February 24, 2009

Ode to Lovely Lavender

I know the Beatles sang "Strawberry Fields Forever" but give me lavender fields. There's just nothing that can beat the scent of lavender. Clean. Crisp. Fresh. That's lavender. The English know it, the French mastered it, and now the Americans have perfected it. Witness the laundry sachets from Sweet Grass Farm. The handy three-pack rustic bundle is good for 15 loads of laundry; and I guarantee it's a more pure, wholesome, genuine authentic scent than ANYTHING off the grocery store shelves could ever be. Simply pop one of these in your dryer and prepare for a bouquet of lavender goodness to come wafting your way.

Many of you are already believers--good for you. For the uninitiated, you have a true treat in store for you in the happy discovery of our lavender sachet, and this is just a gateway to far more lavender learning. Think creams, soaps, lotion, candles...the list goes on and on. So, as we face the last, long days of winter here in the mid-west, and the dirty snow never quite seems to melt away, indulge in an early spring cleaning treat. 100% pure and natural and made right here in the U.S.A. Lavender fields forever...

February 21, 2009

Gossip Girl at Clever Girl

Our very own Clever Girl favorite bunny slippers are on the WB's Gossip Girl. (Apparently on the show Blair is a big fan of the cute and comfy fuzzy footwear. In fact, rumor has it that she had them written into a scene just so she could wear them on the set!) Other fans include Kelly Rippa and Katie Couric. We've long been a fan, and remind you that these slippers are the perfect way to slip a little spring on your feet.
The fluffy bunny slipper body is warm and soft, and the terry foot bed has great cushioned construction. Pose-able ears and wiggly whiskers give each pair their personality--and of course, there is a little cotton tail at the back. How can these not make you hopeful and happy? Each pair comes in an adorable gift bag. A true treat for the feet!

February 19, 2009

Isn't that Tweet

Just a quick note for today. Everybody's favorite birdies are back in stock. Our darling little singing birds in a cage have returned to us, and the stockroom is fully re-stocked.
These charming little singing birds are a perennial best seller, and we are, once again, able to fill all of your orders! Based on an old French tradition that holds all happy households have a sweet little bird to bring good cheer, our modern version adds a bit of whimsy.
A sweet tweet...

February 17, 2009

Oh no! A New Neighbor

I know this site is primarily about all that's going on at Clever Girl; but surely you'll indulge me if I digress briefly from time to time. As some of you know, I am the proud owner of THE WORLDS BEST DOG--Gracie. (You may have even met her in the store.) At any rate, she has a new friend--and I'm not too thrilled about it. It seems that a skunk has taken up residence under our back steps, and my little Beagle is ON TO IT! At first I thought the skunk might just be passing through--heading to, say, Texas for a late winter vacation. No luck. It moved in, not on, and now Gracie wants to meet the new neighbor. Morning, noon and night she's on patrol looking for the skunk, hoping against hope that she'll catch it wandering in the yard. So far, they haven't met up, but Beagle + Skunk do not equal anything good, and I'm not looking forward to the possibility of a striped skunk and a happy-go-lucky hound having a get-together. So, if anyone has a suggestion as to evicting the new guy on the block, please let me know. I'll keep you posted...

February 15, 2009

Soap Opera

Created using aromatherapy and aromachology concepts, Pré de Provence products are meticulously made - many as they have been for centuries - from the purest vegetable oils, rich shea butter and other natural ingredients. It is a collection of rare quality.
"Milk" is always a best seller for us, however, the heavenly new "Pomegranate" is fast becoming a favorite. "Honey", "Almond", "Sage" and "Lemongrass" are all delicious as well. Our special gift sleeve set is always a welcome hostess gift; or pop some into the guest bath when company is coming over. (It's also a great way to try mini versions of the best selling soaps.) If you've not tried Pre de Provence, you're in for a treat. Good clean fun!

February 12, 2009

Cooking 101

For anyone who has ever faced the dreaded question, "What's for dinner?" we offer a ray of hope. One of the most popular cook books we offer here at Clever Girl is the 101 series.
Case in point, 101 Things to Do with a Slow Cooker. Easy. Tasty. What more could a busy cook desire? How about 22 helpful hints to get you started. Then, before you can say Betty Crocker, you'll be on your way to whipping up such scrumptious dishes such as Lemonade Chicken, or Slow Cooker Lasagna. Once you've mastered slow cookery, feel free to delve into some of our other offerings like 101Things to do with a Cake Mix. Very clever indeed...

February 11, 2009

Saturday Every Day

Every day should be like Saturday...breakfast with friends, a trip to the farmers market, time for the gym. That's the idea behind our new line, Emilie Sloan; stylish, durable, practical totes that bring a little Saturday into your everyday. All of her totes are made for the outdoors, featuring her exclusive cotton-laminated fabric with a rainproof exterior that stays clean and dry when life gets messy. Emilie Sloan knows that home life doesn't end at the front door, so her totes are designed with room for your work files or towels for the pool.
New spring totes are now in at Clever Girl. The following styles are currently in stock: Isabelle, Sophie, Stasha, Audrey and the Gracie Coinlet. Skip the plain black tote bag and have a fashionable day with Emilie Sloan. Life . . . more elegant.

