Who’s ready for Valentine’s Day?

I swear it was just a few months ago when I wrote about Valentine’s 2014 at Stem Gallery.  It just seems to sneak up on you.  Sneak up is the perfect word, especially when you are answering the phone on Valentine’s Day at Stem Gallery and hear the panic in some of the customers voices.  LITERALLY!!!!! First thing on the agenda for Valentine’s is a MUSTYou must enter into Stem Gallery’s  Valentine’s drawing by Thursday February 12th to win a dinner for two at “Dish”.  This is how you do it.  Order your Valentine’s flowers by the 12th and your order will automatically go into the drawing. The drawing will be held on Thursday the 12th after they close for the day and the winner will be contacted.  Dinner and flowers, your bases will be covered and that special someone in your life will be beaming.  Have you ordered your flowers yet?  Avoid that panic the day of (see above mentioned) and place your order early in the week. I was in the shop today and found all kinds of great ideas for that special one in your life.

 

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With flowers coming from South America, Japan, Hawaii, Holland and California they have a plethora of options. One dozen red roses will be $75.00 but if you want them to be extra special they are offering to put them in a keepsake crystal vase for $125.00, half dozen red roses $49.95, Designers Choice combination of colored roses $65.00.  Their roses are flown in from South America, where they grow them with sturdy stems and striking heads of color.  If your special one likes all kinds of flowers let the designers mix it up for you. Tell us their favorite flowers and we will have them ” puuuuurrrrrrrin” when you walk in the door. (Need I say more)????? For my part of Valentine’s Day, I will be sending my Mom one of the many plants.  Gosh, the orchids from California are INCREDIBLE but it is hard to make a choice as I fell in love with the antherium and the azalea tree today.  I thought the antherium plants last year were FAB, but this year they are stellar.  Either way, whatever plant I choose, I am guaranteed that my Mom will have weeks of blooms to enjoy and will continue to, as the year goes by.  ( I just decided, I’m going with the orchid plant and calling my order in on Monday). Exotic blossoms from Hawaii, Birds of Paradise, King Protea, and antherium. Who said God doesn’t have a sense of humor?  I wonder if he had the designers of the world in mind when he created them?

 

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This is crazy.  I left Stem Gallery at 1:30 this afternoon, I talked to Kurt at 3:30 and all the boxes of candy pictured on the left with the red ribbon sold out.  Here I was, excited to tell you about them, but I guess it is a case of “you snooze you loose”.  Who knew????? Conrad wanted to make sure that I mentioned the terrariums I’m glad he did, as I almost missed them.  I happy that people are starting to enjoy terrariums again. I remember when I was younger, how they were the rage. I always thought they were like having a small jungle in a vase.  A terrarium would be perfect for that special guys desk in the office along with the desk set pictured below.

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I like boxes of all kinds and my friends know it.  I’m hoping Kurtis takes the hint,  One of these heart boxes would be great to add to my collection.

There’s just so much to see, you need to go in asap and order your flowers or pick up that special gift item for that special one in your life.  Go pay a visit and let Stem Gallery help you make your Valentine’s Day that special day.

Celebrating 15 years at Stem Gallery

I remember the day Kurtis called me to tell me that he and Conrad were starting their own business.  At that time, I was in business myself and I remember saying “About time”.  Their first store was located in the Clock Tower shopping center.  It wasn’t more than 3 years later that we would spend many Sunday afternoons looking for a location with more space.  On the 5th year at Clock Tower, Kurtis called to tell me they found a place and wanted me to see it.  We all know the rest of the story.  The V.F.W. building at 5630 P. Street became the new home of Stem Gallery.

It is like a second home to me, as over the years I have gone to market with Kurtis and Conrad to purchase gift items for the store.  I love to walk in the door and be greeted with Jessica’s sweet smile, all the different smells of the many candles, the sound of water flowing from the different fountains and the display of the many gift items.  The senses are almost overloaded with all there is to see and smell, one has to take special care not to miss a nook where an item has been thoughtfully tucked.

November 20th marks the stores 15 year anniversary and they are celebrating their anniversary with 20% off all items in the store EXCEPT cut flowers.  You are in for the time of your life with this celebration.

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I came around the corner and found this in the children’s clothing section.  It made me laugh to myself when I thought of this bib hanging on a child’s chest on Thanksgiving Day.  It should bring a smile to everyone’s face at the table. And if you are looking for that perfect Christmas outfit the children’s clothing corner has plenty to offer.

