There’s School Tomorrow! Now that you’re dug out…time to get all your errands done!
Like going to the grocery store, the pharmacy, maybe pick up some Valentine’s Day gifts. I, ahem, may or may not have eaten some intended gifts during the hunkering down time. Note to self – next year buy non-consumable items like the ones at Linden Square. Don’t worry – they have chocolate, too.
Roche Brothers and CVS are both in Linden Square which makes shopping there practical, too. Here is a lovely gift-buying guide to help you with some ideas. Just don’t get snowed in and decide you are going to keep them for yourself – more snow coming on Thursday – you may not have time to replace them, and for goodness sake, don’t get edible gifts! Check out some sweet ideas below and then scroll down to see what else is happening in the Square. I got the sweetest newsletter and copied it for you – you are welcome.
Shop our Sweet Deals and Gift Ideas.
We promise we won’t kiss and tell. Enter our Valentine’s Day Sweepstakes
by Feb. 14 to win one $25 gift card from Sara Campbell and Tobey Grey. No purchase necessary to enter; must be 21 years of age or older.
Heather Moore “I love you” Charm, Sterling Silver and 14k Yellow Gold $1,040
Private Collection 14k Yellow Gold and Pave Diamond “X” ring $1,410
Rebecca Lankford Yellow Gold and Pave Diamond “XO” Bracelet $385
Suzanne Kalan 14k Pink Topaz and Black Diamond Studs $616
The longer answer includes taking care of yourself and your family, and while there are many factors out of your control, there are a lot of things you can do to keep everyone healthy and not so stressed out. My family had some health issues this holiday season, some minor and some not so minor, and staying healthy and unstressed is my goal for us in 2015.
Okay, sure, sounds good. What I wasn’t considering was additional body work that affects your overall heath. So while there is no shortage of options and everyone has a favorite, here are a few suggestions – yoga for working on your core and calming down, Reiki and/or meditation for even more calming, and stretching and massage for overall wellness. And I love getting a massage, I just don’t do it very often, maybe it’s the frugal thing I have going, or a concern that it takes so much time. But I learned that it doesn’t have to be expensive and a whole day spa experience, it can be a built in wellness appointment that you make for yourself.
Two weeks ago I received a gift card to Massage Envy on Needham Street in Newton, and I made an appointment. While I drive by it on the way to my usual places (Home Goods, Marshalls or T.J. Maxx), I had never been in. And when they called the day before to confirm the appointment, it occurred to me to find the gift card. Sadly, this thought was not acted upon. Fast forward to the next day (surprise) when I realized that I had no idea where the gift card was – great.
I called Massage Envy and left a possibly frantic voice-mail about not being able to find the card – should I reschedule? They called back while I was still in my driveway assuring me that it was fine and to head on over. I’m so glad I did! Obviously my holiday stressed self really needed a re-set and this was the perfect way to recharge, reflect and slow the heck down.
The waiting room was warm, comfortable, quiet and welcoming with sunlight streaming through the huge windows. While I filled out a Massage Wellness Chart, the wonderful people behind the desk gave me a warm neck wrap and some spring water to keep me hydrated. Not a bad start.
Then my massage therapist and I talked about specific areas in which I might be experiencing pain, or would like to address during the massage. The treatment room was clean and pleasantly lit, and the heated massage pad on the table was an unexpected bonus. But the biggest bonus was how I felt post-massage – terrific, calm and centered and much less scattered and anxious. Also, my neck and shoulders felt completely tension free. Evidently I hold some tension in my neck. Go figure.
Massage Envy in Newton has an extraordinarily lovely group of professionals working there, which is evident in their kindness, energy, and ties to the local community. From the Toys for Tots donation box in the waiting room to the well wishes cards taped to the wall behind the desk, you can just tell this caring group of people will do their best to make you comfortable. Check out the monthly plans – don’t worry, you don’t pay if you don’t go – the session rolls over to the next month or you can gift it to someone else which is nice, too.
The welcoming front door
From the Massage Envy website:
Massage therapy helps you relax, re-align and rejuvenate. There are many positive aspects to receiving massage therapy on an ongoing basis, and with the busy lives we lead, we can all benefit from a little stress-management.
There are over 1,000 Massage Envy locations across North America. So, to find one near you, find them on Twitter or Facebook or go to the website. I think I’ll be better served health-wise if I make this a regular stop on my route. This is a prescription for health that’s going to be easy to fill!
