Spring Cleaning

To say that my house could use a good spring cleaning is an understatement. With three kids, a husband, a dog, and a cat, I’ve always said instead of the “3 second rule”, we have the “3 day rule”. If you find food on the floor, it’s yours for the taking! As I look around my house every night when I get home from work, I wonder, what happened to all of my grandiose ideas of getting my house clean and organized….oh yeah, they’re probably lost under the mounds of dirty laundry. I do have good intentions though…I love to buy supplies that promise to give me a clean and organized home. I have beautifully scented dish soap, counter top spray, linen spray, laundry wash, etc…all sitting helplessly under my laundry room sink waiting for the day that they can finally be put to work. My favorite is the Mandarin Vetiver countertop cleanser by Caldrea, it smells so fresh and citrusy that you’ll think you’ve got an orange grove right in your kitchen.

Maybe this weekend I’ll start my spring cleaning………or not!

Spring Break 2013

My family and I are headed to the beach for spring break this year and we can’t wait! Every morning this week my 4 year old has asked, “is today the day we are going to Orange Beach?”. While it is exciting to think about a vacation, I also know that it requires a lot of work….laundry, shopping, packing, arranging dog care, etc.

I usually have special snacks,toys, blankets, and pillows for the long car-ride. I try to be very organized and have a special “car basket” where I can keep all the necessities at arms length. My favorite basket for the car is the market basket from Reisenthel. It is lightweight and small enough to fit behind the seats. It also has a carry handle and can be collapsed down for storage. Once we get to our destination, it can be used as a “beach bag”, too! As you can see in the picture, my basket has gotten plenty of use over many vacations. I also love to use it when we are tailgating or taking a trip in the boat on the lake.

The baskets come in several colors and styles. You can also purchase a pocket to hang on the outside.

 

My Guilty Pleasures

We all have our Guilty Pleasures don’t we? Here are a few of MY Guilty Pleasures!

Wendy’s Guilty Pleasures

1. Brown sugar & vanilla body wash by Archipelago is one of my favorite guilty pleasures! I can’t explain to you how decadent and fragrant this stuff is. I could shower for hours with it. The smell reminds me of an old sugar cane plantation that we stayed in when we went to St. Kitts several years ago. Why is it a “guilty” pleasure? Because I have no less than a dozen bottles of body wash in my linen closet that are being abandoned because of this sugar wash.

2. Diet coke!!! Yes I know most people like diet coke, but I have an obsession for the stuff! I’m talking “get up and leave a restaurant when I find out it is a Pepsi establishment” kind of obsession. I have to have one every morning (I don’t drink coffee) and I WON’T share when one of my kids sheepishly asks “can I have a sip of your diet coke?”…the answer is always “NO!”. Recently my father-in-law was telling me how bad this stuff was for me and I was thinking to myself, “if I can’t live with diet coke, then I don’t want to!”.  😉

3. American Idol: Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson, Ryan Seacrest…I love them all. I have watched it every year since the Kelly & Justin season. I’m addicted!! I pick my favorites, I go online and read about the newest batch of contestants, but more importantly, I VOTE!! I also get really irritated when people try to talk to me or if someone tries to call me during the show. I’ve learned to only watch it recorded after my children have gone to bed so as not to bite off the heads of these innocent bystanders who just want to ask for a glass of milk!

4. Probably my most obsessive Guilty Pleasure…the Zac Brown Band (will be referred to lovingly from here on out as ZBB). I LOVE THIS BAND!! I’ve seen them in concert 3 times already and will see them again on March 10. My favorite concert was at the Red Rocks Ampitheatre in Denver, my mom and I went last September and it was pretty close to Heaven. I’m a member of the ZBB fan club…we call ourselves the Zamily. I have all of their songs on my iPhone, and that’s ALL I listen to…the other 500 or so songs in my iTunes account are just going to have to be patient with me until my ZBB obsession subsides a little bit, then maybe they will get some play time. My friends, husband, family, etc…tease me a little bit about my ZBB obsession, but I don’t care! What’s not to love about these guys? They are true musicians who also love to show their fans a good time!

Parenting 101

 

I read this quote last night on Pinterest after my children had gone to bed. It made such an impact on me that I just wanted to wake them up and go get ice cream, or play soccer in the dark, or fingerpaint at the kitchen table. But, I didn’t. Common sense started kicking in and reminding me that we had to get up early for school and it’s much easier when they’re well-rested!

When everyone had been delivered to school this morning, I read the quote again…Why can’t we slow life down a little bit? Take more pictures, turn off the TV,  keep the texting and technology away from the dinner table, play outside, read books to each other, learn their friends names, ask them about their dreams…this is my new “resolution” for 2012. Forget the weight loss goal, closet organization goal, cleaner garage goal, full social calender goal, because at the end of the day, none of that matters to my kids. They just want to be with me…and I want to be with them!

Our Hallmark Gift Books section has a number of books that remind me of the spirit of this quote, one of those is “If Only I Knew”. It is full of gentle reminders to help you treasure the people in your life. I love to read a few pages every night before bed to help me decompress from the day. I think we ALL need these reminders every now and then.


 

To market, to market to buy a….

