Friday, April 30, 2010

gift guides

With Mother's Day just around the corner (Oh, my goodness! Is it really next week!?), I thought I would give everyone my top three picks from the store that I would love to give or receive for Mother's Day this year. Remember, we ship if you see something your mom has just got to have! (And our online shopping site is just up and running... more on that to come!) And if you see that little something you just can't live without, feel free to leave this page open on your computer with a little sticky note for your husband... I'm just sayin'...

1. The Pot-of-Gold, Lottery Winner gift...
New Bedding Top to Bottom - linen sheets, duvet, satin pillow cases, euros and bed skirt.
How many of us are sleeping on the same bedding we got for our wedding 10, 20, maybe even 30 years ago? After long days with the kids, grandkids, at home or at work, we all deserve to be pampered when we crawl into bed at the end of the day, right? I am a firm believer that when it comes to your bed, you need to treat yourself to the best. So, for any husbands out there who really want to show their wives how much they love and appreciate them, this is the gift for you. Trust me, she will love it.

2. The always reliable, always a hit, sure to be her new favorite gift...
Jewelry - specifically something from one of our fantastic local jewelry designers, Jewel-ya or Sugar bean. Who doesn't love a gorgeous new necklace, bracelet or pair of earrings? Something new and exciting to make that same old black dress take on a whole new look. And you can help support our amazing local artists at the same time! Husbands, this one is sure to delight your lovely wife...

3. The often overlooked, but quite possibly one of the best gifts (ever)...
A new white tee. Seems so simple, but what mom (especially with little ones) wouldn't love a brand new white tee, especially from the always perfect Michael Stars collection. Pair it with some of our certified organic Milk line, such as the milk lotion (can I just say it is amazing!) or milk candle, and you have the makings of a fabulous gift. Come in and pick it out and we will make up a beautiful Mother's Day basket for you... (and don't forget, we ship!)

And while we are at it, here are our top Teacher's Gift picks, as well. We definitely need to celebrate our children's teachers and let them know how much we appreciate all they do for our kids. And as much as I am sure my child's teacher loves every single student, I don't really think she wants a coffee mug with my child's picture on it... Am I right teachers? So, let's get them something you would buy (and love) for yourself...

1. Cote Bastide Sea Salts.
Cote Bastide is an amazing line all the way from France and we have an exclusive on these to-die-for sea salts. What teacher doesn't deserve to relax in the bath after a long school year?

2. Patriotic Flag bunting.
This adorable and festive bunting could hang in any room of your house, would be fantastic to bring out for the 4th of July and, I am sure, would liven up any classroom. And just look at the cute packaging it comes in... "On a happy day."

3. Fleur De Lis (insulated) Tote.
How stylish and functional is this tote? Gorgeous black and white with a fleur de lis and fully insulated? What's that? An insanely reasonable price, too? Need we say more?

4. A linen dish towel with a bottle of lemonade.
These linen dish towels are one of our very favorite items in the store. And who doesn't feel special when treated to something linen? Pair it with a bottle of lemonade or any other kitchen treat and it would make a great teacher's gift.

5. Garden in a bag.
These lovely little herbs come in the cutest packaging and there is no pot needed. Just have your child make a handmade little gift tag to tie to the top and you couldn't beat the adorable presentation of this gift.

So, there you have it. Hope some of our ideas help and hope to see some of you (or better, some of your husbands with their Mother's Day list in hand) in the store soon!
Does anybody have any fabulous Mother's Day plans? What was your best Mother's Day ever, in terms of a great gift (given or received) or a wonderful surprise? I just love to hear other people's stories. They spark such great new inspiration! So, please do share!
Have a great weekend! See you Monday!

Friday Madness!

In honor of all our fantastic blog readers, we are going to start a little something called "Friday Madness." Every Friday we will post a different promotion for the Willows for that day only... and we will only announce it on the blog. Thus, only our dedicated blog readers will have the inside tip. Just come into the store and mention the blog to get whatever discount we are offering that Friday. Sound good? Be sure to tell all your friends to follow the blog, as I am sure no one wants to miss this...

20% Off All Apparel - Today Only!

Even our brand new white AG cropped jeans that we just got in the store! 20% off!
(How cute are these for summer?)

And, of course, we also still have our classic boyfriend style AG jeans in long and cropped, as well as AG jean shorts!

