.....(more about all of that later!!) Whew!!  Like I said....what a difference a week makes!!!! Have a great Monday!!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Smell the roses.....

So....how about this crazy March weather??? It was still light when we got home from work, last night....the ONLY good thing about that stupid "Spring ahead" thing...so we took a little walk around to see what was happening. I will tell you what's happening....Mother Nature has a HUGE head start!!! Not only are we weeks ahead, as far as budding and blooming....but I feel like I am weeks BEHIND because there is so much Spring clean up to do. I have somewhere I have to be, today....and we are making it a much needed and deserved "break" day.....but I am going to have to kick it up after this!!! I can't wait until this (picture) is what I see when I get home from work. Not only because I love when it looks like this.....but because it will mean that I have "caught up"!!!! This feeling of lagging behind is sort of like that dream of not having a #2 pencil when you are taking the SATs......hahahaha....oh well! This is supposed to be my hobby.....I guess I shouldn't get myself all worked up. Unfortunately.....that is not how I am wired ;) !!!! Everyone who sees my gardens...or pictures of my gardens...always asks me if I have/take time to enjoy them. I always answer that question with absolutely!!! It's just that I ENJOY working in them....I don't need to sit to enjoy!! I can smell the roses....while I am pruning them!!! It's what makes me happy!! So...go out there and make this a great Monday, everybody.....take time to smell the roses....well...the daffodils anyway....and do it in the way that makes YOU happy!!!!  :):):)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Your "Happy" awaits.....

Well....officially, Spring arrives next week.....but there is NO doubt about it....in our neck of the woods....it's here!!!! The flowers and trees are starting to come back to life and the "itch" to get out in the garden is, almost, overwhelming!! Of course....the "itch" to get the inside of the house all ready for Spring is just as strong. Some more new merchandise has arrived....with more expected any day....and all of it will help you "scratch" those itches. We have all of the new merchandise to help you get your Spring cleaning done (not your favorite part, I know, but necessary never the less!!!) we have beautiful things to spruce up the inside....and wonderful things to spruce up the outside!! And....I have a few more orders to place this week!!! I am constantly on the prowl for the best new "happy makers"... Stocking the shop with amazing "stuff" makes me happy......making all of you happy makes me happy....This time of year makes me happy!!!! The chicks, bunnies and eggs....the flowers and "green" popping up everywhere...the birds singing....the sunshine....how can you be anything BUT happy????? Make sure you stop in and see us soon.....your "happy" awaits.....and, of course, if you throw a cupcake in the mix....you won't be able to stop smiling!!  :):):) Have a great day!!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

March Madness.......

March Madness.....I think it refers to basketball....but, this week, it had a lot of meanings!! First of all...we had a full moon. Anyone who works in retail, customer service, education, health care....well, anything that requires interacting with people....knows what that means. Then we had the solar flares....or whatever they were calling them....which were supposed to be causing all kinds of problems with all of our electronic devises....which means everything...and then we got to turn the clocks ahead. Now....I hate when we mess around with time. I don't have enough of it to begin with so I really don't appreciate when some of it is taken away!!! My sleep patterns leave a lot to be desired to begin with, these days, I would rather not add to the problem....thank you very much!! I am going to assume that all of these "fun" things were contributing factors in the "people issues" we found ourselves in the middle of, this week. I mean....working with the public can be a "challenge" under the best of circumstances....but I think the "March Madness" that we were experiencing.....just made it....well....beyond challenging!!!! So much unpleasantness....so much negativity!!! Then....we had more than one "interesting" (and I am using that word very sarcastically....) phone encounter. I would love for someone to tell me when the rules of "salemanship" changed!!! I come from a long line of self-employed business people. I was always under the impression that you catch more flies with honey...etc. etc. I had two different phone calls.....intercepted by each of my daughters.....from people who are (well....let's face it WERE) interested in getting me to give them money for one thing or another.....and both times it was "hinted at" that I was making a mistake....and perhaps even jeopardizing my business....by NOT engaging their services!!!! NEWS FLASH.....I don't need your services....or your attitude....so go find another.....well.....let's just leave it there, shall we???? I am going to ask a HUGE favor of each and every one of you. Please try to go out and make this a better week....no full moons, sun flares and clock adjustments....just the promise of Spring, flowers starting to bloom and birds singing. And, if you find it impossible to be kind to one another....stay home. At least until it passes. And, if you are trying to sell something.....don't call us....we'll call you!!! :):):)

Friday, March 9, 2012

What I have been up to....all week!!!

Some of my Easter display in my kitchen.....
A corner of the living room......
The "farmer's market" in the living room....
Some of my "story book" characters.....
a little bit of "gardening" in the dining room....
Monday was a L-O-N-G day!!! It was my own fault....I should have been packing the snowmen away a little each night, last week.....so I paid the price :) but....it's all done!! I have been "tweaking" all week....I usually only have to do that if I get tired during the decorating.....I get "stumped" while I am setting things up....can't quite put my finger on why I am not happy with it....so I "tweak" until I get it right!! As you can tell....I don't do strictly Easter....I do more "garden"...while I love, and appreciate, the traditional Easter color scheme....it doesn't "go" in our house. I am pretty primitive. So....I mix in a whole bunch of "garden"....the Easter collection stays in the kitchen....candy containers, "chocolate" bunnies and vintage pieces that have the "right" look....it makes it a little easier on me, too....the kitchen display is the only thing I will have to change when Easter is over...everything else will stay out until it's time for Halloween!!! I just wanted to share what I have been up to....now it's time to turn my attention to the outside :) while I am not looking forward to losing an hour this weekend....it will mean gaining an hour of daylight so that I can work outside when I get home, each night....trade-off!!! Hope you guys have a great weekend.....even if it IS shorter!!!   :):):)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Goodbye snowmen....hello Spring!!!!

Good Morning!!! It is going to be chilly around here, today......but that's OK with me....I am going to be inside. Today is "goodbye snowmen....hello Easter" day here at our house. I must say....I love to decorate for all of the Holidays....but this one is one of my favorites!!! It will be a big job....because I didn't get as far with the snowman packing as I wanted to this week....it's very hard to motivate yourself after working the hours that we do. But, today is a new day....and I am confident that I will get it all done!! Under normal circumstances....we would be on our way to the flower show, in Philadelphia. However, the theme this year is Hawaii....and, while I don't have anything against Hawaii....I am not a "tropical" person. It really doesn't hold any interest for me. I watched the "preview" show on Saturday night....and I am 100% sure I made the right decision not to go.I decided, instead, to get the house all decked out for Spring.....and I am glad that I did!! The "treat" of a Springtime decorated house awaits....and with that will come the "blossoming" desire to go outside and make the gardens match the inside of the house!!! I know myself very well....and I know that it won't take too long before the "bug" gets me and I find myself outside doing a little preparation....actually....the weather forecast for the second half of this week is showing some "get outside and do some gardening" promise.....Hmmmm....the days ARE getting longer...what time does it get dark??? I should have a little light left when I get home from work :):):) Have a great day!!!!