October 6, 2019

Best of the Best.....to Watch

Greetings fellow Clever Girls.  I want to share this wonderful site, Willow and Thatch,  with all of you, as I'm so excited to have discovered it....  




As you probably know, Downtown Abbey, the movie is now playing.  For those of us that were entranced with the series on television, this is indeed a treat to once again see the Crawley family in action, and all of the intrigue that surrounds them.  Having seen the new film, I can tell you it doesn't disappoint.  The costumes, characters, beautiful musical score and depiction of life in a simpler time are all still there.  Things pick up just as they were, and, at the end, I was left wanting more.  (I think the door is clearly open--wide open--for sequels.)  Hence the thrill of finding the blog, Willow and Thatch!  

For those of us who can not get enough of all things period drama, this is indeed a treasure trove of a website.  As they describe the site, "Willow and Thatch loves period dramas from the Georgian/Regency, Victorian and Edwardian eras, and beyond. We write reviews about the best historical and costume dramas, share news about what's coming to your favorite streaming services, and through our articles and The Willow and Thatch Period Films List, offer recommendations of what to watch."

Even thought I have 100's of channels,and Netflix, and YouTube and on and on, often I don't find anything of quality to watch.  But now, happily, I have a HUGE list of previously unknown gems to view.  AND just look at the line up of things to come!



There is a new version of Emma on the way....


An excellent sounding new mystery, Vienna Blood....


Christmas 2019 will be bringing Meryl Streep in a new version of  Little Women.


The Singapore Grip is both a love story and a war story--an epic new period series set during World War Two.


The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair That Changed America is also coming soon. Set in Chicago, the Gilded Age drama centers on the true story of two men, who meet at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair – Daniel H. Burnham, the fair’s architect, and Dr. H.H. Holmes, an evil pharmacist, who is Americas first documented serial killer.


And,  then, there is Sandition to look forward to in the bleak of our coming January winter.  Jane Austen's last work is a witty and delightful novel set in a seaside town.   

I discovered all of this via Willow and Thatch.  Do look over their site--It's full of the promising distractions that we all love to see...


September 23, 2019

Salty Talk...

As the days close in, and the evenings begin to have a bit of chill, setting the table inside, once again becomes a special ritual.  My grandmother always changed out her light summer linens and place settings on October first in favor of her more formal settings, the big silver candelabras, and  she put out the pretty crystal salt cellars.  The candlelight made the salts twinkle like little jewels on the table; and I always was excited when she asked me to fill them before dinner.  




Have you seen our selection of vintage salt cellars?  We have a large case filled with a terrific selection.  Some are sold as sets, while others are fun to mix-and-match.  They add so much to a luncheon or dinner table setting and make a clever and memorable hostess gift.  Add one of our containers of delicious, French salts, and you've got a truly lovely gift that will be long remembered.

Keep these in mind for engagement, anniversary or weddings gifts.  What a lovely tradition to begin a collection for someone special and add a few for each holiday.  I keep an odd little one on the window above my sink to hold my rings when I'm cooking--another great idea for these lovely little dishes....

For more on the history of salt cellars, CLICK HERE for a video from Martha Stewart--very interesting!




September 6, 2019

W is for Water

Freshly delivered to the kitchen department at Clever Girl....a new book that will inspire you to infuse your water and put a little magic in your glass. Infused Water: 50 Simple, Gorgeous Drinks for Ultimate Hydration and Health, will give you some delicious direction.

Everyone knows we should drink more water – sales of reusable water bottles have soared as we seek to cut down on our plastic and maintain maximum hydration. But it hasn't been the most inspiring of drinks – until now.
Infused Waters offers 50 beautiful, healthy drinks that will help you get through the day's challenges. With chapters on fruit infusions, herbal waters, and spicier blends, you'll find ways of adding a little vitamin C to your office bottle, and floral fragrance to the dullest of drinks.



As summer fades into fall, the dryer indoor air becomes the enemy of hydration.  Forced air and winter winds can make our skin dry and parched.  This new book is filled with lovely recipes for hot and cold water infusions - simple ways to jazz up your normal glass of water and help keep you hydrated.

There are some lovely ideas that also look (and taste) amazing in big jugs - perfect for entertaining. And some soothing, hot recipes too.

Defiantly an excellent book to keep on hand for inspiration and filled with great information!



June 11, 2019

Floral Libations...

Look at the lovely new book we've just gotten in!  I just LOVE this!!!  Isn't the cover so pretty?!?


Right on time for summer sipping, we've got a new spin on cocktails for the season.  This beautiful little book is as fun to read as it is to mix from.  Cassie Winslow has put together an inspiring book, indeed.  Click here: http://bit.ly/2GBH2fM to listen to an interview she did all about using florals in cocktails.  The photos are stunning as well...



Recipes include:
• Iced Lavender CafĂ© au Lait 
• Rose Petal Almond Milk
• Dandelion Tea Cinnamon Cappuccino 
• Hibiscus Old Fashioned
• Plum Rosewater Gin and Tonic 
• Orange Blossom Moscow Mule

Defiantly keep this on hand as a go-to gift.  Add a bottle or two of some special liquors, and you've got the perfect gift for a lake-house hostess gift.  

May 6, 2019

Mother's Day Gift Guide...

Mother’s Day is Sunday May 12!  Here are a few of my favorite Clever Girl things...




A box of hand decorated stationary...
Lovely Gift Enclosure cards with a garden theme...
Floral Libations, an absolutely beautiful book...


Jardin Tea Gift Set in keepsake box...


A fresh floral top or scarf...


Floral Jewelry for a pop of color...





February 21, 2019

P is for Picasso...



