Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Stuff your Stockings!

So this being the twenty second day of December I would assume most of you out there have been to your Christmas parties, done your cookie exchanges (ive been to 2), bought your gifts, and are now just waiting for the twenty fifth so this Christmas can just be another great memory... so lets talk about something fun- stocking stuffer. I think in the past 5 years, especially with the economic decline, stocking stuffers have become a bigger deal because the items are generally inexpensive. Every store out there has a table or area that is dedicated to stocking stuffers. So here are a few of my favorites!
First- the Mayfair Lane Light Ups. I did not have a store turn these down! They are easy to use- the flashlight is magnetic and when you break it away the light turns on... honestly i could sit there and click it on all day...

Second- Paper. Yes you knew I was going to say that (at least it wasn't number 1) I think there are so many easy paper items to throw in someones stocking! I think that Olivia Mullins does some great initial pads that are super cute and easy to grab and go. With all the fantastic initial programs out there it is so easy to find something personalized to give that extra touch!
Third- I love to cook. I found these great mini cookie flipping spatulas that came in great bright colors! Even if you don't like to cook they are so dang cute that everyone will love to receive them!

Forth- I love gadgets and toys as stocking stuffers. Restoration Hardware always has some great finds for these and I think that for the men in your life especially it a fun pick me up. I picked up these silly straw glasses for my 4 year old niece (mainly because i wanted to see if they worked!) It will provide plenty of entertainment for a 4 year old!

I hope that everyone has a wonderful Christmas that is full of Family, friends, Great memories, and lots of great Gifts!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Time for Teachers

Ok, for all you people out there with children in school... this blog is for you. After years in the gift business it amazes me how much gift revolves around the "teacher gift." At market stores buy things completely with the mindset of "This will make a great teacher gift." I have enlisted the help of my dear friend Kristin who is a 2nd grade teacher and gets loads of bad gifts.

First, do not, i repeat DO NOT give your teacher a mug. I don't care how cute you think your mug is, she does not want another mug. There are a couple of questions that will allow you to rule the mug out- Have you ever even seen your teacher drink coffee? How many mugs do you think he/she owns already? Also while we are talking about coffee- unless you see your teacher drinking Starbucks- they do NOT want a Starbucks gift card (and they re gift it to people like me!)
Second, no generic bath product. Yes I know it is already wrapped. Yes I know it is an easy thing to pick up at WalMart that you think looks more expensive than it really it. Scents is such a personal thing- you have no idea if she likes to smell like vanilla... now with that being said, I still think soap is a great gift. Think about the person though- maybe they don't need bubble bath, bubble confetti, lotion, and everything thing else included in the basket. Maybe just a nice triple milled soap in a neutral scent on a great dish is better (and not expensive.)
Third, nothing that scream or says HOLIDAY. Working in the stores this past week it amazes me how many people give something with a Christmas theme- do you realize the Holiday is almost over? Then what do you do with it? No teacher wants notepad that says "Ho,Ho,Ho" what do they do with that in March? With that being said, they also do not want a Holiday scented candle either. I know that people get into time restraints on looking for teacher presents but why not pickup something in October when you have that free day off and you are out?
So now on to the most important part of this blog. What to get your teacher. There really are so many great items out there that work on small budgets (we understand that you have a lot of people to buy for!) Here are my ideas...

The easy first, something for their desk. Yes this may seem obvious but take it to the next level. I love the new pencil holders from the line SuzyJack- talk about a chic way to hold pencils. Why not pair that with a great notepad or something for their chalk board? I am mildly obsessed with Mayfair Lane. The clips and everything that goes along with it are adorable- and they stick to stainless steel! Another great idea, how about a great desk calendar? If you have a favorite teach you want to do a little more for- get her a Karen Adams Calendar and she will think about you guys all year!

