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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!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

One more thing.....


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!!!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

A well feathered nest.....

Oh...there's no place like home!!

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!!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Fall is right around the corner....and I had nothing to do with it!!!

Are you ready?? Is it just me...or does it seem like it's been Fall for weeks?

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...

Monday, July 28, 2014

Slow down??? Nah!!!!

Oh my....it has been TOO long...again!!

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!!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Ho, Ho, Holy Cow....20th year!!!

I cannot believe that the 4th of July has come and gone!! I hope you had a fun and relaxing Holiday...we certainly couldn't have asked for better weather!! I don't think I ever, ever remember wondering if I would need a sweatshirt before!!!

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!!




Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Big....BIG....announcements!!!!

I don't know about you...but I can't believe it is almost July!! It seemed as though we would NEVER leave Winter behind...and here we are at July's doorstep!! Well....time flies!!

July is the month that Summer really gets in full swing. It is the month that we sit back and enjoy. It is full of picnics, vacations and fun in the sun!! It is the month of fireworks and celebrations....and even a little bit of Christmas!!

And....on all of those notes...I have a few announcements to make!!

First of all....all of you "regulars" know that we, usually, take a little time off somewhere around the 4th of July. You have been calling to find out when we will be closed, this year...so I thought I would make an "official" announcement. We are going to be closed the 4th and the 5th....Friday (sorry all of you "Friday Night Regulars"!!!!) and Saturday...but then we will be back to serve Sunday Brunch to finish off the Holiday weekend!!! Friday Night Gang....make a reservation and come in on Sunday...If you all come at the same time...it will, almost, be the same!!!

Okay...second announcement!! We are, momentarily, going to be awarded ANOTHER "Best Lunch" award by another magazine!! Both of these honors were bestowed upon us by YOU....you guys were the ones who voted and we just can't thank you enough!! I just wish there were some way that I could show my appreciation!! Oh wait....

Announcement number three....We are going to celebrate!!! I don't know if all of you are aware of this...but we will be starting our 20th year, next month!!! If you don't believe me....just ask to see the picture of my daughters sitting on the front porch...and then take a look at them now!! So....HOW are we going to celebrate?? Christmas in July!!!

Now...just what does that mean?? Well....we are NOT going to decorate or play Christmas music (although I really, REALLY want to!!!!) We are going to give back...and have a sale or two! I know there are a lot of you who DO your Christmas shopping during the Summer...I cannot tell you how many conversations I have had, recently, about this!! So....for you guys....this will give you the opportunity to find some wonderful gifts and save a little money!! I, also, know there are a lot of you who want lots and lots of our "gift shop treasures" for yourself!! So...this will give YOU the opportunity to find some wonderful "me gifts" and save a little money!!!!

So, basically, it's not the "normal" Christmas in July. It's more like the real thing!! We just want to say "thank you"!! Thank you for the accolades...the awards...the compliments...the friendships...and your continued business!! Thank you all for being so wonderful to my family and I....and for making Sweet Memories the success it is!!

I wanted to have some fun with this....so I am going to put different things on sale each week!! And not the "I want to get rid of it" stuff....we are talking the "good stuff"....wait....I hope you think it is ALL the good stuff!!!! But you know what I mean!! I will keep you posted...so stay tuned!! Oh...and you might want to keep some of your July calendar clear....you don't want to miss anything!!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Here comes Summer....

So...are you ready?

Summer is right around the corner...are you ready for it?

Gardens all planted...patio furniture clean...mulching done....all those little (or big) maintenance jobs (that the Winter caused) taken care of???

Yes...that's what we have been doing, too!! If it seems like I have neglected my blogging duties...now you know why!!

Around here....this time of year is about much, much more than getting ready for Summer....we are, also, getting ready for Fall and Christmas!! Most of my merchandise orders (including candy!!!!) are in...and quite a bit of the merchandise has, actually, already arrived ( NOT the candy!!!)!! I have a few more orders to place....and lots and lots of planning to do!!! It's one of the things I do when I am "relaxing" (hahaha....you all know I don't know HOW to do that!!!!) in the Summer!!We have BIG plans....hopefully ALL of them work out!!!

It's a strange life...but I am very lucky to get to do it!!

I love my store...and all of my customers...and I love what I get to do "for a living"!! Not everyone can say that!! The last couple of weeks I have been meeting with my "Reps"...to get all of the merchandise ordered for Fall and Christmas...and, whenever I do, they all tell me how lucky we are to be so busy....but I know that!! I know how lucky we are to have such wonderful, loyal, amazing clientele...and how lucky we are to be able to call SO many of them friends!!