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If you haven’t heard of this product, now is the time.  I just happened to find a hysterical video on You Tube one day.  I was showing the video to Kurtis and Conrad when they were over for dinner and they said “We’re carrying it”.  I squealed with delight and Kurtis gave me a can. I will tell you right now that “Poo-Pourri” is everything it claims to be. “ Spritz the bowl before you go” is the perfect motto.  It is made with a blend Ruby Red Grapefruit and Natural Essential Oils  You will want it for the holiday season.  I am going to buy one for everyone in my family for Christmas, let me tell you they will all give me a bad time when they read the can, BUT will be thanking me for it once they’ve tried it.

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The Santa selection at the store is extraordinary, but this Santa won my heart.  He reminds me of the Santa’s that you see on Victorian Christmas cards.  You will love him too when you see him.

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These Santa’s reminded me of the Santa’s that those of us who grew up in the 50’s and 60’s have memories of.  Adorable!!!

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Swan Creek Candle Co. and Kringle candles are my new “FAVS” in the world of candles. I came home with the Roasted Espresso candle from Swan Creek and it makes my whole house smell like a warm coffee shop. I have already picked out the scents from Kringle  (you should smell the Lemon) that I’m to going give as stocking stuffers.  Either one will make a “Fab” hostess gift.

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This jewelry collection is the perfect answer for women of all ages.  What is your fancy?  Whatever it is, you will find it here.

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These little toothpick holders will brighten up your party table especially if you have one of each sitting on it.

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I want all of the above.

There’s just so much to see, Kurtis and Conrad work very hard to offer something excellent that fits into everyone’s budget.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and like many of you I am looking forward to spending time with my family.  The menu has already been set for our family gathering, this year I am bringing Ina Garten’s “Zuchinni Au Gratin” it has become a family favorite.  I think that you will find it turns out to be a family favorite for you too.

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, plus extra for topping
1 pound yellow onions, cut in 1/2 and sliced (3 large)
2 pounds zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick (4 zucchini)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup hot milk
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
3/4 cup grated GruyereDirections
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Melt the butter in a very large (12-inch) saute pan and cook the onions over low heat for 20 minutes, or until tender but not browned. Add the zucchini and cook, covered, for 10 minutes, or until tender. Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook uncovered for 5 more minutes. Stir in the flour. Add the hot milk and cook over low heat for a few minutes, until it makes a sauce. Pour the mixture into an 8 by 10-inch baking dish.Combine the bread crumbs and Gruyere and sprinkle on top of the zucchini mixture. Dot with 1 tablespoon of butter cut into small bits and bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly and browned.

We at Stem Gallery wish all of you a Blessed Thanksgiving and are grateful for your patronage.

 

It’s all about the Ladies on Oct. 29th

Two days after I wrote the last blog I dropped by Stem Gallery to(believe it or not), pick up hamburger of all things (Kurtis wanted me to make chili this week).  Well, to say the least my mouth dropped when I walked in the door.  Mind you, Conrad and Kurtis told me they had more gift items to put out on the floor (MORE would be the key word here).  AMAZING would be another, especially with “Ladies Night/Day” being tomorrow Oct. 29th, with 20% off everything in the store starting at 8:30 tomorrow morning until 8:30 in the evening.

If you are a collector of Katherine’s dolls, bring in the season with these Santa’s and Nutcrackers and don’t forget the Snow Fairy shown below .  The craftsmanship is exquisite and 20% off should help you add or even start your collection.

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Like many, I am an avid collector of cookbooks and Kurtis collects like “NO” other.  So when he says to me ” You have to see our new cookbooks” it usually pics my interest enough to see what he’s come up with.  The authors of  the 8 volume series  The Gathering of Friends  state “The Gathering of Friends cookbooks were created to introduce ” food as a love language” enhancing traditions, fortifying relationships and celebrating life”.  All I can say is “Bravo”. I came home with “A Year of Holidays at Home”. Authors Michelle Huxtable and Abby Jane Green provide you with a shopping list at the end of each chapter that I think comes in quite handy as it helped me go right to the cupboard to see what I had and what I needed.  No matter, if you LOVE cookbooks, you will LOVE these.

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I love the Christmas season, mostly because I like to spend time with my family and close friends.  Like many, I have the tendency to forget what it is really all about and I get caught up with the stress that we all do. When Kurt led me into the back room where Conrad and his family members were meticulously setting up displays, these items brought it all home.  “For unto us a child is born King of all Creation”.