Secondly, and this goes completely against this blog, a gift card. Now really I am not a fan of gift cards, but i do see their purpose especially with Teachers. I think a gift card to their favorite restaurant or store is a very thoughtful idea. Why not treat them to dinner as a way of saying thank you for enriching my kids life? One year Kristin's room mom collected $10 from each child who wanted to give a gift, and combined the money into a gift card to her favorite store, Ann Taylor Loft- what a thoughtful idea!
Third, why not think outside the box? There was a customer in one of my stores this week with Triplets and another child... so they needed a lot of gifts! I suggested why not give them cocktail napkins? They went with Curly Girl Design napkins that had sweet saying on them and I believe they were around $5.95. If you wanted to add a little extra you could throw in some initial Styrofoam cups or coasters. All very affordable, and really not what they are expect!

I realize that money is tight for a lot of people this year, but I have to say that I think thoughtfulness goes a lot further than spending lots will!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's a Wrap!

Oh what a season! The stores are buzzing, new product is shipping to me daily, I am busy booking up January and doing fill ins! I thought in this busy season I would share one passion of mine that fits right along with what I love most gift.... what I love most about gifts is giving them. I think about people and what they love or need and I hope that when they open a present from me that they feel like I have put in the time and the effort that their friendship and love deserves. What I enjoy most about the gift giving process though is wrapping. Yes, I said it- Wrapping. Christmas is my favorite time of the year because I get to buy for my loved ones, and... I get to buy new wrapping paper. Wrapping paper is sort of like dress buying for me- I really don't like to have to reuse Christmas paper from the year before. I love the process of finding several papers that go and then finding ribbon that coordinate. I usually have all my paper by Thanksgiving and I wrap the gift the day I get it. I hate gift bags (even though I do have to use one this year because I didn't have a box!) I love to read Real Simple and Martha Stewart and see what the new trends are in gift wrapping. This year I used lots of wraps and ribbon (this is new for me) and I am in the process of really learning how to tie bows! Please enjoy the pictures of my wrappings and I hope that it inspires you to want to wrap too :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Don't be Tardy for the Party!

Parties are a tricky venture. I have hosted a few parties in the past couple of years- from super casual dinner parties on our roof top to 60+ people for a couples showers -and the thing I find most interesting is that I put just equal amount of time and thought into both of them... OK maybe not time because I cooked the whole week leading up to that Bridal shower, but you get what I am saying... This year for Christmas I am going to be heading to Atlanta from Dallas to celebrate with my Family. In the last year most of my friends lives have changed in someway- marriage, babies, and a lot of people moving. I want to do something that brings everyone I care about close together so I am going to do a Holiday Cocktail Hour the day after Christmas. I think that a cocktail hour is such a great way of getting people together without having to go overboard. I debated what day to do it, since most of my friends do live out of town now it was tricky, but the great thing about Saturday the 26th is that Christmas is over! Everyone can relax, eat, drink, and talk about what they got and gave for Christmas! Now don't get me wrong, I love a big party but there is something about having just close friends that makes everything a little easier and more relaxed. I could exists on eating appetizers alone for the rest of my life so just having Hor'derves is no problem for me! It will start after 5 and last until we decide to move locations or the last friend leaves! Starting early gives people the chance to make other plans in the evening as well and since most of my friends live out of town (including myself!) it gives plenty of time for us to catch up! So if you want to think Big this year, go for it! But if big isn't doable this year, there are still ways to celebrate and bring your friends together!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Christmas time is here! If you have been into your local retailer lately you have noticed that all the merchandise is out and ready for you to buy! The Dallas area stores had Partners Card last week and by the looks of the stores this week it was great! I think it is fair to say that this has been a tough year for a lot of families out there and I think that makes Christmas a little bitter-sweet this year. My take on it all is that even if times are tough let Christmas be cheerful. This is a great time to let someone else know that you appreciate them- and there doesn't have to be a large token gift- it can be as simple as a christmas card. If you have been frugal all year because you don't know what is expected to come- buy some small items to show the people you love and appreciate the most how special they are to you. The stores are full of great $10-$20 items that tell people you care! On a tight budget? Bake! I love receiving baked good at the Holiday (thanks to all my teacher friends I get lots of extra baked goods!) Presentation is everything- so hit up the Container Store and get some of those cheap cute tins and your gift is complete! I hope that people use this Holiday to let themselves be reminded of the Christmas Spirit!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Give the gift of Paper!

