Monday, September 28, 2009

Lego Birthday Party

Here are a few pics from my son's recent Lego themed birthday party. It was really fun to plan it as it was a departure from the run-of-the mill party themes and inflatable world parties, etc. My 7 year old really enjoys playing with Legos so it was great fun for him! Using a simple Lego graphic, we repeated it on items used throughout the party, from centerpieces to water bottle wrappers, treat bag tags, gift labels and party hat stickers. Legos come in basic primary colors which helped to make the decorating very easy since those colors are so easy to find. Here are a couple of ideas that you may want to use if you decide to have a Lego party:

1. Set up a Lego Land play area for the kids to play Legos during the party. (Hint: We used a train table. It has a raised edge all the way around so the Legos stayed on the table...pretty much)

2. Print cool Lego coloring sheets from the Lego website and set up a table where party guests can color their own Lego sheets to take home.

3. Right now in the Halloween treat section of our local Target I found individually packaged single Lego creation packages for 2.99. Use them as favors or prizes for games.

4. Have a Lego contest where you reward kids for the most unique, most colorful, tallest, etc. Lego creations. Everyone should win something!

5. Use real Lego pieces in glass containers or jars for centerpieces and decorations.

6. Encourage the grown-ups to build with the kids too! Have fun!

Lego centerpiece

Lego treat bags and water bottles for party guests to take home.

Yummy Lego Cake by It's A Piece of Cake!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A "Frightfully" Grown Up Halloween Display

Check out our new "Frightfully" Grown Up Halloween Display! Remember Halloween is on a Saturday night this year, so that will make a perfect night for some "grown up" themed Halloween parties! Stop in soon or visit our online store to order your Halloween Party invitation today. Don't forget, your party could be featured on our blog too! Find out how here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Now Featuring...You!

We have so many great customers who send great invitations and throw fabulous parties, in addition to having lovely brides who throw weddings to die for, so we thought it would be fun to start featuring some of you, you meaning our customers and their parties!

We know you're out there and we know you are having fun parties with neat table settings, unique touches, favors, flowers, recipes and share them!

If you would like your party or wedding to be featured on our blog for all the world to see, email us at with a brief description of your event, type, theme, special touches you had, etc. and include 2 to 3 pictures of your event. You can even include a recipe for something that was a hit at the party if you would like. We will notify you when we plan to feature your event and send you a link to the feature.

We look forward to hearing from you soon!


Many of you are familiar with the term SWAG bags, but for those of you who may not be, the best definition we could find is: The "Swag Bag" is the quintessential gift of Hollywood parties. For most celebrities, it's the reason they attend events. This bag full of free goodies can range from inexpensive gifts to extravagant luxury items."

Where am I going with this topic you might ask? Well, we recently had a Birthday Party for our store and we gave out SWAG bags to the first 30 customers who arrived. It was exciting to come up with the neat surprises and free items that we would put in them for our customers. We were almost giddy putting them together before the event! It really makes one feel good to just give stuff away! Needless to say, the SWAG bags were a HUGE hit and we had many more than 30 wonderfully patient folks waiting in line to get theirs that morning before we opened.

We are now in the midst of planning our annual Holiday Open House event where we unveil all of our holiday cards, gift merchandise, seasonal decor and we begin our support of the Chesterfield-Colonial Heights Christmas Mother program. This program offers Christmas presents, non-perishable food and clothing to families in our area who would not otherwise have anything for Christmas. It is a wonderful organization and I am sure there are many just like it all over the country. We have a ball watching the donated items come in at our store which serves as a drop off location. And we offer our customers discounts on their purchases for making donations.

We are very excited about our kicking off the holiday season with our Holiday Open House event this year and we will be giving out many more SWAG bags full of free products at this event. We would hate to see anyone leave without one! I thought I would prompt some discussion about SWAG bags, and what you may have received in one that you loved, etc. I would also like to request ideas from those of you who have products that you are trying to introduce to the world to see if you would like us to consider featuring them in our SWAG bags. Please leave your comments here on our blog post about this topic and let us know what you think.

We may be able to feature your next big thing in our next big event SWAG bags and make someone very happy this holiday season.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Social Media Saturday Sale!

Because we're just so thrilled with what social media is doing for our business, we're celebrating tomorrow by thanking everyone who "socializes" with us during a Special Sale! Join us tomorrow both in the store and online for our first ever "Social Media Saturday". If you are a follower of our blog, a fan of ours on Facebook or a follower of ours on Twitter you are entitled to received 10% off your entire purchase with us tomorrow! That's right, your whole purchase, everything in the store, even the leftover stuff from our birthday sidewalk sale that is already 60% off!!! All you have to do is come by and shop with us tomorrow and tell us when you check out that you follow us or are a Fan of ours on any of the social media outlets that we use.

If you are not local, or just prefer to shop online with us tomorrow, you can also take advantage of the sale by using this special "Social Media Saturday" online coupon code SMSAT10 when you go through the online checkout process.

Feel free to share this with others who you think might want to socialize with us online. If they become a follower, fan or tweet with us they can shop the Social Media Saturday Sale too!

Happy Shopping!

Elizabeth Howard

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wedding Favors to Die For

Looking for a yummy, edible wedding favor that will have your guests talking? We have the perfect favor idea for you. I have personally enjoyed eating gourmet chocolates from Gearharts Chocolates in Charlottesville and I make a point to stop there every time I am in the area. We have also purchased them to serve to guests at our in-store events. They are all wonderful, unique and handcrafted by chocolatier, Tim Gearhart, who was trained in pastry at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. He has cobbled together a culinary career that has taken him from the Gulf War in Kuwait to a dude ranch in Wyoming to a castle in southern England with stops in fine-dining restaurants along the way.

Tim started Gearharts in 2001 and lives with his family in Waynesboro, Virginia. The most exciting news is that Gearharts is about to open a second location on Libbie Avenue in Richmond. Click here to visit their website and learn more about what they can do for your wedding favors!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Huge Success!

Our wonderful and lovely staff at The Cordial Cricket, before we opened the doors. (We look so calm, despite the 60+ people watching us from outside anxiously waiting to come inside)

The line of incredibly anxious, wonderful customers waiting outside for 45 minutes. You can't even see the part that was wrapped around the other side of the building!

Our gorgeous cake, made by It's A Piece of Cake,
to match our invitation exactly!

Just one of our many new beautiful displays!

If you have been following us for anytime, you know that we recently threw ourselves our first birthday party. We were celebrating the first year in our new Chester location and BOY was it a party! Our party was held on Saturday, August 29th and we gave out SWAG bags full of free merchandise to the first 30 customers who arrived. (They were gone in about 30 seconds, since we had a LONG line of folks waiting starting at 9:15 and we didn't even open the doors until 10:00.) We also had a wonderful cake, created by local baker, It's A Piece of Cake, that folks are STILL talking about! And we had a huge patio sale with many items up to 60% off.

Words cannot describe the feelings that I still have about the amazing number of folks who showed up to wait outside my store for this event. I really do have THE most wonderful customers, I mean really wonderful and loyal customers. I tried my best to greet every one of them, but am sure that I didn't get to them all. Many people waited over an hour to check out, with their arms loaded down with merchandise and were so patient. Some even made friends with others while they waited.

I have many blessings to be thankful for and the support of this event by so many wonderful people will always be one of them.

Elizabeth Howard

(Stay tuned for more info about what the 30 lucky customers found in their SWAG bags! I promise we will have many, many more bags for our next event.)