 

We’ve just returned from gift market in Atlanta, and while it is hard work, we do manage to have some fun. Some of the showrooms provide live entertainment for us weary shopppers. This particular band was amazing and even got some of the folks to get out there and get their “boogie” on!

But, we were there for a reason…to fill up our store! We found some great new lines and items that we think are going to be fantastic. Some of my favorites:

  • Corkcicle-the “icicle” that you put inside your bottle of wine to keep it at the perfect temperature.
  • Solar Queen-What better way to class up your flower pot or window sill than with a bit of royalty? Place this solar queen in the sun and watch Her Majesty deliver her signature wave. We even bought one that looks like the Queen’s beloved Corgi.
  • Universal Headphones-Pump up the glam and pump up your music experience! These Universal Headphones feature an adjustable headband and swiveling ear cups that are cushy and lightweight, making even extended use pressure free. Sound isolating technology gives the center stage to your music, not outside noise. Compatible with any MP3 or standard music player with 3.5mm headphone jack, including iPod, CD players and MP4 players.
  • Lenny and Eva bracelet cuffs-These beautiful wide leather cuff bracelets can we worn with many interchangeable “sentiment” plates. There are many sayings and quotes to choose from.

 

 

 

 

Flying Sharks?!?

We just got in one of the most unique toys I have ever seen…it’s a remote-controlled flying shark that is about 4 feet long! These things are unbelievably realistic. Even one of our canine-staffers, Belle, was fooled by it. She was going crazy barking at this thing. My husband had the remote control, which meant he was free to torment whoever he wanted with this giant flying shark! Our customers loved it! You use the remote control to maneuver the tail, turn left to right, and even go up and down. Crazy!Check out the video to see for yourself.

Flying Shark Video

 

 

Last Minute Christmas Shopping at The Crown Shop

We’ve hit the stretch run. Christmas is only DAYS away, and The Crown Shop is here to help all you husbands, fathers and sons — well, let’s just say absent-minded shoppers — looking for last-minute Christmas gifts.

We’ve got the unique, handcrafted gifts that can make it look like you devoted weeks of thought to them. Plus, they’re easy to locate. But just in case, our helpful staff is available to be your personal shopper as soon as you step through the door. At The Crown Shop, we pride ourselves on customer service.

Forgot stocking stuffers? We’ve got you covered. Check out our special display devoted to smaller gifts under $20, like our selection of Fairhope Favorites and more. We make it easy to find what you need, but also find what you need within a budget. AND we offer FREE GIFT WRAPPING!!!

Let us help you take some of the worry out of last minute Christmas shopping. Not that they are any dads or husbands out there with some yet to do….

Browse some of our favorite gift ideas for 2011…
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Shop for Mom at The Crown Shop

That heart tattoo with Mother ink’ed across the front? Why we’re sure Mom would appreciate the sentiment, we’re guessing The Crown Shop offers more practical, and well, capable-of-unwrapping, symbols of your affection and love this Christmas.

The Crown Shop is the exclusive area provider of Southern Made gifts. Southern Made is a cooperative that supports local artists and merchants from across the South. Its ensemble of artists and gifts include handcrafted pottery from Etta B Pottery and Three E Designs, a full range of Aromatique products and accessories, and renowned art from Susan Hood and Arkansas’ own Abby Carman.

We’ll sure you’ll find something to put a smile on Mom’s face. Of course, that tatt could do it, too.

Cotton Bowl Bound!!!

Cotton Bowl tickets? Check! Hotel Reservations? Check! Razorback Gear? Check, Check!

Since this will be my very first bowl game to attend, I’m super excited and really want to go ALL OUT with the Hog gear! I have: Razorback pom pom gloves, Razorback watch, Razorback earrings and necklace, Razorback wine glass (for tailgating) and ,of course, the all-important Razorback AT&T Cotton Bowl T-shirt! I think the t-shirts look great this year and I’m going to get one for everyone on my Christmas list. Now all I have to do is patiently wait until January 6 to watch my Hogs whoop up on the Wildcats!

Shop for Your Grandparents at The Crown Shop

Let’s face it. Grandparents are good at giving. There’s that whole unconditional love thing, as good a gift as there is.

It comes in various forms. When Dad flips out over our Junior’s “borrowing” of the car and subsequent “fender bender,” grandparents are there to soften the blow. When all that’s needed is a hug, grandparents are there to squeeze. From birthday cards housing checks to potato salad that warms the soul (hey — one man’s chicken soup is another man’s potato salad), grandparents are givers.

At Christmas time, grandparents give more than ever, and The Crown Shop can help you give back!

We’re the area’s exclusive carrier of Art by Susan, Frame of Mind and other Southern Made gifts that can be custom ordered and made uniquely personal. A custom made Christmas frame with a picture of the grandkids and a personalized message….what grandmother wouldn’t beam with joy?

Select a frame and message plate with a predetermined message, such as “Merry y’all,” and walk out in five minutes, or special order a plate with your own special message and get it within a week.

How about a bird seed bell or handcrafted birdhouse for your granddad? The Crown Shop carriers a wide array of gifts for nature and gardening enthusiasts- and everything in between!

And don’t forget to impress your loved one with our free gift wrapping. Men, you can’t beat that….

Grandparents don’t expect anything in return for their unconditional love, but this Christmas time, wouldn’t it be nice to see their faces beam as brightly as their grandkids’?