Over the weekend I went to a great bridal shower for Matt's soon-to-be sister-in-law. I love showers because I love people getting together to celebrate someone else. For the past three weeks I have thought and thought about what to get the bride-to-be. I really love the art of gift giving and nothing makes me happier then seeing a person light up when they open a present. So I decided to fore go the bridal registry and think of something on my own and naturally I think about giving the gift of paper. Now I don't know the bride-to-be terribly well since I have only had a couple of interactions with her outside of family functions, but I know that ANY new bride wants to see her new name. I think that the new name is something that is thought about every time you start to get serious with a boyfriend- "could i be Mrs. so and so..." which makes seeing it on paper- in print- even more exciting and real. Being crazy about paper, I think that one style of stationery is not enough for anyone. Everyone needs the classic embossed monogram- it serves the purpose of a more formal thank you, or I'm sorry, and it is timeless so there is no need to rush through the box because in 25 years that will still be appropriate. I am also a believer that you need fun stationery- and as much of it as you can possibly imagine!! The fun notes makes you want to write and say "thanks for dinner" or "thanks for doing something thoughtful!" I think people appreciate a written note. So the time comes for the opening of the gifts at the shower and I have to tell you I was a little nervous because I didn't know if she would like paper or appreciate it! The gifts get opened one by one and mine keeps getting passed- which makes me even a little more nervous- but finally 2nd to last mine it opened. Comments start to come in about the wrapping (that is for another blog- but i also love to wrap gifts) and then she opens the boxes of stationery and she is thrilled- I really think that she loved seeing her new name in print. All the women at the shower thought that this was such a special idea and that it was incredibly thoughtful. I don't think anyone expects to get paper at a shower, but I think that it is such a great gift for a bride and it is a gift they can use for the years to come!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My life in Paper

My name is Roseann and I am addicted to paper. Ok ok it isn't quite this bad but I do have a deep love for paper. After college I had a 9-5 job working in downtown Atlanta, sitting at a desk, and being bored most days. Through a series of events, including a bad break up, I decided to quit my job and just figure out what I love. The next day a sign went up close to my house that said a new Paper Affair was coming in- I called, was hired, and the love for paper was started. I thought at the time this would be a part time thing in between jobs but after the first day I knew I had found something that I really felt excited and passionate about. I started at Paper Affair as a typesetter and quickly moved up the chain. I found that I really love life events and helping people celebrate. There is nothing more exciting than a bride coming in and needing your guidance in what she needs Or a soon-to-be mom needing to find a birth announcement and talking to them about how excited they are about their new baby. You become a part of the process and the celebration with your customers and when you see the final product there is part of you that is just as proud as they are. Part of my job that came along with being a manager was buying. Picking paper for the store is what I loved, and there is nothing better than seeing what you pick sell! (Do you see where I am going with this...) I also started dating a boy who lived in Texas and was finishing law school. I felt like I was ready for another change so I packed up and moved to Dallas. I worked for Ralph Lauren in Home and Ladies sales where I really feel like I learned how to competitvely sell. I only lasted 6 months and I was browsing Facebook and saw a page for my favorite rep group in Atlanta- Daniel Richards- and I clicked and the about me said : OPENING IN DALLAS JAN. 2009. I just knew that this was the next step. After buying at Paper Affair I wanted to be a rep- I wanted to focus on selling products than help stores and guiding people in trends. So I made some calls, sent some emails, got my interview with Dan, and got my job.
Looking back it is so clear to see that everything that happened - the good, the bad, and the really bad- HAD to happen for me to be here and for me to have figured out what I love in life and what my passion really is. It hasn't been easy, and the road to get here has been filled with so many challenges but I am so happy that I took the risks, and made the choices even though I had no idea how they would end up. Ok, ok that is is it about me- time to move on to the next blog...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Everything is BIGGER in Texas...

