Saturday, December 27, 2008

Always Thinking

Well new ideas for themes in each of the rooms are running in my head around the clock now. I had my notebook out most of the day designing new floor plans and jotting down prop ideas. Claudia even spent part of the day preparing props for the Hemingway Room. I have always been a list maker, but when it comes to changing the shop around there can never be too many lists. I never move a piece of furniture without a complete plan for the move.... usually one move turns into five hundred moves, just ask Susan.
I'm very excited about the plans for the winter season. I believe we will be giving you a warm and cozy shopping experience, that will inspire you in your own home. I can't touch the shop till after the first of the year, that gives you a last chance to take in this years holiday decor, but about one week later expect changes. I will be sure to post pictures!

Always Grateful

I just want to express my gratitude to all that supported us by shopping at HiHo throughout the holiday season. From the bottom of my heart, Thank You! Despite the media and bad weather we had a great season...I'm glad to say we did just fine, thanks to you.

Photo credit to Aubrey, October 2008, Springtown Road, New Paltz, N.Y.

Friday, December 26, 2008


Wishing you many happy returns of the day.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

I Love What I Do

After two days of snow removal and the quiet it inflicted on the shop, I'm starting to feel like the end of the retail Christmas season is near. Well to be honest it does give me a little feeling of relief, the thought of getting things back in order is appealing. The shop has had a wonderful energy this year and it will be hard to see things die down again. I am trying to stay in the moment and enjoy the last push of customers finishing up their holiday shopping. I'm so happy with this years holiday theme displays, it's hard to believe I spent much of today plotting out what the shop will look like after they are all taken down. Hmmmm...warm colors, winter nesting, maybe a reading theme, remixing, props, lighting, lots of cleaning, packing trees, refresh the Christmas room and I need to get some sleep. I really do love what I do, it's great knowing we can always try to top last year, whatever the season. January is going to fly by.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My Pink Tree


I have been teased lately on whether I really have a tree of pink ornaments in my home. I often tell people of my beloved tree, but rarely have the occasion to share it with friends. So I break my unwritten rule and I'm posting a few shots of my home.




Last Minute Gifts

It's the last weekend before Christmas and we have been blessed with snow. Snow, snow, snow and it looks like more is on the way.


It felt so genuine to say "Merry Christmas" as I shoveled with snowflakes drifting in the breeze. Maybe it's the Buffalo in me. ( I was born and raised in Buffalo New York, yup lots of snow.) The small retail shop owner in me is not as thrilled with the snow. But I was thrilled to see my paperwhite bulbs coming up. Lets see, snow and paperwhites it's beginning to feel like Christmas.
Well the last of the small fluffy owls are all gone and many of the trees in the shop are looking picked over, but we still have some super gifts for you last minute shoppers. We put together some gift baskets!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Great Window Display!

....makes you smile right!
This is in the window of Fishs Eddy in New York City.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Delightful Day

Today was my last day off till Christmas and I spent it with my two favorite girls. We had planned a trip to the city with"Auntie" Claudia, but bad weather was threatening a bad hair day and a stomach thing laid up Claudia, soooo... we went shopping. Isn't that what girls do when things start going wrong? We visited Rhinebeck and all their little shops. Had lunch, giggled and just enjoyed the day off together. It's so nice for me to be able to support other small businesses, it always seems I'm on the other side of the counter. I was able to get a good amount of presents checked off my list.


Our holiday hours begin tomorrow, we will be open every evening till 8pm, opening at 10am. So let us help you with your list...yes we will be open on Christmas Eve but only till the late afternoon. I need to get ready for Santa's arrival and so do you!

Monday, December 15, 2008


As the holiday season gets closer and time is running short, don't forget hostess presents. These beautiful Nantucket baskets are full of paperwhite bulbs. They are packaged by a company that employs mentally challenged adults. The baskets have a plastic liner and the bulbs have already been planted in soil. All that needs to be done is watering. The baskets come in three different sizes and with both red and or white ribbon. The largest size is only forty dollars.