This is such a fun time of year as new merchandise really starts flooding in the door.  Here is just one of my favorite new things this week.  

Other than dots and stick figures, I have exactly "zero" talent for drawing, and have always been envious of those who can translate what's in their head onto paper.  These darling new paint by number kits are just the ticket for the art impaired.  Each tube contains a printed canvas, paints, brushes and a guide for painting.  When you're done, you have a delightful, professional looking floral painting.  I'm going to hunt around for a vintage frame to put around mine...   



There are several kits to chose from, all very pretty  florals.  They come packaged in a clever tube and contain everything you need for the project--I love that you don't have to scramble around for anything.  Wouldn't this make a thoughtful hostess gift for someone?  Or get several and make the painting part of a girls weekend where everybody gets to take home a masterpiece as well as the memories of doing them together.  




Stop in to see the kits in person, or shop online and we can send some right out to you.  Whichever one you chose, don't for get to sign your name when you finish...


January 28, 2019

Wintertime, Fireside...



As you surely know, we are huge fans of the Nest Fragrances line around here.  We have one of these extraordinary candles burning each and every day at Clever Girl, and I light one every evening at home.  

In my opinion, nothing is better on these dreary, damp, January evenings, than the Hearth Candle.  The fragrance is soft, smoky, rich and fills a room with personality.  Think English Gentleman's private club, Downton Abby, leather chairs, hounds, pipe tobacco (just a hint) and a heavy, cut crystal tumbler filled with a deep amber colored  bourbon.  Add some jazz, a good book, and, of course a fire, and there you have it.  This is an aristocratic scent that makes cold and snowy evenings instantly restful.  

Even if you don't have an actual fireplace, Hearth will transport you fireside and make these lingering winter evenings most pleasant...I absolutely recommend you have one on-hand until the first crocus raises its lovely head.



December 8, 2018

Recipe Round-Up...


Thank you to everybody that attended our Christmas Open House.We love seeing you all and I can't believe it's been 10 years already!  We had lots of fun, food and libations.  Here's a round up of the recipes....  

Hot Pepper Cranberry Spirals
Makes 24 Spirals
Ingredients
2 sheets (1 box) puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons fresh thyme, additional for garnish if desired
1 egg, whisked with a dash of water


Directions
Preheat oven to 400°F and prepare 2 baking sheets by covering them with parchment paper.
Carefully unfold the puff pastry sheets onto a flat surface to ensure there are no tears. Gently spread 2 ounces of cream cheese evenly onto each sheet, leaving the top inch uncovered. Spread the Hot Pepper Cranberry Jelly over the cream cheese and sprinkle each sheet with one tablespoon of thyme.
Brush the top inch that was left uncovered with the egg. Beginning at the bottom, roll the puff pastry sheets tightly until you have completed the roll.
Place in the refrigerator to allow it to firm up for about 30 minutes for ease with cutting. Remove and slice into 1/2” slices.
Place each slice down on the prepared baking sheets and bake for 24-28 minutes, or until the slices have puffed and browned slightly. Garnish with additional thyme and serve warm.



Fluffy Peppermint Dip

Ingredients:
1 container (7 oz.) Marshmallow Fluff
8 oz Cream Cheese
1 tsp Peppermint Extract
¼ c Peppermints, crushed
1-2 drops red food coloring (optional)


    Directions:
    Using a mixer on low combine Marshmallow Fluff, cream cheese, and peppermint extract.
    Sprinkle with crushed peppermints and continue to mix until they are fully incorporated into the fluff.
    Add red food coloring to create a light pink color. This is optional.
    Serve with chocolate graham crackers, or your favorite dipper.


    Curry Mayonnaise 


    Ingredients: 
    2½ Tablespoons fresh lime juice
    1 Tablespoon honey
    1 Tablespoon curry powder
    ½ teaspoon ground ginger
    ½teaspoon garlic salt
    2 cups mayonnaise

    Directions: 
    Whisk together the lime juice, honey, curry powder, ginger, and garlic salt in a small bowl.  Slowly whisk the lime mixture into the mayonnaise in a medium bowl, using a fork or a flat whisk.  Be gentle so the mayonnaise doesn't "break".  Store, tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to one month.  Serve with assorted, fresh vegetables.  
      This is great as a base for chicken salad, on French fries,or as a dip for shrimp cocktail.

        For recipes from past Clever Girl gatherings, click HERE and HERE





November 26, 2018

Little Tree...


I read this little poem every year--and particularly love the line, "look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine". It's just how I think of opening the Christmas closet where we store the masses of vintage ornaments for my mothers absolutely fantastic feather tree.



[little tree]

BY E. E. CUMMINGS
little tree 
little silent Christmas tree 
you are so little 
you are more like a flower 

who found you in the green forest 
and were you very sorry to come away? 
see i will comfort you 
because you smell so sweetly 

i will kiss your cool bark 
and hug you safe and tight 
just as your mother would, 
only don't be afraid 

look the spangles 
that sleep all the year in a dark box 
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine, 
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads, 

put up your little arms 
and i'll give them all to you to hold 
every finger shall have its ring 
and there won't be a single place dark or unhappy 

then when you're quite dressed 
you'll stand in the window for everyone to see 
and how they'll stare! 
oh but you'll be very proud 

and my little sister and i will take hands 
and looking up at our beautiful tree 
we'll dance and sing 
"Noel Noel" 


Isn't that lovely?  I hope you all enjoy dressing your trees as we enter into the most wonderful time of the year.  We've dressed the store with lovely spangles, ornaments, gifts and pretty things.  We're ever at the ready to help make your season more merry...




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