Disclosure: I received a gift certificate for a massage to facilitate this review. All opinions are, and always will be, my own.
It’s three days before Christmas and I haven’t gotten my parents a thing. Nope, nothing. What kind of nonsense is this? Well, to be fair, it’s a group gift from all of us, and while there isn’t actually any dissent, there isn’t a lot of decision making going on either. Am I at the mall? Decidedly no (even though I hear from Annmarie Weir Seldon of Trendy Mommies that there are good deals for the taking).
Are you thinking what I’m thinking? That nothing says ‘Happy Holidays’ like a gift card? Well, it can be true and while I long resisted the gift card, I’ve come to see it in a new way. Those hard to buy for folks (like my parents) would love a gift certificate to a long-standing favorite restaurant or as-yet-untried place – thus the experience gift.
What to get? Well, you can guess but it’s nice if you have a little working knowledge of your gift-ee. Country music or classical? Show tunes or not so much? Are they into kitchen or tech gadgets? Are they bookish? Museum or movie buffs? Are they foodies? If so the world is definitely your oyster.
Not that I would be unhappy with a gift card to Starbucks, but it is nice if the gift is a bit more personal. So, if you know if your gift-ee likes day-trips or overnights, spa treatments or days lounging by the pool, you have a good start. Hotel gift stays are a great group idea for parents and grandparents, a mother-daughter(s) spa weekend or a weekend away for your family – upgrade that Staycation!
Recently I visited the John Carver Inn in Plymouth as part of a Blogger Day of Fun and Beauty (okay, I made the title up but I call it like I see it). First, we had a tour of this lovely inn and then gathered in the Beach Plum Spa. The well-named Relaxation Room was now our home base, with super comfortable seats, soft lighting and fresh fruit flavored water, and snacks (really nice snacks). The attention to detail is outstanding, from the constellation ceiling (sorry – no pics) to the fully appointed beautiful locker rooms, and the comfortable and calming treatment rooms. And there is a fun pool is a perfect place to take the kids, and while (ahem) someone is hanging out poolside or in the hot tub, someone else can go get a terrific spa treatment at the award-winning Beach Plum Spa.
The staff is wonderful, professional and attentive, extremely well-trained, and all personally vetted by the owner of the hotel, the lovely and welcoming Deb Catania. My technician and I chatted about skin care during the treatment, because I am super curious and have sensitive skin, and she not only described each step and product in great detail but she also gave me some great make-at-home skin care treatments.
The fantastic Beach Plum Spa is open to the public (no need to be a guest of the hotel to book an appointment), and is open seven days a week, year round. And there are two other locations of this spa in the John Carver Inn’s sister hotels, the Dan’l Webster Inn in Sandwich and the Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis. Check out this local gem, and, if you’re a sweetheart, get your parents a gift certificate.
Disclaimer: I received a spa facial in order to be able to review the spa services. All opinions are, and ever will be, my own.
When my children were little, I was in Wellesley every week for my wonderful Tuesday playgroup and I was introduced to Roche Brothers for groceries, but really, I went for the drummies, and the Linden Street Deli for fantastic sandwiches. Then when Linden Square was added, I still went for drummies groceries, to The Cottage for lunch, or to work at Starbucks, and to pick a baby gift at Magic Beans and I knew there were other shops there – I just hadn’t explored them yet. So when I was invited to explore Linden Square as part of a blogger event, I said yes without even checking my calendar.
Our first stop, Roosters, a charming men’s grooming center (shaves, haircuts and more) where they handed me a straight edge and let me shave a person’s face balloon. I was nervous at first and although I did lose the straight edge in the towel – only once! – my instructor was kind and patient. I really liked how the warm wood of the shop gives it an old-timey feel. This would be a great gift for Dad or your father-in-law (I’m adding it to my best gifts to give) and a great father-son outing for big boy haircut time!
Nest up was Tobey Grey Boutique and I did know this was here because I managed to fall into a pre-inventory sale here this past summer while I was supposed to be working with Leah, but I digress. Great graphic tees with positive messages, super well-fitting jeans and a slew of yummy cashmere sweaters and pretty, flowy tops.
Then on to CERI Boutique for more fashion and accessories. Another gorgeous store with some sweet jewelry and accessories. I like the little bags and am buying a few to fill with fun things – maybe make a winter survival kit with lip balm, hand cream, a headband, and some cozy socks or mittens? There were too many pretty clothes to try on in the time allotted so I’m heading back next week.