And....right now on the newsstands...there is a magazine with a picture of us (wonderful of my daughters...hideous of me!! Hahahaha....) under the heading "Best Girl's Lunch" which proves HOW amazing our clientele is...because your votes got us there!!

I tried to "deflect" the spotlight with humor, when I posted this news on my Facebook page...it didn't work the way I wanted it to....you just can't explain things or use a lot of words on Facebook!!! I wasn't trying to boast...or make a big deal out of it...I was just trying to say "thank you"!! Thank you for loving our food...thank you for loving our baked goods...thank you for loving our merchandise...thank you for loving US and for being our friends!!!

While you are enjoying your Summer....relaxing and basking in the sunshine (that we deserve after that Winter we had!!!!) know that we are coming up with new ideas...ordering the very BEST new Halloween and Christmas merchandise EVER....and working very, very hard to continue to be the place you love....who knows...we might even get to be in another magazine very soon...hint, hint, wink, wink!!!!!!!!

Hey.....Happy Summer!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Garden Magic....

What is your definition of a garden??

For most people I think it would be neat and tidy rows of vegetables...which I appreciate...but that would not be my definition.

My gardens...are my happy place. They are where I can relax and refocus. They are magical...

There were times, this past Winter, when I wasn't sure we would ever see Spring!! When I would look out my window and see nothing but white...and cold....and yuck!! It was depressing, to say the least!! But....Spring has arrived...and it is even sweeter because of all of the "suffering"!!

When we bought our house...there were no gardens...actually, there wasn't anything!! I had a vision...I wanted an herb garden, and old-fashioned flowers. I wanted fruit trees and vegetables all mixed together with flowers...a "kitchen garden". I wanted something above and beyond the normal foundation plantings...and rows of vegetables!! I, also, wanted a bird and wildlife sanctuary (you should, sometimes, be careful what you wish for!!!) all of which....we now have!!

It's a lot of work....and people, often, ask me why we want to spend our "off" time....which is so rare to begin with...working!! The answer....basically...is that we love it!!

There is something really special about a garden....and it doesn't matter what "kind" you have!! Manicured lawns and perfectly pruned bushes...rows and rows of vegetables...containers on a balcony....plants on a windowsill!! All of them...give back!!

We have a tree...a really BIG tree...that I, along with my Grandmother, transplanted. She and I walked and walked in the woods, behind her house, and found a tulip poplar...about three feet tall. We planted it in the yard...and my Grandfather proceeded to back over it!! It survived...and is thriving!! I have lilac bushes, rose of sharon bushes, lily of the valley, feverfew, bee balm and evening primrose....all that she "shared" with me!!

Every time I see them....or, in the case of the lily of the valley and lilacs, smell them...she is right there, in the garden, with me!! When my youngest turned 5, we had a "garden party" birthday party. I took all of those 5 year old kids on a tour of the gardens...let them touch, and smell, the herbs..and showed them where the fairies and gnomes lived! Our gardens have hosted many, many picnics, prom pictures, a bridal shower, three garden tours...and, last Summer, my daughter's wedding. Like I said....magical!!

For some...Summer is all about vacations, sitting and relaxing, taking it easy!! For me....it's all about spending time in my yard...and enjoying what all of my hard work "gives back"...the sights, the smells, the produce, the birds...the sweet memories!!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Customer service.....

There are so many things to think about when you decide to start a business. Type of business, location, hours of operation. Once you narrow all of that down...you have to think about what you are trying to do...for example...you decide to open an antique store...should it be "fine" antiques or cool, funky stuff. Should you do consignment or have all of the inventory be your responsibility. What image are you trying to project...what paint colors and window treatments best "fit" that image?? The list goes on and on...

Of course....from a business standpoint...I think the smart thing is to be original and set yourself apart but that comes with risks...will people like what you are doing?? Will the customers come?? Will all of the work...the worry...be worth it??

Well...in our case...yes!!

We will start our 20th year, this July....20!!! Hard to believe!! I look back on all of the decisions I had to make...and still have to make...and I wouldn't change anything!! Each and every step we have taken has made us who we are...and brought all of you into our lives!! Everyone knows that customer service is important, but customer relationships are a part of the business that, kind of, takes you by surprise!! And...to be honest...it's really the best part of owning a small business!!

In this day and age of EVERYTHING being online...from bill paying to house hunting...from watching movies to making purchases...to "meeting" people?!?...relationships (real ones) are more valuable than ever! We are not just a click away...the Sweet Memories experience is one that we work VERY hard to make...and keep...tactile. I communicate with you here...on my blog...and (try anyway..) to stay on top of Facebook!! It's fun...and it adds another element to the customer service experience. But it doesn't replace the real thing...thank goodness!!

