December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Wishing you all a very 
Happy New Year!  
...To all of our lovely, loyal customers and friends, our most sincere thanks for a wonderful year.  We are looking forward to a fabulous 2011, and already have lots of clever plans in mind!  

December 24, 2010

Santa's Newest Helper...

Meet Alison Perry McMillan--the cutest little Santa ever!  Congratulations to my brother John and his wife Kate on the best gift one could ever be blessed with............

December 21, 2010

Kathy's Christmas

We finish off this years Clever Christmas Quiz with Kathy, and her Danish holiday traditions...
Testing the new sled with Dad...
Tree? Real.
Lights: Clear or Colored?  Depends on the year, we've done both.  Outside we always do two giant wreaths with bows, and garlands around the door.
Favorite song?  What Sweeter Music by The Cambridge Singers. 
Christmas Dinner?  My mother always said grace in Danish.  Growing up we had a wonderful, traditional  feast that reflected the red and white colors of the Danish flag: Roasted duck or goose stuffed with apples and prunes, sweet potatoes, red cabbage, beets and cranberry jam.  Dessert was a traditional almond rice pudding with whipped cream, vanilla and served with a hot cherry sauce.  A single, whole almond was slipped in the pudding, and a prize was give to who ever found it in their dessert.
Special current family tradition?  Presents DO NOT go under the tree until Christmas Eve, and to this day the kids have to wait on the stairs Christmas morning before they are let down to see if Santa came...
Best gift ever?  My baby-blue VW Beetle Bug Convertible a few years ago. It arrived with a massive green bow, and I spent the entire day in the car, in the garage, sitting in it.  Top up. Top down.  {The car top, that is}
Have you been good this year? Sadly, no.  
Treats for Santa?  Our Santa always gets a shot of Jack Daniels and a cold beer.  He comes back year after year......
Kathy & her brother Fred.
Happy New Year! 

December 17, 2010

Even MORE Christmas Quiz...

And now, for the fourth installment of the Clever Girl Christmas Quiz...
Michelle shares her Christmas with friends, family, at least two Pug dogs, and, apparently, you'll need some PJ's to get in on Christmas Eve...
Michelle, age 8
Tree: Real or Artificial? Artificial.
Lights? Clear.
How do you decorate your tree? I like it very traditional. Ornaments and an angel on top--all the family heirlooms.  We've never done it trendy or all in silver balls or anything like that...
Stockings? Oh, yes!  Family stockings in the living room, and one for each dog in the family room.
Best childhood present? The Betsy-Wetsy doll.  Loved it! She arrived on Christmas morning from Santa, and was presented in what had been my own childhood bassinet. Santa was pretty clever...
Best Christmas Movie?  For a classic, Christmas in Connecticut.  My more modern favorite is Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
Favorite Christmas song?  O, Holy Night.  My Mother sang it in Church every Christmas.
Do you send Christmas Cards? Yes, to those far away that we don't see often.  But no "Holiday Newsletter".
Best family tradition? Following Mass on Christmas Eve, we have a scavenger hunt.  A new pair of PJ's for each family member are hidden somewhere in the house, yard or neighborhood.  We get 4 to 5 "clues" (that must  rhyme) and have to find them and put them on--only then can the evening proceed!  Homemade lasagna and crab legs are served.  (I get together with the same group of friends every year to make the lasagna.) We have lots of Champagne, and go to bed so Santa can come.
Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?  Hot Chocolate with Kahlua and Whipped Cream.  Yum!
Clever Girl favorite this year?  I love the Go Dotty Go scarves.  They're all hand made, colorful, and one-of-a-kind.
Treats for Santa? Milk, cookies and always carrots for the Reindeer--you can't ever forget them!

Michelle's children in the "Early PJ Years"
Meredith, Dan and John

December 9, 2010

Merry Christmas, Ya'll

Lynn, our very own Miss Texas, shares her Christmas memories as we continue the Clever Girl Christmas Quiz...
Christmas morning, Lynn, age 5.

