Friday, November 21, 2008

Making a List and Checking It Twice...

I don't know about you, but as much as I look forward to the holiday season each year, there is always stress surrounding what to buy for some folks on my gift list. Since we are only 33 days away from Christmas I thought I would offer some of my best, and most affordable ideas! Oprah has favorites, why can't I, and I admit that some of my favorites...came straight from her lists. All of these gifts are available for purchase now in our store, with the exception of the wine...sorry!

For the cooking enthusiast friend (under $30)
Earthworks Limone hand wash for the kitchen sink, recipe cards or a market list note pad, oven mit or kitchen towel.

For those who like to try new things (only $5)
A small, but nicely packaged, thoughtful gift: Tea Forte Small Tin containing two silken tea infusers. A terrific hostess gift, party favor, "thank you" gift or stocking stuffer. Our best selling flavor - Citrus Mint - cool, brilliant peppermint is complemented by sunny citrus zest.

For the stylish friend (Kate Spade! for only $25)
Box of 10 engraved correspondence "Snail Mail" motif cards with gold lined envelopes.

For the perfect hostess (around $30 depending on your wine selection)
A bottle of wine and a "What A Character" Initial Bottle Stopper.

For the business man ($12-$18)
A Moleskine notebook. Moleskine® is the legendary notebook used for the past two centuries by great artists and thinkers, including Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and Bruce Chatwin.
For the environmentally concious writer ($12)
Package of 8 artfully designed note cards by Waste Note Paper. Waste Not Paper is dedicated to the idea that what is used everyday can be not only beautiful and creative, but friendly to our world.

For the preppy little one ($20-$25)
A personalized T-Shirt or onesie from The Paper Menu. Available in short and long sleeve, various sizes and designs. Outfit your baby in style!

For the die-hard alumnus ($49.95)
Personalized self-inking return address stamp. Many colleges to choose from. Brand new for our store. Makes the PERFECT alumni gift. (Ships directly to you in 10 business days.)

For the engaged couple trying to survive the holidays while planning the biggest day of their lives, perfect stocking stuffer! (only $6.95)
Bride & Groom IOUs. Each voucher takes the worry out of asking for big favors, from in-law management and honeymoon planning sessions to permission to splurge or a weekend that's free of wedding talk.

For those who just have it all ($4.50 to $18)
Paddywax candles, packaged ready for gifting. Includes free little box of matches. We guarantee that the person who already has it all doesn't have this candle fragrance...and it is truly our best seller - New Mown Hay, with scents of cut grass, thyme and verbena. It seriously smells fabulous for any home or office.
Happy Shopping :)

Two Sweet Opened Today!

Read our previous post for the whole sweet story, but just wanted everyone to know that Two Sweet - A Cupcake Boutique opened today, November 21st, in the Shops at Wellesley...visit their website for more info, menu, hours and directions. You have got to go!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


For those of you who shopped with us last year during the holidays you will remember that our "paper lady" made her debut in our beautiful store window and was admired and photographed by many! Thanks to our fabulous designer, Jessica Lindsay, we have redressed her in new fashionable paper attire and she is back on display in our new store. We have even named her, and from now on she will be known as "Cricket".

Our Store Featured on New Entertaining Blog

How lucky we were to have our store and products recently featured on new entertaining blog Celebrations at Home. Visit this expert party planner's blog for fun, creative inspiration for entertaining at your home!

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Sweetest Thing!

I have recently had the pleasure of getting to know a couple of the newest boutique owners in Richmond, Tina and Debbie Pearlman, and let me just tell you, these ladies are really on to something sweet! A confessed sweet tooth myself, I have always had a fondness for cupcakes, even more so than a slice of cake, pie or other tempting desserts. As kids we probably all experienced having cupcakes at birthday parties, but how many of us have recently enjoyed a cupcake as an adult? Well, I can say that I have recently died and gone to cupcake heaven after tasting some of what will soon be the sweet talk of central Virginia.

Tina and Debbie are the proud owners of Two Sweet-A Cupcake Boutique, which is soon to open in the Shops at Wellesley in the West End. I have been lucky enough to know about the cupcake boutique for about a year now and am anxiously awaiting its official opening later this month. We got a sneak peek into the new boutique when we recently served these gourmet delights at an exclusive bridal event in our store. The boutique is as beautifully decorated and sweet as the signature cupcake confections themselves. They have put such hard work into every detail, to include custom signature packaging for the sweet treats! The boutique will feature a gourmet cupcake menu that changes daily, to include both gourmet filled and classic flavors such as: Vanilla Caramel, Key Lime Pie, White Chocolate Rasberry Cheesecake and Sprinkle Explosion. Being lucky enough to taste several of these personally, I can honestly say they are the best cupcakes I have EVER had! Freshness and quality are apparent in every bite.

