December 31, 2011

Fresh Starts

Once again, a Happy New Year to you all.  Are you off to a good start?  I am.  We celebrated Hogmanay, {the Scottish celebration of the last day of the year} in Michigan with a lively group, and feasted as the Italians do.  Lasagna, meatballs and all the trimmings.  We skipped the traditional fireballs they set alight in Edinburgh, and settled for some roaring logs in the fireplace instead.

A quiet day of "recovery" followed.  The good old puzzles came out, a few board games and several rounds of cards...We took the dogs for a long country walk and popped over to Mr. and Mrs. V's to watch the Rose Bowl.  (They are most excellent hosts, as they never run out of limes for the vodka, nor vodka for the limes.)  The question of New Year's resolutions came up, and mine is: out with the old, in with the new.  That's what's fun and fresh about a new year.  Time to mix things up a bit...

To that end, let me give you a bit of advance notice that the Clever Girl Winter sale begins this Tuesday, January 10th.  Enjoy savings of 25%-75% off selected clothing, accessories, and home goods.  (And hooray, no huge snowstorms to keep you trapped at home; you've no excuse not to make it in...)

December 30, 2011

New Year Wishes

To all of our wonderful, loyal, and clever customers, we send you best wishes
for a very Happy New Year in 2012.  

We thank you for making this a fantastic year at the store, and have a whole slate of clever, new, discoveries ready to share with you.

PS: Watch the web site, for details on our upcoming February trunk show of Eyebobs.

December 27, 2011

Holiday Sale

Post-Holiday Greetings to you all...Just a quick reminder that it's time for our 1/2 off the Holidays Sale.
All Christmas items are now 50%-75% off.  Tuck a few ornaments away for next year, or get a jump on things with some cards and stationary....Only while supplies last, so don't delay!

December 21, 2011

A Little Christmas Poem...

'Twas only days before Christmas, and still at your house
online orders had failed you, with the click of  the mouse.

The "adorable" knit socks are hideous to behold, 
and the gourmet fruitcake looks like it has a greenish mold.

That blouse that you ordered is not such a delight, 
and the so-called "handmade" earrings are really quite a fright.

The purse is the wrong color, and no one seems to care,
customer service doesn't exist, so don't even go there. 

Such are the perils of Holiday ordering online,
whereas in person, it's right every time!

So in case the internet has failed you, and your deliveries have gone astray, 
let us now remind you that Clever Girl can still save the day!

Holiday Hours:
Thursday, December 22ond 9:30-8:00pm Shop Late!
Friday, December 23rd 9:30-5:30
Christmas Eve, 9:30-3:30

December 19, 2011

Still a Little Time

Fear not, Clever Girls--there is still time to make your list, and check it twice!  Our elves are standing by to help you find wonderful gifts, and wrap them all up in pretty pink ribbons and bows.  Purses, sweaters, jewelry, scarves, mittens, candles  are ready to nestle under the tree. We have great things for the stockings, too.   Avoid the madness of the mall, and "wrap" it all up right here in town...

PS  Don't forget, we're open until 8 pm this Thursday.

November 16, 2011

Let's Talk Turkey...

As the holidays approach, it's time to get on the soap box and talk turkey.  This isn't about that tasty feast with family and friends, rather it's about our charming community here in Western Springs and the surrounding area.  We're talkin' local...
Clever Girls always look locally first, and that's never more important than at the holidays.  Whether it's a service, dinning or shopping, using independent, locally owned, non-chain store options keeps our communities strong. Here are just a few ways you can keep things local this year using resources available in and around Western Springs...


Maybe someone on your gift list would like his driveway sealed, lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter.   How about a membership to the local gym?  Perhaps the services of a local dog trainer is in order if Fido needs a bit of self improvement...isn't that a great gift idea?

Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, locally owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.
Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut.  How about gift certificates from your local hair salon or barber? Girls just love a good manicure too, so how about that from Santa?

There are oodles of owner-run restaurants in our area-- all offering gift certificates. Options  range from fine dinning, to family style places, to the local breakfast joint.  They all offer friendly service, tasty food, great atmosphere and they count on you to come back.  Remember, folks, this isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting our local home towns.
OK, you were looking for something a bit more personal. Independent shops (like Clever Girl) are filled with wonderful, carefully chosen items, and staffed by people that really, actually want to help you find just the right thing.  You won't find that at the mall!!!