Tree: Real or artificial? Real
Lights: Colored or Clear?  Clear.
Best gift ever?  My blue bike.  I was so surprised, amazed and thrilled to receive it.  Apparently, I even tried to sleep on it--that's how much I loved it.  It was bright blue, had training wheels, and was the best thing ever!!!
Eggnog or Hot Chocolate?  I've never turned down either...
Best Christmas memories?  As a child I really looked forward to driving downtown in Austin to see all the Christmas decorations, looking at the wonderfully decorated windows with animated figures, and, of course, getting dressed up to go visit Santa.
Favorite Christmas dessert?  I loved what we called Sandtarts, made with fresh pecans from the trees that my father planted in our yard the first year we lived in our house, and the wonderful vanilla that was manufactured in the Adams Extract factory outside of Austin, Texas.
Favorite song?  The jazzy sounds of the Vince Guaraldi Trio playing the tunes from A Charlie Brown Christmas. No techno Christmas for me, I'm stuck in the 1960's. 
Best Christmas movie? My whole family truly enjoys, A Christmas Story, about  Ralphie dreaming about his Red Rider BB gun, going to visit the department store Santa, and wishing for all the toys in the department store windows.
Favorite Clever Girl item to recommend this year?  Baggallini  totes and bags are something I'm a big fan of.  I'm not real good at traveling light, and they hold everything I need--no easy feat!
Have you been a good girl this year? As far as Santa knows, I've been an angel...
Snow: Love it or hate it?  Not sure yet...  My Christmases were never white, so it was quite a shock when my first "White Christmas" happened to be during the winter of 1978 in Chicago--the beginning of the legendary worst winter for many years!  It was a Texas sized, "Merry Christmas ya'll, and Welcome to Chicago!"
Strike a pose...
Modeling her new Christmas watch.

December 6, 2010

Hollywood Holiday Shopping Announcement

As a service to our customers, Clever Girl  would like to inform you that THIS Thursday, December 9th, you might, just might, have to stand in line at the counter behind Matt Damon or Gwyneth Paltrow.  
In case you've missed it these past weeks, Hollywood is in Western Springs, filming Contagion.  This Thursday, they will be filming on Burlington Avenue all day--some of it right in front of the store! The cast includes: Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Lawrence Fishburne and Marion Cotillard.  Not bad, right?  You've heard of one or two of them--yes?  One of those little golden statues has even found its way to several of them...
We apologize in advance if Ms. Winslet snaps up the last pair of Magic Mittens, or Lawrence Fishburne buys up all of the Cheese Ball kits. (They are delicious!)  Jude Law might pick up a sparkly baubble or two, and Marion Cotillard will surely need some warm, snuggly sweaters while in Chicago.  And Gwyneth?  Well, we suspect she'll go for the Christmas ornaments and scented candles to jazz up her hotel room. As for Matt Damon--he's the one we know will actually be working, so we'll let him shop later...
Matt Damon on location for Contagion 

So please don't say we didn't warn you, and remember a digital camera and a pair of good binoculars are a stalkers super-fans best friend.
PS Western Springs Patch is a great way to get all the movie coverage and local news....{click here} and check it out.

December 3, 2010

Christmas Quiz Part II

Continuing in our series of the Clever Girl Christmas Quiz, this time, it's our resident fashionista Linda's turn...
Linda, on right, applying tinsel...

Tree: Real or Artificial?  Real.
Lights: Colored or Clear? Colored--probably because growing up Grandma had bubble lights, and I thought those were so fun!
What's on top of the tree? An angel my parents brought back from Italy, and underneath we have a Manger.
Favorite Christmas song? Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt.
Best gift you ever got?  The Christmas when I was 7 my sister and I each got a Patti-Playpal doll.  It was almost life size, and we were overwhelmed with them.  One year we came downstairs to find my Dad had a brand new, bright red Plymouth delivered (for himself).  It had the huge bow on it and everything.  So that was pretty dramatic too....
How did you learn the truth about Santa?  What truth?
Christmas dinner: Home or away?  Growing up, we went to my Grandmother's house in Queens, NY.  My Mom had 11 brothers and sisters, so it was always a packed house.  The adults ate in the dining room, but the kids all squished in the kitchen.  Now it's family at home.
Eggnog or Hot Chocolate?  Oh, definitely Hot Chocolate.  With rum.  And Cinnamon on top.  And rum.
Favorite holiday activity?  In a word: Shopping!
Any special tradition with your kids?  When they were little, I used to hide these funny elf-gnomes all around the house.  Ostensibly they were there to "report back" to Santa on how well everyone was behaving.  A new one would appear every day leading up to Christmas.  My kids were half happy, half scared to have them around...
Clever Girl favorite this year?  Jewelry, jewelry, jewelry.  I'm in love with the Bohm collection.
Your best movie to recommend?  Anything with Fred and Ginger.  Top Hat is one I have always loved...
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