Tag Archives: Shopping

Bathhouse Soapery

I love to travel. I love the adventure of discovering new places and meeting new people.  If I had to choose my favorite part of the entire experience it would be keeping it local. When my husband and I travel we seek out locally owned businesses.  We stay, eat and shop local.

Check Me Out

It doesn’t take long to figure out you have met someone who is following the desires of their heart.  All you have to do is ask a simple question about their business.  Their eyes light up and they almost bubble over with enthusiasm over the simplest request.  I understand that big box companies serve a need in communities…but small businesses draw communities together and they are what make America great!

Welcome

On a recent trip through the Ozarks we stopped in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  The weather was perfect for a little pedestrian activity. Hot Springs is known for their…well, Hot Springs! In the early 1900′s a beautiful row of stone bath houses were constructed. The remaining structures are now part of a National Historic Landmark District and represent the grandest bath houses in North America.

Choices Abound

After walking through the bath houses we decided to do a little local shopping.  Directly across the street from bathhouse row I discovered the perfectly placed Bathhouse Soapery & Caldarium. The place was buzzing with activity. I was about to get my shopping therapy on….

As I meandered around the displays touching and smelling all of the soaps and lotions I eavesdropped on a few conversations…now before you go judging me…it was only so I could get a feel for how people felt about the product.

Upclose

I discovered most of the patrons were regulars…although this business is strategically located to capture the tourist dollar, most of the people in the store on this busy Saturday were repeat customers.

Soap Bars

At first I was drawn in by the simple window display and the activity going on inside.  The soft color palette of the walls, the chandeliers and fixtures were visually appealing.  The depth of the color of the soaps and scrubs reminded me of the display case at my favorite Gelato shop.  Finally, the girls working in the store were genuinely friendly and exceedingly helpful.

Bath Bar

Needless to say, my shopping experience was memorable.  I selected a half-dozen luxurious handmade soaps; cloud, Moroccan vanilla, peppermint rosemary, honey almond and vanilla oatmeal.  They were individually wrapped in pretty paper and hand labeled.   I created my own blend of scrubs, dripping pear and Cleopatra.  They were mixed and packed in sweet little jars and labeled. I love that each item was labeled so I can re-order my favorites. Maybe even join the soap of the month club…well I don’t think they have one but I could start my own.

Soon, I will plan my own personal spa day, complete with luxurious soaps, scrubs, scented candles, a cup of tea and a terry bathrobe.  All purchased on my travels across America, made by true artisans, sold in locally owned shops.

Street ViewHappy Shopping…Keep it Local!

 

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Filed under Made in America, Travel, Weekend Getaways and Vacation Spots

Time to Winterize…

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It’s January and most of the country is settling in for a long winter.  Have you thought about winterizing your home?  No I don’t mean wrapping the pipes and putting away the lawn furniture.  Although those are very good ideas I am not talking about the outside of your home.

Wouldn’t it be nice to come in from the cold and walk into a home filled with warmth.  Warmth that doesn’t come form the thermostat but from little touches that you have added to your home.DSC00408

In the winter we dress in layers. Layers help us stay warm.  Try dressing your home in layers.  Blankets, throws, quilts and lots of throw pillows will add a whole new layer of comfort to your home. I have throws on the back of the kitchen chairs, quilts stacked up next to the fire-place.   I have blankets on every bed and on the sofa.  I have even left a quilt out on the patio for those days when the thermometer is near freezing but the sun is shining…and I want to sit outside for a bit.  Having blankets handy for you and your family to snuggle up in will actually save you money…you will be less tempted to turn up the heat when a blanket is within reach.

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You can add a layer of warmth to your home by adding a little whimsy to your decorating style.  Adding a pop of color to your bookcases is as simple as using scrapbook paper, a vintage album cover or coffee table book as the background on your shelf.  Restyle  your bookcases by moving things around and mixing it up.  Add dimension and texture by adding  pictures, mirrors, $store silver trays and collectibles in with the books. Remember your bookshelves should show off your personality…you don’t live in a library. Do you?