What about something from the hometown pet shop for the dog lover on your list?  How about a gorgeous bouquet of fresh flowers or a centerpiece from your independent florist?

So this season, plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated shops and restaurants.  How about going out to see a play or ballet at our hometown theater?  

For other great resources on the importance of shopping local, {click here}

November 5, 2011

Say Hello to the Holidays...

Clever Girl will be filled with all things Merry and Bright this Monday, November 7th. Enjoy Apple Cider and treats while you peruse our wonderful collection of Christmas decorations, ornaments, gifts and surprises.  It's our favorite time of the year...  See you Monday!   

October 21, 2011

A Tasty Treat... (no Trick)

If a tiny roll of sweet-tarts isn't your thing, and a lolly-pop doesn't exactly satisfy, here's a really tasty and elegant Halloween treat that's good for grown-ups.  These are SUPER easy, and you can keep the filling on hand to whip up a batch on a moments notice.  A sophisticated way to celebrate this spooky time of year with all of your witchy friends...
No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies

  • 1 cup of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp of pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbls of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp of orange food colouring (optional)
  • 20-24 wafer cookies

1 Add the softened cream cheese to a medium-size bowl. Using a stand or hand-held mixer, beat for 1 minute. Mix in sugar, pumpkin puree, vanilla and nutmeg. Fold in the food colouring if using.
Mix for another minute or until the mixture is homogeneous. Place to chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or just until serving.
3 Right before serving, take the cheesecake batter out of the fridge. Using a spoon or small ice cream scoop add a couple tablespoons of batter at the center of half of the wafers. Top with the other half and gently press down to form a sandwich. Serve immediately.
Tip: Assemble the cookies at the last minute to prevent the wafer cookies from getting soggy.
Makes about 10 cookies. 

October 10, 2011

Clever Q & A Linda

Linda has been a Clever Girl for quite some time, she just didn't always know it.  She's a mother to three kids, two dogs and has a motorcycle riding husband.  Here are 15 other things you might not know...

Clever Q & A

Q. What's your favorite city?
A. Paris

Q. Junk food--Salty or sweet?
A. I want both.  At the same time.

Q. Favorite cookbook?
A. Noteworthy, from the Women's Board at Ravinia.  

Q. Celebrity crush?
A. George Clooney.  Delicious.  

Q. What's your most prized  possession?
A. A photo album from one of our family trips to Paris.

Q. What is your favorite flower?
A. Absolutely, must be, Hydrangeas.  

Q. What's your summer vacation spot?
A. Nantucket.

Q. What's the best way to spend $3.oo?
A. Nothing beats a REAL fountain Coke.  No cans, must be on ice.

Fill in the Blank...
I collect.....
Louis Vuitton bags.  The collection is in double digits, but none are BIG enough!

My perfume is.....
Jo Malone--Orange Blossom.

I just finished reading....
The House in France, by Gully Wells.

I'm currently reading....
Keith, by Keith Richards.

I am addicted to......

As a child I wanted to be....
A runway model.

I really don't like.....

Click {here} to read Linda's Christmas quiz answers from the archives.  


October 5, 2011

Class is in Session

Just in time for fall, we offer you the Clever Girl Video Guide : 25 Ways to Wear A Scarf.  We've got oodles of great scarves right now, so study hard, and then pop on in and pick up a few of the season's best scarves...
We can promise there won't be a quiz, but you might get extra style credits if you watch this twice!

September 28, 2011

Clever Q & A

Just what makes a"Clever Girl"?  Turns out, it takes a lot!  Kathy P. is a wife, mother to three kids, two dogs and one cat.  Here are 16 other things you never knew...
Clever Q & A
Q. What's your favorite city?
A. Sarasota, FL 

Q. Coffee or Tea?
A. Coffee.  Heavy cream and sugar.  
Fuel to rule the world (or at least my corner of it...)

Q. Celebrity Crush?
A. Daniel Craig.  Adore him.

Q. What song do you crank up the volume for?
A. Crazy for You, by Madonna.  Don't ask me why.

Q. Favorite cook book?
A. The Fannie Farmer Cookbook--can't beat it.

Q. What is your most prized possession?
A. Well, they aren't really a possession, but my children would have to be it.

Q. What's the best way to spend $3.oo?
A.  Tall Starbucks Vanilla Latte.

Q. What is your favorite flower?
A. Irises: They really are so beautiful.

Q. If you could have a super hero "power", what would it be?
A.  I'd love to be invisible!  That could be quite handy...

Fill in the Blank....
My signature cocktail is........
Gray Goose & Tonic, with a lot of lime.