On Saturday I had my first Adult experience at The Texas State Fair and let me tell you something- everything really is bigger in Texas! I have been to the fair once when I was a kid- I think it was somewhere around the 6th grade- and my memories are vague and really the only thing I remember are lots of pigs and sandart. Going to the fair as an adult is very different then being a kid- first off I don't remember all the fried food! Our lovely friends Davis and Ashley are fair veterans and have an order they go in every year based on food. Matt and I started with a famous Fletchers Corn Dog. It was pretty good I have to admit and the lines to get them were equally as impressive. Have I mentioned that everything at the fair is fried? (At least everything worth eating!) The new fried food at the fair this year was fried butter. I decided due to my stomach bug last week it was not in my bodies best interest to follow up a corn dog with friend butter. Luckily my friends did partake in the fried butter and I photographed. The butter was sort of like dough and looked delicious!
The other highlight from the fair was Oprah. Now I did not see the talk show queen herself, but her crew was everywhere with a police escort- so they weren't too hard to miss! They were in the corndog line with us and in the Midway. It seemed like they were getting some shots for the show and learning the fair before Oprah got there! I tried so hard just to get a picture of their badge, but I didn't want to be that blogger asking them for their photo so I did the best run by shot that I could do!The Midway was also pretty impressive. I have to say that I did not ride any rides except the sky boxes. When I was younger I enjoyed have the crap scared out of me, but the older I get the less appealing it is. I now think I know why my parents did not let us ride 95% of the rides when we were kids... enough said!All-in-all the fair was a great day! I was thankful to be with our good friends who knew where to go and most importantly- what to eat!!!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Next Right Thing....

There was a day when I was living in Marietta and I was shopping with my Mom and I saw the Vietri Perle glassware in Aqua- I was in love. I shop- a lot- but there is this feeling I get when I know what I have found is perfect and I know that I don't need to look any further because I have found what I am looking for- that is how I felt when I saw these glasses. Aqua is not necessarily the most traditional, but I know I love Aqua- and I know I will love Aqua 25 years from now (assuming these glasses make it through dinner parties alive!) These glasses can take a normal table setting and truley make is special, and I really think these glasses are a conversation piece.
Lets fast forward two years. I was in a fantastic store in Tyler Texas and I saw these fantastic line, Juliska, and thinking back I think I have seen it before but for some reason on this Thursday Morning it clicked and I had this feeling that I have found something for me. I had my appointments, headed back to Dallas and immediately got online so that I could see the whole line, and now I am obsessed. I love it- the Amalia Champagne flutes are to die for, and the cake stands are a piece of art. What I love so much about this is that it is delicate, but it has style. This is not your typical Wedding Waterford but, like the Vietri glasses, this is something that will be incredible in 20 years. I think that, especially when it comes to Fine China and glassware, it is easy to get caught in traditional classics, but why not get something that fits you even if it has some color or a simple pattern? Both Vietri and Juliska have great tableware, glassware, and linens that can stay with you a lifetime, or until you decide you have found the next right thing.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Here comes the bride...

Well not quite yet for me anyways, BUT I do remember the first time I saw AB Design Frames- It was 2007 and I was at the Atlanta Gift Show and we came across them in the temporaries- I think Jamie, Elizabeth and I were instantly in love. I also remember seeing these frames and thinking if I was married I would want one with a picture from the big day in one of these frames. Well, I couldn't wait any longer (and neither should you!), this is now my go-to Wedding present because I think they are as special as the moment you are capturing. I pick a white frame and then try and pick a ribbon in what the wedding colors are to truly make it personalized and special. Ab Designs are made here in the USA in Lafayette, LA and they are completely custom to your order. Want a monogrammed brooch? No problem- ABD monograms initials along with words. There are hundreds of brooches and plenty of ribbon and wood to find something for everyone!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Just when you thought packing tape was boring...