So whether it's a small gathering of friends, grandma or even your boss these blooming baskets are sure to be a lovely, thoughtful gift. Join us here at HiHo in supporting a business that gives back, while giving a present that will keep giving.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Yummies and Goodies

What would the holiday be without sweets? We have a number a different choices this year. When we visited the trade shows I tasted every form of confection I could get my sweet tooth around. It's a tough job but someone has to do it. Peppermint Bark is my personal favorite so after trying every companies version, I choose Simple Scrumptious's bark served up in wonderful packaging. We are selling their Peppermint Hot Chocolate as well. I have always been a hot chocolate drinker,( I don't drink tea or coffee) the season does not effect my consumption, it's my hot drink of choice. I was very fussy about picking a cocoa.
We added caramels to or product mix after the last gift show. They are always on our counter, a few local merchants have an addition to them...(you know who you are).
Candy canes, peppermint straws, ribbon candy, chocolate covered pretzels, small chocolate trees....well the shop is one big temptation. As always the packaging needs to have a vintage flare and compliment the color stories in the rooms.
We even have candy for the naughty person on your cinnamon nuggets....candy coal.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tree in a Can

After two large orders of Tree in the Can candles selling out, we have restocked are shelves once again. Now is the time for you to stock up! One scent with lots of labels to choose from. Two for you and one for a friend, a great hostess gift.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Why should we spend endless hours unpacking breakables and rearrange our living spaces to accommodate them? Some how putting up the lights, searching our minds to recall how we set all of it up last year and obsessing over the spacing between ornaments makes us feel good?? Hmmm... I don't know, it's an added bonus if you enjoy the preparations, but you know, you and your family love the end result. A transformed living space ready to entertain in, even if just for the immediate family. An American watching fire works on the fourth of July or Trick or Treating with your siblings.
Every year our house is completely decorated for Christmas by the tenth of December (Whitney's Birthday) but not this year, Whit doesn't get home from school till Monday. She had asked to please wait for her arrival before the decorating begins. I am sorta spoiled, not everyone has a willing helper to do the lights on the tree. She has learned well the art of layering the tree....fluff, lights, fluff, filler, fluff, ornaments, birds, bows...view. With over twenty five years of collecting ornaments, the tree usually takes two days.
One might think with the shop so decorated for the holiday I might cut back on the home decor, however the shop feels public to know none of the ornaments are attached to a memory yet.

OK... I wanted to give some tips on planning your decorating this year.

1. organize your decorations by color, they will compliment your homes decor better

2. groupings or small clusters, telling a story with items is always better than spreading the decorations everywhere

3. holiday music helps set the will get more done

4. those tacking plastic pieces from your husbands childhood tree will look better grouped on a wreath, the more the better, you can tell him they were so special you wanted to highlight them

5. there is nothing wrong with having a fake tree, just be sure to light a "Tree in the Can" candle, you don't want to miss out on the pine scent in your home for the season

6. tinsel is a must, if you don't want the mess you can always get reusable tin tinsel

7. when decorating the tree... pool a fluffy quilt under it until all the ornaments are safely hung

8. save those silly holiday drawings the kids did in grade school in the bottoms of your decoration boxes, they will get a kick out of them every year

9. mistletoe

10. don't try to get it done all in one day...remember you are suppose to be enjoying yourself

I'm sure I will think of five more things after I post this blog, but I know you understand when I say I love decorating my home. I love being surrounded by Christmas past while enjoying being in the moment of this years memories in the making.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Each year our small town of Gardiner has an evening of caroling followed by the town tree lighting and hot cocoa.This year the Gardiner Association of Businesses (GAB) added The Trees of Giving to the festivities. Members of GAB registered to compete in a tree decorating competition. Needless to say,this week I have been working behind the scenes putting together a tree for the event. Working within the size guidelines and the call for each tree to represent ones business, I got painting. The theme for my tree..."HiHo the center of the hamlet". I did quick thumbnails of the buildings in town and proceeded to simplify them in paint on ornaments. Time was a factor.