We have watched couples become families, little ones grow up and many of you reach milestones. We have, essentially, become part of a HUGE family!! To be honest...we consider most of YOU to be "more family" than some people we are "related" to!!!! It's so nice to watch the relationships...and interaction...between our "regulars" and my daughters. The birthday cards and Christmas cards...what an amazing thing!! I cannot tell you how many of you are like their "other" parents and surrogate grandparents!!

While...on the one hand...it IS the best part of small business ownership...it can, also, be the hardest. We have lost quite a few wonderful people...and we had to say goodbye, this weekend, to one of the sweetest!!

Losing people is a part of life...and inevitable when your "family" is as big as ours!!

Customer service...sure, it's important...but, around here, making you part of our family is what we strive for....even when it's hard!!


Thursday, May 1, 2014

"Gardening Season"...a new Holiday!!!

Happy May!!!!

Is it time yet...huh...is it?? Is it time??

I have decided....especially with the Winter (and, frankly, the Spring?!?) we have had...that "gardening season" is an official Holiday!!

I have talked, before, about how much I love the Holidays...all of them...but, right now anyway, THIS one is my favorite!!

We took a "Me Day", on Monday, and poked around a few new (for us) garden centers and antique stores. I found some terrific inspiration...and I am even more excited to get this season rolling than I was before!! Our "plant out" date cannot come fast enough for me!!

Just a reminder....for all of you who share this "passion" (get it?? hahahaha.....) with me....make sure you come in and check out the shops at Sweet Memories FIRST....because we have all kinds of garden-y treasures for inside AND out!! Garden markers (all kinds!!!) wonderful stuff for that fairy garden, hummingbird feeders, birdhouses, cast iron critters, gnomes, rain gauges, mushrooms, oil lights....and so on and so on!!

When you are done shopping....and your arms are full of amazing finds...come and find me!! I would be more than happy to tell you which greenhouses, garden centers, antique shops (and even other "shop" shops) to visit!! These are the kinds of things we need to share...and I am more than happy to spread the gardening bug!!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Making our house....a home sweet home!!!

Springtime. The birds are singing...the trees are budding...the weather is warming...the flowers are starting to poke their heads up...and the project list is GROWING!!!

This is the time of year when I can't seem to stop the ideas from coming!! All of a sudden I know exactly what color I want to paint the walls...and exactly which curtains I want for that room. I know what to do with the cool piece I found at the antique mall...and where I want that piece of furniture to go.

Making our house..."home sweet  home"...is one of my, many, obsessions!

 I have always loved "old things". They don't have to be antiques....just have a story. I love old metal and wood. I love imperfections..dings and dents and chippy paint. Over the years that "style" has been called everything from primitive to shabby chic....country to cottage...but, the fact of the matter is...my style...is MY style. I don't think it falls into any, particular, category....and I think that's the way it should be!! But...my style has changed....sort of.

Our house is an old farmhouse...and, when we first moved in, I was determined to make it look "authentic". I wanted the colors to be "old"...the curtains to look "period"...I stenciled and collected the "right" kinds of "country" decorations. Somewhere along the line, however, I realized that a lot of the things I loved...didn't, necessarily, fit into the "authentic" look...and I, also, realized....that it didn't matter!! I love illustrations from old children's books, gardening stuff...like watering cans and children's gardening tools. I love quilts and vintage kitchen stuff....but I, also, love fiestaware and birdhouses, crows and beeskeps, and all kinds of "re-purposed" stuff. The key, here, is that I LOVE everything that makes our house...our home...and that's why it works!!

I don't try to make anything "authentic" anymore...I just pick up whatever catches my eye. Sometimes it's old (more often than not!!) sometimes it's brand new....but, always, without fail...it's something I love and, because of that, I know it will fit right in!!

I am on a burlap kick, right now...(actually, I was into burlap BEFORE it was cool) I bought several different style curtains for a couple of the bedrooms upstairs. It looks awesome (so much so that I think I am going to start to carry curtains!! I will keep you informed!!) and they work, really well, with that new paint color on the wall!! We picked up an old screen door...my husband is going to build a cabinet and use it as the door!! I, also, have funnels (like the ones in the top picture...) that we have been collecting to use for lighting. Maybe inside....maybe outside!!! Oh.....the list goes on and on!!!

Some people think of Spring and Summer as time to  relax...I think of it as time to accomplish!! I mean...the days are longer for a reason...right?? Surely it's so that we can make our home...even sweeter!!