My all-time favorite food is.............

I am reading.......
In the Woods,  by Tana French.  Really good.

As a child I wanted to be........
A forensic scientist.

I'm addicted to......

My perfume is......
Anything by Chanel

I'm most embarrassed by.......
Many of the things I say out loud.  Oops! 

Click {here} to visit the archives for Kathy's Christmas Q & A.

September 12, 2011


A Shameless Pug Plug  

Please be sure to see the article on Clever Girl in the September issue of West Suburban Living.  This magazine is a great resource for all good things in the 'burbs, and filled with interesting places to eat and things to do... like shopping at Clever Girl!  
Sneak a peek, {click here} and happy fall!

August 31, 2011

Summer Scrapbook...

Well, I'm happy to report that all has returned to normal up here in Maine.  Hurricane Irene was nice enough to drop by--she didn't do too much damage, and declined to stay for cocktails.  The power is on, and the skys are back to being that yummy, late summer blue again.  I'm heading home very soon to get us all ready for fall at the store; Labor Day signals the end of summer, and am ready for some cooler days and cozy nights.  People always ask me what we do out here, so here's a little taste of Maine...

We made several stops at the farm stand for fresh corn, delicious tomatoes and fresh herbs.  The pumpkins are getting ready to be harvested, and the garlic drying house was filled!  Everything here is beautifully displayed and and they have heirloom vegetable varieties that I've never seen anywhere else.

The big Union Antiques show was filled with great antique finds.  Some for Clever Girl, several that will stay with me...Plus, a few Christmas gifts were found (how's that for early?)  I fell in love with several dozen vintage buttons in great colors at this wonderful booth. Such an array of styles and different shades to choose from...

 Took in a film at the historic Lincoln Theater, formerly known as "Odd Fellows Hall"... (Midnight in Paris.  Quite good, do go and see it.)
Soaked up a little of Maine's abundant history at Fort William Henry, which is just down the road. Originally built in 1692.  Now that's old!
Took the Happy Hound on long walks...
And enjoyed all of the lovely views that Maine has to offer.  Sad to leave, but very much looking forward to a fabulous fall back home...

August 19, 2011

It's trunk show time...

Who says boys don't make passes at girls that wear glasses???
Please join us, Thursday,
 September 15th, 2011* 
for a special trunk show featuring
 the new fall eye bobs collection!
Every 8 seconds, someone turns 40. Eyes over the age of 40 begin to lose their flexibility which makes focusing at close range more difficult.  No, you don’t need longer arms, more light or a menu written in larger type. Neither diet nor exercise will stave off this condition. We hate to break it to you; but reading glasses are inevitable.  Now the good news! You are not doomed to wander the racks of drugstore readers in search of the least ugly pair of cheaters.  It's eyebobs to the rescue... 
Consider this: reading glasses are an opportunity to express yourself!  You’re stylish, smart and a little bit sarcastic – your eyewear should be too.  We’ve got styles and colors to suit every mood, from dignified classics to big, bold and bright.  We’ve got sunglass readers to keep you looking stylish while reading outdoors. Prescription glasses? Convert your eyebobs into prescription eyewear.  Be the envy of younger eyes everywhere with your funky glasses!
* Get out your glasses, here's the "fine print"...
Trunk show is Thursday, September 15th from 9:30 am-1:00pm.  Representives from eyebobs will be on hand to show you the latest and greatest frames.  Enjoy refreshments while you browse.  Be sure and enter our drawing for a free pair of glasses too!

August 8, 2011

Summer Yum

If you're anything like me, you have a kitchen drawer (or two) filled with seldom used gadgets and gizmos that you thought you really needed, but didn't.  They kind of mock you from a twisted jumble of spoons, tongs and zesters that are rarely never used.  These, however, are different.  This is a gadget that's actually going to become an indispensable friend.  Girls, meet the new magic kitchen scissors....
As many of you are aware, several of the Clever Girls around here are absolutely no slouch when it comes to the cooking department: If they say it's good, it is. These herb scissors have the "CG" stamp of approval all over them.  The multi-blades make quick, neat work of even the most tender herbs; and this is the perfect tool to assist you in putting the summer's delicious and bountiful yield to good use. Snip the herbs you need neatly, quickly and right where you want them with this great gadget.  Basil, scallions, parsley, mint and dill are our summer favorites; but these babies work on just about anything.
To get you started, two of our top clever, culinary girls offer you some recipes to get cookin' with.