February 10, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

It's almost here--February 14th is soon upon us. Happy (early) Valentine's Day to everyone. For you clever shoppers, it's not too late! We have lots of goodies that any sweetheart will love. Our Pine Cone Hill cozy PJ's make a lovely gift and come in a range of yummy colors. Mariana jewelry makes for a dazzling treat sure to put some sparkle on any outfit, and our book selection has many new titles that are sure to please.
A tasty homemade treat is always a good thing...Here is my Grandmother's classic, best ever, super good, brownie recipe. The pink frosting is particularly appropriate for this sweet day of love. Let me know what you think...

Pink Peppermint Fudgies
For the fudgies:
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 stick butter
2 eggs
1 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
½ c. flour
Dash of salt

Melt 2 squares chocolate and 1 stick of butter over low heat. Cool slightly.
Add 2 eggs, 1 cup sugar, vanilla, flour and salt. Mix until combined. Pour into buttered 9x9 inch pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.

Pink Frosting:
2 c. powdered sugar
2 T. butter
2 T. milk
1 ½ t. peppermint extract
A few drops red food coloring
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 T. butter
Blend 2 c. powdered sugar, 2 T. butter, milk, peppermint and food coloring until smooth and
spreadable. Cover fudgies, and chill in refrigerator for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine remaining chocolate squares and butter in small sauce pan
over low heat until melted. Drizzle chocolate mixture
over frosted fudgies. Cut into squares.


February 9, 2009

Candle Confession

Ok, I confess. I'm a candle junkie. However, over a decade or more of intense addiction, I have developed a rarefied pallet for a candle that pleases me. A candle must, first and foremost, smell incredible. It must be long lasting and clean burning. It must be pretty enough to give as a gift, and it must be a good value.

Meet Kobo Candles. At Clever Girl we offer these in six wonderful fragrances, and they deliver on every level. The Sparkling Rose Candle, for example, has notes of Sparkling Green Leaf enrobed in a base of Pink Rose, Peony and White Orchid. It's simply springtime in a glass! Packaged in a lovely box that includes elegant matches and a snuffer lid, Kobo makes the perfect gift too, because it's ready to bestow as-is. Certainly this is a good thing to keep on hand for hostess/thank-you/oops-it's-her-Birthday emergencies. The price is not so precious that you'll feel guilty giving yourself one too. Oh, and did I mention they burn for more than 100 hours too?

February 8, 2009

A Clever Read...

Long has the movie "Auntie Mame" been a favorite of mine--but I must confess--I've never read the book. However, one of the many lovely Christmas gifts I received this year was a vintage copy of the book (1955 edition with original dust jacket). The author, Patrick Dennis, calls it, "Auntie Mame, An Irreverent Escapade in Biography" and if you're not familiar, you simply must get it at once, or at the very least rent the movie. Note: There are two versions of the film. Be sure to get the Rosaland Russell version, not Lucile Ball. The book allows for much more in-depth exploration of Mame's escapades than the movie, including the grand opening (and subsequent rapid closing) of her store,"Maison Moderne". Hysterical. Absolutely laugh-out-loud! A guaranteed mid-winter lift, I promise.

Speaking of mid-winter, the Clever Girl winter sale is winding down but there are still a few bargains to be had. Spring sweaters are arriving by the armload, and we just got in the greatest little straw totes. Perfect for you lucky girls soon to head south for a mini break...

February 7, 2009

A Sunny Saturday Start

And so to begin the Clever Girl Blog...

So many of our wonderful customers from near and far have asked me for more information and insight about Clever Girl, so I'll provide what I can.

Actually, we're humming along today; the weather is wonderfully, uncharacteristically, warm for early February here. We hit 60 degrees--and it's most welcome. People are out and about, dogs are being walked, and kids are riding their bikes all over town. Our gorgeous new handbags from Big Buddha are flying out the door along with a lot of other items. We just got in a new series of paper products (displayed in a giant, vintage doll house my mother unearthed out east) and that line seems to be hitting the spot for everybody too. Moods are good, and people are smiling!

So, what exactly is "Clever Girl"? Well... we are a retail store that specializes in--well--all things clever. You'll find clothing, jewelry, tons of accessories, home furnishings, gifts, books, paper products, and the list goes on and on. Clever Girl is actually the fourth, and newest store that we've had over the past thirty years. Others include: Finnie McClure, Abigial Rose and French Toast. We're located in Western Springs Illinois-a classic "small town" that's 14 miles west of Chicago.

People describe Clever Girl as everything from a mini-department store, to an eclectic emporium. Vintage and new co-exist happily, and fresh things are coming in all the time.

So please check back often, and certainly do come in if you're out this way. We'd love to meet you!

February 4, 2009

Away we go...

First post will be up soon. Stay tuned...
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