Monday, April 7, 2014

Happiness Is.....

Happiness is....

Do you remember that phrase?? It was all over everything, years ago. T-shirts, mugs, greeting cards....

Sometimes we forget, though, what it is that makes us happy. We get very caught up in day to day stuff...obligations, schedules, duties and chores...working, working, working....we forget to enjoy the simple things. Sometimes we forget to enjoy...anything!!!

I don't think happiness just happens. I think you are, very much, in control of your happiness...it IS a choice! Every day we are faced with situations...good, bad and in between...and how we handle those situations makes us who we are...and dictates whether or not we will be happy.

For example...worrying. It really doesn't help. It's not like the more you worry....the better the outcome. Whatever is going to happen...is going to happen. I try to avoid mistakes, make good decisions and stay on top of the things I can control. The things that I can't control...I try to have a plan to deal with them IF they happen...and move on.

That, particular, trait has served me well in this business that I have chosen. When you are in any kind of "service" trade...you have to deal with all kinds of things. Unavoidable stuff...equipment, deliveries, acts of God....people. I mean...come on...there is no doubt about it...people can be exhausting!!! (that was a really nice way of putting it!!!) But....I wouldn't trade, what I do, for anything!!

We had a lot of "new" people, this week. When that happens we find ourselves "telling our story" over and over again. People want to know how we got started...how long we have been in business...etc. To be honest...it's a good story!! (haha!!) I think my most frequently asked question would be..."do I still love what I do??" Absolutely!!

Does that mean that owning this business is all moonlight and roses...absolutely...not!!! It's long hours and hard work...it's dealing with the good, the bad AND the ugly!! There are moments of joy....and moments of biting my tongue (sometimes really, really hard!!!) There are people who are not all that impressed...and people (thankfully many, many, many....) who love us and all that we do!! It means being a part of a huge extended family...watching all of the important events...as well as the heartbreaking moments!! It means putting myself out there...for possible scrutiny as well as positive feedback!! It's all part of being successful....and we have worked really hard to achieve it!!

I am "myself" every day...and I make no excuses!! While I think that trying to please everyone is a huge waste of energy...I do the best I can to make people happy...it's what I do. And, making people happy, makes me happy!!

We have a sign, hanging in the gift shop...it says "Be yourself...no one can tell you you're doing it wrong" I am not sure I agree with that...I'm sure there are plenty of people who will try!! But...be yourself, anyway, and choose to be happy!!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Decisions...

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

I have to make a lot of decisions. It's part of my job description. I make them all day..every day.

What will be on the menus, this week, what dessert selections should I offer in the bakery case? Should I turn the heat up, turn the heat down, change the brand of hand soap in the bathrooms? What new products should I buy for the gift shops? Will they be something that all of you will like? Should we stop hosting showers? Increase prices to try to keep up with the MY prices increasing. Try to squeeze Spring classes into my, already, ridiculous schedule? Should I put a sign on the door..."this does not close itself"!!! Which of the causes should I donate to...because, as much as I would love to be in a position to donate to ALL of them...I can't! Oh...here's a good one...should I just hang up on the attempted phone scam or try to get at least a little justice (even at the risk of sending my blood pressure through the ceiling!!!) so that they can't continue to prey on innocent people!!

"They" attempted to "scam" us, on the phone, twice....yes TWICE this week!! I can't even imagine what kind of a person you have to be to do that!! I am going to take a second and BEG you...if you are in doubt...hang up!!! DO NOT ever....ever....give bank or credit card information...your social security number...or any other personal information...over the phone. If you are not sure who you are talking to....just say...my son, niece, neighbor...is a police officer and they are standing right here...could you please explain all of this to them? They will hang up. I cannot stop any of this....but I can, try, to make sure no one gets "taken".

Yes...this was a very trying week...one that I don't want to see repeated!! Ever.

I have to make a lot of decisions....but....NOT finding that deserted island and heading there....shouldn't be one of them!!

Here's to hoping this is a better week....no phone scams, grumpy people, unsolicited "opinions"...or front doors left wide open!! Here's hoping for some warm weather....a little green...flowers coming up....and a little karma where it's most deserved!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Damage control.....

We all have an "inner clock"...even though this day light savings time thing messes it all up for a few days...we still have it. To everything there is a season...and we know it without having to think about it. Usually, somewhere around the first week of February, you can find me standing at our "full view glass" back door, with an issue of some magazine or another in my hand. It is the best spot for viewing the gardens. I am dreaming. I am thinking about the newest projects...thinking about what I want to do first. It's an uncontrollable urge. I am, simply, drawn to the back door.