All of our amazing Michael Stars basics... also 20% off!
Our amazing clothing line from Japan - that you won't find anywhere else - 20% off!

All our flip flops - Dinis, Jamie Kreitman and Michael Stars - yep, 20% off, too!
And have you seen our summer hats and apparel from a handmade clothing line based out of Jerome? Each piece is one of a kind and today only they are... you guessed it, 20% off!
We are even offering 50% off on select apparel!
Remember it is today only, so come on in and freshen up that summer wardrobe!
Just be sure to mention the blog!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

design to inspire...

Did you know that I love to design? It is almost a sickness. Whenever I am at one of my kids' houses I can't help but start rearranging furniture in my head or thinking what pieces may better suit the space or how to create a more beautiful flow through the room or... I could go on and on. It honestly brings me so much joy and fulfillment to assist in creating a beautiful space in someone's home. That was one of the main reasons I opened the Willows many years ago. I receive lovely and flattering comments from people all the time, but the other day I received a comment that left me feeling a little torn. A big designer was in the store and commented, "I just love getting ideas from your store!" Then she raved and raved about how great the store looked and left. She didn't buy anything, she has never brought customers to our store, and, as flattered as I was, I felt somewhat let down. Don't we all need to help support each other if we want the small, local businesses to stay?

Anyway, we just finished setting up the store for summer with our Sea Bags and sails and all things nautical and patriotic. We are so happy with how it all looks, we hope you will come in and have a peak in person, but in the meantime...

Sea bags, which are these amazing totes made from recycled sails, also make this fabulous wine bag which we are all loving at the store right now. You write the name of the friend you are giving it to and the date and then they pass it along and do the same. What a fun gift to have within a circle of good friends!

Tomorrow we are going to post our top picks for Mother's Day and teacher's gifts, so be sure to check those out. Or next time you are in the store, we will be more than happy to show you! And for those who are extra ahead of the game we already even have some great Father's Day ideas...

On a different note, my daughter-in-law, Emily (who loved all your comments on yesterdays post!) just asked me if I had any suggestions for something to hang above the toilet in her newly remodeled bathroom. I have decided to see if you all have any suggestions. Should she paint the white walls since there is so much white tile? Or does all that white keep it looking clean and fresh? Should she hang some sort of towel rack, but something light and airy? What about a really big picture of her kids? What do you think?

Finally, thank you so much to all our wonderful and loyal customers! And thank you to all our new friends we have found (and are continuing to find) through this blog! We love hearing your thoughts and ideas (keep the comments coming!) and are looking forward to everything else we have to share here. So, spread the love and become a follower, bookmark our blog, or email to a friend (or ten friends...). We have so many design tips, store promotions, craft ideas, new recipes, remodel updates, giveaways and so much more to share, so we hope you'll all stick around and continue to give us your lovely feedback. Can I express anymore how much I love reading every single comment? You ladies (and any fellas out there) are the very best.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

while you were out...

Last week, while my son and his family were out of town, we planned a little surprise bathroom remodel for them. In the week they were gone, we completely gutted their old bathroom and retiled and repainted it, along with putting in a new tub, sink and toilet. My son and daughter-in-law were so excited and so pleased with how it all turned out. My daughter-in-law told me it makes her happy every time she walks down the hall and sees it. She said yesterday, while the kids were in the bath, she sat on the floor and read a magazine and somehow it felt like such a treat. What she said was the very best of all was having all the work done without having to live through the dust, the plastic sheeting, workers coming and going, etc. with the kids at home. In her opinion, it was the very best of surprises!

We are very lucky to know one of the most handy craftsman around. In addition to all this amazing work and long hours (remember, he did all this before they got back from vacation), he has even taken my old pantry door and is cutting it down to fit their bathroom. If you need someone, we couldn't recommend him enough.

And when they came home from their long drive, this is what they found...

We bought this piece from Sage a while back and had used it at Palatte. We had it for sale at our Garden Sale in March 2009, but no one seemed to see its potential. So, we finally gave this amazing little piece a happy home. We cleaned it up, put in clouded glass and sunk this bowl sink into it (ok, so the sink hasn't actually been sunk in yet... you try and remodel a whole bathroom in under a week). What do you think?

So, what do you think? Do you like the finished product?
Would you enjoy this kind of surprise or would it make you crazy not to be in charge?


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