Walking down the street earlier this week I stumbled upon a sample sale. This one was for high-end pajamas, undies and robes. As I walked past, I started thinking about who I need to buy gifts for this holiday season and circled back to the sale. I purchased some super soft hoodies for my nieces and thought about what I was going to get everyone else on my list. My husband is from a big family and there are 11 cousins we give gifts to. They range in age from 4 to 26! I always try to be the cool aunt but also want to give something that I would like my children to receive. We have a budget for the gifts so everyone is gifting at the same level.
I won’t bore you with the rest of the gifts I’ll be purchasing for the remaining cousins but the whole experience got me thinking about this type of gifting. Often in offices or among groups of friends, you are in a situation where you are getting a gift for someone but have a spending limit for the gift. You want to get something thoughtful but that is sometimes difficult with the limitations set. The marketplace at Julie’s Beet has some great buys for the budget conscious. Here are some of my favorites in each category. Let’s be honest, a $10 bar of chocolate is so much better than a $10 bottle of wine so focus you’re efforts here!
Under $10 :Lucy’s Granola Toffee Crumbles… so sweet and delicious, the bag will be finished in one sitting but the recipient will be thanking you for days.
From $10 – $25 :P & T Tea … These boxes of tea are a work of art on the outside and filled with 15 tea bags to keep the recipient warm all winter long.
From $26 – $50:Pasta Tonight Gift Set … This set includes Due Cellucci Tomato Sauce, Semolina Artisanal Pasta & FIVE Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Giving the gift of a good meal cannot be beat!
From $75-100:FIVE Oil & Vinegar Set… A bottle of FIVE Estate Balsamic Vinegar and FIVE Extra Virgin Olive Oil are a statement on any table. Together this duo makes a great salad dressing or dipping sauce for bread.
It is never too early to start your holiday shopping. We’ll include a handwritten not with every order and can even hold the order to ship closer to the holidays if that is your preference.
Nothing goes better with pancakes than maple syrup. If you’re looking for a great pancake recipe check out this one for Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes. Maple syrup comes from the sap of a maple tree. Maple trees grow in cool climates so are found in abundance in places like the northeast, specifically Vermont and up the coast into Canada. Maple trees are tapped for this sap and then it is refined into concentrated syrup.
I have been looking for the perfect maple syrup to add to our marketplace. While I have been checking out different syrups, I’ve done some research into what makes maple syrup special. Maple syrup is graded according to different scales in the US, Canada and Vermont. All scales base their ratings on the density and translucency of the syrup. The restrictions for something to be called maple are stricter in the US and even more so in Vermont. The highest rating is Grade A which means the syrup either has a golden color and delicate taste, an amber color and rich taste, a dark color and robust taste or a very dark color and strong taste. To be classified as Grade A a syrup must also have a consistent color, no off-flavor and be free from sediment. Darker syrups have a stronger flavor and are often used in cooking where as the lighter color syrups are used for pancakes as I described above.
I am looking for a Grade A Maple Syrup made by a small producer which also tastes just right on pancakes. Luckily, you don’t have to go far from New York City to try a wide variety of syrups. I’ve tasted syrups from glass bottles and syrups aged in barrels. I’ve tasted light syrups and dark syrups. It has been difficult but I think I’m narrowing in on the ONE! Stay tuned from more information on the latest sweet addition to our line up. There will be a big announcement here and also across our social media accounts. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest so you don’t miss out.
We’ve turned the calendar to September, the kids have started school(finally!) and the weather is starting to cool off a bit. The transition from care-free summer to the structured school year has begun. I used to think of myself as a very organized person, but those days might be far behind me. Now that I am a mother of three, a wife and a business owner I find I need to work a little more at keeping everyone (including myself) on task and in the right place at the right time. Here are some of my tricks to keeping up with it all and please, please, please share your tricks in the comments below.
REMINDERS: The iPhone is a fantastic thing when it comes to needing something to remind you when you need to pay your bills and about other items on your to-do list. I have a monthly reminder for all the bills that need to get paid and I put EVERYTHING on the calendar from dinner dates to my kid’s classes along with birthdays and anniversaries too. It is easy to set a recurring event, so something will pop up daily, weekly, monthly or annually.
LISTS: From grocery lists to shopping lists to to-do lists, I write everything down. Sometimes a task goes from a reminder to a list but at least I am thinking about it again and again until it gets crossed off. This is also a trick I use to keep my kids from wanting everything at the store, if it isn’t on our shopping list then we aren’t going home with it.
TEAMWORK: While it would be nice if I could give everyone my undivided attention it just isn’t possible. Building a team of people I trust allows me to be a part of it all. I learned early on in my career that it is important to lead by example and I find this just as important at home (changing poopy diapers is no one’s favorite task) as it is at the shop. I may have nominated myself as team captain but I the support I receive is amazing.
My reminder just went off to post the weekly blog post. Maybe I am one step ahead, at least for this week!