...the creators over at Tapswell go and completely reinvent themselves! How how cool! Tapeswell is a line that we found during the New York Stationery show and it has proved to be the hit that we all knew it would be. I think my first question was-Why has this never been done? Well it has been done now and it is extremely cute. I think Tapeswell forces you to want to think outside of the "box" and I dont just mean packing box. The labels are adorable for everyday use as well, doesn't it almost make you want to hit up that hall closet and get it organized? Use the cute labels and tape and it will look adorable sitting in storage! Starting to perserve your summer fruits and veggies? Use the labels and give them to your neighbors! Have you moved to Dallas and need to send gifts to your 4 yr. old neice in Atlanta so that you can stay the #1 Aunt? Pack the boxes in Tapeswell and it will make her that much more excited! What about your crafty friend that is hard to shop for? Tapswell also sells in a tin so you can give it as a cute gift! The Daily Grommet just had a feature video check it out! Find your closest Tapeswell store and stock up for the Holiday!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Support the Ladies!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Most people are in someway touched by this disease that will kill an estimated 40,000 women this year, and an estimated 190,000 women will be diagnosed this year. The good news is that medical advances are allowing women to live longer lives and the 5 year survival rate is 89%. Who is at risk for breast cancer? Everyone. What can you do to protect yourself? If you are at a high risk, have genetic testing done to see if you have the mutated gene, DO your self exam check, and get yearly mammograms. Obviously research is what is key to finding a cure and saving the lives of mothers, sisters, and friends. How can your support breast cancer research? Shop! Almost every store you go into in the month of October is going to have some sort of "think pink" display- buy from it! Grab a card from Amy Smyth and send it to your friend that has beat breast cancer- just so she know that you support her. AB Designs is doing a beautiful frame this month that would be awesome for a group picture for the 3day walks. Most companies will donate a part of the proceed towards breast cancer research so that we come closer to finding a cure!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Oh Tannebaum, Oh Tannenbaum....

Ok Ok it is a little early for me to start singing Christmas Carols in German, but I just wanted to remind people about the 3/50 project and supporting your local retailers this fall. I think how easy it is to shop online- I'm stalking a Marc Jacobs purse as we speak- but the truth is that if we don't get out and buy from Local shop owners these shops that we love so so dearly will be gone. Having a blah day? Go Shop! Need a candle? Hit up your local gift store! It is so easy to support your local economy, and so important!

Nobody puts baby in the corner....

After a 4 day trip home to Atlanta for a good friends baby shower, and some much needed QT with my 7 month old nephew, I discovered a very cute and odd baby line.... the company is called Les Deglingos. They make odd little stuffed animals for baby and children. Some are just cute, some function, and some look like road kill. I think because I see so much baby gift in stores, and so much of the same baby gift in every store, that I love to see something different and unusual. When it comes to finding gifts for baby boys that aren't super fru fru- it is really tough! So how great are these for you friends who don't want the super sweet baby? The little snuggler wolf is a great alternative to a lovey blanket- my nephew loved hanging on to his! My friend received a Discovery Deglingo Dog at her shower, and it was such a perfect gift for her baby boy on the way! This will be my new go-to baby gift for my friends that have great taste!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Junction Junction... what's your FUNKTION?!

Aprons, dishtowels, oven mits- honestly how freakin cute can it get?! We just picked up repping the home line Funktion and I am in L O V E. These aprons and dishtowels make your kitchen look cute and feminine and when I see them they make me want to whip up a batch of snickerdoodles. What is even cuter? They make adult aprons in full aprons and half aprons AND they offer kid versions! For all the bridal shower I have to go to this fall I am going to give Funktion to put all my soon-to-be-married friends in the domestic spirit! Even if you aren't in the kitchen whipping up a batch of cookies- the dishtowels dont even look like dishtowel and will look great hanging by your sink. Also check out the table clothes and napkins- so retro...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fall is in the air....