Bryan stopped by the shop the evening of the event with Humphrey's favorite girl, Audi. Dawn, my friend from the barber shop across the street joined Everett and I in lighting 100...that's right one hundred luminaries, that lined the way for the carolers. At seven o'clock crowds of people lined the street singing in the holiday season, it's so nice to be proud of the community you live in.

I'm sorry I don't have a shot of the street lit up, but I was in the moment. The Trees of Giving portion of the evening was after the tree lighting. People gathered inside the Town Hall to view 18 trees, they are wonderful. The trees are on display all this week and you may vote for your favorite by placing non perishable food products in boxes under each tree. Hence the name Trees of Giving! The Town Hall is open from 9 to 4.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Notes from the HiHo Office AGAIN

This winter like many people, I promised myself I would take on projects that I can’t get done other times of the year. Things slow down and I wanted to make sure tackling my office was a priority. I needed an office chair, the one I found turned out to be the inspiration for the whole room. Mid Century Modern, sorta. I knew I wanted to apply something to the wall that represented what we do here at HiHo. The home decor magazines fit perfect into the theme and the design was based on the circular pattern in the curtains.
The next exciting find for the office was this 1954 Hoffman TV, which Humphrey’s bed fit perfectly into. It looks great on top of the extra desk and he does nap in it daily. He feels very safe behind the glass.Of course my office has other important things in it, the refrigerator, time sheets but most importantly my computer where I stay in touch with you.
Remember you will always be more productive in a space that makes you happy.

Maybe you will even be able to take a nap.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

new goods

I had promised shots of recently purchased goods....
my new camera has arrived.

Cottage Style Painted Chair
matches a wonderful table and four more chairs

Child's Table with delightful enamel top in perfect condition has a wooden base painted pine green along with a chair.

Set of Four Holiday Scene Glasses SOLD

Petite Poodle Pillow SOLD

Vintage Fabric Humpty Dumpty Swing

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Different is Fun

"in order to be irreplaceable one must be different"

-CoCo Chanel

Friday a customer gave the shop the best complement. Her words were "everything seemed dull in comparison" She had been in the weekend of the open house and had brought visiting out of town family in as part of their Thanksgiving tour of Gardiner. Fun, fun , fun is the only way to describe the past two days, the parking lot ,the shop and the register have all been full.( we are thankful )

The lines at the counter came in waves, while Claudia and Whitney wrapped and bagged sales all day.


Of course I have had my doubts over the past three and a half years about looking different than all the other stores in the area, some how I just kept telling myself to hang in. Look at us now....they stand in line to be apart of something different.

Thank You!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth

I was blogging about and came upon this plea for consumers to think and shop local this holiday was like hearing myself, so here it is....
"I think even the most average of person knows that the day after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday. The day when retailers (hopefully) bask in the glow of their cash registers and close the day with great profits. This year, all eyes will be on us as the national news will spin the outcome. Please bring in your out-of-towners and show them our little gem of a store. Remember, when looking for something different- shop local! ALL of our favorite homegrown retailers need us more than ever this season. We hope to see you!"
Wow, I could not have said it any better...Happy Thanksgiving!

A Trip to PA

My husband Richard and I realized a few years ago that we could travel a short distance from home and feel like we have traveled to another world. Thankfully going only a short distance, gives us the peace of mind that if needed we could be home or to the shop within an hour. Well as always it's a business run for merchandise, mixed with good food and time together. We waded through many hours of cluttered booths of "stuff ". He brought a camera so I could share part of our adventure.
The Selection of Pottery Was Endless

Every Space Was Loaded

Richard Standing Under a Huge Flag

The longer we wondered about hunting through for things to bring back, the sillier we got. Pointing out outrageous items to each other and enjoying the laughter.

Richard Kissing Up to The Locals

The Vintage Playboy Magazines Were a Hit

I really enjoyed seeing all the great Christmas decor on display. We saw many home made items from the 50's and enjoyed reading album covers from holiday record covers. Yes of course a few items made it back to my house.... a little paper house with a pink roof and three caroling girls in pink robes will now be a part of our Christmas.

Me With a Fantastic Assortment of Vintage Santas