I have friends who take classes here – really fit friends, I might add – and I have always been a little intimidated by the idea of a mirror and a barre – but not after visiting Pure Barre! The staff is warm, enthusiastic, welcoming and reassuring that there are accommodations made to the program for all fitness levels and abilities and even injuries. I have been wanting to up my work out routine for a while so this looks like a great place to try that.
Sara Campbell was our next fabulous stop – what a pretty store! Gorgeous sweaters, dresses, gifts, and at a variety of price points – an incredibly helpful staff. We met the store model who was a lovely spokesperson and Shift Your Style was running a pop up and they can help with anything from closet editing to dressing for a special event. I was actually complimented by their stylist on my color choice of sweater and scarf – wow! and to think I was going to go with a basic black sweater.
One of my favorite toy stores has long been Magic Beans. This lovely local shop always has toys of great quality and their staff is friendly, well-trained and incredibly helpful with suggestions for gifts. Take my recent assignment – get Legos for a 6 year old. Easy, right? Umm, no. Have you seen the vast array of Legos lately? I was out of my depth until I asked the salesperson for advice. I knew only Lego and something possiblt artic. Suffice to day, all set! And good that I know my nephew doesn’t read my blog because his present is pictured below.
Changing it up and moving onto home decor, next stop Bonsoir Fine Linens. Our group watched in amazement at the napkin folding demonstration and I even tried it despite my skill set normally limits me to folding napkins into rectangles. And I could do the fancy folds, well, one of them. And I do so want this shiny gorgeous table runner for the holidays – it adds a touch of glam to any table. Another gorgeous store with a great variety of items in all price ranges – gorgeous candles and ornaments to full bedding sets. I can’t wait to try out my new mad napkin folding skills on my unsuspecting family.
Next stop, adorable Kenzie (formerly Kenzie Kids) a terrific shop for tweens. It’s a great place to find occasion dresses, shoes and accessories that aren’t too much for a tween (you may not be ready for the juniors department, I know I wasn’t). The day to day wear is cute as a button but on trend in a way you and your tween will appreciate. They even carry women’s clothes now, too, and I really like this beautiful Bogner coat modeled by the incomparable Charlene DeLoach from Charlene Chronicles. This coat is luxe enough for her new website, Cleverluxe! And they had donuts for us which, yes, I tried, and yes, they were worth it.
And tiny hanger with the cutest clothes for kids ever. Their tagline is curated cuteness and I won’t even try to improve on that. Check it out.
then came lunch at The Cottage! What a lovely room and such delicious food. I love the stuffed avocado with chicken salad and hats off to Kim for remaining calm when I almost upended the entire table. One cool mama, that one. My phone was charging at the front desk – so accommodating! – during lunch so no food pics – it was all delicious and gorgeous.
I was also out of battery for Belle Sante but I am going back soon and will make up for it then. There was a prettily packaged gift card in my gift bag and I am going to use it toward one of their signature treatments. I have been to the Boston location – my mom took us all one year – and I can’t wait to try Wellesley, and maybe I should bring my mom.
Unleashed by PETCO dropped by at lunch with gift bags for our pets – am I ever going to be popular with my dog!
Then, off to dessert at IMPULSE but we were all distracted by the something shiny and didn’t really eat (although I did take a coffee for the road and a Quebrada cupcake for my daughter).
The Sisco & Berlutti line of bracelets are perfectly stack-able and a great gift. Started by two sisters from Westwood, these beaded bracelets are a fantastic gift. I also loved the Heather B. Moore line – personalized or stock items – these wonderful handcrafted charms are a warm and personal keepsake.
I missed getting a gorgeous updo at Salon Maleah (that was Emily Roach with her post here), but there was a gift card tucked in my gift bag so I’ll happily head back to Linden Square for some pampering!
So, a whirlwind day filled with laughter, shopping, great food and fun! And after this day in the Square, the well-designed Linden Square, I ran into Roche Brothers to pick up ingredients for dinner. No drummies, this time, though.
The place to go for great gifts for everyone on your gift list! Also Linden Square is running the cutest Elf on the Shelf Contest from December 1-19 (there’s still time!) Three people will win – so if you find him in any of the stores, take a pic and post on social media – the shoppers with the most ‘likes’ win! More info on the Facebook Page below for another contest, too! What fun!