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Speaking of books, I love a good book.  I have books in every room of our home.  Yes, even the bathroom. TMI?   There is no better time of year to catch up on your reading than when the temperature outside is hovering around freezing.  I suggest taking a trip to your local used book seller.  Pick up a latte on the way and spend the next several hours scouring the shelves for a few good reads.  When you get home stack your new to you books next to your favorite chair.  Make sure they are within easy reach…so you can enjoy them whenever you have a few minutes to leaf through or read a page or two.  I especially love “picture books” or “coffee table” books for leafing through when I only have time for tea…

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Spring is a long way off for most of us, but the retailers are already pushing the new spring and summer colors, patterns and fabrics.  The clearance racks will be full of quilts, chenille blankets and faux fur throws.  Look for down filled pillows covered in soft fabrics.  Don’t be afraid to go with a bright color a whimsical print.  You might even pickup a cozy pair of slippers and a new coffee mug from the clearance racks…keep your eyes open, you never know what you might find.  Have you been to HomeGoods Store?  It’s my new favorite home decor store…

home goods pillows

One of the easiest ways to warm up your home is to add fragrance.  Find a candle fragrance that smells like your favorite dessert is baking in the oven.  I love Circle E candles.  They are multi wick, burn evenly and smell delicious.  My favorite for this time of year is “Fresh Cake”.  If you are uncomfortable with having lit candles in your home, you can pick up a candle warmer.  It will slowly melt the candle releasing the wonderful aroma without a flame.

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There you have it…a warm cozy welcoming space to greet you when you come in from the cold… and all we did was winterize our home.  Now snuggle up with a blanket and a cup of hot tea and a something sweet.

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Filed under DIY, family, Home Sweet Home

Christmas is..

Christmas Is...Memories

I was talking with my sister the other day and she was sharing a few memories from one of her first Christmas’ spent living away from home.  She shared with me how when she puts up one of her Christmas trees it reminds her of a Christmas long ago and far away.  Our conversation got me thinking about things…like what Christmas is and isn’t. 

Christmas is not… only about a big tree loaded down with expensive store-bought ornaments.  It is not only about what you can buy at the big box store. It’s not even how many gifts are wrapped up and nestled under the tree.  It’s not about decorating your house to look like Christmas exploded on your front lawn..  It’s not about parties, presents or plates piled high with pastries…Christmas is not a lot of things.

Christmas Is...Memories

But Christmas is…about the memories of Christmas’ past that come flooding back when you begin unpacking boxes of  old ornaments collected over the years.  It’s the memories that are attached to a special ornament or two that make you feel a bit melancholy or nostalgic.  For me it’s the hand embroidered ornaments made by my Mom when she was recovering from back surgery. The detail is incredible, the colors are still vibrant after all these years and they remind me of how much she loves her family.    I also have a few handmade ornaments from my sisters and mom that bring a smile to my face every year when I unwrap them and hang them on the tree.  When I hold these ornaments in my hand and look at them it’s almost as if they are right here with me in the moment.

Christmas Is...Memories

For my sister her memories are attached to a box of $1 store ornaments that remind her of her first Christmas starting out as a family and funds were tight. The ornaments remind her that the joy on Christmas Day does not come with an expensive price tag…she remembers a Christmas when the toys purchased at the general store brought the same kind of joy to her childs face on Christmas morning just as if they had come from an expensive retailer. When my sister was unpacking her special ornaments she was also reminded of a wonderfully happy day spent in 4 story mall where all the shopping that was done was window shopping because that’s what they could afford.   These special ornaments also reminded her of coming home to find a box of groceries on the front porch complete with everything for Christmas Dinner and how a tradition of sharing Holiday meals with Friends began…

Unpacking ornaments is a great way for us to unpack the memories of what Christmas is really all about…making memories with loved ones that can carry us through the coming year.