Not this year. I wasn't sure why....well, other than the fact that all I could see from my usual vantage point was gross, frozen piles of white!! Surely, though, I could see past that....see all of the beauty that was lying, just beneath the white?!? So why....why wasn't I planning and plotting all of those Springtime projects?

As it turns out....it was because I may not have time for Springtime projects. This year...they may have to be Summertime projects!! It is going to take us all~~~Spring~~~long to undo what that wonderful power couple....Mother Nature and Old Man Winter...has done!!

This amazing, fabulous, much wished for and longed for thawing has started to reveal just how much damage there is!! I have been, fairly, certain what we would find under all of those gross, frozen piles of white...but it may be a little worse than I feared!!

This Spring....will be all about the damage control!!

Ah well....to everything there is a season...and everything happens for a reason. Perhaps it was time for a severe pruning on my boxwoods??? Perhaps I needed to rethink the shape of that flowerbed....or rebuild that wall?? Every gardener who has ever put their faith in the sun and the rain knows...it never works out the way you planned...and the work is never done. It's part of the charm of gardening. I must say, though....right this minute...as I look out of the back door...I am not so sure "charming" is the right word!!

Come on Spring....come on thaw....I need to get out there and start to work!! And....considering the amount of mud....I think a new pair of muck boots might be in order...maybe some of those wading boots that the fishermen wear!!!!  Hahahaha.....


Monday, March 3, 2014

How do you spell relief???

How do YOU spell relief?? This morning....I spell it N-o S-n-o-w!!!!

The last couple of weeks have been rough. We finally got the snow (and ice) piles removed from the front of the building....and really started to "feel" a little bit normal...and "they" started to talk about the "storm of storms"....again!!

It gets to the point where I am not sure which is more exhausting...the weather...or EVERYONE talking about it!!!!

Yesterday, as I was getting in the car to go to work, I really took notice to how much melting has taken place...and how much better the conditions were. I thought to myself...I hope they are wrong!! I hope we miss this latest round because, if we do, I believe the end is in sight!!

Well...the end is in sight!!

It's time...time to, REALLY, start to plan! Time to figure out which projects are going to get top priority. Time to look at all of the damage that this Winter has caused...figure out a "plan of attack" to fix it...and, most importantly, time to welcome Spring!!

I realized, this morning, how much stress all of this has caused!! The tireless, relentless cold, snow and ice....the worry about lost business, property damage(to TWO properties!!!!), dangerous driving conditions. It has, really, been depressing. Not something I, normally, suffer from....but there hasn't been anything "normal" for months!!

Yesterday...as I was getting in the car to go to work...I noticed more than the melting and improving conditions...I felt better. I felt like all of this was, finally, coming to an end!! I started to think about what I wanted the arbor, that my husband said he would build for the shop garden, to look like. I started to think about where I wanted to plant the "fundraiser" flowers that I bought from my niece. I started to think about packing away the snowmen and snowflakes...and getting the Spring and Easter decorations out!! I started to think about my first (of many!!) trip to the greenhouse...and how I can't WAIT!!!!!!!!

This is not a Winter we will soon forget....and I took lots of pictures to make SURE that I don't!! When the temperatures are soaring...and I am uncomfortable ( I DO work in front of an oven all day!!!) I am going to look at them...and remember the dismal days that we have put up with, this year....and keep my mouth shut!!!

This Winter will stick around, in our memories, for a very long time....but it's, almost, at the end of it's reign of terror!! And I, for one, am over the moon!!!!

Monday, February 17, 2014

So....snow....weary!!!!!!

Hey....how ARE you?? The reason I ask....I have had more conversations, the last few days, about erratic emotions and behavior and I am just wondering if you are experiencing it, too??

Even if you haven't been experiencing it....I am sure you have noticed it...it's the weather!!

This Winter has been emotionally, physically, monetarily and mentally exhausting. Eventually....even the sweetest, most calm, people you know are going to crack!! Between the relentless snowstorms, the constant bitter cold and the grey, dreary overcast days...we are all on the brink!!!

I am trying to look on the bright side of things....but it is NOT an easy thing to do.