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Christmas gift baskets are not only fun to receive but giving one to someone special in my life has always been enjoyable.  I will put 3 different kinds of cookies, bread, cheese, wine and then I choose 2 or 3 prepackaged items that I feel is outstanding.  Any of the items on these shelves works but, my all time favorite is the compotes so every basket gets 1 bottle for sure.  There’s just so much you can do with them.  In a pinch?  Either one of these compotes poured over cream cheese and served with crackers or baguettes works when that unexpected company is at the door.  I like to thin the Cranberry Jalapeno Compote down with Grand Marnier and use it as a glaze on chicken or turkey….YUMMM.  OR you could saute’ off yellow onions till golden brown, add them to the compote and put that on top of roast beef or ham….DOUBLE YUM.  Be creative!!!!  Not feeling creative?  Let Stem Gallery make that special gift basket up for you.

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Tomorrow is a big day at the store ladies, hope you will be able to drop by, I guarantee that you will be as AMAZED as I was. Most of all, have fun.

Christmas is coming and Ladies night is our Christmas Premiere

The other day a good friend from my home town sent me a text saying that he and his wife had to get down to Lincoln soon, so they could see what was going on at Stem Gallery for Christmas (please note that he didn’t mention seeing me). Lucky for him I had just taken pictures of gift ideas using my cell phone the week before.  In reply, I said “Let me bring the store to you” and sent him the pictures. Since my friend was so appreciative, I thought you might like a preview of Christmas 2014 at Stem Gallery, ESPECIALLY since LadiesNight is coming up on Wed. Oct. 29, 2014. They call it Ladies night but they will be celebrating women all day long from 8:30 am to 8:30 pm with 20% off everything in the store including cut flowers and custom made silk arrangements.

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I love dishware and have collected it for years. My oldest niece is just like me, so when she opens these on Christmas Day I will love to see that smile.  Who wouldn’t?

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Whimsical is the word for these little guys with their beards down to their feet  herding the reindeer with legs made from sticks  and moss hooves. I can see them arranged in the middle of my table welcoming my friends for the cookie exchange we have every year (it’s my turn).  I will be serving spiced cider with Myer’s rum and hot cocoa with Kahlua to the girls in these mugs and using this platter and these plates to put all the cookies and appetizers on.

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My good friends Mary and Mike collect Nutcrackers.  I love sitting in their kitchen any time,  but Christmas is special with their collection overlooking the festivities.  Wait until they see these!!!!

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It seems that when it comes to Christmas, we all have traditions that entail many things: a recipe that Mom or Grandma made, gathering with close friends, caroling on Christmas Eve the list goes on forever.  It brings memories of boxes of ornaments and figurines being carried out of the basement by my Dad, who was usually mumbling something under his breath about my Mom having too much stuff or him fighting with the Christmas tree as he tried to get it in the stand.  Once he won the fight and the tree secured, my siblings and I would go about opening those boxes that were like treasure to us as we only got to see them once a year and we each had our favorite ornament.

My Grandma collected Santa’s , so when I saw these Santa’s her face came to me immediately and I thought how much she would have loved Stem Gallery.

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Before I sign off you have to see these candles.  I know, you are wondering “What’s the big deal?  They’re candles.”  They aren’t just candles, they’re candle FOUNTAINS!!!!!  You are going to flip and want them on our dinner table Christmas Day.  So when you go in, ask Jessica to show them to you.

Fountain Candles

Hope to see you on the 29th and stay tuned as I will be posting more pictures and recipes for the holidays will be coming around the corner.

 

 

 

 

The First Saturday in Oct. 2014

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Waking up today, I wasn’t planning on heading out to Stem Gallery but while running errands with my dogs I thought “I am going to swing by and see what has come in for the fall season”.  Well, I don’t what makes me think that I am going to get in and out of Stem Gallery in 20 minutes when there is SO much to see, smell and eat.

Once again Fed Ex is at the door everyday with new product that Kurt, Conrad and Jessica purchased at market this summer.  Jessica’s first time to market, and she did a FABULOUS job.  If you are looking for something unique, beautiful, fun, whimsical, or breath taking, this is the place to go.

Who wouldn’t like to have any of the Santa’s shown here greeting them as they walk in your front door?  It’s not Christmas yet and they bring a smile to my face.

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If you happen to be the ” Hostess with the Mostess”, and you love unique, these candles shown in the picture below are  going to make you the talk of the season.  They’re fountains!!!!! You must go in to see them.  Add these Santa plates and they won’t stop talking guaranteed.

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Fountain Candles

If you haven’t been into Stem Gallery lately, you will love the remodeling (I’m not going to tell you what they’ve done) you need to see for yourself.

The holiday season is coming up fast, so make it a habit to visit this website where I will be posting more gift ideas and recipes for the holidays.