Friday, December 20, 2013

My Local Holiday Haunts


The holidays are officially here and there's plenty to do.  It's the perfect time to celebrate our fabulous local shops, cafe's and restaurants.  I have a few regular places that I frequent and I've found some delicious new ones as well.  Here's a compilation of my local haunts this season. 

Every holiday I do my utmost to support local businesses as much as possible.  Shopping, eating and lounging locally is one of the best ways to help you feel connected to your community on a deeper level.  Here is where I've been and where I plan to be this holiday season. I am providing links to as many places as possible this year.  Need more ideas or better reasons to live locally?  Check out Sustainable Connections webpage.

1.  Fairhaven Toy Garden:  I bring both my boys to this store all the time.  Sometimes we just play and sometimes we buy.  This year to pacify my children I had them pose with the toys they wanted for Christmas and took pictures of them with my iPhone.  When I finally went shopping for their gifts I had the perfect electronic Christmas list all ready to go.

2.  Kids Northwest:  I've blogged about this wonderful store before.  Mike and Janet are awesome people and steadfast owners and I have been buying Christmas slippers for the boys there for a few years.  This year we hit a milestone.  Ross has finally outgrown the size of slippers that they carry.  I bought Finn's there and Mike sent me to another local store to get Ross' size.  You will find that a common theme among local businesses.  If they don't carry something always ask if there is another place in town to get what you need.  More often than not you will discover a fantastic new store but also unique things you couldn't find anywhere else. 

3.  LFS (Lummi Fishing Supply):  This is where Mike sent me to get Ross' slippers.  This place is amazing!!!  I found at least 5 different things within minutes that I wanted for myself, let alone others.  They carry Acorn slippers for kids, men, and women.  I've got to send Matt there for me.  Now please understand that this is a fishing supply store.  Don't be discouraged by all the manly there.  There is a plethora of items that would be great gifts for men, women and children.  Remember this place also had fantastic outdoor coats, fleeces, sweater and hats.  Currently I am coveting their fisherman caps.  They are considered incredibly chic for women's fashion in Paris right now. 

4.  Ciao Thyme:  This company not only runs their own café but they also cater, host dinners, provide cooking classes, and sell fantastic cooking/food items.  A gift certificate, cookbook, lunch, or gourmet items are fantastic gifts for your favorite food enthusiast ( I hate to use the term foodie.  It conjures too many sarcastic mental images).  I have been hooked on this place every since I was lucky enough to attend a dinner there.  The menu is local and inventive and I can guarantee that the food isn't just impressive but rather astounding.  Gift certificates can be used for the café, dinners, and goods.  This is one of my new favorite places.

5.  Seifert & Jones:   There's a new wine merchant in town and let me tell you that you are missing out if you don't get yourself down here.  Ted and Diane know their stuff and this shop has incredible vino for all price ranges.  Where else can you get a collectors wine and a drinkable one at the same place.  Don't know what wine goes with what?  They will guide you through the confusing world of wine from France to Chili.  Diane was the first to help me in this area when I first came to town.  She was the wine buyer for the Fairhaven Market (now Haggen) then.  I miss seeing her there on my weekly trips to the grocery store but now I'm thrilled that I can still obtain her (and Ted's) guidance in wine.  I always go home with great bottles and I found their prices to be quite reasonable.  Pop in take a look and better yet come to one of their free tasting's on Friday/Saturdays.  Check the link for upcoming events.

6.  Launching Success:  This is an exceptional educational store that is heavily used not only by teachers but also parents.  They also have an amazing selection of toys and their Lego section is pretty impressive.  This locally owned store also coordinates with school PTA's and gives back a percentage of sales for participating schools.  Can't get that at Toys-R-Us.

7.  Chocolate Necessities:  This store houses some special chocolatiers.  Not only is there chocolate incredibly authentic and delicious, almost all of it are works of art.  I got my son's preschool teachers some fabulous treats here.  Authentic truffles, chocolate mardi gras masks, decadent dark chocolate hot cocoa mixes and yes even gelato are sold here.  Their prices aren't out of this world either.  If you can control yourself it can be a very reasonable adventure.

8.  Pure Bliss Deserts:  Right next door to #7 is this delicious desert house.  They make incredible cakes, tarts, and a variety of other delectable.  They even offer wine and beer for those who like to imbibe with their cake.  I got my son's teacher a gift certificate to use at her discretion.  Last year I purchased an incredible lemon tart.  Gluten-free and dairy free options are available upon request. 

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