We are located in a small town...full of history and charm....and SNOW!! It is piling up, everywhere.....and I mean everywhere!!! The only way to deal with it...is to scoop it up and cart it away. We have had storm after storm...and, at least out in front of OUR place, they have only done this removal....ONCE!!!! We have tried to keep, at least, one or two areas open for our customers to get from the street to the sidewalk...but they keep plowing them closed. We have spent a small fortune keeping our parking lot plowed (and it's getting harder and harder to write those checks....because the plow operator is a rude so-and-so......) and salting our sidewalks....but the alleys you need to use to GET to our parking lot...are AWFUL!!!! Main Street, itself, is, actually, dangerous...the road is "shrinking" and it's a very tight squeeze for two cars to pass each other....and if a truck is coming (and it probably is...it is a MAIN road!!!!!) you, almost, want to close your eyes and hope for the best!!!!

I know....and understand...what a nightmare this is for road crews. My husband was a landscaper for years....and this is what they "do" in the winter months. Many, many, many snowy....CRAZY snowy.....hours we (the kids and I...) were alone to deal with whatever came our way while my husband was plowing. I am not asking for a miracle....just some snow removal!!

This last storm battered everyone's Valentine's Day celebrations. The newspaper headlines talked about the florists and the jewelry stores....but the restaurants, card shops, candy stores and small retailers ALL took a hit!!

We are very lucky. We have AMAZING customers who come and visit us....no matter what...which was very evident by the number of people dining...the shopping that was going on....and all of those white bakery boxes heading out the door!! Thank goodness (and thank you!!...you all know who you are!!!) Did we take a "hit"....of course we did...but we will be OK. I am not so sure that is the case for everybody. There are a lot of small businesses that are struggling, right now, and I am not sure they will be able to make it through this.

All throughout this Winter social media has been "something to do"...a diversion. Everyone is voicing their opinions...talking about the weather. I have seen SO many comments from people who LOVE the snow...and wish we would get more. I have seen comments from people who say they are just going to stay in the house until May. I am going to ask all of you to take a second....and think outside of your box.

All of us are experiencing at least a little cabin fever...no matter how much you love (???) this weather. Go out and spend some time in your favorite small businesses....they need you!! Please stop talking about how much more snow you WISH we would get....somewhere there are people missing work...and a paycheck...who are, really, worried about paying their bills...and they don't need to hear how elated you are!!! And....most importantly....please, please figure out the FASTEST, most efficient, way to get rid of this snow. You can get home to your families....and WE can drive through town without hurting anyone, walk down the sidewalks without winding up in the emergency room, maintain the small businesses in town...and, perhaps, even entice new ones to come and join our community (I am going to be honest...if I were looking for a location...I would "pass" on our town, right now....can't even keep the streets clean!!!!) which....I thought....was a priority!!

The "ever-the-optomist" in me....30 days until Spring!! Do I, realistically, think that will mean warm temperatures and flowers will pop up all at once....no...but it DOES give me something to look forward to....and we ALL need that, right now!!!!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Obsessions.....

What are your obsessions??

You know what I am talking about.

That thing....or things...that you think about all the time. For some it's decorating and re-decorating their homes. For some it's flea markets..."treasure hunting" if you will!! For some...it's reality TV...or purses...or shoes....or visiting Sweet Memories!!! (wink...wink....)

We all have SOMETHING....some of us (like me....) Have LOTS of somethings!!

One of those "somethings"....is cookbooks. I have them EVERYWHERE....and can't help myself!! I don't just buy them for the sake of it, though. I am very picky with the things that obsess me!!! Some people might say that my collection of cookbooks is a "tool of my trade"....and, of course, they would be right. After all....I bake and cook (among other things...) for a living!! Looking at new recipes (or....even better OLD recipes!!!!) certainly gets the creative juices flowing!! There is nothing I enjoy more than "tweaking" recipes to fit Sweet Memories style!! Just about anything can give me an idea for just about anything else. For example...I might see a recipe for a casserole and think....hmmm...some of those ingredients would be a great start for a new soup!! It doesn't matter if the obsession is "justified", though...it's still an obsession!! One that I am, currently, trying to find more room for....although, lack of storage will never be a good reason NOT to buy another book!!

Quite a few of my obsessions are evident when you visit Sweet Memories. Some show up in the gift shops...some in the restaurant....some in the decor, itself. After all....every square inch of the shop is an extension of me. The one that is the most evident...because it is in that big, lighted bakery case that draws you like a moth to a flame....is baking!!

There is no part of baking that I don't love! I love the process as much as the results. Baking is very different from cooking....much more exact!! It's creative, though, too...and I think that's the best part!! More than anything...I love "old-fashioned" recipes. The fondant/ too much/over-the-top stuff has it's place (I guess...) but the very best baked goods (in my opinion) are the ones with sweet memories!! I love to make cupcakes (even before they were "in"!!!) and brownies (the day I finally perfected THAT recipe was a happy one....but I am STILL tweaking it!!!!) cookies...big, small, plain and fancy...and, of course, cakes. However...if I had to pick one thing that was my "favorite" to make...it would be pie.