Christmas Is....Memories

Related Posts!

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Filed under Christmas Traditions, family, postaweek2011

Life’s a stage…

Life’s a stage when you are in retail!  On moving day, I woke up early.  As you might imagine I was just a little bit excited to get started.  Me and my son began loading the trailer around 9am.  Because we had pre-planned the booth load in, loading the trailer was a piece of cake.  We loaded everything in about 30 minutes.  Before taking off we ate breakfast and I packed myself a light lunch.  We were on the road by 10:15.  The Antique Center is located in the neighboring town, about 30 minutes away.

Once we arrived we off loaded the large items and rolled them to my space which if I haven’t mentioned is a great location.  The big items were placed in their pre-determined spots and the boxes, bins and tubs were stacked around the booth.  My son hung the wall decor and adjusted an item here and there.  This took about an hour.  He was then off to work and to return the trailer.

I believe that one of the keys to being a successful retailer is merchandising your space so that shoppers can get a good overview of what you have to offer.  Then you need the hook, the one eye catching item that will draw them in a little closer.  I decided to stage my space to show off the items as well as give people ideas on how they can use the item in their own home.  It may take a little more time and a bit of creativity but I think it will help my space stand out.  And in an Antique Mall type setting where there are rows and rows of booths all selling vintage something or another you have to find a way to stand out in the crowd.  Staging is my answer

I began unpacking the bins and boxes and placing items around the booth. Working from left to right on each little stage set until it was just right.  Then, I would move on to the next vignette of items.  All the way around the space until it was 95% complete.  This took me until almost 3pm.  At which time I began attaching the tags to the items.  I am happy I had taken the time to write out most of the tags the night before.  Each tag consists of an item#, description, booth # and selling price.  Tagging all of the 100+ items in the booth took me until 5pm.  I was not finished but I needed safety pins for tagging the pillows.  I will finish up on my next visit.

The space still needs texture…woven baskets, wire crates, soft linens, cozy quilts, warm lighting and that one unique item that takes people by surprise.  I feel a treasure hunt coming on.

Here are a few pics of my attempt at staging my space…Life’s a stage!

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Filed under Junktiques, Made in America, postaweek2011

Coffee Break

Coffee Break

Things are just getting started and I am already in desperate need of a coffee break…For the next 15 days I will be up to my ears in banquet planning, ordering, organizing, decorating and overseeing of certain responsibilities having to do with 8 nights of banquets.

I am also moving forward with a dream I have had for several years…I have rented a space in a local antique center.  I move in tomorrow… I had decided that it would be best to wait until the first of the year and then a premium space came available.  With timing being what it is and location being everything.  Having total support and encouragement from my hubs, I have decided to take a huge leap of faith.  I move in tomorrow!!!

Wish me luck and a coffee break!

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Filed under Made in America, postaweek2011

Vintage Clothing

Vintage Clothing

 
When you hear the word vintage what comes to mind?  Do your thoughts immediately conjure up old, dusty, mildewed memories from your Grandmothers closet?  Or do your thoughts settle on flapper dresses and gangster hats,  mini skirts and gogo boots, leather jackets and  poodle skirts?  According to those who know…  a vintage clothing buff  will insist that the clothing be from  the 1920′s – 1960′s. 
 
There were many great fashion designers during these decades.  In the 20′s it was Coco Chanel.  In the 30′s it was Elsa Shiraparelli and Madeleine Vionnet.  In the 40′s it was Christian Dior.  In the 50′s it was Hubert de Givenchy.  in the 60′s it was Mary Quant and Pierre Cardin and Yves Saint Laurent.   I have only mentioned the more familiar but the list of influential fashion designers is extensive.  If you have pension for vintage clothing you may find it helpful to keep a list of the designers and picture of their label handy for quick reference when you are rummaging through a vintage clothing store
 