This blog is only appropriate because it has rained here in Dallas for almost a week straight and our highs during the day have been in the 70's.... thats right folks- Fall has arrived. There is this time in the Winter when it is cold and rainy and all I can think about is how much I love summer and all summer has to offer (which is still true) but now being in Dallas where it is summer from April-September the feeling of Fall brings a whole new appreciation for the season. I am happy that I do not have the option of drinking by the pool during the hot days...instead this has turned into a 4 night a week event called football. Now I love college football (Go Dawgs!) but the further I am out of college the less emotional I feel about the sport. Sure I want Georgia to win, but does it ruin my weekend if we loose (hello opening game at OSU), nope, because I now know there is next weekend, and next season, and a 1,000,000 more games. Matt would be elated if I got into Texas football- but the reality is I just don't care enough (which is a form of blasphemy here in Texas.) What I do like though is that I feel like every Saturday we now have a reason to get together with friends. The last thing I want to talk about is the recession (which we are probably out of...) but everywhere money is tight. Why not have a football party? Have everyone bring something to share and what they want to drink- all you need to supply is the place, the TV, and plates & napkins. This totally beats hitting up a bar- and the bar tab that comes with it (thank you FoxSports Grill.) Why not get a group together and rotate Saturdays of where you are watching the game? Everybody take 2 games a season and you have something to look forward to every Saturday! Start now, and print the schedule on a cute invite like the Sharp and Sally football. If you have been invited to watch a game at someones home why not bring some great cups for everyone to use with your team of choice? There is still so much to enjoy out there and so much you can do inexpensively that adds a special touch and gives you something to look forward too this football season

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I promise...

A new Blog is coming soon! Fall market has been good this weekend! I think we had a couple less people because of the rain, but it was great to see everyone! Is it really already the middle of September? Wow... more to come soon!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Good bye to the Dog Days of Summer...

Just had to share this picture of Mabry... I was sorting through my decks to find something for Matt's parents for his brother's Rehersal Dinner in December and Mabry decided that my decks would be a great place to rest! Too cute!!! Happy Labor Day Everyone!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Term: Eco-Chic
Definition: a combination of trendiness and being environmentally conscious.

Eco-Chic is the new “it” term. For so many years people have been trying to be “green.” In the world of gift being green is all the trend right now because we have found out how to do it right. Before, being green felt like you had to sacrifice your personal style and find your inner bohemian... well that is not the case anymore. With all the Eco Chic lines out there these days it is tough to highlight my favorites!

Caldrea Soap and Cleaners seems to be staying incredibly popular- I have to admit I am addicted and it almost makes me want to clean when I use them (keyword:almost.) These products not only smell wonderful but they do not use ammonia, chlorine, phosphates, or petroleum- so they are safe to use around your family and pets with no worries of respiratory effects or skin irritations.

Reusable bags are all the rage as well- if you are looking for a cute line checkout Mixed Bags- they are awesome! I carry these into all my appointments packed full of paper and goodies and it amazes me just how strong they really are! These bags can be monogrammed easily or personalized with a vinyl sticker! They come in some really great patterns and the price point makes these an easy gift to give to anyone ($6.95-$14.95)

This Christmas expect to see a lot of Eco-Chic lines on the market- EcoSource has been an incredible success for us! The packaging is just as great as the bloom that you will get from the Bulb inside. They are packaged in “greenPots” made from Rice Hull and the pot is biodegradable so once the flower is done just plant it in its pot in the backyard and the whole thing will biodegrade (and if it gets cold enough you will have a lovely bloom next year!) Dan planted an Amaryllis as a tester and it turned out beautiful! (see photo below)

As far as baby gift goes I love these bottles by WeeGo. They are glass bottles (I know how old school) that are BPA free. They are covered in a bright silicone wrap (all non toxic and FDA approved) so that if they drop they are less likely to break. I love the idea of going back to glass and away from plastics! The colors are so bright too which will make them easy to find for those late night feedings!

With so many Eco-Chic lines out there now we have a great opportunity to be good stewards of our land, a thoughtful friend, and stylish!

design + development by fabulous k