  • Ingredients
  • 1 (5-pound) watermelon
  • 1 Vidalia or other sweet onion (I use red, and a bit less than this calls for)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint (use the scissors!)
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 6 whole mint sprigs
  • Directions
  • Remove the melon from the rind.  Discard rind.  Remove seeds from melon and cut into bite size pieces.
    Peel and slice the onion into paperthin rings or finely chop. 
    In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, salt and pepper and whisk until salt is dissolved.  Slowly whisk  in olive oil, a few drops at a time.  Add in the chopped mint, and adjust seasonings.   
    In a large bowl combine the melon, onion and feta.  Pour the dressing over the melon mixture and gently toss until coated.  Garnish with mint springs. 
    *Note, this does not keep well.  I'd recommend making only the amount you will be enjoying at the time.  Also, I cut back on the oil just a little.
    Perfect during this upcoming hot August!
  • ~Lynn D.
  • ************************************
  • Michelle offers this scrumptious, herb infused dish (use your new scissors!) and it is a perfect way to serve up some of the seasons delicious, sun-ripened tomatoes ...

  • 4 large, ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/4c. good quality olive oil
  • 1 1/2 T. good quality red wine vinegar (St. Julian)
  • 2 T. chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 T. chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 T. chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 T. chopped fresh chives
  • 2 T. minced garlic
  • 1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Directions
  • Arrange the tomato slices in a shallow casserole dish.  Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, thyme, oregano, parsley, chives and garlic in a small bowl.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Pour herb mixture over the tomatoes, covering evenly.  Top with Parmesan cheese.  
  • *This recipe improves by letting the flavors meld together.  Be sure you have some great, crusty bread to dip into the dressing.  Enjoy!  ~Michelle M.
One last tip from  Michelle: Don't be intimidated by using fresh herbs in place of dried.   Here's her secret: Substitutions can be made in many recipes using a simple 1:3 ratio of dried to fresh herbs.  For example, if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of dried thyme, use 3 tablespoons of fresh.  
Clever, right?  Happy cooking!

July 22, 2011

Exclusive: For Subscribers Only!

Pre-Sale starts today,
Friday, July 22, 2011 
Blog subscribers (that's clever girls, like you) are receiving advanced notice of  our Summer Sale.  We won't let the cat out of the bag to everybody else until Tuesday...  Shop early for the best selection of sizes and colors.  
There's still A LOT of time to wear our cute summer clothing...

July 14, 2011

Bonne Fete de la Bastille!

Happy Bastille Day!  To celebrate the revolution, today we become Clever French Girls for 24 hours.  Live as the French do.......  So what, exactly, should one do, you ask?   Suggestions follow...
Start the day leisurely; there's no need to rush.  Have good strong coffee along with a flaky croissant, or perhaps some crepes, non?   Read the papers.  Take your dog with you everywhere--even into restaurants.  Wear something impossibly chic and black.  
Drive le Automobile as if you are insane. Rev your engine, ignore road signs, speed limits and pedestrians.  Employ the horn frequently.  Work up a few hand gestures to have at the ready.  Remember, today you are French!  You own the road. 

Aah, and then there is la vin.  Wine with lunch?  Oui!  More wine during the afternoon?  Oui, oui, s'il vous plait.  Let's add a baguette and some great fromage into the mix as well--quite French to do so.......

If you should  feel the sudden urge for a cigarette: indulge.  Do some shopping in a boutique...Perhaps aquire a new hat....Catch a French Foreign film (Although, if you're French, it isn't foreign, now is it? just go see a movie, but make it a drama; no action films.)  
Purchase armloads of fresh flowers.  Listen to some jazz...Head out to dinner around 9:30 at the absolute earliest with only your most interesting and clever friends.  Enjoy steak au poivre, and those cute little pommes frites,  tres delicieux!
Savor a wee bit more le vin, and call it a perfect French day.  Au revoir......Viva La Bastille!  

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