There is just something so comforting and old-fashioned about a homemade pie. The images of them cooling on the windowsill....you can, almost, smell the apples!! How many times have you seen big slices of pie served in old movies and TV shows?? Even Wilma Flintstone was known for her pie!! Homemade pie is not something you see very often, either...it's a lost art!! Too time consuming...too much work...and too many people "afraid" of crust!! That's OK, though....because having it in the bakery case at Sweet Memories is one of MY newest obsessions!! If you haven't tried a slice of our pie....maybe you should visit us....soon....then they can become one of YOUR obsessions, too! After all....shoes and purses go out of style....but a big slice of chocolate peanutbutter cream pie....that just has obsession written all over it!!!


Monday, January 27, 2014

Winter's not so bad!!!

Is it just me....or does it seem incredible that we are getting to the end of January???

On the one hand this month has gone very quickly...on the other hand...it can't go quickly enough!!!

It has been rough...in the weather department...around here. Weather issues always trickle down and create more issues. The heating bills, the snowplowing bills, the lost business. It is very easy to find yourself complaining....but I feel like that is a huge waste of time and energy. So....instead of complaining...I am trying to put a positive spin on the situation and make good use of my time and energy.

So...what does that mean?? What have I been up to?? Well....I have decided to continue the "revitalization" movement, downstairs, in the restaurant area of the shop. I have picked out some new colors for walls....and other things. Decided to look for new material for the "windows" in the small dining room (I "settled" before....what I used wasn't what I wanted!!) I think my "new" idea will give me the look I am after!! I have been exploring all kinds of new avenues for merchandise for the gift shops....and I have been "playing" with new menu and bakery items!!

Does this make Spring show up faster...no!! In fact...it seems very, very far away (if you watch the news and weather....which I am seriously considering NOT doing, anymore!!!) indeed. However....while Spring may not be RIGHT around the corner...new paint, new curtains, new merchandise and new goodies will certainly give me something to look forward to in the meantime!!

If the "Winter blues" or "cabin fever" are getting you down...pick a project and accomplish something. It will lift your spirits!! With any luck...February will be a little kinder to us than January has been!! Of course....you are always welcome to skip the work and come in and view the progress we are making with OUR projects....and get yourself something in the gift shops (which are full of all of those NEW finds!!!!) and treat yourself to some of the new menu and bakery treats. Like I said....weather issues always trickle down and create more issues....like getting busier because you guys can't stand to be shut in the house any longer and really, really want to treat yourselves!!!! Hahahaha.....hey....that's what we're here for!!! Besides....I'd like you to try the new peanut butter cream pie with the chocolate crust, that I have been working on....see....Winter's not so bad!!!!

Monday, January 13, 2014

If you don't have something nice to say......

Oh yes....it's that time...again!!

Earlier this week...I posted something on Facebook about being an optimist. It is true...I am. I was referring to the weather...and trying to look at the "bright" side (even though it was really hard to see!!) It doesn't matter what the subject matter is, though....I am still an optimist!! I believe that dwelling on negative situations (and people) is a waste of energy. This belief has served me well. Regardless of who you are dealing with...coworkers, "friends", strangers, customers.....heck even "family"....people can be very trying!!! I hate to say it....because I am afraid it will sound negative...but it is only getting worse!!

I try to find solutions to difficult situations...or problems...quickly. Then I try to let it go!! Most of the time this works. Sometimes, however, the universe has other plans. Sometimes we blame it on the full moon...sometimes the weather (I feel like we can blame a lot of life's problems on the weather....) but...we can blame it on anything we want to...the bottom line...people can be rude!!!

My philosophy has always been to handle situations with humor. I would much rather fashion myself after Erma Bombeck than a long winded, opinionated (usually annoying) political commentator, for example. I feel that humor...and "killing them with kindness" goes a long way. Every now and then, however, it is just SO hard to do...it's almost painful!!!

I had one of those weeks. One difficult situation right after another. People giving their opinions....like anyone cares...people thinking the sun rises and sets on them....thinking that rules are in place simply to annoy everyone and that...because THEY are SO special...the rules do not, in fact, apply to them!!! Oh yes...it was one of those weeks!!!