I am very excited for these ladies and their wonderful sweets and am happy to endorse their new boutique business. Our boutique will be doing business with them for all of our special events and recommending them to our customers for delightful wedding desserts, baby or bridal shower desserts and birthday treats! What better way to celebrate your next event or any day with a cupcake from Two Sweet-A Cupcake Boutique! Please visit them when they open later this month. Feel free to visit their website or pick up a daily menu in our store. We will be glad to help you place your cupcake order anytime!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Last Day To Register - "For Brides Only"

Just a reminder, today is the last day to register to attend our upcoming bridal event. Brides who wish to attend must register by close of business today, October 31st in order to reserve a seat. This will be an event of a more intimate style than your typical "expo" or bridal fair and space will be limited, so please make sure you email us or give us a call at 804-425-9768 to reserve your spot. Please plan to arrive at 2:00, as brief presentations by each vendor, with tips you won't want to miss, will start at the beginning of the event. Please feel free to bring a friend or two, just let us know how many will be in your group when you register. See below for all of the details. Hope to see you there!

If you are a bride-to-be or you know someone who is, please join us for our premier wedding event For Brides Only, on Sunday, November 2, 2:00 - 4:00 at our new store in Chester. Preview the latest in wedding invitation and save the date styles, receive advice from industry experts, register for gifts on our new Bridal Gift Registry and see new must haves for every bride-to-be. This is an exclusive invitation only event and will be limited in size to ensure that the brides who attend can receive the utmost in attention and service. To say "I Do" and register to attend, please reply by October 31. Respond by emailing us with your name, wedding date, mailing address and a contact phone number.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Cordial Cricket Curiosities

Did you know...Our store is the only retailer of Mariposa products south of the James River?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Confessions of a Cordial Cricket Customer

I have lots of wonderful customers, and I am not just saying that, I mean really wonderful customers! I take a lot of pride in getting to know most all of my customers personally as well as their taste in gifts, likes and dislikes. It really makes helping them with their shopping decisions a whole lot easier and I gain at least a friend a day in the process. It is the highest reward to read comments like the following that we recently received from a customer. I just had to share!

"Shopping with your store was (and continues) to be such a pleasure. When I was preparing for my wedding, your help with the invitations, napkins and personalized favors was probably the least stressful part of planning my big day. The quality of service your store delivers is exceptional, both your products and your hands-on customer service. Also, the variety of unique items are wonderful pick-me-ups for special gifts. I will certainly continue to shop in your store in the future!"

~ Natalie, Chester

Monday, October 20, 2008

Support of a Local Community Program

From left to right (Jeff Jarrell - Sir Tux Formals, Elizabeth Howard – The Cordial Cricket, Carolyn Thompson – The 2008 Chesterfield-Colonial Heights Christmas Mother, Elizabeth Wells – Goodman & Company, George Emerson – Emerson Construction)

We held our annual Holiday Open House event at the store on Saturday, October 18th. It was great fun to kick off the holiday season with beautiful displays featuring a wide variety of holiday cards, party invitations and merchandise perfect for gift giving and entertaining. We offered special sales and provided our customers an opportunity to give to others in need this holiday season.

This year our store is sponsoring the local Chesterfield-Colonial Heights Christmas Mother program for the upcoming holiday season. Since the 2008 Chesterfield-Colonial Heights Christmas Mother, Mrs. Carolyn Thompson, also happens to be one of my customers, I invited her to join us at the store during the open house event to accept donations on behalf of the organization and greet customers. Carolyn gladly accepted the invitation and spent the day accepting donations from many generous customers. Donations included new items such as toys, children’s books and non-perishable food, as well as monetary donations. I also asked some other local business owners to join me in making corporate donations to The Christmas Mother. Together we raised just over $1500 in monetary donations, making the event a huge success. Some of the local business who made donations were: Emerson Construction, Goodman & Company, Sestra Bridal & Evening Wear, Sir Tux Formals, Flagstop and The Village News. I would like to personally extend a huge Thank-You to my fellow local business friends who made monetary donations to The Christmas Mother during our Open House.

The Chesterfield-Colonial Heights Christmas Mother program exists to ensure that in our community no family is without food, no child is without toys and clothing and no elderly person is forgotten as we celebrate the holidays. We will continue to accept donations of new kids toys, books, non-perishable food and monetary donations at our store until December 7th. We will also continue thanking those customers who bring donations by discounting their purchases 10%. To read more about The Christmas Mother program visit their website.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Stockings with Style

I know that many of us are not ready to face the fact that the holiday season is right around the corner, nor are our checkbooks! However, being in the business of retail, we have already been getting ready for the holidays at the store for weeks. When you have to look at the cutest holiday party invitations and read holiday cocktail napkins with the funniest sayings ever written all day, it does kind of get you in the holiday party kind of mood. If this stylish stocking invitation doesn't make you want to grab your calendar and pick the date for your holiday party, open house, bunko or girls night out ~ I just don't know what will!

So grab your calendar, call the caterer & order this invitation from the trendy Whitney English collection for your holiday party, before they are gone. Trust me, this one will be gone!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Welcome To Our Blog!

Welcome to our new blog! For those of you not yet familiar with The Cordial Cricket, visit the About Us page on our website for the whole story. For those of you who have no idea what a blog is, consider it your every-so-often dose of information about things I feel are fabulous, necessary or just plain fun. You know, the kinds of things you are always telling your closest friends about that you saw and just had to buy one for you and one for them! I will do my best to write about interest topics and share hopefully helpful thoughts on entertaining, gift giving, wedding trends and of course, stuff that is cute! If you like our blog and want to stay abreast of our latest trendsetting topics, subscribe to our blog updates or just bookmark this page and check in often.