There are a few things you should know before jumping in with both feet.  You should begin by doing a little research.   Check out the fashion trends for each decade and decide which one best suits your style.  This will help you narrow your focus as you begin sorting through the mountains of clothes that you will find at your local thrift store or vintage clothing shop
 
There are some really great resources available to help you develop a shopping plan.  Here are a couple that you may find helpful; How to Shop for Vintage Clothing on WikiHow and How to find Vintage Clothing at FinnFlair
 
In Houston there are several great vintage clothing stores.  This particular day I rummaged through Retropolis.  Which is really more retro than vintage clothing shop.    When I say rummage I mean it in every sense of the word.   This place was packed from the front door to the second floor ceiling.  It also gets lots of traffic and most of what was there will probably be there until Halloween when someone needs a “vintage” outfit for this years costume.  I am just calling it like I see it. 
 
Do you have a favorite vintage clothing item?  How did it come into your possession?  Did it belong to a Great Aunt or was it a thrift store find?  I hope you will share your vintage story.

Vintage Clothing

 

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Filed under It's a Girl Thing, postaweek2011

Little Red Dress

I think I want a Little Red Dress!  I spent years trying to find my own style.  I made many mistakes along the way, mostly because I wanted to “fit in”. 

Yves Saint Laurent says” I have always believed fashion was not only to make women more beautiful, but to reassure them, to give them confidence.”

Eventually I discovered that I enjoy clothes that follow classic lines.  Once I recognized this it made shopping so much easier.  Of course over the years due to age and body shape I have had to make a few adjustments. My goal is always to stay true to myself and not be pulled into the here today gone tomorrow trends. 

It’s not the clothes that make the woman, it’s the woman who makes the clothes!

I enjoy browsing through fashion magazines to see the colors of the season.  I like to see whats happening with the shoes and accessories.  I love accessories!  Necklaces, bangles, rings, hats, scarves, handbags and shoes are the things that can make or break a girls look. 

Most of the time I am a girly girl.  I enjoy dressing up and going out.  It doesn’t happen very often but when I get the chance I try to make the most of it.    I enjoy the process of putting an outfit together.  The whole outfit from head to toe. 

“When you look like you stepped out of a catalog, that’s never good. People shouldn’t succumb to the trend, they should interpret the trend.” ~Rachel Zoe

Just this week I stopped into one of the discount clothing stores I like.  Upon entering a store I like to take my time and look at the new fashion trends of the season.  I take in the overall color theme for the season.  I then proceed to the sale racks.   Sometimes I am lucky enough to find a few pieces that make the transition from one season to the next a little more affordable. 

I was extremely pleased to find a few pieces on the clearance rack that will be a nice addition to my fall wardrobe.  I purchased a sweater (not on sale), a sleeveless grey textured tank.  I added a chunky layered necklace and textured bracelet. I also picked up a cute pair of sandals that will help to transition from summer into the fall.  I spent $60.  I came home and paired my new purchases with a pair of classic (Michael Kors) black jeans.  The outfit needs a little color to pull it together, maybe something plum or cranberry.  

“Some girls on the street don’t have a lot of money, but they have the best style. It’s not about being able to buy everything in the store.” ~Nina Garcia.

I tell you all of this so you will understand why I am so enamored with this little video at the end of my post. 

My friend Howard posted his son Jacobs newest song “Little Red Dress” I couldn’t help but share it on my Blog.  Jacob is one of the nicest young men I know.  He has a wonderful musical gift.  When Jacob sings people smile.  Jacob wrote the “Little Red Dress” song for the 2011 Pearland Prancer Spring Show.  The theme was 27 dresses.  

I hope you like Jacob’s “Little Red Dress” song…I did!!! 

 “When in doubt wear RED.” Bill Blass

http://youtu.be/TxIzRxsroj4

Related Posts:

The Clothes Do Not Make the Man (Incredible Lightness of Seeing)

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Filed under It's a Girl Thing, Life..such as it is, postaweek2011