I am sure you are thinking "hmmm....that's too bad....but it isn't my problem!!" but it is!! Because...while my encounters were with people who think they can buy all of the desserts in the case (even though we ask you to order large quantities!!!!) and try to pay with $100.00 bills (even though we have more than one sign that says we don't take them....and, by the way, you should ask the bank NOT to give them to you...NO small place wants to change those big bills....and "they" have figured out a way to bleach $5.00 bills and then print over them so that the "pens" don't identify them as counterfeit!!! **deep breath**) and tell me what they think of the Byers' Choice Carolers...(FYI...I don't really care what your opinion of them is....) and even a few people telling us they bought candles at the Thrift store (or worse....the Big Box store!!! Good for you....but I don't see why you would tell ME?????) they are all rooted in the incredible rudeness that is overtaking the world!!!!

At any point, this week, did you find one of your coworkers or Facebook "friends" bragging, stretching the truth, being a hypocrite, commenting on something you said...and, basically, making an idiot out of you?? See....it IS your problem, too!!! What ever happened to "if you can't say something nice....don't say anything at all"???? I'll tell you what happened....social media and the internet!!

Don't get me wrong....I am on the computer as much as the next guy.(occupational hazard) However....I have never, NEVER tried to hurt someone, make someone feel stupid (which, by the way, would be really easy....because NO one knows the difference between to, too and two....among other things!!!) push my beliefs, retaliate against a place or a person that I have a problem with (read some "reviews" some time....who the heck made those people authorities?????) or, basically, stick my two cents in where it doesn't belong!!!

I try my best...to be my best me...every day of the year. I, frequently, allow people to go in front of me at the grocery store, hold doors open for people, I say excuse me....all the time...even though 99 times out of 100 I am ignored!!! I try to "donate" as much as I can to as many good causes as I can....we,  as a family, have even been known to "pay it forward"!! I filter everything before it comes out of my mouth....and, for the most part, it has kept me out of trouble!! Hey....I have opinions!! Those who know me WELL would even call me "opinionated"....but, sometimes, it's just not appropriate to "say" what you are thinking!!!!

So....what is the solution?? I don't know. What I DO know....I am going to continue to be the best me that I can be...I am going to continue to run my business...and my life...as an optimist!! I am going to continue to treat situations with humor....and I am going to continue to kill them with kindness!! Most importantly, though, If I don't have something nice to say....I am going to keep my mouth shut....unless I am having one of those weeks. If that is the case....I am going to get on my soap box and put my 2 cents in on the computer!!! Hahahahahahahahaha.....Here's hoping for a great week ahead!! I can't help it...it's the optimist in me!!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Time to put Christmas away!!!

Take a deep breath....and exhale.

We packed up all of our Christmas decorations, here at home, today. I love my collection...and I will miss it....but it's time to move on.

A few weeks ago I was dreading having to put it all away. I love Christmas and I love how warm and cozy the house is when it's all decorated. I love coming home from work and turning on all of the lights...it's like a big hug!!

But, right on cue, the first of January arrives and I am "ready" to put everything away until next year!!

It always seems to go by so quickly. It seems like you just get the tree up...and you turn around and it's time to take it down!! I am really, really glad that I decided, a few years ago, to decorate early in November. With our schedule...it just seemed logical!! At least we get to enjoy the season...and not feel as though we blinked and missed it all!!

Not only do I love to decorate the house for Christmas....I love to collect NEW decorations!! This year I found myself looking at the "vintage kitchy" things....I picked up old plastic cupcake picks and cake toppers....some old paper houses...even an elf on skis!! I never would have thought I would be interested in them....but I was fascinated!! All of my "treasures" found a home mixed in with my kitchen display!! It was fun...but it has me wondering what I will find myself interested in, next year!!!

So...now that Christmas 2013 is just a memory...was it wonderful??

I think, sometimes, we have great expectations for the day...we want everything to be perfect....just like a Christmas card!! But, it doesn't always work out that way!!

I have learned to stop and smell...the gingerbread (hahahaha....) and really enjoy the whole season. By the time Christmas day arrives I have, already, enjoyed "weeks"of Christmas. The music, the lights, the decorations. I try not to have "expectations"....just roll with it and enjoy what comes!! Striving for that "Christmas card" is just not realistic!! It's also....exhausting!!

I hope your Holiday season was "Merry and Bright"....but I, also, hope the year ahead is awesome!!

I know a lot of people made their "New Year's resolutions" but I don't believe in them...I just try to do my best. Treat people the way you would want them to treat you (.....an awful lot of people should learn that one!!!) believe in yourself, try to remember that the world doesn't revolve around you (again....an awful lot of people need to learn THIS one, too!!!!) don't count on other people to make you happy...(it's your job)...and get out there and find those things in life that make you smile....like "kitchy" elves on skis!!!!

Happy, Happy New Year....time to get the snowmen out!!